How much knowledge of the events on earth – either in the past, present, or future – will God’s children have when they go to heaven? This is a very common question, especially when a loved one passes away. Unfortunately, some people approach this question with more sentimentality than scripture. Your loved ones are not looking down on you from heaven, disappointed when you make poor decisions or cheering you on when good things happen. Their focus in heaven is not sitting as a spectator in the bleachers watching our lives play out on the earth. No, heaven is consumed with the worship and glory of God. While those in heaven are not focused on the events of earth, scripture does indicate that they do have special knowledge of the events of this world, even knowledge of future events on the earth. We will still have memories of our lives from here in this world, and then we will be able to view those events through the perfect perspective and will of God. Scripture does show that we will know our loved ones in heaven, although our relationships will be different there as the entire elect family of God. While we cannot fully comprehend exactly what heaven will be like, we need to make sure to view heaven through the lens of scripture. We hope to consider some verses together that hopefully can provide a more precise view of exactly how much knowledge of earthly events we will have in heaven.
See Through a Glass Darkly
We cannot fully comprehend heaven with our mortal, finite minds in this world, but we do know we will then be able to view this world perfectly through the mind of God. When we arrive in heaven, we will be perfectly one with God, and thus we will view the events of this world through God’s eyes. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:2) We don’t know and can’t really comprehend with our earthly minds what we shall ultimately be in heaven. It “doth not yet appear what we shall be”. We cannot understand or see clearly what heaven will be like, although scripture does give us some glimpses into heaven that excite our spiritual senses. “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Cor. 13:12) We do not have clear vision of what heaven will be like. We can only currently “see through a glass darkly”. Our vision of heaven is limited in this world looking through this glass darkly. Our “fleshly cataracts” prevent us from seeing God and heaven clearly now. However, there will come a time when “I shall know even as also I am known”. God has perfect knowledge, and we will then have God’s knowledge revealed to us as we are made perfectly one with Jesus Christ. We have been predestinated “to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Rom. 8:29). We will finally see Jesus as He is because we will be conformed to his image with a perfect mind.
When we consider these verses together, we have to interpret them through the immortal nature of the soul. Our souls are immortal and when our bodies die, our souls will immediately either go to heaven or hell. For the elect children of God, our souls go immediately into the presence of God. For God’s children, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8). Just like the thief on the cross, on the date of their death, all of God’s children shall “today be with Jesus in paradise” (Luke 23:43). The wicked non-elect’s souls are also immortal and immediately upon death go into eternal torment (Luke 16:22-26). Therefore, these interactions we will consider of men after their decease, their souls are already in heaven or hell. We can see some of the knowledge and understanding they have to learn more of the knowledge we will have in heaven. Let us consider some verses together that can give us a glimpse into some of the knowledge and interactions we may have in heaven.
The Spirit of Samuel
In 1 Samuel 28:6-25, we find a very enigmatic passage regarding King Saul, a witch of Endor, and the spirit of Samuel. King Saul was trying to consult the will of God regarding the approaching Philistine army, but because of his perpetual disobedience, God had removed his manifest presence and guidance from Saul (v.6). Therefore, the king goes and finds a woman with a familiar spirit at Endor to consult, and he requests for her to bring up the spirit of Samuel (v.7-11). The woman is shocked and cried out with a loud voice when she saw Samuel (v.12). This shows this woman was a charlatan. She didn’t really have the ability to call up spirits but gave the pretense she could to make money off people, just like Miss Cleo or similar imposters today. (Let me add this caveat. I believe this was a one-time event for a specific purpose. This woman didn’t call up Samuel. She had no ability to do that, and no one does today either. In this instance, God saw fit to give Saul this interaction with Samuel for a purpose. No one has the ability to call up the spirits of the dead today and speak to them. God showed Samuel to Saul this one time for a specific purpose.)
This lady was shocked and screamed when she actually saw a spirit appear. She describes that she saw an old man covered with a mantle, and Saul perceived that it was Samuel (v.14). The soul of Samuel was in heaven, but God allowed him in some way to appear to Saul in this moment. Notice, that God gave Saul clarity that this was the soul of Samuel. Samuel no longer had a natural body that could be recognized by Saul’s natural eye. The Holy Spirit gave Saul clarity to know this was Samuel’s spirit, the same way the Holy Spirit gave Peter, James, and John clarity to know Elijah and Moses on the mount of transfiguration even though they had never known them. This shows that we will certainly know each other in heaven. If mortal men are allowed to know the souls of deceased men, some that they had never even known on earth, how much more so will we all perfectly know the entire family of God in heaven?
