There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
Do people in Heaven know what is happening on earth? The answer is yes.
In Revelation 6, we see the Tribulation martyrs and the judgment on earth. At the Rapture of the Church, all Christians on the earth will be taken to be with the Lord. We will meet the Lord in the air. Only unbelievers will be left on the earth for the final seven years of earth’s history. During those seven years, some people will be saved, but they will pay a steep price for their salvation. They will have to give their lives as martyrs. John described what he saw in Heaven during the Tribulation: “I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained” (6:9). These are Christians who were slain during the Tribulation. John saw them in Heaven. “They cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’” (6:10). These Tribulation saints looked down from Heaven and saw that those who had killed them were still running unchecked throughout the world. So they were saying, “God, how long are You going to allow this to continue? When are You going to bring judgment against those who rebel against You?” Now, they could not say that unless they were aware of what was happening on the earth.
In Revelation 19:1-2, before the climactic battle of Armageddon, look at what these saints in Heaven say: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; because His judgments are true and righteous; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants on her.” The Tribulation saints in Heaven are able to see God pouring out His judgment on Babylon, the world system opposed to God, because they are aware of what is happening on the earth.
Another example is in Luke 15. In this chapter, Jesus told three parables: the story of the lost sheep, the story of the lost coin, and the story of the lost son. But the point of each of the story was the same: When you lose something of value, you do not hate it. Instead, you search for it diligently and rejoice when you find it. Jesus was saying God is like that. He loves lost people, He searches for them, and He rejoices when they find Him. Jesus said in Luke 15:10, “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Who rejoices in Heaven when the unsaved are saved? We know God rejoices. I have always heard that the angels rejoice, but that is not what this verse says. It does not say the angels rejoice; it says there is joy in the presence of the angels of God when a sinner repents. Who is rejoicing in the presence of angels? It is the residents of Heaven. The saints in Heaven rejoice when they see a sinner on earth repent. Yes, people in Heaven are aware of what happens on the earth.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Do People In Heaven Know What Is Happening On Earth?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (www.lockman.org)