Please explain through the Gospel Advocate the following verse: “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth.” (Luke 15:7.)
In 1 Cor. 13:12, does Paul mean that we shall see each other face to face and know each other?
The passage in Luke, we think, means just what it says. There is, doubtless, joy in heaven over a sinner that truly repents, truly turns from sin into the service of God. The angels of heaven, doubtless, know what is going on in earth, as angels are ministers for those who shall be heirs of salvation. This passage shows the interest that is felt and manifested in behalf of men by those in heaven.
As to the passage in Corinthians, we cannot speak definitely. Some think that Paul in this passage had reference to the perfected state of the church and to the completeness of the revelation of all matters pertaining to the new institution, so that they could comprehend at once the whole scheme of human redemption. In the days of the apostles these things were only given in parts—just so much at a time as was needed at a certain place or time or occasion; but finally, little by little, the whole was fully given, until they could comprehend the whole matter, as a friend knows his friend when face to face with him. Others, however, think Paul had reference to heaven, when all the fullness of God’s mercy and love will be fully and clearly disclosed before our eyes, and that then we shall know all things pertaining to eternity. And if this idea is correct, then the passage certainly includes the idea that we shall know each other there. We do not think that either interpretation would do violence to other passages on the subject; and we, therefore, will not say definitely, but have generally inclined to the first-named interpretation.