The dead aren't in heaven if you're Christian

Dondrei

Diabloii.Net Member
The dead aren't in heaven if you're Christian

Correct me if I'm wrong, but on reading the Bible I noticed something very odd. Despite the way Christians always say "she's with God now" and so on, and seem to have this idea that the dead go straight to heaven, the Bible doesn't suggest that at all. In fact as far as I can tell what happens is that the dead are really dead until the Rapture (Judgement Day or whatever else it's called). Then the trumpets play and the dead are given eternal life (no mention of ascending into the clouds or anything, they seem to stay on earth, where Jesus comes back as king). It keeps saying the dead are sleeping, awaiting the return:

KJV said:
13: But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14: For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15: For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16: For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
(1 Thessalonians 4:13-17)

52: And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.
(Luke 8:52)
The resurrections occur in stages:

KJV said:
4: And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5: But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
(Revelation 20:4-5)
Not that one should believe Revelation, of course. But it's hinted at elsewhere, including the first one below. These two illustrate that the resurrection is as spirits rather than, you know, zombies:

KJV said:
12: Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13: But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
14: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
15: Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
16: For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
17: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
18: Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
19: If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
20: But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
21: For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22: For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23: But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
24: Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
25: For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
26: The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
(1 Corinthians 15:12-26)

35: But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
36: Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
37: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:
38: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
39: All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
40: There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
41: There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
42: So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
43: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
44: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
(1 Corinthians 15:35-44)
So I don't get it - is this something that got revised when Jesus failed to show up after a hundred years or so like he said and everything got a little awkward?
 

SaroDarksbane

Diabloii.Net Site Pal
dondrei said:
Despite the way Christians always say "she's with God now"
I would caution against trying to discuss what Christians "always do".

I, for one, would never say that to someone. That's almost as bad as telling a child that the Bible says you become an angel or something.
In fact as far as I can tell what happens is that the dead are really dead until the Rapture
That's my understanding of it, although in traditional Christian manner, every denomination has a different view.
no mention of ascending into the clouds or anything, they seem to stay on earth, where Jesus comes back as king
Indeed. The Jehova's witnesses, for example, do not believe in a heaven or hell: just a re-made Earth, so to speak.

I'm not sure they are far from what the Bible was trying to portray.
 

Dondrei

Diabloii.Net Member
SaroDarksbane said:
I would caution against trying to discuss what Christians "always do".

I, for one, would never say that to someone. That's almost as bad as telling a child that the Bible says you become an angel or something.
Ah, well; point taken.

SaroDarksbane said:
That's my understanding of it, although in traditional Christian manner, every denomination has a different view.

Indeed. The Jehova's witnesses, for example, do not believe in a heaven or hell: just a re-made Earth, so to speak.

I'm not sure they are far from what the Bible was trying to portray.
This was my impression. And yet it seems so widespread.
 

bg1256

Diabloii.Net Member
Of course, this is another topic of huge debate, and there is no real consensus on this issue among Christians.

For example, Catholics believe in purgatory, which is definitely not the same as "going to be with the Lord," which is common in American Evangelical thought.
dondrei said:
Not that one should believe Revelation, of course.
Revelation was written in the first century about the first century. The only thing not worth believing is the entire "Left Behind" theology that comes out of it. And by the way, "rapture" cannot be found anywhere in the Bible... it's an extra-biblical concept.


dondrei said:
So I don't get it - is this something that got revised when Jesus failed to show up after a hundred years or so like he said and everything got a little awkward?
I'm not sure to which passage you are referring here; I'm assuming Paul's. If you are referring to 1 Corinthians 15, then no, it was not edited 100 years after Jesus because it was written very shortly after Jesus' life.

Revelation, on the other hand, was written later (probably be a 2nd generation Christian), but it is about the 1st century -- not the future -- so it shouldn't be read a sa manual trying to predict exactly what will happen during the apocalypse. And for the record, I'm not an expert in apocalyptic literature, but I do know it's better to read these symbolically than literally.

Veilside said:
Probably because most christians can't be arsed to actually read what the bible says
"Arsed"? Hmmm...

But yes, you are probably right about that.

Edit: I would also caution anyone from saying something like, "This is what the Bible teaches about subjects X or Y." The Bible is written by many different authors, who sometimes have different perspectives on issues such as this. Paul, for example, sees the resurrection in slightly different terms than the author of Revelations.

Now, one can take that and argue against the credibility of the Bible, saying it contradicts itself; or, one can argue that it actually enhances the Bible's credibility, because there various pictures of God given. Food for thought, I hope.
 

SaroDarksbane

Diabloii.Net Site Pal
dondrei said:
This was my impression. And yet it seems so widespread.
There are a lot of widespread opinions held by Christians that have little or no basis in the Bible.

Abortion, for instance. *ducks for cover*
 

bg1256

Diabloii.Net Member
SaroDarksbane said:
There are a lot of widespread opinions held by Christians that have little or no basis in the Bible.

Abortion, for instance. *ducks for cover*
Stem cell research, evolution, etc., etc., etc.
 

