Sorry! (I really can't figure out a good title for the question)😅

Hi Everyone!!

So the other day, one of my friends asked a question in my class group:
"Hey Guys, just a random thought. If I pass away, will you guys be sad?"

This question seemed funny to everyone, but I couldn’t get over it which led me to messaging him privately.

This is how the conversation went:
Me: “Bro, tbh it would have been really good if your random thought was where will I go when I die rather than will my friends be sad if I die, just randomly saying you know.” [I guess the question is not that friendly, but I was not able to come up with anything else🤷🏼)

To which he replied, “yeah yeah sure. I’m going to hell. Cause that’s where all the cool people are. I don’t care about what they are doing there, but hell is what it is.”"

And now I have to reply to him. It would be great if someone helps me out with an appropriate and friendly response. I really hope the conversation will lead him to know about Christ and that he will have an encounter with the Holy Spirit.

@Matthew_Mittelberg @lou.phillips @Vince_Vitale @Alycia_Wood @Jo_Vitale @Shawn_Hart @Michelle_Tepper @Kasey_Leander
(Sorry for tagging guys, it’s just hoping for a quicker response. Anyone reading this post is welcome to answer😁)

3 Likes

Good day to you in Christ, Nidhin!

Your friends comment reminds me of things some students used to say when I was in high school back in the early Jurassic period (which is to say the early 80’s). Believe me when I tell you it was tough finding parking spots for a triceratops! :smiley: Some of them had this idea that they had apparently picked up from the hard rock scene, and that was that hell was going to be one non stop hedonistic party for all eternity. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Now to be quite serious about the matter. Our Lord Jesus has made it very clear that eternal condemnation is the worst possible thing that can happen to any being. Just some examples he gave:

  • Mat 13:42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire . There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

  • Mat 22:13 Then the king said to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness ; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

  • Mark 9:44, 46, 48 where Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.

On the other hand, those who repent and believe in Christ for the salvation of their souls will know an experience in eternity so wonderful that it’s not ever been conceived of by the human imagination :

1 Corinthians 2:9

However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” – the things God has prepared for those who love him–

A couple of things Jesus said about the kingdom of heaven:

Matthew 13:44-46

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it."

Meaning it’s worth giving up every single thing of earthly value to a person to obtain it.

The Father isn’t “uncool”, to use a term people from my youth might use. Not in the least. From my own experience when I first committed my life to Christ, and the total opposite of what I had actually expected, when I woke up the next morning one of the many mind blowing wonderful things I was aware of was that He is the most loving, most understanding, most compassionate, kindest Being in existence. It was something I didn’t just know, I could feel it. He is real.

Something to reflect on. Our Lord and Savior created the entire universe, as you know. All of it in its literally inconceivable complexity and massiveness and…He’s not arrogant.

Matthew 11:29

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

That’s the Creator of the universe! Gentle and lowly in heart. He knew every single human being that would ever exist before the first was even made. That includes your friend. Hell is so horrible a fate, so unimaginably agonizing, to be separated eternally from the One Who loves us SO much that He was willing to pay the penalty of our sins for us to make a way out of it for us and back to the Father. I like this quote from famous Christian author C.S. Lewis from his book Perelandra:

When He died in the Wounded World He died not for men, but for each man. If each man had been the only man made, He would have done no less.

I’m concerned about that statement from your friend,

I suppose I’m concerned about any potential underlying message he may have implied.

He needs to know that His creator knows him intimately and longs for him to believe in Jesus and come to know Him. Even though he can’t feel it, it’s for certain.

I hope this is helpful to you, friend. If others wish to correct me on anything I’ve said here please do! It is humbly welcomed. :slight_smile:

In His love.

4 Likes

@nid7.abraham,

First of all, I’m so proud that you took the time to reply to him privately. You’ve opened the door to a one-on-one conversation which is exactly what you should do!

