Death and How to Comfort the Family-Part 2

Derf

Well-known member
Hi Sherman .
I feel like the thread, https://theologyonline.com/forum/po...y/2732006-death-and-how-to-comfort-the-family, had a lot of potential. The two main views were indeed evoking bickering, but both were bringing out relevant verses and thoughts. I'm not able to comment as fast as I'd like to, unfortunately, to try to make the discussion more orderly

Any chance of getting it re-opened for a second try, with a stern warning to the bickerers?

Or if anyone wants to comment civilly on the subject of what happens to believers when they die, and how best to comfort the families of those that have lost loved ones, Please do it here.

My point, made in the OP (follow link above) of the previous thread was that Paul, In 1 Thess 4, says to comfort those that have lost loved ones by telling them that we that are alive won't precede those that are fallen asleep (dead), but they will be raised when Christ returns, and we will meet them in the air.

If you give your opinion about how it really works and why one method of comforting is better than the other(s), please give scripture references.

If you disagree with someone else's opinion, please state why their reasons are not correct, not that they are an idiot. There were some really good points being made, but their goodness was hidden among the unnecessary insults.

And don't use Martin Luther as an excuse to insult--he would probably have been banned here.

Derf
 

Sherman

Know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.
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No. Just start again. I will delete the bickering in this fresh thread.
 

Trump Gurl

Credo in Unum Deum
I feel like the thread, https://theologyonline.com/forum/pol...ort-the-family, had a lot of potential

In that thread you stated:

.
So my question is, should we be comforting those that have lost loved ones by saying "they are in heaven now" or "they are in a better place" or "their spirits are with Jesus". Paul never said to comfort anyone with those words, though they seem like they would be very comforting, if true.



The first mistake I see is the way of thinking that, if it is not stated specifically in the Bible to do something then we shouldn't do it. That is wrong thinking. There is nothing wrong with comforting people.

Second, I would assume that if you attend a Christian funeral that the dead person is probably Christian. The Once Saved Always Saved people will likely assume that person is in heaven, so no problem with them right? As for the rest of us, I think I would assume the best, and comfort them.
 
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Derf

Well-known member
In that thread you stated:

.
So my question is, should we be comforting those that have lost loved ones by saying "they are in heaven now" or "they are in a better place" or "their spirits are with Jesus". Paul never said to comfort anyone with those words, though they seem like they would be very comforting, if true.


The first mistake I see is the way of thinking that, if it is not stated specifically in the Bible to do something then we shouldn't do it. That is wring thinking. There is nothing wrong with comforting people.

Second, I would assume that if you attend a Christian funeral that the dead person is probably Christian. The Once Saved Always Saved people will likely assume that person is in heaven, so no problem with them right? As for the rest of us, I think I would assume the best, and comfort them.

Thanks for the comments, TG.

I agree with your premise that absence from the scriptures doesn't make it wrong. But Paul's audience was specifically asking about their dead loved ones, wanting to know if they would be included in the kingdom with Jesus' return. Paul could have said, "Don't worry, they are already with Jesus," which I think we all agree would be more comforting than what he said, which was, "Don't worry, you won't get there before they do."

So, if Paul knew they were already there, why would he say, "they'll get there sooner than you", unless they weren't really already there?

If Paul was hesitant to say "they are already in heaven with Jesus", shouldn't we also be hesitant to say it? Maybe he was hesitant to say it because it wasn't (and isn't) true??
 

God's Truth

New member
Thanks for the comments, TG.

I agree with your premise that absence from the scriptures doesn't make it wrong. But Paul's audience was specifically asking about their dead loved ones, wanting to know if they would be included in the kingdom with Jesus' return. Paul could have said, "Don't worry, they are already with Jesus," which I think we all agree would be more comforting than what he said, which was, "Don't worry, you won't get there before they do."

So, if Paul knew they were already there, why would he say, "they'll get there sooner than you", unless they weren't really already there?

