– C.S. Lewis
The Inner vs the Outer
God doesn’t look at a person’s outside because that doesn’t really matter nearly as much to Him because He sees and knows the heart (1st Sam 16:7) and since we don’t even know our own hearts (Jer 17:9), how can we think we know someone else’s heart? What really matters is what is eternal. Our outer man and woman are passing away, day by day, but the soul remains forever in one place or another. The question is where does it go after death? Try to look at people through the eyes of God Who desires that none perish but that all might be saved (1st Tim 2:4) through repentance and faith (2nd Pet 3:9). That must be our desire too.
The Corruptible vs the Incorruptible
Either a person has been born again and will be made incorruptible at Christ’s appearance or after our death, or they are in a state of corruption from which they’ll never be redeemed unless the trust in Christ. The Apostle Paul compares the perishable and the eternal in speaking of our souls and he writes, “For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality” (1st Cor 15:53). Trust in Christ and you too can declare to others, “When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory” (1st Cor 15:54).
Body vs Soul
In one of the most sobering words Jesus ever spoke, He said “do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt 10:28). The verse marks the difference between the body and the soul but both go to hell after the Day of Judgment (Rev 20:12-15). For the rich man, in the account of Lazarus and the rich man, there was torment and thirst from the flames and a separation from Abraham and the Promised Land but he also had memories and wanted to warn his family, indicating emotional trauma for himself but for them too (Luke 16:19-31). If someone dies for Christ then their enemy has simply hand-delivered them into the presence of the Lord.
The next time you look at someone, think about where their soul will spend eternity. Be loving enough to risk offending them by asking them where they think they’ll go after they die. There is power in the gospel (Rom 1:16; 1 Cor 1:18) so trust it, trust God’s Spirit, and pray for them, but not so much for their body, but for their soul and where their soul will spend eternity. Great risks bring great rewards or great rejection. It’s worth trying, isn’t it?