Thinking Out Loud

November 13, 2018

Happy Birthday, Mom

Filed under: Christianity — Tags: , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 10:35 am

Today would have been a celebration my mother’s birthday, and a significant one at that. (Don’t try to do the math, it doesn’t work well in my case.) Instead, she left us just over two years ago.

My wife would have made a chocolate cake and we would visit her, if not on the day, on one at least close to it. There would be a singing of “Happy Birthday” over the telephone.

So can she see the words which form today’s headline? I almost hope not. If she can see that, she can see the mass shootings and the California fires. I don’t wish that on anyone.

Here’s what some say on the topic of whether or not people in eternity can see what’s happening here:

Billy Graham

…Do those in Heaven know what’s happening on earth? The Bible doesn’t answer all our questions about Heaven—but it does indicate that those who have already entered Heaven may be aware of events on earth. The book of Hebrews, for example, pictures life as a great arena, with those who have gone before us cheering us on in our daily spiritual struggles (see Hebrews 12:1). Once when Jesus’ appearance was changed and His heavenly glory shone through, Moses and Elijah spoke with Him about events on the earth (see Luke 9:30-31)…

Greg Laurie*

…There are two trains of thought on this topic. For some it would seem like that once we’re in heaven we will be so preoccupied with worshipping God that the last thing in our mind would be what’s happening on earth – besides, with all the tragedy and sadness in this world, heaven would just not be heaven if we were made aware of it.

Then, the other train of thought is pretty much the opposite of that. People would think that folks up in heaven are sitting and watching our every move almost like it’s their form of entertainment. They would even think that sometimes those in heaven might be intervening in our lives and directing our steps and helping us to know what to do.

You might be surprised to know that I believe both views are actually incorrect.

The question might be well, why would you even care about this? The answer is you will care if you have a loved one in heaven,

…Let me take it a step further. I think people in heaven know a lot more about earth than we may realize.

Randy Alcorn

The answer is yes, at least to some extent.

[He then lists twelve instances in scripture which point to this taking place in particular circumstances involving particular people. Also a different video answer here.]

A Catholic Answer

The living often say they feel the dead present and watching them. Is this illusion or fact?

It is fact. The Bible says we are surrounded by “a great cloud of witnesses”. The context is speaking of the dead. They are alive. For God is “not God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to him”.

Reason confirms revelation here. Does their love for us cease? Does it not rather increase in purity and power? And do not their vision and understanding also increase?

“The Communion of Saints” means not only (1) love and understanding among the blessed in Heaven and (2) love and understanding among the redeemed on earth but also (3) love and understanding between those two groups, the Church Militant and the Church Triumphant, temporarily separated by death…

John Piper

[Part 2 of a 5-part answer to the question]

If the saints see, they see with new eyes.

I would say that if God grants saints in heaven to see the suffering and misery, as well as the good on the earth, we may be sure that they see it not with their old, imperfect eyes and that they understand it not with their old imperfect minds and that they assess it not with their old imperfect hearts. Rather, we may be sure because the Bible says that they have been perfected in heaven (Hebrews 12:23).

They will see and understand and assess all things in a perfectly spiritual way that takes into account everything they need to know in order to make sense of it and to keep from making any mistakes. And so, they will not in the least doubt the goodness of God in what they see or the wisdom of God in what they see. That may be as important as any surety of whether they can come and see.

So there you some dominant views.

And, for what it’s worth, Happy Birthday, Mom.

 

[*quotations from an article in The Christian Post]

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Your Response (Value-Added Comments Only)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: