Isaiah 65:17 tells us, “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” Some interpret Isaiah 65:17 as saying that we will have no memory of our earthly lives in heaven. However, one verse earlier in Isaiah 65:16, the Bible says, “For the past troubles will be forgotten and hidden from my eyes.” It is likely only our “past troubles” that will be forgotten – not all of our memories. Our memories will be cleansed, redeemed, healed, and restored – not erased. There is no reason why we could not possess many memories from our earthly lives. The memories that will be cleansed are the ones that involve sin, pain, and sadness. Revelation 21:4 declares, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Some point to the story of Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:19-31) as proof that the dead remember their earthly lives. The rich man asked Abraham to send Lazarus back to earth to warn the rich man’s brothers not to come to hell. So he remembered his relatives. He must have also remembered his own life of sin because he never asked to be released from hell, nor did he ask why he was there or claim there had been some kind of mistake. He remembered enough about his earthly life to know that he deserved hell. But this is no proof that those in heaven remember their earthly lives. The rich man’s remembrance was part of his misery. If we have memories in heaven, they will only be of things that will bring us joy.