Compass International: Will we know each other in Heaven?


This question comes up often and Compass does a great job in explaining the Biblical answer. Enjoy!


Dear Compass,

Where in the Bible does it discuss Christians knowing each other in heaven? When we leave this earth, we leave our bodies behind so how will I know my father, mother, husband, children, etc.? Or have I been misled and we really won’t know each other—we will only recognize God?

ANSWER: Yes, we will recognize God, and Scripture also indicates that we will recognize each other. When we die, our spirit goes to heaven.

we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. —2 Corinthians 5:8 

At the Rapture, those who have died in Christ and those alive in Christ will get new bodies. 

in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. —1 Corinthians 15:52

We will have a new eternal body similar to Jesus’ new body after He died and was resurrected. 

who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. —Philippians 3:21

People recognized Christ after His resurrection.
Luke 16 gives us a glimpse of the after-life. It discusses people in hell as well as people in paradise (pre-cross, waiting to be transferred to heaven after the Messiah’s death paid for their sins). They recognized each other and communicated with each other: 

In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue; for I am in agony in this flame.” But Abraham said, “Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony.” —Luke 16:23-25

Also, Moses and Elijah were recognized when they stood on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus.

And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. —Matthew 17:3

Moses had died; Elijah was biding time. Therefore, we should be able to recognize each other in heaven even before we get our new eternal bodies at Rapture.
In his book Heaven, author Randy Alcorn correctly teaches that since the greatest commandment is to love God and then to love others, we know that God takes great pleasure in our love for each other. He concludes that “Our source of comfort isn’t only that we’ll be with the Lord in Heaven, but also that we’ll be with each other.” One of the passages he quotes follows: 

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. . . . Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. —1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, 17-18