Do We Go To Heaven Immediately When We Die

Rev. Lonnie Honeycutt

Rev. Lonnie Honeycutt (RevLon)
Rev. Lonnie Honeycutt (RevLon)

According to the Bible Do We Go To Heaven Immediately After Death

I'm writing this to defend a position I mistakenly didn't think needed defending. In perusing several different blogs found on HubPages I've noted several distinct instances of ignorance concerning the Biblical view of life after death. There is, of course, the thought that once we die that's it -- once the physical manifestation of life has ended we simply cease to exist. Normally, however, this view is reserved by those who classify themselves as atheists and therefore it doesn't fall into the scope of my topic since atheists don't 'believe' in the Bible as a book that can tell us anything of value spiritually speaking. Then there are those who believe that we 'sleep' once we die and there, in our graves, await either the second coming of Christ to awaken us or the Judgement Seat (Bema Seat) of Christ or the Great White Throne Judgement (the view one holds depends largely on whether or not a person is a pre- post- or amillennialist in their eschatological belief). The third camp is our Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ who hold to a purgatory (a type of semi- or demi-Hell) of "temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God's Grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions." Basically, this means that departed souls go to 'burn off' sins until such time as they are paid for (either by almsgiving, fasting, or prayers or those who are still alive or by the suffering 'albeit temporary in light of eternity' of the person who is estranged from the presence of God in purgatory). It is the latter two camps I wish to address in this 'paper.'

What Did Jesus Teach About Death and the Afterlife?

First, I'd like to thank everyone and anyone who takes a stand and attempts to defend your position concerning this issue either privately or on a public forum. So many people disregard 1 Peter 3:15 which clearly tells us to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

With that being said, even if I disregard my own experience in Heaven (detailed in my book, “Death, Heaven & Back” – available on Amazon.com), my first point of disagreement comes when it is stated that (paraphrased) " Jesus must have specifically preached and taught that we go to Heaven when we die" and that "such teaching must be found in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John." In other words, what we'd need to search for and find is Jesus saying something similar to (or even exactly) "Truly I tell you, the man who dies shall go directly to Heaven or Hell" -- or some other form of the same declaration.

First and foremost I don’t believe that to restrict our search of the Scriptures for statements concerning the afterlife to “the 4 gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John” is appropriate (I'll tell you why in just a few lines). Nor do I believe that we should be restricted to searching for a statement that has Jesus saying, "if you believe in me, you'll go to heaven when you die" before we can ascertain that He did indeed preach and teach the same.

For many, in order to hold to the belief that the Bible teaches that we go to Heaven immediately after death we would need to find “a verse in the bible that actually specifically, unequivocally states this belief.” Again, I disagree and, briefly, I'll try to explain why I'm in opposition to the aforementioned objections.

I believe that the last point raised, (i.e., that we need to find “a verse in the bible that actually specifically, unequivocally states this belief”) is the weakest point if one is dealing with Christians. The reason is simply because there are many points of doctrine that we, as Christians, believe that aren’t summed up in a single verse in the Bible. For example, the doctrine of the Trinity. While the Trinity is definitely a correct concept and belief no single verse simply states, “I and the Father and the Holy Spirit are one God.” Eschatology is another issue that, while being debatable even among the most sincere Christians, cannot be summed up in a single verse. For that matter, neither can marriage which, I'd assume, all Christians would agree is a God-given, God-blessed institution.

So, with the necessity of finding a verse that simply and briefly sums up a belief in life immediately after death having been ‘put to rest,’ (no pun intended), I believe we can move on to the other points of contention.

I concede that if we are to hold to the belief that one goes to Heaven (or Hell) immediately after we die that we should find that Jesus speaks about the same. I agree inasmuch as I believe we should look to the words of our Savior for clarification on the matters on which He personally spoke. However, if one insists that the ONLY place for said clarification can come from is the SPECIFIC words of Jesus then I’d have to disagree. The reason for my disagreement, if this is what one would claim, is twofold: 1) The secondary reason I disagree with such a position is that the one holding to it would, by necessity, be bound to require an opposing statement directly from Jesus before their position could be held as valid. In other words, if it is demanded that Jesus specifically state something similar to "The man who dies shall go directly to Heaven or Hell" then we should except to find something similar (or exactly) to: "Truly I tell you, the man who dies does not go directly to Heaven or Hell" -- or some other form of the same declaration. I sincerely doubt that any who hold to the 'anti' position to the one I'm taking would accept such a restriction; 2) The PRIMARY reason I'm opposed to such restrictions is because, as Christians who believe implicitly and explicitly in the Bible, we MUST believe 1 Timothy 3:16-17 which states, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

What this means is that we should search the entirety of the Scriptures (not just the red-lettered words of Jesus) to determine whether a belief we’ll hold is correct or not because it is ALL from God. Indeed, even those who hold to perverse, deviant sexual practices often use the rational that 'since Christ didn't speak against it' that it must be okay. Again, should those who hold to that rational be 'forced' to show a verse in the Bible where Jesus specifically condones the practice we (Christians) consider deviant and perverse, they would and should, rightly object. Of course, the point I'm making here isn't an allusion to one's sexual preference but to the preferential of one Scripture over another because of the person it's attributed to when we, as Christians, should treat each word of Scripture as canon because it was inspired by God Himself. At this point I'd like to concede the very real possibility of our encountering people who declare, based upon a strict 'letter of the law mentality,' that since we hold to each word as being 'from God' that we must also hold to those things stated by people in the Bible who are obviously opposed to our beliefs and, in some cases, even to God Himself. For instance, satan makes statements and, though he is accurately quoted, he is the father of lies. This is the case when we read in the Bible (Genesis 3:4-5) concerning whether or not Eve would die if she ate of the fruit that had been forbidden by God, "You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad." Though this is an accurately quoted statement it is also an accurately quoted lie from satan himself.

But, for the sake of argument, I’ll first apply the words of Jesus Himself to defend my position that Christians do indeed go to Heaven immediately after we die.

Jesus' clearest teaching on what happens to us after we die came from His own mouth as He was about to die on the cross. Jesus told one of the thieves who was on the cross next to him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43) The same Greek word for paradise is used in the Septuagint (which is the Greek translation of the Old Testament), to refer to a park, a garden or a forest. It often refers to the Garden of Eden, (Genesis 2 and 3) and to the garden of God as it will be, (Ezekiel and Isaiah).

That the term 'paradise' means Heaven in the proper sense of the term is certain based upon how the Apostle Paul used the term interchangeably. The Apostle Paul used the term "caught up to paradise" as a parallel with "caught up to the third heaven," which is the place where God dwells (2 Corinthians 12:2-4 "I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows — was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell."). Jesus further expanded his promise of paradise in his Revelation to the Apostle John, "To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God." (Revelation 2:7)

Also, from the lips of Jesus comes the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man. It should be noted that this story is not a parable. One must only do a casual search of Jesus’ parables to discover that in no parable does Jesus actually use a specific person’s name. Still, if one insists that the story is a parable one must also admit that Christ ONLY used REAL LIFE situations to illustrate even greater events.

I present to you His words as found in Luke 16:19-31: "There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell, [Greek Hades] he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead."

Other Passages In The Bible That Depict Those Who Are Dead Have A Knowledge Of What's Happening On Earth

In 1 Samuel 28, after Samuel was brought back to life, he was aware of what King Saul did and didn't do. Further, Samuel, who was definitely dead at the time of his conversation with Saul, was able to tell the King about things that had happen in their past ('The LORD has done to you what he foretold through me'), things that were currently happening ('the LORD has done this to you today'), and things that were to happen in the future ('the LORD will deliver Israel, and you as well, into the clutches of the Philistines. By tomorrow you and your sons will be with me and the LORD will have delivered the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines').

"Samuel then said to Saul, "Why do you disturb me by conjuring me up?" Saul replied: "I am in great straits, for the Philistines are waging war against me and God has abandoned me. Since he no longer answers me through prophets or in dreams, I have called you to tell me what I should do." To this Samuel said: "But why do you ask me, if the LORD has abandoned you and is with your neighbor? The LORD has done to you what he foretold through me: he has torn the kingdom from your grasp and has given it to your neighbor David."Because you disobeyed the LORD'S directive and would not carry out his fierce anger against Amalek, the LORD has done this to you today.Moreover, the LORD will deliver Israel, and you as well, into the clutches of the Philistines. By tomorrow you and your sons will be with me, and the LORD will have delivered the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines."" (1 Samuel 28:15-19)

This conversation between Saul and Samuel begs the question of how he (Samuel) would have known all of this if he weren't able to follow the events on Earth and if he were simply asleep. Of course, it's possible that the LORD simply filled him with said knowledge but then the text would have read differently (i.e., we would have expected to read something akin to the following, "the LORD has revealed that... etc."). Since the language is conversational in style it depicts personal knowledge of what had happened, what was happening, and what would happen on Earth. Note also, that the knowledge Samuel had was NOT restricted to Saul alone but, instead, covered several peoples and places (Amalek, Israel, Philistines, Saul and his Sons, the army of Israel).

My last argument (at the moment) is found in the last book of the Bible (Revelation). The reason I choose this book is because it depicts dead saints who are ‘currently’ (future tense) living in Heaven and who are aware of things occurring around them as well as on earth. This would be impossible if these same saints were ‘asleep’ (as in Soul Sleep) or simply not in existence at the time of their deaths.

Revelation 6:9-11 “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.

Note that in the verse above and below that the people speaking had been killed AND were aware of the events happening on Earth -- had they not been aware of the events on Earth they would NOT have asked when the Lord Jesus was going to avenge their blood.

Revelation 7:9-17 “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying:

“ Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
Be to our God forever and ever.
Amen.”

Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” And I said to him, “Sir,you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

In Revelation 18:20 we see that God's holy people, apostles and prophets are told that they should be happy because God has punished Babylon the great. This assumes that those who are being told about the punishment would be aware of what was happening on Earth -- to some extent at least.

"Be happy because of this, heaven! Be happy, God's holy people and apostles and prophets! God has punished her because of what she did to you."

One might also note that John the Revelator (the one Jesus entrusted to write His Revelation), like Paul, visited Heaven (though in John's case it was most certainly a vision -- albeit an 'open vision'), was allowed to see events transpire in Heaven and on Earth and reported that those he saw in Heaven were aware of the same things he was seeing (both in Heaven and on Earth).

Conclusion

In conclusion I hope that the preceding study has helped you clarity the issue of whether or not those who die are 1) Actually alive and aware currently -- rather than being asleep and unaware of anything; 2) Intimately interested in things that are currently happening on Earth; and 3) Capable of interacting with God about the events that occur here on Earth.

If you have any comments concerning this issue or suggestions for upcoming articles, please feel free to make a comment below.

In Christ,

Rev. Lonnie Honeycutt (RevLon)

Author: Death, Heaven and Back (The True Story of One Man’s Death and Resurrection)

Death, Heaven and Back by Lonnie Honeycutt

Comments 51 comments

sandra rinck 7 years ago

Well, you been to Heaven already and did return for whatever purpose God has in store for you, if not to just talk to me, (sorry I am sorta selfish sometimes, lol) because I got a lot of questions. :D

Anyways,  I have heard all those arguments before.  And because I am not orthodoxed in any religion I sorta took to a view of them all having some truth to them.

Like, Eccl.  when it says when we die, we are dead, don't feel anything, know anything, think,  etc...

and from Revelations, like what you said, I sorta held that as a sort of purgatory, cept for the part about it being bad... like a holding place because it says that God was waiting for the rest of them.

and of course in Corith. when I think it was John who speaks (I could have the wrong gospel of course) and says that he is a prisoner to God or maybe he said slave, anyways, he was dead but it sounded like he wrote a letter as though it transended the heavens to earth or something...

