I have always heard about heaven being our final destination as believers from a young age. This created a deep and compelling passion in me to find out how the heavenly realm operates back in theology school. However, I had a specific topic of interest that I was interested in understanding widely; if one can go to heaven before the Day of Judgment. As a result, I did extensive research and read religious books about this topic. I also visited nearby churches and consulted with various pastors and theologians to understand their views and biblical interpretation concerning heaven if one can go before judgment day. During our weekly bible session last month, one of the members randomly asked if we could go to heaven before judgment day. This question fascinated the other members, who yearned to learn the answers. Since I am well-equipped with information, I answered the question easily. So, can you go to heaven before judgment day?
This question is debatable, and the scripture does not give straightforward information about what happens. However, in Luke 23:42-43, when the thief who was crucified with Jesus asked him to remember him, Jesus assured him he would be with him in paradise that night, meaning it could be possible that saved souls go to heaven before judgment day.
Kindly join me as I discuss some interesting facts about heaven. I will focus on the concept of Judgment in Christianity, what happens before Judgment, what happens to the souls between death and Judgment, and what the Bible says happens when you die. To find out answers to these questions and more, keep reading.
What is the concept of judgment day in Christianity?
Christians believe that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will also be the day of reckoning, for Jesus will judge everyone who has ever lived on the face of the earth. They believe this will result in others being thrown to hell, and believers will enjoy the kingdom of God with him. Jesus Christ will be the Chief Justice for the Father has entrusted the Judgment to him as seen in John 5:22-27. He will make this Judgment on the great white throne, and everyone will be judged accordingly and face punishment in accordance with their action while on earth.
What happens before judgment day?
Christians believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ (Messiah), and his return from heaven will be glorious. Before the Judgment, Jesus will come for the bride (The Church); this event is mostly known as the Rapture. During this event, those who died in Christ will be raised from death, and the believers who are still alive will ascend to meet Christ in the air. Those who died will have their souls and spirit united to a body similar to that of Christ, while the Christians who were still alive, their bodies will also transform (Philippians 3:21).
What does the Bible say about judgment day and the souls that die before?
A lot is said and taught about the day of the lord. The scriptures say in Hebrews 9:27 it is the time for men to die once, and after then, Judgment will follow. However, those who will still be alive during this time won’t experience death. There will be two judges, God (Romans 14:10) and Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:10), but God will let Jesus do the Judgment, based on John 5:22-27. The souls of all the dead saints will be waiting for the second coming, the day of resurrection, and the Day of Judgment. On the day of his second coming (Jesus), he will gather the saved souls, and all will appear in the sky, then follow the resurrection of the dead and the Rapture.
What happens when you die, according to the Bible?
Whatever happens after death is still debatable among several theologians and Christians. Some believe that everyone will be asleep awaiting judgment day, after which the righteous one will go to heaven and the wicked one to hell. Some have a belief that when an individual dies, they go to a temporary place to wait for their final destination after Judgment. Others hold it that after death, Judgment is made immediately, and your final destination is determined.
However, let’s look out and find what the scriptures say about the same point of discussion. According to Luke 23:42-43, the Bible records a conversation between Jesus and the two thieves. One of them asked Jesus to remember him in his kingdom, and Jesus assured him that he would be with him in paradise. This paradise is where people with a close relationship with God go immediately after they die, what most people refer to it as “heaven.” Moreover, in 1 Corinthians 15:50-54, the Bible describes the resurrection of believers and being given new bodies. Therefore, according to these scriptures, while the spirit goes to be with Christ, the body remains asleep. That’s when during the resurrection, the physical body is transformed and reunited with the spirit.
For the non-believers, it is most likely that they also go to a temporary place waiting for the final destination. In Revelation 20:11-15, the unbelievers are being resurrected and judged before the throne and cast into the lake of fire.
When you die, do you go to heaven or wait for judgment Day?
According to John 3:13, Jesus himself says there is no one who has ever gone to heaven except him. Therefore, it might be possible that after dying, there is no going to heaven. What happens then after death is one of the most important questions that we ought to seek answers. The Bible clearly says after death, we remain in an unconscious state, but the good news is it is not permanent, for there will be resurrection before judgment day. According to 1 Thessalonians 5:10, the Bible likens death to sleep. Hence, it is seen that when a person dies, they are in an inactive state. This scripture answers the question indirectly; it uses the imagery of sleep to show how death is and waiting for resurrection, based on John 5:28-29.
What happens to souls between death and judgment day?
The scriptures provide some information about the state of the soul before Judgment and after death. When an individual dies, the body and the soul separate, and Judgment comes, Hebrews 9:27. Souls will be in hell or heaven depending on the individual self-acts while on earth. In the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:25), Jesus says that Lazarus was comforted at Abraham’s side after he died while the rich man suffered in hell. Moreover, in 2 Corinthians 5:4-8, it is evident that those who died in Christ are away from the body and home with the lord.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.