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Switch to Forum Live View Ministering to family at death of unsaved loved one
6 years ago  ::  Jun 14, 2008 - 6:24PM #11
Lookbeyond
Posts: 578
[QUOTE=Unitedbygrace;488232]Hi all.  Greetings to you and grace to you in our Lord Jesus Christ.  I have not started a thread in a long while and thought I would throw this out there.

This week I attended a funeral for a 40 year old man who was tragically killed in a car accident.  Actually two men were killed; so was his best friend.  The person that hit them was able to flee the accident and has finally turned himself in.  One of the victims was my sister's husband's brother (her brother-in-law). 

Anyway, I did not know if he was a believer (I did find out he was),  But during the time I did not know, I was faced with the pain of not knowing and with the question of how do I minister to the family.  BTW, they are Catholic (but he was a Christian)--the family does not show any fruit of Christianity although I do not know their hearts---yet.

The job of ministering came much easier when I found he was a believer; and will be easier in the coming days.

But my question to you is:  Have you ever had to face this situation?  How did you?  If not, can you consider how you would and share.  How would you present the gospel and the hope of Christ to a non-believing family whose child/brother. whatever had just passed on to hell?  Whatever you said would hurt them, condemn their beloved one to hell.  Of course, the funeral would not be the time or place to do that.  But how would you go about responding?

The Lord did help me through this (and before I had to adjust to it I found out he was saved).  But surely some of you have faced this with family or friends.  What would you say to the family at the funeral and how would you follow up later if at all?[/QUOTE]
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Why should you stand in judgement as to one being saved or not....??????? You pass judgement when you say the loved one has gone to hell when in reality you really don't know! Remember the thief on the cross? The Savior told him, "today thou shalt be with me in paradise."  He was telling him, that all spirits when they die go to paradise or that 'spirit prison' which Job knew so well! It is the waiting place for all spirits until the day of judgement. And guess what, the scriptures tell us that Christ taught some of those spirits while he was there prior to his resurrection.......1 Peter 3:18-19   1 Peter 4:6.  Not all have heard or received the gospel of Jesus Christ......but Christ has made possible for them to hear it and accept or reject it in "spirit prison" where He taught many!    So in your ministering, give those to whom you minister hope in Christ! It is best to learn and understand truth before we pass wrongful judgement.....which judgement belongs to Christ! It is ours to lift the downtrodden; and give hope to all who ask regardless of our feelings; or perceived understandings of truth....we must never be the bearer of hopelessness, for Christ is the hope of all mankind, even in death!
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 14, 2008 - 10:47PM #12
Unitedbygrace
Posts: 189
[QUOTE=OneV;562447]If the so called "UNsaved" person is dead, there is no reason to presume.

Also, I have  no idead what you mean by
"As for your second comment, isn't that the pot calling the kettle black?"

What are you trying to say?[/QUOTE]

OneV,

Your original comment said that I 'Do not know their heart'--which is what I responded to.  They were dead when you wrote that original comment as well.  Your original comments were unscriptural; as believers we are called to be Ambassadors for Christ and to share the messge of reconciliation.  This job can only be done by assuming someone needs to hear it!  If you disagree, fine--but that is what I responded based on.  Do not try to twist words to make yourself correct.  As believers (assuming that you are a believer--but why don't you tell me?) we are to speak the truth in love, not manipulate to be right. 

As for the 2nd comment and not knowing what it means, basically you said of me, "You do not and never will fully comprehend the breadth and depth of God's love and mercy."  Of course, you said this AFTER your comment that we should NOT assume things of others.  You are assuming that I do not know God and the depth of his love and mercy.  This is the pot calling the kettle black.

Also, this is not a debate board and this thread was put here for believers to offer their experience/guidance to another believer, which many have.  These people I speak of are very dear to me.  This loss was difficult for me and it is my desire to further demonstrate God's love and mercy to the family.  Perhaps you would consider this as well towards me.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 14, 2008 - 11:05PM #13
Unitedbygrace
Posts: 189
[QUOTE=Lookbeyond;563343]-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Why should you stand in judgement as to one being saved or not....??????? You pass judgement when you say the loved one has gone to hell when in reality you really don't know! Remember the thief on the cross? The Savior told him, "today thou shalt be with me in paradise."  He was telling him, that all spirits when they die go to paradise or that 'spirit prison' which Job knew so well! It is the waiting place for all spirits until the day of judgement. And guess what, the scriptures tell us that Christ taught some of those spirits while he was there prior to his resurrection.......1 Peter 3:18-19   1 Peter 4:6.  Not all have heard or received the gospel of Jesus Christ......but Christ has made possible for them to hear it and accept or reject it in "spirit prison" where He taught many!    So in your ministering, give those to whom you minister hope in Christ! It is best to learn and understand truth before we pass wrongful judgement.....which judgement belongs to Christ! It is ours to lift the downtrodden; and give hope to all who ask regardless of our feelings; or perceived understandings of truth....we must never be the bearer of hopelessness, for Christ is the hope of all mankind, even in death![/QUOTE]

Thank you for your words of hope--concerning the love of Christ and his salvation.  However, I do disagree with muchof the other words you said, based on scripture.  Scripture tells us that it is appointed to a man once to die and then to the judgment (He 9:27).  This judgment is faced after death by all mankind.  Some are judged saved; others lost.  And to suggest that there is no hell to pay is not scriptural either.  After all, death and hell will be thrown into the lake of fire (Rev 20:13-14). 

