As people think about “passing over”, they often ask if they’ll be able to recognize loved ones and friends and so forth. So the common form of the question is, “When we get to heaven, will I still know you?”
But that’s the wrong question. The real question is, “Will I know you before we get to heaven?”
We don’t know one another well within this present world. We don’t know Jesus Christ well within this present world. We don’t even know ourselves well within this present world. Maybe another excellent question is, “When I look into a mirror in heaven, will I even know
Paul the apostle says that while we’re still in this world, we see spiritual realities obscurely, like everything is cloaked in shadows — we see “as a dim reflection in a shiny, silver plate; lacking any real clarity”. [1Cor 13.12]
“Now we see only a blurry image reflected in a shiny plate of silver. Then [when Jesus Christ comes again], we will see very clearly. Now my knowledge is incomplete. Then I shall I know spiritual realities even as God knows me now.”
And John the Evangelist speaks of our eventual, greater knowledge of who we are in the Day of Christ’s Second Coming. In his first letter, John writes this:
“Beloved, now we are children of God, but it has not yet appeared as what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.” [1John 3.2]
So, Mildred asks me, “Once I’ve died and gone to be with the Lord, will I know my Sammy who already died years ago?” I’ll say, “I’m sure you’ll have no trouble finding him again and being reunited.”
But that’s just the short answer which leaves out a longer but more precise response: “You don’t even know yet who you are, Mildred; you remember Sammy, but you don’t know who Sammy really is — not like God knows him! But, Mildred — whoever you discover you are in Jesus Christ, and whoever Sammy has already discovered who he is in Jesus Christ — I’m sure the both of you will be reunited.”
Back to the opening question: Why bother asking if I’m going to know who my loved ones are in eternity, when I don’t even know who I AM yet, here in this world of shadows? Without a doubt, when I see Jesus Christ face to Face, I will know as I have been known by Him; and I will undoubtedly know those whom I have loved, as He has known them already, despite our having begun in the midst of earthly shadows.
Now — next question: Do all dogs go to Heaven?
Let’s leave that one for yet Another Day. Like, you know, after Jesus comes again…