Theology We Develop To Avoid Thinking That Non-Believing Loved Ones Will Be Lost Forever

Theology We Develop To Avoid Thinking That Non-Believing Loved Ones Will Be Lost Forever     Kevin E. Jesmer  5-5-14

ladder to heaven

    I have noticed that people of faith really don’t want to accept the fact that non-believing family members and loved ones will have to stand before the judgment seat of Christ and face the judgment of God. Those who have been clothed with the righteousness of Christ have nothing to fear. They have everything to rejoice over, for they will dwell in the kingdom of God with their Savior Jesus forever. Now, what this entails is the subject of many, many books and debates. I am not going to get into what eternal separation from God, entails. But what I am going to say is that it involves suffering and people cannot accept that their loved ones will not pass the judgment.

I know one sincere Christian man, who was thrown into months of depression when he understood that his mother appeared to not be going to heaven, for she did not have faith in Christ. Some have gone to great lengths to develop a theology that provides a way for loved ones to be saved in this life and even be saved after they have died. I want to review some of these different theologies that I have discovered.

1.  The Mormons: I have just discovered that Mormons do extensive genealogy research to find people in their family tree. They do this because they believe that their mission is to help former family members, who have died, to have their families sealed forever in heaven. Non believing family members, who have died, are in the spirit world. The Mormons in this world find out about them and then they have  a ceremony in the Mormon temple, where they stand in proxy for the deceased couple and have that couple’s marriage sealed in the temple. Then the couple in the spirit world have a chance to accept it or not. If they accept it then they and their family will live for eternity together. The Mormons are giving their loved ones a second chance.

2.  The Catholics. The Catholics have come up with purgatory for their loved ones. If their loved ones have died without having faith in Jesus, they still have a chance to enter eternal life.  In fact, all people, except those who have committed suicide (their idea of the unforgivable sin), have a chance to enter eternal life. Purgatory is place of suffering, where one can suffer and pay off their debt for their sins. (indulgences) When their debt is paid, then they can enter into heaven. Family members can lessen their loved ones time spent in purgatory by paying money to the church. In this way, Catholic believers believe that their unbelieving loved ones must pay the price for their sins, but there is still a way for them to eventually get to heaven.

3. Jehovah’s Witnesses. They believe that their unbelieving loved ones will not get to dwell in the Kingdom of God on earth. But they cannot accept that their unbelieving loved ones will face any suffering. They believe that if the unbelieving loved ones are not in the faith, then they are not in God’s memory and so when the time of resurrection occurs, the unbelievers will not come to God’s mind and they will not be resurrected. They will simply cease to exist. In this way, the loved ones who do not believe, will not suffer.

4.  Christians who believe in annihilation. There are Bible believing Christians who can not accept that non believers will suffer at the judgment. Yes, they will have to stand before the judgment seat of Christ. They will have to be judged because of their sins, but they will not have to spend eternity separated from God, in conscious suffering. They will be completely annihilated. They will cease to exist after being resurrected and cringing before he judgment seat of God for a short time. My thoughts on this is, why even resurrect them in the first place? Believe like the Jehovah Witnesses believe and not even resurrect them at all.

5. Christians who believe that anyone who is a good person will be going to heaven. Many Christians, can not accept that their nice, unbelieving “Aunt and Uncle”, for example, will not make it to heaven. And so they believe that being a nice person, never hurting anyone and being sincere is enough to make it into heaven. According to the Bible this is not true. But even believers hold onto this idea because they cannot accept that loved ones will not pass the judgment. I think that there were many nice and sincere people in Noah’s time, who did not enter the Ark to be saved.  Being nice and never hurting people and being sincere is subjective anyway. How can that be a criteria for judgment?

The Bible teaches about the judgment of God. The way to heaven is narrow while the    path to destruction is wide. The weight and gravity of the realization that some our loved ones are not going to make it, is hard to handle emotionally. But we can not stand in judgment thinking who is and who is not going to be saved.  God knows. I am sure we will be surprised by some of the people we see in heaven. We can pray, live as Christians throughout our lives and tell others about the love of God revealed in the Gospel. We can pray for our loved ones and entrust their lives to the Lord.

Interact with us using Facebook

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.