It has long been taught that when a Christian dies they go straight to heaven. Is this what the Bible teaches or have paganistic doctrines and myths crept unbeknown into our Christian faith?
What did Jesus say about his friend Lazarus who had died? John 11:11-14 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
Jesus clearly showed us that the dead sleep. If Lazarus had gone to heaven Jesus would have said that he was in heaven with the Father. Also, after Jesus raised Lazarus, did anyone ask Lazarus What was it like in heaven? Tell us about it. No one did, because it was the belief of the day that when someone died they slept until the resurrection on the last day.
This is further clarified in Psalms where we are told that when we die our thoughts perish Psalms 146:4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.
We are also told that we will not rise again until the heavens are no more (when Jesus returns) Job 14:12 So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.
Paul reinforced this understanding 1 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:
Many Christians believe that when they die they go directly to heaven, even though the day of judgment has not even occurred yet. They visualize themselves in heaven with the angels praising God. But what does the Bible say? Psalms 115:17 The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.
It is clear that the Bible writers all believed that the state of the dead is like sleeping, to be awakened the moment after they closed their eyes at the final trumpet at the coming of Jesus on the day of redemption. 1 Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
Job made it clear that we return to dust and are no more until the resurrection Job 7:21 And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away mine iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be.
There are many deceptions of Satan going on in these end times and spiritism is on the increase. If people realized that the dead are all asleep and cant communicate with us, then they would start to question who exactly it is that they are communicating with. There are many deceptive demonic spirits in the invisible world around us, who take every opportunity they can to lead people astray. It is time that we recognized that when mediums are speaking to the other side it is actually the evil angels that they are talking to and not dead beloved relatives.
How can we help those who have been tricked by these deceptive spirits, if we dont demonstrate to people from a Biblical perspective that the dead are asleep and have no thoughts, so it cant be them doing the communicating?
All Bible references are from the King James Version.