December 6, 2017
Q: Do people who have died and gone on to Heaven know what’s happening on earth? If so, I’d think they’d be sad to see the evil and suffering that go on here. But isn’t Heaven supposed to be a happy place?
A: Yes, the Bible assures us that Heaven is a place of absolute happiness and joy and peace—far greater than anything we’ll ever experience right now. The Bible says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).
Do those in Heaven know what’s happening on earth? The Bible doesn’t answer all our questions about Heaven—but it does indicate that those who have already entered Heaven may be aware of events on earth. The book of Hebrews, for example, pictures life as a great arena, with those who have gone before us cheering us on in our daily spiritual struggles (see Hebrews 12:1). Once when Jesus’ appearance was changed and His heavenly glory shone through, Moses and Elijah spoke with Him about events on the earth (see Luke 9:30-31).
Does this mean people in Heaven are sad when evil seems to be winning the day? No, not at all. For one thing, they (unlike us) see the whole picture; they know that even in the midst of life’s heartaches and trials, God is still working behind the scenes. They also know that Satan is a defeated foe, and some day all evil will be destroyed and Christ will rule in perfect peace and justice.
The most important question about Heaven, however, is this: Are you sure you will go there when you die? You can be, by turning to Christ and committing your life to Him.
Q: I’d like to give my niece a nice Bible for Christmas, but I’m afraid she might be disappointed. She’s only 10, and I’ve usually just given her a gift card or some money. Will I just be wasting my money, since she’s still young and probably won’t understand the Bible?
A: The Bible is God’s Word; can you think of anything more valuable to give to someone? The Psalmist was right: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105).
Every day your niece hears literally hundreds of voices—friends, advertisements, text messages, and so forth—that try to persuade her to think and live in certain ways: ways that may be wrong, or even destructive. How will she decide what is true and what is false? How will she decide what is really important in life, and what is worthless? Hopefully she’ll learn this from several sources, including her parents and her church. But ultimately her life needs to be shaped by the Word of God, and you can help her discover this through your gift of a Bible. Even if she doesn’t understand it now, she can as she grows older.
Seek out a modern translation she can understand; your local Christian bookseller or pastor can help you. In addition, consider a Bible that is designed for young people, and includes explanatory notes and articles that will help her understand what it means to follow Jesus.
Pray regularly for your niece; young people today face incredible pressures and temptations. If you do decide to give her a Bible this year, let her know why it’s important to you. And if you’re still uncertain about her reaction, you might also give her another small gift that you know she’ll appreciate.