What Do They Know?

“They called out in a loud voice,
‘How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true,
until you judge the inhabitants of the earth
and avenge our blood?’”
Rev. 6:10 (NIV)

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As I have been ministering in palliative care for many years, family members who have been bereaved sometimes ask me what their loved ones in heaven know of things here since their deaths. It is a good question and the answer may be surprising to some of my readers.

In today’s verse we read of martyrs in heaven petitioning the Lord about when He would act in judgment against the ones who murdered them. Clearly, they know their enemies had yet to be punished for their sins.

In Matthew 17, in the scene of the transfiguration, the disciples present hear Moses and Elijah speaking with Jesus concerning His death that was to occur in about a year from then. So, these two Old Testament giants had clear understanding regarding the work of Jesus that was yet to occur.

In 1 Samuel 28:14 Samuel spoke from the grave and prophesied to Saul that the next day Saul would die. Samuel knew detail of Saul’s activities after Samuel had died and into the immediate future at least. So, this is further evidence that saints in heaven have at least some information about events here on earth.

How can those in heaven know of evil things happening on earth yet be truly happy? We know that heaven is a place of joy and so we ask how tragic things can be known by those in heaven, yet they are not upset nor is their happiness taken from them.

How saints in heaven know of these things yet remain joyful is not explained in Scripture. All we know is that this is the case. We must search for answers to such questions but where Scripture is silent, we must be also.

In Deuteronomy 29:29 we read,

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God,
but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever,
that we may follow all the words of this law.”

So then, some things we might wish for clarity on are hidden. But did you pick up on the point of this verse which assures us that all we need to know in order to live lives pleasing to the Lord are revealed.

We may want to know things to satisfy our curiosity, but they are hidden from us for reasons best known only to the Lord. Meanwhile take what you do know and serve the Lord faithfully today and leave questions we cannot answer to that great day when the Lord returns. In that day I suspect far greater matters will concern us.

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