There are many Bible passages that indicate that all believers will be recognized by their family, friends, and even by those who had never met them. Before we look at some of examples let’s read 1st Thessalonians 4:13-14, “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus” (NKJV). The believers at Thessalonica had loves one who had died (i.e. fallen asleep) and they wondered if they would see them again. Paul comforts them by revealing they would indeed see all those who had died believing in Christ’s death and resurrection, for they would be with Christ when He returns (see verses 15-18 for more details on Christ’s return). This surely implies that we will recognize all of our loved ones in heaven.

After King David’s son died he could say, “But now he is dead; why should I fast? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” David was convinced that he would see his son again and thus he would know him when he sees him in heaven. What makes this all the more marvelous is the fact that David’s son was a baby when he died. 1st John 3:2 tells us that everyone in heaven will be like Christ; it reads, “Beloved, now we are the children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM, for we shall see Him as He is.” David’s baby will no longer be a baby but a full-grown adult, yet David will recognize him! What a comfort this should be to all who have lost children when they were infants.

As stated earlier, we will even know those whom we have never met. When Peter, James and John were on the mount of Transfiguration with the Lord Jesus, they saw and recognized Moses and Elijah. Matthew 17:3 states, “And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.” How did they recognize them when there was no such thing as photographs at that time? There is no mention that Jesus introduced them to Peter, James and John, yet there was instant recognition. We gather from this scene, which was a “preview” of the coming glory, that we will KNOW EVERYONE in heaven.

We would also mention that Jesus Himself was recognized by those who knew Him after His resurrection. John 21:12 declares, “Jesus said to them, ‘Come and eat breakfast,’ Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, ‘Who are You?’—KNOWING THAT IT WAS THE LORD.” Though He was now in His glorified body, He was still known and recognized by those who loved Him! 1st Corinthians 15:5-8 reads, “…and He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was see by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all he was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” As great as it will be to know and recognize all our loved ones who trusted in the Lord Jesus, the greatest blessing we will experience is when we behold our Savior “face to face.” (257.1) (DO)