Recently there have been several people who have passed that I know and as a pastor I have had to either minister to the family as a pastor or be there for support as a friend or a loved one. More than I want to experience again.
Many of you know that I am a Facebook stalker (lol) and I see all kinds of things that people post after the loss of a loved one. I have seen videos of those who have passed and I see what people say when they lose a loved one or know someone that has passed.
Usually I will see something that will say the person’s name and then it will say R.I.P. (rest in peace). But the Rest in Peace came from the early Christian church and it meant that the individual that passed had died in the peace of the church. Meaning they had received the peace that only God can give through His Son Jesus.
But what about when you see R.I.P. for someone that you know was not a Christian? I believe that the tradition from the early church has carried over to the secular world and just about everyone writes R.I.P. However, rest in peace is very misleading to a lost and dying world. Especially when a Christian writes it unless they knew the person was a believer. So here Is my first blog on our site.
When someone passes from this life their body which has passed will rest in the grave for a little while but their spirit is not at rest, especially if they were not a Christian. You see Paul tells us that if we are absent from the body we are present with the Lord. That would also mean for the non-Christian absent from the body present in hell. We will get a new body later on but our spirit leaves this body and goes to one of two places, heaven or hell. In fact, Jesus even tells us in His parable of the rich man and Lazarus that people are already in hell begging us to tell them that hell is a literal place.
There will be no rest in hell. The Bible explains it as constant torment and torture. The only time they will do anything different is when they stand before God at the Great White Throne Judgement. Then they will be judged on their acts while living here on earth. They were sent directly to hell because they did not trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. So they as the Bible says were condemned already.
Even the Christian’s Spirit will not be at rest. We will be worshipping and praising God. No rest there! Can you imagine what we will do when we see Jesus? See the loved ones that have gone on before? Wow, trust me there will be no rest.
So Christians please know what you know what you know. Please no R.I.P. for a lost person. Use what Paul tells us in Romans 8:28 (And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose). Christians maybe God is giving you an opportunity to use the death of a friend or loved one as an opportunity to witness to the family, especially the lost. And for those who have passed that have their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life they have died in the peace as a member of the Body of Christ! So by all means write R.I.P.