Summary: A Memorial Service for a believer
We have gathered today facing once again with the mystery of death. Death is the great equalizer. We all may travel different roads through our lives. Some will earn a PhD, while others will not complete their schooling. Some will travel across the world, others will not travel more than ten miles from where they are born. Some will amass great fortunes, other will live everyday hand to mouth. But death is the great equalizer. The person loaded with money may be able to postpone death, but he cannot avoid it. Each of us shares this one experience in common.
The Writer of the letter to Hebrews in the Bible said it best when he wrote, “it is appointed for men to die once.”
We all have this appointment. Just as Lena kept her appointment a week ago today, we will all keep this appointment. So, if I have to make this appointment, I want to know as much about death as I can, don’t you?
If you could speak to someone who has faced death and come back what questions would you ask?
I think I would ask, “should I be afraid of death?” I don’t know about you but sometimes fear can be overwhelming to me. I fear the unknown, and there is not greater unknown than death.
So should we be afraid?
We are in luck, the only person to face death and come back to tell us about it. Jesus said in
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God a; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
Now catch this, here is the voice of God’s son saying to me and to you, “Don’t be afraid.”
Another writer on the Bible the Apostle Paul puts it this way, “Death is destroyed forever in victory.” 55 “Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your pain?”
So in answer to my first question is I don’t need to be afraid death.
I guess my next question would be, “How do I prepare for death?”
If this is an appointment I must make, how do I prepare for it? Again, the voice of the wisdom of Jesus comes ringing out. Listen to this scripture we have turn to so many times in the past. The most famous of Jesus’ quotes.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Did you hear in there what I heard. God so loved me, he gave his only son. That is love. It is the love God had to Lena, it is the love God has for you, it is the love that God has for me. God loved us so much he gave his only son. All I have to do to prepare for death is believe in him, the son. If I believe I will not perish, I will live for eternity. It was this belief that led Lena across the street to North Parkersburg Baptist Church, it was this belief that kept her when the times were dark and bleak. She prepared for her death when she accepted Jesus as her savior. So knew the love of God. Lena knew she was always loved. She also knew she was loved in all ways by her heavenly father. Jesus did not come into this world to condemn us; he came to love us. A love so strong it held him to the cross. As Lena was loved by God, so you are loved by God. As Lena as accepted by God, so you are accepted by God. God has loved and accepted you, will you not love and accept him?