The more I find out about heaven, the more excited I get. I don't think we have any idea how wonderful it's going to be! Here's the answers to last week's questions:
What is the difference between heaven and the new earth?
The present heaven that the Bible refers to is the current place where God dwells. Paul refers to it as the third heaven when he indicated that he was caught up to the third heaven in 2 Corinthians 12. We get glimpses of it in scripture. In Daniel and Isaiah we see visions of the great throne room of heaven where God sits on his throne. These pictures are awesome and glorious! But the scripture indicates heaven is not where we'll live forever. When Jesus returns to defeat Satan and set up his kingdom on earth, we will be with Him. 1 Thess 3:13 We will reign with Him for a thousand years on earth and then the scriptures indicate that God will create a new heaven and a new earth even more fabulous than this one. Isaiah 65 Mankind was created to live on earth and I truly believe earth will be our eternal home.
Will we remember our lives on earth?
There is every indication from scripture that we will remember in detail our lives while on earth. The martyrs standing before God in Revelation clearly remember the torment they suffered on earth. In the story of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16, the rich man remembers not only his life but all of his family still on earth and begs Lazarus to return and warn his family. When we stand before the Beta judgement seat, we must give account of our acts of faithfulness while here on earth so we can receive our reward. 1 Corinthians 3:14. How can we do that if we have no memory of our lives? There are many other examples, but I fully believe our memory will be intact and probably be more clear than ever.
Will we be able to pray for our loved ones on earth and be aware of what's happening on earth?
Several times in the book of Revelation, we see saints in heaven either rejoicing or praying for things that are happening on earth, so I fully believe that we will be aware of what's going on back on earth, perhaps not with specific people, but certainly with major events. In the Transfiguration in Luke 9, Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus and spoke to him about his ministry and the things that must come. Obviously they were totally aware of who Jesus was and what he came to earth to accomplish. Since we will have access to the throne room in heaven, I have no doubt that we will be able to come to God with our requests. In Revelation 6, the saints are asking God to do something specific on earth, so that would definitely indicate to me that can offer our prayers to God right to His Face. How awesome is that?
Next week's questions:
1. What sort of rewards will we receive?
2. Will the new earth be like Eden?
3. What will we do in the New Earth?