| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 45 - Page 187 of 251 Index | Zoom | |
Many of the saints who were dead, arose at the time of the crucifixion, and these risen
saints "went into the holy city, and appeared unto many" (Matt. 27: 53). Are we to
believe that these risen ones had not the slightest recollection of the holy city, that they
just wandered about like lost souls, and that they were utter strangers both to themselves,
to one another and to the living at Jerusalem? Is not Christ Himself "the firstfruits" of
them that have fallen asleep? We read that if the firstfruits be holy, the lump is also holy
(Rom. 11: 16) and by analogy we can say that if Christ recognized His Own followers
after He was raised from the dead, so also will they recognize one another when they too
are risen from the dead. The Lord knew and spoke to Mary, Thomas and Peter by name,
and they knew and recognized Him.
We may go back to the earliest statement in the Scriptures concerning resurrection,
and find that recognition is most surely implied:
"I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the
earth. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see
God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another"
(Job 19: 25-27).
Could Job have uttered such confident words, if recognition in glory were impossible?
We find too that the redeemed sing praises to the Lord, giving thanks for the deliverance
and the grace that brings them safely home. If they know that they were redeemed while
in this life, then they must remember, and it is impossible for any one of us to remember
the affairs of our own lives without remembering all those other fellow sinners and fellow
saints whose paths crossed and recrossed our own. If I do not remember the past, I shall
not feel grateful for redemption. The redeemed child of God, is to stand before the
judgment seat of Christ, and there "every one shall give an account of himself to God"
(Rom. 14: 12). Not only shall the believer give an account, but:
"Every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done,
whether it be good or bad" (II Cor. 5: 10).
"Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve
the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done:
and there is no respect of persons" (Col. 3: 24, 25).
It is impossible to judge or award either reward or punishment to any one who is
suffering from a total lapse of memory. With some, the problem of recognition in glory
is an offshoot of another problem. They feel that it is simply to recognize loved ones
while still here in flesh and blood, but a spiritual body, seems to them so intangible, so
unreal, so much like a passing vapour, that their heaven is but cobweb and mist. We
must attempt to deal with that problem in another article in this series.
Let us, for the moment, sum up our argument in favour of recognition in glory. The
redeemed are and will be a "family", with God Himself as their Father. God is love, and
it is the love that exists, however slightly in the heart of the child of God, that yearns to
be assured of this recognition. If therefore our puny love cannot feel satisfied with
heaven where there will be no recognition, how much more would the God of love be
unsatisfied? The Lord Jesus Christ, in resurrection, recognized His Own and was
recognized in turn by them. Further He called a number of them by their private names.