It’s in 2 Kings 2 that we learn of Elijah’s last day on earth. 2 Kings 2:1-2 tells us, “And it came to pass, when the LORD would TAKE UP ELIJAH INTO HEAVEN BY A WHIRLWIND, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel.” As Elijah traveled towards his designated place, Elisha (his protégé) went with him. His insistence to be with Elijah revealed his loyalty.

Eventually, Elijah and Elisha reached the Jordan River. We read in verses 8-10, “And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground. And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.” It is here that Elijah offers Elisha a blessing of whatever he asks. Elisha did not ask for riches, worldly position or gain. His request from Elijah revealed his spiritual state, for he requested a ‘double portion of thy spirit’. Elisha spoke to Elijah as a son to his father and so he asks for the oldest son’s portion…a double portion. (Read Deuteronomy 21:17). He desired a double portion of Elijah’s ‘spirit’, or his spiritual power and influence so that he might serve the Lord, also.

We then read in verse 11, “And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and ELIJAH WENT UP BY A WHIRLWIND INTO HEAVEN.” That is very plain, isn’t it? Elijah went physically into Heaven in a chariot of fire…without going through death! So far, there has been only one other person who has ascended into Heaven without dying. We read of Enoch in Genesis 5:24, “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” We also read in Hebrews 11:5, “By faith Enoch was translated that HE SHOULD NOT SEE DEATH; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.”

I say that Elijah and Enoch are the only ones who have ascended into Heaven SO FAR without dying because MANY will also ascend into Heaven without going through death. We read in 1 Corinthians 15:51-53, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; WE SHALL NOT ALL SLEEP, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” The word ‘sleep’ means to decease or die. We read in John 11:11-13, “These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend LAZARUS SLEEPETH; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit JESUS SPAKE OF HIS DEATH: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.” We shall not all die, many will go to Heaven without death. When will that happen? When the Lord returns to take His church to Heaven. We read of that day in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, “Then we which are ALIVE AND REMAIN shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” What a blessed event! Are you ready for that wondrous event? Do you know Christ as your savior and are part of His church? There is NOTHING that must take place before the Lord returns. He could return this very day. It was said of Enoch that he pleased God. We read in Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Have you pleased God by putting your faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ? Are you ready to face Him? (298.8)