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My grandfather died in 1992. I received the phone call from my mother in Dublin where I had emigrated to spread the gospel with 16 other Irish men and women. I travelled to Northern Ireland where we buried him in a new grave. I carried his coffin upon which was placed a tricolour bouquet symbolic of his active service in the IRA (Irish Republican Army) during the first half of the 19th Century. His funeral was a time of deep reflection and some regrets on my part. My “papa” was a fun man to be with. I knew him from his mid sixties until his death at 92 years old. He was a drinker and a singer of songs of the Irish political kind but I never knew him to be harsh or outspoken. He gave me one spanking when I was a kid which I deserved but never saw repeated on me or anyone else.

After the funeral I had a quiet moment of reflection with one of my female relatives. She asked me “Where do you think Papa is now?”. I replied that I was not the judge. I had thought in advance that I might be asked something like that. The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus will be the Judge.

John 5:22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son

My grandad was loved. He came out to a church service once and sat through one of my first ever sermons. He had a question for me in the kitchen afterwards. I showed him a scripture. A few months later in London I asked him if he wanted to study some more but he was quite clear he was not interested.

My relative was persistent is asking me closed questions about my Grandad’s eternal destination. She said she knew I had a belief about where he was and asked me again. I gave a similar answer. Then she stated what I have heard many, many times before then and since then. She said “I know he is in heaven”. She pressed me again in a slightly more accusing tone, “I know you believe you know where he is. What does the bible say about where he is?” Jesus was asked many trick questions by religious people. I have learned that His disciples can expect these too. My answer was simple…
“You may choose to take the place of the Lord Jesus Christ” – as Judge and King of all that is seen and unseen – “but no matter what you say to me I cannot and will not be Papa’s Judge on Judgement day. Read the bible yourself if you want to know”. That same relative has slandered God,  His Word and myself on a number of occasions since, but not to my face at funerals ever again.

I’ve lost several other family members since my Grandad’s death including my dear Grandmother (Nanny) and several aunts and uncles. My father died in 2012.
At my father’s funeral I was left, free from questions, to grieve his loss. That is my right as a human being. That right is now respected. Jesus wept for Lazerus. I feel secure that (as a disciple of Jesus) I can grieve for my father. I cried a lot at his funeral. A few months ago I broke down quite suddenly in tears remembering he was gone. My father drank himself to death. He died as a direct result of his alcohol consumption. He hurt me a lot throughout his life but as a disciple I managed to forgive him and stop hating and rebelling against his preaching. Sadly daddy never repented.

As a bible believer I can confidently say I will see my Papa and my Daddy again.

There will be a day.

Revelation 20:12-15 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

All the dead in my family,  those I have known personally,  those I have only seen in pictures, those I have only heard of and all the many I have never known.. “I will see them” on that day. I will not however be their Judge. How could I EVER be the judge? How ludicrous to think I have the power or right to be the judge of what is moral. In my flesh I am nothing. Jesus will choose those who will judge with Him.

Revelation 20:4-5 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.

Those who were persecuted to death will help Jesus with the Judgement. All nations will be gathered together and Judged.

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Joel 3:12-14 “Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side. Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow— so great is their wickedness!” Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.

Jesus will Judge me, my Papa and my Daddy. I only qualify to be involved in the judging itself if I am killed for my faith.

It is sad to hear people say things like “he’s in a better place” and “we’ll meet again (in heaven) some day” and worse still to hear “they are in heaven with God”. None of these are facts. They are arrogant assumptions and as those who make them cannot take the place of Jesus, as such, they are lies. I grieve for my dead at funerals but I also grieve for the living when I see how they utter and believe such lies as these.

Matthew 8:22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

Jesus understood that death is for the living. It is useless to try to change the eternal destination of a dead person. God gave them one life and many chances. Death should remind us to be right with God. Death is coming soon. That means the end is coming soon. The end is near.

Don’t waste time trying to save a dead person. Save yourself. Then save others. As many as possible. Stop trying to be the Judge. Empty lies will not save the dead. This is what the bible teaches.

If you want to grieve. Grieve. I will grieve with you. I am still grieving for my daddy as I write this but no lie of man can change the Judgement of Jesus. I wont listen to lies. If you are grieving I am truly sorry for your loss but your grieve does not make you higher than Jesus Christ. Sorry.

I am from a Catholic background where I was taught to pray for the dead. There is one ancient historical document that references this practice but is is not in any sacred Scriptures. It is useless to rely on the Apocryphal Macabees when they state that “atonement for the dead” (2 Mac 13:41-45) can be made. The same Macabees make it abundantly clear there were no prophets to write scripture in Israel in these years (1 Mac 4:45, 9:27, 14:41). This only proves that these kind of lies have surrounded the dead for centuries.

Grieve as we may, the truth is still the truth.

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