After Losing A Loved One
I think we need to look at this from two different viewpoints, first if our loved one was an believer, and then if they were a unbeliever.
This discussion does not apply to those who take leadership roles in the church. – that is a special issue. Those folks choose to be judged by a stricter standard. I think this is very unfortunate for most of them. They can spend an entire career thinking that they understand, but they can still have dark worldly eyes. These dark eyes makes them spiritually blind. They are the blind wolves we hear so much about in our Bibles. There is a passage that talks about those given much, more is expected. We won’t pursue the special case of church leaders in this article, but I’m afraid that they are those who exalt themselves [clearly headed for the lake of fire!]:
NLT Mat 23;10 And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you must be a servant. 12 But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
Lets first look at a passage that talks about believers.
NLT 1 John 5;16 If you see a Christian brother or sister sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it. 17 All wicked actions are sin, but not every sin leads to death. 18 We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. 19 We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one. 20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life. 21 Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.
– what is this sin that leads unto death? I think vs 21 gives us a hint – ‘keeping away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts’. This sounds like the sin of idolatry. Lets take a look at another key passage for believers. This lists the sins that gatherings need to guard themselves from to stay pure.
1 Cor 5;11 But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler.
– Any person claiming to be a believer who sins in these ways is to be thrown out of the gathering. That’s why I suspect that these sins might be “sins that lead to death” Believers can be restored when they repent and turn from these sins.
Is idolatry related to sexual immorality, greed, (idolatry), slander, drunkenness, and cheating?
I think in a broader sense they all fit the description – ‘anything that might take God’s place in your hearts’ [1 John 5;21]. The sexual sinner allows his lust to take God’s place. The greedy man puts money first. The idolater puts his idol first. The slanderer allows his hatred to drive God away. The drunkard the puts his drink before God. The Cheater puts his evil selfish desires above God and God’s will.
Recapping: For loved ones who were believers, who helped the poor, and responded to God’s Holy Spirit all signs are good. Still we can pray that God will give them life so long as they haven’t committed sins that lead to death I must also mention God’s specific warning to today’s churches. God warns today’s believers that if they are lukewarm he will reject them. Those Playing The Church Game’? just putting in their time a church every week are wasting their time!
Turning our attention to Unbelievers:
First lets look at some Biblical examples; The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus
NLT Luke 16;19 Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. 20 At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. 21 As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores. 22 “Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and his soul went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side. 24 “The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’
– I think the rich man’s refusal to have pity on Lazrarus throughout his life landed him in this place of torment. Lazrus was ok even though we have no indication that he ever made a profession of faith in Jesus.
Rich Man Threading A Camel Thru The Eye Of A Needle
NLT Luke 18;said, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 23 But when the man heard this he became sad, for he was very rich. 24 When Jesus saw this, he said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God! 25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” 26 Those who heard this said, “Then who in the world can be saved?” 27 He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.”
– This passage spells it out. It is very difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. The folks who need to be worried about Hell are the rich! Especially the rich that don’t help the poor and needy. Let’s take a look at other Passages that reinforce this idea.
NLT James 2;4 doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives? 5 Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him? 6 But you dishonor the poor! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? 7 Aren’t they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear?
NLT Matt 5;3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
1. The poor who realize their need for God are headed for Heaven.
2. Even the Rich have a chance so long as they honor God’s divine nature and eternal power. This is explained in Finding God Without Understanding Christ (Part 1).
3. Even the wicked who are thrown into the lake of fire are not headed for eternal torment, They will need to endure thru an age of fire and tribulation, an age where they are judged for their sin.
YLT Rom 2;6
6 who shall render to each according to his works; 7 to those, indeed, who in continuance of a good work, do seek glory, and honour, and incorruptibility — life age-during; 8 and to those contentious, and disobedient, indeed, to the truth, and obeying the unrighteousness — indignation and wrath,
If your lost one was a selfish egomaniac. If they were rich, never giving to the poor, never helping the weak, I don’t think the news will be good. If however he was a humble soul that cared for others, and his conscience was tuned into God’s Holy Spirit, who understood the internal rewards that God gives us when we help and serve others, the news is good. I can’t point to a specific biblical promise, but I know that I serve a Holy Righteous God, one who stands for justice and mercy. I don’t think it is a serious sin if your loved one could not associate with today’s self-righteous hypocritical church. I’m confidant that God will treat everyone fairly.
