Monday, December 30, 2013

Will I Recognize People In Heaven?


A good buddy and I were texting recently when he asked me an important question:  "Will I recognize my family and friends when I get to Heaven?"  Lots of people have discussed and pondered that over the centuries.  So let's have a little fun and explore that topic today.

Here are three quick thoughts:

Number one.  In Luke 16, Jesus tells the story about a rich man and Lazarus.  Lazarus died and went to Heaven.  The rich man was able to look into Heaven and he recognized Lazarus.

Number two.  In Matthew 17, some disciples of Jesus were allowed to see a glimpse Moses and Elijah, who had already passed from Earth to Heaven.  It was a rare opportunity and incredible experience.  The disciples recognized Moses and Elijah.

Number three. In 1 Corinthians 13:12, we read these words:  "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."  I believe that Paul was talking about having improved senses and a heightened awareness (seeing and knowing) on the other side of the grave.

Now, let me share with you a general observation I've made after reading and studying scripture: God makes a big deal out of relationships.  He's into loving us, and us loving Him back.  He's also into us loving each other.  In the Old and New Testaments, God calls us to healthy bonds with all those we encounter.  So the idea of us being called to Heaven and not being allowed to recognize and enjoy people we have known on Earth seems to contradict the very nature of God.

I've said all that to say this:  Yes, I do indeed believe we will recognize and enjoy our family and friends in Heaven.  We will know who they are.  They will know who we are.  And the reunions will be mighty special.

Ultimately let us remember this:  While it will be special to see our loved ones and buddies in heaven, the greatest thrill will be to see Jesus face-to-face.  He is The One who loves us eternally, unconditionally, and sacrificially.  He is The One who paved our way to Heaven in the first place. So, seeing Jesus will by far be the greatest thrill of all.  And I really look forward to that.

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