We are here to remember and celebrate the life of John Eisenhower. It’s very painful to lose any loved one, but today its especially difficult to lose a man as faithful and humble as John. John loved the Lord with all his heart, and he loved serving God through his church. As we are all grieving an coping with this sudden passing, I hope you will take time to reflect, and even smile at the good memories we have with John. Today we grieve the loss of John from the lives in which he was a blessing to. We grieve for those who experience great pain of continuing in this sinful world without our loved ones. Our sad tears are often accompanied with tears of remembering wonderful moments which are shared. To celebrate is not to ignore the pain of loss but to acknowledge the victory for which we find in Christ Jesus. Those who are faithful usually have a journey filled with ups and downs. John is no exception, but his example is one that is marked by being faithful. In good times and struggle, John remained faithful.
I will personally remember John for many reasons. John served as a deacon in this church for many years, while also serving as our bulletin editor. His work in producing our bulletin is a testament of his character. He did not view this as any sort of lowly task, he cared that it got done. He cared so much, I would often get a phone call or 2 reminding me, I needed to get the bulletin information to him on time! When his printer acted up, he wrote out the bulletin by hand and made copies, and delivered it to church. While his health was failing him, even this year, while he couldn’t stay for the service, he still drove all the way from his home in Mountain City, to the church to deliver the bulletins. John was a dedicated man. I think of where Jesus says,
10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.“
If you spent any time at all with John, or maybe he had your e-mail address, you would be hard pressed, not to know that John loved his country very much. Whether you agreed with his politics or not, you had to admire his patriotism. He loved freedom. He loved the freedom we have in this country to worship God. He also desired we do everything possible to protect our freedoms. He served in the military himself and spoke in vocal support of those currently serving. However his love for country did not trump his love for God, and his study of scripture. After I would get done preaching each sabbath, and shake hands at the door John would often shake my hand and then discuss details of the sermon with me. He would ask questions about concepts he had been challenged with, and he took time to affirm the message he had just heard. This of course may have been a little bit to the shirgrin of the people waiting behind him, trying to get out the door themselves, but one thing was for certain, John cared about what was being said upfront, because he loved Jesus who was being preached about.
Although we are grieved by John’s passing, I want you to know we have hope in Christ Jesus.
I refer you all now to the comforting words found in , starting in verse 13.
The Comfort of Christ’s Coming
13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Those of you who are here today remember her for all the wonderful things about John. It’s not that he simply lived a unique life. It is that in spite of living in a world which has become increasingly wicked and sinful, His life was one in which was a faithful witness to our Lord Jesus Christ. I know someone here is battling with sin. I know someone here is being overcome with addiction. Someone here may have been unfaithful in their marriage. I am certain there is someone here who desires to be rescued from their life which has been marked by sin. I have good news. The same God who John lived for and died in, loves you, desires you, and has a unique plan for you. He is calling you. Don’t you know He is coming again. Don’t you know there is a rescue mission to save God’s people. Don’t you want to meet a loving savior. The savior in which John has found rest in. If you are the person I am describing. Pray and ask God to lead you. Find someone in this church or another to help you. You are not alone. Your life can be that of a faithful and overcoming witness, just like our John. Don’t wait another day or moment to begin living your life for Jesus.