Can Our Loved Ones See Us From Heaven?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Is it possible for our loved ones in heaven to see us now?  Is there a way for them to know what we are doing?  What is the biblical evidence for or against whether or not our loved ones can see us from heaven?

Heaven Bound

The old saying is that if you are born once you’ll die twice but if you’re born twice, you die once.  That means that if you only have a human birth and are not saved, you will be lost at Christ’s return (Rev 20:11-5).  If you are born twice…once as a baby and then born again from above…then you will never die, at least in the sense of eternal judgment (John 3:3).  If you are not heaven bound then you are hell bent.  There is no neutrality in salvation.  Jesus said that you are either for me or against me (Matt 12:30).  To make no decision for Christ is to decide to reject Him and that will not go well on the day of His visitation (John 3:36).  So before we even dive into the question of whether or not your loved ones can see you from heaven ask yourself: “Am I saved”?  That is the biggest question of your life that you will answer and give an account for (Rom 14:12; Matt 12:36).

One Moment after Death

The very moment after you die you are with the Lord; that is if you are saved.  Paul wrote that “to be absent from the body [is] to be present with the Lord” (2 Cor 5:8) which also means that “while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord” (2 Cor 5:9).  When Paul says “in the body” he means here on earth and when he speaks of “with the Lord” we know that He means in heaven.  How do we know that?  Jesus is presently seated at the right hand of the Father because after His death and resurrection, the Scriptures say that God “seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places” (Eph 1:20).  This means nothing less than Jesus “is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” at the very moment you are reading this (Heb 12:2).  By doing so, God has “highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name” (Phil 2:9b).

Can My Saved Loved Ones See Me from Heaven?

Many use the verse in Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” as evidence that their loved ones can see them from heaven but is that what this verse is really about?  I don’t believe it is.  Notice the world “therefore” in Hebrews 12:1.  What does Hebrews12:1 speak about?  It is a conclusion of what was just said in Hebrews 11:39-40: “And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.”

A good question to ask about Hebrews 12:1 is what is the “therefore,” there for?  The word therefore ties into what was previously written and what we read in Hebrews 12:1 tells us who these “cloud of witnesses” were and what it was written for.  We must also ask who it was written to because all Scripture is written for us but not every verse is written precisely to us. Some verses are prescriptive (for us or some other audience) and some are descriptive (describing something).  For example, the Book of Hebrews is written for us but some of it is written to the Jewish Christians who were losing everything, including their life, due to intense persecution.

... there is an unbridgeable gap between heaven and hell ... no one can see from heaven to earth, except God Himself.

… there is an unbridgeable gap between heaven and hell … no one can see from heaven to earth, except God Himself.

Context is everything in determining proper interpretation.   The word “therefore” is like a coupling on a train. It connects everything behind it and pulls it forward or together so the word “therefore” means a conclusion is coming from what was just written behind the word “therefore.”  The conclusion is not that we are surrounded by” a great cloud of witnesses”….supposedly cheering us on…but the conclusion is found in the previous verse “let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely [so we can] run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Heb 11:39-40).  It is not about the path that is behind us that this “great cloud of witnesses“ is cheering us on (Hebrews 12:1) but it speaks but what lies ahead.  Any great cloud of witnesses, if there were any that were watching us, would have seen what was behind us…not what “is set before us”  which is what preceded Hebrews 12:1.  Hebrews 11:39-40 is written about those in the so called “Hall of Faith” (in Hebrews chapter 11) and so we see that this is not about our deceased loved ones but about those that were “commended through their faith” and not your dear, sweet, saved grandma.  Hebrews chapter 11 is about encouraging Christians and in Hebrews specifically, Jewish Christians, to persevere and endure until the end.  Like Lazarus and the Rich Man, there is an unbridgeable gap between heaven and hell and the man in torment wanted to go back to warn his brothers about hell but could not (Luke 16:19-31).  Similarly, it is believed that no one can see from heaven to earth, except God Himself.

Conclusion

I could find no conclusive Bible evidence that our lost loved ones can see us from heaven.  We can only speculate at best.  Where the Bible is silent, I believe we ought to be.  Where the Bible doesn’t speak specifically on the subject, then we should not speak specifically on the subject.  The main thing that we can do is to make sure we get there…and if we are saved…to take as many to heaven as we can by God’s divine plan.  No one goes to heaven by works, no one goes to heaven on the shirttails of their parent’s faith, and no one goes to heaven by just professing Christ.  It is not about professing Him but about possessing Him.  He needs to be more than resident; He needs to be president in your life.  This means you have to resign as chairman of the board of your own life.  You need to put Him ahead of all things on this earth; family, friends, job, riches…everything (Matt 6:33)!  Decide today and ensure that you see your loved ones again in the Kingdom of Heaven.  There is no other way except by the precious blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ the Lord. For more, read Romans 10:9-13; Acts 4:12, 16:30-31; and John 3:17-18.

Read more about Heaven here: What Does the Bible say Heaven is Like?

Resource –  “Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”





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