How Long After Death Until You Get To Heaven
Some people wonder how long after death until you get to Heaven. I am glad that the answer is in God’s Word and that we do not have to wonder. There are people who believe in what is called soul sleep. They teach that your soul sleeps until it is time to go to heaven. This is another teaching that is not in the Bible.
Rev 6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
Rev 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
Rev 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they [were], should be fulfilled.
This is talking about the believers that were killed for their faith during the tribulation. Where are their souls? In Heaven. Their souls are not sleeping are they? They are in heaven and they are awake. We see them talking here and asking questions.
What we just read is going to happen during the tribulation. Now lets look at what Paul taught happens right now. Paul wrote this after Christ had ascended.
2Co 5:6 Therefore [we are] always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
2Co 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
2Co 5:8 We are confident, [I say], and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
Paul taught to be at HOME in the BODY is to be absent from the Lord. And to be ABSENT from the BODY is to be present with the Lord.
Phi 1:23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
Phi 1:24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh [is] more needful for you.
If Paul were to depart, He would be with Christ.
These Scriptures clearly teach that when a Christian dies his soul is immediately transported into the very presence of Christ.
Lets look at what Jesus taught.
Luk 16:19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
Luk 16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
Luk 16:21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
Notice the very specific language here. This is not a parable. Jesus said a certain rich man. It was a real man. And Jesus wanted us to know that it was a certain rich man. It was a specific man. And Jesus said it was a certain beggar named Lazarus. Again it was a specific beggar. Not the principal of a beggar. No it was a certain beggar whose name was Lazarus. Jesus is telling us about a specific real event that happened.
Luk 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
Luk 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Notice how immediately this happened. The rich man died and then he is in hell. As soon as he lifted up his eyes he was in torment. There was no waiting period. No soul sleep. No Purgatory.
Luk 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
After the rich man died where was he as soon as he opened his eyes? In Hell.
And where was the beggar? In Abraham’s bosom.
How was the beggar carried to Paradise? By the angels.
All of these verses make it clear that when you die you go straight to Heaven or Hell.
The Bible does away with such notions as Purgatory, Soul Sleep, and Reincarnation.
If the Lord does not return before a saved individual dies, then that individual will go directly home to be with the Lord. Death is but a graduation to Glory. Death does not hold any fear for the Christian.
Psa 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
1Co 15:55 O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory?
1Co 15:56 The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law.
1Co 15:57 But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
“Someday you will read where Dwight L. Moody is dead, but don’t believe it. People will pass by my casket and say, ‘Here lies Dwight L. Moody,’ but don’t believe it. I will not be there. You can say when you pass the casket that holds my body, ‘Here is the old house where Dwight L. Moody used to live,’ for I will have a new address.” – Dwight L. Moody