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Funeral Service for Joey Kraemer

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ESVAfter this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
ESVThen one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. “Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Our Great God and Father in Heaven,
As we gather this morning in fellowship and in mourning to remember our dear Joey, may we each one of us experience your mighty and loving presence with us in this room.
Teach us this morning, so that we may learn that to be brought low is to be high
that the broken heart is the healed heart
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul
that to have nothing is to possess all
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that to bear the cross is to wear the crown
Lord, let us find your light in our darkness, your life in our death, your joy in our sorrow, your grace in our sin, your riches in our poverty, and your glory in our our valley. Amen.
2 Corinthians 5:1–8 ESV
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
52 Funeral Sermons Chapter 2: The Christian’s Home

We are gathered here today to pay tribute to our dear sister in Christ. We know that for all of us this is a time of sorrow—but it is a time of sorrow mixed with joy. It’s a time of sorrow because:

We realize that for a time we will not be able to see our loved one. Sorrow because of a touch that will not be felt. Sorrow because of a smile that will not be seen. Sorrow because of a laugh that will not be heard. Sorrow because of a voice that no longer beckons us near. Sorrow because of a love that will be remembered, but not experienced firsthand. Yes, there is sorrow in this time of death—but there is also great joy.

There is great joy today because: the woman we honor is a Christian. Joy because she had turned her life over to the Lord. Joy because she had been bathed in the blood of the Lamb. Joy because she made the decision to embrace the cross of Calvary. Joy because through the power of the resurrection she now dwells in an eternal home promised to her by Jesus Christ our Lord.

And we have joy in knowing that our dear sister in Christ now spends her days where every tear is wiped away; where there is no longer any death, or mourning or crying or pain. We can have joy in knowing that she is home.

1. HER DEAREST ONES ARE THERE

Many of her dear one’s are still here with us. But although those whom she has loved on earth aren’t with her now, that doesn’t mean that she’s alone.

1) God is there. He has called her home and was waiting for her with open arms. Can you imagine the joy of finally being in the presence of the One who created the universe? The joy of hearing the voice of the One who commanded the light to be separated from the darkness saying, “Welcome Home”? The joy of experiencing the presence of One who is all-powerful; all-knowing; and in all-places at all times? The joy of being with the One who calls Himself “I Am”?

2) Jesus is there. He bid her welcome into His eternal Kingdom. Oh, what joy to see the One who shed His blood on Calvary so that all who have surrendered their lives to Him could enter into this place of perfection. To touch the hands and feet that were pierced for the sins of the world. To be so close to the One who gave His life, so that we could have eternal life.

3) The Saints are there. All of the Christians who left this earth before her are there with her now. Christian friends who she has grieved over because she no longer had their fellowship—they are there. That fellowship has been renewed now. The Saints who have gone before are there and can welcome her home.

2. SHE BELONGS THERE

The Bible teaches us that this present world is not the real home of the Christian. Peter begins his first letter by addressing the Christians as “strangers” in this world. Again in 1 Peter 2:11 he addresses the believers in the same way—as “aliens and pilgrims” in the world.

Christians who live on this earth do not really belong here. We are here for a temporary purpose—to glorify God—but our true home is in Heaven.

The good news is that our loved one no longer lives as an “alien and stranger” in this world. She is at home with the Lord where she belongs. She is where she was meant to be. She is where God created her to be. She is at a place that can truly be called “home.” She is absent from her body and at home with the Lord.