If Paul was hesitant to say "they are already in heaven with Jesus", shouldn't we also be hesitant to say it? Maybe he was hesitant to say it because it wasn't (and isn't) true??

Paul says Jesus will bring them with him when he comes to raise us all.

2 Thessalonians 4:14 “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”


The spirits of the people made righteous from the blood of Jesus are in heaven.

Hebrews 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels,23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
 

Derf

Well-known member
Paul says Jesus will bring them with him when he comes to raise us all.

2 Thessalonians 4:14 “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”


The spirits of the people made righteous from the blood of Jesus are in heaven.

Hebrews 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels,23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

"Bring them with Him" could mean that they are on the way to Earth, and He resurrects them to meet Him in the air, like the alive will meet Him in the air, and then we all come to earth together.

I'm not convinced Heb 12:22 means anything more than that the church of the firstborn is made up of people who are considered perfect in God's eyes. It doesn't have to mean body-less spirits. "Written in heaven" doesn't mean "living in heaven", but they are guaranteed life everlasting.
 

God's Truth

New member
"Bring them with Him" could mean that they are on the way to Earth, and He resurrects them to meet Him in the air, like the alive will meet Him in the air, and then we all come to earth together.

Glad you can see that.

I'm not convinced Heb 12:22 means anything more than that the church of the firstborn is made up of people who are considered perfect in God's eyes. It doesn't have to mean body-less spirits. "Written in heaven" doesn't mean "living in heaven", but they are guaranteed life everlasting.

Well, consider that the scripture that says their names are written in heaven because those are the ones not yet died, and consider how the scripture then says the spirits of men made righteous.

I believe that there can be no other way to take that one.

See how the scriptures say that when we come to God to get saved, we are coming to heaven where the angels are, and the church, names written, AND TO THE spirits of the righteous.

Hebrews 12:22But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
 

Trump Gurl

Credo in Unum Deum
Thanks for the comments, TG.

I agree with your premise that absence from the scriptures doesn't make it wrong. But Paul's audience was specifically asking about their dead loved ones, wanting to know if they would be included in the kingdom with Jesus' return. Paul could have said, "Don't worry, they are already with Jesus," which I think we all agree would be more comforting than what he said, which was, "Don't worry, you won't get there before they do."

So, if Paul knew they were already there, why would he say, "they'll get there sooner than you", unless they weren't really already there?

If Paul was hesitant to say "they are already in heaven with Jesus", shouldn't we also be hesitant to say it? Maybe he was hesitant to say it because it wasn't (and isn't) true??

I will have to read that some more. The first thought that strikes me though is that those family members died under the old Law. Peter tells us that they are in "prison" or where the old testament good people went, and that Jesus went to preach to them and lead them to heaven. Between Jesus death and resurrection he preached to the dead. Maybe Paul didn't know about that.
 

Derf

Well-known member
Glad you can see that.
See what? THat the words allow for the dead to be resurrected prior to the living being translated, and then Jesus will bring all of us to earth with Him? Yes, but it doesn't require that the dead were with Jesus prior to when their bodies were resurrected.

Well, consider that the scripture that says their names are written in heaven because those are the ones not yet died, and consider how the scripture then says the spirits of men made righteous.

I believe that there can be no other way to take that one.

See how the scriptures say that when we come to God to get saved, we are coming to heaven where the angels are, and the church, names written, AND TO THE spirits of the righteous.

Hebrews 12:22But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

I think those 6 different things are 3 different couplets that go together.
1 and 2: Angels that live in heaven along with the saints that are written in heaven (even if not there yet)
3 and 4: God who is the judge of all along with the saints that are deserving of judgment, but are made righteous by Jesus' blood
5 and 6: Jesus the mediator, and Jesus blood that makes it so that we are able to be mediated for by Him.

In all three couplets, the second thing in focus is relating to the true believers, and as such, it doesn't require that the "spirits" are the spirits of the dead living in heaven.
 

