We all think about heaven and what our deceased loved ones do there. As God's Word, the Bible is the primary source of assurance and guidance on what happens to our loved ones after they die. The Bible doesn't detail heaven and our loved ones' state there. However, it does offer valuable insights that give glimpses of the divine plan for believers in heaven.
Even though we can't personally hear or see what our loved ones are doing in heaven, God has shown numerous beautiful realities about heaven in the Bible. Here are some things the Bible says about our loved ones in heaven.
The promise of heaven and eternal life.
The Bible gives a profound promise of eternal life in heaven for those who believe in Christ. John 3:16 assures us that God loved the world so much that He gave His one Son, and those who believe in Him shall have eternal life. This verse provides great comfort for us as we grieve our loved ones who've passed away. All of the people we're grieving who've put their trust in Christ for salvation have the promise of eternal life. As fellow believers, this foundational belief also gives us hope for reuniting with our loved ones in heaven when our earthly lives are over.
To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
Second Corinthians 5:8 gives insight into the state of believers when their earthly lives end. This verse suggests that when believers die, we're immediately in Jesus' presence, giving us confidence that our loved ones' absence from this world means they're in heaven with God. Their absence creates a painful void in our lives, but we should be encouraged by the fact that they're enjoying God's presence. We can also let that inspire us to seek the wonder of God's presence with us every day.
A place prepared for us.
In John 14:2-3, Jesus gives comforting words about heaven. Essentially, it says that God's house has many rooms, and if that weren't the case, Jesus wouldn't have told us that He would prepare a place for us. If He prepares a place for us, He'll return and take us to be with Him. Jesus knows what we need and carefully prepares a place for us in heaven. We can trust that our loved ones have the best heavenly homes. When we visit our loved ones' graves or other final resting places for their bodies, it can inspire us to think about where their souls are in heaven right now.
A real hope.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, the Bible doesn't want us to be uninformed about those who've died, so we shouldn't grieve like the rest of humanity, who have no hope. Those who believe Jesus died and rose again also believe that God will bring Jesus to those who have fallen asleep in Him. This verse emphasizes the reality of the hope that people who trust Jesus have of resurrection to eternal life. Most people who haven't trusted Jesus don't have any hope of a promising future after their earthly lives end.
However, those who trust Jesus have the hope of heaven to look forward to one day. The Bible teaches the resurrection of believers, which is the hope that one day, the living and the dead will be raised to a new life in Jesus. In 1 Corinthians 15:52-53, we read a description of being reunited with our loved ones in a glorified state. This verse says that the trumpets will sound, the dead will be raised, and we'll be changed. This passage also highlights the transformation of believers at the resurrection, highlighting our victory over death and the celebration of God's gift of eternal life.
The saints' communion.
The Bible teaches the concept of communion of saints, which refers to the connection and fellowship among all believers, those living in heaven and those on earth. The communion of saints is based on the idea that heavenly believers and those on earth are part of the same spiritual family. Hebrews 12:1 says a cloud of witnesses surrounds us, so we should throw away everything that stops us. We should run the race marked out for us with perseverance. The "great cloud of witnesses" includes all believers who've died before us, including our loved ones. Revelation chapters five and eight describe how our loved ones and other saints in heaven pray for us. However, we should be cautious to avoid praying to them and instead direct our prayers for them to God. It's inspiring to know that our loved ones support us from heaven as we continue our earthly lives.
More joy and no more tears.
Revelation 21:4 paints a picture of the eternal state of heavenly believers, describing a future where sorrow and pain no longer exist and sharing that God will wipe away all of our tears. There will be no more mourning, death, crying or pain because the old order of things will be no longer. This verse assures us that there will be no more sorrow in heaven, including the sorrow of missing loved ones. It helps us look forward to feeling joy with our loved ones in God's presence together.Revelation 19:9 describes a tremendous heavenly banquet, calling it a wedding supper of the Lamb. This imagery shows a sense of joy and celebration in heaven, where believers will gather with Jesus and fellowship.
The Bible gives numerous promises and insights about loved ones in heaven, offering profound hope and comfort to us as we grieve. As we reflect on what the Bible says about heavenly loved ones, we find a rich history of biblical teachings confirming heaven's reality as a place of celebration, unity, and everlasting communion with our loved ones and God. These biblical truths give assurance and comfort after our beloved friends and family pass away. It reminds us of the hope that awaits us in God's presence. Heaven isn't just a mysterious and distant realm but an authentic place to enjoy eternal communion and reunion with our loved ones and God.