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If we are to see those who we love and are faithful to God no more, who have left the land of the living, who have passed beyond the door of death never to return to earth again, if there is no future recognition, then the moment of parting at the grave becomes the hour of final separation. Furthermore, if there is no recognition in Heaven, then all faithful souls will be total strangers, every memory we now possess will be obliterated, and every bond severed, and as strangers, we will enter Heaven and live forever and ever. It cannot be, that when our loved ones leave our physical hands, and our hearts make testimonies to the love and affection we feel for them, and the memories that are deeply established in our hearts, that it is all for vain. The fact is that, the soul longs for the assurance of a happy reunion beyond the door of death. Therefore, we search for evidence in the scriptures that such a longing is not a delusion nor a fantasy. And it is in the Bible where it tells us that heaven is a place of reunion. Notice the expression, “and he was gathered to his people” as it is mentioned in regards to the death of: Abraham (Gen. 25:8), Ishmael (Gen. 25:17), Isaac (Gen. 35:29), Jacob (Gen. 49:33), Aaron (Numb. 20:24) and Moses (Numb. 27:12-13). Now while some say that this just means that they died and were buried together, this does not fit the facts because Abraham was buried in a cave at Machpelah (Gen. 25:9) which was not the burial place of his ancestors! They had been buried in Ur of the Chaldees (Gen. 11:26) which at the time, was on the other side of the known world (roughly 900 miles by foot). Also, Moses died by himself on the mountain by which no man knew the place where he was buried (Deut. 34:6). Next, notice David’s reaction to the death of his son in which he says, “Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me” (2 Sam. 12:23). David was showing that he would be reunited with his son showing personal recognition. Then, notice the mount of transfiguration where Peter, James and John recognized the identity of Moses and Elijah whom they had never seen before. (Lk. 9:33) Interestingly, Luke records that they were called “men,” not spirits. Then, there is the Rich man and Lazarus. Now, some say that this is just a parable and not fact. Yet, whether a parable or fact is irrelevant. It shows mankind what happens at death otherwise, it would be worthless for these truths (Jn. 17:17) to be mentioned in the Bible. Notice that the Rich man knew Lazarus, he knew Abraham, he remembered his brothers, he had sight, he cried, and Abraham told him to “remember his life that he had lived” (Lk. 16:25). Finally, notice Matt. 8:11: Jesus said, “That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.” Now, what would be the point of sitting with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob if we had no idea of who was who in Heaven? No, This further proves full recognition. When faithful Christians come together in Heaven, we will know each other by name including all those we have never met from the beginning of time until the very end of it. Therefore, when we die, it is never goodbye because there will be a day, when we will gather together once again in Heaven with God, forever to stay. Robert Notgrass

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