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How Many People Have Gone to Heaven?

How Many People Have Gone to Heaven?

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Published by jiadonisi
Are there any examples in the Bible of anyone going to heaven?
Are there any examples in the Bible of anyone going to heaven?

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Published by: jiadonisi on Aug 09, 2008
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04/29/2011

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How Many People Have Gone toHeaven?
 The greatest hope of many Christians is to go to heaven when theydie, to be with the Lord for eternity. If this belief brings you peace and joy, please don't allow me to take that away from you by my incessantdoubts and questions. I have no intention of taking away your greatesthope, but would you indulge me as I examine what saith thescriptures?My question is this, since the great hope of many Christians is to go toheaven upon physical death, does the Bible contain any examples of anyone going to heaven? But before we look at who went to heaven,let's look at some often misunderstood (and sometimes misquoted)verses and words.
heaven, the heavens, the Kingdom of Heaven, the Kingdom of God
 The first time the heavens appear in scripture is Genesis 1:1 -
In thebeginning, God created the
heavens
and the earth.
 This tells us thatthe heavens refers to anything that is not the earth. Something that isfrom heaven, or of heaven, can be present on the earth, but its originis from above. A careful study of Jesus' use of the Kingdom of Heavenwill reveal that it is something which Jesus plans to establish on earth.It's a complicated topic, but one thing is sure - nowhere in scripture isheaven described as a place where anyone goes upon death.
The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to
 Abraham's side.
(Lk. 16:22) This is from the story of the rich man and Lazarus. After Lazarus dies,the rich man also dies and finds himself in hell (hades). The rich manlifts up his eyes in hell - and what does he see? Abraham and Lazarus. They were separated only by a great chasm (deep, but not very wide,which we know because they had a conversation back and forth). Thismeans that Abraham and Lazarus were also in hell, not heaven! The"nice side" of hell doesn't sounds very heavenly. If heaven means youget to sit on Abraham's chest for eternity while listening to the
 
screams of the damned as they beg for water, then count me out.What if it were your son, your mother, or your spouse on the otherside? Does that sound like heaven to you? Taken literally, this storyproves that everyone goes to hell (hades) upon death, not heaven.
 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believesin me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes inme will
never die.
Do you believe this?"
(Jn. 11:25-26)"Never die" in this verse is misleading. Young's Literal Translation ismore accurate:
and every one who is living and believing in me shallnot die
to the age.
 This probably refers to the yet future Kingdomage which Jesus will establish on earth.
In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would havetold you.
I am going there to prepare a place for you
. And if I goand prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be withme that you also may be where I am.
(Jn. 14:2-3) The key to this verse is when Jesus says, "I will come back and takeyou...." Not "you will come to me when you die" There is nothing at allabout death here.
We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and 
at home with the Lord.
 
(2 Cor. 5:8)I've often heard this verse misquoted as "to be absent from the bodyis to be present with the Lord" It does not say that. Paul was adamantthat there is no hope without the resurrection of the dead. If everyonewent immediately to heaven or hell upon death then the resurrectionof the dead would be totally meaningless. Read 1 Corinthians, chapter15 and you'll see how the resurrection is about raising the dead, notanimating zombies with disembodied spirits or souls.
 Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in
 paradise.
"
(Lk. 23:43) This was the promise Jesus made to the thief on the cross. If we takethis to mean that the thief will go to heaven with Jesus on that veryday, we have a problem. When Jesus rose from the dead, he explicitlystated that he had not yet ascended to his Father. When Jesus died, he
 
went to hell (hades), not heaven. So what does it mean? "Today" is aused as a figure of speech for emphasis, much like "verily, verily". Thecomma should be placed after today, not before: I tell you truth today,you will be with me in paradise. (There is no punctuation in theoriginal manuscripts. All punctuation is supplied by the translators attheir discretion)
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the
souls
of those who had been slain because of the word of God and thetestimony they had maintained.
(Rev. 6:9) The souls were under the alter, not in heaven. This verse appears inthe highly symbolic Book of Revelation and should not be takenliterally.So what do the scriptures say about going to heaven? Who has goneto heaven? I found these examples:Elijah
 As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah
went up to heaven
in a whirlwind. ( 
2 Kings 2:11)
 Jesus
 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was
taken up intoheaven
and he sat at the right hand of God.
(Mk. 16:19)
 John
 After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in
heaven.
And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, "
Come up here
, and I will show you what must take place after this.
(Rev. 4:1) That's three people. Who else went to heaven? No one!
These arethe only examples of anyone going to heaven in the entireBible.
Since I'm reluctant to take the accounts of Elijah and Johnliterally, that leaves only Jesus who went to heaven. And did younotice that none of these three were dead? So if I change the questionto how many people died and went to heaven in the Bible, the answerwould be zero!

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If kickformoney believes, "so I think that in our death, we are in heaven immediately following." Why would Christ need to have a second coming and who would there be to participate in the first ressurection or second depending if you are in the book of Life or not? You are dead, in a state of deep sleep, to be raised either at the first ressurection or the second. Plain and simple.
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