Life At Its Best: Scripture's answers to questions about heaven
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Have you ever moved into a new place? If so, you know that a move brings plenty of questions about what life will be like in that new place. Wanting to know about our future living conditions is normal, and it's why so many people have questions about heaven.
As a pastor, I've heard a lot of these questions, so I figured I'd take a moment to answer scripturally three of the ones I've been asked most. The first one is, "Do people in heaven know what we're doing on Earth?"
Hebrews 12:1 says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles..."
According to this verse, the answer to that question is yes. The writer of Hebrews was referring to the way Olympic games were run during his time, with crowds of witnesses in the stands, watching the players.
He's basically saying, "Here's how I want you to see your Christian life. You're playing the game, and there's a big crowd of people cheering you on." God allows the people we love, admire and respect to see what we're doing here on Earth and to rejoice with us.
Another frequently asked question is, "Will there be marriage in heaven?" If you have a good marriage relationship, this thought has probably entered your mind a time or two. In fact, if you have a bad marriage relationship, it probably has, too.
Regardless of your experience with marriage, Mark 12:25 plainly reveals that there won't be that type of relationship in heaven. It says, "When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven."
But though there won't be marriage in heaven, scripture is clear that there will be very close relationships. Since we know heaven will be better than Earth, we can trust God has something great in store for us.
The final question is, "How can I know if a loved one is in heaven?" Romans 10:9 says, "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
Salvation is the key to heaven - not works. So, if you wonder if your loved one made it to heaven simply because of mistakes they made, be comforted by the grace of God. None of us deserve to go to Heaven, but thank God that because of his mercy, we can go.
As long as your loved one has accepted God's gift of salvation, you can be confident that they will be with Christ for all of eternity. If you're unsure of their salvation, just remember that it can happen in an instant. None of us can judge that person's heart in that moment they were taking their last breath.
We may not know everything about Heaven, but we do know this: God wants us all there. Let's reach out in efforts to get as many people there with us as possible.
Jim Graff is the Senior Pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. faithfamilyvictoria.com.