Those who believe the dead have always gone directly to heaven or hell may have trouble with this direct teaching of Jesus. With zero being a numerical value, Jesus provided Nicodemus the exact number of people in heaven. Jesus describes humans only gaining access to the kingdom of God after they are born again. Christians are born again when they are resurrected into their new bodies at the return of Jesus. Are Christians born again when they are resurrected into their new bodies at the return of Jesus?
John 3:1-13 New Revised Standard Version
1 Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2 He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ 8 The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? 11 “Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.
1 Corinthians 15:52-57 Easy-to-Read Version
52 It will only take the time of a second. We will be changed as quickly as an eye blinks. This will happen when the last trumpet blows. The trumpet will blow and those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we will all be changed. 53 This body that ruins must clothe itself with something that will never ruin. And this body that dies must clothe itself with something that will never die. 54 So this body that ruins will clothe itself with that which never ruins. And this body that dies will clothe itself with that which never dies. When this happens, the Scriptures will be made true: “Death is swallowed in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your victory? Where is your power to hurt?” 56 Death’s power to hurt is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But we thank God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!