我们可以或应该与在天堂的亲人说话吗 (Can We or Should We Talk to Loved Ones in Heaven?)

我很喜欢好友 Ron DiCianni 为我们一起写的这本书《说说天堂的事》所画的这幅油画。就如《路加福音》十六章所记,天使抱着拉撒路去天堂,这幅是外公被送到耶稣那儿。

我想说说在一个博客评论中提出的问题。既然我在过去几年被很多次问到这个问题,我想其他读者可能已经读到了那个问题,或许也会感兴趣的。

那个问题就是,从圣经的立场上,我们是否可以与那些已经去了耶稣那里去的亲人说话?

首先,一个在天堂的人是否能知道世上所发生的事,能否听得到我们我们讲话?许多人都觉得答案是:不。但在马太福音十七章,当摩西和以利亚与耶稣变了形象出现在山顶上时,他们很明显已经知道所发生的事情。在路加福音十五章,耶稣说道每当一个罪人悔改,就会在天使面前欢喜;并不是靠着天使欢喜,而是在天使面前欢喜。就是说神在天上的子民,会为了神在地上世人生命中所成就的事欢喜。显然,要欢喜,他们便一定要晓得那事。而启示录6:9-11 显示,在天堂的殉道者清楚晓得神还没把审判临到那些逼迫他们的人,也为此疑惑。所以他们是晓得一些世上所发生的事情。

好吧,就算一个在天堂的人有可能听得到我们,但与他们说话是不是对呢?首先,和一个人讲话与向他们祷告有巨大的差别,而我们搞清这一点是非常关键的。当人们向玛丽亚和那些圣徒们祷告的时候,是在求告他们作中间人,请求他们介入并在这世上行使权力。这并没有圣经根据。既然提摩太前书 2:5 说了基督是神与人之间唯一的中保,那么向着在天堂的人祷告就是触犯了这一条。我们不能向着人或是天使祷告,唯有向神祈求。

但可不可以这样说,“妈,我不确定你能听到我所要说的,但若你能听到,我想谢谢你总是看顾我。我爱你,也期待再见到你,与你说话,让你带我去看看那边一些特别的地方”?

它是在与某个人说话,但不是在向他们祷告,求告他们去做某件事,去行使权力或作出回答。

过阴或交鬼是一种被禁止的超自然行为(申命记 18:9-14)。但那与做我上面所描述的是非常不同的。

就本人而言,与其与一个爱人说话,更让我心安理得的是直接向耶稣或天父祷告(圣经里都有向两者祷告的例子)说“主啊,你能给我的妈妈一个拥抱,告诉她是我想给她的拥抱吗?” 那我知道我妈有时候会看到这里所发生的,也可能听到我所说的,但我确信神听得到。我也相信神会做祂认为是最好的。这样是不是听起来比较合乎情理?

我有些老朋友在天堂,其中有格雷格与杰瑞。我有时会想起他们,并请神替我向他们问候。神是否会那么做是祂的决定,但我与这些弟兄的关系是神所赐的礼物,而有一天我会在神的面前再见到他们。我想神很高兴我感受与他们相连,祂一定了解友谊的纽带。耶稣召我们作祂的朋友。祂是我一生中最好的朋友。

我可以看到一个人对他们已故的亲人说话有可能会变成不健康的或者是痴迷,即使他们没有违反圣经的教导(因他们并没有向他们祷告或求告他们)。但若我们是向神谈到他们的话,就不太可能有这种事发生。神邀请我们把头脑和心里的意念带到祂面前。显然你的亲人就是你心中所惦记的。假如你的孩子、妻子、丈夫、父母或最要好的朋友在耶稣那里,神了解你想感受到与他们有连接的渴望,并想要他们知道你对他们的爱,你想念他们,期待再见到他们。

我很有理由相信,神会尊重我们向祂提出给我们的亲人传递热切问候的请求。但同样的,那完全取决于祂。向神提出像这样的要求是一回事,但坚持要得到它根本是另一回事。我们是被造物,祂是创造者。祂是陶匠,我们是泥土。(而作祂手中的泥土、祂的儿女,是多么荣幸啊。)

所以,对于问这个问题的人的底线是,只要你不是向你在天堂的亲人祷告,或为你的亲人祷告(他们现在不需要祷告了),但是向神做关于你亲人及你感受的祷告,并祷告你想要他们知道某件事的渴望,我觉得这样做并不违反圣经的教导。只要小心它不会演变成任何把亲人当作是灵媒,或陷入痴迷,或寻求与他们联络就好,这些都是明确被禁止的。

这是一张我妈妈在我家抱着我们的大女儿卡琳娜(Karina)的照片。妈妈在我们的安琪(Angie)出世仅四个月后就去世了。2001年的夏天,我在我两个女儿的婚礼上分别说,我相信她们的两位祖母正在天堂观看。由于南希(Nanci)的母亲在世的最后几年已经失明,在她去世前即使是几个月内,观看婚礼的方式也不可能一样。

我坚信这是真的,但即便我错了(因为我当然不可能确定地知道神何时让人看到世事、何时不让),我做出这样的祷告也并没有错:“主啊,请告诉妈妈,她的宝贝孙女们全心地爱神,也嫁给了爱神的年轻人。这对她来说意义重大。”

我的猜测是妈妈已经知道所有这一切了,而她也很享受看着神在我们孙辈的生命里所成就的事,还有她未能抱过的曾孙们。(我感到奇怪有那么多人认为在天堂里的人不晓得世上所发生的事,在这世上正上演着那场救赎的大戏-我们应该会觉得他们更受启发,而不是更糊涂吧?)

