By Elizabeth Prata
Do you ever wonder how much, if anything, you will remember in heaven after the rapture or after resurrection through death? I do. I have unsaved family members and unsaved friends. If I am happy worshiping Him in glory, will I also not cry in despair because of the knowledge of eternal torment of my loved ones?
Yet Isaiah 65:17 tells us, For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. I would hate to forget His glorious creation and His many miracles and works!
Gotquestions.org deals with the issue by saying that “some interpret Isaiah 65:17 as saying that we will have no memory of our earthly lives when we are in heaven. However, one verse earlier in Isaiah 65:16, the Bible says, “For the past troubles will be forgotten and hidden from my eyes.” It is likely only our ‘past troubles’ that will be forgotten – not all of our memories. Our memories will be cleansed, redeemed, healed, and restored – not erased.”
Does that mean God will erase the memory and knowledge of sin from our minds? Will the memories that will be cleansed will be the ones that involve only sin, pain, and sadness? Revelation 21:4 declares, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Further, the book of Revelation says that in heaven we will sing the song of the Lamb and of Moses (Revelation 15:3), which is a song about past history. So if we are going to sing about the great works of God in history we will be having memories of them. It appears we will not forget everything.
The verse in Luke 14:26 says,
If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
Of course the verse is not to be taken literally. If it was, then Jesus would be violating the fifth commandment which says to honor thy mother and thy father. (Exodus 20:12). The verse is meant to demonstrate that comparatively, one must love Jesus so much that by comparison, one’s love for one’s parents is like hate.
So when in heaven, our love for Jesus will be fully made manifest because we will be glorified and nothing, such as our sin nature, will stand in the way of loving Him. Our joy will be so pure, so full, that comparatively, our remembrance of past sins will fade away. Beholding His perfection, in our glorified state, we can fully understand and know His decisions and His will is perfect. There will be no need to mourn.
Ultimately, of course, I do not know for sure. But one thing I DO know: God is perfect and He is righteous, always doing the right thing. I believe it highly likely we will forget and remember things in accord with what will maximize our enjoyment of God. If remembering something enhances our worship of Him, He will allow us to remember it. If it would hinder our worship of Him, He will allow us to forget it.
What do you think?