Q Where did the Old Testament believers go when they died? Where do the New Testament believers go when they die?
by Pastor Matt Ritchey, Managing Editor
Estimated Time to Read: 2 Minutes
ANSWER: Anyone who died in the “Old Testament” went to Sheol when they died. For further study, see the wicked (Ps. 9:17; 31:17; 49:14; Isa. 5:14) and the believers (Gen. 37:35; Job 14:13; Ps. 6:5; 16:10; 88:3; Isa. 38:10). Sheol, however, had two very different partitions (Lk. 16:26): the one for the wicked was a place of torment (Mk. 9:45), while the place for the faithful is called Paradise (Lk. 23:43).
While there is some disagreement amongst Bible scholars regarding the location of Paradise after the ascension of Christ (some, like me, believe it will remain where it was until the bodily resurrection; others think Christ took Paradise to Heaven), it is still safe to say that the Kingdom saints continued to go to Paradise upon death while the unfaithful went to eternal torment.
The Mystery Revealed
The only drastic change to a person’s destination after death was revealed when the Mystery was entrusted to the Apostle Paul regarding the unique, previously unknown group of believers called the Body of Christ of which we are part (Eph. 3:1-9). We have been told that believers immediately go to Heaven when we die (II Cor. 5:6-9). This is an eternal location that was unknown and not promised included in the Mystery revealed to and through the Apostle Paul.
So, Kingdom believers (a.k.a. faithful Israelites and proselytes) went to Paradise upon death. We, the Body of Christ, go to Heaven when we die.
Read another article from this edition of the BABQ:
Question 4: I heard this pastor say that, in Luke 16:19-31, Abraham’s bosom was in Heaven because the angels took the beggar to Heaven while the rich man went to Hell and torment. I have been teaching that this is NOT a parable but truth because Jesus uses names which He doesn’t do in His parables. If this is true, then the rich man can see into Heaven and talk with Abraham who is in Heaven. That can’t be true.