And when Jesus tell the decipes that Lazarus is asleep when they were on their way to raise him up again.  (are there 2 Lazarus'?)

Anyways, I guess I figure that they are all true.  That when you die, you are gone, nothing or asleep as it is put, but it also says death is like a lighting flash across the sky...

which leads me to believe that at the moment of death you truly are dead but it is in an instant, like a blink and then we wait in purgetory, (not a semi hell or anything like that) just waiting, which is also like a blink of an eye and then when everything is complete, God judges us all and determine whether or not we procede to the eternal hell fire or back to Paradise with Jesus.

Anyways, I enjoy reading your thoughts, I guess I am not in a hurry to find out, but I do have one more question,  why is it always 3 days?

Lazarus; Jesus raised him back up after 3 days.  And Jesus was raised back up after 3 days...

Oh yeah and before I forget. I also have a question about Justus. Titus was called Justus, Jesus was also called Justus and Barnabus (sp?) the replacement for Judas was also called Justus, why is that?

 


PastorLonnie profile image

PastorLonnie 7 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

Sandra Begins: Well, you been to Heaven already and did return for whatever purpose God has in store for you, if not to just talk to me, (sorry I am sorta selfish sometimes, lol) because I got a lot of questions. : )

Lonnie: Sandra, that’s not a problem for me at all – I love to talk and if you have questions I’ll try to get the answers for you.

Sandra Continues:  Anyways,  I have heard all those arguments before.  And because I am not orthodoxed in any religion I sorta took to a view of them all having some truth to them. Like, Eccl.  when it says when we die, we are dead, don't feel anything, know anything, think,  etc...

Lonnie: Ecclesiastes is a great section in the Bible but only if it’s taken in context.  So, let’s talk through the passage you allude to.  Ecclesiastes 9:5 states: " For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten."

If we take the first part of this verse in the most literal sense (and without continuing to read the second part of it) then the Bible would certainly seem to state that when we’re dead that’s all there is to it – we’re dead and all sensation of everything stops.  But, as soon as you read the second part of the verse then things start to become clearer.  If we are supposed to take the entire verse in it’s most literal sense then the dead are unconscious and will never find a reward or be remembered.

Perhaps we should look at the context of this passage. If we back up to verse 3, same chapter, we find:

"This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of men, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead...." (NIV)

If we keep it in context, we find that the writer is talking about events that happen while we are alive, here on earth, "under the sun"!

This can be better shown by comparing Ecclesiastes 9:5 with other verses of the Bible:

IS THIS TRUE?   “neither have they any more a reward”.

“For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done."  (Matthew 16:27, NIV)

IS THIS TRUE?  “for the memory of them is forgotten”.

But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not the God of the dead but of the living." (Matthew 22:31,32, NIV)

IS THIS TRUE?  “they are conscious of nothing at all”.

Moses (who died at the age of 120 years and was buried by God - see Deuteronomy 34:7) and Elijah (who never died but was taken up by a whirlwind into heaven – see 2 Kings 2:11), were both seen with Jesus in the transfiguration by three of Jesus' disciples.

"After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus." (Matthew 17:1-3, NIV)

Indeed it seems, because of this comment from Peter in Matthew 17:4, as if the disciples had seen Elijah and Moses with their own eyes and had recognized them:

"Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (NIV)

Continued Next Comment


PastorLonnie profile image

PastorLonnie 7 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

Were Moses and Elijah "conscious of nothing at all"?

The great hope is to be with Christ at death, not to be dead and conscious of nothing at all.

What did the first martyr, Stephen, see and say as he was stoned to death?  

Acts 7:55-56:  "But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56"Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." (NIV)

Acts 7:59:  “While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." (NIV)

What was the great hope of Paul, who as Saul had witnessed the stoning of Stephen?

Philippians 1:21-23: " For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;” (NIV)

2 Corinthians 5:6-8: "Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” (NIV)

So, as we can see from the above verses, the Bible definitely does not teach that people simply sleep, know nothing, and can expect no reward after they die.

Sandra Continues:  …and from Revelations, like what you said, I sorta held that as a sort of purgatory, cept for the part about it being bad... like a holding place because it says that God was waiting for the rest of them.”

Lonnie: To a certain extent you’re correct about Heaven (the place I went to and where everyone else currently goes go if they are Christians) being a place where ‘God [is] waiting for the rest of them.’  However, unless we want to redefine the term purgatory to mean something other than it is traditionally thought of as then the term ‘intermediate Heaven’ is more appropriate.  I say this because the Bible clearly teaches that any and all who believe in Jesus as their God and Savior go to Heaven immediately upon death but that the Heaven we go to isn’t HEAVEN in the fullest sense.  The HEAVEN that all believers will eventually inhabit is depicted in the last chapters of Revelation as being all-inclusive  (i.e., the entire Cosmos) with the only exception being the Lake of Fire. Sandra Continues… “and of course in Corinthians when I think it was John who speaks (I could have the wrong gospel of course) and says that he is a prisoner to God or maybe he said slave, anyways, he was dead but it sounded like he wrote a letter as though it transended the heavens to earth or something...

I believe you're referring to the book of Revelation (if you’re speaking of the book of John) or, possibly, 2 Corinthians 12:2-4 if you’re speaking about Paul (who most certainly called himself both a slave and a prisoner to Christ (who is God) in Ephesians 3:1 and Philemon 1:1 among others.  In either case, however, neither of them was dead.  They simply had what we would call ‘open visions’ (i.e., a vision that was so real to them that it was as if they were actually experiencing whatever they saw as if it were literally taking place). Sandra Continues:  And when Jesus tell the decipes that Lazarus is asleep when they were on their way to raise him up again.  (are there 2 Lazarus'?)

There only two people by the name of Lazarus mentioned in the Bible that I’m aware of.  One is mentioned in Luke 16 (the story of the Rich man who goes to Hades (Hell) and Lazarus the Beggar who goes to Paradise (Heaven) and John 11 (the same Lazarus is talked about in the book of Luke as well.  For now, I’d like to concentrate on John 11:11-15 since Jesus uses the euphemism of ‘sleep’ for ‘death’ and is misunderstood by his own disciples.  You’ll note, however, that Jesus corrects the apostles who believe, by Jesus’ use of the word ‘sleep’ that their friend will simply ‘wake up if he is sleeping.’  Jesus quickly tells them that Lazarus is indeed dead.

“After He [Jesus] had said this, He went on to tell them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up." His disciples replied, "Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better." Jesus had been speaking of his death, but His disciples thought He meant natural sleep. So then He told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.  But let us go to him."

Sandra Continues: Anyways, I guess I figure that they are all true.  That when you die, you are gone, nothing or asleep as it is put, but it also says death is like a lighting flash across the sky... which leads me to believe that at the moment of death you truly are dead but it is in an instant, like a blink and then we wait in purgetory, (not a semi hell or anything like that) just waiting, which is also like a blink of an eye and then when everything is complete, God judges us all and determine whether or not we procede to the eternal hell fire or back to Paradise with Jesus.

Lonnie: Sandra, I’m sorry but I’m not familiar with the expression that ‘death is like a lightning flash across the sky.’  If you’d be so kind as to point me to this particular verse I’d really appreciate it.

As for ‘when everything is complete, God judges us all’ – this is true in the larger sense of ‘at the end of time’ God will judge everyone.  But, there again it is to be two completely different judgments.  One judgment is for those who have accepted Jesus (called the Judgment (Bema) Seat of Christ) and one is for all those who have refused to accept Jesus (called the Great White Throne Judgment).  Not to get too technical but the difference between the two are great because 1) Those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior have already had their sins judged and will not be judged because of their sins since they have already passed from death into life (John 5:24); 2) Christians will be judged in the future (Romans 14:10) for those good things we did for Christ (1 Corinthians 3:14); 3) Those who have not accepted Jesus will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15) and NOT a single believer in Jesus will participate in this judgment.  However, as Jesus stated to the thief on the cross, the same day that a person dies he is either sentenced to Heaven or Hell (although currently neither of these are Heaven proper or Hell proper – they are both intermediate destinations – but both are as sure as the other as to where one will spend eternity. Sandra Continues:  Anyways, I enjoy reading your thoughts, I guess I am not in a hurry to find out, but I do have one more question,  why is it always 3 days?  Lazarus; Jesus raised him back up after 3 days.  And Jesus was raised back up after 3 days...

Actually Jesus raised Himself after 3 days but Lazarus was raised after he’d been dead 4 days. 

John 11:39 “Jesus said, "Remove the stone." Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, "Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he [Lazarus] has been dead four days."

John 2:19-22 Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." The Jews replied, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?" But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

Continued Next Comment


PastorLonnie profile image

PastorLonnie 7 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

Sandra Continues:  Oh yeah and before I forget. I also have a question about Justus. Titus was called Justus, Jesus was also called Justus and Barnabus (sp?) the replacement for Judas was also called Justus, why is that?

Lonnie: I’m assuming that you’re referring to Colossians 4:11 in which it is stated, “Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends his greetings.” If that’s the one the explanation is simple.  The name Jesus was a very common names among the Jews as many named their child this in hopes that he would one day grow-up to be or be found to be the Messiah.  So, it is NOT Jesus the Christ who was also called Justus but another fellow altogether (a friend of Paul).

As for Titus being called Justus I believe you’re referring to Acts 18:7 and Barsabas  being called Titus in Acts 1:23, these are simply surnames (i.e., First names) of people.  It’s exactly like when I refer to David Brumbaugh as Brumbaugh instead of David.  It’s often less confusing since there are so many Davids around – it was the same in the first century. 

Sandra, I certainly hope that this has helped answer some of your questions and that it’s stirred up others.

In the love of Jesus,

 

Rev. Lonnie Honeycutt


UPStar profile image

UPStar 6 years ago

Rev Lonnie. You have a good, and thoughtful article here. I am starting a series on Heaven and will certainly be linking back to this hub in my next part. I like that you make the point one verse cannot concisely explain all the Bible teaches about Heaven. I love this topic!


PastorLonnie profile image

PastorLonnie 6 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

Thanks Upstar! If I can be of any further assistance to you, please let me know.

RevLon


Sanctus Vesania profile image

Sanctus Vesania 6 years ago

The parable of the rich man and Lazarus is just that, a parable. Jesus Christ himself stated that he spoke to the public in parables, and without a parable he did not speak. He did not start the story of the rich man and Lazarus by saying, "Now you know that before I have spoken in parables, but this is one story that is literally true."

Matthew 13:10-14 10And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?

11He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

12For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

13Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

14And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

Mark 4:33-34 33And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it.

34But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.

King Solomon (the second wisest man in the Bible next to Jesus Christ) wrote that "The living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing."

Ecclesiastes 9:5

For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

Two verses in the Bible also state that King David; one of the most beloved of God is not ascended up into Heaven.

Acts 2:34

For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

John 3:13

And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

King David also did pray to God that the wicked should be silent in their graves. Well, if they're in some literal torture fire pit then I doubt they would be silent!

Psalm 31:17

Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.

1 Samuel 2:9 9He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall

no man prevail.

Finally, you say that Jesus told the thief on the cross that on that day, he would would be in Paradise with Jesus. However, Jesus was to be in the grave for three days and three nights; so the thief could not have been in paradise with Jesus immediately after their deaths.


PastorLonnie profile image

PastorLonnie 6 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

Hi Sanctus Vesania (I’ll refer to you as Vesania from this point on),

I certainly appreciate the fact that you’ve taken the time to write to defend your particular viewpoint of whether or not, according to the Bible, we go to Heaven (or Hell) immediately after we die. Your specific viewpoint is that my assertion that Christians do go to Heaven immediately after we die is false.

