Bible Verses Say Christians Go To Heaven After Death

Bible verses that say Christian Believers go to paradise immediately after death to be with Jesus in heaven

Paradise and heaven in the Bible

Paradise is synonymous with heaven (Revelations 2:7). Mentioned three times in the Bible, it referred to someone being with the Lord. In the NT, Paul was caught up in the “third heaven” that he defined paradise, a unique habitation of God.

In the OT, the Jews believe paradise is a compartment of Hades (Luke 16:19-31) or Abraham’s side (blissful place). The righteous, like Lazarus, go to this place, not heaven.

However, when Christ ascended into heaven, He took paradise and its inhabitants with Him. (Matthew 12:40, Ephesians 4:8-10)

Luke 23:43 – The thief is in heaven.

Jesus answered him, “Truly, I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Other religions insist “today” is not literal because Jesus ascended to heaven 40 days after He rose from the dead. The word “today” (σήμερον, sēmeron) means precisely just that—daily, always, this day (NASB).

Also, Jesus is omnipresent. He can be at any place and at any time when He said, “today, you will be with me.”


2 Corinthians 5:8 – Christians who die are with Jesus.

We are confident, yes, well pleased rather, to be absent from the body and present with the Lord.

In v5-6, God gave the Holy Spirit a guarantee for what is to come. That is why Paul was 100% sure that as long as we’re alive on earth, our spirit is away from Jesus.

Therefore, it is with certainty that they will immediately be with God when Believers die. Christians should be happy with this assurance rather than twist the Bible to hold on to tradition.


Philippians 1:23 – Paul prefers to die to be with Christ.

I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far.

Paul would rather die, but he’s not done with his ministry on earth. He is torn between suffering on earth and being with Jesus in heaven. He said, “…to live is Christ and die is gain.”

If he were to sleep in the grave after death (body and spirit), wouldn’t it be better if he lived longer to serve Christ? Clearly, Paul favored dying so he could be with Jesus in heaven.


Ecclesiastes 12:7 – Spirit returns to God immediately.

The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

Unbelievers and Believer’s body returns to earth as dust. But their spirits return to God (Ecc. 12:7). Two judgments await; for Believers (for their works) and final judgment for Unbelievers.

The spirit of Believers goes to be with Jesus in heaven. (2 Corinthians 5:8)


Acts 7:56-59 – Stephen is received by Jesus.

“Look, he said, I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God… While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit…’ Having said this, he fell asleep.”

Jesus was ready to welcome Stephen to heaven at that moment. Stephen saw an “open gate.” He also spoke expectantly of Jesus welcoming him.

He fell asleep” is a euphemism for the death of believers whose physical body remains on earth sleeping. The body is reunited with the spirit on the first resurrection of the body when Jesus returns.


Revelation 6:10 – Old Testament believers.

They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”

In the Old Testament (OT), martyrs remain sleeping in the grave (Gen. 4:10); they know nothing (Ecc. 9:5). But when Jesus resurrected, He went to Sheol to free them. (Ephesians 4:8–10)

People in the OT were confident in going to heaven (Job 19:26-27; Psalm 23:4,6; Luke 16:22; Heb. 11:13-16). The righteous before Christ is now in God’s presence. [Read commentary]


Ecclesiastes 9:5 – People of the Old Covenant.

The living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even their name is forgotten.

At least eight people in the OT went to heaven, including Enoch and Elijah. People who died before Jesus’ death and resurrection were under the curse of death. [See Judaism]

But God so loved the world that He gave His son Jesus to “open the gates of heaven” for those who believe. Those under this New Covenant have this hope.


1 Thessalonians 4:13 – Dead in Christ, before the resurrection.

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who are asleep so that you will not grieve as indeed the rest of mankind do, who have no hope.

The point of 1 Thessalonians verse 13 is to comfort Christians who lost their “believing loved ones.” Hence “those in Christ” refer to those who died as believers. Paul uses “sleep” as a euphemism to refer to them.

At this point, Jesus has not yet been resurrected. When He did, Jesus went to the blessed side of Sheol (hell) and took believers (those in Christ) with Him to heaven (Ephesians 4:8–10).

1 Thessalonians 4:16

… and the dead in Christ will rise first.

The “dead in Christ” are believers who died before the second coming of Christ. 1 Thessalonians referring to the second coming or the rapture is debated. At death, the body “sleeps,” and believers are the first to resurrect and be transformed into a glorified body.


Paradise: The place of blessing where the righteous go after death. Righteousness comes by faith in Jesus, Romans 3:22). The word paradise is synonymous with “heaven” (Revelation 2:7). It is a temporary place for martyrs, Believers*, those who have been set apart.

Believers: Those who believe and receive Jesus as their Savior (Acts 4:12). New Heaven awaits all God’s children. (Rev. 21:1-22:5)

Unbelievers: These are atheists and agnostics. They were NOT saved by grace. Instead, they thought that keeping the law and good works would earn their way to heaven. Although they may have heard the Gospel, they rejected Jesus.

