WHEN A BELIEVING parent, child, or mate goes to live with the Lord Jesus for all eternity, what a consolation and comfort to have the confidence that they are where all saints yearn to be—with the Lord!
Our grief is heavy, but oh! how unbearable it would be if we had no faith, no assurance at all that we would see them again in love, joy and peace with eternal life!
The apostle Paul said, “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having desire to depart, and be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.” ( Philippians 1:22-23)
And then, sorrowing one, we have the comfort of Psalm 116:15—
“Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of His saints.”
Along with that, we have the verse in the last book of the Bible, Revelation 14:13—
And I heard a voice from heaven
saying unto me, Write,
‘Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord
from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit,
that they may rest from their labors;
and their works do follow them.’ ”
WILL WE KNOW OUR LOVED ONES
Someone has answered, “Do you think we will be more ignorant then than now?”
It was AFTER the resurrection of Christ that the apostle Paul was taken into the third heaven and was taught by the Lord. In speaking of himself he says, (in 2 Corinthians 12:1-7) “It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations OF THE LORD. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. . . . How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.”
Right here it is well that we observe that while we are on earth, God has the devil to serve His purposes as an unwilling, unloving servant. God has this kind of wisdom and power. In this case we see that God used Satan to keep the apostle Paul humble so as not to be exalted—while here—above what is expedient. So God allows Satan to buffet Paul with an affliction, a thorn. (God has it all under control so that even the works of Satan are turned to the good of God’s saints. See Romans 8:28.)
But let us get back to the question about knowing our loved ones in heaven. In 1 Corinthians 13:12, Paul (with all his revelation) says, “For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
Doesn’t even that one verse answer the question? If we then, in glory, KNOW as we are KNOWN, then that knowledge has to be full and complete. No ignorance here. So we must know our loved ones and rejoice and worship and love WITH them.
In Matthew 9 we have the account of the transfiguration of Christ “and His raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller (cleaner) on earth can white them. And there appeared unto them Elias (Elijah) with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.” Note that they knew each other. Even Peter, James and John—still in the flesh—recognized Elijah and Moses.
WILL THERE BE PARIALITY
OR FAVORITES IN HEAVEN?
Two and a half years ago I lost my dearly beloved wife, my Maryanne. In marriage we were “one” for over fifty-eight years, in this “low ground of sin, sickness and sorrow. After that long of a time, couples get to KNOW each other better than anyone else on earth. A young man, before he marries, may carry his girlfriend’s picture, or that of his fiancée, in his wallet, and he will gaze at it often with understandable affection and devotion. I know I did. But oh! Now that she is GONE from earth, with some sixty years of MEMORIES, how much more do I NOW gaze at her picture!
But to the question: I know Jesus taught us that in heaven, in the kingdom of God, there is no giving in marriage. That part of earthly existence is over and changes forever. But that does not mean I will not know and love my sister, my sister in Christ, Maryanne. Remember, I will then “know as I am known.” How, then can I imagine NOT being partial to that dear soul I knew so well for sixty years on earth? How can I refrain from being “partial”?
That is a good question, and I think I have the answer. NOW it is hard to imagine my NOT being partial, for I knew my wife of over 58 years as we were as one, as marriage is the picture of Christ and His bride.
Thus my FEELING that I just must be partial then, since I know my Maryanne in LOVE far, far better than I know anyone else. How, then, can I keep from being partial, and perhaps pay more attention to HER than to other souls in heaven? Could I not be allowed to do that? No, I don’t think so. I don’t think we will be allowed to show partiality in heaven.
But what is the remedy for this apparent dilemma? How can I possibly love all saints as I love “my Maryanne” when we lived a lifetime together on earth?
The answer has to be in that verse previously quoted: WE WILL KNOW AS WE ARE KNOWN. If I now feel I know or knew quite fully my Maryanne, and therefore loved her as no other, it is hard to imagine anything other than in glory having an atmosphere of partiality. But wait! Then we will “know as we are known.” In our GLORIFIED bodies we will all know each other fully; our love will be pure as never before. There will be “no warts” or frailties. We will know one soul just as much as another. And as we are taught ON EARTH to love and serve each other, we will do so THERE for all eternity, in fullness and perfection. And our LOVE AND WORSHIP will be focused together on our Mighty Savior, our Almighty God and the Lamb of God, our heavenly Bridegroom. What a day THAT will be! Eternal Day, Eternal Glory, Eternal Praise to our God! What a glorious “so great salvation”!
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Her Dying Counsel:
“Run to Jesus.”
Speaking of the time when bodies and souls will be re-united at the resurrection, when all saints will be together, we read:
“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up TOGETHER with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: AND SO SHALL WE EVER BE WITH THE Lord.” (1 Thess. 5:16-17)
“. . . For Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God
by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue
and people, and nation.” (Revelation. 5:9)
“The voice of my Beloved! Behold, He
cometh leaping upon the mountains,
skipping upon the hills.”
(song of Solomon 2:8)
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