“How can the people in heaven be happy when they know some of their loved ones are in hell?”
The Bible indicates that the people in hell will not be remembered. God will actually remove them from our memory. This could be the reason that we will be able to live without any sorrow over them in heaven. It is a sad, but very real concern many have concerning their loved ones. Read just some of what the Bible says on this topic:
- Psalm 31:12, I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind.
- Job 18:17, The memory of him perishes from the earth.
- Ecclesiastes 9:5, For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing, And they have no more reward, For the memory of them is forgotten.
- Job 24:20, The womb should forget him, The worm should feed sweetly on him; He should be remembered no more. (Talking about the person who dies and doesn’t know the Lord. Then we go to).
- Deuteronomy 32:26, I would have said, “I will dash them in pieces, I will make the memory of them to cease from among men,”
- Psalm 109:15, Let them be continually before the Lord, that He may cut off the memory of them from the earth;
- Proverbs 10:7, The memory of the righteous is blessed, but the name of the wicked will rot.
- Psalm 34:16, The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
- Psalm88:12, Shall Your wonders be known in the dark? And Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness? (Talking about hell, it’s a land of forgetfulness, so those in hell are forgotten).
We really don’t know for certain how God has planned for this aspect of our eternity.
Revelation 21:4 says, “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.”
Note that it says the former things have passed away and he tears are wiped away. This tells us that there will be no sorrow in heaven.
Also, in Hebrews 4:12 it says, “For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
God is able to divide and separate our thoughts. He has said that we will not be sorrowful in Heaven. If we know that it will be a joyful place, then surely we would not remember that we have loved ones in hell who rejected Jesus Christ.
- Revelation 15:3 says, “those in heaven are singing a song of joy and praise to God, saying how just and true are his ways.”
- Psalm 144:15 says, “Happy is that people who’s God is the Lord.”
- Jesus said in Luke 15:7, “Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents.”
- Jesus also said in John 16:22, “I will see you again and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man takes from you.” God has made a way for everyone in heaven to be joyful.
Eternity is either eternal bliss, or eternal misery. The Bible says in Deuteronomy 30:19, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore choose life.” I think we should take God’s suggestion seriously and choose life.
In this life, if we think about those we love who have not repented and received Jesus as their Lord and Savior it brings sadness and concern to us. For this reason we should be especially motivated to pray diligently for them to be saved. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:10-11, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.” In other words, when we understand the Judgment of God and the terrors of hell, we will be more persuasive with people. We will take more effort to pray, fast, and ask God to send laborers across their path. We will pray for God to give them dreams and visions of our Savior, and believe the scripture in Psalm 118:17, which says, “they shall live and not die and declare the works of the Lord.”
The scripture also says in Acts 16:31 we can believe that our whole household shall be saved. Remind the Lord of His promises. Declare them over your home and family.
Knowing they have been forgotten is just another form of pain and misery for the unsaved to endure. The Bible says it is the antitheses of what those in heaven will experience. Psalm 112:6 says, “The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.” God will never forget those who have chosen Him. Let’s become more sensitive to the Holy Spirit and be wise with every opportunity to share the Good News with those who are perishing.
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By Bill Wiese, author of 23 Minutes in Hell