What Is the Difference Between the Idea That Those in Heaven Can See Those on Earth, and the Catholic Teaching of Saints Interceding for Us?

Question from a reader:

I read Randy’s books Deadline and Heaven. From what I read, and my layman’s experience of Catholicism, I see similarities between our friends who look down on earth from Heaven and the Catholic teaching of saints interceding for us still on earth. Would you mind commenting on this?

Answer from Stephanie Anderson, EPM staff:

Here’s an article where Randy explains why those in Heaven may well be able to see what’s happening on earth. And in this article Randy lays the case out for why he thinks believers in Heaven may well pray for those still on earth.

As Randy has written elsewhere, "What matters isn't what someone else says, but what the Bible says." So Catholic theology may get aspects of this right and others wrong (and of course, we all need to be humble enough to check our theology against Scripture). I think the difference is that the Catholic teaching involves people praying to specific saints to seek their intercession. And Scripture is very clear we're to pray to God alone. Randy writes, “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.”

If those in Heaven do pray for us (as Randy puts it, talk to God about us!), that is of their own volition and not because we asked them to.

Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

Stephanie Anderson is the communications and graphics specialist at Eternal Perspective Ministries.