Do you think he’s in heaven?

25 Oct


A few days ago a co-worker of mine died unexpectedly from a heart attack, leaving a void in his family and those who worked closest with him. One day later I was sitting at dinner celebrating the 50th birthday of a Pastor friend. After dinner, on my ride home, I couldn’t help but think on the intricacies of life. We can truly be here today and gone tomorrow. Celebrating and grieving all in the same week.

As I was sitting at my desk this morning I received a call from a grieving mother who had some questions about her son who had passed from a drug overdose. I answered her questions lovingly and as honestly as I could. But she asked me one that made me pause: “Do you think he’s in heaven?”

In that second I took a pause. I could hear the hurt in her voice, understood the depth of the question, felt the desperate anticipation that hung in the silence. I quietly said “I don’t know. I don’t know the relationship he had with God and I don’t know what happened in those last moments of his life”.

After getting off the phone with her, she was thankful for the listening ear and I pray a tad lighter than when she first called. But back to the question, can we ever answer that question with any surety?

I know a ‘yes’ would have been comforting. But sometimes the answer is ‘no’. We really don’t know. Only God knows.

This mother was a believer who tried to lead her son to Christ. But, as we all do, he had his own choices to make. So I understood the depth of her question. So many of us want others to be saved, but of course we especially want our loved ones to be saved; our parents, children, spouses, brothers, sisters, friends.

It might even feel unfair sometimes for those of us in ministry who actively minister and bring others to Christ but wonder about the salvation of the ones closest to our hearts.

But what do we do?

We run our own race. And we have to run it in such a way that we don’t get disqualified from the prize; heaven. Run it to hear ‘well done’.

God is sovereign.

Today is here, but tomorrow is never promised? Make it matter.

Grief and the questions that come with it are sometimes difficult to deal with. What are your thoughts and experiences?


Posted by on October 25, 2013 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , ,

16 responses to “Do you think he’s in heaven?

  1. Brian

    October 25, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    There are so many technical nuances that believer should be aware of on this subject. I just want to mention two:
    1) salvation includes surrendering the remainder of this earthly life to God’s will. This does not mean we get everything correct, but we sincerely repent and strive to life by God’s lead
    2) eternal life and heaven are different in the Book of Revelation. God is the focus in eternity. If we want to live again to continue earthly relationships we may disqualify ourselves. God’s eternal kingdom (earth and heaven) is for those who only want to worship God with no agenda after that. If I am concerned about seeing anyone I may miss God.

    Thanks for this post it blessed my day.

    • JC

      October 26, 2013 at 1:47 pm

      Amen, I am glad it blessed you.

      Your two points are correct. But often the thought of seeing a loved one again in heaven is the only solace for some of us.

      As I spoke to a few others yesterday, some said their answer would have been ‘yes’, just to be comforting. Under that premise, I would have to tell every family ‘yes’, because, who would I say ‘no’ to. The truth is, some of us are not going to make it. We just have to continue to press…

      I thought it was interesting…thanks for the comment.

      Blessings always Brian πŸ˜‰

  2. greenlightlady

    October 27, 2013 at 4:20 am

    JC, I think your answer was perfect. Only God knows what is in the heart of each person.

    Blessings ~ Wendy

    • JC

      October 28, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      That’s true, only God knows the heart.

      Blessings Wendy

  3. Deborah

    October 27, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Yes, that is a tough question to answer especially when someone is grieving. I’m glad you answer with honesty because unfortunately it is true, not all make it to Heaven. God bless you πŸ™‚

    • JC

      October 28, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      Hi Deborah,
      Thanks for following and commenting.

      Blessings to you too πŸ˜‰

  4. Seyi sandra

    October 27, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Your answer is spot on, my best friend lost her brother last year, and though my friend is a Christian, she wasn’t sure of her brother’s stand with Christ before he passed away! The thought that he could be in hell tormented her and I tried to comfort her as best as I could. This is a powerful post dear friend, have a great week!
    Blessings. πŸ™‚

    • JC

      October 28, 2013 at 2:12 pm

      I believe that was the depth of the question. But I agree with you we have to find other ways to comfort each other because the answer to this question is truly an unknown.

      Thanks and blessings to you too my friend πŸ˜‰

  5. Grace Esedeke

    October 28, 2013 at 5:00 am

    Personally I think I have experienced something similar. A friend of mine who is a very strong Christian lost her fiancee 3days to her wedding. he was attacked by some of the occult friends he had in his past. In an attempt to console her, people said a lot of things that left me with such questions as: Was it God who took his life in order to save my friend’s life from something that might have happened in future? Was he saved? What will be his fate? Though I couldn’t get the answer to this questions, I was sure of one thing: God knows all.

    I think the answer you gave was the most honest and sincere answer you could have given. perhaps saying anything contrary might have been a lie except if God revealed it to you.

    Have a Blessed week!

    • JC

      October 28, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      These are difficult questions, but real nonetheless. Truthfully, some we will never get answered. We just have to hold on to and not turn our back and be angry at a sovereign God.

      Sometimes we feel that we ‘should’ have an answer and many times make it worse.

      Blessings my sister πŸ˜‰

  6. writerwannabe763

    November 3, 2013 at 5:20 am

    I’ve thought about this myself and the only conclusion I can come to is that we can’t really ever ‘know’ for sure who goes to heaven and who not… We may think we know … but ultimately it’s up to God to make that decision.. Even if we don’t believe that someone is a Christian we ….like you made reference to .. don’t know what happens in even the last moments of a person’s life between them and God. .. Having said that I do not want to have any of my loved ones wait until their final moments to know Christ… Diane

    • JC

      February 10, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      Diane, I missed this comment…
      Yes, my prayer is the same, that those closest to me don’t wait until the last moment and miss out. I was just watching Billy Graham’s ‘The Cross’ and saw so many people accept Christ. It just brought tears to my eyes to see knees bowed and tongues confessing HIM.

      May we continue to run this race to hear ‘well done’

      Thanks for the comment Diane.

  7. osarobohenry

    February 9, 2014 at 9:42 am

    Reblogged this on osarobohenry.

    • JC

      February 10, 2014 at 5:33 pm

      Thanks for the reblog Osarobo πŸ˜‰

  8. Mark Myers

    February 9, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Such a difficult question and I think you handled it perfectly. I had a friend who lost his mother and the same question came up. I know they want comfort, but there isn’t a truthful way to answer.

  9. JC

    February 10, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Hi Mark πŸ˜‰
    Thanks for reading. Yes, it is a difficult question and one that I have been asked more than once (especially with suicides). Truly there is no truthful way to answer, no matter the circumstance.



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