Q. I am new to your website but appreciate all of the articles, questions and answers. My question: I recall reading somewhere, that we were to pray for the dead. I have tried to find references to this in the bible but so far have not been able to find anything. Could you shed some light on this?
A. Contrary to what some religions teach, there is no Biblical mandate for us to pray for the dead, and in fact it does no good. Hebrews 9:27 says that man is destined to die once and after that to face judgment. This means that once a person dies there is no further opportunity for others to change his or her eternal destiny, whether by praying for them, being baptized for them, doing good works for them, or any other means. Each of us is responsible for determining our destiny and we’re given one lifetime in which to do it.