Would the church go to heaven?

Would the church go to heaven?
Posted by in Facebook's Pentecostal Theology Group View the Original Post

Heaven or the resurrection?

I wonder why so many funerals in churches focus on the deceased being ‘in heaven’ and the need for the audience to die and go to heaven, when there isn’t any direct scripture about your disembodied spirit going to heaven when you die. Paul does say he would rather be absent from the body and present with the Lord. But some people even take that passage as a rapture passage, seeing the body as the temporal body, a tent that will be shed and replaced with the incorruptible.

But the emphasis when it comes to this topic is certainly the return of Christ and the rapture. Paul refers to the deceased as asleep in Christ. He even tells believers, when talking about death to ‘comfort ye one another with these words’. What words?

‘The dead in Christ shall rise first, and they which are alive and remain shall be caught up to meet the Lord together in the air, and so shall they ever be with the Lord.’

If Paul commanded believers to comfort one another when someone dies with words of the resurrection and rapture, why isn’t this THE verse that is always read at funerals? Why skip this verse and talk about something that the Bible doesn’t emphasize or even directly mention– dying and going to heaven? I can’t find the ‘hope of heaven’ in the Bible. I’ve heard it in sermons. I can find ‘the hope of the resurrection’ and the hope of Christ’s return.

I had a conversation with an Englishman who’d settled in New Zealand and who was serving as a dean at a Bible college in Indonesia. He was a gifted teacher and also gifted in prophecy, and gave a word over me that hit the nail on the head, part of which was a repeat of a word I’d just gotten elsewhere.

I had a conversation with him after a sermon once, and said something about ‘going to heaven when you die.’ He said to me the Bible never once mentions going to heaven when you die. I knew that, but I’d still spoken the religious verbage I’d heard so much. But his words stuck with me.

This one of those areas where we hear something so much in church that it effects our thinking, even if it isn’t really something that we read in the Bible. Living in a mostly Mus|im country, it also made more sense to speak in terms of the resurrection, since that was an aspect of their religion that coincided with what the Bible taught, that there would be a resurrection of the dead and that they would be judged. That was an emphasis in Paul’s evangelism.

Link Hudson [10/13/2015 1:59 PM]

