Will we recognize each other in heaven, once we get there?
An answer to this question cannot directly be given from the Bible. But more striking is it that the question is not dealt with, at all, in the Bible. The question presupposes a possible defect of our memory in our future perfection. A rather bizarre idea … The Bible says in relation to the new heaven and the new earth, indeed, that "the former things shall not be remembered" (Isa.65:17). But that is quite different than that the memory, itself, would be gone. Why would tears be brushed away, if there will be no memory of earlier sufferings (Rev.21:4)?
Doubts about the ability to recognize each other in the new creation has a theological reason. It stems from the idea that if we shall recognize loved ones, we will also realize that some loved ones will be missing. The knowledge that they would be in ‘hell', would be intolerable, in essence. But since there will be no sorrow or pain in the new creation (Rev.21:4), it must be that our ability to remember has been affected. Such is the background of the above question.
With thanks to God, the Bible does not know this problem, because He will make ALL things new. Death, as the last enemy, will be abolished, because all the people who have ever experienced the process of dying in Adam, will be made alive beyond the reach of death in Christ, in order for GOD to become everything in ALL (1Cor.15:22-28). This includes everyone! That is the great future perspective of Scripture! No one will be missed, because GOD seeks all who are lost … until He has found them (Luke 15:4).
Translation: Peter Feddema