Notice the things that Samuel tells Saul here. He reminds Saul that the Lord had departed from him because of his sin, and the kingdom was rent out of his hand and given to David, noting specific sins of Saul in sparing the Amalekites (v.16-18). Sometimes people think that we will have no knowledge of any current or past events in this world when we get to heaven, almost as if our earthly memories are erased when we get to heaven. However, the soul of Samuel remembers specific conversations he had with Saul on earth when he told him the kingdom was rent from him (see 1 Sam. 15:26-31). It is also commonly assumed that we cannot have any knowledge of the past sins of earth, otherwise, we will be sad in heaven. However, we see here that Samuel still had knowledge of Saul’s past sins on the earth. These past sins did not cause Samuel sadness in heaven because he could look at those sins through God’s eyes. Every sin in this world will be justly paid for either in the person of Jesus Christ or in the non-elect offender in hell for all eternity. Therefore, in heaven, there is not the “dissatisfaction” or “injustice” for sins we have now because then we will see sins through God’s eyes, which is “paid in full” either Christ or the guilty party. We see that the soul of Samuel had knowledge of past events, even the sinful actions of Saul, that happened in his earthly life.
Furthermore, notice the knowledge that Samuel’s spirit had of future events. Samuel tells Saul that the Lord will deliver Israel into the hand of the Philistines, and tomorrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me (1 Sam. 28:19). Samuel knew the outcome of a battle that would not happen until the next day on earth. Samuel also knew that Saul and his sons would die in that battle and be in heaven the very next day (see 1 Sam. 31:1-6 where this then occurred). Note that Samuel was now experiencing eternity, but yet he still had a concept of “tomorrow” in earthly terms, of things that would happen in the next 24-hour period on earth, even though he was fully in eternity with God. That is really an amazing thing to consider: the intersection and interaction between time and eternity. How could Samuel know the outcome of these events that had not yet happened on the earth, particularly the death of Saul and his sons? Well, I think Samuel received this knowledge from God. Although we cannot say that the elect know at all times everything that is to come on earth, it certainly appears in this instance that Samuel had knowledge of future events. There are still events concealed from man’s knowledge such as the time of Jesus’ return (Mark 13:32). Samuel was in heaven where “we will know as we are known”. I don’t know all that entails, but it certainly appears from Samuel here that the children of God have advanced knowledge from the Lord of events that are happening and will yet happen on the earth.
That doesn’t mean that in heaven we are distracted from God and only focused on the events of this world. Some people think that their loved ones are looking down on them, almost cheering them on as spectators in the grandstands in heaven as our life unfolds on earth. I don’t believe that is a scriptural view of heaven. The deceased elect are perfectly worshipping God in heaven. They are not distracted from that worship of the Lamb by events on this earth, but it does appear they have knowledge of events happening on the earth. From our finite minds, we would think that if they knew things happening on this earth, they would be sad or distract them from God. Even though no doubt Saul broke Samuel’s heart because of his sin, I think Samuel still loved Saul. Samuel had advanced knowledge that Saul was going to die the next day. That didn’t make him sad; instead, he was able to view that event from God’s perfect knowledge and perfect will and give Saul encouragement that he would be in heaven tomorrow. I believe we can see from Samuel’s soul that the elect in heaven have special knowledge of the events of this world. However, they don’t spend all their time looking down on earth at us and the events of our life. This special knowledge of events on the earth does not distract them from perfect worship of the Lamb.
