Do we know from Scripture whether Jesus himself returns to usher dying believers home to heaven in the days between his Ascension and his final return on the Last Day? As I think about this more, I suppose this could even be an idle question, as being "ushered" to heaven may not even be the reality of what happens, but rather only a manner of speaking about a believer leaving this life and entering eternal life. Perhaps there is actually no "ushering" involved, as when a believer closes their eyes in death they simply find yourself in the presence of the Lord in heaven. Thanks for any help you can offer. I'm just curious as to how we should speak (according to Scripture) about the "ushering" into heaven of believers who die between Christ's Ascension and his return for Judgment.
Luke 16:22 speaks of Lazarus and angels who “carried him to Abraham’s side” (Luke 16:22). Is it possible that angels provide similar service to all believers who die? It is possible. Scripture does not explicitly teach that.
Does Jesus himself usher believers home to heaven? The Bible does not teach that. Jesus promised the repentant thief that he would be with him in paradise that day (Luke 23:43). There is no mention of Jesus ushering him home.
The apostle Paul wrote of his desire “to depart and be with Christ” (Philippians 1:23). Paul’s words illustrate that being with Jesus in heaven is of utmost importance. Death provides the opportunity for Christians to leave this world and be with Jesus in heaven. According to Scripture, we can speak of Christians who have died in the faith as being in heaven. The Bible’s emphasis is clearly on the location of believers’ souls after death, without any description of the soul’s immediate transition from earth to heaven.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 describes what will take place on the Last Day. Jesus will return visibly to this world. He will be accompanied by the souls of believers who were in heaven with him. Christians who are alive on the earth on the Last Day will “meet the Lord in the air” (verse 17).
While we may have unanswered questions about the Bible now, what a blessing it is to have the answer to the most important question a person could ask: “What must I do to be saved?” “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:30-31). We enjoy salvation now through the forgiveness of sins. We will enjoy it forever in the presence of God.