Thursday, May 28, 2020

Can We Write 'RIP' In Social Media In Seeing Someone Is Nomore?

Is It Biblical To Say 'Rest In Peace' (RIP)?

Question: Is it Biblical to say "Rest In Peace" as we often see it written on the coffin box and people writing in social media as a condolence on hearing the death of a friend or a loved one or anybody who is dead? Can we write 'RIP' in social media in seeing someone is nomore? Does the Bible even mention of such a wish or a prayer to God regarding the dead?

Answer: Greetings in Jesus mighty name!

The Bible is very clear about the eternal destinies of people who die, all those who have believed Jesus Christ as the Son of God and have died, have died yet live in the spirit because of Jesus Christ and therefore are sleeping in the Lord
(John 14:19; 11:13), and they will live rise up after the Rapture to live forever in the New Heaven and New Earth that will have New Jerusalem suspended over it aerially which will make us possible to live with God, as we in our New Glorious Body will be able to enter it any moment we desire and be in the immediate Presence of God forever and ever (John 11:25-26; 2 Peter 3:13; Heb 12:22). Those who are in the unsaved state of sin and rebellion against God and reject God's grace to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will die in their sins and will go straight to hell fire even after living a religious life (John 8:24; Mark 9:45-46).

In other words, whether we say 'RIP' (i.e.) Rest In Peace or not, those who are saved and have died will rest in peace and those who have died without salvation will rest without peace
(Isa 48:22; 57:2, 20-21).

Yes we often see the acronym RIP (or R.I.P.) is often seen carved on tombstones, and the words rest in peace are often heard at wakes and funerals. It comes from the Latin blessing requiescat in pace
(literally, “may he begin to rest in peace”)

The Bible never even one time has told people to pray for the dead as each person who dies, are judged by God according to the life they have lived and the work the have done throughout their earthly lives. The very appointment of God that each humans face in their lives to give an account for it starts the day they die and after that comes judgement, either for good works for those are saved or for the evil works for those who have remained unsaved
(Heb 9:27-27; Dan 12:13; Rev 20:11-15).

In fact speaking to the dead is an abominable practice God has clearly told His people not to get involved with, as they might end up communicating with demons that will completely misguide them in disguise to make them end up in hell fire and keep them up forever away from God
(Deut 18:10-13; Lev 19:31; 20:27; 1 Sam 28:3-25). God does want living people with life that He has given to them to consult Him and not the dead on behalf of the living (Isa 8:19-20). All the dead people are in the jurisdiction of God after their die (Matt 10:28), the saved will be with God after their death and the unsaved will end up in Sheol which is a direct translation of the Hebrew word which means it is a place of darkness to which spirits of the dead go. The Greek word used in the Bible for it is Hades which is a hostile place whose gates cannot prevail against the church because God has saved them from it through Jesus Christ the Messiah of it (Matt 16:18).

It seems that the Hades has a lot of demonic control within its operation and existence through the expression that Jesus used saying that it cannot prevail over the Church, in fact, Jesus himself holds the keys of Death and Hades that is why hades of darkness cannot prevail over the light of the Church which is the physical body of Christ Jesus on earth as He remains the spiritual and physical head to control its existence and operation from heaven which is His throne
(Rev 1:18; Eph 1:22-23; Isa 66:1). Death and Hades will ultimately relinquish their dead and be cast into the lake of fire after the end of this earth's existence (Rev 20:13-14).

There are certain absolutes of the truth that we need to understand before we can fully understand RIP (Rest In Peace):

1) The condition in which a person will live after death is determined by the life He lives now, and no prayer of others or even himself after death can change his eternal state
(John 8:24).

2) Obiviously once someone dies no amount of prayer for them can change their eternal destinies that they have attained, either they are on the way to hell's torment without God for eternity or on the way to heaven to be with God in peace for eternity based on the life lived on earth through the choice of accepting God's way of Jesus Christ 
(Luke 16:26).

