Do you think we will go to heaven as soon as we die, or do we have to wait until the end of the world, when God will reunite our souls and bodies? I've always wondered about this. — Mrs. M.K.
My own study of the Bible has convinced me that when a believer dies, he or she goes immediately into God's presence in heaven. As he looked forward to heaven's joys, the Apostle Paul put it this way: "We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8).
It is true that the Bible teaches us that at the end of the ages we will be given new bodies—bodies that will be like Christ's resurrection body, free from all the ills and pains of this world. In that day, the Bible says, "we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet" (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). When that happens, our souls and bodies will be reunited, "and so we will be with the Lord forever" (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
But in the meantime, the Bible says that those who die in Christ are safely and securely in God's presence forever. Jesus said to the criminal who was crucified with Him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43). Paul declared, "I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far" (Philippians 1:23).
Is this your hope? Do you know—really know—that if you were to die tonight you would go to be with God forever? Make sure of your salvation by giving your life to Christ today.