How can heaven be perfect if some of our loved ones are missing?

One of the most difficult things to accept about the Bible's view of heaven is that there may be loved ones who will not be there. What is "perfect" about being separated from loved ones forever?

The Bible explains that, in the end, God will remove all sorrow and pain from heaven's existence. Revelation 21:4 says, "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." We are not told how this will happen; we are only told it will happen.

One possible explanation may be found in the last phrase of verse 4, "the old order of things has passed away." This could indicate that any thoughts of sadness associated with loved ones not in heaven will be removed or changed. The next verse says, "And he who was seated on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new'" (Revelation 21:5). God could remove the memories of our loved ones altogether, or He could change our thinking to conform it to His perfect perspective. While we are not given the details, we know our existence will not tainted by sadness.

All of the sadness and sorrow we experience on earth will be replaced with the eternal, perfect joy of dwelling in the presence of the Lord for eternity. Revelation 22:5 says, "They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever." The human way of thinking we now experience will be replaced with a new existence that endures without sin and its curse.

The apostle Paul reminds us that, for now, we only see part of the picture: "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known" (1 Corinthians 13:12). When we are with Christ, that which seems impossible now will become perfectly reasonable in light of eternity. We will praise Him who does all things well (Mark 7:37).

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