Listen:  145.6

This is a difficult question because we just don’t have much scriptural information about those who have gone to be with the Lord.  Let’s look at a few things that we do know.  We read in 2 Corinthians 5:8, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”  From this, we learn the precious truth that when a believer on the Lord Jesus Christ dies, he is immediately in the presence of the Lord.  The Apostle Paul stated in Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”  It is ‘gain’ for the believer to die because he is then ushered into the presence of his savior.  Paul went on to say in Philippians 1:23, “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.”  He had a desire to live so that he might minister to his fellow saints, but he also had a desire to depart to be with Christ.  Of course, being with Christ would be “far better.” 

We read in Luke 15:7, “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”  From this we learn that there is an awareness in Heaven each time a sinner repents and puts his trust in the Lord Jesus.  However, it is not the duty of a departed loved one to watch over us.  That is the Lord’s work and He does a much better job of that than anyone else ever could.  While we might like to think of our loved ones looking down on us from Heaven and watching over us, there is just not enough scriptural evidence to support that thought. 

As far as a departed loved one visiting us to give us comfort, we know from 2 Corinthians 1:3that the Lord is, “…the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.”  It is God Himself that ministers comfort to us when we need it.  Perhaps He might give us precious thoughts of our departed loved one; perhaps He might bless us with the assurance of their salvation, thus giving us peace about their present state of being with the Lord.  A dear recently widowed lady told me she thought her departed husband had come to her at night to comfort her.  She asked me if I thought that could have really been her husband.  I encouraged her to simply thank the Lord for the comfort she had received.  Her comfort was definitely a gift to her and we know from James 1:17that, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights…”  Her Father knew her needs and He gave her comfort.   

Psalms 16:11speaks of being with Christ.  It says, “…in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”  It should give us peace to realize that our departed loved one, who was a believer on the Lord Jesus, is now experiencing joy beyond anything they could ever experience while on the earth.  Let’s rejoice in their joy!  There is nothing to make us think that our loved ones cannot remember us, but in the presence of the Lord, they are so occupied with their blessed savior that they probably are not occupied with us. 

In the eternal state, we are told that we will know one another.  The Apostle Paul is comparing our present knowledge with the knowledge we will have in eternity.  He says in 1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”  This gives us the indication that we will have more complete knowledge in the Glory.  We will know others even as we ourselves are known of others.  (145.6)