Where does a Christian or believer’s spirit and soul go when he dies? Where does the Christian’s body (physical) go when he dies? What happens to the Christian’s body when Jesus Christ returns to earth to rapture His Church?
Mark 16:19; Acts 7:55; 1:9-11; Heb. 7:28; 8:1; 9:24 show that Jesus Christ is in heaven at God the Father’s right hand.
Phil. 1:21-24 – Paul says that to depart (die) was to be with Christ (and since Jesus is in heaven, so would Paul be).
2 Cor. 5:1-8 – In verse 1, the “earthly tent which is our house” is symbolic for these Christians’ physical bodies. But when the “tent” (physical body) is “torn down” (dissolved – its component parts separated either by violence or decay and is, therefore, dead), the Christian has a home in the heavens.
Paul tells all the Christians in the church at Corinth that to be at home in the body is to be absent from the Lord and to be absent from the body (the spirit and soul leave the body at death – Acts 7:59-60; Lk. 23:46) is to be at home with the Lord (and as was mentioned above, the Lord is in heaven, so all these Christians will be in heaven at death). Not just a select few Christians go to heaven, but all. And remember that the Christians at Corinth were the most worldly/carnal (1 Cor. 3:1-3; 5:1).
John 14:1-3 – Jesus tells His disciples that He is going to prepare a place for them in the Father’s house, where He is going, and that He’d return for them to receive them to Himself, so that they could be where He is. And where did Jesus go soon after this? To heaven – Acts 1:9-11.
Col. 1:3-6 – Paul tells all the Christians in the city of Colossae that he gives thanks to God because of the hope laid up for them in heaven (and this “hope” waiting for them in heaven is eternal life, as Paul tells Titus in Titus 1:2). So eternal life in heaven awaits all these believers. Again, it’s not for just a certain number of Christians.
1 Pet. 1:3-5 – Peter tells all these Christians, who are scattered all over many countries that God has an inheritance reserved in heaven for them (that is, a living hope). Again, this living hope is eternal life (Titus 1:2) reserved in heaven for all of them.
Luke 23:39-43 – Jesus told the believing thief that he would be in Paradise that same day with Him. This took place right before both of them died. Paradise is heaven, as shown in 2 Cor. 12:2-4.
Lk. 23:43, 46, 52-53 – It was when Jesus’ spirit left Him that He physically died. His Spirit went to Paradise (heaven), and His body was laid in a tomb.
Acts 7:59-60 – Stephen died when his spirit left him, and he expected his spirit to be received right then by the Lord Jesus, Who was and is in heaven (Acts 1:11; 7:55).
1 Thes. 4:13-17 – Christians who have died before Jesus’ return to rapture them, will have their bodies come out of the grave (or wherever they’ve dissolved) and be raised up and caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and always be with the Lord. So it appears that the Christian’s spirit and soul will reunite with his resurrected body.
Phil. 3:20-21 – Paul tells all the Christians who are in the city of Philippi that their citizenship is in heaven, from which they wait for the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform their bodies into conformity with the body of His glory. So when Jesus returns for all Christians, He will give them new glorified bodies to then take into heaven with them (1 Thes. 4:16-17).
1 Cor. 15:35-55 – This passage teaches several things: At death, our physical body is sown (buried) a perishable, natural body, but when it’s raised, it becomes an imperishable, spiritual body. As Christ (the heavenly – 1 Cor. 15:48) is, so also are those who are heavenly (Christians). Christians will have a body fashioned like Christ’s glorious body (1 Cor. 15:49; Phil. 3:21). Christians will be changed in a moment (those Christians who died before Christ’s return) and will be raised with imperishable, immortal bodies.