Revelation 21 tells us this about heaven: "'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.' Then He who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' And He said to me, 'Write, for these words are true and faithful'" (vv. 4-5).
I want to be sensitive here. The pain of losing an unsaved loved one is profound and intense. I know this from personal experience.
When I was a young Christian, I witnessed for several years to my own brother. I remember one night in particular when I went to his home, even though it was late, and we talked for some time about eternal life and about the consequences of life without Jesus. I tried to impress upon him the risk of not receiving Christ, and I told him that we are not guaranteed any minute of life. He said that that was a chance he'd have to take. "I don't want to do it right now," he told me. Two weeks later he was killed in a motorcycle accident. His opportunity had passed.
Even though my heart was broken—and it's a pain that I still feel today—I know that the choice was his. But do I still think heaven will be perfect—even though my brother won't be there? Yes!
Revelation 21:7 tells us that "he who overcomes shall inherit all things." And who is that? 1 John 5 says, "For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God" (vv. 4-5 NIV). So heaven will be a "city of believers."
That's why it's imperative that we share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone, beginning with the unsaved members of our families. There won't be any sharing of the gospel in heaven...because everybody there will know it and will have accepted it! While there is time, we must work for Him (see John 9:4). When Jesus comes to take us to heaven, there will be no more work, no more sorrow...no more time itself.
Again, I don't know how there will be no more sorrow or crying or pain in heaven, when certain loved ones may be absent. But I know that God has promised it—and I trust Him because He is faithful and true!
Skip Heitzig is the founder and senior pastor at Calvary Albuquerque. His teachings are heard across the country and around the world on The Connection. Skip and his wife, Lenya, and son and daughter-in-law, Nathan and Janaé, live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Skip and Lenya are the proud grandparents of Seth Nathaniel and Kaydence Joy.