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Questions About Heaven Answered From the Bible

There are many ideas about what happens after we die. But the best place to find the truth is in the Book inspired by the One who knows the most about heaven.

A lot of people have ideas about heaven, but no human being has been there except Jesus Christ. Let’s see what God says about it in the Bible.

Am I going to heaven when I die?

No. Quite the contrary. Your future is right here on planet earth.

Yet many people believe that when they die they will go to heaven. That’s what the Holy Bible says, doesn’t it? Well, there are indeed plenty of books on library shelves that say that, but amazingly, the Bible isn’t one of them.

Scriptures forecasting the earth’s future put the King of Kings, Jesus Christ, not in heaven, but rather on earth in the holy city Jerusalem, governing the many nations of this planet (Revelation 5:10; 11:15; 20:4; Matthew 5:5).

The holy instruction manual provided by the Architect of the cosmos, Jesus Christ, makes it clear: We’re not going to heaven. Rather than all of us being transported up there; Jesus Christ is coming down here (see John 3:13; Zechariah 14:9).

But what about the many references to “heaven” in the Bible?

Many of those refer to the place where God’s throne is now. It is His headquarters, where many of His angelic staff serve Him, and it will be relocated to the earth in the future (Matthew 6:10; Revelation 21:1-4). Most of the biblical references to heaven are about earth’s atmosphere or about the starry skies.

No Bible passage speaks of heaven as the destination of “saved souls.”

No Bible passage speaks of heaven as the destination of “saved souls.”Going to heaven or hell is one of the cardinal teachings of mainstream Christianity. If the teaching really came from the Bible, wouldn’t we expect to find many references explaining about heaven clearly? (You may also be interested in reading "Do We Go to Heaven When We Die?")

Astonishing as it may seem, not one Bible verse says outright that your, my or anybody else’s immortal soul (if we had one) will go there when we die.

Do a search yourself for these common phrases in a reputable, word-for-word translation of the Bible (like the King James Version or the New King James Version):

  • Going to heaven.
  • When I get to heaven.
  • Those in heaven.
  • Getting to heaven.
  • Men in heaven.
  • Souls in heaven.
  • Heavenly gates.
  • Pearly gates.
  • Our future in heaven.
  • Eternity in heaven.
  • Saints in heaven.

Not one of those catchphrases—so popular in most Christians’ faith experience—appears in the King James Version. They’re not in the Bible. The Bible does use the phrase “kingdom of heaven,” but it doesn’t refer to people going to heaven. To learn why, read our article “The Kingdom of Heaven.”

So where will paradise be?

While no scripture promises heaven when we die, dozens of scriptures describe a paradise developing right here on planet earth under the government of God:

In summary, at the end time Jesus will come back down to our planet’s surface (Zechariah 14:4). He will govern earth’s nations (Revelation 11:15). The resurrected saints will rule with Him for a thousand years (Revelation 5:10; 20:4). The scope of His rule will continually grow (Isaiah 9:7).

Ultimately, the earth will be filled with the knowledge of a perfect lifestyle (Habakkuk 2:14).

See more in our article “What Is the Kingdom of God?

So where did the notion of immortal souls going to heaven really come from?

Abundant historical documentation confirms that going to heaven when we die is an entirely nonbiblical pagan construct from ancient ungodly societies such as Babylon, Egypt and Greece.

While “immortal souls going to heaven” was not taught by Moses, Jesus or Paul, nor documented anywhere in the Bible, this idea was fashioned and promoted by other famous authors and Greek philosophers, such as Plato

How did such pagan ideas find their way into today’s churches, while biblical revelation is ignored?

The Bible shows a powerful spirit being is involved in this lie—the most infamous deceiver of them all! Jesus Christ Himself brands Satan the devil as the inventor of these lies and deceptions (John 8:44; Revelation 12:9). The Bible reveals that Satan will be banished from earth’s surface at Jesus’ return (Revelation 20:1-3).

About the Author

Sam Shrauner

Sam Shrauner is an elder in the Lakeland, Florida, congregation of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association.

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