One thing is certain – none of us are making it out of this world alive.
For those of us who know and believe in Jesus as Lord – we know the moment we take our last earthly breath, we’ll be welcomed into heaven and into the loving arms of Jesus.
But when someone dies who didn’t know Jesus, we are often at a loss of how to comfort their loved ones. So before you speak, it’s important to remember these crucial things.
To start, death is a shock.
We all know it’s inevitable, but whether it’s a sudden car accident or a long and brutal battle with cancer – it still stings when it happens.
When a believer dies, we can comfort those grieving by reassuring them they are now walking with Jesus – but how should we respond when a well-loved, non-believer dies?
Everyone grieves differently.
Some people cry and weep uncontrollably. Others are silent and can barely utter a word.
And one of the most important things you can do is simply be a friend and listen.
If the grieving person wants to reminisce and recall every sweet moment to keep the memory of their loved one alive – just listen.
Or maybe they just want silence to process and think – but your mere presence of sitting shoulder to shoulder is comforting to them.
Don’t underestimate the importance of simply being there.
Meet The Need
We are called to weep with those who weep.
So you can (and should) still comfort those who are grieving in whatever way works best for them – whether it’s giving hugs or providing words of empathy for their loss.
Perhaps you can even offer to do something practical – like run errands or start a meal train so they’ll have food to eat.
When a person is grieving, even simple tasks like cooking or house cleaning can be a challenge for them.
Helping to meet practical needs (so they can focus on their emotional health) can be a huge blessing.
To be clear – we are NOT suggesting you start preaching how their loved one is in hell for not knowing Jesus!
But at the same time, be careful not to provide false hope in telling them their loved one is in heaven when it’s known they didn’t believe in Jesus.
So how do you walk this line if they ask you?
You can say something like, “Well, we know those who believe in Jesus and accept Him as Lord are in heaven with him, and only God knows a person’s heart, and what they believe or don’t believe, so we have to trust that God is good and just and He can save anyone at their final hour, just like the thief on the cross.”
Or keep it even simpler – and say you trust that God is good and just.
And it’s true – we can’t assume the true reality of a person’s soul – and we never know what happens before their last breath.
By putting the focus back on God’s character – you are placing your confidence in Him.
Death is hard, it is a thief of life.
As Christians we know Jesus has overcome the grave, which is why more than ever – while we’re still here walking this earth – we must do everything we can to make His name known and share His gift of eternal life with others.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17
To stay current on the latest Christian Life Daily stories, follow us on Facebook and be sure to like and share our posts!