   
  Link Hudson Btw, a focus on the resurrection fits well with presenting the Gospel, which focuses on the resurrection of Christ.
  Josue Chavez Reveles This is actually something my wife and I were chatting about. We promised to research on this subject but have not gotten into it just yet.
  Timothy D McCune Jesus said He was going away to prepare a place for us. We call it Heaven.
  Anthony Lombard Link, since you seem to have such keen insight into Scripture, what wisdom would like to impart that ministers should say at funerals?
  Link Hudson Anthony Lombard, Paul told his readers with what words to comfort one another when someone dies:  “‘The dead in Christ shall rise first, and they which are alive and remain shall be caught up to meet the Lord together in the air, and so shall they ever be with the Lord.’ “
  Link Hudson Timothy McCune, the New Jerusalem descends out of heaven to the new earth in the book of revelation.
  Link Hudson Btw, could someone show me how many times one of the apostles makes reference to dying and going to heaven while evangelizing?  I can point to references to the resurrection.  The doctrine of the resurrection– which includes our resurrection– is very much intertwined with the message of salvation.  Take a look at I Corinthians 15 for an example.
  Link Hudson I Thessalonians 4 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.I should add that to the OP.
  Carl Murphy May I suggest the book: surprised by hope, by N. T Wright. It explains a lot
  Link Hudson Josue Chavez Reveles It’s helpful to go through a concordance and look at references to ‘resurrection’ and ‘heaven’ in the New Testament.  There are references to the resurrection of Christ throughout the sermons in Acts.  But Paul also mentions the resurrection of the dead, in general, in some of his preaching.  In his epistles, he points forward to the coming of Christ and the rapture/resurrection.If we look up ‘heaven’, we see a lot of references to ‘kingdom of heaven’ where it says ‘kingdom of God’ in other books.  The Jews sometimes avoided saying the name of God, and Matthew is believed to have been written to a Jewish audience.  Even nowadays, some Jews spell God like G-d, even in English.  There is a tradition of substituting ‘Adonai’ for the divine name when reading Torah.  There are plenty of references to heaven, but not direct reference to ‘going to heaven when you die’ and it isn’t a part of the way the apostles evangelized when they presented the Gospel.In Acts 2, we don’t read where Peter says, “you might fall off your donkey today and die.  Would you go to heaven or Hell?”  The idea of dying and going to heaven may have been a foreign concept to his audience, but the idea of being raised from the dead probably wouldn’t have been.  They would have at least been familiar with the concept.
  Anthony Lombard Somehow I am missing the critical issue. Sounds like you’re making a mountain out of a mole hill.  Resurrection and rapture have some distinct similarities.
  Link Hudson Anthony Lombard, who has been talking about a distinction between the rapture and the resurrection?  “Going to heaven when you die” isn’t the same thing as the rapture and resurrection that occurs when the Lord descends from heaven.
  David Sanderson Will we ascend into the air? A pastor spoke on this recently and said we will not, and this is a very misunderstood and misinterpreted verse. Do you agree?
  David Sanderson I would like your thoughts in what he says. It starts at the 26 minute mark. Do you agree or disagree? http://www.harriscreek.org/…/1488-practice-resurrection…
  David Sanderson He says many misinterpret 1st Thes 3-4, that we will not ascend and depart but that we will meet him and usher him onto Earth. What are your thoughts on this?
  Link Hudson David Sandderson, I believe we’ll go up and return to earth with him for the millenium.
  Kevin Bounds Link Hudson, I see your argument and it is interesting topic. Yet, what of Jesus’ words to the thief on the cross? The Bible states, “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Lk. 23:43 KJV). Wouldn’t this be what Paul spoke of by “being absent of the body”? Just interested in how you see this passage in light of the topic.
  Timothy D McCune luke 16;27-29 speaks also about wanting someone to go warn his brothers of this place of torment torment, ( hell) so we know theres a heaven and a hell. I think we as christians want to know whats next where will we be but maybe we go all over, travel back and forth to the new heaven and earth and places beyond.
  Charles Page Scriptures make a distinction between hell and the lake of fire – not the same place.
  Timothy D McCune OK i”ll bite, yes they are. but go ahead and show me how they are not, i will check in later gotta work now.
  Charles Page Hell/sheol is the place that the spirits of the deceased go and is their abode till the final resurrection.  The lake of fire is the abode after the final resurrection of the persons not written in the book of life. Some of the occupants of hell are finally cast into the lake of fire and hell will be no more.
  Link Hudson Kevin Bounds, Jesus spoke of the theif on the cross, and not of ‘heaven’ per se.  He also spoke of the resurrection of the dead.  When I was a child, I heard preaching about dying and going to heaven and walking on streets of gold.  John was told he would be shown the bride, and then saw the city descend out of heaven, as a bride ordained for her husband.  The city had streets of gold.  This was after he saw the millenium, after the resurection.  Nothing in those passages support the idea of believers dying and their disembodied spirits walking on streets of gold.
  Kevin Bounds So, I don’t misunderstand you. You are saying the spirit is with Christ  in paradise at the moment of death, but heaven comes later.
  Link Hudson Kevin Bounds, my point is the Bible doesn’t say that much about what we experience at death before the resurrection, and the focus on the afterlife in scripture, particularly in evangelistic passages, is on the resurrection.  And when one of us dies, we are supposed to comfort one another with words about the dead in Christ rising.  The Bible doesn’t tell us to comfort one another with talk about dying and going to heaven.
  Charles Page agree Link!!!
  Timothy D McCune wherever it is any seperation from Christ will be hell.
  Charles Page the lake of fire is separation from Christ. Hell is the abode of the deceased’s spirits and they are with their creator.  To be absent of the body is to be present with the Lord.
  Timothy D McCune Charles I understand your point , not everything has to be spelled out exactly to a T. though. Seperation from Christ will be horrible it will be pain like no one can imagine, lake of fire, always burning i believe thats the image people think of when someone says Hell.
  Carl Murphy So if to be absent if the body is to be present with the Lord the question is, why be resurrected
  Charles Page absent from the body….
  Link Hudson Another thing to take note of is that the Gospel is very much tied into a resurrection-focused view of the afterlife.  Christ is the firstfruits of them that slept.  He rose from the dead, and our hope is that we will rise from the dead when Christ returns (or be transformed if we are still alive).  If there were no resurrection, then Christ would not be risen, and we would still be dead in our sins, as Paul says in I Corinthians 15.  But Christ is risen from the dead.We need to change our language and vocabulary, even when we evangelize and when we teach from ‘going to heaven when you die’ to talk of the resurrection of the dead.  We need to preach and teach it like the apostles preached it and taught it… like we read in the Bible.
Troy Day Sure looks like 100% so far are going to heaven Perhaps it was need to clarify that a real physical heaven with streets of gold and pearly gates was meant in the question If you dont believe in going to a real physical Heaven it will be pretty hard to take anyone else with you
Louise Cummings Amen.
Joe Absher I gotta see the man called Jesus. Jesus of Nazareth. I don’t care what it costs or where i gotta go. I’m in! 1
Louise Cummings Amen. I got to see Him. By Gods Help. And He calls it Heaven. Praise God.
Dan Irving You can have that now Troy Day, if you have enough money.  Think rather about what does gold symbolize, according to the apostle Peter?
Joe Absher Yes gold symbolizes faith tried in the fire. Yes faith has substance. But i don’t think everything in Revelation is symbolic. Is the great throne of God just symbolic? Or the many crowns of our Lord. Or the Altar. Or the cries of the Martyrs? Maybe I’m a fool to get involved in this one. But no heaven, no seraphim, no holy holy holy. There isn’t much left of substance if you take that. Im not saying that’s what you believe brother Dan. Me and my big mouth…
Dan Irving “God will rule and he will render judgment” (thus the symbol of a throne); “the martyrs will sacrifice their lives for the kingdom of God” (thus the symbol of an altar).  If you want something you can see and touch, well, I would say the principle symbolized is more real and impactful than its mere symbol.
Joe Absher I’m not touching the altar I can bet you that.
Dennis Bowman Amen!
Troy Day Dan Irving Streets of gold, pearly gates? Tree of life in the middle, fruits of healing, big mansions for everyone there? A throne in the middle, a river that goes through it. City with no nights  for the Lamb is the light of the city thereafter. Where on earth is it? Please send me the coordinates at once!Sweet home  up in heavenLord I’m coming home to you…
Dan Irving If our focus is upon thangs, maybe that’s what God will give us . . thangs.
Troy Day thang is a southern thing 🙂 Focus on the Lamb of God 1
Joe Absher Jesus is the light of heaven. Brighter than a thousand sun’s. He’s not hard on the eyes either.
James L Alldredge The church will spend eternity on the new earth, not in some ethereal “heaven” Rev. 21
Troy Day James L Alldredge ethereal? Are you saying there’s no heaven to go to?

