heaven and memory

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Helen, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    With the given that we won't know until we get there....

    I know the Bible says there are no more pains or sorrows in the new creation; that all tears are wiped away. And I think we have all wondered about this -- do we just forget the people we knew and perhaps loved who are not in heaven?

    Many times I have heard it explained as a sort of waking from a dream where things fade so quickly out of mind as you wake up. And that may be true, but dreams are imaginary things and the people around us are real things.

    I'll be 59 this year and as I have gotten a wee bit older, I have noticed something about my memory -- I tend to remember what I want to remember. One of the kids may remind me of something bad they did 'back when', and I will have forgotten it completely. Same with some funny things and good things.

    I noticed something else lately, too, due to some unusual things that happened around Christmastime. There are actually people I have known in the past who are associated with some very unpleasant things and until they are brought to mind by an outside source, they seem to have faded into something akin to a puff of smoke in my consciousness.

    There are, on the other hand, some people I have known that are part of delightful times in my life who are also not really there in my consciousness anymore until I am reminded of them. Both events have happened lately and my own reaction surprised me.

    With the negative, I apologized where I could (it was not accepted, but that's OK) and the rest was "I'm glad THAT's over...." and off it went again to the back of my mind in that 'smoky' area.

    But with the positive, I was delighted to be reminded and "Oh YEAH! I remember that now! Wasn't that great?"

    So I am wondering, will heaven be that same sort of thing, given the limited capacity of the human brain to remember?

    First, are we concentrating, as Paul told us to, on what is good and lovely and pure? For these are the things we will consciously hold onto in our memories. When we give thanks to God for things, we tend to remember them a little more than if we just take them for granted.

    Second, though, will God simply allow some of those smoky memories to disappear like puffs of smoke and bring to mind the other?

    I have a hard time thinking ALL this will be forgotten!

    But maybe it will....maybe it will all be like a vanishing dream...??

    The point that keeps coming to mind which rejects that option is that, from what I have seen, God wastes nothing in His economy. "ALL things work together...." So what we learn and experience here is not a waste.

    But in what way?

    It's fun to try to look ahead -- at least it is for me. We daren't make doctrines of it, but I am quite sure I am not the only one with a lot of curiosity here.

    When my kids were younger and they would ask about heaven -- usually when they were teenagers -- the picture I found which seemed to work was that of a pregnant woman who could -- magically if you will -- have a conversation with her unborn child. She would tell him/her she couldn't wait until the baby saw sunsets, tasted chocolate pudding, etc. And there was no way the baby could comprehend what on earth she was talking about. There was nothing there to bridge the gap between life in the uterus and what it would be like after birth.

    Maybe it's that way....
     
  2. webdog

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    The martyr's in Revelation don't seem to have forgotten their demise. I don't see us losing our memory, but if anything, more of our memory brought out.
     
  3. Helen

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    webdog, I think I would remember if someone tried (and presumably if they succeeded) to kill me. They martyrs under the altar are asking how long until vengeance for them? But it does not say anything more. Their primary question appears to be about time, and waiting.

    I know you can't answer this, so it's simply a question hanging in the air, I guess, but if our memories were MORE complete, then how could we not mourn and be in sorrow for those we loved who were in everlasting punishment? Understanding justice does not intrinsically ignore pain.
     
  4. webdog

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    I believe our circumstances (this life...family...possessions) won't be the focus after our sin nature is removed. When Christ wipes away our tears, there have to be tears present to wipe away. What will the tears be a result of? We are not told what happens after the tears are wiped away other than there will be no more sorrow, etc.
     
  5. bapmom

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    Helen,

    this week Ive been thinking and wondering about the exact same thing! I figure God could wipe our mind clear of those who will not be in HEaven with us, or we could suddenly gain such a clear picture of God's perspective that we have God's peace.
     
  6. mnw

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    I figure we will not forget anything, but our reaction and the memories effect upon us will be sanctified reactions and effects.

    Even now, certain memories could ruin us emotionally, but the Lord gives grace and we deal with them, rather than complete lose them.

    It seems Heaven will be something like that... maybe... :)
     
  7. Alcott

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    As anyone else who posts on this thread, I can't say anything for sure. But I do have an experience that applies to some our reasonings.

