Summary: What should we do next? 1. Stand on the truth that God is good (Psalms 25:6-7, 33:5, 34:8, James 1:17). 2. Stand on the truth that God loves you (John 3:16). 3. Stand on the truth that God will help you (Matthew 11:28-30).
Funeral Service for Difficult Situations
Sermon by Rick Crandall
*It's wonderful to be able to preach the funeral for dear saints of God who could echo Paul's words in 2 Timothy 4:7, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." Thankfully, the Lord has allowed me to preach many funerals like that.
*But there have also been times when there was no evidence the person was saved or strong evidence that the person was not saved. There are also many other difficult circumstances we may encounter. I have preached the funeral for a young man who was shot when he tried to steal drugs from his dealer. Another man was stabbed in a possible drug deal gone wrong. There have also been drug overdoses, suicides and accidents, including some gunshot deaths where the families suspected foul play.
The service below is a generic funeral for situations like that. (John Smith is a fictitious name.)
*On behalf of the family, I want to thank you for being here this afternoon. Thank you also for your many expressions of love and concern.
*We are gathered together in loving memory of John Smith. . .
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 23:1-6
*The death of someone we love is never easy. But gathered here today we can share our love and concern for each other. We can share memories of John. And we can look into God's Word for the comfort and guidance we need.
*At times like this, many people ask, "Why?" -- Why this sickness, this pain, this grief? -- Why did God let this happen? I want you to know that it's not wrong to ask why. I realized this a few years ago when I noticed that on the cross, Jesus asked, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?''
Jesus asked why, and He always did the right thing, so it's okay to ask why. But the problem is that many times we can't find the answer to that question. So a wise man once said that a better question is: "What now?" What should we do now? Let me urge you to stand on three eternal truths.
1. First: Stand on the truth that God is good.
*When bad things happen like this, sometimes we are tempted to blame God. But the Bible tells us not to make that mistake, because God is Light and God is Love.
*In Psalm 25, David said:
6. Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your loving kindnesses, For they have been from eternity past.
7. Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; According to Your mercy remember me, For Your goodness' sake, O Lord.
*Psalm 33:5 says that "the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord." Psalm 34:8 urges us to "taste and see that the Lord is good," and "blessed is the man who trusts in him." In the New Testament, James 1:17 tells us that: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights." So, when you think of the good times and the good things about John, know that these came from God. Every bit of the good in our lives is ultimately a gift from God.
*God is good. -- But if that is true, why is there so much heartache in the world? The reason why is because the devil is real. He is the father of all evil. The Bible says that he comes to steal, kill and destroy. The devil tries to hurt us every way he can.
*But Jesus Christ came to heal the brokenhearted and set the captives free. One day God will wipe away all sickness, evil and pain. Then all who have trusted in the Lord Jesus will live together in total perfection, with no more sickness, no more pain, no sorrow, no sin, no shame, living forever in Heaven with Jesus Christ.
*Until that day, life can be extremely hard, but stand on the truth that God is good.
2. And stand on the truth that God loves you.
*In John 3:16, the Bible says: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
*When something terrible happens, it's easy to think that God doesn't love us. But He does love us. God the Father has shown it in many ways. But the greatest way was when He sent His Son Jesus to die in the cross for our sins.
*Romans 5:8 says that God showed his love "toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." God doesn't love us because we are good. He loves us because He is good.