Will We Remember Earth in Heaven?

We had brief discussion in a Bible study about whether we would remember anything of this earthly existence in heaven. The argument against went something like this:

Our current lives are ones of pain and hardship, part of a world characterised by horror, iniquity and rebellion. Furthermore, the gospel promises hope and life, but many, including our friends and relatives, spurn its offer and reject the lifeline. Knowing of their eternal separation would surely prevent our enjoyment of heaven, which would make it an imperfect, less desirable place than scripture clearly teaches it to be.

Fair point! One solution is that God wipes our memories. We arrive in heaven, or at some later point in the eschatological calendar, to find ourselves with new bodies as well as new minds, no longer recalling past nightmares. This might be suggested by the phrase found in Revelation 7:17:

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

Nevertheless, for me to ‘awaken’ in heaven with no knowledge of how I got there, ie by amazing grace, and having no understanding of my wretched state before that grace drew me to Christ, seems illogical. In Revelation 5:12, the grateful heavenly multitude sing:

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honour and glory and blessing!”

Calling the Lord Jesus ‘the Lamb who was slain’ will sound very strange if we have no concept of sin, for which He was sacrificed. We will surely wonder at His glorious majesty, but not His redemptive love and grace if we cannot recall our previous state.

I do not know how the lost in hell will not disturb the tranquillity and joy of those in heaven, nor how a perfect memory of earth’s horrors will not vex the resurrected saint. I suspect that we will have an even more comprehensive understanding of sin than we currently have, and an even more appreciative wonder at the amazing grace which rescued us so completely.