Do you remember the story of Lazarus and the rich man? The rich man did not believe and was in the hell part of Hades.  He wanted so desperately to have Lazarus cross from the other side to put just a drop of water on his tongue.  He also wanted to tell his living family--warn them--of the future if they did not trust in God.  But he was not allowed and it was said that if a man did not believe Moses and the prophets, he would not believe someone who came back from the dead.  (Luke 16)

There are no 2nd chances after one dies.  The thief on the cross trusted in Christ just before he died, and thus went to paradise, which was Abraham's bosom or the place of waiting for the dead saints.  They could not go to heaven before the Lord died for their sins.  Yes, it was Hades, but Hades had two areas one could go--one for evil and one for good.

You are right, we must never be the bearer of hopelessness.  Christ is our hope.  And it is not hopeless to speak of our need to trust in Him or face an eternity apart from him.

Grace to you.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 18, 2008 - 6:04PM #14
Bob_Bennett
Posts: 916
It is so totally presumptuous to believe that some person is unsaved.  I believe that all persons are saved, in their own time (reincarnation).

It is really disgusting to have to read posts from arrogant fundygelicals who believe only they know the truth, when it is so obvious that you guys are as far from it as one can get.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 18, 2008 - 6:07PM #15
Bob_Bennett
Posts: 916
cont.

Oops, I forgot I was on an evangelical board, and so now I must apologise for my previous remarks.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 02, 2008 - 8:26AM #16
Lookbeyond
Posts: 578
The atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ made it possible for all mankind to be resurrected and to be raised to immortality. Resurrection and immortality are universal gifts from God.

The apostle Paul taught: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:22.)

But to be resurrected and immortal is not all that is required for entrance into eternal life in the kingdom of God. Eternal life in the kingdom of God is far beyond his universal gift of immortality and is God’s greatest gift to all mankind; it can only be brought about through obedience to the doctrines and commandments taught by Jesus Christ.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6.) He said, “… no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” This is the Lord’s way, and coming unto the Father is a divine and sacred gift that must be merited.

Again, Jesus Christ said, “… Trifle not with sacred things. If thou wilt do good, yea, and hold out faithful to the end, thou shalt be saved in the kingdom of God, which is the greatest of all of the gifts of God, for there is no gift greater than the gift of salvation.” (D&C 6:12–13.) God’s greatest gift and blessing to his children is eternal life with him in his heavenly kingdom.

Today there is much controversy and contention among the doctrines and philosophies of men relative to the requirements for entrance into the kingdom of God. Many have been deceived by the teachings of men that works and obedience to God’s commandments are not essential, and some base their contention on scriptures. For example, Paul said, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:8–9.)

The resurrection and immortality are gifts from God, through Jesus Christ, and not from the works and efforts of mortal men.

Many try to justify their claims with the statement of Jesus to the thief on the cross, when the thief said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom,” and Jesus said unto him, “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:42–43.) Jesus and the thief went to paradise. There are those who teach that paradise and heaven are one and the same place, but this is not according to the teachings of the holy scriptures.

After mortal death the spirit goes to paradise and remains there until the appointed time for its resurrection into immortality and eternal life.

Heaven, which is the kingdom of God, is where those who have been obedient to God’s plan of life and salvation go after judgment and the resurrection.

The spirit of Jesus, after his death, went to paradise and not to the kingdom of heaven. It was not until after his resurrection that he mentioned returning to the kingdom of heaven. You will recall his words to Mary as she stood by the sepulcher weeping: “Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” (John 20:17.) His spirit had been to paradise, but he had not yet ascended to his Father in heaven.

Jesus warned that not very many would find their way and prepare themselves to live in the kingdom of heaven. He said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: … Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matt. 7:13–14.)

Many, according to Jesus, will be misled and deceived by false teachers and false prophets, and some will desire to follow the ways of the world and will destroy their divine opportunity to enter into the kingdom of heaven. He said, “… wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.” (Matt. 7:13.)

