Will we know our
loved ones in HEAVEN?

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QUESTION:  Will we know our loved ones in heaven, especially our family and friends?

Answer: Interestingly, though many believe upon death we will all be taken to heaven to be with the ones we loved, the truth is it will come down to us! The scriptures teach that God's throne will eventually come to earth. Revelation 21 states that a new heaven (the sky surrounding the earth) and a new earth will be created by God. He will also miraculously create a new version of Jerusalem that will come down right from the sky and be put right on the earth itself (see Revelation 21:1 - 4).

For the first 1,000 years (known as the millennium) we will not only live on this earth (and not in heaven) but we will also recognize each other.

"They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years . . . This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. (Revelation 20:4 - 5)

Although they were a bit confused at first, and no doubt startled, the disciples recognized Jesus after He was resurrected. They first saw him, as a group, on Sunday, April 9 in 30 A.D. This was the day right after he was brought back to life. As they huddled together, hiding from the Jewish authorities, Jesus appeared.

Then Jesus came and stood among them . . . (Jesus miraculously appeared and greeted them) 20 After saying this, he showed them his hands and his side (John 20:20, see also Acts 1:3).

The best proof that we will know the ones we loved in the afterlife was given by the Apostle Paul in his first letter to the church in Corinth. In chapter 15 he is responding to questions regarding what kind or type of body Christians will possess after they are resurrected from their graves and given eternal life (1Corinthians 15:35). His answer is that a seed planted in the ground does not sprout unless it 'dies' first. He also states that what is planted does not initially look anything like what it will later produce (verses 37 - 38).

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Paul goes on to state that our earthly, weak and mortal physical bodies that are 'sown' or put in the grave will be replaced with an immortal, strong and beautiful spiritual body (verses 42 - 44).

Paul's analogy comparing the body to a seed is meaningful to me. If you plant a seed of corn, you will recognize what grows from that to be corn; plant a rose, and you'll recognize what grows from that to be a rose. It follows that if Clay Willis is planted, what will come from that is recognized as Clay. He tells us plainly that, "if there is a natural, i.e., physical, body, there is also a spiritual body." There is every reason to believe that spiritual bodies will be recognized by those who knew the physical. The spiritual body will be perfect, not flawed as are physical bodies. Those who knew the physical body will be able, perhaps after some confusion, to recognize the spiritual body of a loved one. This is when we will truly have heaven on earth!

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What exactly is the Second Coming?
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