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Anson (13)
Q: Why do people say after you die you go to heaven and if you go to heaven after death, why dont people want to die???????
A: Dear Anson,
Thanks for visiting our site, and thanks for your question.

There are probably a dozen reason why people think that when you die you go to heaven. Almost every religion teaches that you go somewhere better after you die. Christianity teaches that when a person dies, they first rest in the grave awaiting the resurrection. Job says “But a man dies and is laid low; man breathes his last, and where is he? As waters fail from a lake and a river wastes away and dries up, so a man lies down and rises not again; till the heavens are no more he will not awake or be roused out of his sleep.” (Job 14:10-12). Job says man will rest in the grave “till the heavens are no more.” The Bible says the “heavens are no more” when Jesus comes again in 2 Peter 3:10 – “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar…” And Jesus Himself said He would raise the dead “at the last day” (John 6:39, 40, 44, 54).

Now the second part of your question was, “If after death Jesus is going to take us to heaven, then why don’t they want to die?” Actually, that was a question the apostle Paul struggled with. He said “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.” (Philippians 1:21-24). Paul knew that if he died, the next thing he would see would be Jesus’ second coming and the resurrection. Yet at the same time, he knew the believers needed him to help them to be ready for Jesus’ coming. So he decided “Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith.” (verse 25).

For Paul, he didn’t want to die because he knew he had an important work to do – the same work that God gives to all Christians, the work of leading others to Christ. He knew that without him, some might not hear the message of Jesus. For their sake, and the sake of Jesus who died for them, He wanted to live. And truly, Paul found his joy in living to help others, just as Jesus did, and just as we will, too.

There are others who are nearing death who are afraid to die because they aren’t sure they are saved. That gives you and me the opportunity to share Jesus and the hope of salvation and the resurrection with them.
Thanks for writing, and remember, there's never been a better time to share Jesus!

Your friend,
Pastor Howard

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*Note: All Scripture references are from the English Standard Version unless otherwise indicated.