The Bereans were commended for checking out what they were taught by searching the scriptures (Acts 17:11 Acts 17:11These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
American King James Version×). This study guide is for those who wish to search the scriptures to learn whether this commonly held idea is true.
Evidence from Scripture
Acts 2:29-34 Acts 2:29-34 29 Men and brothers, let me freely speak to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us to this day.
30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
31 He seeing this before spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
32 This Jesus has God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he has shed forth this, which you now see and hear.
34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he said himself, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit you on my right hand,
American King James Version×“…David … is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. (34) “For David did not ascend into the heavens ….”
1. Was David among the righteous? Consider Acts 13:22 Acts 13:22And when he had removed him, he raised up to them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.
American King James Version×; 2 Chronicles 7:17 2 Chronicles 7:17And as for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded you, and shall observe my statutes and my judgments;
American King James Version×; 2 Chronicles 28:1 2 Chronicles 28:1Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: but he did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD, like David his father:
American King James Version×; 2 Chronicles 29:2 2 Chronicles 29:2And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done.
American King James Version×; 2 Chronicles 34:2 2 Chronicles 34:2And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left.
American King James Version×.
2. Where is David? Is he in heaven?
John 3:13 John 3:13And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
American King James Version×“No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.”
3. Who has gone to heaven?
Ecclesiastes 9:5-10 Ecclesiastes 9:5-10 5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.
7 Go your way, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God now accepts your works.
8 Let your garments be always white; and let your head lack no ointment.
9 Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of the life of your vanity, which he has given you under the sun, all the days of your vanity: for that is your portion in this life, and in your labor which you take under the sun.
10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you go.
American King James Version×…But the dead know nothing … Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished…. (10) … there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.
4. Are the dead conscious?
5. Do they have emotional awareness?
Luke 6:20 Luke 6:20And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be you poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
American King James Version×… “Blessed are you poor, For yours is the kingdom of God.”
6. Is there a difference between the “kingdom of heaven” and the “kingdom of God”?
Matthew 5:12 Matthew 5:12Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
American King James Version×“Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven ….”
7. What is in heaven?
8. Does this verse say we go to heaven to receive the reward?
Matthew 25:31-34 Matthew 25:31-34 31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say to them on his right hand, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
American King James Version×“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those of His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world….”
9. When do the righteous receive their inheritance? Consider Revelation 11:15-18 Revelation 11:15-18 15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell on their faces, and worshipped God,
17 Saying, We give you thanks, O LORD God Almighty, which are, and were, and are to come; because you have taken to you your great power, and have reigned.
18 And the nations were angry, and your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward to your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth.
American King James Version×and Romans 22:12 Romans 22:12
American King James Version×as well.
10. What is the inheritance?
11. Where is the inheritance? Is it in heaven?
12. What does the parable of the ten minas (Luke 19:11-17 Luke 19:11-17 11 And as they heard these things, he added and spoke a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.
12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said to them, Occupy till I come.
14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called to him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, your pound has gained ten pounds.
17 And he said to him, Well, you good servant: because you have been faithful in a very little, have you authority over ten cities.
American King James Version×) teach us about what the reward is and when it is given?
1 Corinthians 15:50-52 1 Corinthians 15:50-52 50 Now this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption.
51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 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.
American King James Version×…flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God … we shall all be changed — in a moment … at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
13. What must first occur before anyone inherits the kingdom?
14. Has the resurrection taken place yet?
15. Has anyone inherited the kingdom?
16. Where are the dead waiting for the resurrection?
Revelation 21:2-3 Revelation 21:2-3 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
American King James Version×Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God…. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.”
17. Do we eventually go to heaven to dwell with the Father?
1. What does God, through the Bible, tell us about the reward of the saved, where that reward is, and when that reward is to be received?
2. What do people say concerning the reward of the righteous and when and where it is to be received?
3. What do you believe? Do you believe that a righteous individual receives his reward at death in heaven?