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Will We Know One Another in Heaven?

by Clem Thurman
via Gospel Minutes, Vol. 58, No. 35, Aug. 28, 2009.

This is a question that has long plagued those who are Christians. There is not a "clear-cut" passage of Scripture that answers it. However, there are many passages that relate to it. For instance: The rich man in the story Jesus told in Luke 16 knew Lazarus after his death, and he knew Abraham -- even though he had never met him in this life. Maybe that is the key to understanding this matter. I just cannot conceive of people in heaven going around introducing themselves to each other. We obviously will know Jesus, and it seems to me we will also know Moses and Peter and Paul.

Jesus was asked a question by those who did not believe in a resurrection. They proposed the supposed case of a woman whose husband had died, she married his next oldest brother, and he died. And so on to seven. They asked, "In the resurrection, whose wife shall she be? Seeing that she was married to all seven brothers?" Jesus replied to their question by saying:"Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, not the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as angels in heaven" (Matthew 22:29,30). Notice that this passage does not say there will be marriage in heaven -- it says they will not marry nor be given in marriage. Frankly, based on this passage and others, I have no idea what the relationship of a husband and wife on earth will be when they both get to heaven. That is God's business, and I suspect that He has it all worked out so that everyone will be happy with the situation there.

We will not have physical bodies in heaven as Paul shows: "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also it is written, 'The first man Adam became a living soul. The last Adam (Christ) became a life-giving spirit. Howbeit that is not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural, then that which is spiritual'" (I Corinthians 15:42-46). It is clear that the "natural body" in this passage is talking about the physical body. But if we don't have physical bodies, then how will we recognize one another? I don't know the answer to that. But I am convinced that we will recognize each other, including people who we never knew in this life.