Sunday, December 14, 2008

Do We Go To Heaven Immediately After We Die?

When someone dies people say he has gone to heaven. Though I have written on this issue before in one of my articles I wanted to bring some addition. No, we do not go to meet Jesus in heaven when we die. I am very conscious we do not take a single passage to establish a doctrine but you could find other correlations in the Bible. If that is the case then why would the Bible make this statement below?
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words (I Thes 4:13-18).

This passage states the following:
1. Those who die in Christ are sleeping for they will rise up again (V.13) as supported by John 11:25-26.
2. The rapture (resurrection) will not hinder the dead (V. 14). When Jesus died and went into the hades the dead came back to life and lived amongst the other living (Mt 27:53-53).
3. The Lord will come to raise up the dead (Vs. 16,17 ). If he is coming to raise up the dead how are they with him already. If so there is no need to wake up the dead. He should just catch up the living in Christ so they can ascend unto heaven. That is endorsed by John 5:29.
4. Then the living too will enter heaven with transformed bodies (V.17) just like Enoch and Elijah did.
One thing should be clear that when Jesus was on the cross he told the thief: verily I say unto thee, to day shalt thou be with me in paradise (Lk 2: 43). Question: did Jesus resurrect the same day? He did not ascend into heaven with his spirit leaving his body. So paradise will be on earth. He went into heaven with his whole body after 40 days in a transformed body (Acts 1:9). That is why Paul tells the Corinthians that during the rapture they too will be transformed because mortality must cede way to immortality and corruptible left on the corrupt earth for the incorruptible to ascend into the incorruptible heaven:
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory (I Cor 15:51-55).
This same phenomenon has already been exercised by Enoch in Gen 5: 24 and Elijah in 2 Kings 2: 1. Therefore these must be kept tight on our bosoms. When you die you do not go to meet Jesus or go to hell immediately for there is a time for all of that. Death is not the end to earthly suffering but a door for a new eternity unto damnation or unto coronation.
Until then, encourage people to live a life worthy of coronation.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk.

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