The first I am sure knew the Lord. Although my initial thought was, oh that is so sad, I soon found comfort in knowing that he was in Heaven. My prayers go out to his family in their loss, but oh, what a victory was won for Christ.
Now that his loved ones have said goodbye to him they "do not mourn as the world mourns, as those without hope." Their "hope" is faith in the assurance that Jesus paid the price for his sin, therefore, he is waiting for them in a place that knows no goodbyes.
But what about those family members who die openly and adamantly rejecting the gospel of Jesus Christ? How can we, as Christians who understand the gravity of this scenario, find peace when a loved one is forever lost to us?
1. Remember that God is full of compassion. He is perfectly just but He desires mercy. He works in the confines of His holiness and mercy. He will be lenient as far as His mercy allows without violating His perfection and holiness. Be thankful for this because if He wasn't this way then there would be no assurance for any of us at all.
2. God's judgments are always correct. God recompenses sin in a just and fair way. Once we step outside of time, we will become aware of how little we understood of eternal matters and we will see that every judgment made by a merciful God after time ceases to be, is perfect and right. Even those who are lost will see, know and accept this truth. I don't quite understand why, but this thought brings great comfort to me.
3. God will comfort us. We will not forget but we can rest in knowing that everything God does is perfect. We can trust Him to always do what is right. There is no shadow of turning with Him. He is trustworthy and pure.
If there was ever a time to shamelessly, relentlessly, and adamantly share the gospel with others, it's NOW! Today is the day of salvation. No one is guaranteed tomorrow.
Not your neighbor who is lost.
Not your boss and co-workers who do not acknowledge God outside of using His name as a cuss word.
Not your children's bus driver.
Not the new person at church who you haven't taken the time to meet.
Not the person you pass every day on your morning walk.
And no, not your beloved family members.
They need to know! Christ deserves for them to know! We can never go back and change a single thing, but we can go forward, as lights in a cold, dark world, and dedicate ourselves to leading as many as possible into the light!