即使这样,询问神——特殊关系的赐予者,也没有什么坏处。祂是仁慈的,且理解我们的思想、感受及对祂赐我们生命里至亲之人的爱。 


Can or Should We Talk to Loved Ones in Heaven?

I love this painting by my buddy Ron DiCianni, for the book we did together, Tell Me About Heaven. As the angels carried Lazarus to Paradise in Luke 16, this is Gramps being transported to Jesus. 

I’d like to address a question that came up in a blog comment. I figure other readers might have read the question and may be interested, since I've been asked it many times over the years.

The question was, from a biblical standpoint, is it okay to talk to our loved ones who've gone on to be with Jesus?

First, would it even be possible for someone in Heaven to know what's happening on earth, and be able to hear us say anything? Many assume the answer is no. But in Matthew 17, Moses and Elijah clearly already knew the events going on when they appeared with Jesus on the mount of transfiguration. In Luke 15 Jesus speaks of rejoicing in the presence of the angels, not BY the angels but in their presence, whenever a sinner repents, suggesting God's people in heaven rejoice at God's work in lives on earth. To rejoice at it, they obviously must be aware of it. And Revelation 6:9-11 shows martyrs in Heaven who are clearly aware that God hasn't yet brought judgment on those who persecuted them, and are wondering why. So they know some of what's happening on earth.

Okay, so if it's possible someone in Heaven could hear us, is it right to talk to them? First, there's a huge difference between talking to someone and praying to them, and it's critical we keep that clear. When people pray to Mary and the saints, they are calling on them as intermediaries, asking them to intervene and exercise power in this world. There is no biblical basis for this. Since 1 Tim. 2:5 says Christ is the only mediator between God and men, it would violate this to pray to those in heaven. We're not to pray to people or to angels, but only to God.

But would it be okay to say, "I'm not sure you can hear this, Mom, but if you can I just want to say thanks for how you always watched out for me. I love you and I'm looking forward to seeing you again and talking and having you show me some special places there."

That's talking to someone, but it's NOT praying to them, calling upon them to do something, or to exercise power or talk back.

Seeking to call up from the dead or to hear from the spirits of the departed is a forbidden occult practice (Deut. 18:9-14). But that's very different than doing what I just described.

Personally, rather than talking to a loved one, I am more comfortable simply praying to Jesus or the Father (there are biblical examples of praying to each) and saying, "Lord, would you please give my mom a hug, and tell her it's from me?" Now I think my mom sometimes sees what's going on here and might hear this when I say it, but I KNOW God hears it. And I trust God to do what He knows is best. Does that make sense?

I have some old friends in Heaven, Greg and Jerry among them, that I sometimes think of and ask the Lord to greet for me. Whether He does that is His call, but my relationships with those brothers was a gift from God, and one day I'll see them again in His presence. I suspect God is pleased with my sense of connection to them, and certainly He understands the bonds of friendship. Jesus called us his friends. He is the best friend I've ever had.

I could see how a person speaking to their departed loved one, even if they're not violating Scripture (since they're not praying to them or calling on them), could become unhealthy or obsessive. But that's not likely to happen when we're talking to God about them. He invites us to come to Him with what's on our minds and hearts. Obviously your loved one is on your mind and heart. If your child or wife or husband or parents or best friend are with Jesus, God understands your desire to feel connected to them, and to want them to know of your love for them, and that you miss them and look forward to seeing them again.

I have every reason to believe God would honor the request to pass on our warm greetings to loved ones. But again, that's up to Him. It's one thing to ask God for something like this, but entirely another to insist on it. We're the creatures, He's the Creator. He's the Potter, we're the clay. (And what a privilege to be His clay, as well as his sons and daughters.)

So, bottom line to the person who asked the question, as long as you're not praying TO your loved one or FOR your loved one (who needs no prayer now), but to God ABOUT your loved one, and your feelings, and your desire for them to know something, I think there's nothing in that which violates a Scripture. Just be careful it doesn't shift into anything that treats them as intermediaries or leads to obsession or seeking contact with them, which is expressly forbidden.

Lucille and Karina AlcornHere's a picture of my Mom at our house, holding our oldest daughter Karina. Mom died just four months after our Angie was born. I said at both our daughters' weddings, in the summer of 2001, that I believed their two grandmothers were watching from heaven. And since Nanci's mom had been blind her last few years here, she was seeing the wedding in a way she couldn't have even a few months earlier before she died.

I firmly believe this is true, but even if I was wrong on that point (since of course I can't know exactly when God allows people to see events on earth and when He doesn't), I would not be wrong in praying "Lord, please tell Mom her precious granddaughters love You with all their hearts and married young men that do too. That will mean so much to her."

My guess is that Mom knows all that anyway, and that she is enjoying seeing God at work in the lives of our grandchildren, her great-grandchildren she hasn't yet been able to hug. (It's odd to me that so many assume people in Heaven are ignorant of what's going on here on earth where the great drama of redemption is unfolding—wouldn't we think they'd be more enlightened, not less?).

Still, it doesn't hurt to ask God, the Giver of special relationships. He is gracious and understanding of our thoughts and feelings and love for the precious people He has put in our lives.


Randy Alcorn, founder of EPM

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over fifty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries

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