 

37 Comments

  • Troy Day
    Reply July 9, 2019

    Troy Day

    Link Hudson you may have deleted your OP on the church going to heaven and forgot about it but here’s the discussion Somehow I am missing the critical issue. Sounds like you’re making a mountain out of a mole hill. Resurrection and rapture have some distinct similarities.

    • Link Hudson
      Reply July 10, 2019

      Link Hudson

      Deletion conspiracy theories again.

    • Troy Day
      Reply July 10, 2019

      Troy Day

      Link Hudson show the post and disprove it then Philip Williams it was under this video I found the direct quote of Link Hudson saying this

      I had a conversation with him after a sermon once, and said something about ‘going to heaven when you die.’ He said to me the Bible never once mentions going to heaven when you die. I

      http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/heaven-or-the-resurrection/

    • Link Hudson
      Reply July 10, 2019

      Link Hudson

      You nisrepresented what I actually said. I do not say your disembodied spirit doesnot go to heaven.

      I say
      1. Some infer it from certain scriptures. ‘Going to heaven when you die’ is not directly stated.
      2. Resurrection (and rapture) is embedded in scripture especially in reference to come orting believers when one of our number goes to sleep in Christ.
      3. Many modern evangelicals emphasize goibg to heaven and not the resurrection if the saints.

  • Troy Day
    Reply July 10, 2019

    Troy Day

    RichardAnna Boyce HOW do you feel about this new heresy ppl are talking about that the Church is NOT going to heaven?

    • RichardAnna Boyce
      Reply July 10, 2019

      RichardAnna Boyce

      Troy Day i believe we are raptured, spend 7 years upstairs somewhere during Wedding Feast; 1000 years Millennium on earth; then Second Coming takes us to heaven for eternity.

    • Troy Day
      Reply July 10, 2019

      Troy Day

      RichardAnna Boyce well or brings heaven down to us which is about the same I believe this new generation like Link Hudson wants some soft theology I knew a guy back in my day who died and his daddy made him walk it off 🙂 Joe Absher I think Charles Page is already there somehow

    • RichardAnna Boyce
      Reply July 10, 2019

      RichardAnna Boyce

      The Greek word which is often translated as heaven is ouranos. Yes, it sometimes refers to the place where believers who have died are now.

      But more often it refers to the place where the birds fly. It is sometimes translated as sky, sometimes as air, and sometimes as heaven when what is meant is the atmosphere around the earth. See Matt 6:26; 8:20; 13:32; Mark 4:4, 32; Luke 13:19; Acts 10:12; 11:6.

      In Scripture that is the first heaven.

