Christians Don’t Go to Heaven When They Die

christian-heaven

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Yes, that’s right. Christians don’t go to heaven when they die. Allow me to explain. If you grew up in a religious background, you’ve likely grown up believing when a person dies, they either go straight to heaven or hell. A simple idea that many of us have been taught, but likely never investigated in scripture because it seemed obvious. However, if we investigate the scripture on where people go when they die, we might be surprised to find that it’s not as obvious as we’ve always been taught. Let’s observe what the scripture states first in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 states “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

Now notice, it said the Lord Himself will descend from heaven, and then it goes on to say the dead in Christ will rise first, and then the rest who are alive will be caught up together with the dead in the clouds to meet the Lord. So according to this verse the dead aren’t already in heaven, otherwise it wouldn’t have said Jesus had to come down from heaven to get them. So then that begs the question, where are they? Well, let’s continue to look through scripture to get as many facts as we can to make an informed conclusion. Let’s see if the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16 can help us.

Luke 16:22-26

Luke 16:22-26 states “Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and *saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.”

Ok, so we see here that Lazarus died and went to Abraham’s Bosom, and the rich man went to Hades. How are these two places defined in the original Greek? Let’s review.

Greek words

Kolpos (bosom) – front of the body

Hades (hades) – the nether world, an abode for the wicked

Thoughts on these words

Now some argue that Abraham’s Bosom is possibly a metaphor for heaven, but still, the definition of bosom doesn’t say metaphor for heaven, and if it was then it would seem to be in contradiction to Jesus coming down to bring the dead with Him first in 1 Thessalonians 4:16. An interesting thing to note for that translation of hades is that it is NOT the same as the Greek word used for hell. In fact, there is a completely different word used for hell in the Greek, and that word is Geenna. The definition of that word is future punishment akin to the valley of Hinnom in South Jerusalem, where the filth and dead animals of the city were cast out and burned. You’ll also notice that you’ll find the word fire or fiery next to the word hell frequently.

Rev 20:14 gives us the perfect illustration of this difference which states, “Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.” Now yes, in that parable, the rich man said he was in agony in a flame, but the distinction between that fire in Hades and the fire of Hell that people will be placed in during the final judgment, is they will be completely destroyed in the fire of hell. The rich man could still evidently talk in that Hades flame. Remember what Mat 10:28 states ““Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

What does it all mean?

So how do we tie all of this together? Before I offer a conclusion based on all of these facts, it might be helpful to offer insight on two other verses that some say suggest that Christians are in fact going straight to heaven whenever they die. Philippians 1:23 states, “But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;” (2 Cor 5:8 states, “we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.” Ok, at first glance it would seem as if this is evidence we’re all going to be with Christ in heaven as soon as we die, because that’s what the Apostle Paul just said his desire is, but there are a couple of things that also have to be recognized here.

One, the Apostles said this desire of themselves. The Apostles would seem to be in a different category from us as Christians. Remember what Jesus said about the vine, the branches, and the fruits in John. Following the context that Jesus was speaking to the Apostles when making this statement, He said He was the vine, they were the branches, and that they would bear much fruit abiding in Him (John 15:5). The fruit could logically be concluded to be us, the Christians. John 15:16 states, “You (apostles) did not choose Me (Jesus) but I (Jesus) chose you (Apostles), and appointed you (Apostles) that you (Apostles) would go and bear fruit (Christians), and that your fruit (Christians) would remain, so that whatever you (Apostles) ask of the Father in My name He may give to you (Apostles).” With that to consider, we also have to remember that those two verses (Phil 1:23 and 2 Cor 5:8), as all verses do, have to correlate with every verse in Scripture. So it would again still seem contradictory, to say Christians are going to be in heaven right after they die, when it’s stated Jesus is going to come down and bring the dead first in 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

My scriptural conclusion

With all of that said there’s obviously a lot to put together here, but let’s try to see if we can. The dead according to 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16 are not in heaven yet.  Now the parable of the rich man and Lazarus is a reflection of what happened when those two people died. Perhaps maybe that’s the reflection of what happens to all Christians when they die, and all the dead are in a resting place with Abraham right now. However, if the same fate of Lazarus is true of all people who lived life as Christians, wouldn’t they already be in heaven? According to Jesus, that’s where Abraham is. Mat 8:11 states “I (Jesus) say to you (the centurion was who he was speaking to) that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven;”

Is there a separate resting place with just Abraham first? Another possible idea that we also have to keep in mind is that the parable never said Lazarus was a Christian. As we know from our studies, there were no Christians until Acts 2 when the first people got saved according to the Gospel of Christ stated in Mark 16:15-16. You might stop me here and say wait, are you saying there are non-Christians in heaven? Well, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are not in the category of Christians. The command given for all people being able to come to heaven by becoming a saved Christian was given at the end of the gospels. So all those prior to the time the first people became Christians in Acts 2 that ended up in heaven were non-Christians. Now to be clear, Non-Christians can of course definitely not enter heaven now. I make the point to illustrate an alternative idea that it’s possible the parable is perhaps not necessarily a direct reflection of what happens for Christians when they die, but just a continuing illustration to the people around Jesus at that time that they needed to repent. I would say that I’m most inclined to settle my view on that conclusion. Though one other thing also for thought, if one were to believe the parable is a direct reflection of events after an individual dies, then as a result Non-Christians would be currently in Hades until Judgment day, and then they will be destroyed in Hell.

There’s a lot that can be speculated from these verses, and after I came to my own conclusions; I researched and discovered that theologians have had a number of different conclusions on this topic. One thing we do know for sure is that people who have obeyed the Gospel of Christ and remain committed to the faith will be in heaven with Jesus eventually, and I think we can all agree that’s the most important thing that matters. But have you obeyed the Gospel? Or did you just pray a prayer? I hope we’ll understand salvation according to what scripture states.

Any thoughts, questions, or comments are welcome as always. If this post really made think, I’d appreciate if you would share this across your social media by clicking one of the “SHARE THIS:” buttons below so you can enlighten others. Peace to all those who are in Christ.
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Recommendation: A really great tool for understanding verses in scripture is The New Oxford Annotated Bible. I have one of these and it provides a lot of background information on Bible verses and the Bible in general. It also does an excellent job of connecting the understanding of one verse based on what other verses in the Bible say. Full disclosure, I am in the Amazon Affiliate program, so if you purchase this product from the picture link below I do get a percentage of the sale. But I’m recommending you a great product that I use myself when I’m trying to get a deeper understanding of verses that lead to the posts that I write for you on this blog.

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245 thoughts on “Christians Don’t Go to Heaven When They Die

    • What do you do with Jesus’s statement to the thief on the cross when He says “Today, you will be with Me in paradise.” Jesus ascended into Heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. God the Father rules from Heaven. Therefore, Jesus spent no time anywhere else, and the thief on the cross didn’t either if Jesus’s word was good.

      • Hi pensiamentopeligroso. Thank you for your comment. I conclude the thief’s experience was specific to him and there’s nothing to suggest it should be generalized to the Christian’s death experience given he was not a Christian. If there were a verse that explicitly stated a Christian goes to heaven immediately after death, or a scriptural passage illustrating a Christian person that did, then I would reconsider.

        Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

      • Your question is a very good one. I will provide a clarifying comment on the subject, but, please give me a bit of time this morning. Please have a good day.

      • Please bear with me. It would have been very busy just to give a answer of a few words. But, I felt that ti was important to do more than that. You question was a very good one, and is one that most people don’t ask, for whatever reason. I should have a post of that subject completed late Tuesday afternoon. It will answer a lot of other questions; I thank you for your question. Please have a good night.

      • Hello brothers/sisters in the Lord. pensiamentopeligroso has a point. factbasedtruth, I admit, Paul was right when he said, “Behold, I bring you a mystery…” He knew it was an ongoing debate and unseen fact that we believers will be with the Lord forever. Your well thought out blog rightly brings up the “when”. In your reply to your reader, you defined there was a difference, an exception to God’s management of souls taken to Himself. However, scripture is firm throughout that there is no difference between any in Christ, or earning merit for advantage. If we say that the thief on the cross was given “special treatment”, “specific to him”, or as to go so far as to say that we, as believers, or even believers prior to the resurrection,
        are translated depending upon God’s whims, then we are in the school of thought that teaches we all arrive by various methods which is contrary to scripture and lends credence to false doctrines that arise pushing that all roads lead to the Father. (I know I am leaving the arena a bit bringing in false religions, but it does open a can of worms.) If I arrive in heaven another 100 years before you do, or in the case of the thief, 2000 years before you do, then we can say God plays favorites. There’s no longer a need to not think of one brother higher than another. Then again, “Behold, I bring you a mystery…”

      • In Matt. 12:40 the Lord Jesus told us that the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. (after which He resurrected and ascended.) And He says “Today [not ‘after three days’], you will be with Me in paradise.” Together these say that paradise is in the heart of the earth.
        Related to this, Paul tells us in 2 Cor. 12:2-4 that he was caught away twice – once to the third heavens and once to paradise. This too indicates that heaven and paradise are not the same.
        One interpretation is that the place under the earth has two sections, a pleasant section (paradise) where Abraham and all God’s people are and a section of torment where the rich man and many others are.

      • Hi Don. Thanks for your comment. Hmm, I’d heard that two compartment theory before but never heard it expounded upon like that. So you conclude that saved people who die are waiting there until they rise in the air to meet up with Jesus?

        Peace in Christ

      • “Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.” John 20:17

        “No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.” John 3:13

        Jesus did not ascend into Heaven immediately after the crucifixion. The story of Lazarus and the Rich man is a parable, not about Hell (which would have been an unknown concept to those hearing the story) but was a social commentary on the church. That is a different discussion.

        I think the key is found in understanding the Jewish belief in Sheol. Hades was a Greek word from mythology, but was used because that was the term Greek readers associated with the afterlife. In Sheol, depending on which theology you follow (Sadduccees did not believe in an afterlife at all, for example) there were divisions (Paradise being one of them) but it was a place for all dead.

      • Hi Terry. Thanks for your comment. Hmm, you make an astute observation about considering how the listeners of that story would have understood that parable, given there wasn’t necessarily an understanding of a hell after death at that time. And yes, others have mentioned the potential two compartment theory being the destination of souls after death, which I find to be a possibility. And never knew that about the Sadducees. Interesting information you’ve provided for pondering. Thanks for sharing your insight.

        Peace in Christ.

