Is David in Heaven?
Good News Magazine
November 1973
Volume: Vol XXII, No. 4
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Is David in Heaven?
Ronald Beideck  

   IF heaven is the reward of the saved, where the righteous go immediately at death, we should certainly expect David, of all people, to be in heaven. God called David, king of Israel, "a man after mine own heart" (Acts 13:22). Further, in Acts 7:46 we are told that David "found favour before God." Yet the Apostle Peter, in the first sermon of the New Testament Church, was inspired to say: "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day" (Acts 2:29).
   Peter then added: "For David is NOT ascended into the heavens" (verse 34).
   Plainly, David is dead and buried, in his grave, and not in heaven. God's Word says so.
   In Hebrews 11:32, David is included among those who died in faith. Now turn to verse 39 of this same chapter: "And these all [and that includes David] having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they [including David and all the worthies of old] without us should not be made perfect."
   In other words, David will not precede the rest of God's saints in receiving the promise. He, too, is awaiting the time when he will be made perfect.
   And when does this occur? When will David be made perfect? Philippians 3:20, 21 gives the answer: "For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall [at that time — the second coming of Christ] change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his [Christ's] glorious body...."
   Jesus Christ is now in heaven, from where He will return to the earth. Then David, together with the rest of the saints, will be resurrected — changed — no longer mortal, corruptible flesh, but given a glorious body like Christ's.
   What kind of body does the glorified Jesus Christ have? Read the description for yourself in Revelation 1:13-18. His eyes are as a flame of fire, his voice thunders as the powerful crashing sound of many waters, his countenance shines as the sun.
   David will be resurrected immortal, incorruptible, in a glorified perfect spiritual body not subject to death or decay. "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption .... For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (I Cor. 15:50, 53).
   David could not already be in heaven in this glorified condition, for we read that David is not to be perfected "without [before] us." Notice verses 51, 52: "Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all [all includes David] be changed." When shall we be changed? "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead [remember, Peter said that David was dead] shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed."
   And when is the last trump? At the second coming of Christ! (Rev. 11:15; I Thess. 4:16.)
   Here is when David will be made perfect. The time setting of this stupendous event is given unmistakably by the Apostle John: "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear [Christ's coming and the resurrection are yet future events], we shall be like him [like the glorified Christ], for we shall see him as he is" (I John 3:2).
   David's resurrection is spoken of in Jeremiah 30:9: "But they [Israel] shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will RAISE UP." Notice the time setting of this event is yet future. Ezekiel adds, "... And my servant David shall be their prince for ever" (Ezek. 37:25). This is the time — still to occur — when David will receive eternal inheritance in God's Kingdom.
   Furthermore, David could not possibly be in heaven. Jesus said, over 1000 years after David had died, "No man hath ascended up to heaven..." (John 3:13). Jesus had been in heaven. He knew!
   David himself understood and described what happens to man at death. He wrote: "His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish" (Ps. 146:4). There is no knowledge or consciousness in the grave (Eccl. 9:5, 6, 10). The dead, Scripture says, await a resurrection (I Thess. 4:15-17; I Cor. 15:50-52; Dan. 12:2).
   How plain! David is dead and buried, awaiting the resurrection with all of God's saints. At that time he will receive the promises. To find out what these promises are (you'll be surprised to find they do not include heaven), be sure to read our free booklet What is the Reward of the Saved?

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Good News MagazineNovember 1973Vol XXII, No. 4