Will I Know You in Heaven?
A Christian woman whose husband recently died asked the not uncommon question, "Will I know my husband in heaven?"
I answered, "Yes. While there will be no marriage in heaven (Matthew 22:30), you will recognize your loved one. Moreover, you will know him better than you've ever known him because your relationship will no longer be tainted by the sin that causes us to hide our true selves from others (Genesis 3:7).
There is a continuity between this life and heaven. In heaven we will still be individuals with all our God-given uniqueness'. The difference is that we will not be polluted by sin; we will be fully human.
Consider these passages which imply our ability to recognize fellow believers in heaven:
In Luke 16:19-31 the rich man recognized Lazarus, who is in heaven.
In I Thessalonians 4:13-18 Paul exhorts those believers who grieve for departed loved ones not "to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope." He reminds them that departed Christians will rise again. The point behind his whole discussion is to remind them that there will be a restoration of the fellowship that has been temporarily broken by death.
In I Thessalonians 2:19-20 Paul implies that those who have led others to a saving knowledge of Jesus will have the joy of seeing those friends in Jesus' presence: "what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy."
Take heart, Christian friend. Death is not the last chapter. The best is yet to come. There will be a grand reunion. As Gospel singer Mahaliah Jackson reminds us, in heaven it's always "howdy, howdy, and never good-bye." And the sweetness of reunion with fellow believers will be exceeded by heaven's supreme joy: meeting God. "We shall see him as he is" (I John 3:2).
Peter Kemeny, Pastor
Good News Presbyterian Church
P.O. Box 1051, Frederick, MD 21702