So that we and any of our readers are able to follow along I’ll attempt to keep our comments together. This may not always be possible (based on various factors of time, historicity, etc.) but I’ll do my best.

Also, I have to apologize for the probable brevity of my comments below. Since I only have about an hour or so before I need to go to sleep (it’s currently 12:50 am) I probably won’t be able to really delve into some of your comments or my replies as much as I would like to.

With that being said, I’ll begin:

You state: “The parable of the rich man and Lazarus is just that, a parable. Jesus Christ himself stated that he spoke to the public in parables, and without a parable he did not speak. He did not start the story of the rich man and Lazarus by saying, "Now you know that before I have spoken in parables, but this is one story that is literally true."”

My answer: You’re main objection to my not declaring Luke 16:19-31 as being a parable is summed up in the last two Scriptures you quote: ‘Mark 4:33-34 33 “And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it.

34But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.”’

I can definitely see your point here but, in order for your point to be valid, it must be verified by the rest of Scripture. As such, I disagree that the only way that Christ spoke to people other than His disciples was through parables. This is not to state that the Scriptures you quote above are untrue in the context in which they were spoken. They are certainly true. However, if we take this Scripture and apply it universally to the words of Christ throughout the Bible, we’ll see that it was for a specific time and people – not for all people at all times (excepting, of course, His disciples). What we’ll find is that the comment made by Jesus about His speaking only in parables is limited in scope much like other comments that are not meant to be taken hyper-literally (as is the case in the mentioning of the mustard seed being the smallest of all seeds – I bring this up because certain people will argue that Jesus was wrong in stating this when it’s obvious to anyone reading the text that Jesus was not attempting to make a botanical statement but, rather, illustrating a point).

For instance:

Mark:5:25-34 “A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse - after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. For she thought, "If I just touch His garments, I will get well." Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My garments ?" And His disciples said to Him, "You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, 'Who touched Me?' " And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well ; go in peace and be healed of your affliction."

Mark 7:5-13 “The Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, "Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands ?" And He said to them, "Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written : 'THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. 'BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.' "Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men." He was also saying to them, "You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. "For Moses said, 'HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER '; and, 'HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER, IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH '; but you say, 'If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, given to God),' you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother ; thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down ; and you do many things such as that." This statement was, of course, immediately followed by a parable but wasn’t a parabolic statement in and of itself.

Mark 8:11-2 “The Pharisees came out and began to argue with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, to test Him. Sighing deeply in His spirit, He said, "Why does this generation seek for a sign ? Truly I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”

Mark 9:14-29 “When they came back to the disciples, they saw a large crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them. Immediately, when the entire crowd saw Him, they were amazed and began running up to greet Him. And He asked them, "What are you discussing with them?" And one of the crowd answered Him, "Teacher, I brought You my son, possessed with a spirit which makes him mute ; and whenever it seizes him, it slams him to the ground and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth and stiffens out. I told Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not do it." And He answered them and said, "O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!" They brought the boy to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth. And He asked his father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood. "It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!" And Jesus said to him, " 'If You can ?' All things are possible to him who believes." Immediately the boy's father cried out and said, "I do believe ; help my unbelief." When Jesus saw that a crowd was rapidly gathering, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "You deaf and mute spirit, I command you, come out of him and do not enter him again." After crying out and throwing him into terrible convulsions, it came out; and the boy became so much like a corpse that most of them said, "He is dead !" But Jesus took him by the hand and raised him; and he got up. When He came into the house, His disciples began questioning Him privately , "Why could we not drive it out?" And He said to them, "This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer.”

Matthew 9:1-8 Getting into a boat, Jesus crossed over the sea and came to His own city. And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, "Take courage, son ; your sins are forgiven." And some of the scribes said to themselves, "This fellow blasphemes." And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, "Why are you thinking evil in your hearts ? "Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, and walk '? "But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins "- then He said to the paralytic, "Get up, pick up your bed and go home." And he got up and went home. But when the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.”

Matthew 19:1-12 “When Jesus had finished these words, He departed from Galilee and came into the region of Judea beyond the Jordan ; and large crowds followed Him, and He healed them there. Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all ?" And He answered


PastorLonnie profile image

PastorLonnie 6 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

Sorry about the last post. I didn't realize until today that is truncated. I'll post the last parts of it in a bit.

Lonnie


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PastorLonnie 6 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

And He answered them and said, "O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!" They brought the boy to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth. And He asked his father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood. "It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!" And Jesus said to him, " 'If You can ?' All things are possible to him who believes." Immediately the boy's father cried out and said, "I do believe ; help my unbelief." When Jesus saw that a crowd was rapidly gathering, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "You deaf and mute spirit, I command you, come out of him and do not enter him again." After crying out and throwing him into terrible convulsions, it came out; and the boy became so much like a corpse that most of them said, "He is dead !" But Jesus took him by the hand and raised him; and he got up. When He came into the house, His disciples began questioning Him privately , "Why could we not drive it out?" And He said to them, "This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer.”

Matthew 9:1-8 Getting into a boat, Jesus crossed over the sea and came to His own city. And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, "Take courage, son ; your sins are forgiven." And some of the scribes said to themselves, "This fellow blasphemes." And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, "Why are you thinking evil in your hearts ? "Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, and walk '? "But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins "- then He said to the paralytic, "Get up, pick up your bed and go home." And he got up and went home. But when the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.”

Matthew 19:1-12 “When Jesus had finished these words, He departed from Galilee and came into the region of Judea beyond the Jordan ; and large crowds followed Him, and He healed them there. Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all ?" And He answered and said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, 'FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH '? "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." They said to Him, "Why then did Moses command to GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY ?" He said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives ; but from the beginning it has not been this way. "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery ." The disciples said to Him, "If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry." But He said to them, "Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. "For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb ; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men ; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it."

John 1:47-50 “Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit !" Nathanael said to Him, "How do You know me?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you." Nathanael answered Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God ; You are the King of Israel." Jesus answered and said to him, "Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe ? You will see greater things than these."”

John 2:1-8 “On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there ; and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, "They have no wine." And Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it." Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. Jesus said to them, "Fill the waterpots with water." So they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, "Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter."”

John 2:13-22 “The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen ; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables ; and to those who were selling the doves He said, "Take these things away ; stop making My Father's house a place of business." His disciples remembered that it was written, "ZEAL FOR YOUR HOUSE WILL CONSUME ME." The Jews then said to Him, "What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things ?" Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." The Jews then said, "It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days ?" But He was speaking of the temple of His body. So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this ; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.”

John 3:16-19 “He said to her, "Go, call your husband and come here." The woman answered and said, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You have correctly said, 'I have no husband '; for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband ; this you have said truly." The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.”

John 3:41-44 “Many more believed because of His word ; and they were saying to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world." After the two days He went forth from there into Galilee. For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country.”

John 5:6-12 “When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, "Do you wish to get well ?" The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me." Jesus said to him, "Get up, pick up your pallet and walk." Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk. Now it was the Sabbath on that day. So the Jews were saying to the man who was cured, "It is the Sabbath, and it is not permissible for you to carry your pallet." But he answered them, "He who made me well was the one who said to me, 'Pick up your pallet and walk.'" They asked him, "Who is the man who said to you, 'Pick up your pallet and walk '?"”

Continued Next Post...


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PastorLonnie 6 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

John 5:19-24 “Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing ; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. "For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing ; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. "For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. "For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”

John 5:30-47 "I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge ; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. "If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true. "There is another who testifies of Me, and I know that the testimony which He gives about Me is true. "You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth. "But the testimony which I receive is not from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. "He was the lamp that was burning and was shining and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. "But the testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John ; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish -the very works that I do -testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me. "And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His form. "You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent. "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life ; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. "I do not receive glory from men ; but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. "I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. "How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God ? "Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father ; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. "For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. "But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

John 18:4-9 “So Jesus, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth and said to them, "Whom do you seek ?" They answered Him, "Jesus the Nazarene." He said to them, "I am He." And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them. So when He said to them, "I am He," they drew back and fell to the ground. Therefore He again asked them, "Whom do you seek ?" And they said, "Jesus the Nazarene." Jesus answered, "I told you that I am He; so if you seek Me, let these go their way," to fulfill the word which He spoke, "Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one."

End References

As you can see from the above references not everything Jesus said was a parable. The fact of the matter is that when He taught the masses He used parables as a tool but He also made direct statements, directly answered questions and made comments on various aspects of His ministry. In these cases, He did not speak in parables. While it may seem as though I’m making a mountain out of a molehill, I assure you I’m not. I’m simply trying to clarify my position that Jesus did NOT always speak in parables.

Continued Next Post...


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PastorLonnie 6 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

But, for the moment, let’s assume that the story related to us (the readers) in Luke 16 (concerning the rich man and Lazarus) is a parable. What does this tell us?

First and foremost, it must be recognized that the parables used by Jesus depicted realistic earthly events to express eternal and spiritual teachings. As I stated in my original work “Still, if one insists that the story is a parable one must also admit that Christ ONLY used REAL LIFE situations to illustrate even greater events.”

This means that parables are not the same as fables (which depict things such as inanimate objects (trees, dishes, etc.) as having the ability to intelligently communicate), proverbs (a statement that expresses a practical truth or precept) or allegory (a representation of conceptual ideas or beliefs by characters, figures, or events in narrative form).

Of course, if you’re able to conclusively show a parable by our Lord that did not follow this pattern (i.e., the use of realistic earthly events to express eternal and spiritual teachings) then my argument fails and I will renounce my opinion concerning said parable(s). However, if you are unable to conclusively show that our Lord did not follow the stated pattern then you should concede your position just as readily.

You state: King Solomon (the second wisest man in the Bible next to Jesus Christ) wrote that "The living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing."

Ecclesiastes 9:5

For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

My answer: While I won’t belabor the issue, we don’t know for certain who the actual writer of Ecclesiastes is -- though I, along with you and many others, suspect it was Solomon. I bring this point up only as a sidebar, not for any other reason.

Those who believe in ‘soul sleep’ (i.e., Seventh Day Adventists and several cults including the Jehovah’s Witnesses) often use this passage in Ecclesiastes as a doctrinal pinning for their belief system. However, if one takes Ecclesiastes 9:5 to be ‘gospel’ (pun intended) then one would also have to concede that, at least according to the verses which precede it as well as those that proceed it give a very dark, bleak view of life and death. Let us read…

Ecclesiastes 9:2-4 “It is the same for all. There is one fate for the righteous and for the wicked ; for the good, for the clean and for the unclean ; for the man who offers a sacrifice and for the one who does not sacrifice. As the good man is, so is the sinner ; as the swearer is, so is the one who is afraid to swear. This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is one fate for all men. Furthermore, the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil and insanity is in their hearts throughout their lives. Afterwards they go to the dead. For whoever is joined with all the living, there is hope; surely a live dog is better than a dead lion.”

My question to you is: Does the same eternal fate await both the righteous and the wicked; the clean and the unclean; the one who sacrifices and the one who does not? Is there indeed only one fate that befalls all men? Or is it, as the writer implies, that mortal death is what occurs for all men as well as the animals?

Continued Next Post...


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PastorLonnie 6 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

Ecclesiastes 9:6 is the very next verse and if we take it as literally as you’ve taken verse 5 then there is no resurrection into a new body or even of an old body because the people spoken of here are said to “never again” “have a part in anything that happens under the sun.” This, of course, is heretical to most, if not all, of those who promote the unbiblical doctrine of soul sleep since they usually believe in a future resurrection.

