Randy Alcorn answers questions about heaven – Watching from heaven

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

Randy Alcorn is the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries (epm.org), a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching biblical truth and drawing attention to the needy and how to help them. EPM exists to meet the needs of the unreached, unfed, unborn, uneducated, unreconciled and unsupported people around the world. Randy is a best-selling author of over 40 books including Heaven, The Treasure Principle and the 2002 Gold Medallion winner, Safely Home. He has written numerous articles for magazines such as Discipleship Journal, Moody, Leadership, New Man, and The Christian Reader. He produces the quarterly issues-oriented magazine Eternal Perspectives, and has been a guest on more than 600 radio and television programs including Focus on the Family, Family Life Today, The Bible Answer Man, Revive Our Hearts, Truths that Transform and Faith Under Fire. (from VIMEO)

Watching from Heaven

Is there sorrow in heaven? Short answer – no more sorrow is in the new heaven and new earth, not the present heaven, as God presently sorrows with His people (martyrs, etc.)

Randy Alcorn: Will believers in the intermediate heaven experience sorrow over what is happening on earth, especially with their families on earth?

One of the things that I would say is that God, in heaven, experiences sorrow for His suffering people on earth. We see this in Exodus, in God’s deep concern for the people of Israel is going through. Sorrow is not utterly incompatible with the PRESENT heaven. When Jesus says to Paul, and he’s still Saul, He says, „Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Well, he was persecuting God’s people, but Jesus was taking it personally. And so, the heart of God, the martyrs who are in heaven now, crying out, „How long, o Lord?” before you bring punishment on those who murdered us, before you bring justice?”

So, the promise for no more sorrow, no more death is in the world where there is no more sin. That promise comes in Revelation 21:4- that is in the new heaven and the new earth. Not the present heaven, where there is sorrow, because God sorrows, there is some sense of recognition, at least, of sin and evil and suffering in the world, by the martyrs. Now, are people in heaven happier than people on earth? Absolutely, to depart of being with Christ, the perspective giving nature of that is great. But, I think that a lot of people argue the wrong way, because they say, „No one in heaven could possibly know what’s going on down here on earth, because they would be overwhelmed with sorrow. God’s in heaven. He’s not overwhelmed by sorrow. God is a happy God: Enter into your master’s happiness. The angels can be happy, even though they see the sin on earth. So, don’t think that ignorance is this virtue that God must place upon us, so that we’re out of touch with the realities of earth. The unfolding drama of redemption is going on down here on earth.

Now, somebody else asked, related to that, can people in heaven really see what’s going on on earth? Well, we know the martyrs are asking the question, „How long, o Lord, before yo bring judgment?” They’re not asking, „Lord, have you, yet, brought judgment, down there on earth, on these people?” No, „how long before you do?” Meaning,  they know He hasn’t. The implication is they know what’s going on. They’re saying, „Well, why haven’t You yet brought judgment?” So, there’s knowledge. Luke 15 is an example of a passage where you have the lost coins and the lost sheep. And twice, in Luke 15, before it gets to the parable of the lost son, the prodigal son, twice, it says, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of heaven whenever a sinner repents.

Now, it’s very interesting language because it would have been very easy for Jesus to say, „And the angels in heaven rejoice, every time a sinner repents.” But, it’s not what He says, He says there’s rejoicing in the presence of the angels, well, God’s in the presence of the angels, God’s rejoicing, but who else in living in the presence of the angels? The people of God who have died, and gone to be with the Lord. So, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels, not only by the angels, but in the presence of the angels, presumably by the people of God. And many of those people will have prayed for this person, who has repented and come to faith. So that would be an example of people in heaven, knowing what’s going on down on earth. In that case, knowing a very good thing that’s happened on earth.

Could people in heaven have known him, when that person wasn’t loving jesus? Could people in heaven have prayed for the person on earth? Yes, by all means. I mean, that’s really what the martyrs are doing. In a sense, they’re interceding for all those who are suffering, for the persecutors- „Lord, bring judgment on them, so other people don’t suffer.” That’s a way of prayer.

Do not get this confused: Were not talking about us praying to the saints in heaven. That’s a totally different thing. There is only one mediator between man and God, the mediator, Jesus Christ. You only pray to Him, you don’t pray to saints in heaven. But, the question is: Do the saints in heaven pray for us? And that, I think, is a greater possibility. Certainly, to the extent that they see what’s going on, why wouldn’t they? I mean, righteous people, people who love God pray and they intercede for those in need. So, righteous people in heaven would be more effective in their prayer.

From a video on Vimeo which is no longer available.

Read another article about this subject:

  1. Will heaven be exciting? Part 1 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  2. Our existence in heaven – Part 2 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  3. The New Heaven and the New Earth – Part 3 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  4. The future glories of heaven – Part 1 of What Will Heaven Be Like?
  5. Questions children have about heaven – Part 2 of Heaven: What Will It Be Like?
  6. How can you be sure you are going to heaven? Part 3 of Heaven: What Will It Be Like?

 

 

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