What to say?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by moscott, May 30, 2008.

  1. moscott

    moscott
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    2 days ago a friend of ours lost their mother to Cancer. It was a long battle and not unexpected. However, her mother never accepted Christ even at death. When we see her on Sunday, what words of sympathy can you say to someone who has lost a nonbeliever. You can't say they're in a better place---you can't say you will see them again someday, you can't point to a scripture for any kind of comfort on this topic. Quite frankly they have to come to grips(I don't know how) with the fact that their loved one is in Hell for eternity.:tear:
     
  2. nunatak

    nunatak
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    445
    Likes Received:
    0
    Maybe, "I'm sorry."

    Perhaps presence is more important that talk in times of suffering.
     
  3. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,439
    Likes Received:
    0
    They wll probably at some point have to come to grips with what happened to their mom. BUT, at this point, it is not your job to make them come to that point. Your job is to love them and weep with them. Don't pass judgements one way or another about the fate of the mother.

    Unfortunately, I have been called upon to preach funerals of lost people. My job is to minister to the living and point those still living towards faith in Christ. Hug her neck, cry with her, be kind. They are going thru a process of grief that will require time.

    If they ask you might say what I do, "I am not the judge of someone's salvation, God is. But I do know one thing that if they could speak to you now, they would want everyone they have ever met to know Jesus and spend eternity with Him." That you know based on Luke 16 and the rich man who was in torment.

    Tread lightly and lovingly.
     
  4. christianyouth

    christianyouth
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Messages:
    588
    Likes Received:
    1
    Wow, a very tough situation. All you can do brother, is to empathize. There is no point in telling them that their loved one is in hell. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
     
  5. christianyouth

    christianyouth
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Messages:
    588
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ah, amen Tom. You have good words.
     
  6. Lynn the Baptist

    Lynn the Baptist
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    I loved your reply Tom..it's exactly right on..
     
  7. Steven2006

    Steven2006
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    Messages:
    2,065
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would simply say, that you are sorry for their loss, and that you will be praying for them.
     
  8. moscott

    moscott
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't mean this in a bad way---but having been thru the same experience myself, that didn't help 1 bit. That response covers a multitude of things, but the thought of a loved one whom you will never, ever, see again AND the fact that they will spend an eternity in hell is beyond anything imaginable. I still can't believe that the Bible doesn't address this issue even once.:tear:
     
  9. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    Tom Bryant and christianyouth have given wise counsel.

    I might add, don't try to make them feel better right now. Tell them you know this loss hurts, and that you hurt with them and for them.
     
  10. Steven2006

    Steven2006
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    Messages:
    2,065
    Likes Received:
    0

    Why do you assume that they would want you to come up to them and start addressing the fact that their mother is most likely in hell for all eternity? I know at times of deep loss, I appreciate knowing that people are praying for me, and my family, not to mention that prayer is what they need. Now if they come to you and open up about where their mom is spending eternity, that is a different matter.
     
  11. moscott

    moscott
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Steven2006,

    It is because they are in our life group and have/had been asking for everyone to pray for their situation. They had been trying for quite a while to get het to accept Christ. They knew she was going to pass away soon and the thought was unbearable. Now that this has happened you can't just avoid the elephant in the room.
     
  12. SBCPreacher

    SBCPreacher
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is really nothing that we can say that will take the pain away.

    In a similar situation I have said that there are some things in this life that we just don't understand, that we just don't know. But I do know this - God is good. He will never leave you or forsake you, and He will be with you every step of the way.

    Then sit long, talk, hug often, and cry right along with them. I've found that your presence means much more than your words.
     
  13. Karen

    Karen
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2000
    Messages:
    2,610
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, you can to the extent that it is not up to you to bring it up.
    Others here have given wise advice on what to say.
     

Share This Page

Loading...