[Ecclesiastes 9:6: “Their love, their hate and their jealousy have long since vanished; never again will they have a part in anything that happens under the sun.”]

What those who use Ecclesiastes to defend their point of view tend to forget (or not know) is that the book is proverbial in form and is a book of prospective. It challenges the humanist idea that one can obtain true happiness by focusing on the things in this life (temporary, human things). Indeed, while most every form of worldly pleasure is explored by the author of the book, none of it gives him a true sense of well-being or meaning. That is why we find the author lamenting that he thinks it better to have been still-born (dead at birth) rather than to have riches and not be able to enjoy them because both people eventually die.

Earlier in the book, Ecclesiastes 1:11 clearly states, “There is no remembrance of earlier things; And also of the later things which will occur, There will be for them no remembrance among those who will come later still.” If taken in wooden literalism this would mean that no one would remember things in the past or the future. Obviously, no one would agree with this type of statement – even the author of the book makes statements that belie this type of translation.

Another example is Ecclesiastes 3:19. If we take this Scripture as a truth by which we must explore and gauge the rest of the Scriptures by then we’ll find that man has no advantage over animals (which could include a Savior if one wanted to pursue your line of thinking to the uttermost point).

Ecclesiastes 3:19: “For what happens to the sons of men also happen to the animals, one thing befalls them, as one dies so dies the other, surely they all have one breath, man has no advantage over animals, for all is vanity.”

Of course, here (in Ecclesiastes 3:19) Solomon is not describing the afterlife but, instead, insists that we all die. Man is not eternal in the body. When we stop breathing we die like any other creature.

Vesania, the inspired writer of Ecclesiastes is not attempting to make a statement concerning the eternal state in which a man (or woman) finds himself (or herself) after they die but, rather, he presents a contrast of viewpoints: the secular and materialistic point of view versus a godly, spiritual view. The writer uses the term ‘done under the sun’ (a Jewish/Hebrew euphemism for ‘things done on earth’) 29 times in Ecclesiastes thus showing that it is not the view of God that is in consideration but that of man and he emphasizes that the earthly activities will not continue when this life is over. Thus, we should look at Ecclesiastes for what it is: a book written from the perspective of a human on the vanity of life (i.e., the life of humans on earth). Once this is done then there is no problem reconciling statements such as are found in Ecclesiastes 1:11; 3:19; 9:5-6, etc. Of course, the godly viewpoint triumphs over the viewpoint of man in the end. Read Ecclesiastes 12:1-8.

Continued Next Post...


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PastorLonnie 6 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

You state: Two verses in the Bible also state that King David; one of the most beloved of God is not ascended up into Heaven.

Acts 2:34

For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

John 3:13

And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

King David also did pray to God that the wicked should be silent in their graves. Well, if they're in some literal torture fire pit then I doubt they would be silent!

Psalm 31:17

Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.

1 Samuel 2:9 He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.

My answer: First, you actually quoted 4 verses rather than two. Still, I’ll take each one on it’s own merits…

Acts 2:34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand...

At first blush this verse seems to be the proverbial ‘nail in the coffin’ for those of us who believe that Christians go to Heaven (or, at the very least, paradise) upon mortal death. However, even a cursory investigation into the manner in which the verse was written shows that it is not. There are at least two reasons why this verse doesn’t prove that David did NOT go to Heaven upon his death (yes, I know I just used a double negative).

1) The Psalm being quoted is 110:1. It is quoted prior to David’s death and so it’s obvious that He wasn’t dead when he made the statement (ergo, he wouldn’t have ascended to Paradise until after he died).

2) If we take the first part of Acts 2:34 as meaning that David did not go to Heaven after he died then we are forced to concede that David himself spoke after he had died. So, the questions to you would be: How is it possible that after dying, David spoke? Where was he and in what condition was he in when he spoke?

A simple reading of Acts 2:31 will allow you to see that David was, at the moment, speaking of what was going to happen to the Messiah in the future (“He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.” – KJV). If, after realizing this, you complain that it’s obvious that David spoke the Psalm BEFORE he died but that AFTER he died he did not ascend to Heaven then my question is this: Why didn’t the Holy Spirit inspire the writer of Acts to simply structure the sentence thusly: “For David who died but did not ascend into the heavens, had himself said, ‘The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand.” Or even, “For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he had said himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand...”

The simple introduction of the word ‘had’ or another form of a past tense verb would give the verse the much needed emphasis that is required for anyone who reads Scripture to deny that people go into glory or contempt immediately upon death. As it stands, the Scripture doesn’t have this emphasis and my questions remain. The fact is that the context of Scripture used is to make the point that it was Jesus who fulfilled Psalm 110:1 rather than David.

Further, since in various Scriptures we find that Jesus declared that God was the God of the living and not the dead (i.e., Matthew 22:32, Mark 12:27 and Luke 20:38), one must wonder what Jesus would have meant by this statement if, indeed, everyone who has died is truly dead? Of course, it might be argued that Jesus was speaking of the spiritually dead rather than mortally dead but then one has to deal with the fact that Moses and Elijah (the former having been dead for nearly 1500 years) came to speak to Jesus on the mountain referred to as the Mount of Transfiguration. As well as Samuel who appeared to King Saul (1 Samuel 28) and knew what had happened, what was happening and what would happen to and with Saul.

Continued Next Post...


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PastorLonnie 6 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

You state: Two verses in the Bible also state that King David; one of the most beloved of God is not ascended up into Heaven.

Acts 2:34

For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

John 3:13

And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

King David also did pray to God that the wicked should be silent in their graves. Well, if they're in some literal torture fire pit then I doubt they would be silent!

Psalm 31:17

Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.

1 Samuel 2:9 He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.

My answer: First, you actually quoted 4 verses rather than two. Still, I’ll take each one on it’s own merits…

Acts 2:34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand...

At first blush this verse seems to be the proverbial ‘nail in the coffin’ for those of us who believe that Christians go to Heaven (or, at the very least, paradise) upon mortal death. However, even a cursory investigation into the manner in which the verse was written shows that it is not. There are at least two reasons why this verse doesn’t prove that David did NOT go to Heaven upon his death (yes, I know I just used a double negative).

1) The Psalm being quoted is 110:1. It is quoted prior to David’s death and so it’s obvious that He wasn’t dead when he made the statement (ergo, he wouldn’t have ascended to Paradise until after he died).

2) If we take the first part of Acts 2:34 as meaning that David did not go to Heaven after he died then we are forced to concede that David himself spoke after he had died. So, the questions to you would be: How is it possible that after dying, David spoke? Where was he and in what condition was he in when he spoke?

A simple reading of Acts 2:31 will allow you to see that David was, at the moment, speaking of what was going to happen to the Messiah in the future (“He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.” – KJV). If, after realizing this, you complain that it’s obvious that David spoke the Psalm BEFORE he died but that AFTER he died he did not ascend to Heaven then my question is this: Why didn’t the Holy Spirit inspire the writer of Acts to simply structure the sentence thusly: “For David who died but did not ascend into the heavens, had himself said, ‘The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand.” Or even, “For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he had said himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand...”

The simple introduction of the word ‘had’ or another form of a past tense verb would give the verse the much needed emphasis that is required for anyone who reads Scripture to deny that people go into glory or contempt immediately upon death. As it stands, the Scripture doesn’t have this emphasis and my questions remain. The fact is that the context of Scripture used is to make the point that it was Jesus who fulfilled Psalm 110:1 rather than David.

Further, since in various Scriptures we find that Jesus declared that God was the God of the living and not the dead (i.e., Matthew 22:32, Mark 12:27 and Luke 20:38), one must wonder what Jesus would have meant by this statement if, indeed, everyone who has died is truly dead? Of course, it might be argued that Jesus was speaking of the spiritually dead rather than mortally dead but then one has to deal with the fact that Moses and Elijah (the former having been dead for nearly 1500 years) came to speak to Jesus on the mountain referred to as the Mount of Transfiguration. As well as Samuel who appeared to King Saul (1 Samuel 28) and knew what had happened, what was happening and what would happen to and with Saul.

Continued Next Post...


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PastorLonnie 6 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

Finally, a few chapters after Acts 2, in Acts 13:36 it is clarified by Paul, who himself would later visit Heaven (2 Corinthians 12), that David died and his body decayed unlike the body of Christ. So, Peter’s point in Acts 2:34 was that David wasn’t physically resurrected from the dead as Jesus was nor did he visibly ascend to Heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father as Jesus had done. That this was an important issue to be dealt with can be seen via the fact that many Jews at that time, while they definitely held a messianic view, were confused as to what David meant by the words he had spoken in Psalm 110 and other Psalms (such as Psalm 16:8-11) that directly related to Jesus.

You assert that John 3:13 proves that no one has gone to Heaven (“And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.”)

My answer: At that time no one had yet ascended to Heaven (all the souls would have gone to either Paradise – Abraham’s bosom – or Hades – the basic equivalent of Hell – see the article on Paradise below). So, in this instance, I’d agree with you because you are correct if you assert that no one at the time that John 3:13 was stated had yet gone to Heaven proper. However, I think you would agree that this verse says nothing about the state of the souls (whether unconscious or conscious).

You assert that simply because prayed to God that the wicked should be silent in their graves. Well, if they're in some literal torture fire pit then I doubt they would be silent!

Psalm 31:17

Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.

1 Samuel 2:9 He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.

I certainly can’t claim that you aren’t at least trying to find Scriptures that support your claim that people don’t go to Heaven (or Hell) when the die. But, I can tell you that it’s not proper to wrest Scriptures out of context. This is certainly the case in both of the Scriptures you’ve just quoted (Psalm 31:17 and 1 Samuel 2:9). Let me explain why I believe that you’ve inadvertently done this.

First and foremost, I understand that you desire to gain a point or two for your argument. But, if we look at the context of either Scripture you quote it’s easy to see that they are both ‘prayers’ that see immediate answers to imminent problems and aren’t meant to be taken as comments on eternity.

Before quoting Psalm 31:17 you state: “King David also did pray to God that the wicked should be silent in their graves. Well, if they're in some literal torture fire pit then I doubt they would be silent!”

By your logic (i.e., that if the wicked were in ‘some literal torture fire pit then I doubt they would be silent!’), you assume that those people David is praying against would be silent in their graves (i.e., they would not experience physical pain from a ‘fire pit’ because they aren’t aware of anything at the time of their death), correct? If this is the case, then, again, by your own logic (i.e., that we have to take this verse of Scripture as it is written to be a statement on the state of the dead) I’d ask you the following question: If the people David is praying against would not be conscious of hell fire then how could they feel shame? You see, my friend, you can’t have it both ways. If the people aren’t aware of anything at the time of their death (which is what you purport to be the truth based on this Scripture) then David is also praying a prayer that cannot possible come true – that is, for the people to be ashamed and silent in their graves.

The only possible alternative to this otherwise insurmountable problem is that David is asking God to shame his enemies by putting them to death. Thus, in the purely natural realm, those who are put to death (i.e., are in their graves) are silent (people don’t normally speak from out of their graves). Again, this Scripture doesn’t speak to the eternal nature of the spirit at all but, rather, is a plea from a man who was confronted with the problem of having enemies that he needed vanquished immediately. That this is the correct assumption on my part can be seen by reading the very next verse (Psalm 31:18 – “May their lying lips be silenced – those proud and arrogant lips that accuse the godly.”). Since this verse proceeds verse 17 it is a direct request concerning those people David just asked God to silence by putting them in their graves. Unless you’d be willing to conceded that David at least believed it was possible for those who died to continue to speak (something I doubt you’d do), then it makes no sense whatsoever for David to ask God to ‘silence’ the lips of those who he asked to be put into graves unless he was speaking in a naturalistic sense.

