WILL THERE BE RECOGNITION IN HEAVEN?
Ted Estridge Sr.
Assoc. Pastor, Grace Baptist Church
1 Cor. 13:12- "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."
Having been in the ministry for over thirty seven years, I have been asked many questions concerning Heaven. Most often people will ask me this question about Heaven: Will we know each other in Heaven! Will we recognize each other there?
My answer is YES! I can say this with great assurance because God's Word reveals much about this great subject.
In this tract I want to give you several reasons for believing that we will recognize each other in Heaven.
I - THE WORD OF GOD TEACHES IT.
1Cor. 13: 12- ...but then shall l know even as also I am known.
The apostle Paul in this verse is comparing the present with the future. He reminds us that in this life our knowledge is limited. But that when we enter the fuller life of Heaven, those limitations will be removed! This suggests that in Heaven we will know each other in a FULLER and BETTER way than we know each other on earth.
Is it conceivable that our capacities for knowledge and recognition of loved ones will diminish in Heaven? SURELY NOT!
# 1 - THE RECORD IN GOD'S WORD OF THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS CONFIRMS THAT WE WILL KNOW EACH OTHER IN HEAVEN.
Please read Luke 16:19 - 31.
Our Lord in this portion of Scripture lifts the veil of the after life. Three personalities are mentioned: (1) The Rich man (2) Lazarus (3) Abraham. The point I want to make is this, that they all recognized each other!
Lk. 16:23- And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and see Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Folks, if lost souls have the power of recognition... how much more will the saved souls be able to recognize each other?
# 2 - THE TRANSFIGURATION SCENE TEACHES THAT WE WILL RECOGNIZE EACH OTHER IN HEAVEN.
Please read Lk. 9:28-36
Jesus took Peter, James and John with Him to the Holy Mt. where He was transfigured before them. Suddenly, there appeared Moses and Elijah. The disciples immediately recognized them. Moses had been dead 1500 years and Elijah had been translated into Heaven for 900 years! No introduction was made in order that Peter, James and John might know who Moses and Elijah were. They immediately recognized them. I believe that this teaches us that when you and I - redeemed sinners get to glory - we shall immediately have the power to recognize everyone without being told who they are.
II - THE NATURE OF HEAVEN REQUIRES THAT WE RECOGNIZE EACH OTHER WHEN WE GET THERE.
Heaven is revealed in the New Testament as a social place. We are social creatures so lets consider the following things:
# 1 - HEAVEN IS THE CHRISTIAN'S HOME.
2 Cor. 5:6- "Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord."
Can you conceive of a home where those who live there do not know each other?
# 2 - HEAVEN IS THE FATHER'S HOUSE.
John 14:2- "In my Father's house are many mansions: If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."
Can you imagine the children of God in the Fathers House and not being able to recognize each other?
# 3 - HEAVEN IS SPOKEN OF AS A FAMILY CIRCLE.
Eph. 3:14-15 - "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named."
What a strange family this would be if the members had no power to recognize and converse with one another.
# 4 - OUR NAMES ARE WRITTEN IN HEAVEN.
Lk. 10:20 - "Not withstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice that your names are written in heaven."
Friends, names represent personalities. So if our names are in Heaven, we are already known there! Shall we not be recognized there also?
# 5 - HEAVEN IS SPOKEN OF AS A BETTER COUNTRY.
Hebrews 11:16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly; wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
So we shall enjoy better knowledge and deeper fellowship with our loved ones in Heaven than we do upon earth.
III. THE APOSTLE PAUL WHO WROTE 14 BOOKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT ANTICIPATED RECOGNITION IN HEAVEN.
2 Cor. 1:14 As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus.
2 Thess. 2:19 For what is our hope, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
Several times in Paul's writings he tells us that the joy of Heaven will be increased by the presence of many of his friends. And especially of those whom he had the great joy and privilege of winning to Christ. How could he write those things if he did not firmly believe that there would be mutual recognition in Heaven?
IV. THE BLESSED HOPE OF CHRIST'S RETURN ENSURES THAT WE WILL RECOGNIZE EACH OTHER IN HEAVEN.
1Thess. 4:15-18- For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep (died) in Jesus will God bring with him.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (precede) them which are asleep (died).
For, the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord!
Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Paul wrote this comforting letter to the Thessalonian Christians because some of their loved ones had died. And these young Christians were very much concerned to know whether they would meet and recognize them again beyond the grave.
So Paul wrote to assure them of the exact thing that would happen when the Lord returned.
There would be little comfort in anticipation if it meant that being together we should not know or recognize them!
V. THE RECOGNITION OF CHRIST SETTLES IT. WE WILL KNOW EACH OTHER IN HEAVEN.
1 Cor. 15:6 After that he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. (died)
1 Cor. 15:10 But now, is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept.
Phil. 3:21 - "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to working - whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
The fact that the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead and was recognized absolutely guarantees that we shall be recognized and shall recognize each other when we have our new bodies.
We are to have a new body - " like unto His glorious body..." And just as He was recognized in His resurrected body, so shall we be in ours. Yes, the redeemed will recognize each other in Heaven!
VI. BUT THE IMPORTANT QUESTION IS: ARE YOU AMONG THE REDEEMED?
1 Pet. 1:18-19- "For as much as ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. "
Are you on your way to Heaven? Jesus tells us in John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, l am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father, but by me.
Have you trusted Him for your salvation? If not, listen to what Job says in (Job 22:21) Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.
If you have any questions after reading this tract and if we can be of any help to you, please write, call, or visit our church at:
Grace Baptist Church
2611 Pulaski Pike
Huntsville, Alabama 35810