A couple of weeks ago I was having a question and answer session with a 7th grade Bible class at a nearby Adventist school. Someone asked if we will remember this earth when we get to heaven? More importantly will we remember our loved ones? Here is what I shared from the Bible.
Some take the above passage to literally read that our minds will be wiped totally clean of any recollections of earth. Here again is where we need to allow God to use figure of speech. Notice there is a footnote on this verse. the footnote reads “come upon the heart.” In other words the past will not weigh on our heart and minds. For example many times in the Bible it says God’s people forgot about Him. Well it wasn’t like they had no recollection of God and forgot He existed, they just did not take His love to heart or let it impress their hearts. So in the same way rebels “forget” about God and do not take His love to heart, when we get to heaven we will “forget” all the problems we had on earth and no longer take them to heart.
Revelation 20 tells us in heaven…
And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. Revelation 20:4 NKJV
Here we see those who died for their faith here on earth are judging the world as Paul predicted in 1 Corinthians 6:3. If we are judging the things of this world up in heaven then we will obviously have memories of this life. After all, as I said before, Jesus did not die for us here on earth just to turn us into new robots up in heaven. If that were the case He might as well have just wiped us all out and made brand new robots to begin with. In Revelation 21 we see what seems like unmistakable evidence that we will still have earthly memories in heaven.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes;…. Revelation 21:4 NKJV
People say there will be no crying in heaven, but if that is so, then why does God have to wipe the tears from our eyes? Again God will never turn us into robots. We will have emotions, and our memories of lost loved ones will surely bring us to tears. God will not turn us into careless robots but will wipe the tears from our eyes as we cry for those who have chosen to reject their mansions that God prepared for them from the foundation of the world (See Matthew 25:34) and chose to be in the fire that was never prepared or intended for them. (See Matthew 35:41).
God’s plan is for us to be in the new earth with our families. We see this as we go back to the book of Isaiah where we began.
For as the new heavens and the new earth Which I will make shall remain before Me,” says the Lord, “So shall your descendants and your name remain. Isaiah 66:22 NKJV
I choose to be in the new earth with God so that He will not have to wipe the tears from the eyes of my family, but, even more importantly, so no one will have to wipe the tears from God’s eyes. By God’s grace we will be united with friends and family around the throne of God as we praise Him, remembering how Jesus redeemed us from the sins of the old earth.
You may study this week’s Sabbath School lesson here.