Religion is an important source of strength for many of our members, so we’re asking clergy from different religious traditions to share how their members mark the end of a life. Today we’re speaking to Ade Justus of Righteousness of God Ministries, an Apostolic Christian church.
What does your faith teach about happens to people when their lives end?
My faith is based on the bible and here’s what the bible teaches about people when their life ends. Bible says after death is judgment. We believe there is life after death, so when a man dies, he is going to face the judgment of God based on how he spent his life. If he died in righteousness there is hope of eternity, but if otherwise he will face eternal condemnation.
How do clergy comfort the dying? How do lay people comfort the dying?
Clergy comforts the dying, based on the knowledge, believe and faith of the individual. Jesus said that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life. So the best way to comfort the dying is to let them know that, they will be welcomed into eternal bliss by the virtue of what Jesus has accomplished for them on the cross, and by personal experience with Jesus.
The bible provides a way for lay people to comfort the dying. They can come in agreement in prayer with the person and follow what the bible says in James 5:13-16.That is the best way to comfort them.
How do members of the community traditionally respond to the death of one of their members?
The response of one community defer from another, it depends on the community you belong to. It is a mixture of different faith, so all have different ways to respond to death. But there is no better way to respond than to console one other and show each other the love of Christ.
Is there a service to memorialize the dead? What is it like?
There is no service to memorialize the dead in the New Testament. But some churches hold such services.
What rituals of mourning are there in your faith?
There are no rituals of mourning in my faith based on the New Testament.
Is there a particular amount of time allocated for grieving?
There is no time allocated for grieving, it’s all about the grace to let go of what has happened and understand what bible said about the dead, that we shall still meet again in heaven. So we can grieve for a while and then rejoice because we know we’ll meet them again and also thank God for a life well lived.
What text or passage would you suggest to a member of your faith community who is grieving?
The text for those that grieving are 1Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.
What words would you share to comfort members of our community who may be mourning?
The word to comfort member of the community mourning is to let them know the bible regards death as sleeping, and that we have hope of seeing those that are dead again in eternity, 1Thessalonalns 4:13-18.
Is there a tradition from your faith that might be comforting for people of other faiths?
We have no tradition but salvation. Believing in the finished work of Jesus Christ is comfort enough for the people of our faith.