Continued Next Post...


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PastorLonnie 6 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

As for 1 Samuel 2:9 we find that the same type of statement is being made (i.e., a plea for justice). That this is the case is readily apparent by simply reading the entire passage of 1 Samuel 2 which gives the explicit impression that the ‘darkness’ the author is talking about here is a spiritual blindness that brings about justice from the Lord.

You state: Finally, you say that Jesus told the thief on the cross that on that day, he would would be in Paradise with Jesus. However, Jesus was to be in the grave for three days and three nights; so the thief could not have been in paradise with Jesus immediately after their deaths.

My answer: It’s fairly obvious from your statement that you fail to recognize that Paradise was two completely separate compartments prior to Jesus’ resurrection.

Although I’d definitely add a few finer points on the subject, I think that the following article does a good job of giving a good answer to your objection. I’ll continue to look for the article I once did on the subject of Paradise and Heaven but, for now, I’d invite you to read: The Thief on the Cross, Paradise and the Place of the Dead found at http://www.letusreason.org/Doct19.htm

Beginning of Article

“Throughout the Old Testament there is the teaching of a holding area for the faithful as well as for the unfaithful.

Abraham in Gen.25:8 says when he died he was gathered to his people.

David said that when his son died (2 Sam. 12:28) I will go to him he will not come to me. Jacob said in Gen.49:29 "I am to be gathered to my people." There was a definite location that was being spoken of, it did not mean they would go the way the wicked would, nor does it mean to be buried in the ground only. The Old Testament writers certainly believed in an after life existence.

In the New Testament we find in Luke 16 Jesus also believed in an afterlife, he describes the story of the rich man and Lazarus in which Lazarus was taken to Abraham's bosom the place of rest for the righteous and faithful. Lazarus was taken nearby but in another compartment. All this proves is that there is a conscious existence after death.

Abraham's bosom is found frequently in the rabbinical writings. The Greek word has its Hebrew counterpart meaning a royal park or garden. This is where all the righteous from the time of Adam went awaiting their redemption. This holding area was necessary since the Old Testament sacrifices did not take away sins but only covered them.

While this sacrificial system was able to keep them from the punishment in hell they needed their sins to be totally removed to enter heaven. So they waited in faith (the only exception would be one who received a glorified body incorruptible to live there).

At the transfiguration Moses and Elijah appear with Jesus discussing with him the future events that are about to transpire. This shows that Moses had a continual conscious life existing in the intermediate state after dying which was before the resurrection. Elijah was taken to heaven without dying (we don't know if he stayed there?) and still existed in consciousness also. Both appear in some form at the Mountain discussing Jesus' departure from earth.

Continued Next Post...


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PastorLonnie 6 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

Paradise

Jesus said to the thief on the cross who repented "Today (Present tense) you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43). This thief was neither baptized nor partook of the Lords supper he believed and was promised to be with Jesus.

He did no works but only believed. This is hard to accept for those who add requirements to be saved or busy themselves to earn their way to heavens abode.

What was the location of paradise when Jesus spoke this?

At that point in time paradise was located inside the earth in Hades which was divided into two primary parts as seen in Luke 16. The righteous went to the side called paradise (Abraham's bosom) the unrighteous went to Gehenna (hell). Some argue that the word "today" is not the timing of where the thief would be, but when Jesus was saying it to him. While we can it pick over words, the meaning is obvious in the context of the statement. He would be with Jesus. Where did Jesus go that day? Paradise.

Eph. 4:8-10 Therefore he says "when he ascended on high, he led captivity captive and gave gifts to men" "Now this he ascended what does it mean but that he first descended into the lower parts of the earth. 10: He who descended is also the one who ascended far above all the heavens that he might fill all things."

Those who had been waiting in faith in the compartment called Paradise (Abraham's bosom) were led in ascending to heaven with Jesus in his ascension. Jesus descended to the lowest parts first means he went from the farthest heights to the lowest. The lower parts of the earth is the word Hades. The word Sheol (Hebrew) and Hades (Greek) are two different words for the same thing. Mt. 12:40 tells us that the location of Hades is in the center of the earth. This could refer to the incarnation although in its context it appears to mean he descended into the area of Hades to receive those out he would ascend with.

1 Pt.3:19: "Being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit. By whom also he went and preached (proclaimed) to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah..."

Here is another account of Jesus with those who have passed from this life and still exist. Those who were believers in Jesus before he died were then presented his victory at the cross. The verb preached is not the Greek word evangelize to preach the good news but kerusso meaning to announce or proclaim which would fit judgment not a redemptive call.

This event occurred between Christ's death and resurrection, While his body was put in the tomb His God / Spirit went to the place of confinement for the angels to announce their coming judgment. There are numerous views of who these beings are. The view that is best supported is actual spirits (angels or demons) because of its consistent use in this manner throughout the New Testament.

Peter writes in his 2nd epistle about the angels in prison (in the abyss and Tartarus) that are awaiting the judgment indicating they are the same beings he is addressing in 1 Pt.

Hades is divided into two parts of which no one can cross over from one to the other. On the Hell side of Hades there are both angels and humans being confined awaiting their eternal punishment. In this 2nd compartment there is a division for both angels and humans. For the humans there is Abaddon and the pit. For the fallen angels there is the Abyss which is a temporary place of confinement in which they will be let out during the tribulation.(Rev.9)

The other division is Tartarus which is a permanent place of confinement for those angels of Gen.6 (Jude 6, 2 Pt. 2:4) 1 Pt.4:5" Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. 6: For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit." There are numerous views for this passage some relate this to Noah's preaching. but this couldn't be since the gospel was not yet known. One thing we know it does not mean the gospel is preached to those who are currently dead. The better fitting view is that the gospel was preached to those who were at the time alive and then died, just as it is currently being preached to those alive. That they were judged in the body by dying but are alive now (live in the Spirit like God).

After the resurrection and the ascension of Jesus paradise was moved to heaven. The area for the righteous was emptied out, now the believer goes directly to heaven. From the New Testament teaching we find that the new location of paradise is heaven. Christ when seated at the right hand of God sends the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and gave spiritual gifts to the new entity, the Church.

Paul also stated before he recalled this account of his visit to the third heaven that all believers go there when they die 2 Cor.5:8 "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” Not Soul sleep , not purgatory.

There are three heavens distinguished in scripture. The first heaven our immediate atmosphere, where birds fly.(Gen.1:20; Jer.4:25 ; Mt.8:20; Acts 10:12).The next heaven is a level above our atmosphere called outer space where the planets, the stars and the sun and moon are located (Gen.1:14-18,22:17;Mt.24:29;Rev.6:13). These first two are visible portions of the universe. The third heaven is invisible, and references are found in many of the major books of the Old Testament. In the New Testament the Gospels, the book of Acts, 2 Cor.; Eph.; Col. and other epistles mention it. Jesus testified of its reality saying he came from there.

Paul testifies of it and writes of his experience in 2 Cor.12:2 where he was brought to the third heaven where God dwells and in vs.4 calls it Paradise. Yet he did not tell anyone of this revelation for 14 years because it was so awesome and unlawful to speak of. Today we have so many claims of people going to heaven one would think there are daily flights of the Spirit going. It has become very lawful to write about their experiences. If one checks out what is being said from the heavenly travelers they will find it is contradictory to each others tall tales and especially to the bibles.

Jesus stated in Jn. 14:2-4 that he went ahead of us to prepare a place in heaven which is where his father dwells. That where he is we may be also.

When Stephen was martyred he looked up to heaven seeing a vision of the Lord standing- and said Lord Jesus receive my Spirit (under inspiration of the Holy Spirit). He knew he was going to be immediately transferred into heaven the location of the Lord.

When Christ ascended he led captivity captive (Eph.4:8-10), those who had waited in faith in Abraham's bosom for their sins to be removed were gathered together in another place, the new Paradise in heaven.

Rev.2:7 "To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God which is now in heaven. In Rev.22:2 we find this tree is located in the new Jerusalem (Heb.12:22-24). (Whether this is symbolic or literal is a matter of view, the fact is we will partake of it). The location of paradise will again change in the future to be on the new earth, as the new Jerusalem comes down and the dwelling place of God is with man forever (Rev.21:1- Rev.22). The same tree that Adam was forbidden to eat from, so that he would not become eternal in his fallen state, will be offered to everyone that has received their immortal resurrected bodies.

End of Article

Continued Next Post...


PastorLonnie profile image

PastorLonnie 6 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

Finally, in your rebuttal to me, you’ve failed to deal with those passages of Scripture I mention under the heading…

Other Passages In The Bible That Depict Those Who Are Dead Have A Knowledge Of What's Happening On Earth

Again, Vesania, I truly do appreciate your taking the time to write to me. You probably already know that I died on February 16, 2008 and that I believe that I visited Heaven. So, as you might imagine, this subject is a bit more than academic for me although, up until this point, I’ve kept it as academic as possible. If you haven’t yet read my testimony or heard it you can do so by going to: http://www.deeperlifeeast.com and watching 37 minutes of video that was taken from the 1.5 hours of video on the DVD “Death, Heaven and Back.”

Thanks again for sharing your opinion. Write again soon!

Lonnie Honeycutt (RevLon)


PastorLonnie profile image

PastorLonnie 6 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

Vesania, I'll keep this brief as well. While I appreciate your willingness to dialogue on this I'd suggest two things:

1) You do an in-depth study of hermeneutics (this will definitely help you to defend and argue your points more effectively.

2) Read the book called "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn. The title is the subject of nearly the entire book (as one might imagine) and it will certainly help you understand all that the Bible has to say about Heaven (it's actually replete with descriptions of our 'final destination').

In Christ,

Lonnie (RevLon)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezmh8Im8HJM (My personal testimony)


PastorLonnie profile image

PastorLonnie 6 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

Hmmm, Vesania...

It seems to me you've done exactly what you did in your first assessment of what I'd written... Jumped to all sorts of non-biblical, unbiblical conclusions based on your very limited knowledge of the subject at hand.

Though I doubt you'll read this (since you've said you won't be back), I'll make a comment on what you've written.

First, you base your comments and assessments on what I believe, by your own admission, after reading only a 'snippet' of my experience. I dare say that if you took the same approach with the rest of your life that you'd be a miserable failure.

Secondly, you seem to hold to a hyper-spiritual understanding of the Bible. I can't state this as a matter of fact since, as you, I only have a 'snippet' of information concerning your beliefs based upon your replies to me (however brief). If I'm correct on my understanding of how you interpret the Bible this, of course, would lend itself to any number of misunderstandings based on radical misconceptions and misinterpretations since each and every person holding to such an illogical rationale of Biblical literature would be allowed to determine for themselves what any particular passage means. In other words, while you can certainly hold to such an interpretation you should never find yourself in a position of attempting to correct anyone else (as you attempted to do to me) due to the fact that there are no specific rules (contextual or otherwise) a person who holds to such a view of Biblical interpretation can point to with any amount of validity or certainty.

Third, since you've based your assessment on my view of God based on your own extremely limited knowledge of what I actually believe about God and/or the Bible you should, if you're honest, disqualify your own comments.

Lastly, based on your statement "I believe in [a] God who can and will save ALL of mankind; not just a select few who [have] made the right choice in their life," I'd assume that you decry the justice that God will mete out to such people as Stalin, Hitler, Manson, and other loathsome and despicably sinful people. Of course, in order to maintain your statement you'd either have to modify it (which would not be maintaining it at all) or agree that, again, Stalin, Hitler, Manson etc. will all be saved right alongside of Mother Teresa, Ghandi, Jesus' Apostles, pacifistic Buddhists, and other individuals who pursued a righteous life? Please note that I do not believe that all of those in the latter category will go to Heaven but that I used them only to serve as a dichotomy to the former.

