ATP: Will We Recognize Loved Ones & Those Whom We Know in Heaven?
This is a good and intriguing question, and I'd like to address it in three parts.
1) First, yes we will recognize those whom we have known on earth in Heaven. In Luke 16 we are given the story of the Rich man, who had every thing in this life but spent an eternity in hell, and Lazarus who had nothing in this life but received all of the blessings of an eternity in heaven. They knew one another here, and although there was a chasm (divide) between them in eternity, they were able to recognize one another in eternity. Of course, it is important to remember that seeing from Heaven into Hell is a special dispensation usually not granted. However, this passage does indicate that we will recognize one another in eternity.
Another passage that indicates we will recognize one another is when Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus, Peter, James and John on the mount of transfiguration. The disciples, who by the way had never met Elijah and Moses, recognized them. Mark 9:2-7
2) Second, Scriptures indicates that we will recognize one another by our "soul persona." What do I mean by that? We will not have these human bodies but will have a new and glorified body that is referred to as a "spiritual body." Job 19:26 and 1 Cor 15:44 You may recall, in nearly every instance, when Jesus is seen after his resurrection he is not recognized until he chooses to reveal himself. In one instance he is recognized at the breaking of the bread (Luke 24:30-31), at another, when he chooses to reveal the nail prints and wound in his side (John 20:24-29). There will be no defects in our new and glorified bodies. That's cool! Think! It won't be GQ's or Cosmo's model of perfection; it will be God's, both in appearance and nature.
3) Third, will we remain married to our spouse in eternity? Sorry to disappoint all of you who wish to remain married in eternity (some of you aren't disappointed – smile), but death does truly part us. Romans 7:2-3 You recall the lady who had, lawfully, seven husbands – Jesus said, "we shall be like the angels in heaven, neither married or given in marriage." Matthew 22:23-32 However, don't be disappointed, guess who is your spouse? Jesus. He is the "groom" we are his "bride." Now, that's awesome.
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