Unbelief, Alzheimer’s, and Eternity


How do I witness to a person with Alzheimer’s? She is in her 80s, attended church with her relatives, but remains an unbeliever. Does she need to confess her faith or recite the sinner’s prayer to be saved?

I would say threat her with love, dignity and respect. Care for her in all ways. Testify to her by your life and love. It may be that she cannot remember or recognize your words, but she can sense, feel, and experience your love. As far as a relationship to the Lord is concerned, remember that anyone who desires a relationship with the Lord, the Lord knows about that, He knows the intents of the heart, and He will never cast that person away (Heb.11:6).

Remember Christianity is not a magical religion where you have to have exactly the right incantation and then you’re saved. That’s not the Christian worldview at all. We are saved by God’s grace through faith on account of Jesus Christ alone (Eph. 2:8-9), and we recognize that always it is Jesus Christ that knows the heart (cf. 1 Cor. 4:5; Luke 9:46-48; John 2:23-25). We look on the exterior, God knows the heart (1 Sam. 16:7). We cannot factor every single converging condition in a person’s life, but God can do that, and so we leave that person in the hands of an infinitely just and infinitely merciful God, knowing that He will not reject anyone that wanted a relationship with Him.

We can’t sort it all out here, but in the greatest size with people from every tongue, and language, and people and nation, we will see that the Judge of heaven and earth does right. We will then say, “Oh my goodness! He was able to take into consideration every single converging factor, His justice is absolutely pure, and pristine.” You will glory in His righteousness in that day.

—Hank Hanegraaff

The heart is deceitful above all things,

and desperately sick;

who can understand it?

“I the Lord search the heart

and test the mind,

to give every man according to his ways,

according to the fruit of his deeds”

Jeremiah 17:9-11 (ESV)

For further related study, please access the following: Dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease (Video)

Blog adapted from How can I witness to a person with Alzheimer’s disease?