God's Truth

New member
See what? THat the words allow for the dead to be resurrected prior to the living being translated, and then Jesus will bring all of us to earth with Him? Yes, but it doesn't require that the dead were with Jesus prior to when their bodies were resurrected.
Oh, I thought you said you can see what I am saying. No, the scriptures say they are those asleep in Christ and he will bring them with him. Scripture also says we will all be raised together and meet him in the sky. So where do you get bring us with him is anywhere in the scriptures pertaining to after we are resurrected?

I think those 6 different things are 3 different couplets that go together.
1 and 2: Angels that live in heaven along with the saints that are written in heaven (even if not there yet)
3 and 4: God who is the judge of all along with the saints that are deserving of judgment, but are made righteous by Jesus' blood
5 and 6: Jesus the mediator, and Jesus blood that makes it so that we are able to be mediated for by Him.

In all three couplets, the second thing in focus is relating to the true believers, and as such, it doesn't require that the "spirits" are the spirits of the dead living in heaven.

Well, those alive on earth have their bodies blameless too, not just their spirit

The scripture plainly says you come to heaven where the spirit made righteous are.
 

Derf

Well-known member
Oh, I thought you said you can see what I am saying. No, the scriptures say they are those asleep in Christ and he will bring them with him. Scripture also says we will all be raised together and meet him in the sky. So where do you get bring us with him is anywhere in the scriptures pertaining to after we are resurrected?



Well, those alive on earth have their bodies blameless too, not just their spirit

The scripture plainly says you come to heaven where the spirit made righteous are.

How did "Right Divider" get put in there??

If it were so plainly stated, we wouldn't be having this discussion.
 

God's Truth

New member
How did "Right Divider" get put in there??
That's weird. Not sure how that happened, since I quoted what you said. And what is weirder is that it won't let me fix it.
If it were so plainly stated, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Well, I guess if you don't want to believe our spirits live on after the death of our bodies then you will try not to see it.

If you don't believe our spirits live on after our bodies, why did Jesus go to prison/Hell and preach to the spirits of those who died?

How do you think Jesus filled the whole universe, present, past, and future?
 

Derf

Well-known member
That's weird. Not sure how that happened, since I quoted what you said. And what is weirder is that it won't let me fix it.
That is weird. Thanks for trying.
Well, I guess if you don't want to believe our spirits live on after the death of our bodies then you will try not to see it.

If you don't believe our spirits live on after our bodies, why did Jesus go to prison/Hell and preach to the spirits of those who died?

How do you think Jesus filled the whole universe, present, past, and future?
I assume you're speaking of
[1Pe 3:19 KJV] By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
[1Pe 3:20 KJV] Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

This passage certainly isn't included in those that can be "plainly understood", unless you interpret it purely based on your preconceptions.
"Spirits" is not always understood to be spirits of men. Some say it is the disobedient angels.
"Prison" could be a number of things, like "the grave" or "the abyss".
The time of the preaching could be after Jesus death, after His resurrection, after His ascension, or even back in the time of Noah.
The action was done (according to 1Pe 3:18) "by the Spirit", which might even mean that Jesus wasn't the actor, but the object of the preaching--i.e., it might have been the gospel that was being preached, before Jesus became flesh (if in the Noah, for instance).

I'll offer an odd interpretation of my own I've been thinking through. I'm thinking this event is referring to the same event as this:
[Mat 27:52 KJV] And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
[Mat 27:53 KJV] And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

It might be as you interpret it, but it is hardly a good passage to try to prove your side of the OP topic.
 

God's Truth

New member
That is weird. Thanks for trying.
I assume you're speaking of
[1Pe 3:19 KJV] By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
[1Pe 3:20 KJV] Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

This passage certainly isn't included in those that can be "plainly understood", unless you interpret it purely based on your preconceptions.
"Spirits" is not always understood to be spirits of men. Some say it is the disobedient angels.
Why would Jesus preach the gospel to the angels in prison?