Remember God’s original plan was that Hell was only for the devil and his fallen angels:
NLT Matt 25;41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink.
Here again we see it plainly. Those headed for Hell are the ones who failed to help those in need – those who selfishly considered only their own needs! I must admit that I hadn’t seen this before, but it is very clear to me now.
The many translations that talk about and eternal hell – These are all wrong!! Hell is a third age, and age after the great white throne, an age where the folks who rebelled against God must pay for their sins!! It is not eternal.
The KJV and many subsequent translations continued this error!! Here is the New Testament passage that warns us to make sure we settle things with God in this life. If we fail we will be sent to prison[to the age of the Lake of Fire] held responsible for our sins!!!
NLT Luke 12:54 Then Jesus turned to the crowd and said, “When you see clouds beginning to form in the west, you say, ‘Here comes a shower.’ And you are right. 55 When the south wind blows, you say, ‘Today will be a scorcher.’ And it is. 56 You fools! You know how to interpret the weather signs of the earth and sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the present times.
57 “Why can’t you decide for yourselves what is right? 58 When you are on the way to court with your accuser, try to settle the matter before you get there. Otherwise, your accuser may drag you before the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, who will throw you into prison. 59 And if that happens, you won’t be free again until you have paid the very last penny.”
Here’s a link that explains the deception:
May God Forgive Our Many Failings and Sins And Turn Our Hearts To Him
P.S. Verses About Having The Law In Our Hearts;
NLT Rom 2;29 No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by God’s Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.
NLT Rom 2;13 For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight. 14 Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law , show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. 15 They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts , for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right. 16 And this is the message I proclaim—that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life.
P.S. More Poor Verses;
NLT Matt 11;4 Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen— 5 the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor . 6 And tell him, ‘God blesses those who do not turn away because of me.
NLT Matt 19;21 Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor , and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 But when the young man heard this, he went away very sad, for he had many possessions. 23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 24 I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
The Widow’s Offering
NLT Mark 12;41 Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. 43 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. 44 For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”
NLT Luke 3;7 When the crowds came to John for baptism, he said, “You brood of snakes! Who warned you to flee God’s coming wrath? 8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. 9 Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.” 10 The crowds asked, “What should we do?” 11 John replied, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor . If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.” 12 Even corrupt tax collectors came to be baptized and asked, “Teacher, what should we do?” 13 He replied, “Collect no more taxes than the government requires.” 14 “What should we do?” asked some soldiers. John replied, “Don’t extort money or make false accusations. And be content with your pay.”
NLT Luke 4;17 The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written: 18 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor . He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, 19 and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come.
NLTSE Luke 6;20 Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said, “God blesses you who are poor , for the Kingdom of God is yours. 21 God blesses you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied. God blesses you who weep now, for in due time you will laugh. 22 What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. 23 When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way…
24 “What sorrow awaits you who are rich, for you have your only happiness now. 25 What sorrow awaits you who are fat and prosperous now, for a time of awful hunger awaits you. What sorrow awaits you who laugh now, for your laughing will turn to mourning and sorrow. 26 What sorrow awaits you who are praised by the crowds, for their ancestors also praised false prophets.
Love for Enemies
27 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. 28 Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. 30 Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. 31 Do to others as you would like them to do to you. 32 “If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! 33 And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! 34 And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return. 35 “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. 36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. Do Not Judge Others 37 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. ” 39 Then Jesus gave the following illustration: “Can one blind person lead another? Won’t they both fall into a ditch? 40 Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher. 41 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 42 How can you think of saying, ‘Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.
NLT Luke 11;39 Then the Lord said to him, “You Pharisees are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and wickedness! 40 Fools! Didn’t God make the inside as well as the outside? 41 So clean the inside by giving gifts to the poor, and you will be clean all over.
Luke 14;12 Then he turned to his host. “When you put on a luncheon or a banquet,” he said, “don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward. 13 Instead, invite the poor , the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 14 Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you.”
Tabitha died & resurrected
Acts 9;36 There was a believer in Joppa named Tabitha (which in Greek is Dorcas ). She was always doing kind things for others and helping the poor.