      • Well that’s an interesting question…If you study the narrative of the cross you can observe that the scriptures never record that Jesus went to heaven the night he died. In fact on the resurrection morning he didn’t allow that woman to touch him because he had not been to the father. So if Jesus said tonight you will be with me in Paradise, then Paradise has to be what was understood to be Paradise traditional by the Hebrews, which is Abraham’s Bosom. Hope this Helps

    • The chasm in Hades was dissolved after the resurrection. Now after believers exhale their last breath on earth they are in the presence of Jesus.

      • Hi Ro. Thanks for your comment. What do you make of the people who are asleep in Christ going up in the air to meet Jesus first in relation with your conclusion that believers after their last breath exhaled are in the presence of Jesus?

        Peace in Christ

      • To support Ro, I’d say that the “bodies” are sleeping awaiting a new body – we (our soul; our real self) are with Jesus, as 1 Thes 4:14 makes clear — “them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring WITH him” (capitalization mine). The bodies of them that sleep will be resurrected and united with those whom God brings with Him.

      • Hi Richard. Thanks for your comment. I’m conservative when it comes to my analysis of scripture. I do my best to stick to what’s written in the text. I see no distinction made of soul and body within those verses. With no added distinction given, I presume the text to mean generally that people who are dead are awaiting to rise to meet Christ in the air at the appointed time when this event will occur.

        Peace in Christ

  1. I will be adding a clarifying comment on the thief on the cross. Please give me a bit of time this morning, and have a good day.

  2. If the thief on the cross was not a Christian, then he was not saved, because Jesus very clearly says; “Nobody comes to the Father except through Me”. Therefore, paradise implies Heaven if for no other reason than Jesus’s description of Heaven in other parts of Scripture. Where did the thief go if he didn’t go to Heaven? There are no interlopers in Heaven – only the saved souls that God chooses. Jesus told His disciples that He chose them, and that they did not choose Him. Paul reiterates that “Jacob I loved; Esau I hated.” You may conclude anything that you like, but good hermeneutics and exegesis would dictate something other than your conclusion.

    • I agree with you that the thief went to be with Christ in paradise. What I suggest is that the thief’s experience was specific to his circumstance being nailed on the cross next to Jesus. Just like most Christians agree that the Law was specific to the Israelites, and don’t generalize as something applied to Christians. I’m glad I can have a respectful disagreement with you on this.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

    • John 3:3 is what Christ said to Nicodemus, and was the same teaching as 2 Cor 5:17 and Ezekiel 36:24-29. “We must be born again.” The thief saw that by his faith in Christ that he has been born again. I encourage all to study my post. The scriptures work together to show the point of the post. Again, thanks for your question.

  3. First of all, thank you for initiating challenging and engaging Biblical commentary beyond the status quo, as it is refreshing to find.

    I agree with your assertion that we do not enter heaven individually, but as some have already mentioned, I believe it is plausible that there will be no waiting period for united entry as II Peter 3:8 indicates, “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” Also indicated in Psalm 90:4 potentially by David, “For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it passes by, Or as a watch in the night.” When Jesus was defending himself against the Sadducees in Mark 12:26-27, he said, “Now about the dead rising—have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the account of the burning bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?’ He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” If they were alive at the time that Jesus spoke this, they are alive now (in the context of heaven) and will not be raised at a later date.

    As for the story of Saul and the medium, her conjuring would have to have addressed Samuel in a pre-heaven state as I don’t think it would be possible to remove anyone from heaven once we have all arrived. I do believe that the post-death/pre-heaven state exists (and that is the only place she would have been able to conjure Samuel from), but I do not think that we sense that state in terms of time as we know it now.

    I’ll admit that your view on baptism as a necessary function of salvation (as presented) challenged my long-standing view consistent with many of the previous comments regarding the thief on the cross. But, you say that his experience is not consistent with the typical Christian experience. How is it that you define the typical Christian experience…and at what point do you believe it reaches that definition? Is it after baptism? In your example of Paul speaking to the believers at Ephesus, Paul is referring to their acceptance of the Holy Spirit…not their acceptance of salvation. The two are not necessarily synonymous. Still, Mark 16:16 is a tricky one where Jesus says, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Notice that Jesus did not mention the lack of baptism with regard to condemnation. That is because our belief by which we are saved is IN a baptism…THE baptism. The baptism that we undergo as believers is a symbolic representation of the death and resurrection of Christ…the ONE act by which we are saved. It is His baptism (death and resurrection) that covers us all, and our symbolic reenactment of that baptism is a public acknowledgment of that understanding and nothing more. If we assign to it the power of Christ’s death and resurrection, we render His act powerless, and if His act is powerless, what is the point of the symbolic reenactment? We would then have no salvation-giving act to symbolize.

    Again, thank you for initializing this discussion.

    • Hi T.A. Fuller. Thank you for your comment.

      Yes, I agree that it’s possible given our finite view of time there might not be any waiting period at all. I suppose we won’t know until we know. To your next point, while that point may be accurate, it does not directly dispute my argument, which is that Christians do not go to heaven when they die. The people you referenced are all not Christians in the context of how people became defined as such through the parameters given that Jesus commanded to follow for salvation. I think your next point with regards to Samuel falls in line with my not Christian point I made.

      I’m glad I could give your view a challenge. Good way to get to the best possible conclusion. When I state the phrase “typical Christian experience”, I refer to the parameters that Jesus, Apostle Peter, and Apostle Paul all re-iterate as the means in which one becomes saved. Believe, repentance, confession, baptism. All mentioned at one point another in scripture as a part of one’s receiving salvation. I could see how you could make the conclusion Paul is referring to the Ephesians receiving of the Holy Spirit, but it was not the baptism that caused them to receive it, it was his laying his hands on them. So I would still contend that the baptism in the name of Jesus (same exact phrasing we find in Acts 2:38 talking about salvation) was for the purpose of their salvation.

      With the regards of the lack of mentioning baptism in the latter part of Mark 16:16, here’s a quote from one of my other posts in response to that you’re welcome to read sometime (https://factbasedtruth.com/2017/05/09/a-reflection-on-baptism-and-salvation/).

      “Mark 16:15-16 states “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” A common difference expressed discrediting baptism’s necessary role in our salvation is some will say it only states disbelief shall condemn, so therefore baptism is not necessary. It seems like a logical point at first glance, but it’s only logical if one inserts their own understanding of disbelieved merely meaning one who does not believe Jesus rose from the dead and confess Him as Lord shall be condemned. But that’s not what’s in this text, and it’s important to base our understanding on what’s in the text.

      In doing so, the disbelief would more closely seem to be disbelief of the gospel to be preached, belief and baptism in order to be saved. Let’s recall what 2 Thessalonians 1:8 states, “8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” So the gospel of Lord Jesus must be obeyed to avoid retribution. Mark 16:15-16, Jesus states preach the gospel then immediately states commands to be obeyed (belief, baptism), which that appears to be the gospel to be obeyed. One other alternative thought on theses verses different from my conclusion, there are well respected commentaries that state there would be no point in reiterating not be baptized as part of what condemns, because a person who doesn’t believe is not going to be one who gets baptized. But beyond this alternative thought, we can agree that one can’t use the latter part of a verse to disregard the first part of the verse which ties the words “baptized” and “saved” together. Perhaps a really great question to ask would be why include the word “baptized” in this verse and other verses at all relating to salvation if only belief/confession were necessary? All interesting to ponder.”

      I can cite you many verses that explicitly state baptism and saved in the same sentence. So I respectfully disagree on baptism being merely a symbol. Thank you for your thoughtfully engaging response. And I’m happy to continue this discussion if you have more thoughts.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

      • BTW…thank you for visiting my blog and liking my post, “The Air We Breath”. I appreciate the support.

        I read your post on baptism, and I appreciate your approach. However, I continue to differ in opinion. I’m sure we could cite the same verses on baptism and being saved, but I haven’t yet seen a challenge to my interpretation of its inclusion in those verses.

        Peace and love to you.

      • Thank you for your engaging conversation, and I pray whatever truth God specifically wants us to believe, we all come to the point of believing it.

        Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

    • Hi The Voice. Thank you for your comment. I define Christian according to how scripture seems to define it, which is one having obeyed the parameters for receiving salvation in Mark 16:16 and Acts 2:38. I conclude based on what I’ve read that all people under those parameters are not currently in heaven. Feel free to ask any further questions you may have.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

    • No one was ever said to be a Christian., which is a word that is found only three times in the Bible. It was first a term of derision, and came in the year A.D. 42. Acts 11:26, then in Acts 26:28, and finally in 1 Peter 4:16. The name has stayed with believers in Christ. John 3:3 is the point of entry into eternal life, “the new birth.” Old testament saints, such as you mention were also born again, and will be found in the Kingdom of God, and are presently in the Presence of God.

    • I’m not sure if I made another reply to you, or if it went elsewhere. I invite you to follow my blog. I am write a series of posts on the end times, using Revelation and Ezekiel. Many blessings to you.

  4. Good post and I want to re-read again. I also want to look up a few things to respond with, for some more thought on this, if you do not mind. Enjoyed the thoughts which entered into my mind on this. God Bless, SR

  5. we need to define our terms. What is heaven and where is it? Is heaven the place where the Divine lives? When Jesus ascended into heaven at Bethany, was Jesus the Woman united with Jesus the Father and Jesus the Son and his Gracious wife? Is heaven that place where divine eternal bodies live in love with each other? Or is heaven some place in the sky where only ghosts, spirits without a body, live?

    • Hi Linda. Thanks for your comment. All excellent questions. And what did you mean by “Jesus the Woman”? I’d say for the purposes of what I’ve laid out in this post, the first thing I’m referring to is the point at which Christians rise into the air meeting Jesus. It seems as if that no Christians have gotten to that point yet, all the bunch of people in these comments have mentioned possible discrepancies of the passage of time, which may be true, but that’s all speculation. I conclude based on the passage stating Jesus descended from heaven before the meeting in the air event is stated will happen, after we meet Jesus, the destination which we will go next is heaven. I would presume. Though interestingly looking back at this passage, there’s nothing here that states that’s the next place we will go. It only states we will always be with the Lord after that.

      Peace in Christ.

