Heaven (Part 27) - Will We Know Everyone in Heaven? Will We Be Sad for Those in Hell?


Heaven (Part 27) - Will We Know Everyone in Heaven? Will We Be Sad for Those in Hell? 43. Will we know people from this life in heaven? (Austin) A. Yes, most definitely so. B. The rich man in hell knew Lazarus after they both had died and Lazarus was in heaven (Luk 16:22-24). C. Paul encouraged the Thessalonians by telling them that they would see their loved ones in Christ again (1Th 4:13-18). i. They obviously would know them when they saw them in heaven. ii. If they would be strangers to them when they saw them after death, that would be no comfort to them. D. Jesus comforted Martha by telling her that her brother Lazarus would rise again (Joh 11:23-26). E. If Martha would not know him in heaven, the words of Christ would have brought her no comfort. F. It's possible that our family members and friends will look the same age to us in heaven as we remembered them on earth (see previous question). G. We will also be able to recognize people we knew here after they are resurrected, just as Jesus' disciples were able to recognize Him after He was resurrected (Joh 20:29; Joh 21:12; 1Co 15:6). H. Amy Carmichael made the following observation about us recognizing each other in heaven which is quoted by Randy Alcorn in his book Heaven. I. "Shall we know one another in Heaven? Shall we love and remember? I do not think anyone need wonder about this or doubt for a single moment. We are never told we shall, because, I expect, it was not necessary to say anything about this which our own hearts tell us. We do not need words. For if we think for a minute, we know. Would you be yourself if you did not love and remember? . . . We are told that we shall be like our Lord Jesus. Surely this does not mean in holiness only, but in everything; and does not He know and love and remember? He would not be Himself if He did not, and we should not be ourselves if we did not." (Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p. 346-347) 44. Will we just automatically know everyone in heaven? (Austin) A. It appears that Peter, James, and John recognized Moses and Elijah on the mount of transfiguration (Mat 17:1-4). i. This indicates that we might recognize people in heaven that we have heard and learned about in this life but never had the chance to meet. ii. It is also possible that the disciples were introduced to Moses and Elijah by Jesus and didn't recognize them on the own. iii. It is possible that we will not recognize people that we did not personally meet in this life, and we will therefore have to be introduced to people in heaven that we learned about in the Bible but never met. a. Even if that were the case, because we retain our memories in heaven (Rev 6:9-10), we would know things about them that we learned while on earth. b. We will not have to re-learn in heaven what we have already learned about people in the Bible. (i) If this were not the case, then we would have to assume that everything we have learned about all of the people in the Bible would be forgotten in heaven. (ii) If that were the case, we would also have to conclude that we would remember nothing about Jesus Christ that we learned about Him in this life. 1. This is obviously not the case. 2. Paul wanted to depart and be with Christ (Php 1:23). 3. If we remembered nothing that we learned about people in the Bible in this life, how could we earnestly desire to meet Christ face to face if He would be a complete stranger to us when we saw Him? B. Scripture does not state that we will know everyone automatically in heaven whom we knew nothing of on earth. i. If we automatically knew everyone, that would mean that we would also know a lot about everyone because one can't know someone without knowing details about his personality and his history. ii. If we automatically knew every one of the billions of children of God in heaven ― and a lot about them ― that would border on omniscience which is an attribute only God possesses (Psa 147:5; Joh 21:17). iii. It is Jesus, not us, who knows all men (Joh 2:24-25). iv. We will most likely have to meet and get to know everyone in heaven whom we did not know (or know about) in this life. v. This is just one more reason that heaven will be such an exciting place. 45. Can people in hell and heaven communicate with each other (Luk 16:19-31)? (Austin) A. In the account of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man in hell (Luk 16:23-24) was able to communicate with Abraham in heaven (Luk 16:25-26 c/w Ecc 12:7). i. But this does not appear to be the norm. ii. There is no other example in the Bible of those in heaven communicating with those in hell. B. I could be wrong, but it appears to me that God opened up a portal of communication between Abraham and the rich man so that Jesus could give an account of it to us to teach us lessons about what those in hell experience and how they think. 46. Will we be sad for those who are in hell? A. No, I do not believe so for the following reasons. B. There will be no sorrow or tears in heaven (Rev 7:17) or the new earth (Rev 21:4; Isa 25:8; Isa 65:19). C. If we are aware that some of our loved ones are in hell, we will not be sorrowful because of it. i. First of all, they will no longer be our loved ones. a. Everything that made them lovable will have been taken away. b. When God's restraining hand and His common grace is removed from them, all their beauty, love, and kindness will be gone and replaced with ugliness, hatred, and ill will (Rom 3:12-17). c. They will hate God because of their punishment (Rev 16:8-11), and therefore they will hate us too (Joh 15:18-19; Joh 17:14; 1Jo 3:13; Mat 10:34-35). d. As they are being tormented in hell, the wicked will have only hatred and rage toward those in heaven (Luk 13:27-28). e. Gnash v. - 1. intr. To strike together or ‘grind’ the teeth, esp. from rage or anguish. Also with against, on, upon. Said also of the teeth. ii. Secondly, in heaven our minds will be fully conformed to the mind of Christ (1Co 2:16; Rom 8:29). a. We will therefore think as God thinks and view those in hell as God does. b. Godly Christians approve of God's judgment of sinners (including themselves) in this life (Psa 119:75; Rom 3:8). c. As we grow in knowledge and judgment we will more and more approve the things that are excellent (like God's perfect judgment of sinners) (Php 1:9-10). d. In heaven when we are sinless and perfect (Php 3:11-12) we will completely agree with and approve of God's punishment of sinners. iii. "Although it will inevitably sound harsh, I offer this further thought: in a sense, none of our loved ones will be in Hell―only some whom we once loved. Our love for our companions in Heaven will be directly linked to God, the central object of our love. We will see him in them. We will not love those in Hell because when we see Jesus as he is, we will love only―and will only want to love―whoever and whatever pleases and glorifies and reflects him. What we loved in those who died without Christ was God's beauty we once saw in them. When God forever withdraws from them, I think they'll no longer bear his image and no longer reflect his beauty. Although they will be the same people, without God they'll be stripped of all the qualities we loved. Therefore, paradoxically, in a sense they will not be the people we loved." (Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p. 362) iv. "Of this we may be absolutely certain: Hell will have no power over Heaven; none of Hell's misery will ever veto any of Heaven's joy." (Ibid) 31
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