Questions on Heaven
When Jesus died for our sins and rose on Easter morning, all our debts were cancelled and paid in full. Correct? So, through Christ's death/resurrection, belief in Christ, and being baptized, we can be assured we will be in heaven. Correct? A fellow Catholic friend of mine suggests, no, we cannot be assured - how do we know we have paid for the damage of our sins? We need final purification before entrance into heaven and that the Bible states that few get gateway into heaven. Please help me to understand.
You are correct in understanding the significance of Good Friday and Easter. On the cross Jesus proclaimed, “It is finished” (John 19:30). He announced that he paid in full the debt of our sins. His rising to life on Easter Sunday was proof positive of the Father’s acceptance of his redeeming work (Romans 4:25). You Continued.
Scripture says relatively little about what things will be like for us between the time of our death and the day of the Resurrection. That means we should be careful not to say too much. We will still be ourselves (minus sin) with all that that entails. That would suggest we will have certain kinds Continued.
My understanding is that animals don't have souls, and therefore do not go to heaven as human believers do. My dog died today and I can't help grieving that he is gone. Is there a possibility that even though he doesn't have a soul, I might be able to meet up with him again?
It is natural to grieve the loss of a dear pet, but we have no reason to believe there will be a resurrection for animals as for people. Since our eternal home is a new heavens and a new earth, it is possible that there will be animals there. Is Isaiah 11:6-9 figurative or literal? Continued.
Please accept our sincere sympathy on the loss of your mother. With you, we are confident that the surpassing joy of knowing that she is now with her Savior in glory will allow you to focus on what she and you have, not on what you have temporarily lost. On the matter of believers recognizing Continued.
Many of the people I know believe that they have been visited by deceased loved ones in the form of birds or other "signs." This seems to bring them comfort. I have told them I believe that while birds or other things can be beautiful reminders of our loved ones, they don't come back for a visit. They tell me they "felt" it and it was real. How can I lovingly let them know this is not true without making them feel their grief for the person all over again. I know we are to "speak the truth in love." I don't want to drive them from Jesus by making them angry at me so they won't hear me.
You are doing well in carefully listening to your friends, tactfully asking them questions and responding in love with Scripture. You do not specify whether or not your friends claim to embrace Christianity. If that is the case, it would be fair to ask them where the Bible speaks of reincarnation. (It does not, of Continued.
Does the Bible state whether or not we have guardian angels? Does it tell us if angels will come to take us to heaven?
Scripture comforts us with the truth that angels are watching over us as Christians, protecting us from harm (Psalm 90:11,12). However, it does not tell us whether or not we each have a personal guardian angel. It could be that God sends a group of angels to protect a group of Christians. Either way, we Continued.
Someone had mentioned to me how our loved ones become angels after they die and watch over those they left behind. I know this not to be true, as the angels were created by God before man during the Creation week, but I did not have a specific passage to let the person know that the number of angels does not increase or decrease. Could you please provide the solid scriptural references I need to be able to address this person and guide them lovingly in the truth? Thank you!
First, let me commend you for the wonderful attitude in which you are trying to relay the truth of God’s Word to others (“guide them lovingly in the truth”). Your words illustrate that Christian witnessing is not a matter of debating and arguing; it is presenting the truth and leaving the results in God’s hands. Continued.
If a soul is not visible when a person dies and goes to heaven, how can the soul then recognize others or even meet the Lord? What does a soul do during that time in heaven until Judgement Day? The Bible notes that upon our death, the soul immediately goes to heaven but, if invisible, how can it rejoice, etc. with the Lord? Is there any scriptural basis that indicates the soul knows what has happened and why he/she is there and be able to recognize others? How can the soul recognize if it is an invisible being? Thank you.
The Bible provides little information on the state of souls after death and before Judgment Day. At death, body and soul separate, and judgment takes place (Hebrews 9:27). Souls are in heaven or hell based on the presence or absence of Christian faith (Mark 16:16). While it is difficult for us to imagine an existence Continued.
Why does the Bible give so limited information on heaven where believers are now and the new heaven in the life to come? I understand we are limited in understanding it. But, the Lord created us with such curiosity and a love to learn!
The apostle John wrote toward the end of his gospel: “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his Continued.
Scripture passages such as Daniel 12:3; Matthew 25:23, 28-29; Luke 19:17, 19; 1 Corinthians 3:12-15; 2 Corinthians 9:6; and, Revelation 14:13 are often cited to speak of “degrees of glory” in heaven. That expression describes God’s gracious blessing of Christians’ lives of service to him—blessings that are graciously given in proportion to their lives of Continued.
The Bible does not reveal much information about the existence of individuals between the time of death and the last day. We do know from the Bible that when people die, body and soul separate from one another, and they either enjoy the glories of heaven or experience the horrors of hell based on faith Continued.
I understand that when God brings us to heaven solely through Jesus' merit we will experience perfect joy and happiness basking in the glory of the Lord. I also realize that marriage is an earthly institution only. However, I am troubled by the concept that my wife and children will be no more special to me than some other believer that I never met. What am I missing?
You are correct in understanding that the Bible speaks of marriage as “an earthly institution only” (Matthew 22:30). What the Bible does not do is provide many details on the eternal life we will enjoy with God and fellow believers. Some point to the account of Jesus’ transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-13; Mark 9:2-13; Luke 9:28-36), where Continued.