      • When I said Jesus the Woman, I was talking about Jesus the Woman Jesus the Rabboni calls Mary. When he and she return to Bethany (Luke 24: 50-51) and they Jesus the Woman and Jesus the Rabboni are reconciled with Simon the Pharisee, the Father of the Law and Oral Tradition who said. If this man were really a prophet he would know what a sinner this woman is (Luke 7:39). Bethany is where Jesus ascends…and is taken into heaven. Many Christians cannot or are unable to see Jesus the Woman because Patriarchal language, grammar and edits hide her in the pronoun HE. You can find her in John 20 if you read the Greek. There the text reads he says…Jesus Woman why are you weeping? People do speculate and have speculated as to what and where heaven is. Many assume Jesus dies again after the resurrection and ascends to join the Father in Heaven. In John 20:17 -18 “Jesus says do not cling to me…I have not yet ascended to the Father. But you go instead to the brothers of me and tell them: I ascend to the Father of you and me.” According to the Thessalonians 4… When Jesus returns, Jesus will descend from heaven…and people will meet Jesus in the air. So one might think heaven is a place in the air…or at least a high place. The name Bethany means house of Grace…so I think Heaven is a house of Grace…a state of Grace. So …Jesus will fall from Grace once again…and be once again forgiven and Jesus followers will see this happen again…and write letters and posts witnessing to Jesus’ return.

  6. After thinking and praying about this for years, this is what I believe.
    You know how you can go to work in the city, and when you’re at rest relax in a garden? Everyone can relax in a garden. But not everyone can go to the City to work. You have to have a job, a role to fulfill.
    Christians get Paradise and the City confused. Everyone has access to Paradise, even the creatures. It’s God’s rest. All we have to do to enter that rest is to believe and in faith receive the good news of the salvation provided by Jesus Christ. Hebrews 4:1-11.
    “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest.” Hebrews 4:9
    We can see that that’s where the thief went after Jesus promised, “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:43.
    But did the thief have any inheritance in the City?
    If our entrance to Paradise is based on faith in Jesus Christ, why will our works be evaluated? Is it possible to gain Paradise – but lose an inheritance by building on the wrong foundation? The Bible says the quality of each person’s work will be tested; “If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.” 1 Corinthians 3:10-15.
    Paradise is a reward for faith and it is a reward for all.
    Although the City incorporates Paradise, it’s bigger.
    We can see the City in Hebrews 12:22. It’s described as “Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, with thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, and the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven.”
    The firstborn is about inheritance and special privilege.
    Christians imagine a bland socialism in Heaven where we are all the same. Not so. They get the Book of Life (Revelation 20:15) confused with the Book of Remembrance (Malachi 3:16).
    The Book of Life admits the saved to Paradise. The Book of Remembrance records people’s works.
    “Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.” Malachi 3:16.
    So our deeds follow us.
    Finally, I want to deal with those who’ve never been given the Gospel or the Law of Moses.
    If they’ve obeyed the law through their conscience, they will be admitted to Paradise. The Bible defines them as “those who do not have the law, but by nature do things required by the law.”
    Obeying the law of their conscience will make them righteous.
    “For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.”
    “They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them. This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ.” Romans 2:12-16.
    I hope I’ve made all of this clear and you find it useful.

    • Hi Jo-Blogs. Thanks for your comment. You wrote a lot here that was really interesting. Some stuff I’ll have to dig deeper into. So are you concluding that Christians will immediately be in heaven at death?

      Peace in Christ.

      • Thanks for your question. There are different parts of Heaven – there’s Paradise, the City, and “the Father’s house” which could be part of the City. The rooms or mansions in the Father’s house are based on rewards and are still being prepared.
        The dead in Christ immediately go to Paradise. “This day,” Jesus said to the thief who believed in Him.
        They’re just as alive as Jesus is and they’re present with Him.
        To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord; “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:6-8
        In what form I don’t know. Our resurrected body will look human, as Jesus’s body did.
        The butterfly comes to mind. First you have the caterpillar, then the chrysalis, and then you have the beautiful butterfly.
        God likens our bodies to a tent.
        “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” 2 Corinthians 5:1
        The building from God – the Father’s house, has “many rooms.” Jesus said He’s gone to prepare a place for us.
        “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
        Our works do play a part in the kind of “house” we are awarded with at the resurrection.
        The early Church taught on this. Why did martyrs die not accepting deliverance from torture? Why were they prepared to face the lions? They wanted a better resurrection. Hebrews 11:35.
        Their reward hasn’t been given as yet, as the race is not yet finished.
        This is a huge subject just on it’s own.
        Why is it called the race of faith? It’s like a relay. After you’ve finished your leg of the race, you go on the stands. Hopefully the baton has been passed on to children or family members.
        “And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.” Hebrews 11:39-40.
        The race of faith isn’t finished yet, and you can see from Hebrews 11:40 that we have our part to play. If we have come to faith because of the actions or words of someone who has gone before, it adds to their inheritance. While we’re running the race with a baton they’ve helped hand on, do those ‘in the stands’ know? Who are the witnesses?
        “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1

        The parable that Jesus taught (Luke 16) about the dead being in Abraham’s bosom no longer applies, as the righteous dead are no longer locked up in Hades. The Gates of Hell could not prevail against Jesus or the Church He is head of.
        In the three days that we was ‘dead,’ He went down to Hades, preached to the imprisoned souls from the flood of Noah, and came out with the keys of death and Hades.
        “He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.” 1 Peter 3:19-20
        See what Jesus has got in His hands?
        In Revelation 1:18 Christ says “I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”
        So I hope this helps and I’ve written it all clearly.
        God bless, Jo

  7. I love all the comments on this subject that I have read so far but one scripture always scratches that itch for me whenever there is a difficult biblical question. It is found in 1Cor13:9. The great Paul admitted against the back drop of all he had written that he and his colleagues only had part knowledge. Building a house with part materials is never like building it with complete materials. Building a house with part plan falls shy of a whole plan.
    So when it comes to the subject of where we go when we die, I let myself dream and yes using the scenario of the thief on the cross, I dream of paradise. A place where God is. A place where I don’t have to wait for nobody to start enjoying its bliss.
    A place of total understanding and answers to all the questions that plagued us here on earth.

    And to be honest, I don’t really care much for the doubts of others cause I know tue end of my life will be perfect because God is not just a good God, He is the best and only God there is.

    • Hi khobdy. Thanks for your comment. It’s definitely important to consider who’s being spoken to or spoken of in the passages we read. I think to generalize every verse with a group pronoun as directed to Christians as some do misses the meaning of what was written.

      Peace in Christ.

  8. Dear Factbasedtruth, I am replying to your September 8 comment since we exhausted the reply levels above. Yes, that is what I believe, but I won’t push it on anyone. That’s why I said, “one [not “the”] interpretation is.”
    Peace in Christ to you!

  9. Very interesting topic and I loved reading the comments. Sharing my two cents here. I believe that waiting period between death and arrival to heaven is what us Catholics call Purgatory. Regarding the thief on the cross, I don’t think Jesus played favorites by allowing him to enter heaven that very night. Jesus had the ability to read what was in his heart and saw this man’s belief and acceptance of who He was (and is). God’s love is bigger than religion. In the end the Father knows what motivates us to follow the commandments. Is it fear of being stuck in hell or is it wanting to make our life worth living regardless of what follows?

    • Hi Klara. Thanks for your comment. Indeed, I don’t think He played favorites either. For myself I conclude it was just the circumstance of the moment. The circumstance of our moment is what I’ve suggested in the post and the comments seems different. But all in all, regardless of whatever the process, we should be desiring to follow God’s commands and exhibit our faith in the way He wants for greater glory to God.

      Peace in Christ.

  10. I agree that it’s a bit more complicated than our typical understanding has allowed for. We might also consider the perspective, are we looking at it from those who have died, from our point of view, or from Gods? Then there also is this verse from Revelation: ‘When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained.’ Clearly some form of existence, but not perhaps the final form.

    I think often where we go wrong is to look at ‘Heaven’ as some kind of end point, without ever asking what that means. Bodily resurrection is actually the NT promise.

    NT Wright has written on this – you might find this interesting: http://ntwrightpage.com/2016/07/12/rethinking-the-tradition/

    Blessings,

    Peter

    • Hi Peter. Thanks for your comment. The perspective I’ve tried to lay out in this post is one that’s as best trying to look at it from God’s perspective in accordance to His Word. With regards to the slain souls verse, I’ll quote to you a response I left to another comment that brought up that verse.

      “But one thing to consider here, is it states specifically within verse 9, “the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;” Now this could go back to my debate in my mind currently of whether this is talking about future or past events because some people have the thought that Revelation has more to do with the destruction of the temple in 70ad than some future event yet to happen, which could potentially explain why it is specifically the slain souls that are under that alter in that verse. I don’t say that as a definitive conclusion that I hold, but more so just a thought. But let’s say one were to concede and conclude that thought is not accurate at all, I think one would still perhaps have to concede, the slain souls that maintained their testimony is again seeming to refer to a specific circumstance of a specific people much like the “non-Christian category” I highlight in my post, in which case, perhaps can not be generalized to the Christian death experience as a whole, given there’s no explicit statement concluding that to be the case.”

      By stating bodily resurrection is the promise, are you concluding that going to a place called heaven will not be something that happens once Jesus descends from heaven for us to meet him in air?

      Thanks again for your comment and also sharing your blog post.

      Peace in Christ.

  11. To Paul, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” – 2 Corinthians 5:8
    The “angel” that brought the “Revelation of Jesus Christ” to John told him not to worship him because:
    “And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” –Revelation 19:10

    In the first Resurrection, the one you referred to, is when we “re-incorporate” to our new glorified bodies. Before that I don’t know but there is plenty of instances of saints who have died in the flesh but continued acting on earth.

    Samuel spoke true prophecy to Saul, using the Witch of Endor: God can use the devil however he wants. The witch recognized him. Some say it wasn’t Samuel but the only evidence is witches bad, Samuel good.

    There are the many “prophets of old” who rose from the dead and “were seen of many” on the day Jesus rose (it does not specify the day but makes sense in context).

      • Not me, but those verses indicate that it DID happen several times in the Bible, Old Testament and New. I do not see emphatic evidence that it is true for all, in the sense of deductive logic. However, Paul’s writing about it seems to indicate that it would happen for more than himself. That is, he does not add any such qualifier. All that is from Bible text and standard English rules of logic. (I forgot to include Enoch, Elijah, and Moses to the list.)

        So that is as much as I am willing to “conclude” on the subject.

        God bless you for parsing the word, though, and seeking truth. This is not an issue that affects salvation, anyway.

      • Thanks for clarifying so that I could understand your conclusion, which I don’t say in any form of disrespect of what you strongly believe is a factual belief. For myself, I see it as difficult to conclude that Paul was speaking for more than Himself when he only said “I” in the verse. With regards to Revelation 19:10, while I can see through the term brethren one could think that was a Christian, this being still exercised powers that were supernatural with the voice of many waters and like the sound of thunder. Anything Old Testament, it doesn’t apply to the parameters which I’m speaking of in this post of saved Christians.

