The other day, a Facebook friend asked, “How would you share Christ with a cousin who has just experienced the tragedy of his/her mother having committed suicide?”
I wrote her a note and thought it might encourage others. It has been slightly edited for “blog-worthiness.”
I DO agree that there are different ways to approach people, etc.
But generally speaking, I would say the way to witness to your cousin AND EVERYONE is:
With the fear of God and a love for the person’s soul, show them what God’s Word says about their life, their death and their eternity. Tell them what the Word says Jesus did for sinners and what they must do to be saved.
The Holy Spirit will take care of regenerating their heart, and they will either reject you, get saved, or reject you and maybe later get saved.
As long as you are honest, stick to God’s Word, and express as best you can your real love and compassion, you’ve done your part. I am tempted also to “alter” the message sometimes to “soften” the blow. I have witnessed to so many people, especially FAMILY who come to a realization and say something like, “OK, so you are saying Grandma is in Hell?”
As painful as it is, I’ve had to tell people that there are GOOD people (from man’s eyes) who have likely gone to Hell because of their sin before God. But as Jesus points out in the Rich man and Lazarus parable, we may surmise that those in Hell honestly wish for their brothers and family to hear the real truth while there is still time for them. Luke 16:27-31
Luke 16:27-31 ESV And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house– 28 for I have five brothers–so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'”
By God’s grace, I’ve stayed true to His Word and allowed people to know where I stand…which is simply ‘whatever the Bible says.’ I am not ashamed of this stance; I’m only ashamed of my own selfish fear of rejection.
Keep in the fray, I’m proud of you.