The Baptist Pillar © Brandon Bible Baptist Church 1992-Present www.baptistpillar.com
"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
The late Nick Michalinos
From The Baptist Challenge, January 2014
Question: Do we know whether we will recognize and know one another in heaven?
Answer: Yes, I am convinced that in that future life beyond our earthly life, we will recognize and know one another. After our Lord’s resurrection out from among the dead, He suddenly appeared to His frightened disciples in a place called the upper room, and we read: “Jesus himself stood in the midst of them” (Luke 24:36).
Though now clothed with immortality, He was still “Jesus himself.” for we are told He then sought to assure His disciples at that time that it was truly He that stood before them, by saying to them: “Behold my hands and feet, that it is I myself, handle me, and see” (Luke 24:39). The reason He showed them His hands and feet is because His hands and feet still had the wounds of the crucifixion nails in them.
They now recognized Him without any problems. It was not another Jesus. In fact, for 40 days after His resurrection, He showed Himself alive to them “by many infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3).
When our Lord ascended up into heaven on a cloud while in the presence of His disciples, two men in white apparel (angels) told them, “this same Jesus” will come back to earth the same way, to the same place, and with the same wounds (Zech. 13:6).
You see, He didn’t change in His bodily appearance for He still had “flesh and bones” [no blood] (Luke 24:39). Why would God go to the trouble of resurrecting His body, or the bodies of the saints unless these resurrected bodies will retain to some degree the same physical appearance they had prior to death? Job realized that even though “worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God” (Job 19:26).
This more than implies the resurrection of His body. In Matthew 17:1-4 Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus on a mountain that we call the Mount of Transfiguration, and His three disciples, Peter, John and James, recognized Moses and Elijah though they had never seen them before. They knew them.
Even in a disembodied state there is recognition. The rich man in this true story, though in hell’s torments, knew Abraham and the beggar Lazarus (Luke 16:23). In the future kingdom of our Lord on earth, we “shall see Abraham and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets” (Luke 13:28-29). Certainly, this implies recognition.
King David had great comfort in knowing that he would one day meet his infant son who had earlier been slain by God (2 Sam. 12:23). He knew he would see him and know him. This brought joy to this great man’s sorrowful heart.
As for me personally, I want to see my Lord first of all in heaven, and then to see my loved ones and fellow saints that have preceded me in death, and oh, what joy unspeakable and full of glory this brings to my heart. Together and forever in eternal bliss.
But here is a sad note also. I believe the lost in the Lake of Fire will also recognize one another. Imagine, families and relatives and friends together in eternal torment (Rev. 20:15). Children there forever hating their parents because these parents didn’t concern themselves with spiritual and eternal things in order to acquaint them with saving faith in Christ so they might be delivered from the Lake of Fire. How very tragic!
Eternal damnation is now their portion when there was a way of escape available through the redeeming merits of the cross. They neglected the most important decision a person can make, that will affect them for time and eternity.
That decision is to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, and escape eternal damnation. “Broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at.” (Matt. 7:13)