I thought I read in the New Testament that Jesus says, “I’m going to heaven to prepare a place for you. If it was not true I would not say so.” I can’t locate that passage now. Is it in the Bible? I want to reply to a Protestant who does not believe that we go to heaven when we die but must wait for the second coming of Jesus.
The passage is John 14:3: “And when I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself.” So I don’t think this one will help. However, Luke 23:43 hits the target squarely: “This day you will be with me in paradise.” Basically what you are dealing with is the particular judgment rather than the general judgment.