        But yes, it’s fine for us to agree to disagree on this issue. 🙂

        Peace to you in Christ.

  12. Two verses off the top of my head are when Jesus told the thief on the cross, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). and in Revelation the martyrs are crying out, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been” (Revelation 6:9-11). Seems present tense to me. I think as with the Calvinists versus the Armenians, there are verses that prove the point on both sides. It may be that we’ll find out who was right when we get there (:

    • Hi chandagriese. Thank you for your comment. If you don’t mind, I’m going to copy and paste my response to two other commenters that brought up those specific verses. And it’s okay if you didn’t see comments, there’s been a lot of them over this year and I can barely sort through them all myself.

      “I conclude the thief’s experience was specific to him and there’s nothing to suggest it should be generalized to the Christian’s death experience given he was not a Christian. If there were a verse that explicitly stated a Christian goes to heaven immediately after death, or a scriptural passage illustrating a Christian person that did, then I would reconsider.”

      “I do see your point within those verses though about the altars being before God, an angel throwing stuff from the fire of the altar down to earth in one verse, which if it’s going down, the angel has to be above it somewhere, and thus the altar as well. The verse in Revelation 6 says the souls are under the altar, so I can see where one would think in their mind, “therefore, the dead souls in Christ are resting in heaven”. But one thing to consider here, is it states specifically within verse 9, “the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;” Now this could go back to my debate in my mind currently of whether this is talking about future or past events because some people have the thought that Revelation has more to do with the destruction of the temple in 70ad than some future event yet to happen, which could potentially explain why it is specifically the slain souls that are under that alter in that verse. I don’t say that as a definitive conclusion that I hold, but more so just a thought. But let’s say one were to concede and conclude that thought is not accurate at all, I think one would still perhaps have to concede, the slain souls that maintained their testimony is again seeming to refer to a specific circumstance of a specific people much like the “non-Christian category” I highlight in my post, in which case, perhaps can not be generalized to the Christian death experience as a whole, given there’s no explicit statement concluding that to be the case.”

      As you express, we may not find out the full answer until the end of our time comes, but an interesting topic of discussion this has definitely been.

      Peace in Christ 🙂

  13. This took me back to a bible study I had in church a couple of months back and most of the points you touched on (and those in the comments) were brought up. This was brilliantly written! God bless

  14. Time is short factbasedtruth, we need to know God’s Truth before we share it and there is only one way we can, we ask God for His Wisdom and Empowering which none of us were Born with and than Jesus our only Spiritual Teacher will lead us into all Understanding.

    Sorry but a few of your Messages that I have read recently, by the Confirmation of Scripture parts of them are in error, it seems you have partial Truth but not all Understanding, you don’t seem to know the Scripture in Revelation because it confirms you are in error too.

    We see that Christians are in Heaven in the Scriptures below and we too will be when Jesus returns at the Rapture or the First Sickle as it is called in Revelation, at that time we will be go to Heaven if we haven’t been Martyred or died before The Rapture and gone there already.

    Those that will rise from their graves physically are those who died before Jesus’ Death and Resurrection, The Holy Spirit did not come until Pentecost, they had the promise, we have the reality of being fully Resurrected in Christ Jesus when we die.

    Yes we do have the confirmation of Scripture below that we do go to be with Jesus fully resurrected when we die. Jesus told the man on the Cross that He would be in Paradise (which is not Hell as some wrongly claim) with Him that very day, this was in reference to His Spirit because when Jesus appeared to Mary in the Spirit on Sunday Morning, she could not touch Him because He was not fully Resurrected meaning His body but when He appeared to the Disciples He was and so are we. But those who died before Jesus was Resurrected , their bodies sleep even though their spirits are with God, we know this because of Moses and Elias and it also being confirmed in other Scriptures (see below) if we are Martyred during the first part of the great Tribulation we will go to Heaven fully resurrected.

    Matthew 17:2-3 And was Transfigured before them and His face did Shine as the Sun and His raiment was white as the Light. And behold there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with Him.

    Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld and lo a great Multitude which no Man could number of all Nations and Kindreds and People and Tongues stood before the Throne and before The Lamb clothed with white robes and palms in their hands and cried with a loud voice saying; Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the Throne and unto The Lamb.

    Revelation 7:14 And I said unto Him; Sir thou knowest. And He said to me; These are they which came out of great TRIBULATION and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

    John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled ye believe in God believe also in me. In my Father’s House are many Mansions if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I Am there ye may be also.

    Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience I also will keep thee from the hour of TEMPTATION, which shall come upon all the World to try them that dwell upon the earth.

    Luke 21:35-36 For as a SNARE shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore and Pray always that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass and to stand before the Son of Man.

    In reference to the Devil and the Beast……

    Revelation 20:10 And the Devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the Beast and the false prophet are and shall be Tormented day and night for ever and ever.

    Christian Love and Blessings – Anne (Granny Annie)

    • Hi Anne. Thanks for your comment. Specifically what I’m looking for in scripture is a statement in some form of “Christians go to heaven when they die” or some story of a person who became saved by the gospel which Jesus commanded his Apostles to preach (Mark 16:15-16/Acts 2:38) going to heaven after they died. To my knowledge I know of no verse that explicitly states or expresses these things. You cited the thief on the cross, but the thief does not seem to fall in the Christian category. You cited Matthew 17:2-3, Moses and Elijah do not seem to fall in the Christian category I’ve referenced as what I’m seeking an answer for. You make the presumption that the people in Revelation 7 are Christians, but no statement of such is made. You say tribulation relates to Christians who have died or were martyred, but I don’t know of any verse that explicitly states that idea. And all the verses you cite after that also don’t explicitly state Christians go to heaven they die. I think it’s really important if we have a belief, that belief is based on specific words stated in the text. I appreciate your challenging comment and I look forward to any response you have.

      Peace in Christ. 🙂

      • God makes it very clear Fact Based Truth as confirmed in the Scriptures below that only Christians will be in Heaven not those who continue to Sin without Heart Repentance. Jesus also tells us that some of us will be Martyred during these end times and to date many have been since His death and Resurrection. (Revelation7:9) and when the Beast who is not the Devil comes, (Revelation20:10) many more Christians will be Martyred before the Rapture or first Sickle as it is called in Revelation.

        Psalm 1:5 Therefore the Ungodly shall not stand in the Judgment nor Sinners in the Congregation of the Righteous.(KJV)

        Psalm 101:7 He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my House, he that telleth lies shall not tarry in My Sight.(KJV)

        Psalm 5:4-7 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing The LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful Man. But as for me, I will come into thy House in the multitude of thy Mercy and in thy fear will I Worship toward Thy Holy Temple (KJV)

        Luke 21:16-18 And ye shall be betrayed both by Parents and Brethren and Kinsfolks and friends and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all Men for my Name’s sake.

        Blessings – Anne ( Grannie Annie )

      • Hi Anne. Thanks for your response. Respectfully, you didn’t respond to the points I made in response to you. You cited the same verse in Revelation 7 again to re-assert your original point in your first comment. But the question you didn’t answer is what makes you conclude that passage is referring to Christians when that is not explicitly stated in the text? That is the reason I’ve given you why I don’t conclude your scripture reference is a credible source of proof of Christians being in heaven when they die. I hope that you may address that point for me. I’m eager to understand if I’m misinformed as much as you’re eager to show me I’m misinformed. One other point with Luke 21, I think we have to ponder that Jesus was speaking to the Apostles in the passage you reference. And there are specific things stated related to that specific time period that brings into question whether it’s referring to a future time period beyond our present time period, or a future time period that would just be beyond their present time period.

        Peace in Christ.

      • It is not just me who is eager to show you that your misinformed factbasedtruth I’m sharing God’s Truth with you as confirmed in Scripture as He leads me to do so and as confirmed below all Scripture regardless of who it was originally written for is for us too and we all need to ask for God’s Wisdom and Empowering so we can understand His Truth because we can’t understand it in the Flesh but only through the empowering of The Holy Spirit – see link below and 1Corinthians 2:9-16.

        Timothy 3: 17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for Doctrine, for Reproof, for Correction,for Instruction in Righteousness.That the Man of God may be Perfect and thoroughly equipped to do all His Good Works.

        Wisdom- http://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/the-gaining-of-wisdom/

        It seems what your not understanding factbasedtruth is what it means that they have washed their robes and made them White in the Blood of The Lamb, below is the Scriptures that confirms those Martyred in Heaven were Christians but as confirmed in the Scriptures I shared with you before those who are not Christians don’t go to Heaven, so they had to be Christians.

        Daniel 12:9-10 And He said; Go thy way Daniel for the Words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be Purified and made White and tried but the wicked shall do wickedly and none of the wicked shall understand but the Wise Shall Understand. (KJV)

        Revelation 3:5 He that Overcometh the same shall be Clothed in White Raiment and I will not blot out his Name out of the Book of Life but I will confess his Name before my Father and before His Angels.

        Isaiah 1:18 Come now and let us reason together saith the LORD though your Sins be as Scarlet they shall be as White as Snow though they be Red like crimson they shall be as Wool.(KJV)

        Revelation 19:7-9 Let us be glad and rejoice and give honour to Him for the Marriage of the Lamb is come and His Wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, Clean and White for the fine linen is the Righteousness of Saints.(KJV)

        Revelation 7:13-15 And one of the Elders answered saying unto me; What are these which are arrayed in White robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation and have washed their robes and made them White in the Blood of The Lamb. Therefore are they before the Throne of God and serve Him day and night in His Temple and He that sitteth on the Throne shall dwell among them.(KJV)

        Revelation 19:13-15 And He was clothed with a Vesture dipped in Blood and His Name is called The Word of God. And The Armies which were in Heaven followed Him upon white horses clothed in fine linen White and Clean.(KJV)

        Revelation 4:4 And round about the Throne were four and twenty seats and upon the seats I saw four and twenty Elders sitting clothed in White Raiment and they had on their heads Crowns of gold.(KJV)

        Blessings Anne ( Grannie Annie)

      • Hi Anne. Thanks for your response again. I’m enjoying this conversation and I think you and me are getting a little bit closer to understanding each other with each reply. So you say a person who is not a Christian is not in heaven right now, therefore any reference of anyone in heaven has to be a Christian. But the premise of your argument seems to be false according to scripture. Jesus said in Matthew 8:11 that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are reclining at a table in the kingdom of heaven. These three were not Christians, along with many others in scripture before people could obey the Gospel and become Christians. And just to make sure we’re on the same page on the meaning of the word “Christian”, we’re talking about people who obeyed the command of the gospel that Jesus told the Apostles to preach to be saved in Mark 16:16, and that the apostles preached in Acts 2:38, and that we see the first Christian salvations occur in that chapter. Is there something I’m misunderstanding about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Look forward to your response.

