On behalf of the family, I want to thank you for being here at this time. It is a time of grief for the family and you can help them through this time with a phone call, a note or a friendly visit. I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
We have a pretty distorted view of death these days.
We become somewhat callus to it because we are confronted with it all the time.
On the news
On TV shows
But the reality of death confronts us in a big way when a family member, or friend, or business associate, or baseball fan we know dies.
* was all of those to us.
His death leaves a rather large hole in many people’s lives.
There is great sorrow and a sense of loss with the passing of a loved one.
The death of some one especially some one we know makes us soberly aware of the uncertainty of life.
Jonathan Edmondson once said “Life is but a short journey from the cradle to the tomb; and death with its awful solemnity, must soon be experienced by men of all nations.
There is no social gathering that tugs at our heartstrings the way a memorial service does.
Those of us who remain are left with our memories and emotions.
Memories of time spent, joys, sorrows, adventures, difficulties all these come flooding back as we think about * and the impact he had on each one here.
Death is a certain fact; it may come after a full and fruitful life as in * case or it may end abruptly at a young age.
Therefore it is imperative that we be prepared for it.
Those who have already died have no second opportunity.
God gives us the opportunity to prepare for eternity while we live.
The book of Ecclesiastes has a lot to say about life and death.
Ecc. 3:1-2 There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven.2 there is a time to be born and a time to die.
Heb. 9:27 says that everyone is destined to die once.
In Ecc.3:11 it says that God has set eternity in our hearts.
We know in our hearts that there is more to life than just what happens here.
We all think about death, and even more so when we are confronted with the death of a friend and loved one.
Ecc.7:2 It is better to spend your time at funerals than at festivals. For you are going to die, and you should think about it while there is still time.
That doesn’t mean we should not enjoy our lives.
We have been given wonderful opportunities to enjoy the life God has given us but it only lasts for a while. Eternity is a much longer time.
Ecc. 11:9 Young man, it’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do.
Ecc. 12:1-7 Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor Him in your youth before you grow old and no longer enjoy living. It will be too late then to remember Him, when the light of the sun and moon and stars is dim to your old eyes, and there is no silver lining left among the clouds. Your limbs will tremble with age, and your strong legs will grow weak… Yes remember your Creator now while you are young, before the silver cord of life snaps and the golden bowl is broken.
The older we become the harder it is.
How can we face certain death and eternity with hope and confidence?
Three things you need to know.
There is only one way to heaven (eternity)
Jn. 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.
Man is separated from God because of sin. If you leave this world in that condition you will spend eternity in Hell separated from God.
God has provided a way for us to be made ready for eternity through the sacrificial life death and resurrection of Christ. Jn.3:16-20
Because He conquered death, everyone who accepts Him as Lord and Savior conquers it too! This leads us to the second thing we need to know.
We can face death without fear.
Jesus said “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me shall live even if he dies.
Ps.23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me
The one who conquered death on the cross and by the resurrection is with you if He is your savior.
Is.41:13“For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’
Not even death can separate you from the love of God.
Ro. 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
When you have Jesus Christ as your savior, you can face anything with confidence.
We don’t have to depend on our own strength, abilities, or anything else for that matter.
We can rest in His strength.
God has put eternity in our hearts
He has also provided a way for us to enter into eternity with confidence and joy.
I encourage you to examine your relationship to God and His Son Jesus in light of the uncertainty of life.
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the Great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in you that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort;4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.16 Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.
Jn. 14:1 ”Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 “And you know the way where I am going.” 5 Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” 6 Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.
For as much as the spirit of * has returned to God who gave it, we therefore commit his body to the ground; looking for the resurrection in the last day, through our Lord Jesus Christ; at whose coming in glorious majesty to judge the world; the earth and the sea shall give up their dead; and the perishable bodies of those who sleep in Him shall be changed, and made like unto His own glorious body; according to the mighty working whereby He is able to subdue all things unto himself.
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the Great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in you that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.