Vesania, I am deeply indebted to you for choosing my post to respond to as I'm certain it's allowed me to clarify, somewhat, the distinct differences in our belief systems.

Grace and Peace to you in Christ Jesus, my Lord and Savior!

Lonnie Honeycutt (RevLon)


Jerry Garrison 5 years ago

Why Do People not take what jesus said If a man liveth and belive in me he shall never die the sprit in man is born again the body will be born again in the resurection and though he were dead yet shall he live the body will live again changed to immortal the body without the sprit is dead the sprit goes back to god who gave it but the sprit that is not born again cannot go to heaven notice what the bible said about the rich man an lazereth. one was carried by angles one was buried


Roseann Loasby 4 years ago

Your article is way too long to hold peoples interest. Say it simply and to the point. No other words are needed. If you do this, more people will read your articles thoroughly and without feeling overwhelmed. If you don't shorten your articles, people will take a look at how long it is and move on. Please make it simple for their sakes.


PastorLonnie profile image

PastorLonnie 4 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

Hi Roseann,

I can certainly see your point of view about the length of my article. However, having gotten dozens upon dozens of replies to it (some MUCH longer than my own initial blog -- the majority I've not shown here but have replied to offline) I can assure you that the interest in the subject matter (rather than the length pertaining to the same) dictates whether or not the interest of people is held.

I would love to be able to answer in simpler terms but, if you've read or talked to practically anyone concerning this issue (and many others) you'll find that brevity, rather than verbosity, is the exception, not the rule.

Christ's Blessings!

RevLon

PS: You might be interested in hearing what I have to say about this subject. If so you can visit Youtube and go to either:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s09VpKP1sUA

or

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0A6t_48osuk


Edwin 4 years ago

Hey Brother, quick question? If you may answer for me please.. When we die, we lose our memory right and began new in heaven? If i lose my memory, how do i know i made it to heaven? or I just become a newwww born person.. but what happens to me...me. like my soul me.. ?


PastorLonnie profile image

PastorLonnie 4 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

Edwin, you do not lose your memory once we go to heaven or die and go to Hell. I answer this in the following link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s09VpKP1sUA&feature...


PastorLonnie profile image

PastorLonnie 4 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

David,

I'm very sorry that my webpage 'failed miserably' to be of use to you but I do have four questions:

1) What type of information were you looking for that you believe would help you?

The reason I ask is because, based on your comment that 'Nobody has gone to Heaven or Hell Yet' it seems like you are looking for answers that will support you presupposition instead of simply looking for answers that are supported Biblically?

2) My second question is this: How do you intellectually either disregard or understand the Scripture I've quoted above?

3) Do you simply not believe that Jesus was telling the truth to the thief on the cross or that Scriptures which detail the happenings in Heaven (or Hell) are simply metaphorical?

4) Do you include Jesus in your statement that 'Nobody has gone to Heaven or Hell yet!' In other words, has He ascended to Heaven yet or, if not, where is He currently?

I'm truly interested in your answers to the above questions.

Sincerely,

Pastor Lonnie (RevLon)


Nicole 3 years ago

Doesn't it say in the bible that Jesus will come to Earth again? To raise the dead first and then the living? But aren't the dead already in heaven? The people who don't believe, what happens to them? Hell? Is hell some other place or on Earth? I'm just a little bit confused about everything. Also, am I right in thinking that marriage is only for the time here on Earth? In heaven there is no need for marriage of family because everything for happiness is already there.?


candi 3 years ago

My friend is wondering if: When we die do we go to heaven immediately? 1 Thessalonians 4:16 If you answer my question, could you please email me your answer - candi.morton@gmail.com, rockie.morton@gmail.com


JC 3 years ago

Thank you! My boyfriend passed away and I miss him so much and was wondering if he knew how sad I was and how sorry for the things that I did wrong.


PastorLonnie profile image

PastorLonnie 3 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

JC, I'm very glad my blog has helped you. If your boyfriend is a Christian then he knows how sorry you are and, to be quite frank, probably doesn't dwell on the issues you and he had. His attention, is focused on the abundant joy he is experiencing now in Heaven.

Lonnie (RevLon)

https://www.facebook.com/99for1ministries

www.99for1ministries.com


Hunter 3 years ago

You answers come from straight from the Bible. And put my heart and mind at ease. Thank You !


Hunter 3 years ago

I've read some of the negative feed back, and it seems those people's hearts are hardened, and those people with negative feed seem very simple-minded, and arrogant/ignorant when others like U try to teach The Word of God - The Truth !!


Frank 2 years ago

Its always a curious question however the Bible mentions about the first resurrection and the second resurrection this is before armageddon. the question are we asleep between these two times or are we residing in heaven or hell ( which ever God deems applicable) or are we asleep until the second resurrection? I then assume the judgement seat of Christ comes. I am curious about your response as this is a perplexing question. Thank you in advance for you response


Frank 2 years ago

Hello Pastor Lonnie, I wanted to correct my question of my last post.

Its always a curious question however the Bible mentions about the first resurrection and the second death this is after armageddon. The question is are we asleep between these two times or are we residing in heaven or hell ( which ever God deems applicable) or are we asleep until after the second death (rev. 20:5 thru 20:14) ? I then assume the judgement seat of Christ comes. I am curious about your response as this is a perplexing question. Thank you in advance for you response


PastorLonnie profile image

PastorLonnie 2 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

Frank,

First, thank you for asking me this question. Secondly, I apologize for not being able to get to the answer until now. I’m extremely busy (praise God) because of the ministry He has given us (99 for 1 Ministries).

Allow me to summarize your question to make certain I’m understanding what you’re asking. BTW, if you’d like to continue this in such a manner that I’m aware of your questions or comments quicker you can email me at: 99for1ministries@gmail.com.

I think you’re asking is: “Are we asleep between these two times (the first resurrection and the second death) or are we residing in either Heaven or Hell?

[You Wrote: It’s always a curious question however the Bible mentions about the first resurrection and the second death this is after armageddon. The question is are we asleep between these two times or are we residing in heaven or hell ( which ever God deems applicable) or are we asleep until after the second death (rev. 20:5 thru 20:14) ? I then assume the judgement seat of Christ comes. I am curious about your response as this is a perplexing question. Thank you in advance for you response.]

As you probably noticed in my preliminary post, I don’t believe we are unconscious at any point in our lives. That is, since we are all eternal beings (having been made in the image of God) we LIVE forever (from the point of our earthly birth onward – not before) but the LOCATION of where we live will differ dramatically depending on whether or not we accept Jesus as our Savior.

With that being said, I believe we will ALL be conscious (as opposed to an unknowing unconscious ‘sleep’) during both the FIRST Resurrection and the Second Death and at ALL times in-between and beyond.

The question then is not whether we will be aware or unaware but the LOCATION we find ourselves in at the time of the First Resurrection, Second Resurrection and the Second Death.

For those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior are considered blessed and holy (Revelation 20:4-6) and so the second death (which, in Revelation 20:14, is said to be the lake of fire) has NO hold over Saints (those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior) but, instead, is where the unholy (i.e., those who have NOT accepted Jesus as their Savior and, therefore, have not been redeemed by His sacrifice) will reside.

So, the first resurrection, which occurs in different stages, is when every believer will be raised and given new bodies. This, I believe, corresponds to the resurrection of the just (Luke 14:14) and the resurrection of life (John 5:29).

Those who are in the Second Resurrection will be the wicked judged by God at the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:12-13) just before they are cast into the lake of fire. So, the second resurrection corresponds with and is analogous to the second death and corresponds, I believe with the resurrection of damnation (John 5:29).

What happens between these two resurrections is, in my opinion (since I’m a premillennialist), the thousand year reign of Christ on this earth – this is known as the millennial kingdom. During the millennial kingdom all those who have been sanctified, justified and forgiven because of their belief in the Messiah will rule with Christ while the unjust and ungodly will not be raised and judged until after this thousand year reign.

I hope I’ve answered your question and haven’t confused the issue more. Frankly, it’s tough to cull through the massive amount of information found in the Bible about these events and put them into just a few paragraphs – or at least it is for me!

Blessings,

Pastor Lonnie (RevLon)


Dan Delancy 2 years ago

Mohammad the prophet also claimed to have gone to heaven to counsel with the Almighty God, and returned to talk about it. I do not believe it for a minute. Nor do I believe you ever went there and returned. I also believe when we die we are unaware of anything whatsoever and await for the return of Jesus, as he said he would return and the resurrection will begin! Also Purgatory is an invention of the Catholic religion and has no mention of it anywhere in the bible...period. Also, Jesus was a Jew, The apostles were jews Not catholics. Peter was not a pope; Popes were not even invented yet. Catholic religion arose from pagan rome period.


PastorLonnie profile image

PastorLonnie 2 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

Hi Dan Delancy,

I appreciate your strong stance against my stance but I think you may need to rethink some of your arguments.

1) I don't know anywhere that it is stated Mohammed went to Heaven to counsel with the Almighty God. In fact, Islam states that (paraphrased) "No one enters into Heaven prior to the last judgment." As for whether or not you believe that I went to Heaven or not isn't part of the question at hand (or the answer). In fact, early on in my position I make the statement that "...even if I disregard my own experience in Heaven (detailed in my book, “Death, Heaven & Back” – available on Amazon.com)... my first point of disagreement comes when it is stated that (paraphrased) " Jesus must have specifically preached and taught that we go to Heaven when we die" and that "such teaching must be found in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John."

So, I immediately disregarded my own personal testimony in favor of what the Bible teaches which is the topic of discussion in the first place. Note that the sub-title of this hub is: "According to the Bible Do We Go To Heaven Immediately After Death" and not "According to Lonnie or Mohammed or anyone else, Do We Go To Heaven Immediately After Death."

2) You state, " I also believe when we die we are unaware of anything whatsoever and await for the return of Jesus, as he said he would return and the resurrection will begin!"

That's fine. I concur that this may, in fact, be the case. However, since I've laid out before you Scripture to defend my position and you have not I'll stick with my point of view for now.

3) You state: "Also Purgatory is an invention of the Catholic religion and has no mention of it anywhere in the bible...period."

I agree with you wholeheartedly. I have to wonder why you mention this because I simply noted it as a FACT that a religion believes in such a place (i.e., that the Catholic church believes in Purgatory) but nowhere do I lend any credence to the belief.

You state: "Also, Jesus was a Jew, The apostles were jews Not catholics. Peter was not a pope; Popes were not even invented yet. Catholic religion arose from pagan Rome period."

Again, I agree with you. But, again, I have to wonder why you took the time to post these things seeing that there's NOTHING in what I wrote to even suggest that I believe otherwise. For instance, can you show me anywhere in what I wrote where I claimed that Jesus or the Apostles were anything other than Jews or that Peter was a pope or that popes had been invented at the time of Peter or that the Catholic religion rose from anything other than pagan sources?

If not, I have to wonder why it is you comment thusly.

You may want to re-read what I wrote and comment again. Also, I would refer you to three videos I've done concerning this subject that are on Youtube.

1st Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s09VpKP1sUA

2nd Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0A6t_48osuk

3rd Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0XQkUSbU0c

Once you've watched these video I think you'll have more of an idea of why I believe that we either go immediately to Heaven or Hell upon the death of our mortal bodies rather than sleeping (in total unconsciousness) until the resurrection.

Thanks again for your comments Dan!

Pastor Lonnie (RevLon)


False Story 2 years ago

Hebrews 9:27 KJV

27 And as it is appointed unto men ONCE to die, but after this the judgment:

Either the Bible is wrong or your Wrong. I believe you are displaying a false light to profit money.

