What to do about a friend who ?says the don't want to go to heaven

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What to do about a friend who ?says the don't want to go to heaven

Postby Never thirsty! » Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:30 pm

don't even ask me how I got on this topic talking to her because I don't remember I just remember her saying that she wouldn't want to go to heaven and not only do I wonder why wouldn't she want to not suffer for eternity but why would she want to miss out on the awesomeness of being in the presence of the Creator of all things and be able to stand Blameless before Him? I don't want to end up in heaven without her because I know God has given me so many chances to try to save her but I didn't capitalize on them and she is very important to me so important to the point if I didn't meet her I would be dead right now and I don't want her to have to suffer forever, but I don't know how to work up the courage to try and tell her about how great God and heaven are because of the fear that it might end up pushing her away.
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Re: What to do about a friend who ?says the don't want to go to heaven

Postby Xeno » Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:08 pm

Other people's salvation is not your project or your direct responsibility. You're not going to understand her reasoning without asking her, and trying to force something on her without understanding her objections is exactly the kind of thing you're not supposed to do. Also, look at how your phrased this in your post, if she believes in God then she gets to experience his awesomeness, otherwise she is punished by being tortured for eternity, condemned there by the very person you want her to embrace. Just take a step back from the fact this is Christianity and look at that, it's not exactly an appealing situation, and kind of looks like domestic abuse.

If she isn't christian, which I'm going to assume she isn't, then she may believe in a different religion, that has a different outcome for people. She may also be a non-believer, in which case she probably has a number of problems with religions in general, or Christianity in particular. Whatever it is, it's not your responsibility to "save" her, but instead to worry about yourself and provide an example to others of how good Christians live.
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Re: What to do about a friend who ?says the don't want to go to heaven

Postby Mr. SmartyPants » Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:00 pm

Eh... Probably best to drop the subject entirely.
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Re: What to do about a friend who ?says the don't want to go to heaven

Postby goldenspines » Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:39 pm

Actions speak louder than words, and in many cases, they are more effective.

Since only God can change hearts, I recommend you show the awesomeness of God through your actions. Ask Him to bless others through you. I can understand that it's sad and frustrating when people you care about are not believers. But the best we can do for anyone is to show God's love and not try to force anyone into a mold of "being a Christian".
Yes, that's very unsatisfying, because as Christians, we want to SEE the results of our "hard work" to save others. But that's being selfish. In the end, while it can be affected slightly by those around them, one's salvation is between them and God, no one else.


Basically, I recommend you talking to God about it and I'm sure He will show you the right path to choose. And instead of trying to preach at your friend that she SHOULD want to go to heaven, respect what she thinks about stuff and continue to be a kind and caring friend to her. Be mindful of how she feels about things, as you should try with all the people you know.
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Re: What to do about a friend who ?says the don't want to go to heaven

Postby Nate » Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:40 pm

If you're not a Christian and you look at the kind of people who claim they are Christian and that they're going to Heaven, and that everyone else is going to Hell, I can definitely see someone saying "If Heaven is full of people like that then I'd rather go to Hell, since that's clearly where all the decent and awesome people are going."
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Re: What to do about a friend who ?says the don't want to go to heaven

Postby Mr. SmartyPants » Mon Oct 13, 2014 5:38 pm

Nate wrote:If you're not a Christian and you look at the kind of people who claim they are Christian and that they're going to Heaven, and that everyone else is going to Hell, I can definitely see someone saying "If Heaven is full of people like that then I'd rather go to Hell, since that's clearly where all the decent and awesome people are going."

Hope to see you there, Nate! It's probably where I will be.
Last edited by Mr. SmartyPants on Fri Oct 17, 2014 7:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What to do about a friend who ?says the don't want to go to heaven

Postby Furen » Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:48 pm

Nate wrote:"If Heaven is full of people like that then I'd rather go to Hell, since that's clearly where all the decent and awesome people are going."

I actually have heard this response... the only thing you can do is just be their friend, and as Goldy said, actions speak louder than words. Be there for them.
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Re: What to do about a friend who ?says the don't want to go to heaven

Postby Furen » Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:06 am

Oh, additionally, this song by Casting Crowns is one of the best worded ways I've ever heard when trying to deal with this question.

Prayer For a Friend
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Re: What to do about a friend who ?says the don't want to go to heaven

Postby Mullet Death » Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:17 pm

St. Bernadette said "It is not my job to convince, but to inform." Not everyone has gifts of apologetics or preaching or anything of the sort. If you've shared your faith with this person in some sort of positive fashion, then you're not necessarily doing a terible job. God alone knows and judges hearts after all. If you say your piece, then maybe God will work sonething in them at another time. Keep trying to grow as a Christian and pray for opportunities to share in a reasonable, loving manner that doesn't push them away, and try to be nonjudgemental. Of course, I'm not really in a position to be giving you advice-- I'm just trying to relay good advice from people who do missionary work. And the old "Preach the gospel, and if you have to, use words," always applies to every Christian.

I do know from bad personal experience that, like I said, not everyone is an apologist, so try to stay far away from arguments.
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Re: What to do about a friend who ?says the don't want to go to heaven

Postby SuprahKahn » Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:26 am

I know this is super long, but...

