Did you see the INTRODUCTION to this A to Z series? Check it out here.
What is a life without memory? "I forgot" is the kind of answer I would give to this question; you'll have to come up with something better than that! But truthfully the real answer is "not much." I say that because I have a memory like a steel...sieve! Some things are caught in it and retained, but so many other things that I thought would be too big to ever be forgotten have slipped through and are, sadly, forgotten.
I only know this because once in a while my wife or one of our grown kids will bring up a noteworthy event that they are cherishing and I find myself wracking my brain and then maybe conjuring up the bare framework of a figment of a vague image and an obviously dubious "oh yeah" just so they don't think I don't care. How frustrating! More often I get to give out with an authentic "OH YEAH!" and I can rejoice in the shared memory as it comes back to me with corroborating fullness and more details from my perspective of the moment. Now THAT IS satisfying!
Of course there are some days and actions and decisions and words and even periods that I would like to forget about, but that to my detriment. It's not always good to cast such memories away because I might also then discard the important lessons learned from those episodes. By forgetting it all I might lose the repentant heart or the vital course correction, or sacrifice the improved relationship that followed if my hurtful misstep lead to a growth in intimacy. (Without remembering the fights, then the highly esteemed make-up sex would only be remembered as regular-sex, after all!)
Now I had better get to the subject before you remember that I talked about sex!
So in life we either have the joy of remembering everything important and worthy (good and bad) or we suffer the debilitating burden of losing the visions of old as buildings are hidden in a rising fog. I have confidence that in heaven my memories will be perfectly restored just as my aging body will be back in its prime, and then some. The sad and bad memories will be seen under the bright lights of forgiveness and restoration, and God's grace in Jesus will be magnified. No problems there.
But what of memory in hell? Those who reject God for whatever reason they may give would not want to be in His heaven so naturally they will not be forced to go there. They will live forever without Him, in hell. The first reaction to finding oneself in hell would probably be regret. It is not a fitting place to dwell for even the most anti-God zealot simply because it is everything opposite of God; opposite of good.
The regret would be intensified and magnified with every memory the person carries into hell with them. If every memory is restored to the mind of the recalcitrant, as I believe it will be in the eternal mind of the repentant, nothing but pain and sorrow will be brought to mind of those in hell. Their best times in life will now be remembered as obvious evidence of God's grace and the worse memories will only be seen as continual indicators of their own foolishness and sin.
the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
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