One of the things I really enjoy doing with the ministry the Lord has blessed me with is answering questions of believers and unbelievers alike. The questions people have never cease to amaze me; most I have never even considered myself.
This QFTBOC (Questions from the Body of Christ) series are articles from these questions I have received and will be in a question and response format.
If you or someone you know has a question pertaining to the Word of God – theology, difficult passages, eschatology, etc. – I would really like to hear from you.
If I end up using your question, and you would like to have your name and/or place of residence listed on the question in the article, please specify with your submitted question; otherwise, if I use your question, it will be listed as “Anonymous.”
Regardless, I will make every attempt to answer every person’s question(s) in a response to the emails I receive. Depending on volume, it may be a little while until you hear back from me, but my intention is to respond to all inquiries.
Other articles in this series are: QFTBOC: Civil Disobedience and Patriotism, QFTBOC: Memory – Fully Retained or Total Reset?, QFTBOC: Psalm 91, Protection, & God’s Will, QFTBOC: God’s Chastisement of His Children, QFTBOC: What’s Satan’s Problem?, QFTBOC: Can We Know Another’s Salvation?, QFTBOC: Childbirth Purification & Christ, QFTBOC: Biblical Slavery, QFTBOC: Peter & John at the Palace of the High Priest, and QFTBOC: Living for Christ in a Dark World
My husband passed away recently, and I know he was a born-again Christian, as am I.
I know that in the Rapture, we will become Christ’s bride. Is there anywhere in the Bible that tells what kind of a relationship we will have with each other, i.e., will my husband know that I was his earthly wife?
I know there is no marriage or children born in Heaven after the Rapture, but will there be any relationships other than the bride of Christ?
Tanya L. Rogers
Powder Springs, Georgia
Thank you so much for your question, Tanya. My deepest and heartfelt condolences I send to you and your family during this difficult time.
As a believer, you know that your husband is where he always longed to be – and is where you have always longed to be. Of course, as a couple, it would have been preferable to enter into eternity together. The sad part of this issue is that one spouse – in almost every circumstance – is left behind but only momentarily in the scheme of things. This is a concern that has befallen mankind since the fall, and you are certainly not alone. I’m praying you have a strong circle of family and friends that are encouraging you in this trying time.
The fact is, there is no go-to verse to show this clearly, but we have many passages of Scripture – along with knowing Who God is and how He loves His children – that give us some insights into how this may all play out.
I want to assure you that everything that happens in this life will be remembered and will be applied to our future with the Lord. I addressed this in another article: QFTBOC: Memory – Fully Retained or Total Reset?
In this article, I said the following:
The first thing I would point out is that when Jesus was given the question by the Sadducees about a hypothetical woman who had been married to seven different men, they asked Him which husband would be her husband at the resurrection (Matthew 22:23-33).
Jesus answered in verses 29-30:
“Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”
Notice that Jesus didn’t say anything about the woman not knowing who her seven husbands were when resurrected, just that people won’t marry after the resurrection.
This should actually be a very comforting proposition for all of us, as we will all have the ability to recognize each other and fellowship one with another just as we did in our earthly lives but without the sin nature. Plus, getting to know the Biblical characters we have read about and related to will be an absolute blessing!
Laying down this foundation, I’d like to examine some other Scriptures to see if we can reasonably assume that we will recognize and fellowship with our families and friends in the afterlife.
David & His Infant Son
David knew that one day he would see his deceased infant son:
“Then said his servants unto him [David], What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me” (2 Samuel 12:21-23).
In order for David to “go to him,” we can logically and reasonably assume that David would recognize his son when he would see him, and his son would recognize him. I’m sure this truth was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit and gave David great comfort regarding his son.
This revelation should give us great comfort as well when it comes to family in the afterlife.
The Mount of Transfiguration
When the disciples witnessed Christ’s transfiguration, they immediately recognized the two companions Jesus was talking with:
“And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias” (Matthew 17:3-4).
The fact that the disciples recognized Moses and Elijah in their earthly state – seemingly without ever being introduced – highly suggests we will recognize each other in our resurrected and glorified state.
This interaction also seems to imply that even though we may have never met a person in our earthy life, we may still know instinctively who that person is. We may not know everything about them, but as spiritual brothers and sisters in Christ, we have a connection to each other that I don’t think we can even come close to understanding this side of heaven.
