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(Funeral) The Comforting Plans of God

Funeral  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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A general overview of the Gospel (Salvation to Eternity) using the metaphor of a path (trail).

Notes & Transcripts
Some of you call Earl your Friend
Others of you call Earl Dad or Grandpa.
Nancy calls him husband.
And in many ways his death is loss to us all, a reminder that we live in a suffering and broken world.
Death is a sad, hard reality of the brokenness of this world.
It is natural to ask the question why?
One of the great life questions,
is why is their death?
and
Where did death come from?
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But why is it broken?
Fortunately, God’s Word answers this question.
And if we understand from
We understand that death, is a result of sin, which entered the world when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden.
We understand that death, is a result of sin, which entered the world when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden.
Romans 5:12–14 ESV
12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
Romans 5:12–13 ESV
12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.
Romans 5:12 ESV
12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—
So where did death come from? and Why did death come into the World?
Because of sin, and because of sin, it was passed on from generation to generation.
And we might despair.
We might believe there is no hope and we are doomed to pass on from generation to another generation, the heartache of sin and death passing from us to our children and our grand children and their grand children.
But may I say that is not what God’s Word says, nor what Earl believed.
If I understand correctly, Earl’s favorite verse was . And for many of us, we understand Why.
Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
This describes a time in Israel’s history when God allowed a great suffering to occur, for their own good.
(Note: “For” is a translation for a Causal {כִּי֩})
And though we are not Israel, there is a timeless principle here that God directs our path. And intends for that path to be ultimately for our Good. That is what God desires for us.
What path would God have us take?
And may I say this is the same path that Earl has taken and would desire us to take.
What path would God have us take?
Belief in the Gospel.
We are doomed to sin, death, and ultimately eternal punishment.
But God would have us to take a different path.
tells us:
Romans 6:23 ESV
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Matthew 25:43 ESV
43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’
Matthew 25:46 ESV
46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Understand what this death is.
A world that become broken when sin and death
Where did death come from?
Jesus told us what this eternal punishment looks like.
Matthew 25:41 ESV
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
This punishment is necessary because God is the righteous judge of this world.
But God is also a God who loves us and in his compassion does not want us to follow a path of eternal destruction.
Instead, he sent his son to dies for us.
declares:
John 3:16 ESV
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
In God’s love, he sent his son.
His son was born to for our sins and that is what he did.
What is the Gospel?
The Son of God came to earth, died on the cross, and rose again so that we might be saved from our sin.
We deserved punishment.
Just like a righteous judge must judge and order punishment for breaking the law.
God as a righteous judge must judge our sin and order punishment.
So instead of punishing us, he sent his son to save us from that punishment.
That is the first trail marker: To Belief in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
God desires us to believe in the hope of Jesus Christ and trust him to save us from our sins.
This is what God desires and this is what Earl desired.
Earl trusted in Christ to save him from his Sins.
Which meant, when he died, he had the privilege of leaving the suffering of this World and being with Christ.
There is one guaranteed reality of this World.
We all who are born in this World will also die in this World.
We are guaranteed that one day, we will die.
That is a hard, sad reality for Earl.
That is a hard, sad reality for all of us.
So one of the questions remains. Where do we go if we die?
John 3:17–18 ESV
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
If we miss that first trail marker, Believing the Gospel, than our next trail marker is eternal punishment.
You see, to deny Christ, is to ignore the only salvation that is available to us.
We can’t get their on our own, because the entire world has sinned.
Our works are works of sin.
But, if we follow the Path God desires for us of belief in the Gospel, we get to go on to the 2nd trail marker.
2nd Trail marker: To be Present with God.
This is where Earl is at.
2 Corinthians 5:6–8 ESV
6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
So if we believe in the Gospel, death is simply the gateway to eternal life with God.
God doesn’t want you to miss that first marker, because God wants to spend eternity with you.
Earl doesn’t want you miss the first marker, because he wants you to come spend eternity with God, where he is at.
If we follow the first Mark: Believing in the Gospel, then we get to go to the 2nd marker: To be Present with God.
But God has a 3rd marker he wants us to Go to.
- one that should comfort us as we mourn the loss of Earl.
1 Corinthians 15:50–57 ESV
50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Cor 15:50-57
one that should comfort us as we mourn the loss of Earl.
We were born with corrupted bodies which forced us to be enslaved to sin and death.
It is one of the reason’s we can guarantee each one of us should be under the judgement of God.
This sin and death, has been passed down in human flesh since Adam and Eve.
This sin and death, has been passed down in human flesh since Adam and Eve.
But Christ accomplished a victory none of us could accomplish.
But Christ accomplished a victory none of us could accomplish.
He defeated sin and death!!
Our passage boasts a grand battle cry.

Death is swallowed up in victory.”

55  “O death, where is your victory?

O death, where is your sting

If you are a believer, Earl included, then one day we will be given bodies that are free of pain and death.
The sorrow we feel for Earl’s loss, will be a think of the past, overshadowed by the immortal pain free body God will give us.
This is the 3rd Trail Mark: The End of Death and Sin.
CHALLENGE: Now I cannot emphasize enough, you only get to go to the 2nd and 3rd trail markers if you believe in Christ. The first trail marker.
Otherwise, your path is to pay for your sins.
But there is one last trail marker for the believer.
The last few chapters of Revelation describe where we will spend eternity if we believe in the Gospel.
Before we talk about that, let’s make sure we understand eternity.
Eternal is the idea of never ending.
And listen to what that is:
Revelation 21:1–4 ESV
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Doesn’t the last verse sound like a blessed hope.
That is where God wants us to go.
That is where Earl wants us to go.
CONCLUSION:
So what are the trail markers of the path that God desires for our life; trail makers that lead to eternal life:
1) The first trail marker is: Belief in the Gospel.
2) The 2nd trail marker: To be Present with God.
1) The first trail marker is: Belief in the Gospel.
2) The 2nd trail marker: To be Present with God.
3) 3rd Trail Marker: The End of Death and Sin.
4) The 4th Trail Marker: Wonderful, Magnificent, Eternity
Now, I beg you, on behalf of Earl and his wife,
Believe in the Gospel: That is that Christ died, was buried, and raised again for the forgiveness of our sin.
It is believing he died to save you from the punishment you deserve for your sins.
Earl is right now enjoying being with Christ; and he wants you to join him.
We sung a song about this idea, “When we see Christ”.
Many of us hurt at the loss of Earl, but when we recognize the reality of Scripture.
Does that not turn to Joy knowing he has left the pain of this World to be with the one who gave him victory?
Does that not give us great hope for life after death?; in which that will be more magnificent than anything in this life.
CALL/CHALLENGE:
CALL/CHALLENGE:
As we end this memorial,
We will conclude by listening to “I will Rise When He Calls My Name” .
During the song I will go to the back,
if anybody would like to know more about what God says about salvation or you just need to talk, I will be there.
Perhaps, instead you would rather privately pray to God. Then feel free to come to the front during that time and lay your burdens before our loving Father.
Pray-Pray-Pray-Pray-Pray-Pray-Pray-Pray-Pray-Pray-Pray-Pray-Pray-Pray-Pray
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