Where Is "Heaven's Door"?
Everyone has had family or friends who have passed away, and it's quite natural to wonder what happened to them when death occurred. Where are they now? Are they in heaven? Are they somehow still conscious? Are they alive and dead at the same time?
The example of Jesus Christ clearly answers the question. The Son of God (see The Logos) was born as a normal physical human (Hebrews 2:14-18). After He was brutally killed (see How Did Jesus Christ Die?), His body was placed in the tomb (see The Garden Tomb) where He remained dead until He was resurrected to life. His resurrection would not have been necessary if He had been alive while He was dead.
What does The Bible actually say about what happens when humans die, and more importantly, what does The Word of God say about how and when they stop being dead?
A Peaceful Sleep, No Sense Of The Passage Of Time
"For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts; for all is vanity. All go to one place; all are from the dust, and all turn to dust again." (Ecclesiastes 3:19-20 RSV)
"Brethren, I may say to you confidently of the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.... For David did not ascend into the heavens" (Acts 2:29,34 RSV)
"No one has ascended into heaven but He who descended from heaven, the Son of man." (John 3:13 RSV)
A Later Resurrection
"Thy dead shall live, their bodies shall rise. O dwellers in the dust, awake and sing for joy!" (Isaiah 26:19 RSV)
"But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet The Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with The Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 RSV)
"for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear His voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment." (John 5:28-29 RSV)
"And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." (Daniel 12:2 RSV)
Fact Finder: When will the Judgment Day be?
See When Will You Be Judged?
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This Day In History, September 12
490 BC: The Athenians defeated the second Persian invasion of Greece at Marathon.
1609: English explorer Henry Hudson, while employed by the Netherlands, discovered a famous river in eastern North America that would later be named after him - the Hudson River. New York City was originally named New Amsterdam.
1683: Austrian and Polish forces took Vienna, Austria, back from the Ottomans after the Battle of Kahlenberg.
1683: Vienna was retaken from the Ottomans.
1722: The Treaty of St. Petersburg ended the Russo-Persian War.
1758: French astronomer Charles Messier began his Messier Catalog of deep-sky objects with the Crab Nebula - the remnants of a supernova explosion that was first observed by Chinese astronomers in 1054.
1848: Switzerland adopted a new constitution under which it became a federal republic.
1878: The obelisk known as Cleopatra's Needle, originally cut from the quarries of Aswan in about 1475 B.C., was erected in London.
1953: John F. Kennedy, 36, married Jacqueline Bouvier, 24.
1972: Idi Amin, dictator of Uganda, sent a cable to the United Nations Secretary General to announce that since no statue of Hitler had been erected in Germany, he proposed to set one up in Uganda.
1990: Agreements were signed by the United States, Britain, France, Russia, and East and West Germany which permitted the re-unification of Germany - a key event in European history, and Bible prophecy.