Q: Did people in Old Testament times go to heaven when they died? Or is heaven reserved only for people who lived after Jesus came? I haven’t found anything about heaven in the Old Testament. — L.D.
A: Since the Christian heaven does not exist, no one has ever gone there when they died, and this question has no answer. Here’s a question I’d like a Christian to answer:
- Since it is well documented that modern humans gradually evolved from earlier phylogenic ancestors, at which point in our evolution did we become eligible to go to heaven?
I don’t think there is a good answer to this question. I can’t imagine there are any Christians that believe that other hominids (chimps, gorillas, and orangutans) go to heaven when they die. Evolutionary evidence tells us we are animals (primates, mammals, chordates) and that we very slowly evolved to the species we are today from animals that resembled chimps or gorillas more so than modern humans. Since this change was so gradual, how can anyone point to a time when we suddenly were worthy of salvation?
It is much more rational to realize that we are part of the continuum that is the eukaryotic tree of life and not a special animal made in the image of some god.
Feel free to leave your answer to this question in the comments.