Q. At the Rapture we will be given new immortal bodies. Will the spirit that existed at the time of death here on earth be reinstated into that new body with all the memories, knowledge of times and people that was in that the old body know, as well? I’m thinking of my wonderful dad, whom I lost recently, I want him to know me when we see one another again; as with all my friends, family, etc…is this what I can look forward to? I know all previous relationships are done at death; and once in heaven we’re all sisters/brothers in Christ, but will the knowledge of knowing each other from specific earthly relationships remain?
A. The level of detail you’re seeking is not revealed in the Bible. What it does reveal is that living believers will not receive new bodies but will be instantaneously changed from mortal to immortal at the rapture. Only those who have died will receive new bodies (1 Cor. 15:51). But whether by resurrection or transformation the same spirit that was housed in the old body will be joined with the new one (Job 19:25-27).
We also know that we will be like Jesus (1 John 3:2) and will know fully as we are fully known (1 Cor. 13:12). Since Jesus knows everything about us, maybe that means we’ll know everything about each other.
But, let’s be careful not to form preconceived notions about our next life by comparing it to this one. I don’t think Heaven, as we call it, will just be a better version of Earth. I think it will be so immeasurably different as to make any attempt at comparison futile. I also think the Bible doesn’t describe it to us because we wouldn’t be able to believe it. If there are things we don’t remember about this life, it will be because remembering them would detract from our happiness.
Paul said, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9). I’m content to leave it at that.