3) Jesus did not pray but only wept seeing his dead friend Lazarus has died because it is appointed by God for all humans to once die and after that judgment with God is fixed by Him. But later he commanded him to arise and he lived which is a demonstration of what is going to happen to all believers. No matter how long it takes Jesus to arrive on earth, He will finally come and raise up the entire body of Believers who have died since His ascension to heaven. David stopped praying seeing that his little baby boy has died and have gone on to be with the Lord
(John 11:34-35; 2 Sam 12:20-23). This shows that in hope of resurrection we are commited to the ground.    

4) After a person dies, they are only rewarded but cannot work to change their eternal state anymore. The reward for the righteous dead are many gifts and glories of God in heaven. But for the unrighteous unsaved dead, there are many torments and many many more afflictions of stripes in hell
(Luke 12:46-48).

5) Paul prayed to God for Onesiphorus his fellow worker in his ministry saying,
"May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus." (2 Timothy 1:16-18). Some have used this passage to argue for praying for the dead. It is said that Paul prayed for mercy for Onesiphorus, a man who was dead. Therefore Paul believed his prayer could have some affect on the outcome of the destiny of Onesiphorus. When Paul says, "May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day!", it was not about his eternal destiny that Paul was praying but rather about the reward for all his works he did in providing Paul in the ministry of the Lord. Onesiphorus was already a saved believer who helped Paul the apostle in his ministry, so there cannot be an iota of doubt that Paul was praying for his reward to be huge in heaven which will be given him by the Lord on the day of the judgment as a reward apart from sin for salvation that God has for every believer (Heb 9:27-28; Rev 22:12).

6) Praying for the dead is contrary to everything the Bible teaches. Even when Paul the apostle expressed how the believers are
"baptised for the dead", he was not saying that after death people were baptized to go to heaven but rather he was expressing the theological stance of the water baptism that every believer takes which point to him or her dying to old life and living towards God the new life which He has given them through their belief in the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus on behalf of them (1 Cor 15:1-4, 29; Rom 6:3-7). Thus saying, “Rest in peace,” writing “RIP,” and other forms of prayers for the dead are rooted in Catholic tradition, not the Word of God.

We do not see the exact words 'rest in peace' used any where in the Bible, because Bible teaches humans about the most important thing to do while alive, to look to God and live and not worry whether we will be given a good burial after death or not because in the light of eternity, how we live now towards God while alive is what will decide our eternal destiny in our after life
(Eccl 12:7, 13-14). What I say is, a good burial and a ceremony is needed for every human being from the view point of our earthly life (Eccl 6:3), but in the view point of heavenly life Jesus said, 'let the dead bury the dead,' which means he was telling that commonly anybody could give a decent burial and a ceremony for any human but only the living who lives after death will follow God on earth even before they die on earth (Matt 8:22; Luke 9:60). Hallelujah!

Paul said that
“to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8), which shows that death for a Christian is not the end, but only a beginning for a better life with God in heaven. Thus when any human who receives Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, they end up with Him in Zion the New Jerusalem when they die (Heb 12:22).

Because the thought of death can be frightening and at the same time disheartening and much sorrowful, people through the years have invented some platitudes with which to comfort themselves, and it is not wrong to do it when we know that someone has died as a Christians
(1 Thess 4:18). When someone dies, we often hear unbiblical statements such as “She’s an angel now” and “God needed another angel in heaven”; but people become like angel without power to procreate physically after their death (Matt 22:30), but every Christian who dies become sons of God in Christ Jesus who are more powerful and glorious that the best of the angels present in heaven as they are always close to the heart of God through the Holy Spirit who will help them have an open audience with God all the time in their thoughts for eternity (John 8:35; Gal 3:26; Rom 8:19; Isa 65:24; Heb 2:5-10). Sometimes, we hear the bromide through the mouth of unbelievers, “He’s in a better place,” spoken with no thought that he might actually be in a worse place as he too might have died as a unbeliever. People who never have time for God suddenly grow religious at a funeral, this cannot make their wish come true as they themselves need to repent and turn to God and accept his solution of believing in Jesus Christ to get saved and avoid hell (Acts 16:31).

