Grieving loved ones who are possibly unsaved

How Do You Deal with the Death of an Unsaved Loved One?
 – John Piper answers

Genesis 18:25 “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

“And right now,” I confessed, “right now the right thing feels very painful to us. Horribly painful. Maybe immobilizingly, paralyzingly painful with grief. We need to move to the point where, by grace, we realize that one day God will give us the emotional wherewithal to see the justice in all of his actions.”

Comfort When an Unbeliever Dies
– 7 minute video by Nancy Guthrie

It is already difficult to know what to say to those who are grieving someone they know was saved, but how do you comfort someone grieving the death of a loved one who may not have been a Christian?

  1. None of us ever really knows the state of another person’s soul.
  • We’re looking for fruits of repentance. Yet, the thief on the cross, had nothing other than putting his faith in Christ at the moment of death.
  • Don’t assume that we can always see the true reality of a person’s soul and relationship to Christ.
  1. We can trust God to do right.
  • Genesis 18:25 – Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” Will He not do what is right?
  • This rhetorical question, “can we trust that God will do what is right?”, is to be answered in the affirmative. God will do right by that person who died.
  • We cannot know for sure about that person’s eternity, but we can count on God doing right.
  • Rather than finding our comfort or building our confidence in something we cannot see clearly, we find our comfort and build our confidence in the character of God.
  • Nancy invites us to turn our focus from what we saw or didn’t see in the person’s life, and turn our focus to the God who we can trust will do right.
  1. God is abundant in mercy
  • The first time God introduces Himself to anyone, he talks about what is most important about himself. When God introduces himself to Moses, God says, I am a God who is abundant in mercy, a God who loves to save. This is the God we are seeking to trust. In Ephesians 2:4, Paul says that God is rich in mercy.

Nancy encourages us to seek this God who can be trusted to do right and who is abundant in mercy.


When an Unbeliever Dies: Offering Comfort without Distorting the Truth
–  George Lawson, The Master’s Seminary


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