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God's Word - God's Hope

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Sermon shared by Tom Shepard

December 2006
Summary: This is a funeral sermon that uses a variety of verses to bring hope to families who have lost a loved one.
Denomination: *Other
Audience: Seeker adults
Sermon:
God’s Word – God’s Hope

I would take nothing away from the grief you feel today. I would not say everything is all right. Because it is not. We hurt. And we know we will hurt for a long time. When someone close to us dies we feel pain – we feel loss. Those are natural feelings. God made us so that we have feelings. He has made us so that we can have a relationship with Him and one another. And in all relationships there are times of joy and there are times of sorrow. Today is a time of sorrow.

Yet, I would like to speak a word of comfort to you today. Or should I say that I would like God’s word to speak a word of comfort to you today – because today I would like to share with you several passages of scripture that deal with the ultimate aspect of life – which of course is death. From these passages I believe we can find words of comfort and hope to help us deal with the emotions we feel today.

The first passage of scripture I would like to share with you is John 3:16 most of us know this familiar verse.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 (NKJV)

Jesus is speaking and He tells us that if we have a relationship with Him we will not perish – but we will live forever. You see, as a believer, our hope is grounded in our relationship to Jesus Christ. If we believe in Him, if we have put our trust in Him, if we do what He has asked us to do, we can have eternal life. That is what John 3:16 guarantees us. In John 14 the Bible tells us that not only will we live forever but that He has prepared a special place for us. Let me read that passage now:

1 "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 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. 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. John 14:1-3 (NKJV)

Not only will Jesus give us eternal life He will also give us a home – an eternal home – in heaven with him. Not like the home we have in this world – it will be different. It will be more beautiful then anything we can imagine. There will be no more pain or sorrow – Revelation 21 tells us this:

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." Revelation 21:4 (NKJV)

The former things mean the things in this world. They have passed away – no more sickness – no more suffering – no more illness – no more disease – only perfect health. No more crying – no more sorrow – no more pain – just joy – laughter – and peace. That is so different then what most us experience in life – isn’t it? But that is what God has promised us if we believe in Him.

Jesus is speaking of death when He says:

37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the
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