What I'm about to share might help some of you as you minister to those in your flock. Last night I checked on one of my very dear friends who was thought to be dying within hours back 45 days ago. She remains short of breath; other than that, incredibly alert.
He husband left the room so the two of us could visit about the nuts and bolts of death. I asked in the early part of our conversation if she was uneasy about whether she was saved. That question broke open an hour long discussion.
She had a dream while in the hospital that she died and went to hell. She would not describe it's ugliness; but referenced it often. We talked about Jesus; how he paid the price, what they did to him on the cross to pay that price, and how her work is to believe him...John 6:29. The latter part was significant because she kept feeling frustrated that she needed to get up and witness to people when she can't even walk.......as if this would earn a bit of grace.
For an hour I would simply tell her about the efforts of Jesus. Her job was done. She surrendered to him years back and she needed to rest in him. At one point she pleaded, Do you promise I'll be all right? Do you promise? Assurance in Jesus is the most perfect security to offer. Friend, if you can't promise in Jesus there is no useful conversation to be experienced.
Later she said something I want you to take in because it will tell you something of what your lambs might have rattling around in their so-much-time-on-their-hands-to-think minds. She whimpered slightly and said, I just need people to come by here and talk to me about Jesus. My husband doesn't. My brother's family are unbelievers so they don't. When Christians come by they don't say anything about him and I really need to hear him discussed. After a while the way Jesus handles things gets forgotten.
When I left I told her husband I think he should consider bringing her to church. I think the goal would give her something to reach for. She might have much more work of comfortable believing to do before she crosses the border.