Let’s start by considering the reality that the spirits of our loved ones are either with the Lord or they are in torment.  That is determined by whether or not they have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior.  Let us look at each scenario.

If our loved ones have put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, then they are saved and belong to the Lord.  Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”  It is faith in the Lord that brings salvation, without any works that we may do.  When a believer passes away, their soul and spirit immediately go to be with the Lord.  2 Corinthians 5:8 says, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be ABSENT FROM THE BODY, and to be PRESENT WITH THE LORD.”  While the body of the believer lies in the grave, his soul and spirit are awake and aware in the very presence of the One who loved him and died for him. 

In Luke 16, we read of the event of a believing beggar that died. In verse 22 we read that he, “was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom”, which is a reference to Heaven itself.  In verse 25 we read that “he is comforted.”  Isn’t that a wonderful thought to all of us who have Christ as our savior?  In the glory, we will be in the presence of our savior, and we will be comforted.  We also read in Psalm 16:11 that, “…in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”  At the right hand of the Lord, we will have the greatest joy and pleasure.”

Can our Christian loved ones see and hear us?  Do they know what we are doing, what we are going through, and do they come to offer comfort to us?  Do they know our thoughts and if we are thinking of them?  There is just no conclusive biblical evidence that our saved loved ones can see us from Heaven.  We can only speculate at best and where the Bible is silent, I believe we ought to be silent as well.  Where the Bible does not speak specifically on the subject, then we should not speak specifically on the subject either.  We do know that when someone is saved, all Heaven knows about it and rejoices.  Luke 15:7 says, “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth…”  Other than that, I do believe our loved ones who are in the presence of the Lord will be entirely taken up with Him.  They will be praising and worshipping their savior. 

What about our loved ones who have died without knowing Christ as their savior?  We read of a beggar that died in Luke 16, let us go back to that portion and read of an unbelieving rich man who died about the same time this poor man (Lazarus) died.  Luke 16:22-28 says, “And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And IN HELL he lift up his eyes, BEING IN TORMENTS, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, HAVE MERCY ON ME, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I AM TORMENTED IN THIS FLAME. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.”  How sad for this rich man!  He had all he wanted while he was alive.  The problem was that he did not want Christ in his life.  Now, after death, we see he is in torment and begs for mercy.  Alas, it was too late to ask for mercy and now he begins his eternity of suffering and torment.  For eternity, this man will be occupied with his sufferings.  To add to his misery, he remembers that he has five brothers who were also lost and needed to be saved.  I would say that in the deep darkness where he now dwells, he doesn’t know if they ever got saved.  Perhaps he still thinks about that every day and still agonizes over the fate of his brothers.  I think we can easily see that in his eternal torment, this man has no time to think of others.  He only thinks of his own agony.

While we are living, we still have time to choose the Lord.  After we die, it will be too late.  Joshua 24:15 says, “…choose you this day whom ye will serve.”  Will you choose the Lord Jesus, or will you wait until it is eternally too late?  (447.4)