Watching From Above?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by drfuss, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. drfuss

    drfuss
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    At many funerals, the minister has said that the deceased is now watching us from above (or something like that).

    I know this is said to comfort the family and friends. But is it actually scriptural?
     
  2. ktn4eg

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    It's possible that this idea may come from what Hebrews 12:1 refers to as "a great cloud of witnesses."

    That statement appears to refer to the Old Testament heroes of the faith mentioned in Chapter 11, but whether those people (or any other departed saints) can actually view what is taking place on earth is unclear from that text.
     
  3. John of Japan

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    John R. Rice had a message on Heb. 12:1 that taught this entitled, "Spectators in the Heavenly Grandstand." I just searched my extensive JRR library and didn't find it in his sermon books, and it has been 3 decades since I heard it, so I don't know what his arguments were.

    The main thrust of the sermon was that since our loved ones can watch us from Heaven, we should do our best for Jesus. JRR's mother died when he was a child, so he always had a keen sense of heavenly things.
     
  4. TaterTot

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    I dont believe that is a fair assessment of that passage.

    If our loved ones could see us, then surely there would be tears and sadness in heaven.

    I know I like to think that my Dad has seen my little girls, but realisitically, I just cant reconcile that scripturally.
     
  5. Joshua Rhodes

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    When I get to heaven, I sure don't want to be worried about what's going on down here! I'll be too busy praising God and seeing loved ones that have passed.
     
  6. John of Japan

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    But you know, there are tears in Heaven. Where is it that Jesus will wipe away all tears? It is in Heaven that He does this, and not until He makes all things new in Rev. 21:4-5. I for one think that we will be witnesses of the Great White Throne Judgment, and we will weep when we see loved ones condemned forever. How much better to weep for them now, on earth!

    Still, Rice's interpretation of Heb. 12:1 does not demand that those in Heaven watch us all the time, thus seeing the bad we do. In fact, since God does not look on evil, I don’t think He allows those in Heaven to look at the sinning on earth. However, I like to think that an angel-messenger calls my Dad over to the battlements of Heaven once in awhile, saying, "Chuck, look here. Your son is preaching, and someone is about to get saved." Would that be bad?

    We do know that folk in Heaven are aware when a soul is saved on earth. Remember, the Bible says that "there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth" (Luke 15:10). Some think that means the angels will rejoice, but the passage doesn't say that. As the old song says, "Angels never felt the joy that my salvation brings." The joy in the passage is not among the angels, but in their presence--and I believe that means the believers in Heaven.

    Another mention of those in Heaven being concerned about what goes on down here is in Rev. 6:9-10, where the martyred saints in Heaven want God to judge the earth: "9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?":type:
     
  7. John of Japan

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    But will we cut the ties with our loved ones on earth when we reach Heaven? Will we not still care for them and long to see them again?
     
  8. Joshua Rhodes

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    I hope not. I hope I know my wife, or at least realize that we were husband and wife on earth. And I can't wait to meet my daughter... I hope we know each other there, I just don't know of a Scripture that says so.
     
  9. webdog

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    An excellent book on this subject is Heaven by Randy Alcorn.
     
  10. LeBuick

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    Interesting subject and perspective, to be absent from the body is to be present with God. God is spirit which are not confined by the limitations of this rhelm or demension.
     
  11. drfuss

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    Jesus said to the thief on the cross - Today you will be with me in paradise.

    In II Cor. 5:8, Paul talks about being absent from the body and in the presense of the Lord.

    In I Thessalonians 4:16, after the Lord desends from heaven with a shout, .... The dead in Christ shall rise first.

    Question - What happens between the death of a Christian and the Lord descending from heaven where the dead in Christ shall rise first?

    If Christians go immediately to be with the Lord when they die, do they later come back to us so they can rise first?

    Perhaps when they die, they are transported immediately in time to the second coming so they can rise first and be with the Lord. Just a thought.
     
  12. John of Japan

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    But there are plenty of Scriptures that talk about the eternal nature of agape love. "And now abide faith, hope and agape. But the greatest of these is agape!" (1 Cor. 13:13). In spite of the fact that we know so little about Heaven, I can't imagine a Heaven where we would forget about those we loved so much on Earth! My wife (and I am sure yours, too), is such a deep and abiding part of my life that I would not be me without her. :love2:

    Besides, think of all the ways our wives have helped us glorify God here on Earth. How could we then remember God's glory through us when we reach Heaven unless we remember also those God used with us? I think many other examples could be given of the eternal nature of the Christian life which say that yes, in Heaven we will remember. We shall know as we are known (1 Cor. 13:12)!

    Here is another Scripture. Remember the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man was told in Hell to remember the good things about his life on Earth. (v. 25)! Surely if they can remember in Hell, we can remember in Heaven!

    My belief is that when we enter Heaven's gate, the only thing that will change about us is that we will lose our sin nature (and with it any and all interest in sin). So if someone doesn't learn much about the Lord here on Earth, he will have much to learn when he reaches Heaven!

    On the other hand, someone who had a compassion and love for souls on Earth will not suddenly lose that simply by reaching Heaven! So he will be still wondering if that loved one on Earth has gotten saved yet! And I believe God will keep him informed.
     
    #12 John of Japan, Oct 10, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2006
  13. John of Japan

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    Then there is John R. Rice's 60 page classic bestseller Bible Facts About Heaven, still in print over 60 years and 500,000 copies later--for only $2.95! :thumbsup:
    http://www.swordofthelord.com/osb/showitem.cfm?Category=147
     
  14. DeeJay

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    When we are in Heaven we will be in eternity, outside of time right. So I wonder if we will see the earth and what happens as a picture not a chronology.

    You see what I am saying if we are in eternity then there can be no progression of time, no day added to day hour added to hour. We would have to see time all at once begining to end. So we would see the ending as soon as we were there.

    Or maybe I am up in the night. I cant quite wrap my mind around the theory. What do you think?
     
  15. drfuss

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    That tends to agree with my last line in my last post which was:
    "Perhaps when they die, they are transported immediately in time to the second coming so they can rise first and be with the Lord. Just a thought."

    I hate to spoil those warm fuzzy funeral sermons, but I have wondered about this through many funeral services.
     
  16. Helen

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    I think there is not time as we know it, but there is some kind of progression. The River FLOWS from under the throne, and the Tree of Life yields 12 different fruits month by month.

    I'm not saying I understand this, but perhaps our time/space/mass continuum that we live in is simply some kind of limited physical picture of reality itself.
     
  17. DeeJay

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    Ya, I agree with that. Though I would not describe it as transported thru time as much as time does not exist. So as soon as you die you are reserected at the last. No matter if you died in the year 100 or 2006 it happens at the same moment.
     
  18. LeBuick

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    So you don't agree with being absent from the body is to be present with the Lord?
     
  19. LeBuick

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    I ordered 3 of his books,

    Bible Facts About Heaven (Dr. John R. Rice)
    Bible Lessons on the Book of Revelation (Dr. John R. Rice)
    Tears in Heaven (Dr. John R. Rice)

    Now that's the best $10 i've ever spent...
     
  20. Jim1999

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    I remember a student asking me where heaven was. We know that it is not up anymore than hell is down, but that is the poetic language used in scripture. My answer was to have them hold out there hand as far as they could and heaven is right there beyond the finger tips. It is another dimension. I don't know all the details....I can only envision what it is by the colourful language used in scripture...streets paved with gold? What does gold mean when we "come without purse and buy"? Gold is used because we have always valued gold in monetary terms.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     

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