First Resurrection: It takes place in stages (Rev. 20:4-6). The body of a “Believer” in the grave will rise and reunite with its soul and spirit (see verses below). They will meet Jesus in the sky (Rapture) with a glorified body and prepare for His Second Coming. [Got Questions]

Second Resurrection: It is for the “unsaved people.” Their body, soul, and spirit sleep in the grave when they die. They will wake up upon Jesus’ Second Coming to be judged. Ecc. 12:7; 9:5; 1 Thes. 4: 14) [Got Question]

Dead in Christ: These are Believers who died before the second coming of Jesus. Their body will rise first (first resurrection). The body of Unbelievers who died will remain asleep on earth (until the second resurrection).

I need God; which one should I believe?
Basic Gospel apologetics for sharing the Gospel.
Not everyone is God’s child.

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  1. Sorry I’m having a hard time with your article in reading “No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.” John 3:13, we also read “Then Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?”” 1 Samuel 28:15. I would like to rubuke your statement about Elijah being wisked away ina Chariot. In the bible there are 3 known heavens that are spoken (1) Heavens the birds fly in, (2) Heavens which the stars and planets exist in and (3) the heaven in which God resides. So what is there to say that Elijah was carried away in the 1st heaven? If we look at it from that standpoint then this “Then a letter came to him from Elijah the prophet saying, “Thus says the LORD God of your father David, ‘Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father and the ways of Asa king of Judah,” 2 Chronicles 21:12 would make sense and it would confirm John 3:13. Now go and read Hebrews 11:1-12 in there it speaks of the various people and prophets including Enoch. Then in versus 13 we read “All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.” Hebrews 11:13. In versus 13 it specifically said “All these died in Faith”. Finally a word on “hell” “Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.” 1 Kings 18:38, and “for our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:29 I struggle to believe that our loving & merciful God (A Consuming Fire) would want anything or spirit to suffer for all eternity in a flamming hell. I see that those that refuse to except God as their Lord, King and Saviour will have their spirit destroyed in God’s consuming fire.

    • Unfortunately, your personal feelings that you struggle with on your interpretation of God does not dissuade scriptural teachings on the subject of hell (and more importantly, the Lake of Fire that we see after Judgement where both Satan and Hell are tossed into).

      Revelation 20:13-15 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

      Revelation 20:6-10 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 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.

      Revelation 21:7-8 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

      41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

      Matthew 25:41-46 “41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
      “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

      These verses demonstrate important elements of the lake of fire; firstly that Satan, the beast, the false prophet, the fearful and unbelieving, hell, death, and anyone not written in the book of life will all be tossed into this same place of punishment. And secondly that those in this punishment will be “tormented day and night” in “eternal punishment”. Our personal feelings on the matter do not get to define truth and contradict scripture. God is just and holy. This is HIS design and in that truth I find no fault, nor would I dare to contend with the will of God had I felt differently.

  2. The person who wrote this article is able to read the words. But lacks any and all wisdom and understanding of scripture. Do as you please, but if you accept this, hell will be your next home. Remember just because it says bible on it, doesn’t make it one. Get you a KJV and leave all those other demonic books of satan alone.

  3. I agree with most of what you have stated. Thank you.

    One thing I am confused on is :

    “Second Resurrection: It is for the “unsaved people.” Their body, soul, and spirit sleep in the grave when they die. They will wake up upon Jesus’ Second Coming to be judged. Ecc. 12:7; 9:5; 1 Thes. 4: 14) [Got Question]”

    I am apprehensive of this because in Eze 44, it talks about the millennium and the sons of Zadok, where they can leave the sanctuary and go to siblings:

    [Eze 44:24-26 KJV] 24 And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; [and] they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall hallow my sabbaths. 25 And they shall come at no dead person to defile themselves: but for father, or for mother, or for son, or for daughter, for brother, or for sister that hath had no husband, they may defile themselves. 26 And after he is cleansed, they shall reckon unto him seven days.

    Who are these dead persons Ezekiel speaks of and what do you think this pertains to? Also, with your explanation of second resurrection, you stated in the effect of JESUS’ second coming, they will be raised. This leads me to believe that you may possibly not believe in a millennium? And if you do not, then would you believe Eze44 to be a Heavenly age, because if it is, why would the dead be visited if they are already judged at the second coming of CHRIST and cast into the lake of fire?

    Thank you for your time,


    • Ezekiel 44:24-26 discusses the duties of the sons of Zadok specific to that era only. They should avoid contact (which means not to go physically near) dead people except close family members (not their spirits). Ancient Jewish temple priests made judgments on religious law violations, it doesn’t refer to future/millenial judgment). Ezekiel 44 is not about heavenly age but it did say about Jesus who will be the Lord of all in the Millennium.

      There are two judgments. (1) Judgment for everyone (unbelievers) (2) judgment for those who are Christians where their works are measured (Bema seat).


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