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Don Stewart :: Will We Remember Our Loved Ones in Heaven?

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Don Stewart
Often we wonder about heaven and the new relationships that will be there. Will we recognize one another in heaven? Will we know our loved ones? Will they know us? The Bible says the following about this subject.

1. David And His Son

The story of David and his son illustrates the point that we will know our loved ones. After the child died, David said.

While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, 'Who can tell whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?' 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 (2 Samuel 12:22,23).

In this statement David is acknowledging the fact that he will someday be united with his son. If David did not think that he would recognize his son in the next life, then there is no reason he would have made this statement.

2. Transfiguration

At the Mount of Transfiguration, Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus:

And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus,' Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah (Mark 9:4,5).

Moses had died centuries before and Elijah was taken to heaven in a chariot of fire. Yet they did not lose their identity, or their ability to be recognized. Without a formal introduction Moses and Elijah were recognized by Jesus' three disciples.

3. Sitting Down With Patriarchs

Jesus mentioned sitting down with the patriarchs in heaven.

And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 8:11).

This demonstrates that each person will keep their individual identity.

4. Paul's Desire

Paul said that part of him wanted to die and be with Christ.

I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far (Philippians 1:23).

Paul's desire to be with Christ does not make any sense unless Paul could recognize Him when in His presence.

5. Rich Man And Lazarus

In the story of the rich man and Lazarus we find the rich man recognizing both Abraham and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). Likewise Abraham recognized the rich man.

6. Jesus Was Recognized

The Bible says that we shall be like Jesus in our resurrected body.

Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when He is revealed, we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is (1 John 3:2).

We find from the New Testament that Jesus was recognized after His resurrection. Since His resurrection form was recognizable, so will ours be.

7. Knowledge Greater


Our knowledge in heaven will be greater than it is now, not less.

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known (1 Corinthians 13:12).

Consequently we should be able to recognize one another.

Speaking With The Lord

There is also an indirect reference of people speaking to the Lord in heaven.

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered for the word of God and for the testimony they had given; they cried out with a loud voice, "Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long will it be before you judge and avenge our blood on the inhabitants of the earth?" They were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number would be complete both of their fellow servants and of their brothers and sisters, who were soon to be killed as they themselves had been killed (Revelation 6:9-11).

Summary

From these passages it seems clear that, in heaven, we will recognize those whom we love. We will also keep our unique identities. The Bible provides examples of those who had previously died, yet were recognizable in the next world. They include: Jesus, Moses, and Elijah.
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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