I am pretty sure before Christ was resurrected, no one went to heaven when they died. After he was resurrected, I don't know? I haven't seen a verse that convinces me that we do go to be with Christ now.
I have the same thoughts as you C.
In the OT we read about soul sleep. We can argue what exactly that is; but the word sleep seems to indicate it isn't the real deal.
It seemed to happen to men of God too. Samuel was asleep.
When Jesus drank wine at the Last Supper He sealed a wedding deal between Himself, Father and the bride (believers)
The next day He paid the "bridal prize" on the cross.YLTJohn 142
in the house of my Father are many mansions; and if not, I would have told you; I go on to prepare a place for you;
That preparing typically took 1-2 years. Time often has some twist in the Bible. A day is day or year or thousand year. So it's hard to say what exact time we are speaking about.
For OT people there was no room to go to, the bride wasn't paid for yet, in fact the father of the bride hasn't agreed yet. It takes only little imagination what would happen if couple (OT people) that wasn't even engaged were caught being with eachother. Also read that the house of the father (God) of the groom (Jesus) has many (bridal) rooms. Those rooms are in heaven. So for me it's sure OT are not in heaven.
Another hint is that souls are sleeping under the altar. I'm aware that verse isn't directly linked to marriage but again we see sleeping souls.
For me it's sure the first time people to enter heaven is during the rapture. I know the word rapture raises some hairs in the necks of many readers but I'm sure it brings across what I'm saying.
So CHB, figure out when the rapture takes place and you know when people go to heaven.YLTRev 69
And when he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony that they held,10
and they were crying with a great voice, saying, `Till when, O Master, the Holy and the True, dost Thou not judge and take vengeance of our blood from those dwelling upon the land?'11
and there was given to each one white robes, and it was said to them that they may rest themselves yet a little time, till may be fulfilled also their fellow-servants and their brethren, who are about to be killed--even as they.
Note the altar is in heaven so technically the souls are in heaven too.YLTEccl 127
And the dust returneth to the earth as it was, And the spirit returneth to God who gave it.
Maybe that verse solves some problems. OT people are in heaven but they sleep. Samuel was there to when the witch of Endor called him. I imagine a perfected body has an endless amount of energy so doesn't need to rest at all.
There are lots of trumpets in Revelation but when a man was going to get his bride he sounded a rams horn (trumpet) in the middle of the night. Many brides to be sleep at night.... :-)
Where Paul said, we would "PUT ON" our immortality, makes me wonder if we won't keep these bodies and they will be changed when we put on spirituality?
Just guessing a bit... The bride saved money all her life to look good for the groom. That included 'skin care products' and of course a nice dress. Maybe that dress has a little label in the neck reading "immortality" :-)
I always wondered how I look in a pink dress with my size 12 hiking boots