Known in Heaven
The following explanation will bring to light what Scripture has to say about “Known in Heaven.” I trust it will help you to understand more fully what is revealed to us in Scripture.
You have asked what I understand about life after death, for the Christian. I have proposed the following questions which will bring to light my understanding of what Scripture teaches:
- Will a Christian know other people in heaven as he knew them when he lived on the earth?
- Is a father/son relationship going to be carried on in heaven?
- Will a wife on earth be known as a wife to her husband in heaven?
- Are relationships with other family members on earth going to continue in heaven?
- Are the good things people have known on earth going to continue in heaven?
- Are all the good memories of family relationships brought into heaven and the bad memories kept out?
- Will there be any carnal memories in heaven?
- Will there be any carnal relationships in heaven?
The answers to many of these questions may seem to be the same answer. However, there will be some variation.
The Christian Life is Spiritual
A. To answer these questions some groundwork of understanding on what a Christian is in Christ will be helpful.
Every human being is out of the loins of Adam, so all men have a sin nature that taints every part of our being (Romans 3:10-20, 23; 7:14, 18). We have inherited Adam’s spiritual DNA after his fall and his spiritual death.
When one becomes a Christian, he becomes a new creation by the divine work of the Spirit of God. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). This new life in Christ is spiritual life. This life brings the Christian into a place of living or occupying in heavenly realms. As seen in this verse, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).
Scripture teaches us that our life in Christ as a Christian is in the Spirit, this is found in Romans 8:9, also in 1 John 4:13. What we are on the earth in our natural Adamic nature and natural relationship to man will not enter into heaven’s gate, this is shown to us in Matthew 22:30 and 1 Corinthians 15:50. Only that work of God, completed by the Holy Spirit in the Christian, can enter into the place where Christ is.
Earthly relationships according to what we are in nature are carnal. Jesus made this clear to Nicodemus when He told him, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, that which is born of the Spirit is spirit (John 3:6). This is because we were born of Adam. Adam is natural and under the power of the prince of this world (John 12:31).
The whole world lies in the wicked one (Ephesians 2:2; 1 John 5:19). This includes: family, friends, husbands, wives, children, etc.
The Apostle Paul instructs the Corinthian assembly; that he himself knew Christ, according to the flesh (nature), but he would know Him that way no longer (2 Corinthians 5:16). Was Paul’s knowledge of Christ in the flesh wrong? No it was not wrong, it just had no eternal value, and it was not going to be a part of his eternal experience. Knowing Christ in the flesh on earth was not going to be a part of any eternal relationship in Paul’s future heavenly existence. Only those things that are of the Spirit of God will enter into the eternal.
First Corinthians 3:11-15 teaches the Christian that things not of Christ in his or her life, will be burned up at the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). They are represented in the wood, hay, and straw of 1 Corinthians 3:12. The wood, hay and straw are taught as the carnal things of this earth, which the Christian does not release in this life to the Spirit of God. This includes husband, wife, children, brother, sister, or grandchildren (Luke 8:19-21; 14:25-27). The Christian, letting go of earthly relationships and looking only to Christ, allows the Holy Spirit to have preeminence to remake the Christian into the image of Christ (Romans 8:28). The gold, silver, and precious stones are representative of the work and fruit of the Holy Spirit in the Christian’s life on the earth. This fruit brings the Christian into the kingdom of God now (Romans 14:17; Galatians 5:22-25). Jesus was 100 % a heavenly and Spiritual Man. So it is with a Christian, only that which is spiritual in the Christian will be in heaven.
Known in Heaven
B. “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). This verse teaches that we will know; even as we are known. The understanding of this is: we know in part now. In other words our knowledge of Christ is limited in this world to our human limitations. When in heaven, where Jesus is, our knowledge will no longer be in part, but in full. We will know Him even as we are known by Him. We will know Jesus in fullness, even as He will know the Christian in fullness, without carnal affections or relationships (Galatians 4:9).
C. Revelations 21:1-6 reveals to us what it will be like to be with God. No more tears, no death, no sorrow, no crying, no pain, and all former things will have totally passed away. “Behold I make all things new” (verse 5). Again it is written, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). When one is born into this life everything is new, so it will be in the presence of God. The Lord Jesus will be the complete center of the Christian’s affections. Revelation chapters 4 and 5 give us a picture of the Christians’ activities in His presence.
If we know anyone in heaven, it will be to know that person spiritually, in Christ. A Christian is born anew by the Holy Spirit to be the wife and body of Christ (Ephesians 5:30; Revelation 19:7), not to carry on earthly relationships in heaven. As a Christian wife on earth is to be totally in unanimity to her husband, so in heaven the saints will be to Christ.
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind” (Isaiah 65:17).