Q. When Christ our Lord died and rose again through the power of the Holy Spirit, did He take all the dead in Him that were waiting in Paradise to Heaven or are they still waiting in paradise for the Day of the Lord (Rapture)? I ask this because in 2 Cor. 12:2-4 Paul spoke about a man going to Paradise. Who was the man and why did he go to Paradise if there’s no one there?
A. When Jesus ascended to heaven He took the Old Testament believers from Paradise with Him (Ephes. 4:7-8). Paul was referring to himself in 2 Cor. 12:2-4 and his visit took place a number of years after the Lord’s ascension. The translation you are using is incorrect in saying Paul went to Paradise. The Greek word in 2 Cor. 12:2 is ouranos. In 284 New Testament appearances, it’s most often translated heaven and is never translated paradise. (The Greek word for Paradise is paradeisos.) Paul was speaking of a supernatural visit to Heaven. This might have happened during the brief period of time when he was dead after being stoned in Lystra (Acts 14:19-20).