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Question

When you die do you get to see your friends and relatives in heaven?

Answer

Thank you so much for your question about what happens to loved-ones after death. This is a sensitive question and therefore we will use the bible and what it says to form an answer. The bible tells us that the answer as to whether or not we will see our friends in heaven depends on their condition before God.

Most Christians believe that the Bible supports the hope that after death people who have known each other on earth can recognise and know each other again. For example, Jesus told a story (Luke 16:19-31) in which this happened and although it was only a story to make a point about who goes to heaven, it suggests that Jesus accepted it could happen.

However, the story also makes the point that not everyone will be in heaven. Sadly, many people today believe that if they live a reasonably good life and their goodness outweighs the bad things they do, they will get into heaven. The bible tells us that this is not true. Jesus said "I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).

Therefore the only way to get into heaven is through Jesus.

The Bible teaches that everyone has sinned and is guilty before God – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23). But despite deserving God’s condemnation, there is a way people can be saved - "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). Jesus came and lived a perfect life, died and was raised from the dead. He did that to take away our guilt and condemnation and give us forgiveness and eternal life.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8). Eternal life is completely free and is available to every person. No one can earn their way into heaven by doing good. The only way to get to heaven is this – if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved, (Romans 10:9). If your friends and relatives have done this, they will certainly be with the Lord when they pass away.

As a Christian it is so hard to have family and friends you love who simply do not want to hear the truth, even though it would guarantee them eternal life and give them peace, joy and hope, and it’s all completely free. But people have to make that decision for themselves. It is not possible to force someone to believe the truth.

If you think you know someone who died without knowing God's forgiveness this is a difficult thing to hear. It is terrible when someone dies apart from Christ. However we must also remember that we never truly know where anyone stands before God while we are on earth. It is possible that someone could have turned to Jesus with their last dying breath.

In summary, the only way a person, including yourself, your friends and your relatives can get to heaven is through faith in Jesus Christ.

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9).

If you have not done this yourself, I really want to urge you to think it through seriously; the consequences are massive and eternal. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video

Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:

  • Romans 6:23
  • 1 John 5:13
  • John 3:36

I encourage you to attend a local Bible believing church and speak to the leader about your question. If you want to find a local church, our Church Finder may help you: Find a Church

Please feel free to submit a question to us or to read our answer database: Ask a Question

*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

*If anything in this answers affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline


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