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Saints in Heaven Observe Us with Knowledge & Interest

Adapted from Dr. John R. Rice (1/23/00)



     After my mother died, one evening my sister and I sat out in the moonlight on the stone doorstep of Aunt Nannie’s home and looked up at the stars. We talked about mother—did she look down upon us? Did she care? Did she love us still?

     No doubt the same questions, too deep for childish minds to put into words, have raised themselves in millions of hearts.  Do our loved ones in Heaven know what goes on the earth?

     Again, thank God, I can say with assurance, and prove by the Word of God, that they do know! That they do care!

     But how could people in heaven be happy if they knew all the sadness and wickedness of this world?  Let me ask you another question: How can the Lord Jesus in heaven be happy? Surely He knows all things here.  He, with God the Father, knows the fall of every sparrow and numbers every hair on every head.  Can Jesus be happy in heaven? 

     We know that Jesus is happy in heaven now, for we are told: “Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2).  Yes, Jesus is happy in heaven, knowing all the wickedness of this world.  So are the saints in heaven.

     The trouble with all these doubters is simply this: they are measuring saints in heaven by the standards of carnal, earth-minded Christians.  Dear Christians, you will be perfectly satisfied and happy with everything that the Lord Jesus does for you.

     And when, at the last judgment, the Lord sends sinners away forever to the lake of fire, unrepentant sinners, sinners who would have nothing to do with Jesus, sinners who rejected the pleading of the Spirit—then every saint will say “Amen” to the just condemnation of their loved one, who had trampled under their feet the blood of the Lamb.

     Revelation 21:4 says: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

     Certainly in heaven, they know what goes on here on earth. This is made clear by many Scriptural illustrations.

     The rich man in hell looked with the deepest concern upon the affairs of the earth. He knew that his five brothers on earth had not repented and needed an evangelist. And Abraham in heaven knew even more, for he said: “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

     How strange that both heaven and hell look on with such intense concern for the conversion of the wicked here on earth. And we on earth, and have an opportunity to warn them, do so little about it!

     When Moses and Elijah met Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, what do you suppose they talked about? Did Elijah report on the songs they sang in heaven?  No, these saints from Glory spoke of the things that were to transpire on earth (Luke 9:31).  The saints in heaven knew what Jesus was doing on earth, knew the course of events that led straight to the Cross. Eagerly they talked with the Lord about His death that he would “accomplish” in Jerusalem.


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     Jesus said: “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” (Luke 15:7).  Who is in the presence of the angels?  It is Jesus Himself, and also the saints who are always with Christ. And I think that Jesus meant that redeemed saints in Glory shout with rejoicing, and praise God over, every sinner who repents on earth!

     In Hebrews chapter 11, God gives us an Honor Roll of the heroes of faith: “By faith Abel…by faith Enoch…by faith Noah…by faith Abraham…”  And the list points to unnamed martyrs of the faith of whom the world was not worthy.  Then comes the wonderful climax of the passage:

     “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).

     Compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses!  We may be sure that all the saints and heroes of God cluster around the banisters of heaven—and gaze with the deepest concern upon us, who are running the earthly race!  The argument of this verse is that, since the grandstand of Glory is filled with so many eager observers, we should lay aside every sin, and the besetting sin of unbelief, and look to Jesus to complete our race.  And so, Christians, in view of this multitude of heavenly witnesses, let us run a good race!

     I never knew until I was a grown man that my Mother had wanted me to be a preacher. One day in Amarillo, Texas, in the home of my dear Aunt Esse, we were looking through an old book, and a letter fell out. I recognized the handwriting at once, for I had seen her maidenhood’s love letters to my father. The handwriting was that of my mother, written when I was four year old, a year or two before her death.

     She wrote, as mothers will, about husband and children and family. Then she said: “And my little preacher boy is just getting along fine. The other day he said…” Startled, I looked up at my aunt. She had named everyone else in the family but me, and I was her “preacher boy.”

     “Did she call me that?” I asked

     Aunt Esse answered: “She never called you anything else.”

     When I saw my father a little later, he said: “Yes, when you were born, we gave you to God and we prayed that God would make you a preacher.”

     “Why didn’t you tell me, Dad?” I asked. He replied, “We wanted the Lord to tell you.”  The Lord did tell me, and I know now that to this end was I born.

     And many a time I stand and plead with sinners to come to Christ. When they come—sometimes with glad, uplifted faces, and sometimes in tears—I feel that in heaven they make way for my mother. And she gets a front seat in the grandstand of Glory. I think I can almost hear her rejoicing, as she sees her prayers being answered: seeing her “preacher boy” preaching the Gospel.

     Since heaven is so near, and since such a cloud of witnesses surrounds us, let us run our race with patience, laying aside the wrights and our besetting sin. Jesus will give us power to do His work, while heaven looks on. And one day we shall share with them the soul winner’s reward, and enter more perfectly into the soul winner’s rejoicing.

     It is truly a solemn, yet a most comforting thought, taught by the Scriptures, that in heaven they know what we do here on earth.  And if you want to make people in heaven rejoice, then today trust Jesus Christ as your own, personal Saviour.  And then run with patience the race that is set before you.  And all heaven will rejoice!


(See Also: FAQs on Bible Prophecy—“Do Saints Recognize Each Other in Heaven?”)








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