Lazarus & The Rich Man
In Luke 16:16-31, Jesus gives the account of a rich man and the beggar, Lazarus. Jesus does not introduce this lesson as a parable but as an actual account of two men. He introduces this as a “certain” beggar named Lazarus and a “certain” rich man (v.19-20). This was describing two “certain” men who lived in first-century Jerusalem. Lazarus had a miserable life in this world as a beggar, but when he died, he was carried by angels to Abraham’s bosom, which is a picture of heaven. The rich man had a very prosperous and comfortable life on earth, but when he died, he went to hell to be in torment. It’s interesting that Jesus says the rich man had a vision of Lazarus in heaven and Abraham (figurative of God) even while he was in hell. He could see both God and Lazarus in heaven. Maybe the divider between heaven and hell is something like one-way glass, where one side can see through, but the other side cannot see through. It appears there is vision through that one-way glass from hell upward into heaven where he could see Lazarus. However, there is no indication that Lazarus had vision into hell. I don’t think the children of God will see everyone in hell while we are in heaven. Some people say that they couldn’t be happy in heaven if their loved ones are not there. Well, you won’t be able to see into hell; you will only be enraptured with the perfect joy of heaven and presence of Jesus Christ, and you will not be disappointed in heaven even if one of your natural family is not among God’s elect. You will just have perfect love of the entire spiritual family of God.
While Lazarus could not see down into hell, it is evident that Abraham (figurative of God) can see down into hell. God is speaking with the rich man in hell in Jesus’ account. Even in the intense, never-ending torment of hell, the wicked are still not repentant of their sins and offenses towards a holy God. The wicked only want an end to their suffering. The rich man requests God to send Lazarus to give him a cool drink of water to ease his torment in the flame of hell (v.24). God answered that there is a “great gulf fixed” between heaven and hell, and no one can pass over that great gulf (v.25-26). Then, this rich man requests God to send Lazarus to his father’s house to testify to his five brothers lest they should come to his place of eternal torment in hell (v.27-28). God then affirms that if they will not hear the word of God, Moses and the prophets, they will not repent even if they saw one risen from the dead, i.e. Jesus Christ (v.29-31). Therefore, we see that the wicked in hell have knowledge of their relationships of their former life. He had knowledge of his five natural brothers still on the earth and was even mindful of them in their life on earth. The rich man did not have his past memories or past relationships erased at death, and I believe the same is true for Lazarus and the elect in heaven too. God says that Lazarus endured evil things on earth, but now he is experiencing comfort in heaven (v.25). It appears that Lazarus had a memory of his suffering as a beggar with the dogs licking his sores on earth, and he could now experience the amazing comfort of God in heaven being reminded of the great suffering he endured during his life on earth.
The Transfiguration of Jesus
In Luke 9:28-33, we see the transfiguration of Jesus Christ. While Jesus was praying, he was transfigured before them, and Peter, James, and John saw Jesus talking with Moses and Elijah (v.29-30). Elijah was carried up into heaven with a chariot of fire, so his body must have been glorified when he went into heaven. There are currently only two glorified bodies in heaven, Enoch and Elijah. Moses died as a regular man and his soul is in heaven. Therefore, how did these three men from 1st century Galilee know men that lived hundreds of years before them? The Holy Spirit revealed to them who these men were. They “knew” them in heaven, even though they did not know them on the earth. If that is true of mortal men seeing spirits in heaven, how much more so will we have perfect knowledge of all the family of God when we get to heaven? That shows how when we get to heaven we shall “know as we are known”. We won’t have to introduce ourselves to anyone in heaven. There won’t be any need for name tags in heaven. We will know all the elect family of God just as intimately as God knows every one of us, which is perfectly.
These men saw Jesus appear in glory, and Jesus spoke with Moses and Elijah about “his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem” (v.31). We definitely will know one another in heaven, and we will converse with each other and with Jesus in heaven. Moses and Elijah, men that lived about 600 years apart in this world and went to heaven 1,400 and 800 years before this event were conversing with each other and with Jesus Christ just like 3 best friends. It is just amazing to think about this kind of perfect fellowship with all the saints of God and with Jesus Christ in heaven! When we get to heaven, we will be able to speak with Jesus face to face as a man speaks unto his friend, just like Moses did in the Old Testament (Exod. 33:11). We will not just see Jesus face to face and bow down in worship, but we will also be able to speak to him as a friend, just like Moses and Elijah here speaking with Jesus in glory!