You babble to deceive. If you truly died and came back to life for Christ would have kept you dead for three to four days. Christ was in the tomb

3 days. Lazarus was dead 4 days. Christ made certain that there was no doubt that he and others were dead for a period of days before raising of the dead.

Even in Revelations the two witnesses who are killed are brought back alive in the streets after 3 days. You'll try to counter back with some response, but anyone who truly knows Christ knows what you are sharing about returning from the dead before the Rapture is a truly false doctrine.


PastorLonnie profile image

PastorLonnie 2 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

Hello False Story!

Am I right to assume you have NOT yet read the book I wrote "Death, Heaven and Back?"

The reason I make this assumption is because, if you had, I'm certain you wouldn't make at least one of the statements you made concerning my 'displaying a false light to profit monetarily (sic).'

Not that it's any of your business whatsoever but you should know that we've actually GIVEN AWAY more books than we've sold... thus we are at a NEGATIVE income because of the books. This isn't to say that I don't make a profit from the books... I do. But, EVERY CENT of the profits go to our 501 (C) 3 non-profit ministry (99 for 1 Ministries) to help others. In fact, with the exception of our bookkeeper, NO ONE (including me) gets paid by the funds given to 99 for 1 Ministries. And, our bookkeeper took less than 1/5th of her agreed upon salary last year just so we can help others. I am disabled because of the anoxic event that occurred on February 16, 2008 and, as such, am a full-time Christian minister. I tell you this so that it's public knowledge that we are, by no means, 'profiting monetarily' from either the sale of 'Death, Heaven and Back' or from my second book, 'Living Jesus Out Loud.' Again, we use both these books as evangelistic materials.

All this to say... please do NOT make accusations BEFORE you know the facts.

Now, only your main concern: You quote Hebrews 9:27 (And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement) to underscore your point that "Either the Bible is wrong or you're (sic) wrong."

False Story, do you not see that you thwart your own statement by also mentioning the Book of Revelation? In Revelation 11:1-12 we see the two witnesses who are dead for 3 1/2 days and then are brought back to life AFTER which they are physically taken into Heaven. So, what happened? Did they die and were they raised again BEFORE being judged or did they die and AFTER they were judged they were raised or something else entirely? The Bible isn't specific as to what took place between the time of their death and resurrection. All we can be certain of is that they died and were resurrected 3 1/2 days later.

Next you state: "If you truly died and came back to life (sic) Christ would have kept you dead for three to four days. Christ was in the tomb 3 days. Lazarus was dead 4 days. Christ made certain that there was no doubt that he and OTHERS [emphasis mine] were dead for a period of days before raising of the dead."

False Story, I'd like to commend you on standing up for what you believe and for attempting to counter my claim to have actually died. But, I must, as a brother in Christ, encourage you to better study God's Word (the Bible) before making accusations like this.

First and foremost, the Bible is a trustworthy document (at least I -- and I'm assuming you -- trust it). As such, we would do well to look into it to see if what you say has any validity.

So, for just a moment, I'd like to recount for you SEVERAL resurrections of dead people and the length of time they were dead to see if you are correct in your declaration that "Christ made certain that there was no doubt that he and others were dead for a period of DAYS before raising of the dead."

There are 11+ resurrections mentioned in the Bible (including Jesus' resurrection):

- Elijah resurrected a widow's son (1 kings 17:17-24). Old Testament (Less than 1 day dead.)

- Elisha also resurrected a young boy (2 Kings 4:32-37). Old Testament (Probably less than 1 day dead.)

- Another man was resurrected, according to (2 Kings 13:20-21). Old Testament (Probably less than 1 day dead – determined by the normal burying time of the Israelites.)

- Jesus resurrected Lazarus (John 11:43). New Testament (4 days dead.)

- Jesus resurrected Jairus' daughter (Mark 5:37-43). New Testament (A few hours dead at most.)

- Jesus resurrected the son of a widow in the city of Nain (Luke 7:11-17). New Testament (Recently or possibly several hours dead.)

- Peter resurrected Tabitha, also called Dorcas, of the city of Joppa. (Acts 9:36-42). New Testament (Less than a day.)

- Paul brought back to life young Eutychus, who had died when he fell from a third-floor window while Paul was speaking. (Acts 20:7-12) New Testament (Minutes dead.)

- Jesus was also resurrected. New Testament (3 days/3 Nights dead.)

This list does not include those who were brought back to life when Jesus died Matthew 27:51-53:

“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.”

New Testament (No way to tell how long the people had been dead but they were dead long enough to have been buried.)

So, the consensus of the Bible is that neither the Old or New Testaments give any particular time frame a person has to be dead before a resurrection is counted towards the fame of God. In the Old Testament 3 people who were dead less than a day (or not much longer) were raised. In the New Testament Jesus was dead 3 days before raising Himself from the dead; Lazarus was dead 4 days before being raised by Jesus; Jesus raised a daughter and a son after only a few ours of their being dead; Peter raised a woman who had been dead less than a day; Paul raised a boy minutes after he had died; two witnesses were raised after 3 1/2 days; and a number of people rose from their graves upon the death of Jesus.

So, False Story, we have evidence from the Bible that it isn't 'time' that matters but, rather, the event (death) that matters when it comes to God getting the glory for resurrection.

Back you Brother!

Pastor Lonnie (RevLon)


PastorLonnie profile image

PastorLonnie 2 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

False Story, please read the post I made to you concerning the issues I raised. Also, if you wouldn't mind giving me your email address I'd be more than happy to continue this conversation.


Penny G profile image

Penny G 2 years ago from Southern Iowa

Pastor Lonnie I have been Praying all week about if we go directly to heaven. I had always thought so but I wanted more than just " I think we do" Then I said ok God show the answer. I Got on the computer today, and there was the answer he sent me. I have prayed and feel you truly researched this well and I believe and God answered me through your knowledge. Thank you for your knowledge . This will help as I work for Christ, helping his people. Penny G, on God's mission


Grant 2 years ago

Do those who accept Jesus and give themselves to the Lord actually go to heaven immediately when they die? The biblical truth may surprise you.Do we go to heaven when we die? What does the Bible say?

What awaits us after death? Many Christian denominations teach a “heaven orhell” afterlife. What does the Bible really teach about this subject?

Nestled in a passage that discusses the role Jesus Christ played in willingly offering Himself as a sacrifice for our sins, this statement is made: “And as it is appointed for men to die once …” (Hebrews 9:27). Since death awaits us all, what happens after death is certainly worth considering!

Death is like sleep

In several locations the Bible likens death to sleep. Notice the apostle Paul’s comforting instruction to the believers in Thessalonica: “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep [those who had died], lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14).

Before continuing with this passage, we need to address two matters: How is death similar to sleep? And second, if God is bringing these people “with Him,” from where is He bringing them?

Death is similar to sleep in that no conscious thought occurs when one has died. Two statements in the book of Ecclesiastes tell us of this reality:

“For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing” (Ecclesiastes 9:5).“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going” (verse 10).

Psalm 146:4 adds: “His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish” (King James Version). Once death occurs, human consciousness ends. Nothing’s going on in the mind.

After his children had died suddenly, his possessions were taken away, and he was afflicted with “painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head” (Job 1:7), Job accurately summed up the nature of death while longing for it: “Why did I not die at birth? Why did I not perish when I came from the womb? … For now I would have lain still and been quiet, I would have been asleep” (Job 3:11-13).

Returning with Jesus?

We have established that death is like a sleep in that a person is not actively engaged in any activity—no conscious thoughts, no labor, no anything. Now, let’s return to our second question regarding 1 Thessalonians 4:14: From where does God bring these people who “sleep in Jesus” (i.e., people who are dead)? Some would say He brings them from heaven. Is this what the Bible teaches?

Jesus Christ said in John 3:13: “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.” That seems clear! Why is it so hard for so many to believe?

People who have died are not awake in heaven! They are “sleeping” or resting in their graves. The remaining verses of 1 Thessalonians 4 confirm this. Notice:

“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep [are dead]. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-16).

When Jesus Christ returns, the dead will “rise.” For one to “rise,” one would have to come up from somewhere. If one had died and gone to heaven already, then the individual wouldn’t be rising from the grave when Christ returns. He or she would be descending from heaven, yet this is not what Paul taught the Thessalonians.

This teaching of our being raised from the grave at Jesus Christ’s return is reiterated in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52: “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

Jesus Christ Himself also taught the principle of being raised up in John 6:39-40: “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

It is appointed for all of us to die, but when Jesus Christ returns to the earth at the last day, the followers of Jesus Christ who have died will be raised from their graves and given eternal life.

While it may be comforting to those struggling to cope with the death of loved ones to think of them as looking down from heaven, this belief is unbiblical and false. Instead, God’s Word comforts us with the fact that there is no suffering in the grave. And since there is no thought for those in the grave (Psalm 146:4; Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10), there can be no awareness on their part of the passage of time. When they are resurrected, it will be as though they have awakened from sleep.

We can take great comfort in knowing that when they awaken, they will rise in a much different world, a world that Jesus Christ and the resurrected saints will be ruling (read more about this by searching our section on the Kingdom of God).

Why isn’t this taught?

Why do many churches not understand this basic teaching? In part, they try to explain away these clear verses by bringing up other passages that seem to contradict scriptural teaching on the subject.

One is the story of Lazarus and the rich man—a story often misinterpreted. To read more on this subject, see our article on “Lazarus and the Rich Man.”

Secondly, they refer to Jesus Christ’s statements to the “thief on the cross” who was crucified alongside Him: “And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise’” (Luke 23:43). From this statement, people say, “See, Christ tells the man that he will be with Christ in Paradise that day!”

There are two reasons why we should not draw this conclusion when reading this passage:

Jesus Christ very clearly stated He would be in the grave three days and three nights upon His death (Matthew 12:39-40). The grave is not paradise.In the original manuscripts of the New Testament, punctuation was not used. Punctuation has been added by translators to try to provide clarity. The passage could also be translated, “Assuredly, I say to you today [comma], you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

To put it in the vernacular, Christ could have been saying, “I’m telling you today that one day you’re going to be with Me in Paradise.” Translated this way, with the comma after the word “today” instead of before it, the passage fits with the other teachings of the resurrection found in Scripture.

The Bible speaks of other resurrections that lead us to discussions surrounding the subjects of heaven, hell and the Kingdom of God, which are beyond the scope of this brief article. We invite you to learn more about these subjects in the related articles in this section.

Seeking God’s truth

Are you really seeking to understand the truths contained in God’s Word? As you learn more about these and other truths in the Bible, what will you do about it? It really does matter what you believe, and it really does matter how you live based on what you believe.

Christ made this statement to His disciples: “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24).

For Christ to say there would be true worshippers, it is implicit that He was saying there would also be false worshippers. Sadly, there are many well-intentioned but false worshippers in the world today—those who are not worshipping God in truth.

Accept the challenge of seeking God’s truth! Pray for God to guide you in your pursuit of His truth. And as you learn it, be sure to live it. That’s the surest way to life


Grant 2 years ago

I also wanted to add that the devil is the one who trick people into this error he has been tricking people from the beginning of time twisting the plain words of God , put Paul warn us against twisting the scripture to our own destruction 2 Peter 3:16. We need to fight the devil with a "this is what God says " just like Jesus , when Satan tried to temp him Jesus respond with "it is written " meaning this is what God says , you are saying this and that but what does God says !!!! And its amazing how when king Saul in 1 samuel 28 asked the witch to bring back samuel from the dead the witch told Saul that she saw Samuel come up from the ground , now this witch was working with satan because we know that dead people dont come back until the second coming or if Jesus was on earth and calls them back like in lazaraus case, the bible teaches this !!! So that witch was working with satan and satan used one of his demons to impersonate saul . But its interesting to note that although the devil lie to people and say that the dead go to heaven at the time of death ,he himself doesn't believe it !!! Because he knows that it is not true !