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.—John 14:1–3

We are gathered here today to pay tribute to our dear sister in Christ. We know that for all of us this is a time of sorrow—but it is a time of sorrow mixed with joy.
It’s a time of sorrow because:
We realize that for a time we will not be able to see our loved one.
Sorrow because of a touch that will not be felt.
Sorrow because of a smile that will not be seen.
Sorrow because of a laugh that will not be heard.
Sorrow because of a voice that we will no longer hear call our name.
Sorrow because of a love that will be remembered, but not experienced firsthand.
Yes, there is sorrow in this time of death—but there is also great joy.
There is great joy today because: the woman we honor is a Christian.
Joy because she had turned her life over to the Lord.
Joy because she had been washed in the blood of the Lamb.
Joy because she embraced the cross of Calvary.
Joy because through the power of the resurrection of Jesus, she now dwells in an eternal home promised to her by Jesus Christ our Lord.
And we have joy in knowing that our dear sister in Christ now spends her days where every tear is wiped away;
where there is no longer any death, or mourning or crying or pain. We can have joy in knowing that she is home.
The Bible does describe her present home in some detail, but much of it is in prophetic language, using metaphors and symbols to describe things that are too great and glorious for our earthly minds to comprehend.
When the apostle Paul recounts his vision of heaven, he says that the things that he saw were too great for any earthly language to describe...
and being unable to adequately explain what he saw, he chose to be silent rather than do an injustice to the glories of heaven.
But there are some truths that we know about Joey’s present home that we do know with absolute certainty.
Many of her dear one’s are still here with us. But although those whom she has loved on earth aren’t with her now, that doesn’t mean that she’s alone.
All of the Christians who left this earth before her are there with her now.
Christian friends, and in particular her husband and family members who she has grieved over because she no longer had their fellowship — they are there.
That fellowship has been renewed now. The Saints who have gone before are there and can welcome her home.
2) Jesus is there. He bid her welcome into His eternal Kingdom. Oh, what joy to see the One who shed His blood on Calvary so that all who have surrendered their lives to Him could enter into this place of perfection. To touch the hands and feet that were pierced for the sins of the world. To be so close to the One who gave His life, so that we could have eternal life.
3) The Saints are there. All of the Christians who left this earth before her are there with her now. Christian friends who she has grieved over because she no longer had their fellowship—they are there. That fellowship has been renewed now. The Saints who have gone before are there and can welcome her home.
Were heaven filled with all the gold paved streets and greatest of imaginable delights, and even if we could share it all for an eternity with our most beloved family and friends...
It would all get boring before long.
But it is because our eternal Father is there, that heaven is eternally glorious.
God has called Joey home and was waiting for her with open arms.
Can you imagine the joy of finally being in the presence of the One who created the universe?
The joy of hearing the voice of the One who commanded the light to be separated from the darkness saying, “Welcome Home”?
The joy of experiencing the presence of One who is all-powerful; all-knowing; and in all-places at all times?
The joy of being with the One who calls Himself “I Am”?
Imagine her looking directly into the face of the smiling Jesus, welcoming her into His eternal Kingdom.
What joy to see the One who shed His blood on Calvary so that all who have surrendered their lives to Him could enter into this place of perfection.
To touch the hands and feet that were pierced for her sins.
To be so close to the One who gave His life, so that we could have eternal life.
And owing only to that great act of gracious love, can we now then thirdly say about heaven...
The Bible teaches us that this present world is not the real home of the Christian.
Peter begins his first letter by addressing the Christians as “strangers” in this world. Again in he addresses the believers in the same way—as “aliens and pilgrims” in the world.
Christians who live on this earth do not really belong here. We are here for a temporary purpose—to glorify God—but our true home is in Heaven.
The good news is that Joey no longer lives as an “alien and stranger”.
She is at home with the Lord where she belongs. She is where she was meant to be. She is where God created her to be. She is at a place that can truly be called “home.”
Now if she could somehow transmit a message to us, I believe I know what she would say.
She is absent from her body and at home with the Lord.
She would tell us all, of course, that although she now belongs there, she never deserved to be there on her own merit.
She is there because of the grace and love that was given to her in the Lord Jesus Christ.
That she is there because while she was still a sinner, Christ died for her and made atonement for her sins, so that in believing in his death & resurrection, she also would be resurrected to eternal life.
But my friends, you don’t need to hear her voice telling you that in order for you to believe it, because we have God’s Word which makes it all plain to us.
It is the same Word that convinced Joey in the first place that Jesus is the Lord and the Saviour of all who would believe the gospel.
In faith, she believed and clung firmly to Jesus.
Will you also turn to him and find light in the present darkness, peace in the midst of this present world of trouble, and eternal life in place of death?
John 14:1–3 ESV
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
1 Peter 1:3–4 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
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