Dondrei

Diabloii.Net Member
bg1256 said:
Of course, this is another topic of huge debate, and there is no real consensus on this issue among Christians.

For example, Catholics believe in purgatory, which is definitely not the same as "going to be with the Lord," which is common in American Evangelical thought.

Revelation was written in the first century about the first century. The only thing not worth believing is the entire "Left Behind" theology that comes out of it. And by the way, "rapture" cannot be found anywhere in the Bible... it's an extra-biblical concept.
I knew that actually, I just mentioned it because it's the name the Coming of the Kingdom of Heaven (or whatever it was called in the Bible) is most commonly known by.

bg1256 said:
I'm not sure to which passage you are referring here; I'm assuming Paul's. If you are referring to 1 Corinthians 15, then no, it was not edited 100 years after Jesus because it was written very shortly after Jesus' life.
No, I mean did church teachings get revised at some point to suggest that the dead go straight to heaven (or hell or purgatory)? I'm sure that depends on denomination, of course.

bg1256 said:
Revelation, on the other hand, was written later (probably be a 2nd generation Christian), but it is about the 1st century -- not the future -- so it shouldn't be read a sa manual trying to predict exactly what will happen during the apocalypse. And for the record, I'm not an expert in apocalyptic literature, but I do know it's better to read these symbolically than literally.
Well, I'd say you should take pretty much the whole thing symbolically but Revelations - well, I can't see how you could imagine it literally unless you're on some pretty serious drugs...

bg1256 said:
"Arsed"? Hmmm...
I don't remember where Veilside is from, but that's a common expression in Australia and Britain.
 

Dondrei

Diabloii.Net Member
SaroDarksbane said:
There are a lot of widespread opinions held by Christians that have little or no basis in the Bible.

Abortion, for instance. *ducks for cover*
I'm glad you said it, not me...
 

Merick

Diabloii.Net Member
It must be hard to be a Christian, having to keep up on hundred of debates about doctrine. Studying all of the literature to keep up. Reading and re-reading The Bible, and thinking about what they personally believe, and talking about it with their preist.

Or just accepting whatever they hear on TV. That works too.
 

SaroDarksbane

Diabloii.Net Site Pal
Merick said:
It must be hard to be a Christian, having to keep up on hundred of debates about doctrine. Studying all of the literature to keep up. Reading and re-reading The Bible, and thinking about what they personally believe, and talking about it with their preist.

Or just accepting whatever they hear on TV. That works too.
Bah, it's not fair to only apply that to Christians. I think that's what most people do when it comes to deciding on an issue. =P
 

PatMaGroin

Diabloii.Net Member
dondrei said:
Revelations - well, I can't see how you could imagine it literally unless you're on some pretty serious drugs...
Agreed.

But this is a nice find Dondrei, you're an atheist right, or something to that effect? You seem to read the Bible more than a lot of the Christians I know.
 

Veilside

Diabloii.Net Member
bg1256 said:
"Arsed"? Hmmm...
arse UK Show phonetics
noun [C] (US ***) OFFENSIVE
the part of your body that you sit on:
She's got a huge arse.

(from Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)
 

Dondrei

Diabloii.Net Member
PatMaGroin said:
Agreed.

But this is a nice find Dondrei, you're an atheist right, or something to that effect? You seem to read the Bible more than a lot of the Christians I know.
More or less. I have a spiritual side but I don't believe in any gods.

Know thine enemy I guess... :wink3:

Who said that, anyway? It's not actually a Biblical quote, is it?
 

PatMaGroin

Diabloii.Net Member
dondrei said:
More or less. I have a spiritual side but I don't believe in any gods.

Know thine enemy I guess... :wink3:

Who said that, anyway? It's not actually a Biblical quote, is it?
I doubt that's Biblical, probably an ancient famous general if I had to guess.
 

raffster

Diabloii.Net Member
Yes, Christians do not go to heaven immediately after death. They stay "asleep" in the grave and wait for the resurrection of the dead when Christ returns in his second coming (1 Corinthians 15:20-23). This is the first resurrection where believers will reign with Christ for a thousand years on earth and not in Heaven (Revelations 20:4).

Then there is a second resurrection (Revelations 20:5) where the rest of the dead will be brought back to life. Christians believe that this is an opportunity for those who have not learned/accepted Christ to finally do so, otherwise they will suffer the penalty of the second death and that is to be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelations 20:15).

There will be a new heaven and a new earth that awaits those who followed The Way. According to the passage, God will live with them (Revelations 21:3).

In this context when someone is asleep he is unconscious of time passing. I am imaging that you are in some type of cyber-freeze cell sleeping and then awakened in the far future. So simply speaking, when you are dead and have no consciousness of time, how do you keep track of the time between your death and the time you are raised again?

To PatMaGroin: It's "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" (Matthew 5:44).
 

TonoTheHero

Diabloii.Net Member
Well, surely the people on earth made heaven would have helped the loved ones that outlived them. That believed in their goodness, and remembered them in times of need. Once they're in heaven, in paradise, their love will reach back to the people left behind ;)
 
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