One of the things I really enjoy doing with the ministry the Lord has blessed me with is answering questions of believers and unbelievers alike. The questions people have never cease to amaze me; most I have never even considered myself.
This QFTBOC (Questions from the Body of Christ) series are articles from these questions I have received and will be in a question and response format.
If you or someone you know has a question pertaining to the Word of God – theology, difficult passages, eschatology, etc. – I would really like to hear from you.
If I end up using your question, and you would like to have your name and/or place of residence listed on the question in the article, please specify with your submitted question; otherwise, if I use your question, it will be listed as “Anonymous.”
Regardless, I will make every attempt to answer every person’s questions in a response to the emails I receive. Depending on volume, it may be a little while until you hear back from me, but my intention is to respond to all inquiries.
I’m French, living in France. ([Sorry] for my bad [English]; just hope you’ll be able to understand what [I] try to say).
Thank you so much for all your teachings online. Being in France, we don’t have these! [And] it’s a real blessing to at least use internet the good way.
I’m 54 and a Jesus follower, born-again [Christian] longing for his coming to harpazo us. [My] church is, in fact, internet provided, not having physical churches around me.
I have a question that has been in my mind for months or even years, and nobody seems willing to answer or help me with it.
[Could] it be possible that God makes a sort of “reset” of our memory as soon as the rapture occurs? [The] way I understand things, we will be finally in peace & joy when we will be in [His] presence, as soon as the rapture occurs.
[But] if we have memory of our loved ones, family, friends, kids, wife or husband left behind, how could we be in peace and joy knowing [that] they are living during the seven years of tribulation? [How] could we be in peace wondering if they [will] make the good choice to repent even [later]?
[How] could we not completely forget some sins we have done, and some people now forgiven but that have harmed us?
[And] after the [Millennium],
In Revelation 21:1: “I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.”
[In] Isaiah 65:17: “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.”
[It] seems that we will not remember anything of our past life and whatever happened to mankind.
[Could] it be possible that what we are won’t exist anymore, and a total reset of our memory will occur? God making a sort of natural selection of what kind of servants he wants for eternity[?]
[Thank] you for your time and answer.
Lionel – France
Your question is very important, and I think we can know the answer using common sense, logic, and, most importantly, the Scriptures.
Let’s lay a quick foundation first.
This is the order of future events as outlined in the Scriptures:
(1) The rapture of the church. (2) A gap of unknown time (probably between 1-5 years) between the rapture and the beginning of The Seven-Year Tribulation. (3) The Seven-Year Tribulation. (4) The Second Coming of Christ which begins the 1,000 year Millennial Kingdom, with Satan bound (Rev. 19:11-21 & Rev. 20:1-6). (5) After the 1,000 years, Satan is loosed and deceives the world, and God destroys those who rebel with fire from heaven (Rev. 20:7-10). (6) The Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15). (7) The earth and the heavens pass away, and a new earth and heavens are created with the New Jerusalem coming to earth, ushering in the Eternal Kingdom (Rev. 21 & 22).
You probably already know this, but just in case, I wanted us to be on the same page.
The first thing I would point out is that when Jesus was given the question by the Sadducees about a hypothetical woman who had been married to seven different men, they asked Him which husband would be her husband at the resurrection (Matthew 22:23-33).
Jesus answered in verses 29-30:
“Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”
Notice that Jesus didn’t say anything about the woman not knowing who her seven husbands were when resurrected; just that people won’t marry after the resurrection.
This should actually be a very comforting proposition for all of us, as we will all have the ability to recognize each other and fellowship one with another just as we did in our earthly lives, but without the sin nature. Plus, getting to know the Biblical characters we have read about and related to will be an absolute blessing!
The second thing I would point out, and this is very important, is that we will rule and reign with Christ during the Millennial Kingdom:
“It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him” (2 Timothy 2:11-12a).
“And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:10).
“and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4b). (Note: This is promised to those who were beheaded by Antichrist in the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation, but this promise is for all of the saints as well).
When one thinks about it, we would seem to need our memories to be able to rule and reign with Christ effectively. We are witnesses to those who will go into the Millennial Kingdom of Christ as human beings, being able to relate to them the things of God through our past experiences.
We would be able to comfort and encourage them, saying such things as, “I remember when such and such happened to me, and God did such and such for me.” They would be very edified by our past experiences as we proclaim to them the past saving and miraculous work of God in our own earthly lives. We’ll definitely be able to connect with them in real and tangible ways, and they to us.
I think our memories will be absolutely necessary in our ruling and reining with Christ. Remember, those humans that repopulate the earth will be in an “Edenic-like” state. The animal kingdom, alone, will be amazing:
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:6-9).