The devil working with the witch told saul that they saw samuel coming uo from the grave ! Not down from heaven ! So even satan himself knows better than to believe that crop about people goes to heaven at death!!!! Also when Jesus called back lazarus from the dead he came out of the grave still rap from head to toe in his grave cothes , so logically if he was in heaven why would God send him back in his grave cothes and why didn't he remember a single thing, did God wipe his memory too ! And why did his sister Mary cried and told Jesus that she know that he will be resurrect at the lost day , why didn't she just say oh I know that he his in heaven ! And if lazarus was in heaven why would he want to come back to this sinful earth! MAYBE HE WAS NOT IN HEAVEN !!!!!! Think people and don't belive the devil's lie, because the devil himself do not believe it!!!!


Grant 2 years ago

I made a mistake , the devil impersonate Samuel not Saul. and just to make it clear that wasn't Samuel that came back it was one of the Devils demons impersonating samuel and its crazy how the devil tells people that dead people are in heaven but he himself doesn't

believe it or say it , the devil speaking through the witch said that

Samuel ( who was really one of his demon ) was coming up from the

ground he didn't say that he was coming down from heaven , he

knows better than that. we better know what we believe! We better

know what the bible teaches!!!! What are we going to do when we

see our dead love ones come before us! Who are we going to believe,

are we going to believe what we see or what the word of God says

remember that we dont go by sight but by faith and remember that

the devil works miracle too . The devil is getting ready to pull off his

ultimate grand deception we are going to see dead people come to

us telling us lie but dont believe it For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Rev 16: 14 and no marvel for satan himself masquerade as an angel of light 2 corinthians 11:14.


PastorLonnie profile image

PastorLonnie 2 years ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

Hi Grant, I certainly appreciate you defending your belief that Soul Sleep IS Biblical. However, if you haven't already done so... I'd invite you to visit Youtube and watch the following videos that I produced on this subject:

http://youtu.be/s09VpKP1sUA - Soul Sleep.avi

http://youtu.be/0A6t_48osuk - Soul Sleep Objection Rebuttal 2nd Video

http://youtu.be/Q0XQkUSbU0c - Luke 23 43 Comma Placement

I've shared the titles of these videos because I'm not certain if the blog page will actually hyperlink to the correct pages. If they don't you can simply look up my videos concerning this subject by going to Youtube and searching via the titles I've given.

Thanks again my friend!

Let's keep working together to introduce people to Jesus regardless of which one of us is right about Soul Sleep!

Lonnie (RevLon)


Ted Mottinger 17 months ago

Hi Pastor Lonnie, my father passed away a little over a year ago from cancer. He was good a good Christian who tried to follow the examples of Jesus. Your account brings me comfort. There is a book written by Mark Hitchcock "Visits to Heaven and Back, Are They Real". Mark claims it is impossible for us to go to heaven and come back, that only Christ did that. I'm sure you would possibly agree on that point or at least see it as a possibility. I have not, sorry to say, read your book but from what I have witnessed from your very thoughtful responses to posts and your solid understanding of scripture that maybe you were "close" to being in heaven and witnessed heavenly experiences. That in and of itself is still an incredibly huge gift and would help to prove there is consciousness after death and/or near death. As to the notion of whether we are conscious after our biological death, I think your points of view and biblical scripture references are faithfully uplifting and hard to argue against. If you have read any of Mark Hitchcock's book could you briefly tell us what you think? Also on a slightly different note. Do you believe our beloved pets go to heaven? I personally believe that God cares about the things that we care about. Without a doubt we humans LOVE our pets. I have seen other forums where pastors cite biblical accounts that suggest our pets and possibly all animals do indeed go to heaven but I can't actually point to any scripture myself at the moment. I know my cats and dogs all experienced love for me and other family member. If I’m not mistaken there is no verse in the Bible that says “truly I say…animals do not go to heaven. They do not have a soul”. That is the number one argument I hear is that animals, having no soul, can’t go to heaven. I think maybe they do have a soul or spirit. I for one truly hope to see my pets when my time here on earth is at an end. Again, thanks so much for your wisdom and I also thank you for the work you do to help with cancer awareness. I think it is pretty obvious why God didn't take you home quite yet. :-)


PastorLonnie profile image

PastorLonnie 17 months ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

Ted, thank you so much for asking the questions you have.

While I haven't read Mark's book I did (just before writing this) listen to an audio broadcast (found at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/biblenewsradio/dr-mar... with him.

Also, I found a listing on Amazon.com that had the first chapter of Mark's book and on page 7 my name is actually listed. Wow! I had ZERO idea that I was in the ranks of people such as Don Piper (my bank account certainly doesn't show that I am -- haha). My book is listed after the statement: "So you can get a feel for just how big this phenomenon is, here's a brief list, in alphabetical order, of forty of the main books in this burgeoning genre:"

Still, I doubt that Mark has read my book (maybe he has but I kind of doubt it).

By and large I would agree with Mark... in fact, some of what he states concerning the authors of many (most) of the books about Heaven, I address in my own book. He states (paraphrased) that many of the authors seem to make the claim: 'now that you've read my book you can REALLY believe the Bible.' While I know what he says is true of most of the authors in question, I clearly state the following (Page 281-282)

Quote:

A Word About Near Death and Death Experiences

I would be remiss if I didn’t provide a warning to anyone who reads this book or any book like it. The warning has to do with what to believe and what to reject. The first and foremost authority on death and near-death experiences has to come from the Bible for the simple fact that it is the inerrant (without error) Word of God. Any true death or near-death experience should serve only to clarify that which is stated in the Bible but it should never contradict Scripture. Should you find anything in what I’ve said herein to be in conflict with the revealed Word of God (i.e., Scripture – the 66 books of the Bible), please disregard my entire testimony. The same goes for any book, DVD, audio, or other presentation from anyone. The reason I make this request is because I believe that everything anyone states having to do with those things mentioned in the Bible should, without fail, line up with the Bible. Should one find that what I’ve said seems to be in conflict with God’s revealed Word, I would like the chance to review and respond to the same.

End Quote

In other words, I am completely against anyone or anything undermining the authority of the Bible.

I also address, in several different ways in the text of the book I wrote, the issue of salvation. I've actually been at a conference (albeit a small one) in which my testimony was followed by a lady (Loretta Blasingame) who said the most moronic things you can ever imagine about God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit (you can find her testimony in the book "Is Anybody Up There?" I talked to the senior pastor about some of what she was saying and he completely and publicly rejected her testimony before his congregation even though he'd personally invited her.

One of the things I'm criticized for the most is my 'lack' of describing Heaven or the fact that my Heavenly experience chapter is so short. In my defense, the reason for this is two-fold: 1) I only wrote what I felt led to write about my time in Heaven and 2) Much of what I saw in Heaven I don't believe there are human words (or, at the very least, I don't have the vocabulary) to describe, accurately, what I saw.

However, I do take issue with what Mark says about people who have bodies. He states, in the interview, that "I don't think that people have bodies yet because we don't get our bodies till the resurrection of the body." Since I've already addressed this issue elsewhere I won't rehash my arguments here but suffice it to say that I disagree with him.

As for whether I'd agree or disagree with Mark that people can't go to Heaven and return I'd, obviously, disagree becuase I truly believe I did. I know that my visit to Heaven is subjective (i.e., it can't be proven or disproven) but I disagree that no one can go to Heaven on Biblical grounds. Unless we're getting into semantics of whether or not 'Paradise' and 'Heaven' had or have the same meaning I think we (Mark and I) would both agree that going and returning from Heaven or Paradise would constitute something that should be considered miraculous. Again, since I've already discussed the issue of semantics (in the form of a couple of videos I put on Youtube titled 'Soul Sleep Rebuttal' and 'Soul Sleep Objection Rebuttal.avi') I won't do so again. But, unless Mark is willing to state that Samuel, Moses and Elijah were all either 'asleep' or somewhere other than where Jesus told the thief on the cross they would both be on the day of their death, I think my contention that it is, at the very least, possible for someone to die, go to Heaven and return.

As far as whether or not animals go to Heaven... I'm not certain. The Bible doesn't talk specifically about animals 'going' to Heaven but we do know that animals will BE in Heaven -- especially since everywhere (with the exception of Hell) will, eventually, be Heaven. I certainly hope that our pets will be in Heaven with us because I've 'lost' many that I truly loved. But, I simply don't know. I do like what one theologian said when he was asked this question (I heard this answer somewhere around 20 years or more ago): "If, in order for Heaven to be perfect for you, your pet needs to be in Heaven I'm certain God will allow your pet rabbit to there." But, I will say that once you get to Heaven you won't be disappointed -- regardless of whether your pets are there or not.

Blessings,

Pastor Lonnie

Soul Sleep Rebuttal

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GopMorN7cqs

Soul Sleep Objection Rebuttal.avi

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttxcqoY-o34


sweet lady 13 months ago

I do believe when who people,s soul ready go in heaven be peace. Are u believe when how u ready go die..What do u think


daddyofmyfour 12 months ago

I believe that when we die, we go to our reward as well. But I am confused about something. The bible teaches us that Jesus was raised after 3 days. So what exactly did Jesus mean when we read that verse about his promise to the thief on the cross, "today you'll be with me in paradise". In other words, how could it be today, when Jesus himself would be raised after 3 days?


PastorLonnie profile image

PastorLonnie 11 months ago from Mobile, Alabama Author

DaddyofmyFour, Thanks so much for your question. The answer is fairly straightforward: Going to Paradise (at the time before Jesus was raised) and Heaven (after Jesus was raised) are two completely different events. An analogy can be drawn from your own life and that of your children. When your wife became pregnant you BECAME a father and she became a Mother (you became Parents) that day. But, it wasn't until the day your children were born that you were actually able to hold them. So, while it was certain that you were both PARENTS on the day that your wife became pregnant actually being able to HOLD your children were to separate events.

I know that this is probably a flawed analogy but it's the one that came to mind as soon as I read your message and saw your name.

Another analogy would be that Jesus was pronounced as slain before the foundation of the earth (Revelation 13:8) and, yet, His actual crucifixion didn't take place for thousands of years after this pronouncement. There are two completely different event here as well: The pronouncement and the actual slaying.

A third analogy is that as soon as we become Christians we are God's children and are said to no longer be of this world (Earth) but we have yet to see the other world (Heaven). So, while we are LITERALLY citizens of Heaven at the moment of our conversion, only after we have died (or, if you believe in the Rapture -- I do -- after Jesus comes back for us) will be literally be in Heaven.

Thus, when the thief died that day he went immediately into Paradise. When He died He also joined the thief in Paradise. 3 days later Jesus was raised. Two completely different events.

Hope this helps. If not contact me at: revlonnie@gmail.com

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    Death, Heaven and Back by Lonnie Honeycutt

    Death, Heaven And Back: The True Story Of One Man's Death And Resurrection
    Death, Heaven And Back: The True Story Of One Man's Death And Resurrection

    Death, Heaven and Back is a book by Rev. Lonnie Honeycutt that deals with his near death experience after being diagnosed with Stage IV cancer of the head and neck (oropharyngeal cancer). It is the true story of one man's death and resurrection told in a rather unique style. For example, Lonnie Honeycutt (RevLon), uses personal testimony as well as eye-witnesses accounts from third parties (e.g., his wife, many of his friends, etc.) and it includes the actual emails sent to those he knew while undergoing cancer treatment.

     
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