"Prison" could be a number of things, like "the grave" or "the abyss".
The time of the preaching could be after Jesus death, after His resurrection, after His ascension, or even back in the time of Noah.
The scriptures plainly say that after Jesus died he went to prison.

Prison is Hell.

The action was done (according to 1Pe 3:18) "by the Spirit", which might even mean that Jesus wasn't the actor, but the object of the preaching--i.e., it might have been the gospel that was being preached, before Jesus became flesh (if in the Noah, for instance).

The scripture plainly says that Jesus died and went.

As for you saying the Holy Spirit is another Spirit---the Bible says there is only one Spirit; AND, the scriptures say the Lord Jesus is the Spirit.

I'll offer an odd interpretation of my own I've been thinking through. I'm thinking this event is referring to the same event as this:
[Mat 27:52 KJV] And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
[Mat 27:53 KJV] And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Those were actual people with a body that came out of their graves.
It might be as you interpret it, but it is hardly a good passage to try to prove your side of the OP topic.

Why?
I'm proving spirits live on after the death of the body, and those scriptures are perfect.

Jesus filled the whole world by going to Hell and preaching to the spirits of men who disobeyed, and then going to heaven and bringing the spirits of those who were with Abraham while in their spirit.
 
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Derf

Well-known member
Lon
(this section quoted to offset it from the rest)
Hi Lon. I don't want to open up tender wounds, but I didn't get a chance to respond to your post before the previous thread was closed. Please allow me to apologize for any insensitivities on my part that caused you to write the following. If you don't want to continue the conversation, I understand, and I pray for God's comfort for your loss.
Lon said:
He didn't say "at the next funeral." Wait a bit before trying to preach to someone who has lost a loved one? As a believer, I already know my loved one is with the Lord, thus I'm comforted. Having 30 people tell me something I already know on a really hard day? Probably less empathetic on their part. They just are NOT grieving with those who grieve at that point, imho. It is most often said like 'oh well, at least they are in a better place.' Our comfort is absolutely in Jesus Christ and His work. A 'reminder at a funeral' is probably a glib time for it? I think it can be seen so because they definitely don't need the reminder as if "you should not be crying, they are in a better place." Understand?

I'm not sure I do understand.

I think you are saying that a glib "they are in a better place" is of little comfort, and I can understand why you would say that, though you agree with the statement.

I don't understand your comment about 'He didn't say "at the next funeral."', as I didn't make any sort of statement about "at the next funeral", nor did I see it in your episode you related about the Catholic priest.

I agree that our comfort is absolutely and only in Jesus Christ and His work. But what does His work consist of? Does it consist of making us "unclothed" or "clothed": 2 Cor 5:2-4?
 
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Derf

Well-known member
Why would Jesus preach the gospel to the angels in prison?



The scriptures plainly say that after Jesus died he went to prison.

Prison is Hell.



The scripture plainly says that Jesus died and went.

As for you saying the Holy Spirit is another Spirit---the Bible says there is only one Spirit; AND, the scriptures say the Lord Jesus is the Spirit.



Those were actual people with a body that came out of their graves.


Why?
I'm proving spirits live on after the death of the body, and those scriptures are perfect.

Jesus filled the whole world by going to Hell and preaching to the spirits of men who disobeyed, and then going to heaven and bringing the spirits of those who were Abraham while in their spirit.

Would you mind quoting those verses that "plainly say" all these things? When you claim some scripture "plainly says" something, you are really saying "scripture agrees with me, so you have to agree with me." I'm not buying it. That's why we need to have theological discussions, because not one of us perfectly understands all truth.

Words have different connotations, including yours. What do you mean by "Jesus filled the whole word..."? If He "went to hell", then went to heaven, was He still filling the whole world, or was He only partially filling, since He didn't stay in hell? I would think "filling" wouldn't be temporary, but He's no longer in hell, right?
 

Lon

Well-known member
Lon



I'm not sure I do understand.