I think the only reason that people wouldn't want to go to heaven is that they don't actually know what heaven really is or what it will be like. (Really we won't know what it will feel or look like until we actually get there, but we are given information on the nature of Heaven.) Many people think that heaven is just a place where there's clouds and harps playing infinitely, but thats not what God describes it as. In fact, in the book of Revelation, there is actually a physical description of heaven, it even tells you the dimensions of the city and the material Its made out of, go check it out, it's really interesting. But more importantly, it's described as a place with no more pain, sadness or suffering, the relationship between mankind and God will be restored to the way it was meant to be, the way it was before Adam and Eve sinned. Back when man and God actually walked and talked face to face.

I'm not sure what your friend's thoughts are on Hell, but people often have a lot of misconceptions of the other side of the coin, as well. As for Hell, I've noticed that a lot of people I've met seem to think that they will enjoy it more because of the people that they think will be there. We are told a lot of lies in the media regarding what hell is like, sometimes it's depicted some kind of waiting line where everyone gets bat wings, or a fiery rave party where people hang out for all eternity. Honestly, it almost makes my heart break when I hear people say they want to go there. The truth is that Hell is a place of torment and solitude, there is no enjoyment of any kind there, because it is devoid of God, and thusly, everything that's good. This is a pretty scary concept for anyone who's a non-believer and I wouldn't recommend explaining this to your friend until you progress further on in conversation.

As for your friend, I know all too well how hard it is to try to reach someone who doesn't want to receive Jesus yet. But you have to remind yourself that she's God's child even if she doesn't acknowledge it yet, and He says that it's His will that none should perish, but be united with Him. And as hard as it is to accept, maybe it will take a long time. Maybe someone else will lead her to Jesus (its the most frustrating thing in the world to wait for, but it's what has to happen, sometimes). But do what you can while you can, and let God handle the rest from there. Personally, I recommend reading C.S. Lewis's "The Great Divorce" and the "Last Battle". They give an incredible perspective on heaven and perhaps you can recommend the books to your friend. If she doesn't want to read them, I still guarantee that you will learn a lot from them, and perhaps you can share some of the stuff you learn with her in bits and pieces.
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Re: What to do about a friend who ?says the don't want to go to heaven

Postby Ante Bellum » Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:49 am

You're assuming she knows full well in heaven, believes in it, and has still rejected it. Have you ever told somebody you didn't want something, just to get them off your back? It could very well be the case that she's a nonbeliever of some fashion and has gotten sick of being harassed about it. I could tell you about how great it is in, I don't know, Valhalla, and when you've tired of telling me "I don't believe in Valhalla" and finally say "I don't WANT to go to Valhalla," did you really reject it? Or did you tell me, one who believes in Valhalla (I don't, for the record), that in an attempt to make me shut up? Do you really not know how great it is despite me telling you over and over what it's like? Generally, nonbelievers who hang around Christians for one reason or another know full well what it's like, we just don't believe in it. There's this idea that we just don't know how good it is and that we'd believe if only somebody told us about it. That's not the case at all, same with how a lot of people claim nonbelievers are actually believers who just hate Yahweh for no reason. If your world is so small that those are the only kinds of nonbelievers, then you need to branch out and talk to other people.
It could also be what was mentioned before. "Love me or suffer forever" is emotional manipulation at best. Imagine somebody saying that to their spouse or child. Doesn't that sound like abuse? Would you want to love somebody who said that?
As for the idea of preaching to her: don't. If she doesn't express any interest and explicitly ask to know more, for the love of anything good DON'T. Your feelings don't take priority over hers, especially when you make it sound like you're doing this for your own sake. You wouldn't even care if she didn't go to heaven with you because you would be unable to feel sorrow.
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Re: What to do about a friend who ?says the don't want to go to heaven

Postby Nate » Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:07 pm

Ante Bellum wrote:There's this idea that we just don't know how good it is and that we'd believe if only somebody told us about it.

Ah yes, the Jack Chick classic of "I've heard about Hell but it doesn't sound bad!" "Actually, it is bad." "Oh no!"

Second only to "Jesus? Who's that?"
SuprahKahn wrote:I think the only reason that people wouldn't want to go to heaven is that they don't actually know what heaven really is or what it will be like.

...or, like I said, that they know what kind of people are claiming to go to Heaven and think "I wouldn't want to be around those kinds of people for eternity."
Personally, I recommend reading C.S. Lewis's "The Great Divorce" and the "Last Battle". They give an incredible perspective on heaven

Isn't The Great Divorce the one that basically says people put themselves in Hell but they can leave any time they want to? That's probably considered to be heretical if you're keen on the "eternal suffering" idea of Hell.
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Re: What to do about a friend who ?says the don't want to go to heaven

Postby Ante Bellum » Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:29 am

I'd love to say, "Oh, Chick, you card," but I've encountered this personally, so what gives.
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Re: What to do about a friend who ?says the don't want to go to heaven

Postby Nate » Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:21 pm

i'm the middle-aged man who grew up in the united states and never heard of christianity
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Re: What to do about a friend who ?says the don't want to go to heaven

Postby shooraijin » Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:52 am

Never thirsty, I think you've got some suggestions and this is going to get into some very dicey areas very quickly, so I'm just going to bring this to a close.
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