Will We Know Each Other In Heaven?

Our sermon series on the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15 has raised a number of questions. One of the great questions which we all wonder about is this: Will know each other in heaven?

This is an entirely appropriate question. After all, we were made for fellowship. The fact that we desire to know one another reflects the way God created us.

The question, however, is bigger than our desires. The question has to do with God’s plan and our proper response to God.

This the way I answer.

First, all such desire to know each other that is merely sentimental probably has no place in the Kingdom of God. Christ is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He should and will be given the chief place of honor in heaven.

Second, the desire to fellowship with the saints and to join in the great throng around the throne is entirely appropriate.  Though the joy of heaven primarily consists in fellowship with Christ, it also consists in the fellowship of believers with one another. Our fellowship today with other believers does not detract from our fellowship with Christ. It actually strengthens it. Certainly, heaven would be the same kind of relationship.

Throughout the Scripture, the idea of knowing others and fellowshipping with them is emphasized. Paul’s concern for teaching the church in Thessalonica correct doctrine about the return of Christ centered on love for people we know. Paul assured the church that those who died in Christ before the return of Christ will not be at a disadvantage. Paul told the church to comfort one another with those words (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Jesus Himself pictured heaven as a banquet where we all sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Matthew 8:11). “The hope of seeing each other again is not wrong if only it remains subordinate to the longing for fellowship with Christ.”—H. Bavinck.

I am comforted to know that I will know my father and my mother-in-law in heaven even though it will be a different relationship. Our God is good and provides for our needs. May He be praised.

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  1. Daniel Heeringa
    May 14, 2012

    I always think of the recognition at the transfiguration. How did they know it was Moses and Elijah? It gives us a little clue into our future heavenly perspective. . I’ll be buff but they will still know me.

  2. Jeff Burns
    May 14, 2012

    It seems to me that both the wicked and the redeemed are recognized after death . . . ISAIAH 14:3-4; 9-11, 16 . . . Ezekiel 32:17-32 . . . Matthew 8:11-12; 17:1-5 . . .1 Thessalonian 2:19-20 . . . Luke 16:19-31 . . . .2Corinthians 4:14 . . . 1Samuel 28:3-19. . . .

  3. Ed Matthew
    May 14, 2012

    Jeff Burns offered Scripture illustrating both the wicked and the redeemed are recognized after death. I have witnessed such testimonies both on Arch Bishop Phillip Hannan’s Focus program and conversations with him in and out of his studio. (We weren’t best buds, just respectful neighbors who helped each other from time to time.) Such testimonies are rich on both sides of my family tree. Like the reference noted in 1 Samuel 28, my father’s father forbid in his household such practices, as too dangerous!

    The continuity of God’s revelation of Heaven, Hell and the ongoing battle between the two has been further supported by the Ministry Testimony of Don Piper who spoke here regarding his 1989 experience as published: 90 Minutes in Heaven. Since then I have read The Boy who came back from Heaven by Kevin and Alex Malarkey. “A remarkable account of miracles, angels and life beyond this world.”

    And that’s no malarkey!

    Thank you Dr. Bailey for the reminder of the strength that comes to the Bride of Christ when glorifying the Groom.

    Perhaps your bloggers would consider another reading: Don’t waste your life by John Piper, Copyright 2003 by Desiring God Foundation, published by Crossway Books.

    • Waylon
      May 14, 2012

      Thanks to Daniel, Jeff, and Ed for your comments. You prove my point, and I rest my case.

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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[Two Kinds of Wisdom] Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. — James 3:13 (NIV)