This answer was written by Billy Graham, who went to his Heavenly home on February 21, 2018.
Q: Will We Recognize and Be Reunited With Our Loved Ones in Heaven?
I am often asked this question—and my answer is always a resounding yes. Someday soon, I know I will be reunited with all those in my family who are already in Heaven—including my wife, Ruth.
And when it happens for each believer, we will fellowship around our Father’s throne, finally meeting Him face-to-face. And the family of God—our brothers and sisters in Christ—will be there. This is why it’s so important for us to tell our loved ones about Christ. Nothing is more wonderful than for our families to share in this great hope of being part of the heavenly family.
Jesus in His resurrected body was known to His followers. When Christ was transfigured and His heavenly glory overwhelmed His earthly appearance, Moses and Elijah appeared with Him before Peter, James, and John (Matthew 17:1–3, NIV). Though the disciples had never seen the great prophets, they recognized them, just as they recognized the Lord in His transfigured state.
These examples give us great hope that we will know those we knew on Earth and even others we’ve never met.
Often the question is asked if those who die as infants will be in Heaven. I have no doubt that they will be. God is the God of hope and salvation, and we can say as King David said when his infant son died, “Can I bring him back again? I will go to him” (2 Samuel 12:23, NIV).
Jesus Himself said, “Many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 8:11, NIV). I long to meet not only my loved ones in Heaven, but also the prophets and the apostles and the mother of our Lord. But my greatest expectation is to gaze into the eyes of Jesus, who knows me by name.
The writer of Hebrews wrote: “But we see Jesus … bringing many sons to glory. … Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. He says, ‘I will declare your name to my brothers. … Here am I, and the children God has given me'” (Hebrews 2:9–13, NIV).
What a marvelous reunion when the family of God gathers in Heaven to praise His name!
Will you go to Heaven when you die? You can be sure.
Read more of Billy Graham’s answers on being with loved ones in Heaven: