I am struggling with this: It is about Rev 21.3-4. How can there be no pain in heaven if I make it to heaven and feel much love (& there are many more loving people than me); It seems that I will be filled with pain for those I love that are not saved and who suffer in hell? It seems to me that I will feel pain and mourning for those who will not to be in heaven.


This is a profound question. It is also a troubling one, and one which I have thought quite a bit about. From a human perspective it certainly seems very difficult to imagine us being heaven and not feeling some emotional suffering when we consider that those we have loved in this life are suffering in hell. For many years I assumed that there will be literally no suffering at all in heaven. Recently, I have been forced to at least consider the possibility that this is not exactly what will be the case for those in heaven. Of course, we are told in Revelation 21 that all our tears will be wiped away. To me this means not that we will feel no emotional pain at all, but that we will be fully comforted when in heaven. I do not believe that we will have physical pain in heaven, but I am open to the possibility that there will be some emotional pain in heaven.

Having said this (and remembering that I am speculating somewhat and cannot prove my conclusion), I also believe that when we get to heaven , we will understand and fully appreciate, on an emotional level, God’s justice. Passages which come to mind include Rev 11:17-18 and Rev 16:5-6. Here we see the elders are thankful that God’s judgement has finally come. You are just, O God…. In Psalm 94:1-3 David asks "How long, O Lord, must I wait for your vengeance?" I believe that when we get to heaven we will be fully satisfied that God’s justice and his love and righteousness are right and good. Right now, I cannot say I am completerly comfortable with the idea of suffering in hell, but I believe I will understand this fully when I am in heaven. I am not saying that we will be happy for those who chose to go to hell rather than to submit to God in this life, but I believe that we will be able to say Amen: God’s will be done.

John Oakes

Comments are closed.