Remember, Hilary, that God is God of the Living. . .not the dead.
That statement right there, coupled with Paul’s epistles and the testimony of the gospels, shows us that we are the living, and that, dead to sin, we live in Christ. Do we only “live in Christ” on this earth? Of course not! He is the Resurrection and the Life. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Those who have died, or, as Paul himself says, “fallen asleep in Christ”, are, and have been understood to be since apostolic times, still united to God’s Church. They are members of the Church Suffering or the Church Triumphant, as opposed to those of us actually living today, who are members of the Church Militant. As we are members of the body of Christ, which is made up of many parts.
At the Last Judgment, we shall all become members of the Church Triumphant. Then, no longer as “through a glass darkly” but “face to face”, no longer knowing partially but fully knowing, we shall be joined to those saints already in heaven to praise our Lord and God. Since we know from scripture in Revelation that the prayers of those in heaven are offered to God and heard (in the bowls and censures) and that the prayers of those on earth are heard as well (Jesus tells us this. . .“ask, and you shall receive. . .”), how could those in heaven, partakers of the Beatific Vision, united to God, not be aware of the prayers of those on earth? How could they, fully sharing in God’s presence and fully able to rejoice and praise Him, NOT join with those of us praying and praising God while here on earth??
It seems to me that those who think that people “in heaven” are somehow not aware of those “on earth” have limited God. That they think that because they don’t see, hear, or feel those in heaven the way they do those on earth, that the people in heaven likewise can’t see, hear, or feel those on earth. The saints are in heaven with GOD ALMIGHTY, united to God who is all-knowing, all-powerful, all-good, and all-mighty–yet somehow their union is so limited, and God’s power so limited, that the saints are completely cut off from what those on earth are imagining is the experience in heaven? Doesn’t make sense to me.
Here we are, on a sphere in a small galaxy, subject to a 3 dimensional time/space area. Limited, imperfect, by the words of Scripture.
There the saints are, in heaven, limitless, unbounded, perfect, unsubjected to time/ space, by the words of Scripture.
Yet our “earthly” experience is presumed to be more full, more rich, more aware of God and more united to Him than the experience of those who have actually died, been judged, and are experiencing perfect unity with God Himself???
It does not compute. . .