Will we know each other in Heaven?
Let’s answer in one word: yes!
The two-word answer is “Sure!”.
And the five-word answer is “You can trust it!”
But you, the wise and discerning reader, would want more than the pastor’s words on this.
So here are seven Scriptures I have used to help those who are wondering if they will be able to reunite with their loved ones in Heaven. All these show that we know each other in the resurrection, and some show that believers know each other soon after death.
1. David and Son
King David had a son who died in infancy. When the little boy died, David said, “I’m going to him” (2 Samuel 12:23).
David knew he would see his son again before the Lord. His bereavement was comforting because she knew she would be reunited with her beloved son.
2. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
Our Lord said that many will come from east and west and will sit at table “with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 8:11).
Abraham is Isaac’s father and Jacob’s grandfather, and in heaven he enjoys the fellowship of sons and grandchildren, and Jacob enjoys the fellowship of fathers and grandfathers.
3. Jesus and his disciples
Jesus said to his disciples: You and“(Matthew 26:29emphasis mine).
The 11 who shared the Last Supper with Jesus on earth will eat and drink with Him in Heaven. Peter, James, John, and the rest will be specifically named and known in Heaven as they are named and known on earth.
4. Moses and Elijah
When Jesus’ glory was revealed in the Transfiguration, “Moses and Elijah appeared to them and spoke with him” (Matthew 17:3).
This is fascinating because when Moses and Elijah appeared they did not have resurrected bodies. They were souls made visible, as angels were made visible to the shepherds, and souls under the altar were made visible to John (Revelation 6:9). Moses and Elijah were known, though they were still waiting to put on the resurrection bodies. They were recognizable and able to participate in conversations. This tells us much about the joy of conscious fellowship that believers share before the Lord immediately after death.
5. Collected Souls in Heaven
The writer of the letter to the Hebrews speaks of “the spirits of righteous men made perfect”, that is, the souls of believers in the presence of Jesus. These souls, he says, are gathered in “the assembly of the firstborn” (Hebrews 12:23). Heaven is now filled with perfected righteous spirits. Collective means community, and community means relationship.
6. Paul and the Thessalonians
Paul makes it clear that believers who love on earth will be joy in heaven. “Who will be our hope, our joy, our crown of pride when our Lord Jesus returns? Isn’t it you?”1 Thessalonians 2:19). When Paul says this, he clearly anticipates that relationships built on earth will continue in heaven.
7. Reunion of Loved Ones
When Paul writes to believers grieving the loss of a loved one, he comforts them: with them In the clouds to meet the Lord in the air ”(1 Thessalonians 4:17emphasis mine).
“They” refers to believing in loved ones who are now in the presence of the Lord. Her wife, who mourns the loss of her husband, who was a believer in her, takes her comfort in knowing that when her Lord comes, she will be reunited with him. Sons and daughters who mourn the loss of believing fathers and mothers can find comfort in the prospect of this happy reunion with their ancestors before the Lord.
This is enough to solve my problem. I hope it is so for you too. Christians who know and love each other on earth will know and love each other in Heaven.
[This article is adapted from Pastor Colin’s February 2017 column in Mature Living Magazine.] content obtained from UnlockingTheBible.org; Used with permission.
Colin Smith (@PastorColinS) is the senior pastor of Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and a council member of the Evangelical Coalition.
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