Notice specifically the topic of conversation of these three men. Jesus, Moses, and Elijah “appeared in glory” (they were in heaven) and were discussing Jesus’ death on the cross that was still a good bit in the future in this world. Both Moses and Elijah (just like Samuel) had knowledge of an event that had not yet happened on this earth. We sometimes think that there is no break from the worship of God in heaven. That is certainly true, but we also see here two people in heaven speaking to Jesus of an event in the future in time on the earth. Obviously, the decease of Jesus Christ on the cross is and was a common topic of heaven. Jesus’ decease is the reason for worship in heaven, that the Lamb was slain for our sins and redeemed us back to God. Therefore, this topic of conversation was not distracting from the worship of the Lamb; it was only adding to it. Also, note that while in heaven Moses and Elijah were still aware of and discussing the physical location of the city of Jerusalem on earth. They knew that Jesus would be crucified at his decease, but when they went to heaven, crucifixion had not even been invented yet as a means of capital punishment. They were speaking of things they had no way of knowing apart from the imparted perfect knowledge of God in heaven.
Marriage and Relationships in Heaven
Will we know our loved ones in heaven? Since scripture is clear that we will “know as we are known”, I’m confident we will know all our elect family and loved ones in heaven. We will not need to look them up when we get there, but we will know all the elect perfectly in heaven. However, our natural, earthly relationships of spouse, child, parent, aunt, nephew, etc. will not take precedence in heaven. Our relationship with Jesus Christ will take precedence, and we will love all the rest of the elect family of God perfectly and equally. In our lives here, there are some people that we love more than others. We naturally love our family, our spouse, and our children deeper and closer than complete strangers. God has designed the greatest, deepest love in this world to be the love of a husband and wife. This marital love is deep and special with just that one person to give us a picture of the perfect love that Christ our Husband has for his bride, the church. It is true that there are some people that we love more than others in this world. However, in heaven, our love will not be discriminatory like on earth. We will not love one person more than another in heaven. We will not lose our special, deep love for our spouse in heaven. Instead, our love for our spouse will be elevated to Christ’s perfect love, and our love for all the elect will be elevated as well to Christ’s perfect love.
The Sadducees, who didn’t even believe in a resurrection, were tempting Jesus asking if seven brothers died raising up seed to a widowed wife, then whose wife would the woman be in the resurrection? Jesus rebuked them for not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God. “For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.” (Mark 12:25) Jesus declares here that we won’t be “married” in heaven, as it appears that the angels are not married in heaven. We will not have a special intimacy and covenant love with just one person in heaven. Instead, we will have the perfect love of Christ for all the elect family of God equally. We will not love our elect spouse any less in heaven. Rather, we will finally be able to love them perfectly, and we can also love all the elect perfectly too the way that Christ perfectly loves his church. On earth, there is one relationship that takes precedence above all others in your life, if you are married – a husband and a wife. In heaven, there is one relationship that takes precedence above all others – Christ our Husband with us as his bride. Therefore, your primary relationship in heaven will not be with our natural, earthly spouse, but your primary relationship in heaven will be with your Husband, Jesus Christ. We will not love our spouse or children any less in heaven, but we will just finally be able to love them perfectly and equally with all our brothers and sisters in the elect family of God.
Heaven in Revelation
Much of the language and imagery in the Book of Revelation is very figurative by nature. However, we ought to consider each passage in the Bible – the book of Revelation included – as literal as possible unless there is another scriptural reference that would indicate that passage being figurative. There are multitudes of possible interpretations of most of these passages in Revelation, but I believe we can see there is certainly a knowledge of past and current events on the earth in the throne room of God in heaven. Let us consider together a few verses in Revelation that give us a glimpse into heaven and heaven’s interactions with the earth.
In Revelation 4, we have a beautiful depiction of an eternal worship scene in heaven. The 4 beasts and 24 elders in Revelation are figurative of all the elect family of God because they are “the redeemed out of every kindred, tongue, people and nation” (Rev. 5:9). What are the activities of the elect in heaven? We continually sing praise to God day and night. “And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” (Rev. 4:8) Notice the worship is described as day and night, an earthly term of time, even though this worship is taking place in eternity. Also, God is described as being “which was, and is, and is to come”. That is an earthly reference to time as well. Time appears to be in some way included and encapsulated in eternity. Eternity is outside of time, but time is included in eternity. That is how these spiritual eternal beings can still be enjoying eternity with God but still have knowledge of events on the earth and future events in this world.