Contrary to what many think, just believing in God and being virtuous and pure are not sufficient to qualify a person for entrance into the kingdom of heaven. The Savior’s parable about the ten virgins and their desire to enter the kingdom of heaven makes this point very clear. Jesus said:

“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

“And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

“They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:

“But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

“While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

“And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

“Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

“And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.

“But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

“And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

“Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

“But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.” (Matt. 25:1–12.)

Take note that the Lord was not talking about five thieves and sinners and five good people; he was talking about ten virgins, ten pure people who believed in God and had a desire to enter into the kingdom of heaven. The five foolish virgins had failed to prepare. Their lights were out; they were in darkness. Their urgent pleas and hasty preparation were not sufficient, and they heard these words from the lips of their God: “I know you not.”

What a shame to be clean and yet unprepared! What a tragedy to fail in service to God and in helping to build his kingdom on earth as it is in heaven! What a shame to be in darkness when the light of Christ has been made possible for everyone!

Jesus, speaking of good people who failed to qualify for entrance into the kingdom of heaven, said, “These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God.” (D&C 76:79.)
cont.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 02, 2008 - 8:27AM #17
Lookbeyond
Posts: 578
It is a divine warning from the teachings of Jesus Christ that one must be prepared to enter into the kingdom of heaven and must have the light of life that is made possible through following Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12.)

The light of life can come only through following Jesus Christ. The light of life is divine light and is required in the immortal soul before entrance back into the kingdom of God. You cannot obtain the divine light of life from men. It does not come from just being good. It can only come through repentance and by living the gospel plan of life and salvation as given by Jesus Christ.

When Jesus lived on the earth, he found a very religious group of people known as the Pharisees. They believed in God; they accepted the teaching of the prophets in the Old Testament. They accepted the Ten Commandments and would not even pick up a stone on the Sabbath day in their compliance with the commandment relative to keeping the Sabbath day holy. Yet Jesus said of the devout, praying Pharisees:

“This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

“But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matt. 15:8–9.)

They had changed the Lord’s commandments into commandments of men.

In his Sermon on the Mount Jesus Christ also mentioned to these people their qualification for entering into the kingdom of heaven through the Pharisee religion, with its man-made doctrines and commandments. He said, “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:20.)

The Pharisees, in all of their dedication and their love for God and the ancient prophets and their obedience to man-made righteousness, which appeared to be taken from the scriptures, did not qualify for entrance into the kingdom of heaven. The Pharisees were worshiping a mystical god of spirit, and they were unable to know the living God when he appeared before them. He tried with all of his godly power to convince them, but they would rather defend their man-made church and their man-made doctrines than accept the church and teachings of Jesus Christ.

All men should know what acts will keep them from entering the kingdom of heaven. According to the apostle Paul, the following works of the flesh will keep a person out of the kingdom of God: “… Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: … they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal. 5:19–21.)

Indulgence in works of the flesh will destroy man’s divine nature and potential godliness.

Repentance makes it possible to cleanse the mind and body of these sins, except murder, and all other weaknesses, and to turn to the Lord’s way of life. He said, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt. 4:17.)

Repentance is God’s way, with the help of his doctrines and commandments, to purify and cleanse the mind and body of its weaknesses and imperfections. Repentance prepares the mind and the body to receive the gospel and to take on the divine light of life.

Repentance frees the conscience and cleanses the mind. Jesus said, “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more. By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them.” (D&C 58:42–43.)

Repentance prepares the mind and body to know the living God and the living Jesus Christ and to receive the gospel and take on the divine light of life.

It is important to know that all of the requirements for entrance into the kingdom of God were personally given by Jesus Christ and are recorded in his holy scriptures. There will be many good people turned away from entrance into the kingdom of heaven because they failed to know and follow the Lord’s plan of life. They were more interested in following doctrines of men and commandments of men than they were in following the doctrines of the Lord, as recorded in his scriptures. They were more interested in defending their sect or denomination than in knowing the truth.

Here are some of the keys that Jesus Christ gave to help one qualify for entrance back into the kingdom of God.

Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3); “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).

In John 17, verse 3, another key is recorded by Jesus Christ: “… this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

Wouldn’t you think it is important to know God the Eternal Father and Jesus Christ if you expect to live with them in the kingdom of heaven? Many feel that they know God and know Jesus Christ, but they fail to keep their commandments.

Hear the words of the apostle John to all who claim to know God. He said, “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1 John 2:3–4.)

Knowing God is shown by keeping his commandments. People who accept and live doctrines of men do not know the living God. When you know the living God and the living Jesus Christ, you will also know your divine relationship to God.

Jesus asked us to pray to our Father in heaven and to “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness.” (Matt. 6:33.)
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 02, 2008 - 12:08PM #18
Unitedbygrace
Posts: 189
Lookbeyond,

Yuo quoted much scripture and there is alot of truth in what you said--this I will agree with you on.