Cornelius Calls for Peter
NLT Act 10;1 In Caesarea there lived a Roman army officer named Cornelius, who was a captain of the Italian Regiment. 2 He was a devout, God-fearing man, as was everyone in his household. He gave generously to the poor and prayed regularly to God.
NLT Rom 15; 26 For you see, the believers in Macedonia and Achaia have eagerly taken up an offering for the poor among the believers in Jerusalem. 27 They were glad to do this because they feel they owe a real debt to them. Since the Gentiles received the spiritual blessings of the Good News from the believers in Jerusalem, they feel the least they can do in return is to help them financially.
NLT 1 Cor 13;3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
NLT 2Cor 6;10 Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor , but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.
A Call to Generous Giving
NLT 2Cor 8;1 Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. 2 They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor . But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. 3 For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. 4 They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem.
NLT 2 Cor 8;9 You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich. …
NLT 2 Cor 9;6 Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor . Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”
NLT Gal 2;9 In fact, James, Peter, and John, who were known as pillars of the church, recognized the gift God had given me, and they accepted Barnabas and me as their co-workers. They encouraged us to keep preaching to the Gentiles, while they continued their work with the Jews. 10 Their only suggestion was that we keep on helping the poor, which I have always been eager to do.
NLT James 1;9 Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them. 10 And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field. 11 The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements. 12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
NLT James 2;3 If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, 4 doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives? 5 Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him? 6 But you dishonor the poor ! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court?
Re: After Losing A Loved One
by Daniel on Tue 26 Aug 2008 07:58 AM HST
Re: Re: After Losing A Loved One
by Glenn on Sun 14 Sep 2008 05:20 PM HST
You are correct the people who turn from the cross in self-interest are in trouble, but those who who misunderstand Jesus but still respect and worship their creator by seeking and following the Holy Spirit can be OK. Make sense?
Great question! Thanks and God Bless!
NLT Luke 12;42 And the Lord replied, “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. 43 If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. 44 I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. 45 But what if the servant thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? 46 The master will return unannounced and unexpected, and he will cut the servant in pieces and banish him with the unfaithful.47 “And a servant who knows what the master wants, but isn’t prepared and doesn’t carry out those instructions, will be severely punished. 48 But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.
“If your lost one was a selfish egomaniac. If they were rich, never giving to the poor, never helping the weak, I don’t think the news will be good. If however he was a humble soul that cared for others, and his conscience was tuned into God’s Holy Spirit, who understood the internal rewards that God gives us when we help and serve others, the news is good. ”
I’m confused because although I understand that while God does say that we will be judged by what we do, not by what we profess, we also know that we will be judged on the motivations by which we do what we choose to do. I completely agree that we can’t just assume that someone who can’t stomach the hypocrisy of the institutional church could never have a real faith in Christ (in which case I’d be in trouble…), but I also know that there are multitudes of people in the world who genuinely care about reaching out to the poor and needy, and would claim to believe in God and the Bible, but once you get to the matter of the cross and all it entails, they are no longer interested. I just bring it up because it seemed to be the one factor that was left out when you were talking about this topic. I know it sounds “fundamentalist” to a lot of people when you go there, but as I’ve seen that you’re a person that relies heavily on scripture (which is good…) I know you already are aware that the cross and Jesus’ sacrefice on it for our sins are non-negotiables in terms of when we go to stand before the Throne. As I’ve come to understand it, all the things that God calls us to do as far as loving the needy, the broken, the poor, the despised, are all supposed to stem from our own experience of meeting Jesus at the cross, where we saw him take on all our filth, and poverty, and brokenness, and all that we are ashamed of, and it died with him on that hill. That’s why God expects us to turn around and love those around us who are destitute, because that’s exactly what God did for us first. It’s a rather significant attitude and mindset than someone who wants to do their part to fight poverty simply because the want to make the world a “better place”. Some of the most passionate people I’ve ever met in regards to their desire to help people, are at the same time completely humanistic in their reasoning. It has nothing to with putting faith in a loving God. It’s about putting our faith in the collective human ability to solve our own problems, and make our own paradise.
Thanks for letting me ramble, enjoyed the topic!
In Christ, Daniel