Q. When we die do we go straight to Heaven and do we get to see all our loved ones, and others we want to meet? Will we meet God? What exactly would we look like? I heard that we will get new bodies, but will we still look the way we look here just without any injuries, diseases, and etc? If we do bad things when we’re on Earth would still get to go to Heaven? When someone passes away do they remember how they died or anything from when they lived on Earth?
A. Most of your questions can only be answered in general because the Bible doesn’t explain these things in detail. 2 Cor. 5:6-8 and Phil 1:23-24 both imply that when believers die, our spirit leaves its dead body and goes immediately to be with the Lord.
Most scholars believe that we’ll be able to see loved ones who have gone to heaven before us, and that we’ll be able to see God. They also believe that we’ll all recognize each other and know each other. As far as how we’ll look, 1 Cor 15:35-49 is a good passage to study for information on all these things, but basically it compares us to the seed of a plant. You can’t look at the seed and tell what the plant that grows from it will look like. All the talk about us looking just like we do now but better are just speculation.
From 1 John 3:2 we learn that what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He (the Lord) appears we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is. And Romans 8:29 says we’ve been predestined to be conformed to the Likeness of God’s son.
We can only get to Heaven by believing that Jesus died for our sins, so if we do something bad it doesn’t disqualify us from going there. When we ask the Lord to forgive us he does, and that’s the end of it. As for memories from Earth, it appears that at least certain ones will be scrubbed from our minds.
Since we have only experienced life on Earth, we tend to think of it as being very important. But when we get to heaven we’ll realize just how unimportant it really was. I think it will be like waking up from a bad dream. We’ll be glad it’s over and won’t want to think about it any more.