- What we believe
- Spiritual Help
- How we serve
- Christian Aid & Relief
- Adult Discipleship
- Campus Ministry
- Christian Giving
- Congregational Counseling
- Lutheran Schools
- Military Services
- Ministerial Education
- Multi-Language Publications
- Special Ministries
- Women's Ministry
- Youth and Family Ministries
- Northwestern Publishing House
- WELS Administration
- News & Events
- Streams media
- About WELS
In the cross hairs: reuniting with loved ones in heaven
Topic: reuniting with loved ones in heaven
Question: My wife recently passed away. I loved her so much. Will we be reunited with our loved ones in eternity?
Answer: If I understand you correctly, you aren’t simply asking if you’ll see your wife again. If that was your question, the answer would be: “Yes!”
Consider Paul’s words to the Thessalonians: “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 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” (1 Thessalonians 4:13,14).
Those words certainly apply beyond “family.” If we live until the last day, we will see loved ones coming with Jesus, gloriously reunited body and soul. Yes, we grieve when a loved one dies. But ours isn’t hopeless grieving. Our grief is not permanent because our loss is only temporary.
But your question appears to ask more. Are you asking if you will recognize one another, remembering you were husband and wife? Here we proceed with caution. Scripture veils much because these wonders now exceed comprehension. However, at Jesus’ transfiguration there is a clue that we will recognize one another for who we were in this life. Notice Moses and Elijah are still Moses and Elijah. They hadn’t become nameless “beings” in heaven. What’s even more fascinating is that Peter recognizes them even though he’s only “met” them on the pages of Scripture! Doesn’t that indicate that we too will recognize one another?
But your question seems to ask even more. By “reunited” are you asking whether in heaven you will live as husband and wife? Here Scripture’s answer may at first disappoint you. Remember how the Sadducees—who rejected the resurrection—tried to ridicule the concept of eternal life (Matthew 22). They presented Jesus with a story about a woman who died after being widowed seven times to seven successive brothers. They believed their hypothetical case ridiculed resurrection hope. Think of the millions of family complications!
But Jesus revealed that they knew neither Scripture nor God’s power. “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven” (Matthew 22:30). The Smiths won’t live at 2929 Golden Road with the Joneses around the corner. Marriage and family are rich blessings, yet they are only for this life.
Author: Richard L. Gurgel
Volume 91, Number 3
Issue: March 2004
Volume 91, Number 3
Issue: March 2004
Copyrighted by WELS Forward in Christ © 2009
Permission is granted for a single personal copy of an article. Additional copyright information is available at Northwestern Publishing House.
Subscribe to FIC
This monthly magazine, sent to almost 50,000 subscribers, addresses important issues facing Christians today.
Bible translation revision
Have you heard that the publishers of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible have updated the translation? A Translation Evaluation Committee has been established to study and examine this new translation, along with other English language translations. The committee has compiled essays, information, and studies on the topic.
Home Missions partners with Church Extension Fund to build worship facilities for mission congregations. Learn about two congregations that recently dedicated new buildings.