        Peace in Christ.

      • Yes you are misunderstanding factbasedtruth although not just me but the Scripturestoo, it seems you do not know what Salvation is based on today or before The New Covenant in Christ Jesus.

        All the Saints until Pentecost were considered Righteous in their actions but they were not made Righteous, they had the Hope and were covered by the Blood of Christ but not the reality like we do , they Sacrificed animals to atone for their Sins, today we Trust in Jesus as the final Sacrifice.

        Please ask in Faith for God’s Wisdom factbasedtruth none of us were Born with it so we all lack it and you will than have Understanding of God’s Truth (1Corinthians2:9-16)

        Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the Principal thing therefore get Wisdom and with all thy getting get Understanding.

        James 1:5-6 If any of you lack Wisdom let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given him. But let him ask in Faith nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that Man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded Man is unstable in all his ways.

        Colossians 2 :2 -3 That their Hearts might be comforted being knit together in Love and unto all riches of the full Assurance of Understanding to the Acknowledgement of the Mystery of God and of the Father and of Christ In whom are hid all the treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge.

        Blessings – Anne (Grannie Annie)

      • Thank you for continuing to be patient with me as I hope my words have been patient with you. And likewise, I hope we both continue to pray for understanding of God’s Word the way God wants us to understand it. If you may indulge me with one more question, which verse do you reference as stating the saints before Pentecost were covered by the blood of Christ?

      • It seems factbasedtruth just like Don some others who have Commented on your Post that like them you don’t understand where Paradise is but sadly others including Cults don’t either, even though as we can see confirmed below in Scripture it is in Heaven were is also The Throne of God and of The Lamb.

        Revelation 2:7 He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the Tree of life which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.(KJV)

        Revelation 22:1-2 And he shewed me a pure River of Water of Life clear as crystal proceeding out of The Throne of God and of The Lamb. In the midst of the street of it and on either side of the River was there The Tree of Life which bare twelve manner of fruits and yielded her fruit every month and the leaves of the Tree were for the healing of the Nations..(KJV)

        Below is the Scriptures in response to your request factbasedtruth to share the Scripture that confirms the Old Testament Saints Sins were Covered and there is only one way they can be and it’s the same with us today until we are Born Again and that is by The Blood of Christ, when we are Born Again and Perfected in Love, we have than been washed by His Blood and our Salvation is shown to be Eternal, yes God knows those who are His and He tells us not One of us will be lost including the Old Testament Saints who will be Resurrected fully on Judgement day.

        Psalm 32:1-3 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose Sin is Covered. Blessed is the Man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity and in whose spirit there is no guile.(KJV)

        Psalm 85:2 Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people thou hast Covered all their Sin. Selah.(KJV)

        Psalm 31:23 O Love The LORD all ye His Saints for The LORD preserveth the Faithful and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer..(KJV)

        Psalm 37:27-28 Depart from evil and do good and dwell for evermore. For the LORD Loveth Judgment and forsaketh not His Saints they are preserved for ever but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.(KJV)

        Psalm 40:16 Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee let such as Love thy Salvation say continually The LORD be magnified. But I am poor and needy yet the Lord thinketh upon me thou art my Help and my Deliverer make no tarrying O my God.

        Blessings Anne ( Grannie Annie)

      • Thank you for all of your responses, Anne. I have to admit, your comment was one of the most challenging ones I’ve ever responded to on this post. It’s opened me to re-evaluating scripture more on this issue. I try to do my best to continually study and follow what God’s Word is stating specifically, and I think it’s great to always consistently re-evaluate our understanding of things. Thank you for pushing me to think more.

        Peace in Christ.

  15. Hi, I find your article interesting in that you, like myself, look at things “outside of conventional teaching”. I have not yet reached an opinion on if I agree or not. I will have to give it some more thought, but just wanted to say I appreciated your deeper thinking.

    • Hi Mary’s Fingerprint. Thanks for your comment. Yes, I believe it’s important to challenge every commonly held belief of Christianity to see if it’s explicitly stated in scripture. I’ve come to be surprised time and time again to find out much of what I was taught to believe was mostly just based on human tradition. But yes, very wise to reach your own conclusion from your own studying.

      Peace in Christ.

  16. Greeting and Salutations in Christ;
    I may have missed someone else commenting the same but so forgive me if this has been explained:
    “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Cor 5:6-8
    Paul is speaking directly to believers telling them they will upon their death be immediately present with the Lord. In fact Paul himself states his bewilderment of his desire to serve Christ and be with Him “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:” (Philippians 1:23)
    Jonathan Edwards gives a lengthy exposition of the meaning of departed souls of saints going to be with Christ… (1) They go to dwell in the same blessed abode with the glorified human nature of Christ… (2) The souls of true saints, when they leave their bodies at death, go to be with Christ, as they go to dwell in the immediate, full and constant sight or view of him… (3) The souls of true saints, when absent from the body go to be with Jesus Christ, as they are brought into a most perfect conformity to and union with him… (4) Departed souls of saints are with Christ, as they enjoy a glorious and immediate intercourse and converse with him… (5) The souls of the saints, when they leave their bodies at death, go to be with Christ, as they are received to a glorious fellowship with Christ in his blessedness. (Note for a lengthy exposition of each of these points read Edward’s full sermon = True Saints, when Absent from the Body, Are Present with the Lord — Preached on the day of the funeral of the Rev. Mr. David Brainerd)
    Call it Heaven, a temporary heaven, whatever the bible seems to clearly teach that our (saints) soul goes there immediately after our death to be with the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, our bodies will be resurrected, 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 with our soul. It is at this resurrection of siants, the physical body is resurrected, glorified, and then reunited with the soul/spirit. This reunited and glorified body-soul-spirit will be the possession of believers for eternity in the new heavens and new earth (Revelation 21-22).

    • Hi Director. Thanks for your comment. And it’s okay, there are a lot of comments and little time even for myself to go through all of them. With regards to the first two verses you reference, it’s my understanding the Apostles were speaking of themselves. I think an interesting thing to consider here is what I call “pronoun designation”. Not every we in scripture refers to you, me, and Christians as a whole. I’ll give you an example from the chapter you quoted from, 2 Corinthians 5. 2 Corinthians 5:12 it’s clear the we here is the apostles referring to the themselves, “We (apostles) are not again commending ourselves to you (Corinthian Christians) but are giving you (Corinthians Christians) an occasion to be proud of us (Apostles), so that you (Corinthian Christians) will have an answer for those who take pride in appearance and not in heart.” In general I conclude both chapters you cited are following this pronoun pattern, and thus the verses you cited I conclude are referring to what would be the apostle’s specific experience upon death.

      I’m not as much of a student on past well known writers/preachers of the Word (vaguely familiar with this name though), but if Mr. Edwards was citing the same verses you cited just now, then I refer back to what I was discussing just now with regards to pronoun designation. As far as the other two verses prior to revelation you cited, my contention with those verses is the process of bodily resurrection reuniting with souls is not explicitly stated in those verses. So I opt for the simpler explanation that those who are dead are sleeping in Christ (wherever that is), and then when the time comes when Jesus returns, they will rise to meet Jesus in the air. I hope this all clarified my position further.

      Peace in Christ

      • We are all One Spiritually in Christ Jesus factbasedtruth our destination is the same…

        Galatians 3:28-29 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither Male nor Female for ye are all One in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed and Heirs according to the Promise.

        Please seek The Lord for His Wisdom factbasedtruth and do not continue to depend on your own understanding or what you have heard from others unless what they share is confirmed as God’s Truth in Scripture, which is what Directorfsm shared with you.

        Blessings – Anne.

      • Hi Anne! Good to hear from you again. I do think the destination is the same, the only distinction is the scenarios to the destination. It’s stated the apostles will sit on the twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Judah in Matthew 19:28. Does this seem like a distinction here?

  17. There is quite a lot having been said here, and I will have to read this more thoroughly to get the full gist of the scriptural thrust. However, as I have been a piano player for many churches throughout my many years, and have heard the pastors of different denominations preach their varying views on this according to their ever-so-slightly different leanings, I have normally been content to conclude that if one is of the elect and passes from this earth via death and not consummation as described in 1 Thessalonians 4, then one will be “sleeping in Christ” until the time of the consummation of the saints; or so-called rapture, if you will. As to whether or not they are Christians who walked with God prior to the time of the dispensation of grace; i.e., the time of the life of Jesus, I think the bulk of the scriptural evidence confirms that these two are of the elect, as opposed to the condemned, and Scriptures such as 1 Kings 2:10 point to this. Also, Romans 2:15 point to the existence of “de facto Christians” who know, love and serve the Lord without prior exposure to the Bible or to specifically Christian teaching from those who identify as Christians. David and Asaph themselves did not have access to Bibles when they wrote those beautiful psalms, and yet their psalms illustrate the dynamics of their personal relationships with God, who after all is Christ in the mystery of the trinity. John 10:30, Hebrews 11:3, Revelation 13:8. (I don’t mean to be vague, only brief One can look up the Scriptures and hopefully we can all take it from there.)

    So although I could be wrong, I tend more to agree than disagree with factbasedtruth on this matter. What is more important, all I know is that when I walk right with God, and I make Him the primary Person in my life, not seeking to please anyone at the expense of pleasing Him, then the desires of my heart are given me (Matthew 6:33, Psalm 37:1-4). I then find myself blessed in that he confirms His love for me in His involvement in my life, and my faith is increased, not because of the value of my works toward my salvation, but because of His gift to me to confirm that I am of the elect, and not of the condemned, otherwise this blessing would neither occur nor be detected in my mortal experience on this earth. If I stray, however, and indulge or rationalize the sin that displeases him, my faith dwindles, for my iniquities separate me from Him (Isaiah 59:1); without faith it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6); and whatsoever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23.) So whatever the final destination may be — and we all may continue to ponder this due to our lack of absolute knowledge — God will see to it that those who are His will in one way or another be gathered up to Him to an expected end, according to many promises in His Word, and we will appear in His presence, holy and blameless in His sight (Ephesians 1:4, Colossians 1:22), though exactly how this will manifest it is impossible for us to picture, for no mortal has seen God at any time (John 1:18), and we walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7), not by sight.

