What Does the Bible Say About..? Logo

What Does the Bible Say About..The Dead Remembering?

First of all, thank you for your website, I think it is awesome. My wife and I are wondering, do the dead in heaven remember us? It seems I remember something from Sunday school many years ago that they don't remember us and therefore don't miss us. I have looked and looked in the Bible but can't seem to find anything to either confirm or dispel my memory. Thank you in advance for your help.?


I have found only two passages which may have a bearing on your question.

Psalm 6:5 says, "For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?" This, however, does not say the dead do not remember those on earth. The point is that once a person is dead he can not thank God for the blessings he received when he was alive.

The other passage is Luke 16:19-31. This is the story of "the rich man and Lazarus." Some consider it a parable, a fiction told to make a point. Others consider it a narrative of fact of which Jesus, as God's son, was aware. In either case, the essential facts are probably true. As relates to your question, the essential fact can be found in verses 27 and 28. The rich man, in torment, wanted God to send the dead man, Lazarus, back to his (the rich man's) brothers to warn them not to follow him to torment. The point of the story, of course, is the rest of the passage, that even if a man came back from the dead those who are not interested in following God wouldn't listen. But the story indicates that the rich man was aware of those he had left behind on earth. Whether he knew what was happening on earth is not told, just that he knew he had relations still living.

Whether we will be missed by those who have gone before is open to question. If they are aware of our existence, then would they not miss us? I don't know. If they are in torment they may not have the inclination to miss us, being preoccupied with their own pain. If they are in the presence of God they may not miss us because their joy will be so much greater than any potential pain of being apart from us. If they are someplace ("Abraham's bosom") waiting to be in the presence of God, it is possible they may miss us, or possible that they may not. We don't know.

Our obligation is to obey God so that we don't follow some into torment, or so we can be again with those who were obedient and died before us. We also have an obligation to work so that those we know may follow us to a better place instead of the worse place that will be the destination of all who don't make an active choice to follow God.