1996-11-19 - Will We Know Each Other in Heaven?
Several years ago a minister had the opportunity to visit a young girl who was 10 years old and very ill. She had already lost one lung and the other was in bad shape. He had several conversations with her, but commented that her face spoke more to him than her lips were able to utter. One day he was asked to come to her side quickly because she thought she was about to die. The minister asked her if she thought she would know him in heaven. He said that her face brightened at the thought of this question and with confidence she said, "O, yes!" He went further and asked why she thought this was true. Her reply was, "I am sure we shall know Jesus there, and I think we shall know each other, because what we have been talking about here has been about Jesus and heaven."
Now if we in fact think that personal acquaintance in this world will carry over into the upper world, there is no doubt that the holier our friendships here, the more united our joys will be there. It is a besetting sin for many professing Christians to let conversations be controlled and dominated by worldly or general topics. How often does a religious conversation die before it begins? How often do we fall into silence with an apparent apathy when our mouths should be speaking from thankful, renewed hearts? It is not that anyone would advocate religious conversations for every occasion. But it is right that the conversation of a spiritual being should focus more on our greater interests than on our temporal interests. Our conversations are often to those who profess to be "new creatures", who have "put on the Lord Jesus Christ".
Can we really say we have put on Christ if He is not obvious in our conversation? Where does the image of God shine if when in our daily activities we fail to "shine as lights in the world"? Where is the benefit to others of Christ's presence and peace, if we seldom speak about it? As we all hope to gain heaven, let us be more mindful to speak of it in our friendships here. Sanctified friendships are the best friendships. If we cultivate them we will know each other as sacred acquaintances. So in heaven we will, "know even as we have been known".
"Tell me with whom thou art found and I will tell thee who thou art."--Johann Wolfgang
"Whenever thou meetest a Christian, he is going to heaven."--William Gurnall
Soli Deo Gloria,