Will We Know One Another In Heaven?
Will we be able to recognize in heaven those whom we knew during this life?
Matthew 8:11 says that in the kingdom of heaven, many will sit with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For this to be true we must be able to recognize and know who we are sitting with, and therefore we ourselves must also be recognizable. From this pasage it can be deduced that at least after the resurrection from the dead we will be recognizable by others because we will be in a bodily existence once again.
What about the intermediate state? Will we be recognizable to others we knew before the resurrection? Mark 9:2-4 recounts the transfiguration of Jesus, when Moses and Elijah appeared with Him. Elijah went to heaven in his body, having never died, so he was still in his physical body when he appeared with Jesus. Moses, however, had died, and his body had not yet been resurrected, yet he appeared to have a body and was recognizable by the apostles. It is interesting that he was recognized to be Moses by those who had never seen him before (Moses lived ~1500 years before Peter, James, and John). This account teaches us that the soul/spirit of man has an appearance like the physical body. I believe we can conclude from this passage that not only will we be able to recognize and know loved ones who lived during our life-time, but we will also know other saints whom we have never met, whether it be before or after the resurrection.
Part of the reason many Christians wonder about the very question that you are asking (as I asked it many times myself) is because most saints' conception of heaven is based off of the Greek view of heaven, which has been popularized in our culture. We are seen as disembodied spirits floating in the clouds, nothing more than faceless, formless blobs, or as angels with wings, playing harps. This is not the Biblical perspective. The Bible teaches that the eternal state will be very similar to the present state, but perfected.. We will live on a new earth, with a new atmosphere (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; II Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1), in a literal city (Revelation 3:12; 21:2), in our own resurrected and glorified bodies (Romans 8:11, 23; I Corinthians 15; Philippians 3:21; I John 3:1-2). We will look like real people, and will have real flesh. With such a conception of eternity the answer to the question of whether or not we will know people becomes quite clear. We will have faces in eternity! We will know loved ones whom we knew in this life, and other saints whom we have never met. Not only will we know one another, but we will also have fellowship with one another.
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