Will We Know Our Loved Ones in Heaven?
Q: Will we know our loved ones in Heaven?
A: Throughout my 15 years of working as a bereavement coordinator in hospice, many people have asked me this question. My response has often been, quietly, "What makes Heaven Heaven?"
When we think about Heaven, what do we anticipate? Of course, we expect to see the Son of God, the One who died for our sins on the cross, and we expect to see Him face to face. And what an awesome experience that will be. Personally, I believe that is why our bodies have to be changed, because we could not stand the glory that will be revealed in Him at that moment.
But what else makes it that place where we desire to go? Of course, it is our loved ones and the promise that if they, too, lived for God, we will see them again. Notice that I did not use the word "hope" that we will see them again. I used the word "promise," because we are waiting for the fulfillment of the promise that Christ made in the Book of John, Chapter 14.
In answer to the question of whether we will know our loved ones in Heaven, I always like to refer people to I Corinthians 13:12: "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." Personally, what that Scripture says to me is that there are things on this earth that I do not understand, but when I get to Heaven, I will understand them. I also believe that we just experience a foreshadowing of what is to come while we are here on this earth. For instance, we experience His presence now, but in limited amounts. However, as referred to earlier in this article, in Heaven we will experience His presence "face to face." Now, I understand myself to some degree in this life because we are always discovering more about ourselves as we travel through this incredible journey. However, the last part of that verse answers what I believe is an enduring question for many: We will, indeed, be known even as we are known. I personally believe that answers the question of whether I will know my loved ones in Heaven and if they will know me. For me, Heaven would not be "all that it's cracked up to be" if I could not see my grandmother again and have her know me as we knew each other on earth.
In summary, I do believe that we will know each other there as we are known here, and I do believe that we will see Him as He is, as well. I trust that this brings comfort and hope to each heart.
—Saundra Yates, Bereavement Coordinator/Chaplain (Mount Airy Office)
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