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Meeting friends in heaven

Postby Advance » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:00 pm

What scripture is there about meeting friends on Earth in heaven?
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Re: Meeting friends in heaven

Postby jimwalton » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:12 pm

Scripture doesn't actually mention that idea, but the pictures we are given of heaven are always of a community of God's people.

Isaiah 65.23: They will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them.

Matthew 25: The parables allude to groups of God's people.

Revelation 6.9-12: The martyrs are together as a group

Revelation 21-22: The people of God are together as a great community.

Since the context of the gospel is always reconciliation, community and a "family" worldview, we infer that we will know our family and friends in heaven rather than be isolated from them or that all knowledge of them will be erased.

When Elijah and Moses joined Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, the disciples seemed to know who they were. It would be counter-intuitive to think we could recognize Elijah and Moses but not our best friends.
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Re: Meeting friends in heaven

Postby Advance » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:47 pm

Looking up the first quote in Isaiah, just prior in verse 17 it says:

“17 See, I will create
new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered,
nor will they come to mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever
in what I will create,

That actually seems to imply the opposite, explicitly saying that we will not remember or be remembered. The other verses you shared are referring to Christians as a group, a community.

For example, Matthew 25:31, Jesus is separating the saved from the damned. We can't simply infer from that verse that it means we will know our friends.

The last point you make with Elijah and Moses could be explained as them being significant figures in their role in God's plan so have an elevated status.
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Re: Meeting friends in heaven

Postby jimwalton » Sun Jan 20, 2019 6:37 am

> Isaiah 17

Let's not lose sight of the forest by cherry-picking one tree. The text is about a new order of things in the eschaton. Political structures will be transcended, there will be newness and re-creation, divine promises will be ultimately fulfilled, and there will be blessing and peace.

In the new creation, the agonies, pain, suffering, and even death itself will be no more (same idea in Rev. 21.4). It is not to say that nothing will be remembered. 1 Corinthians 15 tells us about the spiritual body in the resurrection of the dead which will be "new," based on the resurrected body of Christ, but remember that when Jesus came back from the dead, he knew his friends and his friends knew him. The point is re-creation, not amnesia. The new order will be so sublime that there will no longing for our previous lives. We'll move forward with wholeness, not look backward with regret.

> Matthew 25

Yes, v. 31 is about separating the saved from the damned. But Matthew 25, as well as other parables of Jesus, show a vision of heaven as being a community of people, and that was my point. You're right that we can't simply infer from that verse that it means we will know all our friends. But if we take all of Jesus's teaching under wing, we can see where his descriptions of heaven are community-oriented, such as John 14.1-4.

> Elijah and Moses

Yes, they were significant figures with an elevated status, but in pre-photography days, how did the disciples know who they were, unless, of course, they were wearing name tags. ;)

My only speculation was that it's a small indicator that we will know each other in heaven, which addresses your question about meeting friends. From it we may be able to infer that we will also know our friends in heaven.


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