We have so much in common when it comes to our salvation and our love for the Lord, that our relationships with those we have never met – on at least a very basic level – may already be established in Christ.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-7).
Notice the past tense of “hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” as if we are already there!
In heaven, we can be sure that intimate relationships will flourish, and it seems very possible that introductions may never need to be made! This is speculation, of course, but all things considered, a very real possibility.
God is a God of Family
Not only does God love the family unit, He invented the family unit! And, one day, that earthly family unit – whether individuals or families who have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior – will be united and inseparable for eternity in the family of God!
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19).
Notice that we are “no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” As members of “the household of God,” I think it more than reasonable that in order to fellowship with each other, we should, no doubt, have memories of past relationships that will go on into the future.
So often, an entire family is united on earth under the umbrella of the Savior. This is why we are admonished:
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
“Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 11:18-19).
Children are sanctified in a household that has as little as one believing parent:
“For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy” (1 Corinthians 7:14).
When the keeper of the Philippian prison asked Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?‘… they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household'” (Acts 16:30-31).
In an amazing but not surprising way, a believing parent or parents in a family has their faith and trust in our Lord passed down to the children more often than not. Here again, we see the significance of family to God and our relationship to Him and His heavenly family.
The family we experience here on earth – that is, the Godly family – while a joy to be sure, can never compare to that of our soon-to-be eternal heavenly family in Christ Jesus. If family in this life is a shadow of what family will be like in the presence of our Lord and Savior, we should be persuaded in our own hearts and expect that those family institutions that honored God on earth will be even more perfect in love and union than they were in our brief life on earth.
The second part of my response is intended for the church when it comes to losing a loved one, and, unfortunately, it is a warning.
I feel led to warn my brothers and sisters of seeking answers anywhere, or from anyone, other than the Holy Scriptures when it comes to an issue of this magnitude, namely death and the afterlife. All Christians should know the commands from God to avoid all things pertaining to this subject matter – witchcraft, necromancy, consulting spirits, etc. Sadly, many Christians today find themselves dabbling in these dark and esoteric themes – willingly or unwillingly. Some even claim “scientific” justification for their interest. Best-selling “Christian” books on near-death experiences are very prevalent and have deceived many.
Near-Death Experiences (NDE)
I’m of the persuasion – and I’m very dogmatic on this – that we are not to take into account another person’s near-death experience when it comes to “revelations” concerning heaven, hell, or “messages from beyond.” There are many reasons why I believe this, which we will unpack below.
Does this mean that God can’t reveal something during these events? Not necessarily. But I can offer many reasons as to why He probably doesn’t, ranging from demonic deception to the fact that we have everything we need in His Holy Word. Here’s just a sampling of reasons to beware of these “experiences.”
When Paul went to paradise, he was commanded not to mention anything about his experience:
“How that he [Paul] was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter” (2 Corinthians 12:4).
For the sake of clarity, what the Bible commonly refers to as “resurrections” – before and after Christ’s death and resurrection into His glorious eternal body – would be better termed “resuscitations,” as everybody recorded in Scripture, other than Jesus, came back into their own sin-stained bodies and had to die again. Therefore, I’ll be using the term “resuscitation.”
When it comes to these resuscitations recorded for us in Scripture, we see a common theme: the person resuscitated never tells anyone of their experience. If anyone had a story to tell – related to resuscitation – it would have been Lazarus. He had been dead four days! Why don’t we hear of his personal experience of being dead for four days?
One might say that his experience just wasn’t recorded and shouldn’t negate our curiosity of these events. But, as with everything, there must be a reason. Bringing someone back from “death” in a limited amount of time should not be considered synonymous with someone that has died and has reached their spiritual destination and awaiting their resurrection.
Jesus, in testifying of Lazarus’ death:
“… said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead” (John 11:14).
Yet, earlier, He said:
“… This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby” (John 11:4).
Therefore, even though Lazarus was dead for four days, there was an element to his decease that wasn’t final in regard to his spirit’s final destination. His “sickness [was] not unto death.”
