Summary: This sermon was for the funeral of a young lady who die at 30 years of age after suffering the ill effects of diabetes. She also accepted Christ just before her death.
As we reflect on the life and celebrate her home going today, I am reminded of the declaration of the Apostle Paul: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” - Philippians 1:21
Consider with me two valuable lessons from her life:
1. When a one receives life in Christ, they get all God has to give.
We related earlier about her settling the issue of her relationship with God and her eternal destination on the Tuesday before she died. I know that brought tremendous comfort to her family. It also brought about a wonderful and glorious welcome for her in heaven.
You see, even if a person comes to Christ at the end of their life, it doesn’t mean that they are saved “by the skin of their teeth” or that they are some “second class citizen in heaven,” because they hadn’t settled this matter earlier in life. The fact is that when a one receives life in Christ, regardless of when that is, they get all God has to give.
In Matthew 20:1-16, Jesus told a parable about a man who hired people to work in his vineyard, some in the morning, some at noon, and still others later in the day. At the end of the day, they each received the exact same wage. The lesson of this parable is that no matter when in your life you decide to come to Christ, you are entitled to all the rights and benefits pertaining salvation the moment you do.
The quality of one’s life is determined not by length, but by depth; and because she settled her relationship with God, she received life that was full and eternal. To live is Christ! Therefore, she lived with a greater sense of well being and contentment in her final days than she had known in all her previous years.
All this is because of the wonderful grace of our God. Grace is sometimes defined as God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense - all that God is free to do for us because of all Christ accomplished for us on the cross. Because Christ fully paid the price for her salvation, she received all of the riches associated with being a child of God the moment she believed on Christ.
Perhaps one of the greatest tributes to God’s saving grace is the hymn “Just As I Am,” which, interestingly, was written by another young woman, Charlotte Elliott, after 13 years of suffering as an invalid, at age 32, after settling the issue of her salvation.
Just as I am, thou wilt receive,
wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
because thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Yes, when a one receives life in Christ, they get all God has to give.
2. When one faces death, in Christ, they have only begun to live.
It is common for us to lament the death of one who passes from being among us at such an early age as Lindsey. But, because of Christ, her life is not to be found primarily here and now, but then and there, in the presence of her Savior, as we consider eternity. As Paul said, for the child of God, “to die is gain.”
The promise of Scripture is that when a child of God passes from this world below, they are welcomed into the world above. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:8 that “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” Once they leave our presence, they enter God’s presence.