Sometimes we even see unsaved Pastors, pronouncing a prayer of blessing professionally over the dead and saying that the dead is in heaven with God, in such cases both are heading to hell fire, the Pastor needs to repent and be saved before someone unsaved says the same prayer over his dead body too. They try to assure themselves and others that, regardless of the deceased’s relationship with God while on earth, he or she is in heaven now. But we must not ignore what Scripture teaches, and therefore only say good things of eternal life about someone only when we know that they are saved, or else speak only of the good things of the earthly life of someone and not the heavenly for those who have died
(Rom 12:15).

As humans live forever, only two option exist for them to make a choice while alive, to choose heaven or hell
(Matthew 10:28; 25:46; Mark 9:43). Jesus pointed to a rich who sought not God in his earthly life, He told that he ended up in hell fire, but a poorest man without food and in much want and sickness ended up in heaven because he sought God and had peace with Him (Luke 16:19-31). As the Bible says, there is no peace for the wicked (Isa 57:21), let us not say like the hypocritical false prophets, "peace, peace when there is not peace", thus deceiving ourselves and also others who need the Gospel to get saved (Jer 6:14; Ezek 13:10). Let none of us be the blind leaders of the blind. According to Scripture, a person who dies without Christ is not “resting in peace” (see John 3:18).

So the bottom line is to be truthful even while mourning, to say as it is, is the truth that can bring blessing to people and comfort to the heart of those who remain yet unsaved. Sharing the truth of the Scripture to people to make them aware of the good news of Jesus Christ even in the funeral homes, will do more good than bandaging the wounds without cleaning the pus. It is better to hit people with truth, than to give kisses of lies to deceive them from eternal truth that has the power to save them and make them think about it to make a decision to get saved. Truth sets us all free from sin and fear of death! Jesus is the truth we speak about always.

As REST IN PEACE (RIP) is a prayer with which we say to God to keep the dead in peace if they are saved or best wishes to the dead to remain in peace until the day of resurrection, which reveals the real meaning of REST IN PEACE (RIP),
(i.e.) "May he begin to rest in peace!". Let us say to the saved whom we know about their lives lived on earth these above phrases, and not say commonly to everyone whom we come to see being dead. Those who have lived their lives worthy of the Lord can be pronounced with such REST IN PEACE (RIP Wishes) as they are the one who will remain in peace with God and will rise again to be resurrected in their glorious body to be eternally rewarded with God's inheritance when Jesus comes to the earth during Rapture to take the Church to the prepared place for it in the New Heaven and New Earth.

When we do not know whether someone is saved or not, or we know that someone who has died is unsaved, it is better to comfort the family and friends saying that we will pray for their comfort and relief from their sorrow and not say
'Rest In Peace (RIP)' to the deceased, as a wish towards them or as a prayer for them towards God. As we know that whatever may be our wishes, the eternal destiny of each humans is sealed forever and cannot be changed after their death (John 3:18-21), let us pray that the Gospel of the Lord Jesus which we share may become effective in the lives of people whom we share with, so that we could be able to say "REST IN PEACE" - RIP to them truthfully after they die and go on to be with the Lord (Isa 57:2; Dan 12:13). Hallelujah!

Only in heaven there will be peace, in hell no peace but only torment, so get saved before it is too late
(John 3:16).

It is never wrong to say, "Rest In Peace" to the saved, and also never wrong praying for the comfort of the bereaved unsaved's family and friends, and pray for them all to come to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ which God desires
(1 Tim 2:3-4). But to wish or pray for the unsaved dead is unbiblical and therefore we need to avoid saying something as a cliche and start speaking about the truth of Jesus Christ that can only set people free from sin and fear of death to give them the assurance of a heavenly life with God through Jesus Christ.

Much Blessings....


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