However, there is also much that you said that sounds good to the untrained believer perhaps, but is simply not scriptural.  Part of the reason is that you are not rightly dividing the scriptures.  Many scriptures are in contrast with one another (like those said by Christ on earth and those written by the apostle Paul).  We must not try to talk our way around what Paul has said about eternal life just because it differs from what Jesus said.  There is a difference in God's program with the nation Israel and how he dealt with them and His program with the Body of Christ in this day of grace.  Of course, this understanding would clear up all of the questionable information you have presented.  I will only address our eternal security in Christ at this time.

For you to say that Christ's sacrificial death and resurrection is not all we need to get to heaven or stay saved, but we need to have good works and continual repentance is unscriptural. 

Eph 2:8-10  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  (9)  Not of works, lest any man should boast.  (10)  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

How are we saved?  By grace through faith.

Is our salvation brought about by any of our works?  No.  it is not of ourselves but is a gift of God.

Once we are saved, what shourl be our response to God?  We are His workmanship and created in Christ unto good works and so we should walk in them.  We are now able to perform good works as we have been saved, we are in Christ, we are the righteousness of Him.  And we should, but it is not mandatory to keep our salvation.  Why?

There is nothing I could do to get out of Adam.  As scripture says and you quoted, 'In Adam all die.'  There was nothing I could do to get out of Adam--no good works of any kind.  Christ had to make it possible for me to obtain eternal life with Him.  I was spiritually bankrupt.

I accepted the finish works of Christ for my sin and was saved and placed in Christ by the work of the Holy Spirit.  Scripture says 'in Christ all live.'  But we must be 'in Christ' to live eternally.  Scripture also says my life is now hid in God with Christ (Col 3:3).  I cannot do anything to find my life and take it out of Christ.  I am sealed with the holy Spirit of promise until the day of redemption (2 Cor 1:22; Eph 1:13; 4:30).  This sealing is not something I or anyone can break--there are no works or lack of works I can do that will take this away from me.  I am eternally  sold to Christ.  Just as I could not take myself out of Adam by good works of any kind, I cannot take myself out of Christ by bad works of any kind.  Once saved always saved.  The holy spirit is our earnest (like earnest money when you buy a house) until the day he redeems these bodies.

Finally, if I were able to unsave myself or keep myself saved by my good works there would be no need for Christ's death and resurrection.  His word would be a lie.  I would really be without hope and so would everyone else.  We are all eternally secure IF WE BE IN CHRIST. 

Repentance is a work; it cannot save us.  I can repent all I want, but unless I believe the Lord Jesus Christ and His work on the cross for my sins, I will never be saved.

And finally, if one does not believe before they die, their chances for eternal life are over.  It is appointed to a man once to die and then to the judgment.  I died at the cross with Christ and all my sins (including future) and my life have now been judged.  I will not have to face judgment for eternal life or damnation.  He will only judge my works for trophies.  And if I do not remain faithful in Him, if I act in unbelief in my works, His promise to me is:

2Ti 2:13  If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 02, 2008 - 5:17PM #19
voice-crying
Posts: 7,078
[QUOTE=Unitedbygrace;600324]Lookbeyond,"...Repentance is a work; it cannot save us.  I can repent all I want, but unless I believe the Lord Jesus Christ and His work on the cross for my sins, I will never be saved.

And finally, if one does not believe before they die, their chances for eternal life are over.  It is appointed to a man once to die and then to the judgment.  I died at the cross with Christ and all my sins (including future) and my life have now been judged.  I will not have to face judgment for eternal life or damnation.  He will only judge my works for trophies.  And if I do not remain faithful in Him, if I act in unbelief in my works, His promise to me is:

2Ti 2:13  If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.[/QUOTE]

I invite you to read my thread (on this board) titled: First Class, Coach, Standby or bumped.

:)
"Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof."Proverbs 18:21
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 04, 2008 - 11:05AM #20
Unitedbygrace
Posts: 189
[QUOTE=voice-crying;601077]I invite you to read my thread (on this board) titled: First Class, Coach, Standby or bumped.

:)[/QUOTE]

Hi Voice Crying,

I will make an attempt to thouroughly read your post soon.  At this time however, I cannot read and comment as I have so much on my plate.

Pray for me as I embark on TWO new studies.  One starts this Sunday and the other the following.  The one I am doing this Sunday is prewritten, so study is important but I do not have to prepare all the material to teach it.  But the other is one that I am preparing as a group counseling class and is very involved.  I am developing all aspects of the material as we go.  God will provide as I need it--praise Him.  And my dear sister is helping with music and even teaching a class or two.  YEAH.

Anyway, this is where my focus needs to be for the next few days.  Hope to view your thoughts soon!

Have a blessed and safe 4th--assuming you are here in America!

UBG
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