ABSOLUTELY NOT! Scripture is very clear about the abode of the believer who has passed away. We read in 2 Corinthians 5:8, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” Once a Christian dies, he (or she) is immediately in the presence of the Lord. While the body is still on the earth, the soul and spirit is in the presence of the Lord.

We have a couple of examples in the scriptures that speak of this. In Luke 16, we have the true story of a man named Lazarus. He was very poor, but was a believer. We read in verse 22, “And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom…” We also have the words of the Apostle Paul who wrote in Philippians 1:23-24, “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.” He realized that at his ‘departure’ (death), he would be with Christ.”

We must be very cautious when others tell us of a vision that they have had. If these visions are contrary at all to what the Bible says, then we much completely reject that vision as being from the Lord. We must make sure that it is the Word of God that is our teacher and authority…not visions which may or may not come from the Lord. I have read accounts of some who claim to have visions of being in Heaven. Some have even claimed to have had visions of being in Hell. Are these authentic? It’s hard to say sometimes, but if they are contrary to the truth of God’s Word, we know they are false.

I once watched a video of a man who was in a car crash. He claimed that he was taken to Heaven and saw that glorious place. I watched it once and decided to watch it again and listen more carefully to what he said. Not once did he mention the name of Jesus. He did not even mention God. He spoke of seeing a ‘Heavenly being’. He spoke a long time about getting a tour of Heaven, and then this ‘Heavenly being’ told him to go back to earth with the message of what he had seen. In Luke 16, when the rich man asked Abraham to send Lazarus back to earth to warn his brothers of Hell. We read in Luke 16:29-31, “Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” This is crystal clear, if someone will not heed the Word of God, then they will not be persuaded by someone who had died and returned to life.

There is only one source that without a doubt, we know it is God speaking to us. That source is the Bible. We can trust it from beginning to end, from Genesis to Revelation. Perhaps the Lord may give someone a vision for a private lesson or direction, but we cannot rely on someone’s vision as being authoritative at all. We read in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” The entire Word of God, in the original, is inspired by God. It is perfect and it is complete. What need do we have of visions? We have God’s Word as “a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105) (260.2)