One of the best things about spending time with your kids is being present for their inquisitive moments. The other day my seven-year-old daughter asked me if I would still be her daddy in heaven. This is a pretty good question. It is similar to other questions about eternity that people often have. These questions usually have something to do with comprehending how different is going to be better. We are creatures of habit and therefore norms are safe and comfortable to us. One of the greatest difficulties in understanding the grandeur of heaven involves accepting the fact that the unknowns are superior to the knowns.
When your children ask you hard questions it is pretty easy to just say, “I don’t know.” If such is the true answer you need never be afraid to say so. Fortunately on this occasion I felt quite comfortable telling my daughter what I knew from my personal study of God’s word. When it comes to eternity, the Bible is the only volume we could consult in order to get the correct answers. So, yes, I responded to her questioned by pointing out the following Biblical truths:
1. I will always be me and you will always be you. Moses and Elijah were still Moses and Elijah centuries after they left their earthly existence. At the mount of transfiguration they appeared to and talked with Jesus (Matt. 17:1-5). Jesus also said in Mark 12:26-27 that God was still the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We are going to be given a different body to go with our spirit (cf. 1 Cor. 15), but we will never lose our identity.
2. Relationships, in some fashion, will be different in heaven (Matt. 22:23-33). When Jesus was challenged by the Sadducees to explain a question about marriage in heaven, Jesus plainly told them that there would be no marriage there (Matt. 22:30). We should understand that earthly relationships were created in part for carrying on earthly responsibilities. We will no longer need to reproduce in heaven. We won’t need to raise infants or support each other as brethren in order to get through life. Earthly relationships, though necessary and full of blessings, will be inferior to the perfection of heavenly ones.
3. We will never forget our family members (Luke 16:19-31). When the rich man died, Jesus said he remembered his brothers, still living on the earth. Because the rich man was in torments, he wanted someone to preach to them so they would not be lost like he was. As a side note, we should mention that your departed loved ones are fully aware of their eternal destination. If they had one wish it would be for you to be obedient to the gospel, whether they have done so or not. I do not fully understand how this works, but I do know for those who will be in heaven, what God allows them to remember will not matter, for he has promised, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:3). I am fully confident that I will always remember and know my people, and I will know where they have gone. And when by God’s grace and according to my obedience I make it to heaven, God will somehow make everything I know about that okay.
I am thankful my daughter asked me such a great question. It lets me know she always wants me to be her daddy. Believe me, I always want to be. I am thankful God’s word tells me that we will always know each other. I am thankful that I can be assured that what we have waiting for us is even better than what we have here. And I am especially thankful that He has promised it will last forever.
“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice…” – John 5:28
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