Q: When people are near death, what can I say or do to help them? I am not a pastor, so I don't want to do anything wrong. What can I say if they have never known Jesus?
A: Situations like this are hard because we often put so much stock into what we say and do when we share Christ with others. In reality, it's the Holy Spirit that does the work of conversion. Many times during someone's suffering, we primarily need to be there for them. They likely won't (or can't) respond to someone who is just preaching at them. They need our presence and our love. This however, doesn't mean that you can't bring up God. What I do is ask questions: Are you spiritual? Did you grow up in church? What is your relationship with God like?
This is natural way to transition the conversation to God. If they are open, you can share a verse, offer to pray for them, or even tell your story of how you came to Christ. You don't have to be a pastor to minister to others. As believers, we are all called to be a holy priesthood: "You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."—1 Peter 2:5
Integrate grace and truth in your approach. Apply grace by showing love, presence, and being respectful. Hold to truth by sharing Christ, but allow the Spirit to do the work. It is Jesus, our High Priest, who does the saving, we are simply his hands and feet. —T.A.
Ask a Question
This information is given with the understanding that the author is not rendering medical or legal advice. This is provided for educational purposes only. Names and identifying information have been omitted.