    So the important thing is for one to have his heart right with God, and to seek to know Him, and to love Him, all of one’s days on this earth. Ecclesiastes 12:13. Then the good work that He has begun in us He will perform until the Day of Christ (Philippians 1:6). Thank you for this study, and may the Lord bless you richly.

    • Yes. But again, this is from a composite of having processed different things I was taught over my many years of being exposed to different denominational teachings. This exposure, by the way, was not due to any great valor of research on my part; but rather to that I kept losing jobs with churches, dropping out of Bible colleges, and so forth. My incompetence and disability have had the positive fringe benefit of exposing me to many different jobs for different types of churches, because I kept losing my jobs.

      At Bible College, I was taught that David, for example, was a “spirit filled Christian.” This may seem, at the very least, awkward, because he was before the time of Christ. This was at an Assembly of God (Pentecostal, charismatic) Bible college.

      Later, when exposed to Reformed Doctrine, I put together that somebody could be a “Christian” (so to speak) before the time of Christ, because God wrote all the names of the elect on the Book of Life before the foundation of the world, and the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world. In other words, the elect include those before the time of Christ and those after the time of Christ. Many will be in heaven who did not consciously know Christ, and many will be condemned, and in hell, even though they tried hard to please God. Esau could not get the inheritance “though he sought it carefully with tears.” This is an analog to those who would come before Him saying: “Did we not cast out demons in your name?” And He will say: “Get thee hence, ye workers of iniquity. I never knew you.”

      So I have to come to believe that the historical event of Christ’s sacrificial death on the Cross is independent of whether or not a person lived before or after him. 1 Kings 1 – David slept with the young woman, did not know her, and then later it says he went to “sleep with his fathers.” Jesus is “the root and the offspring of David: the bright and morning star.”

      I feel it is difficult to express exactly how these Scriptures, and the ones cited in my earlier comment, combine to give me this belief. But it is what I have grasped, by intuition, much reflection, and faith. I could of course be wrong.

      • Sorry A.P your understanding of God’s Elect is not based on His Truth as confirmed in Scripture, it sounds like Calvinism teaching which is very much in error but yes all are written in The Book of Life but only those of us who have Faith are written in The Lambs Book of Life, including the Old Testament Saints who had the Hope of the reality that we have in Jesus Christ, shown by their Righteousness, they were covered by His Blood, we are washed in it when Born Again.

        God knows the beginning to the end and by His foreknowledge, He knows if we will have Heart Repentance during our life showing we believe in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and accepting His Free gift of Salvation in Christ Jesus and yes He is the only way to God The Father, not fleshy works. We have free will God does not want Puppets but for us to Freely choose to Love and Obey Him.

        God knowing that we are His by our future Faith in Jesus even before we are conceived, chooses us to than be conformed into the image of Jesus and He tells us not one of us will be lost Eternally and when we are Born Again and Perfected in Love (Matthew 5:48 – Hebrews 6:1-Philippians 3:14-16 -2Timothy 3:17-1John 4:16-19- 1John 2:4-6- 2Corinthians 13:11) which we are to all to Aim for as we work out our Salvation not meaning work for it, than we will no longer Sin,(1John3 KJV) we will walk as Jesus did on this earth in complete Holiness doing God’s good Works that He has prepared in advance for us to do, no longer being controlled by our Carnal flesh Nature, which has been put to death (Romans 8 :12-15- Romans 6 -Colossians 3:4-6 -Galatians 5:24 -26) by The Empowering of The Holy Spirit that worketh in us according to God’s Good Will as we choose to walk in His Fruit, (Romans8 K.J.V) we than have God’s seed or Nature (1John3:9 K.J.V) the Old has gone the New has come.

        When we are Born Again being empowered by The Holy Spirit we will show we are in our Lives , as we see confirmed in the Scripture below and so our Eternal destination is our choice, yes we reap what we sow good and bad, what we do for others we are doing for Jesus or not doing for Him.

        Matthew 25 : 31 -40 When the Son of man shall come in His glory and all the Holy Angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the Throne of His glory. And before Him shall be gathered all Nations and He shall separate them one from another as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. And He shall set the sheep on His right hand but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand; Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was an hungred and ye gave me meat, I was thirsty and ye gave me drink, I was a stranger and ye took Me in. Naked and ye clothed Me, I was sick and ye visited Me, I was in Prison and ye came unto Me. Then shall the Righteous answer Him saying; Lord when saw we Thee an hungred and fed Thee? or thirsty and gave Thee drink? When saw we Thee a stranger and took Thee in? or naked and clothed Thee? Or when saw we Thee sick or in prison and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto Me.

        Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand; Depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels, for I was an hungred and ye gave Me no meat I was thirsty and ye gave Me no drink, I was a stranger and ye took Me not in, naked and ye clothed Me not, sick and in prison and ye visited Me not. Then shall they also answer him saying; Lord when saw we thee an hungred or athirst or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and did not minister unto thee?Then shall He answer them saying; Verily I say unto you Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these ye did it not to Me, and these shall go away into everlasting punishment but the Righteous into Life Eternal.

        James 2:18 Even so Faith if it hath not works is dead being alone. Yea a Man may say; Thou hast Faith and I have works, shew me thy Faith without thy works and I will shew thee my Faith by my works.

        Christian Love and Blessings – Anne.( Grannie Annie)

  18. My comment was deleted before but In reference factbasedtruth to the Apostles who will sit on the twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Judah, it’s the same as The Godhead or Trinity as They are called today, They too are One in Spirit but They have different Roles in The Godhead.

    Although you and I are One in Christ Jesus we also have different Roles, for more detail I will leave a link for you below but to condense here with you being a Man and under God’s Authority in the Church and in Marriage, you are to be in Leadership.

    As a Woman I’m a Helpmate and not just with Cooking and having Babies but I’m to willingly submit to those Men who are in Authority over me which shows my Submission to God too. I can share His Truth as Confirmed in Scripture but not in Authority over Men. As an example, I’m not to Teach in a combined Church Congregation of Men and Woman, which means I’m not to be Ordained as a Preacher or I would be in Authority over Men in the Church.

    Husbands are to Love their wives as Christ Loves the Church and yes they are to always make the final decision in matters concerning the family having Prayed for guidance and having considered first all the needs of those who will be affected by their decision.

    God given Roles- https://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/woman-are-precious-to-god/

    Christian Love and God’s Blessings
    Anne ( Grannie Annie )

    • Hmm, not sure what deletion occurred, but I’m glad your comment is back up here. The point I was making with the distinction is that because the scenarios are different, Apostles being on the twelve thrones, Christians not being on the twelve thrones, it seems inaccurate to state we’re all going to be in heaven the same way. And that follows with my point in the comment you responded to that the Apostles were referencing themselves about immediately being with Christ upon their deaths, and then follows to my main point in this article, that Christians rise to meet Christ in the air at a later time after death.

      Peace in Christ

      • I’m sorry factbasedtruth but by your response you either still don’t understand or your ignoring the Scriptures that others and myself on this Post have shared with you, they confirm fully all of us in Christ Jesus go to Heaven when we die just as the Apostles did.

        You may get many Comments but they won’t give you God’s Wisdom or Empowering so you can understand His Truth, only by asking Him and believing you have received will your eyes be opened and you will than believe in your Heart instead of doubting His inspired words in Scripture.

        God’s Wisdom – http://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/the-gaining-of-wisdom/

        I have no wish that others follow me Spiritually, we have only One Spiritual Teacher Jesus Christ the same as we only have One Spiritual Father who is in Heaven waiting for us to join Him.

        Blessing for the New Year,
        Anne (Grannie Annie)

      • Hi Freedomborn. Thanks for your comment again. And I apologize if any of my previous responses to you in our conversations we’ve had have come off harsh at any point. In explaining my points, the directness and challenging thoughts of my writing can sometimes appear pointed in tone when that’s not my intention. With each word I write in response to you and others, I do my best to write them as I would speak them to you, in the soft and thoughtful tone that I speak in only seeking for the highest truth and understanding of things. In the time we’ve communicated in listening to your perspective carefully and with an open-mind of always being ready to change my mind, I just haven’t connected the same dots and understanding that you seem to see so clearly see as divine connections revealed to you by God. Perhaps it’s for lack of intellectual ability to understand, or maybe I’m not as connected to God as you are, which I’ll humbly submit, I’m far from the smartest or holiest person to ever read and try to understand scripture. But I try my best to to come to all of my perspectives intellectually in carefully reading the text, and honorably to God in trying to be true to what God’s Word states. I hope if I’m really missing something here that perhaps your persistence is a sign of something I’m supposed to see, that I may see that someday. But at this point in time, I still just don’t see the clear evidence of a statement or a story that when a Christian has died, they immediately have entered heaven. But I welcome any more of your comments to help enlighten me.

        Peace in Christ.

  19. Thank you factbased for liking my blogs. I had time to drop by today. People used to tell me I was good at apologetics – at defending the faith. I had a group of friends that I was comfortable sharing my beliefs, my desire to understand, my convictions with, without condemnation. It’s encouraging here to see that though some may disagree, there is a hearty discussion. I have nothing to add to this topic, as I’m late to the party. But as I was revisiting the scriptures, regarding my convictions on the topic, I found this passage:

    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 1 Peter 3:15-16

    12 Not that I have already obtained it [this goal of being Christlike] or have already been made perfect, but I actively press on so that I may take hold of that [perfection] for which Christ Jesus took hold of me and made me His own. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 All of us who are mature [pursuing spiritual perfection] should have this attitude. And if in any respect you have a different attitude, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us stay true to what we have already attained. 17 Brothers and sisters, together follow my example and observe those who live by the pattern we gave you. 18 For there are many, of whom I have often told you, and now tell you even with tears, who live as enemies of the cross of Christ [rejecting and opposing His way of salvation], 19 whose fate is destruction, whose god is their belly [their worldly appetite, their sensuality, their vanity], and whose glory is in their shame—who focus their mind on earthly and temporal things. 20 But [we are different, because] our citizenship is in heaven. And from there we eagerly await [the coming of] the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who, by exerting that power which enables Him even to subject everything to Himself, will [not only] transform [but completely refashion] our earthly bodies so that they will be like His glorious resurrected body. Philippians 3:12-21 Amplified

    Thank you for having a safe place for people to share their views. Sincerely, from my heart to yours and this community’s. This blog challenges all of us to be able to give a reason for the hope we have. It also encourages me to remember that whatever points we as followers of Christ may disagree on, it will all be made clear. – Jessica

    • Hi Jessica. Thanks for your comment. And I’m happy this space has spurred lots of discussion from many people of many different backgrounds. What conclusion do you offer for pondering through the verses you shared in your comment?