I think you are saying that a glib "they are in a better place" is of little comfort, and I can understand why you would say that, though you agree with the statement.
Yes, I think you got what I was trying to say :up:

I don't understand your comment about 'He didn't say "at the next funeral."', as I didn't make any sort of statement about "at the next funeral", nor did I see it in your episode you related about the Catholic priest.

I agree that our comfort is absolutely and only in Jesus Christ and His work. But what does His work consist of? Does it consist of making us "unclothed" or "clothed": 2 Cor 5:2-4?
"Clothed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand, before the throne..."

 

God's Truth

New member
Would you mind quoting those verses that "plainly say" all these things? When you claim some scripture "plainly says" something, you are really saying "scripture agrees with me, so you have to agree with me." I'm not buying it. That's why we need to have theological discussions, because not one of us perfectly understands all truth.
The scriptures plainly say something. You even change what I plainly say. You change it to me saying the scriptures plainly say what the scripture agrees with me so you have to agree with me.

Just read what you said! You said, ".. .you are REALLY saying...".

No, read what I said. That is what I really said.


Words have different connotations, including yours. What do you mean by "Jesus filled the whole word..."?

Jesus filled the WHOLE WORLD.

Don't you know that scripture?

Jesus came to earth and taught those on earth. Then Jesus descended to the spirits in prison to preach to them, to those who disobeyed long ago. Jesus then ascended higher than all the heavens. Jesus filled the whole universe (see Ephesians 4:10).


Now you have the scripture, so can you answer now how you say Jesus filled the whole world if those who have died don't KNOW NOTHING?


If He "went to hell", then went to heaven, was He still filling the whole world, or was He only partially filling, since He didn't stay in hell? I would think "filling" wouldn't be temporary, but He's no longer in hell, right?

He taught while alive on the earth, he went to prison/Hell and taught, and then went to heaven.

He also sent his apostles as he was sent, to preach the gospel.
 

Derf

Well-known member
Yes, I think you got what I was trying to say :up:


"Clothed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand, before the throne..."


Thanks Lon.
Do you think the idea of clothed in His righteousness is tied to Paul's thoughts that we long to be clothed as here:

[2Co 5:4 KJV] For we that are in [this] tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
[2Co 5:6 KJV] Therefore [we are] always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
[2Co 5:8 KJV] We are confident, [I say], and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
[2Co 5:10 KJV] For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things [done] in [his] body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or bad.
 

Derf

Well-known member
The scriptures plainly say something. You even change what I plainly say. You change it to me saying the scriptures plainly say what the scripture agrees with me so you have to agree with me.

Just read what you said! You said, ".. .you are REALLY saying...".

No, read what I said. That is what I really said.
Is it possibly, even remotely possible, that you might not be as clear ("plain") as you think your are? I.e., if I got the wrong impression of what you are "really" saying, then others might also get the wrong impression? And if you aren't as clear as you think you are, is it possible that scripture isn't as clear in all cases as what you think it is??

Thus, when you pick out a scripture and say that it "plainly says", you are trying to establish your claim based on your own authority, but making it sound like it comes form scripture.


Jesus filled the WHOLE WORLD.

Don't you know that scripture?

Jesus came to earth and taught those on earth. Then Jesus descended to the spirits in prison to preach to them, to those who disobeyed long ago. Jesus then ascended higher than all the heavens. Jesus filled the whole universe (see Ephesians 4:10).


Now you have the scripture, so can you answer now how you say Jesus filled the whole world if those who have died don't KNOW NOTHING?




He taught while alive on the earth, he went to prison/Hell and taught, and then went to heaven.

He also sent his apostles as he was sent, to preach the gospel.
This is an interesting side conversation, but why do you think it is relevant? Are you saying Jesus has to be taught in an area for Him to have "filled" that area? Was the Son of God "taught" in heaven before He was sent from God? Is He being "taught" there now? If not, then why is it relevant?
 
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