We can speculate on the experience of Lazarus, where he was and what he might have seen, heard, and felt, but that’s just it – it would be pure speculation with little to no Scripture to offer up legitimate Biblical possibilities. Hence, we should be content in not knowing; for if the Lord wanted us to know, He would have included this in His Holy Word. In this context, we should allow God to be God and leave the details to Him.
If a Biblical giant such as Paul was not allowed to utter his experience, then we can be certain that anyone who has a near-death experience has no right – or legitimate claim – to divulge their experience with any adamant terminology. Why? Let’s examine some possibilities of what may actually be occurring during these events and why we should be very suspicious of them — if not suspicious, then reject them outright.
Real or Illusion?
My main point in this is that when someone has a near-death experience, it’s impossible for them to know if what they experience is real or an illusion.
On June 22, 2021, Creation Moments sent out their daily email. The specific topic for that day was entitled, Your Busy Brain. One paragraph in particular caught my eye:
The brain is also a radio transmitter that sends out measurable electrical wave signals. In fact, the brain continues to send these signals for as long as 37 hours after death!
That’s a lot of brain activity that can be attributed to many near-death experiences through dream-like states as the brain is firing on all cylinders!
The Ghost in the Machine
There is also the very real possibility that as a person’s soul/spirit is being disengaged from the brain during a near-death experience, that spiritual intrusion can occur. Let’s briefly look at this.
Our brains are essentially a hard drive for our soul/spirit to operate. Just as a computer can be compromised by another person accessing computer files with nefarious intent – so, too, can other “entities” tap into our brains and alter perception when we, willingly or unwillingly, leave our minds open to other operatives.
Here are some of the most prevalent ways that this can be achieved.
Meditation & Psychology
In Eastern mysticism, meditation is the ability to clear one’s mind in an attempt to alter one’s consciousness. When this happens, the mind is opened up to other entities to operate the mind. And we know who these “entities” are – fallen angels/demons.
The same techniques are used in the pseudo-scientific realm of Psychology and Psychiatry and is accomplished, usually, by hypnotizing the subject; although there are many other ways, including the power of suggestion to implant false memories and the use of psycho meds.
New Age & Contemplative’ Prayer’
New Age is essentially Hinduism repackaged for the modern Westerner, and their adherents also practice meditation for essentially the same reasons with the same end results.
Eastern religious and New Age meditation has invaded the church under what is known as Contemplative Prayer, Centering Prayer, and the teaching courses in apostate seminaries called Spiritual Formation. An excellent ministry that has extensive research into this area is Lighthouse Trials: “5 Things You Should Know About Contemplative Prayer” Booklet Will Help Share Truth – Lighthouse Trails Research Project
In everything we have briefly discussed, there is one common thread: demonic intrusion and deception. From near-death experiences, to psychology, to Eastern religions and New Age meditation, to Contemplative Prayer, they all can lead, again, to the same place — an altered state of consciousness with demonic intrusion and deception a very real possibility.
In every altered-mind situation we looked at above, when demonic agents have access to one’s mind, the messages received are always the same: a rejection of the Biblical gospel with a pantheistic “universalist” mindset and a turning away from truth outlined in the Word of God. That is, the pantheistic/universalistic belief that everyone will go to heaven as we are all God, or a part of God, and God is in all. Without fail, this will always be the end result of demonic messages.
Here is an excellent article by David Cloud on the connection of many of these topics we have briefly hit on and how they relate to each other: Psychology and End-Times Mysticism (wayoflife.org)
This, unfortunately, is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, but this subject matter is of great importance. And, as Christians, we need to heed these dire warnings. Stay in the Word of God and trust Him for and in everything. Allow no outside forces – no matter how “Christian” they may seem – to alter what the Word of God has commanded.
There’s really no doubt in my mind that we will all have retained our memories of our loved ones as we step into the wonderful presence of our Lord and Savior. And even though we won’t have the same exact relationship with them, I can’t help but think that we will have a deeper, more loving devotion for them and from them than we ever experienced on earth. It will truly be glorious!
Thanks for your email and very important question, Tanya. May the Lord richly bless you and your family with His love, peace, and comfort during your time of grief.
Love, grace, mercy, and shalom in Messiah Yeshua, and Maranatha!
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➢ I am still taking questions for the Questions from the Body of Christ series. If you or someone you know has a question pertaining to the Word of God – theology, difficult passages, eschatology, etc. – I would really like to hear from you.