      Peace in Christ

  20. You have made an interesting assumption – namely, that the just who die are in the same state before Christ’s own death and Resurrection as they are after. Why do you make this assumption? What exactly was Christ doing among the dead for 3 days? You’ve also assumed “Heaven” as something monolithic… As if there can’t be partial experiences of it, such as for disembodied souls who by grace see God. Why?
    Peace… CRM

    • Hi CRM. Thanks for your comment. I’m a little confused with what you’re suggesting. Are you suggesting that those who died before the resurrection of Christ changed to a different state after Christ’s resurrection? I think I know what verse you’re pointing to when you mention Christ among the dead for 3 days. Are you using that verse also to make some conclusion of Christians being in heaven now? And what verse or verses do you point to that you conclude there are partial experiences of heaven? I might have a suspicion of one verse you’ll be pointing to.

      Peace in Christ.

      • Hi there,

        I’m seeing a pattern in our discussions and your posts – which is proof-texting. I actually don’t have any particular verses in mind (though what I am saying is certainly supported and not contradicted by Scripture). The message is in the WHOLE of Scripture, together with the testimony of the organic structure from which Scripture comes and therefore rests upon, the Church. I am a fallible person – how dare I try to figure out what Scripture REALLY means? That just does not seem like a plan God would leave us with in the final age of salvation history… “Here’s a book in ancient languages, it’s a big puzzle, try to figure it out.”

        Anyway, what I am suggesting (and insisting upon) is that the dead before the death and resurrection of Our Lord waited in the underworld according to their merits and demerits, as the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man demonstrates. When Christ rose, after manifesting Himself among the dead who awaited Him, the vision of God was now possible because Adam’s debt was finally paid and there was a fitting vessel through which to participate in that vision of God, namely, the Risen Christ. With this, the damned remained in their spiritual torments, and those who die out of grace today go to join them, where they await a resurrection unto judgment and bodily suffering as well, according to their sins. The blessed who died before Christ’s resurrection either immediately began to enjoy the Beatific Vision (the central experience of Heaven), or they entered a process of purgation to pay off personal debt so that their charity might be purified in order to have the “clean heart” needed to see God. Those blessed who die today have the same paths before them. Together they all await the resurrection, at which time they will receive bodily reward as well, such as we see in the Lord’s own bodily activity after the Resurrection (agility, subtlety, etc.).

        I could go through all of Scripture and give support for these things, but that is so tedious… And to do that for every idea involved with the life of faith is just plain impossible. It’s why God gave us the Church: to do it infallibly for us.

        Peace…
        -CRM

      • I don’t know if I would completely articulate it that way. I see things more as not necessarily trying to figure it all out, but making sure we’re listening to all of what it says.

        If I’m understanding you in language that I’m communicating it, basically you’re saying that all people, including Christians, are in heaven after they die, or they’re waiting in some other area to pay off their debts through charity, and together all of them await the bodily resurrection. Is that what you’re basically saying?

        “It’s why God gave us the Church: to do it infallibly for us.” How do you believe your Church does that infallibly for you?

      • Fair enough.

        Yes, or they go to Hell. Don’t forget that one.

        The charism of infallibility was given to the Apostles (for the sake of public preaching and teaching – NOT for private affairs or even the moral life, as the incident Paul describes in Galatians 2 demonstrates), so when their successors operate as one, either in an ordinary way (through repeated, longstanding, basically universal teaching or piety) or extraordinarily (an explicit act of corporate teaching, namely, in an ecumenical council), then it is the Holy Spirit Who speaks… the Paraclete Who was given to lead us “into all Truth.” Furthermore, the teaching office belonging especially to Peter is singular in this respect, as that office carries with it the highest responsibility for teaching and preaching – so when Peter’s successor (the pope) defines a matter of faith or morals for the universal Church, this too is protected from error. (And it happens very rarely, despite what the Associate Press thinks.)

      • For me, it gives me a confidence something is right if I hear it straight from the Apostles, who were given authority by Christ, and thus I’m hearing it straight from God. The only way I know of to have confidence (a high confidence at least) I’m hearing something straight from God is scripture. So I hope with that background information given of my thinking I’ll be forgiven if I sound like a broken record for asking this type of question again. Where do you understand this concept of succession of leadership to be instructed in scripture? Also, where do you understand the concept of a pope in scripture?

      • Yes, that should certainly give you confidence! Unfortunately, they are all deceased. (Though the Mormons think John is living in a cave somewhere…)

        Regarding Scripture… We come to a very central problem, which is this: how do we know that these particular books are from God and others aren’t? Who gets to decide definitively what is inspired and what is not? This is very, very important. For me the answer should be clear from my previous comment…

        As for succession, you might look at Matthias succeeding Judas. Or you could look at 1 Timothy (especially 5:22). There are also glimmers of this kind of thing in the Old Testament (such as with Moses and Joshua – laying on of hands, transfer of power, etc.), or with Elijah and Elisha.

        As for the papacy, the major Old Testament type is certainly Eliakim. (Do a concordance search and pay special attention to Isaiah 22.) After this, it is a matter of Christ’s bestowal of special authority on Peter, his obvious pre-eminence among the apostles in the Gospels and in Acts, the logical need for a visible head of the teaching, governing, and sanctifying actions of the Church (such as defining what is Scripture!), and then the clear testimony of early Church history as to the importance of the bishop of Rome among other bishops. All these taken together have quite an obvious implication, at least to me.

    • How sad CRM if you believe what you shared when you said …….” I am a fallible person – how dare I try to figure out what Scripture REALLY means? That just does not seem like a plan God would leave us with in the final age of salvation history”

      Don’t you believe CRM that we can receive the Holy Spirit when asked for and God’s Wisdom as confirmed below, if you don’t please seek Jesus our only Spiritual Teacher to lead you into all Understanding which The Roman Catholic Church cannot do because they have error in their teaching and also propagate Paganism as confirmed by what they believe and practice. This is the same as any other Denomination who deny, add to or ignore God’s Truth and His Guidelines for us as confirmed in His Inspired written Words in Scripture.

      2 Timothy 3: 17 All Scripture is given by Inspiration of God and is profitable for Doctrine, for Reproof, for Correction for Instruction in Righteousness.That the Man of God may be Perfect and thoroughly equipped to do all His Good Works.

      Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the Principal thing therefore get Wisdom and with all thy getting get Understanding.

      James 1:5-6 If any of you lack Wisdom let that giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given them. But let them ask in Faith nothing wavering. For them that wavereth are like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

      Luke 11:13 If ye then being evil know how to give good gifts unto your Children how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?

      John 16:13 -15. Howbeit when He The Spirit of Truth is come He will guide you into all Truth for He shall not speak of Himself but whatsoever He shall hear that shall He speak and He will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me for He shall receive of mine and shall shew it unto you. All things that The Father hath are mine therefore said I that He shall take of mine and shall shew it unto you.

      1 Corinthians 2:9-16 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of Man the things which God hath prepared for them that Love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit for The Spirit searcheth all things yea the deep things of God. For what Man knoweth the things of a Man save the spirit of Man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no Man but the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the World but the Spirit which is of God that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we Speak not in the words which Man’s wisdom teacheth but which The Holy Ghost Teacheth comparing spiritual things with Spiritual. But the Natural Man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him neither can he know them because they are Spiritually discerned. But he that is Spiritual judgeth all things yet he himself is judged of no Man. For who hath known the Mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? but we have The Mind of Christ.

      1John 2:26-28 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you but the Anointing which ye have received of Him Abideth in you and ye need not that any Man Teach you but as the same Anointing Teacheth you of all things and is Truth and is no lie and even as it hath Taught you ye shall abide in Him.

      Matthew 10:26-28 Fear them not therefore for there is Nothing covered that shall not be Revealed and Hid that shall not be Known. What I tell you in darkness that speak ye in Light and what ye hear in the ear that Preach ye upon the Housetops. ( We can share on our Computers today too as we don’t meet on the Housetops in our homes anymore like the early Church did and everyday before they went to the Temple to hear the Scriptures)

      Blessings – Anne ( Grannie Annie)

      • Yes, I have read the same passages. I see we disagree about their meaning. What gives me or you the right to insist that an interpretation is true? I believe we can understand and find the truth, but it is often a bit like drunken boxing… Occasionally you will land a punch.

        There is no paganism encouraged by the RCC. If you mean that there is appropriation of paganism, sure. So what? The Scriptures and the Life of Christ are full of the same thing… So what? My guess is you are wearing a wedding ring right now… Where do you think that comes from?

    • God tells us CRM when we ask for His Wisdom and The Holy Spirit we receive them, as confirmed again below, are you saying He does not keep His Promises or what He tells us in the other Scriptures I shared with you is not True ?

      James 1:5-6 If any of you lack Wisdom let that giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given them. But let them ask in Faith nothing wavering. For them that wavereth are like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

      Luke 11:13 If ye then being evil know how to give good gifts unto your Children how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?

      Wedding rings CRM are Symbolic of the Unity in Marriage regardless of where they may have originated from but they are mentioned in the Tabernacle which was designed by God, so be careful of what Hearsay you believe.

      Blessings Anne- (Grannie Annie)

      • To be given wisdom or the Holy Spirit in what capacity? If I ask for God’s wisdom, or the Holy Spirit Himself, why should I listen to anyone about anything – after all, I now have the wisdom and very being of God within me… I am not only infallible in interpreting Scripture, I am infallible in everything. I just “asked God for His wisdom.”

        Do you see how gravely erroneous this is? When nobody’s pope, everyone’s pope. I recall that ominous line in Judges – “In those days, there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own mind.”

        Ring exchanges at weddings and betrothals started in pagan Egypt. Which is fine. My point is exactly that it’s fine – one can indeed take and “christify” pagan things. When I walk by Trajan’s column each day, I see a pagan war-pillar with a statue of St. Peter now standing on top… which is fantastic. (I have no idea where wedding rings are mentioned in the design of the Tabernacle… That does not sound right. You’ll have to show me.) So you will also have to show me what paganism the RCC is encouraging which is not a mere adaptation such as I have described already. My guess is you are from the South or Midwest (but maybe not!) and have been told myths your whole life about what Catholics actually believe and do. I am happy to answer any sincere questions you have.

