Bible Question:

At the point of death, does our spirit go to heaven or hell? I have been taught it does. Jesus told the man who died with him the day he died, “You will join me in paradise today!!!!” The spirit goes to heaven or hell, and in the rapture we will be joined with our bodies. Is this correct?

Bible Answer:

Because Jesus died and returned to life to forgive our sins, each man or woman can either go to heaven or hell.

Heaven or Hell

The decision belongs to each person to make. Those who choose not to believe in or depend on Jesus to forgive them are in real trouble because John 3:18 says,

He who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (NASB) John 3:18

And John 3:36 says those who do not believe have the wrath of God waiting for them. The New Testament says unbelievers go to Hades when they die, and they eventually go to hell or the lake of fire . But the person who is repentant of their past sins and trusts Jesus to forgive their sins, that person will go to heaven.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (NASB) John 3:16

Heaven or hell is your choice.

What Happens?

Today when Christians die, they immediately go to Paradise or heaven to be with Jesus,

Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord – for we walk by faith, not by sight – we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. (NASB) 2 Cor. 5:6-8

Some day in the future Jesus Christ will return to earth to take all Christians to heaven. We call it the Rapture. When this happens, all Christians who are alive at that time will meet Christ in the air,

Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. (NASB) 1 Thess 4:17

They will instantly be changed and receive immortal or heavenly bodies.


God has prepared a wonderful place for Christians. In Revelation 21-22 He calls it the new heaven and new earth. It is a place of joy, comfort, peace and harmony. There will no longer be any suffering of any kind. We will inherit all things (Rev. 21:7). We will spend eternity with our Lord Jesus.

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