Paul wrote the church at Corinth and 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” (I Cor. 13:12). Based on this people ask, “Will we be known in heaven as we are known here on earth” or “Will we know our loved ones in heaven?”
First, it is important to remember that our body is not the real person. It is the house, tabernacle, tent, temple or dwelling place that the real person (our soul and spirit) lives in while we are alive here on earth. It is a body of flesh and blood.
Second, our body must undergo some changes because it can’t go to heaven as it now is. Paul said, “flesh and blood cannot inherit thekingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption” (I Cor. 15:50). These changes will take place at the resurrection and Rapture. Paul said, “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all bechanged, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible mustput on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (I Cor. 15:51-53). On that great resurrection day, the body of believers will be changed to an incorruptible immortal spiritual body like Jesus had after He was raised from the dead (I Jn. 3:2).
Third, since our new spiritual body will be immortal, we won’t get sick and die. Also, since we will live forever, we won’t be known by our age (40 or 50 or 100 million years old). And, people can debate this, but I personally don’t believe that we will be known by physical characteristics such as our height, weight, lack of hair, color of our eyes.
Fourth, how will we be known? We will be known by our works or service. Crowns will be given out and people will know if we walked with God, served Jesus, was faithful unto death, preached, taught, won souls for Jesus, attended Church, raised our family in Church, etc. We will be known in heaven by some (or all) of the ways people knew us here on earth (by our spiritual characteristics not necessarily our physical characteristics). Concerning some of the Tribulation Period saints, John wrote that “their works do follow them” (Rev. 14:13).
Fifth, people will recognize us in heaven. Adam and Eve couldn’t see each other in the Garden of Eden, but they knew each other (Gen. 3:5-7). When Samuel returned from the dead in his spiritual state, Saul knew him (I Sam. 28). When the rich man saw Lazarus in his spiritual state in Paradise, the rich man knew him (Luke 16:9-31).
Sixth, how can this be? Consider this: When Peter, James and John saw Moses and Elijah in their spiritual state on the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter, James and John knew them (Matt. 17:1-13). Someone may ask how because the disciples had never seen them? Moses died and Elijah was Raptured hundreds of years before that. Pictures, videos and movies didn’t exist. I have no explanation other than it was a revelation of the Holy Spirit. But I want to go further to point out the fact that when the marriage of Jesus and His Church takes place, a special union will exist between Jesus and His Church and it is my personal opinion that the Holy Spirit will give the Church abilities and make the Church aware of things that it does not now have and know (Rev. 19:7-9).
Seventh, several years ago, there was a five year old boy in one of my congregations that was put to sleep in the hospital. When it came time for this young boy to wake up he didn’t wake up. In fact, several hours passed before he opened his eyes. Pointing upwards, his first words were, “Mommy, I’ve been up yonder. I saw Jesus and He took me to God. And I saw Uncle Tommy and Uncle Johnny” (not their real names). Now, if anyone doubts this, you should know that this boy was very sick, had never walked a day in his five years of life, and was not supposed to live very long. Know also, that from that day forward that boy started learning to walk and he is now a grown man in his mid-thirties.
In conclusion, I believe we will know our saved loved ones in heaven and they will know us. I see it as a gift of grace and the work of the Holy Spirit.
Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck