Praying for those in heaven

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tcharlene

Praying for those in heaven

Post by tcharlene »

Why do we pray for those who have already gone on to Heaven and are living in eternal glory with Jesus?
admindp
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Joined: Thursday Jul 13, 2023

Re: Praying for those in heaven

Post by admindp »

tcharlene wrote:
tcharlene wrote: Thursday May 16, 2024 Why do we pray for those who have already gone on to Heaven and are living in eternal glory with Jesus?
The Catholic Church holds that "all who die in God's grace and friendship but still imperfectly purified" undergo a process of purification after death, which the church calls purgatory, "so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven". Prayer for their souls is thus encouraged. The Orthodox churches have a similar doctrine.

Protestants (I think all of them) believe that salvation is complete at the time of death. Many protestant writers/pastors get very agitated about purgatory and prayers for the dead, but I'm not one of them. God tells us to pray our hearts, and I am going to hope too see my mother and heaven and so I am going to pray about it! I'm going to pray that my mother goes there and that I do, too. I don't care if Mr. Theologian X tells me my prayer is meaningless or even "wrong" -- he isn't God!

I will say one thing about death and heaven that seems pretty clear to me from the Bible. In both 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Paul tells us that we sleep after we die, and will be resurrected when Christ returns to join Him in heaven. My understanding from the Bible is thus that we do not go to heaven when we die. So this would mean, our dead relatives are not in heaven yet.

But this is one of those silly quibbles that Satan uses to create divisions between Christians. Because it doesn't really matter, does it? God is going to do what God wants to do! I trust God to take care of me after I die, for I am sure to live with Him in heaven for eternity. In the mean time, I have things to worry about where I can actually have an effect, like how do I treat my next-door neighbor.
EricRiggz
Posts: 6
Joined: Monday Jul 31, 2023

Re: Praying for those in heaven

Post by EricRiggz »

Please consider … that there is a dimension that we do not understand… a dimension that has no time… a mystery to us.
We were not designed to understand - thank goodness. Prayer helps us wrestle with these mysteries and lets us ask God for comfort.
Isaiah 55:8. In Peace
Tom K.

Re: Praying for those in heaven

Post by Tom K. »

admindp wrote: Thursday May 16, 2024 tcharlene wrote:
tcharlene wrote: Thursday May 16, 2024 Why do we pray for those who have already gone on to Heaven and are living in eternal glory with Jesus?
The Catholic Church holds that "all who die in God's grace and friendship but still imperfectly purified" undergo a process of purification after death, which the church calls purgatory, "so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven". Prayer for their souls is thus encouraged. The Orthodox churches have a similar doctrine.

Protestants (I think all of them) believe that salvation is complete at the time of death. Many protestant writers/pastors get very agitated about purgatory and prayers for the dead, but I'm not one of them. God tells us to pray our hearts, and I am going to hope too see my mother and heaven and so I am going to pray about it! I'm going to pray that my mother goes there and that I do, too. I don't care if Mr. Theologian X tells me my prayer is meaningless or even "wrong" -- he isn't God!

I will say one thing about death and heaven that seems pretty clear to me from the Bible. In both 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Paul tells us that we sleep after we die, and will be resurrected when Christ returns to join Him in heaven. My understanding from the Bible is thus that we do not go to heaven when we die. So this would mean, our dead relatives are not in heaven yet.

But this is one of those silly quibbles that Satan uses to create divisions between Christians. Because it doesn't really matter, does it? God is going to do what God wants to do! I trust God to take care of me after I die, for I am sure to live with Him in heaven for eternity. In the mean time, I have things to worry about where I can actually have an effect, like how do I treat my next-door neighbor.
Very thoughtful and thought provoking post. I have wrestled with this concept myself on many occasions. I tend to agree with you for the most part. The only sticking point for me is...our souls. Do our souls lie dormant in our decomposing bodies? Myself, I intend to be cremated...where goes my soul then? I think our souls are the important thing...our bodies are just vehicles. Just thinking out loud, I guess. Again, nice post.

Tom K.
5/17/24
admindp
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Posts: 78
Joined: Thursday Jul 13, 2023

Re: Praying for those in heaven

Post by admindp »

There is not much to go on, concerning what happens to our souls immediately after we die. Ecclesiastes 12:7 says, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return to God who gave it,” but this is clearly lacking in specifics.

In 1 and 2 Thess., Paul characterizes the time after we die as "sleep". And in several places, he strongly asserts that we will get a "glorious new body" when Christ returns to take us to heaven. E.g., 1 Corinthians 15:12-58. But for sure, this all means that our earthly body is returned to "dust" at our death, i.e. it is no longer our home.

Then there is the peculiar story of Lazarus in Abraham's bosom, told in Luke 16:19-31, but this reflects a non-biblical theory of the Jews in the second temple period. Jesus tells it as a parable, so it is hard to say we must take it literally, or figuratively, or somewhere in-between. It depicts a man righteous under the Law, Lazarus, as existing in a pleasant place (the "Bosom of Abraham") after his death, and a rich man, who had sinned during his life, dwelling in a hot and parching hell, with an unbridgeable gulf between them.
LynnJeff

Re: Praying for those in heaven

Post by LynnJeff »

When the thief on the cross pled for mercy, Jesus' response was, "Today you will be with me in Paradise." This says to me, Today. Not in the future, but when you take your last breath. That is a promise I cling to.
admindp
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Posts: 78
Joined: Thursday Jul 13, 2023

Re: Praying for those in heaven

Post by admindp »

LynnJeff wrote: Tuesday May 21, 2024 When the thief on the cross pled for mercy, Jesus' response was, "Today you will be with me in Paradise." This says to me, Today. Not in the future, but when you take your last breath. That is a promise I cling to.
Absolutely. And yet Paul says we will "sleep" until Christ comes again. I mean, I don't know what to make of it lol, I'm just a guy like you. There are a lot of mysteries surrounding the time of the resurrection. Jesus basically disappeared and then returned, appearing physically, in His same old body, to the disciples.

And to make it even stranger, there were apparently other people resurrected. " And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many." (Matt. 27:52-53)

I don't care much. If I sleep for a while, whether for a year or a thousand years, I am thinking it will seem instantaneous to me anyway. I trust God to look after me!
teaguenan
Posts: 1
Joined: Monday Nov 27, 2023

Re: Praying for those in heaven

Post by teaguenan »

Paul also says absent from the body, present with the Lord.
justMe

Re: Praying for those in heaven

Post by justMe »

As Christ tells the thieves on the cross you will be with me in Paradise today..........I think he didn't go to paradise "today" but to hell first. That must have been quite a ride for those crucified with Him. There are mysteries we don't get and yes some controversy in scripture but it matter not. When in doubt, i lean towards the red letters. Always,
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