II Corinthians 5:8 "We are of good courage, I say, and prefer to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord."
There is no intermediate state. The Bible teaches us there is no soul sleep, no purgatory, but instant entrance into God's presence and home. So, heaven is our eternal home. Our Lord is there. Our friends and loved ones in Christ are there. There is no sin nor sinful nature there to cause unhappiness.
Death for the believer is not a venture into the unknown, or a strange or alien atmosphere: it’s like going home. But it is even more wonderful than that because it is a home in God’s presence.
While the ultimate wiping away of every tear awaits the final battle and the resurrection, our victory in Christ means that at death, we are ushered into the Lord's presence which brings joy unspeakable. In this heavenly home there won't be the sorrow, the tears, and the pain that we have here, and certainly, there is no death there (Rev. 21:4). The believer there experiences perfect happiness and all the joys which attend being in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.
When thinking of the glories of heaven and being at home with the Lord, the apostle Paul wrote, "I am in a straight between two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better, or to abide here."
So you can see we should receive much comfort and joy if we think about what death really means to the departed believer in Christ.
Our victory in Christ also assures us that the believer will one day experience a glorious resurrection and a glorified body like that of Christ. Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life, he that believes in me though he were dead, yet shall he live."
Paul said, "For our manner of life is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body" (Phil. 3:20-21).
This life is so often beset by ailing and painfully sick bodies, but our future body will know no such problems.
The Word of God assures us that the victory accomplished for us by the Lord Jesus means a glorious, eternal inheritance "an inheritance which is incorruptible, undefiled, that fadeth not away, which is reserved in heaven for those who are kept by the power of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ" (I Pet. 1:3-5).
In other words, our heavenly inheritance is everything that our earthy inheritances are not. Our heavenly inheritance is: incorruptible in substance, undefiled in purity, unfading in beauty and joy, and reserved in heaven (kept sure) for every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ by the eternal power and love of God in Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:39).
This means that our work on earth is never forgotten and that the labors of believers will follow them into eternity. So the Apostle concludes the resurrection chapter with these words:
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Cor. 15:58).
Finally, we can find further comfort in knowing "that precious in the sight of the LORD, is the death of His saints." There are no accidents with God, His timing is perfect, and He works all things together for good, for the one taken and those left (Rom. 8:28-29). When a believer is called home, it's because God's purposes for that believer are over. It's because in God's love and wisdom, He wants that believer with Him in glory.
The apostle also wrote: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? . . . For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."