Even though those humans who repopulate the earth will be in a “perfect” environment, they will still have the sin nature passed on to them by Adam, just as we did when we lived our lives on earth. Christ will rule with a rod of iron, and most of them, unfortunately, will actually resent this – it’s human nature. This is where our witness to them will be essential, in giving them hope and encouragement through our own past experiences.
Thirdly, our life on earth is in preparation for not only the Millennial Kingdom of Christ, but for the Eternal Kingdom as well. So, the experiences we have in the Millennial Kingdom will prepare us for the Eternal Kingdom, just as our earthly lives now are preparing us for the Millennial Kingdom.
We are told that we will reign in the Eternal Kingdom, too!
“… and they shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 22:5b).
The mystery is who or what are we to reign over? Something to look forward to, indeed!
Lastly, Isaiah prophesied that the Lord is going to wipe the tears from ours, and Israel’s, eyes:
“He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it” (Isaiah 25:8).
And twice in Revelation we read:
“For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Revelation 7:17).
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
Sorrow, Pain, Suffering, and Loss in This Life
The question must be asked, “Why is the Lord wiping our tears away?” The answer should be obvious: We will all be in sorrow for our loved ones and friends who refused the free gift of salvation, were judged guilty at the Great White Throne Judgment, and were thrown into the lake of fire. It will be a terrible and sorrowful experience, but they made their choice. They would rather live life without Christ their creator than to bow their knee to the One who gave His life for them.
I realize many have been hurt in this life – we all have. But when we are in our glorified bodies without a hint of our old sin nature, and most importantly, with our loving Lord and Savior, I suggest our memories will be just that – long past and distant memories. With the tears wiped from our eyes, those memories of the distant past won’t be what they are to us now.
What won’t be remembered when it is all said and done, as you pointed out in Isaiah 65:17, will be the old earth and all it represented – Satan, evil, death, destruction, rebellion, etc., but this too may take some time. I also believe we will remember the good – our friends, family, the joy of the Lord, what He did for us, etc. These should be things we would want to remember.
Consider the example of Christ Himself. He prayed for those who were killing Him. And if we have the mind of Christ, then it stands to reason that we should rejoice over those who have wronged us in the past and have given their lives to Christ later in life. Most of us, before coming to Christ, were just as abhorrent in the eyes of a perfect and Holy Creator as anyone else. We all have missed the mark.
I totally understand the desire for family members and friends to be saved, and it hurts us all deeply when we see them reject their Creator and Savior. But we must remember that salvation is an individual choice of the heart and of the will. We are all responsible for the decisions we make. We should never give up on anyone – Christ certainly hasn’t. Keep praying for them and be the witness to everyone that God wants you to be as you share the gospel.
I realize that this can be hard to wrap our minds around, especially when we can be in such pain, but I guarantee you that:
“… all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
All things will work out! We just need to trust Christ. I, for one, really want my memory intact in spite of the wickedness and evil I have seen and endured. I know Jesus has already prevailed, and I don’t put much stock in anything in this life other than Him and every human being’s salvation.
We have a saying on earth that asserts: “Time heals all pain.” Considering that our lives on earth are just a “blip” of time in the context of eternity, I suggest this saying should be: “Eternity heals all pain… Christ heals all pain.” And this we can rejoice in! We will be with our Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ, forever!!! I, personally, can’t wait!!!!!
So, yes, I believe it is a given that we will have our memories intact and recognize each other forever. I don’t think it would be heaven if it were any other way.
Thanks so much for your question and email. And thank you for your kind words – they mean the world to me.
I pray the Lord richly blesses you and yours, as you bless others through Him and for Him. Keep reaching the lost for our Savior and to grow the Kingdom of Christ. You have such a large witnessing opportunity in France.
I so appreciate Lionel’s question and concerns. Over a decade ago, I too would have had the same apprehensions to the idea of keeping my memory intact. With all of the pain and suffering one experiences in life – especially when we are going through very difficult times – why would one want to retain it?
But the more I have grown in Christ and understand the will of God, the more I have come to realize that our memories in this life will have prepared us for our service to the Lord in the Millennial Kingdom.
Our memories and this life set the foundation of who we are and what we are to become in Jesus Christ as individuals created in the image of God.
Just as these memories prepare us for the Millennial Kingdom, the memories we acquire in Christ’s Kingdom will prepare us for the Eternal Kingdom.
I truly believe this is the plan of God concerning our memories of this life. They will serve us well in our service to the One who loved us and saved us from our sins.
We should all be praying for each other, that we may all come to this reality: that love will always overcome the memories of the past and that we are not to consider them a burden, but as a preparation for what God will ultimately accomplish in us and through us for His glory.
Love, grace, mercy, and shalom in Messiah Yeshua, and Maranatha!