Will I See My Loved Ones Again After Death?
Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
~ Matthew 17:3 (NIV)
I heard the story of a Christian man who was on his deathbed and called his three sons into his room. To his two sons who were believers, he said, “Good-bye, my sons. I will see you in the morning.”
Then he turned to his other son, who wasn’t a Christian. With sadness in his voice, he said, “Good-bye, son.”
The son answered, “Father, why did you say, ‘I will see you in the morning’ to my brothers, yet you said only ‘Good-bye’ to me?”
“Because you haven’t put your faith in Christ,” his father told him. “I can’t say I will see you in the morning. I’m just saying good-bye, because I don’t think I’ll ever see you again.”
The son began to weep. “But I want to see you again,” he said.
“You have to put your faith in Christ. Then we will be reunited,” his father told him. So his son became a believer that day.
The hope of the Christian is that we’ll see our loved ones again. Death is not the end. It doesn’t mean that we aren’t sad when a loved one dies. We grieve like any person grieves. We cry. The depth of our sorrow is an indication of the depth of our love. If you love someone and they’re gone, then of course you grieve deeply.
But as believers, we also have hope. We know we’ll be reunited with our loved ones who have died in Christ. I believe that thinking about Heaven is one of the best things we can do when we’re grieving. In fact, Heaven becomes much more real to us when we have loved ones there. We don’t grieve hopelessly; we grieve hopefully. For the Christian, life on earth is as bad as it gets. Better things are coming.
People sometimes ask, “Will we recognize each other in Heaven?” That question always amazes me. As if we’re going to forget everything—or be walking around in a fuzzy cloud of semi-awareness! We still will love, but our love will be perfected. We still will think and remember, but our thoughts will be perfected too. We certainly will know each other in Heaven—and infinitely better than we knew each other on earth.
How do I know that? In Matthew 17 we read the account of Jesus on the mountaintop with Peter, James, and John. In those moments when He was transfigured before them, with His face shining like the sun and His clothes white as the light, He was seen talking to both Moses and Elijah. From the account, it’s obvious that the disciples knew it was Moses and Elijah, though they were never told that fact or introduced to them. I doubt these two visitors from Heaven had little name tags on: “Hi. My name is Moses.” Do you think Moses was standing with two stone tablets of the Ten Commandments under his arm, just to give them a little hint? No, but there was something about these two that made them instantly recognizable.
The disciples knew Moses and Elijah. And when we have been changed and encounter one another on the other side, we will know too. But I’d like to add just one thing. If you ever want to look me up in Heaven, don’t look for a bald guy. Look for a guy with lots and lots of hair.
We will be aware in Heaven—more aware than we’ve ever been before.
We also need to remember that Jesus promises to wipe away every tear in Heaven. The pain and age and infirmities of this life are going to be gone. Heaven is the perfect healing. As 1 Corinthians 15:55 proclaims, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”.
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Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Death is not the end.