Several Bible verses tell us what heaven will be like. Revelation 21:4 says, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Many Christians wonder if they will be able to recognize their friends and loved ones in heaven. Many people gain a sense of calm, comfort, and peace, knowing that they will be able to see their friends again when they are in heaven. The best place to discover that answer is by turning to scripture.
There may not be a biblical reference that explicitly says that we will recognize our friends in heaven, but scripture tells us that we will know each other more thoroughly than we know now. The Apostle Paul says, “Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I m fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). We know from the Bible that our appearance will shift. When we leave this earth, God will give us new bodies. The bodies we will have in heaven won’t be like our earthly bodies. They won’t experience suffering or pain. The Bible says, “For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” There is terrific assurance in this.
When Jesus joined Martha after her brother Lazarus passed away, Martha expressed her hope of seeing her brother again during the resurrection. Yet, Jesus said, “I am the resurrection,” conveying to her that she could see her brother again instantly if He wanted to (John 11:21-27).
While we know from scripture that our appearance will change, we will still know each other. During the transfiguration, when Jesus was on the mount, “His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light” (Matthew 17:2). When Jesus transfigured, His disciples were still able to see who He was, in addition to Elijah and Moses, who came from heaven to talk with Him.
All believers should know that what they experience in heaven and in the life to come will be very different than what they experience on earth. Our bodies will be different, and the old will pass away just in the twinkle of an eye. The old will be turned to new, but we will still be connected with our past as we continue on into eternity.
In the Bible, God will express love, enjoy, laughter, take delight, and rejoice. To be in the likeness of God means that you will have emotions. We should know that in heaven will occur for God’s glory. The people that surround us in heaven express a lot of feelings and emotions, all of which are good. Luke 6:21 tells us there will be banquets, feasts, and singing.
As previously referenced, in Revelation 21:4 lets us know that God will wipe away all of the tears from our eyes and that there will no longer be pain there. The pain of death will no longer have its sting. There will no longer be crying. We may begin to shed tears, but they will now be tears of joy. Can you imagine the joy you will experience when you see your friends and loved ones again?
Another great assurance we have when we get to heaven is that there will no longer be sin. In this world, sin is an everyday struggle. Yet, we know when we enter heaven, “nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:27). This can happen because we have Jesus. There is no need for us to worry about the judgment of sin because Jesus took that away when He was on the cross. Our heavenly bodies will be free from sin. We won’t have to be concerned with the issues we faced in our old lives, heaven will be wonderful, and we will completely enjoy paradise.
Knowing and recognizing our friends in heaven is one truly great blessing we can look forward to when we leave this earth. Paul talks about the sorrowing of those who died in Christ in Second Thessalonians. 4:13-18. Verses 13-14 are written, “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” Here, Paul addresses being reunited with those who sleep in Jesus. We see from thse verses that we don’t need to mourn as others who don’t have faith or assurance. When we get to heaven, we will see new things. This is where God’s throne is present. The angels dwell here. The Lord, Jesus Christ is here. What a delightful day it will be when we enter the kingdom of heaven.