Do you go to Heaven when you die? Wow! You have asked a great question. Many people are asking great questions, like “Who is God?” and “Who is Jesus?” Where is your eternal future? Let’s dive in and find the answer!
If you have a relationship with Christ you are going to heaven
Are you a Christian? If you are in Christ you’re going to heaven. The Apostle Paul writes:
While in the body we are absent from the Lord. I prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.2 Corinthians 5:6-8
But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart (by dying) and be with Christ, for that is very much better.Philippians 1:23
Jesus is the Way to Heaven
These verses teach that those who believe in Jesus go immediately into God’s presence in heaven. Believers are good enough, not on their own merits, but because they are in Christ.
Jesus had this discussion with the thief on the cross who they crucified next to Jesus:
One of the criminals who were hanged there…was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom! And He (Jesus) said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
The thief had become a believer and Jesus promised the thief he’d be with Jesus that same day (after they both died).
If you’re not a believer, the answer is different.
Jesus said… “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
In Luke 16:19-31 Jesus tells a parable about a rich man and Lazarus. A parable is like a figure of speech so not all details of the parables are meant literally. However, the features must be true enough to life so that Jesus’ listeners can understand His teaching. Here’s what Jesus said about the rich man’s destination after he dies:
The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and *saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.“
Jesus said that Hades is a place of torment
In Revelation 20 the Apostle John sees the eternal state of those not found in the book of life.
Then I saw a great white throne.…And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds..…Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
These dead are all unbelievers who appear before the Great White Throne for the final judgment. God will judge unbelievers according to their deeds. The unbelievers’ cause is hopeless because no one is good enough to stand before God dressed in their deeds. People can only stand before God if they’ve placed themselves in Jesus Christ by believing in His Name. “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.