Will I be Eternally Sad About Those Who Are Lost?

Posted by Matt Postiff January 14, 2015 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Theology 

Here's today's question:

The Bible promises that there will be no more tears in heaven (Rev. 21:4). But will believers be sad in heaven if our loves ones are not there? It seems that we will know who is there and who is not there when we arrive, and if someone is not there (beloved grandmother, wayward child, etc.) then we might be sad about that.

Here is a similar question:

If we make it to the rapture, will we mourn for friends and family that didn't "make it"? I know we will be in awe of Christ, but will we think about those that were not saved? Will we feel guilty that we didn't do more to evangelize them?

In answer to these questions, let us resolve to believe God that the Scripture's promise is true about there being no sorrow in heaven. Even so, I believe we will know the fact that someone is not with us. However:

  1. We will have an understanding of God's holiness and wisdom such that we will not be troubled by the fact that a particular person is not there. In other words, we will understand that God, the judge of all the earth, decided and did the right thing in each individual's case.
  2. We will understand truly that the wages of sin is eternal death for those who are not in Christ. In other words, those who rejected Christ are deserving of death, and we will "get" that fact so much that we will embrace it even in the case of ones we thought were close to us.
  3. Earthly bonds will seem as nothing in heaven. When we realize that our family is a spiritual family, and that even dear old Aunt Gertrude who was not saved is not as close to us as our spiritual brother from half-way across the globe who lived 500 years before us, then we will not worry about Aunt Gertrude.
  4. We will further understand that unbelievers willingly rejected the revelation of God that they had. Therefore they exhibited that they did not want to have a relationship with God at all, much less for eternity. This rejection of all good is certainly not in their ultimate and eternal self-interest, but once the decision is finalized, it is final.
  5. We will have a level of satisfaction and joy in the fact that God has banished all sin and vindicated Himself after all the millennia of unbelief and wickedness and opposition to God. Those who are outsiders will be outside (Rev. 22:14-15), unable to enter and spoil God's perfect re-creation in which we can dwell in righteousness.
  6. The fact of a person not being in Heaven will fade into total unimportance when we experience who is there—namely Jesus Christ, God the Father (Rev. 21:3), the Holy Spirit, the angels, and all other believers of all ages!
  7. So much will be new and different in heaven; much of it is unknown at this point. However, one key thing will be different, and that is that we will be different. We will have a new body and a new mind unclouded by sin. We will be like Jesus (1 John 3:2, Rom. 8:29). Whatever Jesus' attitude is toward the lost, that will be our attitude as well. I don't believe He will be crying over them. And neither will we. That doesn't mean He has no compassion for them as if He were a cold and calculating criminal. But it is ever true that the soul who sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:4). Sin has consequences and those are eternally irreversible for those outside of Jesus Christ.

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