Question #2 from Sharon: I'd be interested to hear comments relative to "equality" in heaven. Example: Mother Teresa verses Joe Christian Average.
Question #3 from Skip: Do our loved ones in heaven have a view of what is still happening on earth? Are they able to see their family?
This is a very good question because it gets to the heart of our faith. The Bible makes it clear that there are two judgments in eternity, one for the saved, and another for the unsaved. The better known judgment is called the Great White Throne judgment and is the judgment at the end of all things. At this judgment the unbelieving world will be judged for their sins and their rejection of God and His rule over their lives. The judgment for the saved is called the Judgment Seat of Christ, or the judgment that Christ gives to His own. It can be found in 2nd Corinthians 5:10, and alluded to in 1st Corinthians 3:10-15. This is the only judgment that Christians will undergo, and it is not a punishment judgment. It is very important to understand that when Jesus died on the cross for sins, He died for ALL sins, for ALL time for ALL people. This is why Paul can say in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” Or, as I like to paraphrase, “God is not mad at us anymore, forever.” To be “in Christ Jesus” does not mean you are in the top level of spirituality, but that you are in the Body of Christ, literally, that you are a Christian. All of our sins, past, present, and future, were paid for by the death of our Lord on the cross. As a result, we can NEVER be condemned again for our sins by God since that sin has already been condemned and punished. Sins we have yet to commit were already seen by God who is omniscient and knows all things past, present and future and were included in Jesus death. This is why the Bible says that God is “propitiated” or satisfied with the death of Jesus. His perfect life and death satisfied God’s righteous judgment against sin for all people everywhere. Since God has been propitiated, or satisfied, there is no longer any condemnation for those who have placed their faith in Jesus and what He did for them on the cross.
At the judgment seat of Christ we see that every Christian will be rewarded for their deeds, but those actions and deeds that were not good, or that appeared good but were done for improper and deceitful motivations, will be “burned up.” In other words, there will be no reward. We will not be judged, or punished for our sins, as those sins have already been punished on the cross. So the judgment of Christ for believers is a judgment of rewards. We will be rewarded for those things we have done which truly glorified Christ and honored Him. Some will reap much greater rewards, and some, quite frankly, will have little or even nothing to show for their lives, but their faith has still saved them. In short, your understanding of grace and forgiveness is rightly placed, and your peace is real and not imagined. I hope this helps. Blessings to you.