Summary: Funeral message of the passing of a 99 year-old lady who wanted to go to heaven.
INTRO.- Eccl. 9:5 "For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even the memory of them is forgotten."
THE LIVING KNOW THAT THEY WILL DIE. We should know this. The older we get, the more we realize this. The more loved ones we lose in death, the more we realize this.
ILL.- I lost my father 20 years ago and my mother on June 30th of this year. It’s getting closer all the time. What’s getting closer? DEATH.
But as we all know, a person doesn’t have to be old to die.
We all need to realize that death is just a breath away. The important thing is to be prepared for it. And there is only one way to be prepared and that is by trusting the Lord for salvation.
THE DEAD KNOW NOTHING. Solomon is saying that once people leave this world they do not know what is happening on planet earth. If they did knowing everything that was going on, how could they be happy in heaven?
When Christian people leave this world, they apparently leave everything behind that would cause them pain and sorrow.
THEY HAVE NO FURTHER REWARD. I think Solomon is saying that when people leave this world they have no further reward here on earth. They are done with earth and it’s matters.
EVEN THE MEMORY OF THEM IS FORGOTTEN. This is where Solomon sounds rather pessimistic. He is suggesting that we eventually forget our loved ones. All I can say is, I hope not!
I think some memory of our loved ones is forgotten. My memory can only go back so far. I can only remember certain family members in my life: grandparents, one great-grandmother, uncles, aunts, parents, etc.
And I admit that I can only remember certain things about these people’s lives. Even though we all die, hopefully, we will be remembered for who we are and for the good things we have done in life.
ILL.- Someone said it this way: "Say goodbye to me, but not to the thought of me."
We may say "goodbye" to our loved one during the time of death and we may not. The important thing is that we never say goodbye to our thoughts of them!
We must REMEMBER people! And both the living and the dead. People are important! All people are important to God and they should be to us as well. Especially, family members.
It’s sad, however, when our memories are not pleasant.
ILL.- I had a Christian man in one church tell me one time that his father was a "mean old man." Wow! That took me back. I certainly didn’t ask him any more questions about his father. That man had a very bad memory of his father.
He wasn’t trying to be negative, just truthful. And it’s very sad when people have only BAD memories of their family members.
What about Flossie? What can we say about her? She could be a never-ending topic of our discussion.
As soon as I moved to Mattoon to minister with the church I immediately heard stories about Flossie. And I’ll never forget my first visit with her. We visited about many things...the church, life, family, etc. And her family was very important to her. She always talked about her family and people.
When I got ready to leave she wanted to hug me. She said, "Come here, I want to get a look at you!" And she grabbed me by my collars and pulled me into her face. And I wasn’t the first person she’d done that to.
One thing I must commend Flossie for is this: she was always asking me about my family, my mother, my wife, my children, etc. It is so commendable when we show interest in other people’s lives. Unselfishness is a great Christian virtue. It is very Christ-like.
Say goodbye to me, but not to the thought of me. We say "goodbye" to Flossie today, in a sense, but we will never in this life say "goodbye" to our thoughts of her.
Each of you have special thoughts, special memories of Flossie. Please treasure those memories. Thank God for them. And allow the good things, the good traits of her life to be a part of your life as well. Imitate her in the ways that she imitated Christ.
PROP.- Now I want to say just a few things about heaven, because that’s where Flossie wanted to go.
I. HEAVEN IS A PLACE
John 14:2 Jesus said, "I am going to prepare a place for you..."
In Matthew 6:9 Jesus taught to pray, "Our Father in heaven..." Heaven is a real place! Jesus said so! Even though some people in our world don’t believe, we should!