Summary: Will I know people in Heaven, and will I know people I love who did not make it?

Sermon Series: “Questioning the Faith”

Sermon #3 “Question about Heaven”

(Some thoughts and illustrations taken form other contributors)

Text: II Corinthians 12:1-7

OPENING JOKE: Janet Sketchely was trying to teach her children the truth of salvation while reading through their evening Bible story. To check their comprehension she asked, “What do you have to do to get into heaven?” Her six-year-old sat back to ponder the question, but their little four-year-old quickly replied, “Die!”

INTRODUCTION: Last weeks discussion about the condition of the departed spirit sparked two interesting questions. Because they were fresh on my mind and heart I wanted to answer one tonight and the other next week.

Illustration: “Think we didn’t make it” Maggie and Eleanor were sitting side by side in rockers at a nursing home while talking about their age. Maggie said, “I can’t believe I’m almost one hundred years old.” Eleanor replied, “I still can’t believe I’ve already passed one hundred.” They both pondered their age for a moment then Eleanor expressed a critical concern and said, “Maggie, we’re getting so old our friends in heaven are going to start thinking we didn’t make it.”

***Will I know people in Heaven, and will I know people I love who did not make it?

1. This question stems from an old teaching that we will not know each other in Heaven, because the thought of a lost loved one in Hell would make us unable to really enjoy Heaven.

A. Many pastors and teachers preach this idea because it satisfies their feeling that Heaven is a place of absolutely no sorrow

B. To know a family member was burning for eternity would cause Heavens sweetness to be tainted

C. The problem is, much of what is taught is from feelings and not Scripture

2. So let us look to the Scripture for our answers:

A. I Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known”

i. Now refers to this life / Then refers to our life in Heaven

ii. This verse indicates an expanse of knowledge in Heaven, not a removal or erasure of it

iii. And it indicates that I will “know fully” as I “have been fully known”

1. This also indicates that we will know others

2. There will be no need for introductions in Heaven

3. Last week we talked about ‘The Mount of Transfiguration’, and how the Apostles saw Moses and Elijah

4. If you read that story close, you will notice Jesus did not have to introduce them – the Apostles knew who they were, even though they had never met them

B. Matthew 8:11 “And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.”

i. Let me ask this simple question:

ii. How will we sit with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob if no one in Heaven will identified?

C. II Samuel 12:23 “But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”

i. David here is referring to his dead son

ii. He indicates that one day they will be reunited in Heaven (I shall go to Him)

iii. This could just be the vain hope of a grieving father, but I believe it is a man who is convinced in his own eternity, and that of his son’s – and convinced, by the Spirit, that he will again see his son and know him

3. The idea of a memory wipe in Heaven is based on the idea that there is absolutely no sorrow, but this is not the case

A. Often at funerals you will hear the pastor say: “There are no tears in heaven.”

B. But I encourage you to look with me in the book of Revelation

C. Revelation 21:4 “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

D. The very fact that God must wipe away tears indicates that there was weeping up until that point

E. Why weeping? Two reasons:

i. There will be tears because of our lost opportunities as Christians

1. How many times have we had the opportunity to share the Gospel, but didn’t?

2. How many acts of service to the Lord did we get called to, but rejected?

3. How many times did we choose the “football game”, the “race”, or a “nap” instead of coming to church?

ii. There will also be tears because of those we love that are lost

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