The Prayer Page recently was sent the following question:
“Can Christians in Heaven look down and see us, and can they come down and visit us here on earth?”
There are some things we know about Heaven. The Lord gave the Apostle John a sneak peak at Heaven and allowed him to write down The Revelation he saw in the last book of the Bible.
However, there a lot of things about Heaven that we simply do not know for sure. The Bible is either not specific, or does not have an answer for us at all. Both questions are examples of this.
First, “Can Christians in Heaven look down and see us?”
Hebrews 12:1 says: “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.”
This passage does suggest that our loved ones in heaven are not floating around playing a harp. They are very much aware of what are lives are like right now, and are interceding (praying) for us, except they have one distinct advantage…they have actual, direct access to the throne of God!
“Can they come down and visit us here on earth?”
There are at least two recordings in the Bible in which this happened.
- I Samuel 28:7-20. Here, King Saul disguises himself, goes to a witch, and ask her to call Samuel down from heaven. Apparently, she is used to tricking people into doing so, because it worked, and Samuel was not too happy about it. Samuel tells Saul that he is going to die, and Saul did indeed die in battle the next day.
- Matthew 17:1-9. Here we have Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. Moses and Elijah were also on the mountain. Moses died almost 2,000 years prior to this, Elijah was taken up to heaven hundreds of years before this. Yet both appeared with Jesus.
There is one other passage we need to look at:
“Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them’. And he said, ‘Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.’ And he said unto him, ‘If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.’”
– Luke 16:27-30
Luke 16 gives us the account of a rich man, and a poor man named Lazarus. Both died. Lazarus went to heaven; the rich man went to hell. Here the rich man is begging to God that He would send Lazarus back and warn his brothers about hell. God tells the rich man that it will not do any good, that they still will not believe someone even if they are brought back from the dead.
We also want to consider the perspective of a loved one in heaven. No question that they love us, but do they REALLY want to come back here? Close your eyes for a moment…think of a time in your life that you had no income, no hope, nothing…would you want to go back there (or if that is you now, do you want to stay?). Your loved one is thinking the same thing, plus remember that time is not the same in heaven. A day in heaven = 1,000 years here on earth. As far as heaven is concerned, Jesus returned to heaven about 48 hours ago! (II Peter 3:8).
So, to answer the question, yes, it is possible for a loved one to pay you a visit, but only with God’s permission. Don’t go to an astrologist or a witch doctor asking to see them. While it worked for Saul, it cost him his life. Today, most likely if you went this route all you would see is a demon posing as your loved one, and it will not end well.
I am glad that the Bible only gives us a sneak peak of heaven. I know what the city of Jerusalem will look like, I know Jesus will be there, along with many of my loved ones. The rest is like Christmas morning…you are going to have to wait!