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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
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 You Are Here: Bridge / Galley / Ask The Pastor / Question 153
Ask the Pastor
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clear.gif - 808 Bytes What do we know from the Word of God about what Heaven is like right now for those who have passed on before us? People really get confused and make statements about the dead walking the streets and eating fruits and talking with family and friends. A believer who has died is a spirit with out a body....

You may click on verses to reveal pop-up Scripture

clear.gif - 808 Bytes I don't think that we really know a lot about what Heaven is like now. In fact, the descriptions we use of Heaven are technically given to the New Jerusalem, which comes out of heaven (whatever that may be: the word translated "heaven" is used for both "the kingdom of heaven" and "birds of the air") according to Rev 21:10. I guess it is possible that the New Jerusalem is functioning today and that believers go there today and it will just physically appear after the Millennium, but I would be hesitant to say that with any certainty. Revelation 21:5 says,

"Behold, I make all things new,"
which probably means that the New Jerusalem is, in fact, new. Actually, the New Jerusalem as portrayed in Revelation 21-22 probably can not be functioning today since
"the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it" (22:3),
"there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie" (21:27),
yet we know that Satan has access to God now (Job 1:6, Rev 12:10), which would seem to indicate that the throne of God is not currently in the New Jerusalem.

 You are correct. When a person dies he becomes, for lack of a better word, a disembodied spirit. And, according to II Cor 5:1-4, the disembodied spirit desires to receive his glorified body, which, of course, will not occur until the rapture. Some interpret II Cor 5 differently, and I suppose it could simply refer to going to Heaven, but I don't think so. That doesn't fit with the context.

 However, in spite of the fact that the dead in Christ are spirit beings without bodies, they are in a better place. II Cor 5:8 says that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, and Paul says in Philippians 1:23,

"For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better."
Certainly Luke 16 teaches that Lazarus was "comforted". This statement is given in contrast to the condition of the rich man who, even though he had no "body" still had at least 4 of his 5 senses, so I assume from that passage that Lazarus was not simply in some blissful haze, but possessed his physical senses even though he had no physical body.

 So this would be my answer. We know almost nothing about the current state of the dead in Christ. Upon death their souls went to be with the Lord, and they are in a state where they are able to use their senses as if they had bodies, and this is a better place for them than earth was. However, they have not yet received everything, for they groan in desire for their eternal tabernacles, their glorified bodies, and once those have been received and the Tribulation and Millennium have ended, then they will enjoy the blessings of the New Jerusalem, as well as the new earth.

 Hope this helps

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Pastor Dr. Mark Montgomery
Email: Ask the Pastor

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