Monday, February 23, 2009

Will we know each other in Heaven?

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, (died) lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the Word of the Lord that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then those who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Therefore comfort one another with these words.

In the book, "Death, Life and the Hereafter" by Herbert Lockyer, George MacDonald was asked if we would recognize each other in heaven. His response was, "Shall we be greater fools in Paradise than we are here? Yet if you have ever had a conversation with someone about Heaven, that seems to be the most sought after question. First let me put my personal 2 cents in: I sure hope so and believe we will because I have a precious Mom and Dad there, I have a sister whom I've never seen there and I have many family, friends etc; who have died and I believe they will be there. What good would it be, how great could heaven be if we just lose all our memory concerning all the people we love? You see, many people believe that when we get to heaven, we all will just be spirits floating around in a place called heaven and we will have no identity nor will we have memories

When Jesus was resurrected and he found his disciples fishing, they recognized Him on shore as He was cooking their breakfast. They recognized Him when He appeared to old doubting Thomas. He was also recognized when He appeared to five hundred people.

Some argue that even his own Mother didn't recognize Him. But in reality that's not true. Let's see why. Jesus found Mary in the Garden crying. He ask her,"Woman, why are you crying"? "Who are you looking for"? Scripture says that Mary thought she was talking to the Gardener because she said, "Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have put Him, and I will get Him" You see, here's the scene; Mary is crying, eyes filled with tears, knowing that her Jesus was dead, she probably didn't even look up to see who was talking to her. She was distressed to say the least. Just as soon as Jesus called her by name, she recognized Him. She turned towqard Him and cried out in Aramic, "Rabboni" which means teacher.
Some say his disciples didn't recognize Him on the Emmaus Road however in Luke 24:16 scripture tells us that they were restrained from recognizing Jesus, but just as that restraint was removed they recognized Him immediately.

On and on we find evidence throughout the Bible that recognition is prominent. Scripture tells us that Jesus disciples recognized Moses and Elijah and they didn't even know what these two men looked like.

Scipture gives no evidence of memory wipeout Paul spoke of being with the Thessolonians in heaven even though he would never see them. Paul spoke of our heavenly reunion with loved ones in 1 Thes. 4:14-18. How we comfort or console someone with these words if we won't ever recognize them. How would we even know if they made it to heaven if we won't recognize them. Pauls tries to cheer wearied Christians with the hope of meeting their loved ones again.

In fact, I personally feel that in heaven, I won't forget names and or faces like I do now. We are created in Christ image and He never forgets us, never leaves us and never forsakes us, therefore in this breif blog, I'm voting that we will know each other as we are known and that we will be reunited with our family,and friedns.


BethAnne said...

It's funny that people think that you wont recognize loved ones in heaven......they say cant wait to see their loved ones again, but dont think they will recognize them when they do? Weird.

I will say that it might be a little hard for you to recognize me in heaven ...taking in to account the difference in my glorified body and the one you now's gonna be REAL hard....maybe we should make-up a code word so you know its really me?

Eddie said...

The code word is "It's me daddy and I'm missing the snow cream"

I have a sneaking suspicion I'll be able to recognize your red hair.

Could you imagine Lake and Kaden running around heaven looking for their mom? No way, You will be recognized only after we have first worshipped our Jesus for, oh say, maybe couple thousand years

Greg P. said...

I have no doubt we will recognize each other and we also may instantly know others we've never met. But, I also think the true focus of heaven will be Jesus. We will all want to praise Him and we will realize that it's "all about Him". I think seeing each other will be secondary to seeing Christ.

I would also imagine that anyone that we cared about on earth, and was lost, will be erased from our memories.

Mitchell said...

How about the one that we will not be given in marriage to one another...Jesus answered that one specifically when the "legalistic" crowd of the day tried to trip him up about the wife of seven brothers scenario....wonder why not...

Eddie said...


Earthly marriage is a shadow, a copy , an echo of the true and ultimate marriage. ONce that ultimate marriage begins, at the Lamb's wedding feast, all the human marriage that pointed to it will have served it's purpose and we all will be assimilated into the one great marriage. The Bible says that there will be one marriage , between Christ and his bride In Ephesians 5:31-32 Paul talks about a profound mystery about man leaving parents and being united with his wife and the two becoming one flesh. How can that happen, it's a mystery because God is speaking of He and His bride.

Believe this is why.

Mommyluann said...

loved this post for many reasons!

jcdisciple said...

I remember that Lazarus was recognized by the rich man in Hades so even if we don't remember those in Hell...they will recognize and remember us so even in our glorified bodies we will be recognizable.

Good post

kathy said...

I hope so very much that we will know each other in heaven. Recently, my very beloved twin brother was killed in a car wreck and I have been grieving so deeply. He was a believer as I am, but I still don't know for sure if we will physically be together again.. i wonder if we just tell ourselves that because the alternative is so painful. I do believe heaven will be pain free and perfect peace, but it is so difficult to imagine not being with those we have loved so much and have gone on before us. I so, so hope that we will, just wish there was more proof in the Bible.

Emily said...

i've been searching for an answer to this question and it has kept me awake many, many nights. I NEED to believe that we will know each other. Otherwise what is the point of God creating us to depend on each other and have a need for relationships with each other? I don't understand how it will work with those that we know who don't go to Heaven but I, too, like to think that maybe we'll just never know they existed. It is all so scary and hard to accept as truth sometimes. Thank you for this post as it helped me know that I'm not alone in my questioning and that there is scripture to back up the thought that we WILL know each other! I'd love to hear more about the marriage thing though as I would hope I'll be married to my husband for eternity!