June 24, 2014

Will We Be Recognized in Heaven?

Matthew 17:1-13

There appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
—Matthew 17:3


In a book about going to heaven and then returning to life here on earth, the author tells about being transported to and from heaven after having surgery in a hospital. According to the book, during his short stay in heaven he recognized some of the people he had known earlier in life. Books like 90 Minutes in Heaven and others tell similar stories about recognizing people who had died earlier.

Will we really recognize each other in the next life? Will we have our own identity, and will family members actually know us? People disagree. In a conversation with some of my siblings I was told that it was simply impossible for us to recognize each other. How could those who left us years ago when we were so much younger possibly know and recognize us?

The Bible, I believe, does tell us that we will know each other. Randy Alcorn in his book Heaven cites several Bible passages that would indicate that. In Job 19:26-27, Job says, “In my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes.” In today’s Bible passage about the transfiguration of Jesus, we meet both Moses and Elijah, who appear in person with the same identity as before.

We have every reason to believe that we will know each other.

Lord, our God, thank you for assuring us that someday we will see you in your glory and be joined with those who have gone before us. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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