2006-04-27 - Will I Know You in Heaven?
Originally Published 2002-11-07
2 Sam 12:22-23 And he said, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, 'Who knows, the LORD may be gracious to me, that the child may live.' 23 "But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me." (NAS)
I get this question from time to time: Will I know my friends in Heaven? It's a fair question. But like many common questions there is no clear answer. Is there life on other planets? And many others are left seemingly for another time.
My first inclination is, "Of course we will!" But backing that impulse with scripture is not as easy as I thought it would be. We will certainly know Jesus. I have hopes to sit with Peter and talk too. I identify with him and his impulsiveness that is tempted over time. He will be one of the 24 Elders around the Throne of God.
We get a glimpse in this verse in 2 Samuel that might help us. David and Bathsheba's child has died. David wept and prayed that the child would be spared, but in God's providence the child was taken. His servants ask David why he has stopped and taken food and ceased his weeping and prayer. His answer explains that he and this child will only be reunited when David passes from this life. While it does not specifically say so, there is the implication that David expects to know his son.
Will his son still be a baby or will he be a grown man when they meet? It doesn't seem to matter to David. The final thought that comes to me is that God is very gracious, and there is no changing how it will be. It's definitely okay to wonder about things like this. Sometimes we get a wisp of an answer like this one. Other times there is a clear, specific answer for us. The good news is that God has our very best interests at heart and loves us more than we can know. Either way we have all eternity to meet again if we do not know each other, and God will be at the center of everything. No sadness or regrets, no simply running out of time. Time for worship, and walking in the cool of the day with God like Adam and Eve did. Time for friends and loved ones and never having to say, "I'm sorry."
Rev 21:1-7 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them, 4 and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. " 5 And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true." 6 And He said to me, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. 7 "He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. (NAS)
Lord Jesus - help us all to be ready. We know that we will know You, and that will be enough. I am almost certain there will be friends and loved ones and we will know each other too. But for now I will trust You. Amen.
Grace & Peace,