There is a small city in the countryside of central Florida that I frequently visit. It reminds me of the city of Hudson in upstate New York during my younger years. The architecture is very similar, and I assume that they were built in the same time period of history. Passing through this week I noticed a large sign that said, "MUSEUM OF ART ".
My immediate thoughts were that Art must have been a popular guy in that city, and that they dedicated a museum to him. Statues of good deeds set on pedestals displayed in his honor. Pictures of generosity and paintings of loving thoughts. A whole exhibit of compassionate feelings that he had developed in a lifetime. All of it a dedication compiled within a building.
A good friend of mine from my earlier years passed this week. He was a great guy and would literally give you the shirt off his back without even asking for it. There is a museum of good memories of him, not in a building, but within my mind. Thoughts of how good he treated everyone throughout his lifetime. A display began to unfold from the past. He never changed his good ways, even though near the end he knew that his statute of limitations was coming due soon. He battled a disease that was stealing his memory. He painted many pictures of how to live on this earth helping others. His gallery showed no disappointment to others as I'm confident everyone else viewed it the same also. It wasn't called the "MUSEUM OF ART " though, it was called the museum of Harvey.
We will all have a museum with our name on it. Possibly in a building, probably in a lot of minds, but most assuredly it will be remembered by our Lord God. Two questions arise, the first being what will be in your museum on your departure date? The second question would be will you remember the archives in your museum after you have passed from this earth? The first question can be determined and answered by you alone. The second question has three factors with facts and presumptions according to the scriptures of the bible. The first factor is written clearly and if you are spending eternity in Hades then you surely will not lose your memory. The rich man in Luke 16 will likely never forget how he treated Lazarus on this earth.
LUKE 16: 23-25 ESV
23. And in Hades, being in torment, he (the rich man) lifted his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24. And he called out, ' Father Abraham have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue for I am in anguish in this flame. 25. But Abraham said, 'child remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things, but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.
The second factor indicates we will have a memory in heaven as we read Isaiah 65:16 and Revelation 6 : 9- 10.
ISAIAH 65:16 ESV
So that he who blesses himself in the land shall bless himself by the God of truth, and he who takes an oath in the land shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and are hidden from my eyes.
REVELATION 6:9-10 ESV
9. When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the alter the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witnesses they had born. 10. They cried out with a loud voice, " O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth.
It is likely only our " past troubles " will be forgotten, but not all of our memories, a possible interpretation from this verse in Isaiah. Our memories will eventually be cleaned, redeemed, healed, and restored, but not erased suggesting that sin, pain and sadness would be cleansed. In Revelation 6 John is viewing heaven and he sees and hears those who obviously remember the injustice done to them which leads to the conclusion we will remember in heaven.
The third factor is that it is important to make a distinction between the eternal state and current heaven. There will be a second heaven and second earth as described in Isaiah 65 and in Revelation 21.
ISAIAH 65:17 ESV
"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.
REVELATION 21:1 ESV
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
The third factor is hard to decipher as it doesn't say exactly about memories in the eternal state. There are many opinions and calculations on the matter. In my opinion I would think we would retain some memories as the new earth could be so spectacular, so mind blowing that everyone will forget the drudgery and sin of the current earth only remembering the awesomeness of our Lord God.
The memories of an old city in my younger years were precious ones as they were spent with my mother and my grandmother as we frequently went there. The memories with my old friend were always loaded with excitement and fun. I can only hope that the memories of them will be with me forever. The most important question for you now is, what is your museum going to look like? Maybe it's time to display treasures that will store up in heaven. You are the curator who is in charge of the exhibits. There's still time to renovate and rearrange your museum. To add a big welcoming sign to invite everyone to be a part of it, just like the" MUSEUM OF ART ", except it is your name written on the sign, but more importantly it will be your name written in the book of life.