I received the following question:
I have a quick question concerning heaven. You know how the word heaven is used today in the Christian church how that people say they are going to heaven or that their relatives are in heaven.
I understand that the word heaven appears in the Bible over 600 times, are there any scripture verses that has the word heaven and that believer go to heaven at dead in the same verse? I don’t think so; just want to get someone else’s opinion. Appreciate your quick response.
You are correct. No, there are no verses that say this anywhere in the Bible. The verses they stake all on are II Corinthians 5:8, misquoted as “Absent from the body, present with the Lord.” This says nothing about death or heaven, and besides being misquoted is badly translated. John 14:2, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” There is nothing saying the “Father’s house” is heaven. In fact, in John 2, the phrase (the only other place in the Word it is used) is clearly speaking of the temple in Jerusalem. Philippians 3:20, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” This verse is the “impregnable fortress” that they try to hide behind to rescue their traditional ideas. However, the meaning of the verse is far from clear, and to say that we wait for a Savior from heaven is a far cry from saying we are going there, either at death or any other time. Other than these few, misused and abused verses, there is no evidence of anyone going to heaven upon death in the Bible.
Thanks for the great question.