How Do I Know If My Dad Went to Heaven? – EP 53

I Thought I Had Time to Talk to My Dad About God

“My father passed away and I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think he was saved. So, I’ve really been struggling with not only is my dad gone, but I don’t know where he is.” – Savannah

Thanks for joining us! In this episode, we’re talking with Savannah. Her father just recently passed away. She says she’s struggling because she’s not sure if he was saved. She’s unclear whether he’s in heaven with God or possibly in hell.

If you’ve had a loved one die and wondered if they made it to heaven, then this is going to be a great episode for you
We’ll also be discussing the question: How can a holy, loving God send anyone to hell? If this is a question you’ve wondered about, then stay tuned.

I Don’t Think My Father Was Saved

Savannah: My father passed away and it was determined it was a drug overdose. My heart almost stopped beating when I heard the news. I am really into church. I was actually planning to go to college to become a pastor. Right when I started getting really involved in church is when everything happened. My dad was dedicated to the church when he was a baby, but I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think he was saved. So, I’ve really been struggling with not only is my dad gone, but I don’t know where he is.

Dawson: This is a major struggle for you? You’re afraid he’s in hell?

Savannah: I’m afraid that he’s struggling more now than he was when he was here. It’s hard for me to accept that’s potentially true.

Dawson: That’s pretty heavy! This much we do know. He went to a perfectly loving, kind, holy, just God and He’s going to take care of it. When we get to heaven, we will have a different perspective about it.

How Can a Loving God Send Anybody to Hell?

People ask the question, “How can a loving God send anybody to hell?”

My answer is, “How could a holy God wait so long to do it?”

If we knew how holy God really was and the horribleness of our sin. If there was no Christ, what hope would we have? We just have to say, God you’re the one to wipe away all tears. I trust my father with you, God. Your will is best. When I’m there I will understand it and live in it, because there is some mystery there.

Savannah: Everyone’s been asking me, “How are you not angry at God?” Because I’m not. My main thing is I had on my heart for so long, “just talk to your dad about me.” I was like, “I have time. I have time to do that.” And it turned out I didn’t.

Dawson: People say, “How can God do this to you?” But what does God owe us?

Savannah: Nothing! He’s given us everything.

Dawson: The only thing that God owes us is judgment. The only thing we’ve earned before God is hell for the way we have lived.
God giving you your father for over 20 years is all an act of grace. That we breathe one more breath is all God’s goodness and grace. So, let’s not get into this God owes me something and how dare he take away a loved one.

Carrying A Lot of Guilt

Savannah: Yes. I just have a lot of regret for not sharing the gospel with my dad. Knowing that I should have, and then him being gone.

Dawson: But God had all these different ways to get to your dad. Believe me, your dad heard the gospel. He definitely had a chance.

Savannah: Me and my dad had a pretty rocky past, because I pretty much put him off because of his addiction. I had to cut him off because he’s bringing all this negativity into my life. I just gave up pretty much and then he was gone.

Dawson: You’re being way too tough on yourself. What he put you through, no one should have to go through. My sense of it is he saw the love of Christ in you. He saw enough in you that if he wanted to, he could have been and might have been drawn in by the love of Christ.

Peer to Peer: Advice for Savannah

The Guilt is From Satan – Cleveland

The Holy Spirit led me to call and tell Savannah that the guilt she’s feeling, and those questions are only from Satan. God is the one who’s in control of everything. Don’t let Satan come in there and pull her away from God. Obviously, she’s on the right path with Jesus. So, keep your head up and know that God is in control of everything!

Also, I’m sure no man passes from this earth without God having the chance to witness to them, either through her life or through someone else’s. Everyone gets a chance to meet Jesus.

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

Trust That God Got Through to Him at Some Point – Nicole

Nobody but your dad and God, Savannah, knows whether he was saved or not. Just because his life might not be like it should have been, doesn’t mean he didn’t know God. We all backslide at some time. Maybe he wasn’t making the right decisions in life, but trust that God got through to him at some point and maybe you just didn’t know it.

Your Dad Saw Your Walk with Jesus

I heard you talking about how much you’re doing for God right now. I agree with Cleveland. Don’t let the devil bring you down, because you’re in a great place. I’m 29 years old and I’ve struggled for a long time, and I’ve recently just in the past 2 months gotten back into church. Your dad saw your walk with Jesus. Even if you didn’t communicate it to him that much, your dad knows you had a strong connection with God. Therefore, God had to have been speaking to him. You don’t know, he might have accepted Christ. Cling to the power of Jesus’s name and trust in God.

Cling to Help from Family and Friends - Katherine

Savannah, the Lord needs your heart. It’s about you and God at this point. Your dad and God’s relationship is their own. Nothing you can do can change that. I’m sure he’s in heaven being taken care of and watching over you. Cling to help from family and friends because friends are family. Also, seeing a therapist will help. We all need therapy daily, whether it’s art therapy, friend therapy or just you and God alone with your prayers and thoughts.

God Forgives You, So Forgive Yourself - Stacey

Savannah is blaming herself. God forgives her so she needs to forgive herself. Every one of us has been in that position where God wanted us to do something, and we didn’t do it.  So, we learn by that, it makes us stronger.

I lost my dad in a different situation, but not knowing where he was. I know God has the answers and will get her through it.

It’s Really Hard to Think About a Loved One Not Making it to Heaven

Cleveland the guy we heard from first, said he was led by the Holy Spirit to assure you, Savannah, that God is in control and the guilt you carry is not from God but is coming from Satan. Now, I’m like most people, I don’t like talking about the devil very much. I’d rather just ignore him, but we do have to recognize that he is working on this earth and will use any situation in our life to try to steal from us, kill us or destroy us.

The awesome part of having a relationship with God is that God knows us and lays His life down for us, so we don’t have to be destroyed by the devil. God gives us an abundant life with power over evil.

Savannah, it was interesting that both Nicole and Katherine said the relationship your father had with God is between him and God and not up to you. The one thing you can focus on now is your trust and faith in God. And remember that God is a loving, compassionate and merciful God.

It is really hard to think about one of our loved ones not making it to heaven, and that’s why we must share who God is with all those in our lives. Sometimes we think there’s plenty of time like Savannah did. Sometimes we think they’ve heard about God enough already. This is where we can rely on God and the Holy Spirit to guide us as to when to talk about Him and how to do it. And then when they have passed on, we lean into God and trust Him with the rest.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Now, if you have any questions about eternity, what happens when we die or really any questions at all, chat with us at We’re here to help on this journey we call life.

Faith Resources:

Need to talk to someone? Chat with a Hope Coach at TheHopeLine.

One last thing,
My podcast, our website, and everything we do is entirely listener supported. If you’d like to help us to continue our work, please make a gift right now on our Give Now page.

This is the Dawson McAllister Podcast, and until next time…Remember you are loved, you are valuable, and God has an amazing plan for your life. - Rachel

TheHopeLine Team
For over 30 years, TheHopeLine has been helping students and young adults in crisis. Our team is made up of writers and mental health professionals who care deeply about helping others.
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