Sermons

Summary: We will not only know each other in heaven, but we will not really know each other until heaven. We know each other only in part in this life. In heaven all the problems that prevent complete intimacy will be gone.

F. W. Borham tells the story of the English cricket player who lost his sight in his old age. This was

a cause for great grief, because he could not watch his own boy play the game in which he excelled.

His son became the crack bat on his school team, but the father got small satisfaction from it. One

day he suddenly died. The following Saturday and important match was to be played, and the team

took it for granted that their best bat would be absent. But to their surprise, he was not only there, he

batted like never before. He played with magnificent judgment, and rattled up a fantastic score that

lead his team to victory. When it was all over, they asked him what motivated him to play the game

of his life. He explained by telling them, "This was the first game where my father could see me at

bat." Here was a young man who took literally the picture presented to us in Heb. 12:1. It says

there, we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses as we run the race of life. Many Christians

through the ages have believed that the dead in Christ go on observing those left behind. They know

what is happening to us and have a greater understanding of the future than we do.

Some feel this is only wishful thinking and is really to good to be true. Others respond by saying,

nothing is to good to be true where God is concerned, and they go on to answer all objections. One

of the strongest objections is that if the dead in heaven know what happens on earth, then they

cannot be very happy, for they would know of all the sin, war, and sorrow. They would be

conscious of the failing even of their own loved ones. This sounds like a powerful argument against

it, but John R. Rice, who has a strong conviction on the subject says, this argument proves nothing.

Jesus Christ and God the Father know the reality of sin and evil completely, yet they are not

unhappy, nor is heaven robbed of it's joy because of their knowledge. The bliss of heaven is not the

bliss of ignorance, but bliss that comes with the knowledge that victory is certain in Christ.

The saints in heaven with Christ have a far greater knowledge than the saints on earth. This is a

matter of clear revelation. Our text, for example, reveals some interesting things about the

knowledge of those who have passed into the world beyond. One of the most striking facts about

this passage is the knowledge and concern of the rich man in hell. He not only recognized

Abraham, a man from the distant past, but Lazarus, the man he neglected in his own lifetime. He

also recognized his folly, and he had compassion on those he left behind. Here is a lost sinner,

asking that help be sent to his five brothers, lest they end up in the same place with him. Death

seems to be very educational, even for the lost. He learned immediately about what really matters in

life.

The point is, if a lost man can be concerned about the state of the living, and offer a prayer on

their behalf, who would even think of denying that same concern to the saved? J. Patterson Smyth

in, The Gospel Of The Hereafter, writes, "Can you imagine your mother, who never went to bed

here without earnest prayer for her boy, going into that life with full consciousness and full memory

of the dear old home on earth, and never a prayer for her boy rising to the altar of God?" I certainly

cannot imagine a Christian mother forgetting her children when a godless man remembered his

brothers, who were also apparently godless. Are we to conclude that even though Scripture reveals

that the lost are concerned for the lost, that the saved are concerned for neither the saved nor the lost?

Angels rejoice over every sinner who repents. Can you imagine a son becoming a Christian after his

mother has died, and the angels rejoicing, but never sharing this good news with his mother?

This is a sufficient argument for believing the dead go on in their knowledge of this world. There

is more, however. Abraham in verse 31 refers to Moses and the prophets, as if he was familiar with

them. But Abraham lived many centuries before Moses and the prophets. We can only conclude,

that in the heavenly realm of the redeemed, there is a keeping up of what goes on in history.

Abraham was not sleeping, or in some state of oblivion concerning the people he fathered. Abraham

kept current on history, and even knew the contemporary state of men's hearts. He said the brothers

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