        Peace to you…
        -CRM

    • Sorry CRM for the late response, I had Commitments that took time to attend to, if you wish to understand about the Tabernacle please seek Jesus our Spiritual Teacher, He will reveal to you God’s Truth so you will have no doubts.

      But It seems if I’m reading it correctly that your saying CRM that you don’t believe what God tells us in Scripture just what your Pope says and the ones before him, how sad. We have One Spiritual Father in Heaven and One Spiritual Teacher Jesus Christ, we seek Him for God’s Truth not Man as confirmed below, so why is your Church disobeying God and teaching others to do the same?

      Matthew 23:8-10 But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi for One is your Teacher The Christ and you are all Brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your Father for One is your Father He who is in Heaven. And do not be called Teachers for One is your Teacher The Christ.

      1John 2:26-28 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you but the Anointing which ye have received of Him Abideth in you and ye need not that any Man Teach you but as the same Anointing Teacheth you of all things and is Truth and is no lie and even as it hath Taught you ye shall abide in Him.

      Yes we can be encouraged and uplifted when Christians share God’s Truth but what they share with us must be confirmed in Scripture and understood by the empowering of The Holy Spirit.

      Your Church CRM also claim Mary remained a Virgin but the Scriptures blow show clearly she didn’t, they confirm that Josph slept with her and that they had other Children.

      Genesis 4:1 – Matthew 1:24-25

      Matthew 12:46-50 KJV Confirms who Jesus’ Brethren were in this Scripture, they were His Brother and Sister, who were with Mary His Mother but yes with us being One with Jesus in Spirit we are also His Family.

      1 Corinthians 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is One Spirit.(KJV)

      We have CRM only One Intercessor, Jesus Christ, He is the only way to The Father, He is our Advocate,(1John2:1KJV) we don’t pray to Mary or the Saints, they cannot forgive our Sins and nor can your Pope or your Priests whom you call Spiritual Fathers.

      1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and Men, The Man Christ Jesus.

      John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I Am The Way, The Truth, and The Life no man cometh unto the Father but by me.

      Blessings Anne (Grannie Annie)

      • Hi there,

        No, you are not reading me correctly at all. I do not see any opposition between Scripture and Divine authority acting within living human beings due to their occupation of a particular divinely instituted office. So, I ask again – if I can simply ask for the wisdom of God and receive it (without qualification!), then why am I worried about studying for my upcoming exams? I should be able to ask God for His wisdom and know all the answers. But that is crazy: clearly, we can’t just become prophets by willing it to be so.

        Your argument about Mary’s virginity is quite misguided. There are numerous problems, such as an unnecessarily narrow reading of the word “until” (in Matthew), an culturo-linguistic projection onto the Greek word “adelphoi” (badly translated as “brothers” or “siblings”), an implied rendering of Mary’s question to Gabriel as a vain and stupid remark (if she is getting married like a normal person, she would certainly know how she will conceive!), internal problems with accounting for how these people would actually be related to Jesus through the same mother (Sheen has a wonderful treatment of this in his book on Mary), the lack of appropriateness of God’s own mother dividing her attention between multiple children, and finally the completely unanimous opinion among the early Church on the question. So no, I do not agree about this, even if it were not a matter of revealed teaching, which it is.

        Certainly we only have one Mediator. But we participate in His own mediation in various ways… Otherwise, there would be no need to baptize, to preach, to govern, etc., even though it is Him Who acts in us when we do these things.

        If you have any sincere questions about the Catholic faith, please contact me by email through my contact page. I do not wish to engage further in this combox.

        Peace to you…
        -CRM

    • I have no intention of contacting you CRM you base your understanding on what Man tells you not what God tells us in His inspired Words in Scripture, by what you said you are claiming He does not keep His promises and so He lies to us.

      Read the Scriptures below they are very clear what is needed to understand God’s Truth which is not about Worldly wisdom which you seem to think is so important, I will leave this link for you about His Wisdom too.- http://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/the-gaining-of-wisdom/

      2 Timothy 3: 17 All Scripture is given by Inspiration of God and is profitable for Doctrine, for Reproof, for Correction for Instruction in Righteousness.That the Man of God may be Perfect and thoroughly equipped to do all His Good Works.

      Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the Principal thing therefore get Wisdom and with all thy getting get Understanding.

      James 1:5-6 If any of you lack Wisdom let that giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given them. But let them ask in Faith nothing wavering. For them that wavereth are like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

      Luke 11:13 If ye then being evil know how to give good gifts unto your Children how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?

      John 16:13 -15. Howbeit when He The Spirit of Truth is come He will guide you into all Truth for He shall not speak of Himself but whatsoever He shall hear that shall He speak and He will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me for He shall receive of mine and shall shew it unto you. All things that The Father hath are mine therefore said I that He shall take of mine and shall shew it unto you.

      1 Corinthians 2:9-16 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of Man the things which God hath prepared for them that Love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit for The Spirit searcheth all things yea the deep things of God. For what Man knoweth the things of a Man save the spirit of Man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no Man but the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the World but the Spirit which is of God that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we Speak not in the words which Man’s wisdom teacheth but which The Holy Ghost Teacheth comparing spiritual things with Spiritual. But the Natural Man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him neither can he know them because they are Spiritually discerned. But he that is Spiritual judgeth all things yet he himself is judged of no Man. For who hath known the Mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? but we have The Mind of Christ.

      1John 2:26-28 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you but the Anointing which ye have received of Him Abideth in you and ye need not that any Man Teach you but as the same Anointing Teacheth you of all things and is Truth and is no lie and even as it hath Taught you ye shall abide in Him.

      Matthew 10:26-28 Fear them not therefore for there is Nothing covered that shall not be Revealed and Hid that shall not be Known. What I tell you in darkness that speak ye in Light and what ye hear in the ear that Preach ye upon the Housetops. ( We can share on our Computers today too as we don’t meet on the Housetops in our homes anymore like the early Church did and everyday before they went to the Temple to hear the Scriptures)

      In Christ’s Name – Anne ( Grannie Annie)

      • Hi there,

        I reject your accusation that I am calling God a liar. I disagree with your personal interpretation of how God gives wisdom (which I have a very elaborate and subtle understanding of). So stop it.

        If what you are claiming is true, then there would be no disunity among Christians who pray for God’s wisdom unless when they receive it they try to contradict it. The first is just not true, and the second is question-begging, so there is something wrong with your understanding of those passages.

        We have gone in a circle. I leave you with the same question – who will decide about these passages between us (which we have both read and are infallible statements from the mouth of God)? You feel very justified in claiming that I think God is a liar publicly, but you don’t want to engage me privately in a sincere discussion? Goodness. Okay – good bye to you.

        Peace…
        -CRM

    • In response to your last Comment CRM sorry for the delay I have once again had Computor Problems and I only found your Comment today.

      You said CRM I reject your accusation that I am calling God a liar. I disagree with your personal interpretation of how God gives wisdom (which I have a very elaborate and subtle understanding of).

      So how do you CRM change what God said to mean something else, Did He not say……

      James 1:5-6 If any of you lack Wisdom let Him ask of God that giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given them. But let them ask in Faith nothing wavering. For them that wavereth are like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

      None of us were Born with God’s Wisdom CRM so I asked God for it and as He promised if I asked, He gave me His Wisdom and I doubt that He did. (see link below )
      .
      Wisdom – http://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/the-gaining-of-wisdom/
      .
      I was never taught in Church CRM to ask for God’s Wisdom and it is the same for many others and it was one of the reasons I became so confused ( see Link below) as well as all the different Teaching even from well known Theologians, Evangelists and Preachers but with having been an Atheist in my Thinking although not my Heart for almost 30 years, I knew that was a dead end so I went to God for Help and He showed me the Scripture above that I shared with you and after asking for His Wisdom the Bible no longer was like a jigsaw with pieces missing , it started to be a Complete Picture from Genesis to Revelation,
      .
      Confusion- http://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/my-battle-with-confusion/
      .
      Although I’m still learning as I Trust in Jesus our only Spiritual Teacher to Teach me, I do not have any doubts of the Truth He has already shown me and Confirmed in Scripture or Creation and these are always in agreement and sadly although confirmed in Scripture and taught as very important in the early Church they are not being taught today in most Churches and it is why God said that in the End times the Church will be in darkness and the Shepherds will be leading their Sheep astray.

      If you wish to Continue our Conversation CRM feel free to visit my Blog and we will share there.

      Blessings – Anne ( Grannie Annie)

      • Hi there,

        Well, we have gone in a circle a few times now, I think… You must simply face the central problem, which is that many people who claim to be “inspired by God” do not agree with each other. (To make no mention of who gets to say what is actually Scripture at all!) This is much like Babel, where many people try to build upward to God, ending in chaos – Pentecost is a top-down phenomenon, and today the essence of that same prophetic structure and operation continues in the office of that same person who first preached the Resurrection from the Cenacle on Pentecost: Peter.

        I do not think it is worth continuing our conversation unless you can acknowledge that there is indeed this problem of conflict among people claiming they are inspired, wise, charismatic, etc. If you can at least admit that this is a significant problem with what you are saying, then perhaps we can find some common ground. If you want to ignore it, then it’s a waste of my time and yours.

        Peace,
        -CRM

  21. I find you are a very Respectful person factbasedtruth in your responses to me and to others although I’m not sure if you are a Man or a Woman, it does seem strange when people don’t share their True Identity when Blogging, not saying you have but perhaps they have something to hide or they don’t value themselves as People of Worth but to be honest I never feel as close to them as those who share openly their details in their About, on their Posts or in Comments.

    In reference to your last reply to me, sadly as shown by your understanding of Scripture that you are confused about God’s Truth in His inspired written Words but not having been taught what was needed so was I and very much so as the Link below confirms and it also confirms with Scripture that there is an answer to resolve all our Confusion which I have shared with you before but it seems by your recent statements to me and to others that you are rejecting or ignoring God’s answer to our Confusion.

    Confusion- http://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/my-battle-with-confusion/

    Blessings – Anne.

  22. Yes I have done the same Gene but I would never deliberately ignore someone’s Comment, I don’t believe I have the right to be rude but if they Mock God, are abusive or just continue to ignore the Confirmation of Scripture for what they think or have been told by others, than yes I don’t continue to post their Comments or Comment on their Blogs.

    God Bless you greatly Gene,
    Anne (Grannie Annie)

  23. Thanks for visiting and liking DailyBiblePrayer. I think we would be colleagues. May you hear God’s voice continuing to lead and direct your writing and reaching people and making them think gifts. Be blessed. Laura

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