Honoring the Dead
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Q: The explanation on the dead and the process that most people go through when they lose someone close to them, but how do you put forward your feelings to friends and family do you do anything? Maybe you have not been confronted with this problem. How to act among the pagan symbols and all?
A: I do understand and have attended funerals for both my mother and father and my wife's mother and father and several others. It is not a matter of what you do it is a matter of compassion for those who have lost loved ones. That is not the time to start telling people anything other than giving support and understanding. I think that answers your question, as I see it personally. We pay our respects by respecting the feelings of those in mourning. Help where you can but leave the preaching at home, all of that will come soon enough; at our Lord's own pleasure – again -- this is how I see it.
Also, remember, do not trouble yourself by the various religious symbols -- religious symbolism and rituals of various kinds cannot harm us and have no power over us so we should not fear such things and can also be sympathetic in this too as we look on those without the understanding you have, like an adult watching blind children doing whatever makes them feel better. There is an old saying, "Let sleeping dogs lie", because if you don’t they may bite you and there is an instruction for this very thing, especially when people are in a state of emotional weakness.
Most people accept the false teaching that the dead relative, the mother or father all go to heaven, they really do not go into the ground to decay – even though they witness this very thing, they prefer to believe the go to Heaven. One thought is more pleasant than the other, but in this they demonstrate their lack of faith that our Heavenly Father can actually take a body that has decayed to nothing, back to dirt or devolved in sea water and reassemble it -- Here is the power of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior --
(Rom 4:17) As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations." He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed--the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.
In other words, things that were not before, like a person that dies and is completely gone, say in the Great Flood, our God is able to call him or her back into being, that very same person. This is also His creative power, a power He has also given our Savior.
One has to wonder, beyond ourselves, what of the ancients, what about the Egyptians, for example? Their remains are still being dug up, are they in Heaven? And what of those who have dissolved away, are they too in Heaven? According to the Christian teachings they would all be in Hell, having never known our Savior.
I think our Creator has a better plan – He is coming to this Earth and is going to raise the dead back to life again, some to face their final judgment and others to glory.
(John 5:21) For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom He is pleased to give it.
(John 5:28-29) Don’t marvel at this, for the hour comes, in which all that are in the tombs (graves) will hear His voice, and will come out; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life; and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment. RNB
(Col 2:12) having been buried with Him in baptism and raised with Him through your faith in the power of God, who raised Him from the dead.
(Rom 6:5) If we have been united with Him like this in His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in His resurrection.
(1Jn 3:2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God (the Father), and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.
(1Th 1:9-10) For they themselves report concerning us what kind of a reception we had from you; and how you turned to the FATHER from idols, to serve a living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—YaHshua, who delivers us from the wrath to come.
(1Th 4:16-17) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the FATHER’s trumpet. The dead in the Messiah will rise first, then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. So we will be with the Lord forever. RNB