Matthew 22:31-32 NIV
31 But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’[a]? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”
There are a lot of things about heaven that we don’t know or understand, but I believe beyond the shadow of a doubt that we shall know our loved ones when we get there.
To be clear, God’s word does not explicitly tell us that we shall know our loved ones in heaven, but it shows us in several places that this will be the case.
In the scripture above, Jesus tells the Sadducees that God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and He is not the God of the dead but of the living. God spoke this to Moses at the bush, long after Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had died.
Jesus is partially quoting God who made this statement to Moses, long after Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had died.
Exodus 3:5-6 NIV
5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father,[a] the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
As Matthew Henry the great theologian pointed out, God did not say “I was or I have been the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob”, but rather, I AM the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, which therefore proves the immortality of the soul. Not only were they alive with God in heaven at the time He told this to Moses, but they were also known by the same names they had on earth.
Let us look at some other scriptures that indicate we shall know our loved ones in heaven.
DAVID AND HIS SON
King David had a son who died very young. You can read the story in 2nd Samuel chapter 12.
In 2nd Samuel 12:23 we see where King David says he shall go to be with his deceased young son. David said “I’ll go to him” indicating that he would be reunited with his son in the presence of His Lord.
David had the assurance that he would see his son again.
2 Samuel 12:21-23 NIV
21 His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”
22 He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
JESUS AND THE GENTILE CENTURION
Jesus finds the faith of the Gentile Centurion to be great. Greater than any faith he has yet found in Israel.
Because many Gentiles will accept Him as Lord and Savior, Jesus says that MANY will come from the east and the west and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
Again, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are in heaven and will be known to all who enter there.
As a sidenote, Jesus further states that the subjects of the kingdom, meaning the Israelites who reject Christ, will be thrown outside into the darkness and there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 8:8-12 NIV
8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
THE TRANSFIGURATION OF JESUS
When Jesus was transfigured, we see the souls of Moses and Elijah made visible to Peter, James and John. Not only did the apostles recognize Moses and Elijah, they recognized Jesus who was transfigured before them.
Matthew 17:1-4 NIV
1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah."
PAUL SAYS “I SHALL KNOW, JUST AS I ALSO AM KNOWN”
Paul tells us in the book of Corinthians that in this life we only get a partial glimpse, like we are looking in a mirror. But then, he says we shall know FULLY and be known FULLY. That last phrase, "I shall know just as I also am known" would indicate that we shall know others, as well as be known by others
It should be remembered that the Apostle Paul was transported or caught up to paradise and saw exactly what it will be like.
He saw and heard things that “no one” is permitted to tell.
You can read the account in 2nd Corinthians 12:1-10.
So, we can be totally sure of what Paul tells us, not only as a spokesman for God, but also as one who experienced heaven.
1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV
12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
JESUS, THE DISCIPLES AND THE LAST SUPPER
Jesus told his disciples, as they were sharing the Last Supper with Him, that He would eat and drink with them in heaven, just as they were eating and drinking with Him on earth.
What a wonderful feeling that must have been, to realize that things would not change when our earthly, physical body dies.
I’m sure they didn’t recognize the importance at the moment, because they were still not certain of all that Christ was telling them.
But I am also sure that this statement from their Lord and Master was always on their minds after Jesus ascended to be with the Father.
I can imagine that they would often say to one another, “take heart, for Jesus told us that we will sit and dine with Him again in heaven."
Matthew 26:29 NIV
29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
WHAT A WONDERFUL BLESSING AWAITS US
Heaven in all of its glory awaits us as a child of God.
We can only imagine what it will be like and I'm sure we have no idea of the joy that awaits us. As Paul said, now we only see in part, as a reflection in a mirror.
Heaven will be greater than words can express and knowing our loved ones and being reunited with them is one of the great blessings that we have to look forward to. Being reunited with our husband, wife, father, mother, sister or brother will be a glorious and grand homecoming.
Again, remember the words of Paul and that what we see, hear and experience in this life is totally different than what we shall see, hear and experience in heaven.
Now we see simply a reflection, but then we shall see face to face. We shall be fully known, and we shall know others fully.
Just as Christ was recognized after his death and resurrection, we too shall be recognized and know those we love.
Just as wonderful as knowing our loved ones, we have the assurance that we shall not know if one of our loved ones is missing. God, in His awesome power has taken care of this.
Revelation 21:4 NIV
4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[a] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
In closing, we cannot take our money, wealth or material goods with us when we depart from this earth. We've all heard the saying "you come into this world with nothing, and you leave it with nothing", which is true except for one thing.
We can take our loved ones with us.
Certainly not at the same time, but we can be the "light" that leads them out of a world of darkness and be assured that they will join us in heaven.
Therefore, let us live our lives so that our loved ones will see Jesus in our words, actions and deeds and may our words and actions help lead them to Christ as their Lord and Savior.
What a wonderful day it will be when we meet our loved ones and see the saints of old.
Yes, we shall know fully, as we are fully known and what a glorious homecoming that will be.
Please take a moment to listen to the attached audio file with The Prophets Quartet singing “What A Wonderful Day” by Joe Moscheo.