For a long time I have believed that we will recognize each other in Eternity. It seems logical that we will know family and loved ones in the perfect dwelling place of God. A question from a dear Christian Sister, has caused me to look to Scripture for the true answer, not just my belief or opinion.
First of all, the Lord Jesus infers that there is individual recognition in Heaven. He said “I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2) He spoke of many dwelling places, not just a big warehouse for Christians, indicating individual recognition. Even better, in the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke16:23), the rich man in Hell recognized Lazarus in comfort.
On the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter recognized Moses and Elijah, whom he clearly had never met. (Matthew 17:3-4) How did he know the identity of these two men who lived many centuries before? The Apostle Paul spoke of this in First Corinthians 13:12. He said, “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.” The Greek word for know/known is epiginosko (Strong’s G1921). The definition of this word is “to recognize; by implication, to become fully acquainted with.”
From Scripture it appears that we will not only know friends and loved ones, but those whom we have never met. Just as we will have perfect bodies (no glasses, hearing aids, artificial knees, etc.), apparently we will have perfect knowledge.
The Old Testament concurs with this theme of recognition. In the great sin of David with Bathsheba, David was told that the child born to Bathsheba would die. David fasted and prayed for the child for seven days, but when aware that the child had died, David arose and resumed his life. When asked why he did not mourn, David responded, “(Why) should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” (Second Samuel 12:23) David knew and trusted that he would see his departed son in Eternity.
Perhaps the best example is found in the story of Job. Job was rich. He had 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, and many other livestock. He also had seven sons and three daughters. The livestock were stolen and his children were killed. Because of the faithful endurance of Job, in the last chapter of the Book of Job, the Lord rewarded him with double of everything he had lost. Job ended up with 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, and double the amount of other livestock.
But noticeably, Job was only blessed with seven more sons and three more daughters. Why was he not given a double amount of children? Job was blessed with twice as many children. When Job died at age 140, “being old and full of days,” he went to Eternity where, after the deaths of his second family, he now has fourteen sons and six daughters.
Think of Brothers and Sisters in Christ and family members that you have not seen for many years due to moving to another location or due to death. In Glory we will see them again and will rekindle those friendships forever. We will be with believing family forever. Praise the Lord for His wonderful plan, for Eternity made possible by His wonderful love and grace!