The Berean Expositor
Volume 14 - Page 22 of 167
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Answers to Correspondents.
pp. 30, 31
No. 31.--H.B.(London) asks whether we can give any help in answering
the question, "Will their be recognition among the saints in the Kingdom of
In the first place we must admit that there is no one passage of Scripture that in so
many words definitely says that believers will recognize one another when they stand
together in the presence of the Lord. There are, however, passages which we believe
indirectly teach that we shall recognize each other. For example, take the record of
The Tranfiguration in Matt. 17: We are not told that any special revelation was given
to Peter at that time, indeed Mark's version (9: 6) says that Peter "wist not what to say",
yet Peter immediately recognized Moses and Elijah, even though he had never seen them
in the flesh.
Again, Luke 13: 29 assumes that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will be recognized by
Israel in that day. When David heard of his death of his little son, he appeared to
entertain the hope of a personal re-union, saying:--
"I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me" (II Sam. 12: 23).
When we read in Ezek. 48: of the apportionment of the land to the tribes of
Israel, it seems essential to understand that these tribes shall recognize their own identity
and that of their fellows. The memory also of past sins and failures, indicated in
Ezek. 16: 61-63 and 44: 9-14, demands a conscious recognition of identity, and this
appears to be impossible without the recognition at the same time of one another. Could
the apostle speak of the day when those who have fallen asleep in Christ shall be raised
again and united with those living at the time of the Lord's return as a ground of
"comfort" to those mourning the loss of their loved ones, if in the resurrection all were
to be total strangers to each other? Can we not draw comfort from the words of
I Cor. 13: 12:--
"Then shall I know even as also I am known."
Can it be that we shall have such full knowledge as is here indicated, and yet lack the
one feature which means so much to us. When the apostle said that he desired to present
every man perfect in Christ Jesus (Col. 1: 28), and spoke of some who should be his
crown of rejoicing in the presence of the Lord (I Thess. 2: 19); and when he said that he
prayed that Onesiphorus should find mercy in that day (II Tim. 1: 16), do not all such
statements and desires seem to demand personal recognition? The fact also that God is
our Father, and we His children, and therefore members of one family, seems to
necessitate that all who shall share in the bliss of that new life shall consciously enjoy it
in fullest fellowship with their brethren. This would be an impossibility without memory
and recognition.