And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.
What happens to Christians when they die?
They go immediately into the presence of God.
The apostle Paul wrote, And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13 NLT).
Paul was writing to believers in Thessalonica who were grieving because their loved ones had died, and they thought they’d never see them again. He went on to say, “For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died” (verse 14 NLT).
When the Rapture takes place, we will be reunited with our loved ones. It’s also when we all will receive our resurrection bodies—radically upgraded versions of our old ones.
Sometimes people claim that no one can figure out Bible prophecy, and there are so many different views that we shouldn’t even talk about it. On the contrary, God wants us to know about the end times. Notice that Paul said, We want you to know what will happen.
The very word revelation—the title of the last book of the Bible—means the unveiling. So here’s what Paul is saying: if you’ve lost loved ones and they’ve gone to Heaven, then you will see them again. Imagine that you’re going about your daily business, and suddenly, in a moment that happens so quickly that you can’t even measure it in time, you’re reunited with your loved ones.
So God gives us Bible prophecy not to scare us but to encourage us. It is not God’s desire to conceal but to reveal. He wants us to know these things