Will We Know Our Loved Ones In Heaven?
Yes, I do believe we will recognize our loved ones for the following Biblical reasons:
1. The Bible says that those we win to the Lord will be our crowns of rejoicing in Heaven – in other words we will be rejoicing in eternity spent together.
1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For ye are our glory and joy.
2 Corinthians 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. King David said one day he would go to Heaven see his son that had died – that certainly indicates he would know him. This thought of being reunited is what removed David’s grief.
2 Samuel 12:22-23 And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.
3. On the mount of transfiguration, Moses and Elijah showed up to speak with Jesus and the three disciples recognized them. There is nothing in the passage to indicate that Jesus had to point out who these two were to the disciples.
Matthew 17:3-4 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with Him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if Thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
4. In Hebrews 11, it talks about the OT saints who conquered through faith, and said God was waiting until they were united with us before He fulfilled all the promises.
Hebrews 11:39-40 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
5. Also, think of Abraham and Lazarus – Lazarus knew who Abraham was, though Abraham had died about 2000 years before.
Luke 16:22-23 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
6. The promise of the Rapture is specifically designed to comfort believers over their departed loved ones – because they will be reunited again one day.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep 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 them which are asleep. 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.
7. While I do not believe the context of the following verse is referring to Heaven (but to the complete canon of Scriptures – when that which is perfect is come), I do believe we can make an application regarding it:
1 Corinthians 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.
Right now, as a believer, I can know the Lord “face to face” spiritually as I read His Word and see Him revealed therein, see His Word opened up to my eyes and see all the types and Old Testament prophecies explained, see how they all point to the Saviour – and then one day, when Jesus returns, I will see Him face to face physically. Until that day keep looking up!
2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
1 Peter 1:6-8 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
Now we see Him not – though one day we will be face to face with Jesus – when we shall be caught up together with all our saved loved ones and meet the Lord in the air! And so shall we ever be with the Lord!
I hope this devotional was a blessing to you – as it was to me as I meditated on these various passages.