Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rest in Peace?

… it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment
Hebrews 9:27

Many people speak of an afterlife, and talk of heaven. But it becomes quite evident that many don’t know what they are talking about. They may say that they believe what the Bible says about it, but they obviously haven’t searched it out.

They speak of a heaven that conforms to humanism (as if everyone goes to heaven).

They speak of a heaven that conforms to worldly pursuits (our friend is up there playing golf, or gardening, or whatever their favorite hobby or pastime was).

They speak of a heaven that conforms to popular but unbiblical notions (they are an angel now, or that they can hear us now or help us now, as if they can interfere and intercede).

Their notions of eternity are not grounded in God’s Word, but in sanctimony, sentimentality, and superstition. Some might be sincere, but sincerity is no substitute for truth.

So what do you do when someone you loved or knew well dies, and someone else brings their condolences to you, and they say something like this...?

• Well at least she isn’t suffering anymore
• She’s at peace now
• She’s with God now
• She’s an angel now
• God needed another angel in heaven
• She’s with the angels now
• She’s looking down on us now
• She’s in a better place

This is an opportunity. Say something like this (make sure to look at them in the eye).

Thank you for showing kindness. I really appreciate it. Well, I know God will do what’s right. And we all know that we can’t judge anyone’s heart. But I also know that if someone hasn’t made peace with God through Jesus Christ in this life, then they won’t have peace in eternity, and it will be anything but a better place. It’s the same for anybody, including me, or you. You know that, right?

This could lead to a fruitful conversation, and it is a faithful, loving thing to do. Some might feel as if this is an inappropriate time for this type of thing. However, it is just the opposite; it is the perfect time for such a thing. You see, at times it might be inappropriate if you are the one who is talking to the person who is recently bereaved, grieving, mourning. But this is a case of where you are the one who has suffered the loss, and the other person is coming to you. So it is the perfect time to show your faith, share the gospel, and witness for the Lord.