Indepth passion is knowing that ‘Time’ will end!
In The Presence of God is pure joy! Why tears? Loss of loved ones! The absence of those who mean so much!
The Bible never specifically mentions tears in heaven. Jesus speaks of the rejoicing that takes place in heaven when one sinner repents (Luke 15:7, 10). The Bible says that, even now, those who believe in Jesus Christ “are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy” (1 Peter 1:8)—if our earthly lives are so characterized by joy, what must heaven be like? Surely, heaven will be a much more joyful place. By contrast, Jesus described hell as a place of weeping and “gnashing of teeth” (Luke 13:28). So, after a cursory look at Scripture, it seems that tears will be a part of hell’s domain, and heaven will be tear-free.
The promise of God has always been to take away the sorrow of His people and replace it with joy. “Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). And “those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy” (Psalm 126:5). As in all else, Jesus is our model in this. Our Lord is “the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus’ weeping gave way to awaiting joy.
There is coming a time when God will remove all tears from His redeemed ones. “He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The LORD has spoken” (Isaiah 25:8). The apostle John quotes Isaiah’s prophecy as he records his vision of heaven in Revelation 7:17. At the very end of time, God fulfills His promise: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 21:4). What’s interesting is the timing of this event: it happens after the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11–15) and after the creation of the new heavens and new earth (Revelation 21:1).
Consider this: if God wipes away every tear after the new creation, that means that tears could still be possible up to that point. It is conceivable, though by no means sure, that there are tears in heaven leading up to the new creation. Tears in heaven would seem out of place, but here are a few times in which we could speculate that tears might fall, even in heaven:
1) At the Judgment Seat of Christ. Believers will face a time when “the quality of each person’s work” will be tested (1 Corinthians 3:13). He whose works are found to be “wood, hay, or straw . . . will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames” (verses 12 and 15). Suffering the loss of a reward will certainly be a sad time—could it be a time of tears in heaven, as we realize how much more we could have honored the Lord? Perhaps.
2) During the tribulation. After the fifth seal is broken, the persecution of believers during the tribulation intensifies. Many are slain by the beast or Antichrist. These martyrs are pictured in Revelation 6 as being under the altar in heaven, waiting for the Lord to enact vengeance: “They called out in a loud voice, ‘How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?’” (verse 10). These souls are in heaven, but they still remember the occasion of their death, and they seek justice. Could these individuals be shedding tears as they keep vigil? Perhaps.
3) At the eternal doom of loved ones. Assuming that people in heaven have some knowledge of what happens on earth, it might be possible that we will know when a loved one rejects Christ and passes into a godless eternity. This would be a distressing knowledge, naturally. During the Great White Throne Judgment, will those in heaven be able to see the proceedings, and, if so, will they shed tears over those who are damned? Perhaps.
Again, we have been speculating. There is no biblical mention of tears in heaven. Heaven will be a place of comfort, rest, fellowship, glory, praise, and joy. If there are tears, for the reasons listed above, they will all be wiped away in the eternal state. “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God” (Isaiah 40:1). And “he who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’” (Revelation 21:5).
For the Christian, there is no greater pleasure than that of a relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s only natural to desire the same for our loved ones. So, when those we love most reject Jesus, or ignore God, it can be a heart-wrenching reality. Particularly over the eternal consequence of such actions.
Thankfully, we are not hopeless in the matter of our unsaved loved ones, for it is by the generous grace of God any man is saved. And we certainly aren’t helpless either, for there is continued mercy by way of a gospel message that contains the power for salvation (Romans 1:16).
Therefore, let us come boldly to the throne of our King (Hebrews 4:16), in petition for the souls of our loved ones. Knowing He hears our prayer (1 Peter 3:12), and equips us for such a time as this (2 Timothy 3:17).
The Power of Praying for Unsaved Loved Ones
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16).
If this isn’t enough to get us praying for our unsaved loved ones, 1 John 5:14-15 says we can approach God with confidence, especially when our prayers are in accordance to His will — found within the pages of the Bible.
It is on these pages there are truths like 2 Peter 3:9 that give us a glimpse into God’s heart for the lost. Our prayers, therefore, come from knowing God is patient, not wanting any to perish but for all to come into repentance.
We also know there is a Father in Heaven who willingly gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask (Luke 11:13). Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world, where none are naturally seeking God (Romans 3:11). It is a work of His Spirit that God draws us (John 6:44) and reveals His Son (Matthew 16:17).
With these Scriptures in mind, along with many others, supplication and intercession can be made for those who are lost in the world. This is done with the understanding there is no magic formula to the perfect, answerable prayer. But by faith and trust, accepting that God always responds according to His plan, purpose, and timing. Not ours.
Still, we’re encouraged to make our requests known to God (Philippians 4:6). All of them, which includes specific requests for unsaved loved ones. They can be specific because the Bible is actually very clear on what prevents any person from a redeemed life with God — the perfect place to be in prayer.
Here are five such areas, along with prayers, for an unsaved loved one.
1. The Hardened Heart
Because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself (Romans 2:5, ESV).
Requests to Bring to God
- That unsaved loved ones would be given a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26).
- A humble heart (Matthew 18:4).
- A clean heart (Psalm 51:10).
- A pure heart (Matthew 5:8).
- A believing heart (Romans 10:10).
Prayer for an Unsaved Loved One’s Heart
Heavenly Father, today I pray for (name). They are in need of a new heart, the kind of heart only You can give. For Your Word tells us the human heart is sick and wicked, needing to be changed.
Please replace their heart of stone with a humble heart, a clean heart, a pure heart, a believing heart. The kind of heart that can accept God and the truth of the gospel. Above all, may they have a repentant heart, Lord. In Jesus’ saving Name, I pray, Amen.