      It also often refers to the place where the stars and the planets outside our solar system are. Outer space is often called the heavens. When God created “the heavens and the earth,” the heavens there refers to all the planets and the stars outside of earth. See Heb 1:10-11; 2 Pet 3:7, 10, 12; 21:1.

      In Scripture that is the second heaven.

      Occasionally, but not often—except in the Book of Revelation—the term ouranos refers to the place where God’s glory is localized and where departed believers await Christ’s return. See 2 Cor 12:2-4; Rev 4:1-11; 8:1-6; 16:11.

      That is called the third heaven in Scripture.

      The Lord Jesus and His Apostles Said That the Current Heavens Will Be Destroyed
      When the Scriptures say that “heaven will pass away,” they do not mean the third heaven will pass away. That refers to the first and second heavens.

      The entire universe, except for the third heaven, will be destroyed and the taint of sin completely eliminated. Sin, I believe, is why we will get a new universe.

    • Charles Page
      Reply July 10, 2019

      Charles Page

      Troy Day I have

    • Troy Day
      Reply July 10, 2019

      Troy Day

      Charles Page not going to heaven? I am surprised

    • Charles Page
      Reply July 10, 2019

      Charles Page

      Troy Day we are going to heaven at the final resurrection and consummation

    • Charles Page
      Reply July 10, 2019

      Charles Page

      Troy Day we are going to the place where a Spirits await final resurrection

    • Link Hudson
      Reply July 10, 2019

      Link Hudson

      I would say let us be concerned with what the Bible actually teaches, not preserving folk theology, pop theology or tradition, even Pentecostal tradition.

    • Philip Williams
      Reply July 10, 2019

      Philip Williams

      Link Hudson the central message of the gospel is not folk theology!

    • Link Hudson
      Reply July 10, 2019

      Link Hudson

      Part of the message was list due to fat thumbs and small keys. Pls see revision above.

  • Philip Williams
    Reply July 10, 2019

    Philip Williams

    Brothers, read the Scriptures:

    When Jesus returns, Heaven comes to earth creating the New Earth which also has a New Heaven, namely Jesus within whom all the saints dwell. So no point then in deciding whether the saints are in Heaven or alive in the earth. Both will be the case.

  • Alden Lopez Salguero
    Reply July 10, 2019

    Alden Lopez Salguero

    I would say no, if you read the bible that says new heaven and new earth……… READ VERSE 1 AND VERSE 2 Revelations 21:2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband

  • Joe Absher
    Reply July 10, 2019

    Joe Absher

    “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.”
    – John 17:24

    I’m going to be with Jesus when I die. That will be heaven enough for me.

  • Troy Day
    Reply July 10, 2019

    Troy Day

    Philip Williams I started typing it this morning but someone again deleted their OP and my typing went no where Link Hudson had 2 versions of his original post

    1. he talked with someone somewhere in some church on some website on the internets youtube or facebook AND concluded the church is NOT going to heaven – supported this statement as he said and I quoted him above

    2. then he figured out what theological non sense was that and come back with another post claiming some Pentecostals somewhere in time preached the church is going to heaven for ever

    RichardAnna Boyce rightfully noted on the New Jerusalem being heaven eternal Angel Ruiz promptly said heaven on earth NOW without Jesus is a NAR heresy and we simply concluded Link was plain wrong on this issue

    • Link Hudson
      Reply July 10, 2019

      Link Hudson

      I corrected your vague and inaccurate representation of my position in posts today.

      When did I say Pentecostals preached that Christians are going to heaven forever?

      There is a folk idea of Christians going to heaven forever and eternally living in a disembodied state. I have heard Pentecostals who talk about going to heaven a lot, and I do think this, without proper teaching on the resurrection, could reinforce this idea.

      I have also posted, probably on this forum, a news piece from the UK that interviewed NT Wright and asserted that there was a popular view that Christians would be raptured and live in heaven forever contrasted with Wright’s view of the new heaven and the new earth. I pointed out that I had never heard or read of a dispensationalist who thought we lived eternally in a disembodied state after the rapture.

      If you want to comment on my posts from now on, why don’t you actually quote me instead of misrepresenting what I say?

    • Troy Day
      Reply July 10, 2019

      Troy Day

      Link Hudson YOUR exact words – quote

      I heard that in a news clip on NT Wright. It said a popular belief was that Christians would be raptured and go to heaven forever to be with Jesus

      What and How exactly did misrepresent them by quoting them?

      here https://www.facebook.com/groups/pentecostaltheologygroup/permalink/1894806340574372/

    • Philip Williams
      Reply July 10, 2019

      Philip Williams

      Link Hudson are you preaching the Augustine nonsense about saints in Heaven not having bodies?

