Death has a very good way of putting everything in perspective. As a believer, I can rest in the fact that after I die, I will go to be with my Savior, Jesus in heaven, not because of any good in me but because I have repented of my sins and trusted in the atoning work of Christ on the cross.
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers (born again Christians) , about those who are asleep (dead), that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. (1 Thess 4:13-15)
Lately, for some reason, I seem to be surrounded by death in one form or another and I have been thinking a lot about death and how we as christians should respond to it, especially to unbelievers. The bible says that we should ‘mourn with those who mourn’.
When we see the pain caused by death, I believe that our first response should not to get into a theological debate about where that person has gone but to have compassion and mourn with those who have been affected. It is such a difficult time for all involved and to see this first hand makes you look at life differently and makes you treasure the small things in life and not take anything for granted
But at the same time, if a person does approach you and asks questions pertaining to the afterlife, we have to be ready to give them an answer.
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience – 1 Peter 3:15 (my emphasis added)
I think it would also be wrong to give a person false hope that the person who has died has gone ‘to a better place’ because the fact of the matter is that we dont know. In fact, a lot of ministers profess that the person who has died and ‘gone to be with Jesus’, not taking into account how they lived their life on earth.
I like this verse in Da Truths song ‘Go’
Sometimes it’s beautiful
Other times I’m fuming
When I go to a funeral- why
Because the preacher that’s ruling
The pulpit is fooling them
Pulling the wool over their eyes
So now what’s a man to think
When in every single case
The preacher boldly exclaims
Though he never claimed to be saved
And he died from aids
That he’s still in a better place
Now I leave confused
And the people leave confused
And the family is comforted, but
It’s under the false pretense
That once a weekend
Is all that Jesus wants
So you know that it’s our job
To open up their eyes
With the truth that’s found in the script
So we can’t afford to hide, the treasure that’s inside
Let’s bless the world with this wonderful gift
Let’s give it to them
This is a hard pill to swallow but the fact is, Jesus said that most people who die DO NOT go to a better place but to a worse place because they have not taken The Narrow Road but instead prefer the broad road.
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)
Only God knows what has happened before the deceased’s final breath and we can only hope that they have repented before that happens but as stated before, we as believers need to be loving, compassionate, sensitive and understanding. Let us also ask God for wisdom as each situation will be unique.
And let us all remember that we are all part of the ultimate statistic. 10 out of 10 people die. We all will die one day and none of us know when that day will be. For some of us, it will be sooner rather than later as life can be so unpredictable so don’t take the risk and play Russian roulette with your soul. The bible says that it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this, the judgment (Hebrews 9:27).
If you are not a Christian, please click here. It may be the most important mouse click you have done on the internet
If for any reason, you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, I STRONGLY urge you to look at this link called ‘Death is not dying’.
Jesus said…., “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies