It is doubtful that there is any single belief Christians have that is so deep-seated and so taken for granted as those regarding heaven. For those of us who base our beliefs on the Bible, not on the Christian church, there are still very few who dare to re-examine the issue of heaven, or to compare what they believe with what is written in the Scriptures. Long before one comes to a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the idea that “good people go to heaven when they die” is solidified in the mind. When one becomes a believer, that might transfer a bit to “those who believe in Jesus Christ go to heaven when they die,” but other than this change, this belief really is never reconsidered or examined in the light of God’s Word.
Perhaps there is no one view out there so in need of study and thoughtful examination in the light of God’s Word than this view regarding heaven. Yet there is also probably no view out there which so few would ever be willing to reconsider. The idea of heaven is taught to most of us from almost the time we can talk by our parents, whether they were true believers or not, and it is one that has so much emotion tied to it that few would even be open to any changes regarding it whatsoever. The fact that we claim loyalty to the Bible makes no difference regarding this. It has always been believed by most that the Bible teaches about people going to heaven, and this idea has been so brainwashed into the minds of men that they never would even consider going to the Bible to see if this is really so.
That said, the true student of Scripture should not shy away from subjecting any teaching or belief, no matter how foundational or obvious in the minds of the majority, to the revealing light of the Word of God. If we desire to be believers in the Scriptures rather than just more traditionalists, it is beliefs such as this one that we most need to subject to a Biblical examination. And perhaps there is no better way to do this than the method I have demonstrated before in examining the subjects of the spirit and the soul. That method is to take the Hebrew and Greek words involved, and to examine every occurrence of them to see how the Spirit of God uses them in the Word of God. Then and only then can we get God’s teaching on this subject, rather than man’s.