The elect chorus of heaven sings praise to God for his creation. “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Rev. 4:11) There is a knowledge in heaven of God’s creation of all things. I believe this includes the creation of earth and the creation of each of the elect now in heaven. We see a further description in heaven of the creation of God in Rev. 5:13: “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” Heaven is praising God for his creation and for every creature on “the earth”, in heaven, and even under the earth. It appears there is knowledge of the creation of this world in heaven, and it is an object of praise unto Almighty God.
In Revelation 5, we see another worship scene of the elect children of God. “And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” (Rev. 5:5) One of the elect elders describes Jesus as being the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the seed of David. The tribe of Judah and the lineage of David are earthly family designations that are still being referenced in heaven. There is still a remembrance of things of this world in heaven. We see multiple references to “a Lamb as it had been slain” (Rev. 5:6,9,12). The death of Jesus Christ being slain for our sins is the central theme of the worship in heaven. There is a remembrance of the death of Jesus that occurred on earth in heaven. The elect praise the Lamb for redeeming them by his blood. “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” (Rev. 5:9) Redemption means a “buying back”. For the elect to be praising Christ for redeeming and buying them back, there has to be some remembrance of what we were “bought back from”. There has to be some remembrance in the worship of heaven of the past sins of the elect that we were bought back and redeemed from.
From an earthly perspective, the death of Jesus on the cross was a horrific, brutal, and sad event. From heaven’s perspective, the death and blood of Jesus is the primary source of greatest praise because that event can be viewed from God’s heavenly perspective. I feel like that is how we will view many things we now see as sad in this world. Many people think they can’t have any knowledge of bad events that happened in this world and still be happy in heaven. Instead, we see that once we view those earthly events from God’s perfect will and perfect eyes, we can view the most tragic events in the proper perspective. We can praise God for saving us from those events, instead of solely being sad that they occurred. Heaven views the death and blood of Jesus as the ultimate triumph and source of praise. We need to have that perspective as well, and not think we won’t have any knowledge of bad events in this world. We will then be able to see those bad events in this world perfectly through God’s eyes.
We also see in Rev. 5:9, and again in Rev. 7:9, that in heaven there is a remembrance of the elect’s earthly kindred, people, tongue, and nation. The elect four beasts are singing a new song that included them affirming their redemption “out of every kindred, tongue, and people, and nation” (Rev. 5:9). The elect church in heaven is in perfect unity, but there is still a remembrance of their familial, national, and lingual identities that God’s people had on the earth. The distinction of nationality and families and languages is solely an earthly designation, but we can clearly see there are some reminders in heaven of our past unique identities and lives on the earth.
Even in the midst of an eternal worship scene in heaven, the prayers of the saints come up before God as golden vials full of sweet odors. “And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.” (Rev. 5:8) The prayers of the saints are being offered up here in time on earth, but then we see those prayers arrive in the throne room of God as a sweet-smelling fragrance. “3) And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4) And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.” (Rev. 8:3-4) Heaven is aware of the prayers of the saints that are being made here in our lives in time on the earth. I do not know if the elect hear the actual words of the saints’ prayers or if the Holy Spirit and Jesus make intercession with the Father directly, but there is clearly a knowledge in heaven of the prayers of the saints made here in our lives on earth.
In Revelation 6, we see the souls of the martyrs requesting God to return and avenge them of their blood on the earth. “9) And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10) And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11) And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” (Rev. 6:9-11) Here we see eternal souls in heaven, but yet they have a sense of time on earth that their murderers had not yet been avenged. These souls in heaven still have a remembrance of their martyrdom and their enemies on the earth that are still not yet judged for their sin. They are looking forward to a future judgment that has not yet occurred in time. There is also a reference here that someone in heaven told these martyrs that their fellow servants and brethren “should be killed as they were”. There was a knowledge and discussion in heaven of the upcoming martyrdom of some of their brethren in the church.
We see a description by one of the elders of those in white robes and those who “came out of great tribulation” (Rev. 7:14). There is a discussion in heaven of the “great tribulation” that God’s people endured in their lives, coupled now with praise to God for deliverance from their earthly tribulation. The tribulation of this world is not white-washed or erased in heaven, but now that tribulation is replaced with perfect joy in Jesus Christ. We see here another declaration in heaven that the works of the saints do follow them into heaven. “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” (Rev. 14:13) Now, the scriptures do not support rewards in heaven. If we are more faithful in discipleship and have more good works in our lives, that does not mean we will have a better station or more enjoyable experience in heaven. However, this scripture indicates that in some way the good works of the faithful will follow them to heaven. Again, another example that there is a knowledge and remembrance of the works of this life in heaven.
