Summary: This sermon is about how we do not need to fear death. We can gain hope from Christ because he is eternal, and he has promised that we will be made to overcome death as he has. It still needs a little work, but i am a fan of the main idea of it.
(Masterpiece of Hope Series)
We can have courage because Christ is Eternal
Chapel Service of Plainfield Christian Church
The Finality of Death
When I was just around the age of five or six years old I attended my first funeral. They have since become something that I am used to, but this first time was something that was very memorable for me.
I remember standing there, barely able to see into the coffin, and thinking to myself how strange it was that everyone was so sad over one person sleeping, and yet wondering to myself how he was able to sleep in the midst of all the hubbub.
As I stood there next to this corpse, I decided that I was going to get everyone to stop crying and being sad by waking him up. So I began to shake this dead body that was lying before me. Once my dad saw what was going on he quickly snagged hold of me and brought me to the waiting room of the funeral home to explain what death was. I remember that it was a tough concept for me to wrap my mind around, but once I began to understand what he meant it rocked my world. I began to feel a sense of finality in this life.
Ecclesiastes 9:2-6 (Take special note of 5-6)
2It is the same for all There is one fate for the righteous and for the wicked; for the good, for the clean and for the unclean; for the man who offers a sacrifice and for the one who does not sacrifice. As the good man is, so is the sinner; as the one who swears is, so is the one who is afraid to swear.
3This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is one fate for all men Furthermore, the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil and insanity is in their hearts throughout their lives. Afterwards they go to the dead.
4For whoever is joined with all the living, there is hope; surely a live dog is better than a dead lion.
5For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten.
6Indeed their love, their hate and their zeal have already perished, and they will no longer have a share in all that is done under the sun.
Death happens to us all doesn’t it. It doesn’t matter who we are, or what we have done, death will inevitably find us. When death finds a person, all of his passions, his loves and hates, and even his memory will eventually fade away into nothing.
In my own life I have experienced the finality of death when it comes to loved ones. I still remember very well the day that my grandfather died. I remember the sting of that moment, when I realized that all hopes of him being baptized into the Lord, all hopes of him publicly proclaiming Christ were gone. Death stings, it hurts us, it hurts the people that we care about, and it ravishes this world in its cold embrace.
Then here’s John, being exiled on the island of Patmos because of his continuing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. His is drawing near to the end of his life, being nearly in his seventies or eighties. Death is becoming a much more apparent conclusion to his story. Surely while suffering the hardships that came with life as an exile he couldn’t help but remember his friends, all martyred for the gospel message. Peter, John, James, Andrew, are all gone; now John is the only one left alive of the twelve.
Now this old disciple stands on this island, during an ordinary, run-of-the-mill kind of day.
All of the sudden, the ordinary, the temporal, the mortal, was shattered as the extraordinary appeared behind the aged disciple.
Revelation 1:9-16 (Describing certain aspects as I go through)
9I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
10I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet,
11saying, "Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea."
12Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands;
13and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash.