@David_Cieszynski I am sorry to hear that - may the Lord Jesus be with your brother-in-law and give him peace and strength. In terms of actually comforting your brother-in-law, you may be able to quote Scriptures about Christ as our Shepherd - the One who is with us even in the storms of life - rather than having to quote passages about healing.
I agree with @omnarchy on this one. It is not right to give people false hope or to tell them something that may be untrue simply to make them feel good. In the end, doing so can cause some people to lose their faith when the falsely promised outcome does not occur and presents a false view of God, which we ought never to do.
Nabeel’s story broke my heart and I was upset to see him led astray by the over realized eschatology of Bethel. I really like some of Bethel’s music - especially a few of Jeremy Riddle’s songs like Sweetly Broken, but their promise of healing and emphasis on prophetic words is worrisome to me. I was encouraged by William Lane Craig - who personally approached Nabeel and attempted to prevent him from being led astray regarding healing and prophesy. I believe that was the act of a true friend.
What frustrates me even more is that the Bible has such a rich - amazing - beautiful set of teachings that should give us hope in the face of death. Death is not the end - death is dead! Especially in the New Testament - the apostles all faced death - they knew they were called to carry their crosses, but that Jesus had conquered death!
Below are some of my favorite passages that can help us meditate on this truth as well as a sermon jam from Ravi and a passage from Lewis’ ‘The Last Battle’. I think reading books like Narnia can also help us teach our imaginations to understand death in a new light.
Romans 8 / I Cor 15 / Revelation 20-22 / Philippians
John 16:33 - I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
Romans 8:18 - For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Revelation 21:4 - He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away
I Corinthians 15:50-57 - I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:21-26 - For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.
Ravi - What would you do to frighten Lazarus???
“And as He spoke, He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.” C. S. Lewis, The Last Battle