    • Link Hudson
      Reply July 11, 2019

      Link Hudson

      Philip Williams do you not believe in the actual resurrection of the body?

    • Philip Williams
      Reply July 11, 2019

      Philip Williams

      Link Hudson

      That is the Jewish view but that is resuscitation, not resurrection. Christians teach Ressurection with a spiritual body.. (1Cor 15)

    • Troy Day
      Reply July 11, 2019

      Troy Day

      Philip Williams what does they mean by the church NOT going to heaven?

    • Philip Williams
      Reply July 11, 2019

      Philip Williams

      Troy Day

      If you die in Christ before the Lord returns with his people, then you will go to Heaven.

      If you are alive when the Lord returns with his people and are hidden in him from his wrath coming upon this wicked world, you will join Heaven as Heaven comes to earth with the Lord.

    • Link Hudson
      Reply July 11, 2019

      Link Hudson

      Philip Williams sounds like a belief in the creation of a new body not resurrection. Paul wrote of the bodies of those remaining being transformed not getting a separate body. The old body is turned into the new type of body. Jesus is the firstfruits of the resurrection and ahe did not leave and old shell behind post resurrection like some JWs have taught. Why are you so hard of full preterists if you share tgeir view on the resurrection?

      Daniel wrote of many who sleep in the dust awaking.

      Do you think Jesus was resuscitated?

    • Link Hudson
      Reply July 11, 2019

      Link Hudson

      Troy Can you read? I have consistently pointed out this is something infered from scripture nit directly stated. The conversation was about goingnto heaven __when you die__. You misrepresent me right after quoting me at times. The appropriate thing is to apologize not stick to your guns. Sticking to your guns makes you look like a proud idiot in this case.

      The idea that the new Jerusalemi s the church descends from heacen (or the new heaven) after 1000 years is certainly a feasible interpretation but this is after the 1000 years. Not the same thing as preresurrection. And not something I would imagine you would embrace vased on your links to Dake on the topic.

    • Philip Williams
      Reply July 11, 2019

      Philip Williams

      Link Hudson Nonsense!

      In his new body, Jesus could appear behind locked walls, eat fish and allow his disciples to touch him. But no one but believers could see him even as he rose into the sky on the Mount of Olives easily seen from Jerusalem.

      That’s definitely not the kind of body that you now have.

    • Philip Williams
      Reply July 11, 2019

      Philip Williams

      Link Hudson why don’t you quote all of Paul’s remarks on the new body?

      “But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?”

      When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor. So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man. I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.”
      ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:35, 37-50‬ ‭

      Please note Paul’s last statement above!

    • Link Hudson
      Reply July 11, 2019

      Link Hudson

      Wheat grows out of the old dead wheat seed. The body of Christ the Firstfruits of the rwsurrection, was raised, not left behind in the grave. But He could appear in a clised room or walk through walls or however He did it.

  • Troy Day
    Reply July 11, 2019

    Troy Day

    Thank you for confirming there was no misrepresentation in the quote of your own claims and these are indeed your own words Well, it’s kind of hard not to when you open the Link and your picture is next to them NOW you need to explain what do you mean BY

    1. the Bible never once mentions going to heaven when you die.
    2. any pre-tribber believe we go to heaven to be with Jesus forever after the rapture

    because they are BOTH wrong – what exactly do you mean?
    http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/heaven-or-the-resurrection/

    • Philip Williams
      Reply July 11, 2019

      Philip Williams

      Troy Day Heaven coming down during worship was a central theme in the Holiness Pentecostal worship. And if Jesus is present in our worship, Heaven is present in our worship.

      This needs to extend beyond the chuch walls with Christians working together but separately from the world not unlike the Early Church. Yes, there will be a battle with the forces of darkness, but the forces of Heaven are stronger.

      “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.””
      ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭12:10-12‬ ‭

    • Troy Day
      Reply July 11, 2019

      Troy Day

      Philip Williams true I agree but you see how his own quotes are saying something completely different and unbiblical

    • Philip Williams
      Reply July 11, 2019

      Philip Williams

      Troy Day Link is preaching SDA heresy!

  • Troy Day
    Reply July 11, 2019

    Troy Day

    Link Hudson how are you feeling misrepresented by your own writing quotes?

  • Troy Day
    Reply July 11, 2019

    Troy Day

    does ANYONE still believe that?

    Sing the wondrous love of Jesus
    Sing his mercy and his grace
    In the mansions bright and blessed
    He’ll prepare for us a place

    When we all get to heaven
    What a day of rejoicing that will be
    When we all see Jesus
    We’ll sing and shout the victory

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVh687Kcnbo

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