Comfort Not Condemnation

Q. A friend had a sister that was killed in an accident, she was 18 years old. I had made a comment that it’s a shame when someone dies and they have not accepted Jesus as their Savior and they go to Hell for eternity. She was very upset with me and told me that God would never allow an 18 year old to go to Hell, because the young lady was drunk and didn’t know what she was doing. She had had problems with drugs and alcohol so it wasn’t her fault. What do you think?

A. I would have been upset too. Although you may be right, I think it was very insensitive of you to point this out. First of all you have no way of knowing for sure what this girl’s spiritual position was in the moments before she died. She could have accepted the Lord with her last breath. Therefore you violated the Lord’s command to judge nothing before the appointed time (1 Cor. 4:5)

Second, you violated another one of the Lord’s commands. “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). A reasonable person would be hard pressed to even find any empathy in your comment to your friend, let alone love.

What’s done is done and what’s past is past. I think our primary responsibility in situations like this is to offer comfort to the bereaved, not condemnation to the departed.

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