    When I was 14, and after riding my Honda Trail 70 for 2 years, I had saved some money and my dad agreed to 'advance' me the rest to buy a new Suzuki 90, a previous year's model, a dealer had had for a long time on his lot. My brother, 2 years younger, then got the Honda. There was a big field with a creek behind our hosue, as far as we knew publically-owned, in which we and a bunch of others in our neighborhood rode our bikes around, climbing the steep banks, sometimes racing and showing off. On the 9th day I had that Suzuki I had a life-changing experience. My brother and I rammed each other. I was in the hospital for 5 weeks with a broken tibia, dislocated hip, 4 broken ribs and a punctured lung, and amost died of pneumonia in the hospital. No more athletics, as I could no longer run, the few friendships from school I had were mostly severed, then I gained a great deal of weight over that next year, as my irresponsbile parents loaded all kinds of food on me when I wasn't getting exercise, and I did not have the maturity to know what I was doing. They also had this local familiy of doctors on my case, since they were 'old friends' of the family going back a generation, none of whom were orthopedists and they did not recommend any specialists or therapy.

    There's a lot more to the story, of course, but the point I'm making is that I know what happend to me only second-hand... I have no conscious memory of the wreck (neither does my brother) or for the next 3 or 4 days. So on the physical side, horrible memories can be erased, and I am proof. I was told that the memory may re-emerge at some time, but after 3 decades that doesn't seem likely now.

    Also applying to this topic is that thought, as we know it, is a physical function. Blows, surgery, as well as traumatic experience, can affect our thoughts and the control of the rest of the body. With physical death, we have no brain cells to contain memories, so thought is something different than what we know now. Maybe we like to think when we die we'll see Grandma and Grandpa again, or have conversations with Paul, Peter, John Bunyon, or B.J. Carroll, but it seems such ideas are only for this world as think about the next. No physical limits, as we know them, for whom we love how much, no sexual stimuli to interfere... well, if we don't know, we do like to talk about this for some reason.
     
  8. Helen

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    I'm so sorry that accident happened, Alcott. That is a rough thing to go through. I got kicked by a horse in the gut when I was 21. I have had some other painful things happen as well.

    But something funny happens after awhile. When I first told about what had happened -- for instance the horse kick -- I told it from what I remembered. But, as the years went by, I found myself telling the story because I remembered what I had said before when I told the story, more than the incident itself. It's almost like I am watching myself get kicked in my mind rather than actually remembering the experience itself.

    Strange, isn't it?
     
  9. bapmom

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    Alcott,

    you spoke as if we have no physicality after death, and we wouldn't until the final resurrection. But remember that Jesus was in His glorified body, and He ate, drank, and could be physically touched. As I see it He simply had more willful control over what His body could do. We will have that same sort of body after the resurrection. So we will have a physicality in which memories and such could reside. ALso, Jesus knew and recognized those who He had known before He died, and He interacted with them just as He had before.

    I think that is good evidence that we will be interacting with those we knew on earth, and even getting to know other people besides.
     
  10. mima

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    Ideas about heaven

    When you arrive in heaven your understanding will have exploded. Your mind will literally be joined with the universal mind of God. And you will have an understanding of all knowledge, therefore you will clearly understand why some people did not come to heaven and why you did. With this understanding you will clearly pass from the fleshly human capacity to understand and never again attempt to understand anything by your own understanding. You will visit any time or event that has happened in the past or is going to happen future. You literally have the understanding of God within you. We will also have time to exercise a complete examination of our entire past, being able to see why we said what we said ,why we did what we did, on and on. This will cause our praise and worship of the Lord Jesus to expand along with our understanding of what has taken place in our lives.
     
  11. Bartimaeus

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    mima,
    You gave us alot of information there without any scripture. I am not debating your position because alot of what you said I believe. I just can't run all the way down the path with ya!

    To all,

    The Bible says ...."we shall know even as we are known" How well does God know us? Does the Bible say that the Lord God has a memory? Does the Bible say that the Lord Jesus has a memory? Does the rich man in hell have a memory? Answer these questions and then ask yourselves the question ......would the Lord remove from us that which we have, that which the rich man had in hell, that which we have because we were made in the image of God?

    I'll get back with this later.
    Bartimaeus
     

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