In the period of just forty-eight hours, I lost two people I cared for deeply.
The first was Noura, one of my friends from Saudi Arabia. I met her a year and a half ago, and we spent much time together running errands, eating meals, and going to events. During this time, I shared the good news of Jesus Christ often with my non-religious Muslim friend (as she would describe herself). She showed interest at times and even visited church with me, but she never put her faith in Christ. She often said, “Maybe one day I will believe these things.” Sadly, she never did. Noura has already stood in front of the judgement seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10–11).
It bothers me when someone who is clearly not a Christian dies and is said to be, “in a better place,” or simply in heaven with God — the one they did not care about while on earth. It bothers me because that’s the only way many know how to cope with death. It’s not that I want to shove my theology down the throats of the person’s mourning family and friends. It bothers me for two reasons:
Every human has sinned, and sin demands a punishment (Romans 3:23, 6:23). Christ died to take the wrath of God that we deserve because of our sin (Romans 5:8). If we think that every human who dies goes to “a better place,” then Jesus Christ died a brutal death on a cross for nothing (Galatians 1:3–5).
More souls are going to hell every day because they think they will automatically go to “a better place” when they die, even if they did not put their faith in Jesus Christ (John 5:24). This creates more compassion within me to spread the truth so that some will believe and have their souls ripped from hell in which they are going (1 Timothy 4:16).
The second person who died over those two difficult days in November was a Christian. Mike spent his life in relationship with Jesus Christ, and he was constantly meeting and getting to know more and more people so that he could share Jesus with them.