Two things come to mind when I hear this question.
1) The Eric Clapton song “Tears in Heaven” written after the tragic death of his son, Connor.
2) Youth Groups
If you have had much involvement in youth groups at all, inevitably a youth minister who is either lazy and doesn’t want to come up with a series of lessons or is just trying to do whatever it takes to get the kids interested in theology and scripture will ask, “So, what questions do you guys have about the Bible and about God?” The same basic questions appear.
1) Where do Dinosaurs fit into the biblical timetables?
2) Did Jesus go to the bathroom?
3) Where did Cain’s wife come from?
4) What is the end of the world going to be like?
Inevitably there are profound questions that are generally asked by the most surprising peope, but these questions inevitably come up. I proposed them when I was a youth. I asked for them as a youth minister.
This is one I have always wondered about. Will we know our loved ones when we get to Heaven? As a kid I heard a preacher unequivocally state that there is no way we will know each other in Heaven. His thought (as I remember it) was that our level of community and fellowship with God will be so great that any love and community felt on earth will be of no significance in comparison. As a kid this bothered me. It terrified me as I looked over at my aging grandparents, my mom, my dad, my sister, my aunt, and my cousins. (the terror was greatly magnified as most of my family attended my church, maybe this question would never have bothered me otherwise)
As I’ve grown older this question has still nagged me from time to time. If this preacher’s assertions are true then death is victory for the deceased, but it is a very hard victory to accept for us still living, for it is truly goodbye. My experience with God in community doesn’t square with this theology.
I came across an article today that I thought addressed this question very well. Admittedly, there may be some slight prooftexting at work, but I think the position is still stated accurately. I got it off Christianity Today’s website. Enjoy.
Further up, Further in!