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What if a relative has not been baptized?

What do you say at the funeral of a non-Christian?


  1. When one obeys the gospel and another does not; homes are divided.

  2. This was common in first century. It is also common today.

  3. Matthew 10:34 – Think not that I came to send peace on earth. I came not to send peace, but a sword.

  4. Luke 12:51-53 – 51 Do you suppose that I have come to give peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division. 52 For from now on, there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. 53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.

  5. Becoming a Christian is NOT a family activity. It is an individual decision.

  6. There are some important Biblical matters to understand here.


  1. I can do no less than preach and teach what the Bible says.

  2. God requires obedient faith. – Romans 16:26; Hebrews 5:8-9; Matthew 7:21

  3. Those who do not obey are lost. – 2 Thessalonians 1:8; Romans 2:8

  4. God commands some things of us – With conditions and promises.

  5. Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Worship, Study, Pray, Anger, Tongue, Love neighbor, Golden Rule, etc.


  1. I can not preach anyone into heaven OR hell.

  2. I can not know their heart, intent, knowledge, understanding, or opportunity to obey.

  3. Sometimes we ASSUME they know and refuse to obey.

    1. Do they really know?

    2. Do they understand?

    3. Are there other factors to consider?


  1. Knowledge

    1. Luke 12:47-48 47 And that servant who knew his lord's will and did not prepare, nor did according to His will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he not knowing, and doing things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For to whomever much is given, of him much shall be required. And to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

    2. James 3:1 My brothers, do not be many teachers, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

  2. Opportunity

    1. John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the Light, because their deeds were evil.

    2. Mark 6:11 And whoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Truly I say to you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.

    3. John 9:41 Jesus said to them, If you were blind, you would have no sin. But now you say, We see. Therefore your sin remains.

  3. Exposure does not mean understanding

    1. Many attend, listen, exposed. This does not mean they fully understand or are able to make application to their lives.

    2. Can you explain why you believe some doctrine is right or wrong?

    3. Attend a lecture on nuclear physics or heart surgery. Do you understand all that was discussed? Exposure does not mean understanding.


  1. Wicked people do die – town drunks

  2. Ecclesiastes 8:10 “I saw the wicked buried.”

  3. 1 Peter 3:1-5 – We must seek to teach, influence and convert the lost.

  4. 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 – It is not wrong to be married to an unbeliever.

There are two destinies

  1. Matthew 25 – sheep and goats, right and left, eternal life and eternal death, heaven and hell.

  2. Matthew 7:13-14 – Go in through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there are who go in through it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and constricted is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.


  1. Did they desire to obey God, follow His will?”

  2. If they learned what you have learned, what would they do?”

  3. Illustration – Worn out yard stick in store. You discover it is one inch short – 35 inches long.

  4. Does replacing the yardstick mean your father was a cheat?

  5. Each of us will be judged by our knowledge and opportunity.

At the funeral of a non-Christian

  1. Comfort the grieving family

  2. Talk about personal life this person lived

  3. Discuss examples from their life that will encourage or teach us

  4. I say that I am not their judge.

    1. God will deal righteously with each of us.

    2. God knows our heart, intent, knowledge, and understanding.



by Jim O’Connor

Many wonderful ladies find themselves in the unfortunate situation of having a husband who isn’t a Christian. It’s a sad situation which causes, in many cases, great anguish of heart and presents a tremendous challenge to the Christian’s faith. However, it is not an impossible situation for the one who has the desire to cope with it and the faith to do so. Perhaps the following suggestions will be

1… DON’T GIVE UP! It was just to such a situation as this that Paul wrote, “For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband?” (1 Cor 7:16). Paul didn’t recommend giving up and neither do I. Surrender to his unfaithfulness is not the answer. It will do nothing but drag you into his lost state and erect barriers which might well be the doom of both of you.

2… BE A CHRISTIAN WIFE. Learn what the Bible teaches in 1 Peter 3:1-4 and Titus 2:4,5 and then make a conscious, determined effort to practice it. What he needs more than anything else at this time is the gospel according to you.

3… BE AN ACTIVE PART OF THE CHURCH. Many husbands are unreachable because the wife demonstrates in her life that the church is unimportant.

4… SPEAK WELL OF THE CHURCH. Criticism of the church will have a negative effect. Emphasis on the bad side will blind him to the good side and the divine side. Any congregation has a good side. Look for it and talk it up!

5… KEEP APPROPRIATE LITERATURE IN CONVENIENT PLACES IN THE HOME. Many husbands have been brought to the Lord by this method.

6… PRAY REGULARLY FOR HIM. The Lord’s counsel in Luke 18:1 is important. Let him know that he is on your prayer list. Just knowing that someone is praying for you has a tremendous effect.

These few suggestions will not guarantee the conversion of your husband, but the chances are good that they won’t do you any harm. Give them a try.

Jim O'Conner article is from -


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