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QUESTION:

 

Dear Pastor Shutts, will people recognize each other in Heaven?

 

ANSWER:

 

Yes, we can be certain that we will know each other in Heaven. In fact it is one of the Bible’s greatest and most comforting promises, assuring us that we will know one another even more fully than we do now. Though we will have new glorified bodies (similar to Jesus' resurrection body) not only will we still clearly recognize one another, but we will know each other instantly. How can we be certain of this? Because the Bible tells us so. In the account of Jesus’ Transfiguration in front of Peter James and John, the Bible states that Jesus’ face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light" (Matthew 17:2) and yet His disciples still recognized Him. It tells us that they also recognized Moses and Elijah who had come from Heaven to speak with Jesus. Keep in mind that Moses and Elijah had each died centuries before. This means that Peter, James and John had never even known or seen Moses or Elijah brfore and yet they knew instantly who they were. This tells us that we will somehow be able to recognize people that we’ve never even seen or met before. You and I will also be known and recognized in this same manner. Our recognition, awareness, and knowledge of others will be greatly enhanced rather than diminished or erased. There will be no need for “introductions” in Heaven. We will not be nameless, faceless souls without identities. We will maintain our current identities but in resurrected and glorified bodies that have no infirmities or faults. All of the redeemed in Christ will maintain their identity forever. This tells us that we will also recognize our spouse as having been our husband or wife here on earth. Though the Bible does not give us all the details as to the extent of recognizing one another as husband and wife we can be certain that God would not allow us to so deeply love our spouse here on earth only to take away that special love in Heaven. In Heaven we will know, recognize, and love our spouses, parents, friends, children, brothers and sisters in a way that we can not even imagine. Families and friends will be reunited forever. It will be wonderful! Even those who suffered the terrible heartache of losing a baby here on earth will see and be reunited with them as well. 2 Samuel 12 tells of the death of David’s baby boy. David knew that the little baby was in Heaven. He said “I will go to him someday.” He knew that he would see his baby again and be reunited with him. Every parent who trusts Christ as Lord and Saviour and has lost a tiny child can say the exact same thing. In fact, we can say it of all our loved ones who have died in Christ Jesus....“I will see them again someday.” Of that you can be certain.

                -Mark Shutts

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