A family friend passed away in her sleep last night. It wasn’t unexpected, as she had battled terminal cancer for over a year. We shared the gospel with her several times, as did her own brother.
I don’t know if she ever repented of her sins and believed in the forgiveness only available from Jesus. It is enough for me to know that when I stand in front of Jesus myself, he will wipe away every tear. Including tears shed for those who wouldn’t believe.
Isaiah 64:4-5 English Standard Version From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him. You meet him who joyfully works righteousness, those who remember you in your ways. Behold, you were angry, and we sinned; in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved?
We’ve all heard 1 Thessalonians 4:13 before. I’ve always heard this verse spoken in the context of a funeral of a Christian, how you can sense a calmer approach to their passing than you can the passing of a non-Christian. And while you have more peace in knowing the destination is good for a loved one, that’s not what this verse is saying at all.
The people who are grieving with hope are the living people, not the departed. The people who are grieving their death have a hope that is not based in any way on the outcome of the one for whom they grieve. If they are reunited in Heaven, they will experience great joy. If they are forever to be parted, Jesus will remove every tear and they will experience great joy.
Christians are immune to hopelessness in every earthly situation. Loss of job, loss of health, loss of loved ones, every loss. We grieve with the hope that all will one day be made right.