Q. For years as a Christian I have thought that if we believe in Christ we would go to heaven when we die. I have searched the Bible but cannot find any reference to this. In Revelation it talks of the dead being raised when Christ returns. My question is, do we go to heaven when we die or do we stay in limbo waiting for the return of Christ, which we know not when He will return.
A. In two places Paul wrote that when we die our spirits immediately go to Heaven to be with Jesus. They are 2 Cor. 5:6-8, and Phil. 1:21-23. Our bodies are buried and soon decay into dust (Genesis 3:19).
If we die before the rapture our spirits will receive new bodies at the rapture. If we don’t, then we get new bodies at the rapture without dying (1 Cor. 15:51-52). Those who are raised in Revelation 20:4 are not part of the Church, but are Tribulation martyrs who will come to faith after the rapture and be killed.
By the way, Limbo is a non-Biblical term used by some Catholics. It refers to the hypothetical destination of infants who die without being baptized. It’s neither as good as heaven nor as bad as Hell.