How can we have peace in heaven if some judge us for not teaching them?

Question:

I am having a problem with the song "You Never Mentioned Him to Me." It appears to teach that when we go to heaven people who are not going to heaven will be judging people who are. How can we have joy, peace, no tears, etc. If this takes place, "when in a better land," is this not Heaven? Appreciate your thoughts.


Answer:

The song speaks of the Judgment: "When in the better land before the bar we stand." We are told that that judgment is reserved for the ungodly and those who know no God. "For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus" (II Thessalonians 1:6-9). The question raised is how will you feel it you had a chance to tell some about Jesus, but passed by the opportunities because your were too busy, in too much of a rush, or thought it was just not a good time?

A part of being a Christian is the requirement to share the Good News with others. "And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:18-20). Too often we act as if the command to teach others is someone else's responsibility, instead of seeing it as everyone's duty. "Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word" (Acts 8:4).

But you raised a question that the song doesn't address: Will people who neglect the command to teach make it to heaven? "The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith" (Galatians 6:6-10). When we get to verses 9 and 10, people often focus on good deeds, such as giving aid to a neighbor. To be sure, such things are a part of what Paul is talking about, but I quoted the larger context to show that Paul was talking about teaching and the results of what we sow in life. Teaching the gospel is also a part of the good that we are to do. "Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin" (James 4:17).

After all, this was one of the points of the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30). What do you do with the things and opportunities that God gives you? Do you bring further "profit" (souls) to Christ or are you like the man who hid his talent?

We can't treat teaching as optional or someone else's job. The question is whether Christ will tell you "Well, done good and faithful servant" or "Throw out the worthless slave"?