Here are some follow-up questions you can ask:

“Hell, huh?! So you believe in an after life? If you believe in an afterlife, does that mean that you believe in the supernatural? I mean, something had to create the afterlife, right? The natural world only creates physical things in accordance with the laws of nature, the supernatural world refers to things beyond that, such as hell. What are your thoughts on the supernatural? Do you believe that the supernatural is a god, gods, special computer, monkey, what? How did you determine that?” (From here, hopefully you can both launch into a conversation about how we know which supernatural (God) is right.) If he says he doesn’t know and doesn’t care, you can ask him to gather a few of his things and follow you to a place you want to take him. His first question might be, “Where are we going?” in which you can reply, “Exactly. You won’t even follow me here on earth to a destination without wanting to know where you are going to. Don’t you think that you should have that same desire to know where you are going when you leave this earth? So again, what do you think about who the supernatural is?”

You could also ask: "How do you know that the cool people actually went to hell? Who/What determines where people go after they die? (Again, see where his answers go and then see how you can tie it in to the gospel).

When someone acknowledges they believe in the afterlife, there’s so many ways that can be used to get to the gospel because a belief in the afterlife implies a belief in the supernatural. Now you can step in and help him know what the supernatural is that he believes in. He probably doesn’t even realize that he has a belief in the supernatural. I’m glad he’s in conversation with you. The goal is to get him to reflect on why he holds the beliefs he does. Where do they come from? Are they true? And see if him questioning himself fuels a hunger for truth.

These are just a few ideas. I just prayed for you and this conversation!
Alycia

8 Likes

Perhaps you will find it interesting that I recently had a dream where I “saw” hell. The short answer is that no one would want to go there. It was a dark and lonely place, with “spiritual flames” not like the fire of this world.

I don’t really have much more to add than that, except it seemed like a place NO ONE would want to go. I simply saw it and did not experience it, but that didn’t stop me from being afraid to go there.

Dear Nidhin Abraham,

Thank you for reaching out :slight_smile:
I think it’s really nice that you care about your friend and want him to consider his (eternal) life.

Let me go back first to your friend‘s statement: „will you guys be sad if I pass away.“ I made the experience that often what we and other people say reveals more about our needs and inner desires than what our immediate words in that circumstance reveal. Is it possible that he is asking himself: „am I significant, important, loved? Would anyone care if I didn’t exist, or stop existing?“ Sometimes, especially in groups of people of our own age (and I think also more often in male groups) it’s difficult to articulate these fears as we are afraid to loose our face in our friend groups. But the questions are still there and they need an answer. And the „Good News is“: Yes ! You are significant, important and loved and not only would you Heavenly Father not want you to die, but he even wants to invite you to live eternally WITH him.“

Now, I believe that this is what you wanted to show him and make him understand. However, I think what happened is something a bit different (I suppose your friend isn’t Christian). So when you said „you should rather think about where you are going to eternally“ he might have felt even more unloved, because not only is he insignificant here on earth, but now he is also feeling condemned as “this Christian” might think he’s better than him, as “only Christians go to heaven and the rest to hell” (I’m repeating society’s clicheed phrases here). The thing is that most non-Christians have the idea of meriting heaven or hell and thus either being good enough to make it or not. It’s something you earn, not something you are given for free. I think this is why many people try to paint hell a “happy and hedonistic” place, as everyone they know will probably be there anyway and “no one is holy and perfect” and “it can’t be too bad with my friends around” (again, repeating clichees).

Now I believe you will probably have already sent an answer. But there is always a good occasion to come back to this. You could start like this:
“I’m sorry that my response to you might have come over as rough, all I wanted to say is: I care for your life here, but I care even more about your eternal destiny. I was thinking a lot about it you said this that day. Maybe you could tell me, what did you mean when you said ‘would you guys be sad if I died’?” And now he has time and space to talk to you about it. You might find out about his ideas about life after death. If he believes in heaven and hell you might want to ask him: “where do you think you will go?” And, depending on what he says, you can invite him to the Good News of Jesus Christ. If you would like some ideas about a fruitful conversation about heaven and hell that invites people rather than offending them and make them become angry (again: the world thinks Christians go to heaven because they are “better” and “superiour”, which is course not true), I can recommend this:

I hope this was helpful :slight_smile:
Please let us know. And I will keep you and your friend in my prayers.

2 Likes

Hey there!! @BretG

Thank you very much for your reply.

Actually, two of us in the group felt the same. So, we talked to him and ensured that his question was just random and that it did not have any indirect message within it.

1 Like

Thank you for letting me know, Nidhin! Whew! Glad to know this. :slight_smile:

In Him.