You can have victory in any situation.
In literally every circumstance, we are given a choice—accept righteousness or accept sin. It’s comforting for Christians to know that we are not tempted beyond our ability to reject temptation and follow God. No matter how bleak the picture, there’s a way out.
The key is to recognize subtle sin. It’s easy to see robbing a bank as sin, but it’s harder to see gossip as sin. Yet, whether in bank robbery or gossip, when tempted, you can overcome through Christ.
Our goal is to:
. . . take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ . . . —2 Corinthians 10:5
My mother (age 90) asked us if there were any Bible passages that spoke of being reunited with other family members when she passes…any suggestions?
Yes, there are Bible passages that strongly suggest we’ll recognize each other in the next life.
In Luke 16 (not a parable but an actual event) we see that those in the next life know and recognize each other. The setting is in Hades, prior to the cross. But it shows an actual conversation between a man in torment while he waits to be judged at the Great White Throne Judgement and a man waiting for Jesus to die on the cross so he could go to heaven. They could see each other, feel pain and even communicate with words.
Now there was a certain rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, gaily living in splendor every day. And a certain poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores.
Now it came about that the poor man died and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. And in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue; for I am in agony in this flame.”
But Abraham said, “Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, in order that those who wish to come over from here to you may not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.”
And he said, “Then I beg you, Father, that you send him to my father’s house—for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, lest they also come to this place of torment.”
But Abraham said, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.”
But he said, “No, Father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!”
But he said to him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.” —Luke 16:19-31
Peter, James and John also immediately recognized Moses and Elijah (we’re assuming they weren’t wearing name tags!) when they appeared on a high mountain.
And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. —Matthew 17:3
Jesus also told us that we’ll get a body that was just like His after we exit this earth.
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; Who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. —Philippians 3:20-21
We will recognize each other even though we will have a new body…a new container for our spirit…made by God Himself.
For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, —2 Corinthians 5:1-3
And we’ll receive a new name from God.
…and I will give him … a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it. —Revelation 2:17b
So your mom will have eternity to talk and catch up with all of her “born-again” relatives!
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