Questions about Christianity – Will we know if our loved ones aren’t in heaven when we are there?
This is a great question and one that hits close to home for all of us. There are a lot of people we love that don’t follow Jesus. When we think about this, it causes sadness. Sometimes we wonder if we will still be sad in heaven when we think about them. It is natural to think and feel this way now.
The Bible does not give a direct answer to this question, but it does give us clues. One of them is found in I Corinthians 13:9-10 “Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when full understanding comes, these partial things will become useless.” These verses seem to indicate that when we get to heaven we will know much more than we know now. Some great Christians have speculated that perhaps our knowledge in heaven will so closely resemble God’s view of things that we will feel as he feels. God loves everyone who has ever lived. He loves even those people who reject him. That is the message of John 3:16. However, even though God loves those people, he understands that they have freely rejected his gracious and loving offer of salvation. Therefore, he is able to enter into loving those that have accepted him with his full love with the understanding that this is not what everyone chooses. Because of his greatness and glory, God is not drawn into depression or anxiety over the decisions of those that reject Jesus. Knowing that when I get to heaven I will be like Jesus comforts me and helps me remember that I will someday think, act and feel just like Jesus. I don’t know how, but he will make heaven a place of greater knowledge for me, greater love, greater understanding and greater fellowship than anything I have experienced here on earth.
This answer does not satisfy our heartfelt feelings for those people who reject Jesus, but we must remember that we will think and feel much differently in heaven than we feel right now. Also, as you feel hurt or sad regarding those in your life that do not know Jesus, take time to do two things. 1) Pray for them to be saved. the prayer of a righteous person accomplishes much. 2) Share the gospel with them again. Give them another chance at coming to know the love of God in Jesus. this type of heartfelt love and action pleases God.
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Matt was born and raised in Carlsbad, Calif. Although he grew up in a devout Christian home, he struggled and rebelled against the Lord as a teenager. However, at eighteen, Matt gave in to God’s love and submitted to Jesus. Soon after, he met and married his wife Kelli. They now have six children and love the role that God has given them as parents.
In 1998, Matt graduated from Vanguard University with a degree in Ministry and Leadership. He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies from Westminster Seminary, California. For the last eighteen years, he has worked for a variety of Christian ministries including Horizon Christian Fellowship, the Christian Research Institute, and Carlsbad Community Church.
In 2005, the Lord called Matt to plant Rancho del Rey Christian Church in Carlsbad, California. Matt’s heart desire is to help people see Jesus in all his glory. He and his wife are passionate about parenting, adoption, The Bible, missions, discipleship and helping people see Jesus in every aspect of life. His life’s calling is to present the Jesus of the Bible to people who don’t yet believe, and to encourage fellow Christ-followers to live in complete, life-altering obedience to God. He recently authored his first book, Read the Word: The Bible was written for you.