The angels in heaven are declaring remembrance of the wicked’s sins from the earth. “5) And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. 6) For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. 7) And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.” (Rev. 16:5-7) Here we see the proper perspective of sin that we will have in heaven. We are not angered by sin in heaven when we have God’s perfect perspective. We can see that sin as paid for either by Jesus or the wicked. We will be able to view the sin of this world, not as unfair or unpunished, but we will then view sin through the perfect judgment of God – “Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments”. There is also a pronouncement from heaven of the judgment of Babylon. “4) And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. 5) For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. 6) Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.” (Rev. 18:4-6) In heaven, the sins of Babylon and her iniquities are able to be viewed through the perfect judgment and righteousness of God. Those sins have been properly paid for by Christ or the wicked, according to the perfect justice of Almighty God.
The description of the final destination of the elect in the new heavens and new earth is characterized to a large degree by the things “not there”. A great voice from heaven declared the former things of this earth are passed away. “3) And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying…4) And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Rev. 21:3-4) There is a discussion in heaven of the former things of this world: tears, death, sorrow, crying, and pain. However, all of those sad things in this world are now viewed in heaven through the conquering power of Jesus Christ. While we still might have knowledge of the past sorrow of this world, it no longer causes us pain because every tear has been wiped away by the perfect Son of God. We will have knowledge of the events of this world, but the pain and sorrow of those events that we experience here are taken away in heaven by the Lamb of God.
I think we can see from these scriptures that we will have special knowledge in heaven. We will most likely even have knowledge of events that have not yet occurred in time in this world. From our current perspective with mortal minds, we think if we knew a bad event would occur to a loved one in the future and saw it coming, we would be afraid or sad for them or try to stop it. Instead, we will be able to see those events through the perfect will of God and the triumphant grace of God. Yes, our earthly loved ones might endure tribulation for a brief period in their lives, but in heaven, we can then see perfectly that it is only a temporal, short, light affliction compared to the eternal weight of glory (2 Cor. 4:17-18). We will still have memories of our lives here in this world, but in heaven, we will be able to view those events through the perfect perspective and will of God. We will not dwell on the pain that bad events might have caused in this world, but we can view them now through the blood of Christ. Essentially, the blood of Christ is the filter through which in heaven we will be able to view all events of this world. In heaven, there is no event in this world that is not made joyful when viewed through the blood of Jesus Christ. We will know our earthly loved ones in heaven, but the relationship of the spiritual family of the bride of Christ will take precedence over our earthly relationships of spouse or children. We will not love our spouse or children or earthly loved ones any less in heaven. Instead, our love for them will be elevated to the perfect love of Christ. We will love our spouse more perfectly in heaven than we ever could on the earth, but that perfect love will be the same for all the elect family of God.
I am certainly not dogmatic about any of the points I presented in this article. I am currently looking at heaven through a glass darkly with a finite mind, just like you. It is true that it does not yet clearly “appear what we shall be”. Our vision now is dim and limited. However, this is what we do know: “We know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:2) We do know that we shall be like Jesus. We know we shall see Jesus fully as He is, face to face. We do know that we were predestinated “to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Rom. 8:29). It has been God’s will from all eternity past for his elect to be conformed to the image of Jesus. When we are made one with Jesus in heaven, no doubt, then we will see him “face to face” and we shall “know even as we are known” (1 Cor. 13:12). In heaven, we will be one with Jesus; we will see Jesus perfectly; then, we shall have Jesus’ knowledge imparted unto us. When we see Jesus face to face and have his knowledge, we certainly won’t be concerned or saddened about anything in this world because we can then view this world through Jesus’ eyes. We can view this world through Jesus’ blood and know that our short lives on earth are just a small droplet in the vast ocean of eternity. How could anything so small in our lives on earth diminish the joys of heaven in eternity with Almighty God? When we view this world and our lives through the eyes of Jesus Christ, we will only see the joys, grace, and blessings of God, and sing the new song with all the rest of the elect for all eternity, singing with a loud voice forever “Worthy is the Lamb”!
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