Shall We Know Each Other In Heaven?
As the hope of an eternal home in heaven springs forth from our soul, we cannot help but consider the joy of being reunited with our loved ones in the glorious presence of God. Will we know one another? Will we recognize our family members? Will we recognize and be able to sit at the feet of such great men as Abraham, Moses, Peter, Paul, and others? These are questions that stir our spirit, and excite our dreams, as we patiently wait for that great day when we will finally be free of the shackles of this world. The questions under consideration have no doubt stirred the imagination of millions over times past. What is the answer? Will we know one another? The Bible teaches conclusively that we most definitely will. Let’s examine a few of the many passages from the Bible that shed some light on the topic.
1. 2 Samuel 12:23. David had been fasting and weeping while waiting to see if his child by Bathsheba would live. The child died, and David said, “But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” The significance of the statement “I shall go to him” in this passage can only be understood if David meant that he would know and recognize the child when he saw him in heaven.
2. Job 19:25-27. Job asserted in this passage that he understood his fleshy body would be resurrected and changed to a glorious state. He said, “in my flesh I shall see God…and my eyes shall behold, and not another.” Job said it would be his “flesh” and his “eyes” that would be in the presence of God. We can see from this that the inspired Job understood that his identity and personal characteristics would be with him in the presence of God.
3. Mark 9:2-8. We read in this text the account of Jesus being transfigured in the presence of Peter, James, and John. When the transfiguration occurred, Elijah and Moses appeared along side Jesus. The apostles no doubt recognized Elijah and Moses, because Peter offered to build tabernacles for each one of them. Peter could identify Elijah and Moses. This is even more interesting considering that Peter had never before seen them in person. If their spiritual bodies were identifiable on earth, they surely will be in heaven as well.
4. Revelation 6:9-10. Brother Guy Woods spoke of the souls in this passage as being, (a) personalities in the death state; (b) they had a consciousness of their surroundings; ( c) they knew why they were there; (d) they had been murdered; (e) they were aware of the fact that their murderers had not yet been punished.
5. Luke 16:19-31. The case of the rich man and Lazarus gives us a glimpse into the afterlife. Some contend this is only a parable and it cannot be relied on as an accurate picture of Hades. Parable or not, it is still Biblical truth. If it is a parable, it is the only one in the Bible where one of the people in it is listed by an actual name. All the characters where conscious, aware of their surroundings, and they possessed a memory of the world that was left behind. The rich man no doubt recognized who Lazarus and Abraham were. During the incident Abraham told the rich man to “remember,” which indicates we will have the ability to do so. We can safely infer from this passage that we will have memory of one another, and even recognize individuals we have never seen before in person (e.g., Abraham). -Ed