Summary: God is intimately involved in the life of his saints and has provided the way for them to join Him in Eternity and to provide comfort to those who remain.
Welcome and Words of Comfort
• As family and friends, we have been drawn together by the life, and now the death, of …………………...
• ………...... was born ………… and lived a full life until he died on ……………. this year at the age of …….
• He married ……… and they had three boys, ………………… and they in turn are responsible for ……… grandchildren
• …….. and the family would like to thank you all for coming to celebrate ………… life and pay your last respects and to show them your love and support at this time
• ………… was a man of faith, so last ………….night one of God’s saints died.
• God’s word tells us in the book of Psalms (116:15) that, "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints."
• What we see revealed here is that God is intimately involved in ………. life.
• Not only was ………. a precious saint in God’s eyes, but he was also someone who was precious to his family and friends. He has enriched all of our lives as a result of his touching those of us gathered here today.
• We grieve that loss and God shares in our grief.
• But this is not the end for ……… as God has a plan to overcome all grief and death.
• God, who ultimately is the Father of every human being, that’s why He labels himself “Father”, is not going to allow “death” to be the final end for humanity. God is about life not death.
• We will talk more of that later, but right now we need to hear about ………. life and what he meant to his family and to do that we have ………….
Message of Comfort and Encouragement
• We mentioned earlier God is not going to allow death to be the final end for humanity.
• God has big plans for humanity and they center on life not death
• Right from the start God stated His purpose when He said, “Let us make man in our image!”
• So we have to view everything including this life with all of its trials and troubles as part of that process.
• This life is simply a preparation ground for the life to come.
• We don’t need the Bible to tell us death is an enemy, yet it does so and calls it the final enemy.
• But we have a God who has opened the door to life after death.
• A number of years ago we visited the city of Candy in Sri Lanka where there is a shrine to Budda. The central focus of this shrine is a tooth of Budda and the pilgrims come to worship this relic.
• Of course the implication of this part of Budda’s remains is that he is still dead and in the grave.
• By contrast, in the city of Jerusalem, there is an empty tomb, which at one stage held a battered and crucified human body.
• The remarkable thing about an empty tomb means this person has defied and conquered death.
• It is only Christianity that has the story of the empty grave and the implication of that fact is someone had passed from death back to life. He also had 500 eyewitnesses who could testify to this fact.
• Of course we are talking about Jesus Christ who not only died for yours and my sins so we would be reconciled to God, but he also demonstrated that God has the power to give life back to the dead.
• We have a forerunner who has walked this path before us and came out the other side, the One who made this remarkable statement, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies - John 11:25-26
• But Jesus is not talking about a resurrection to another decaying physical life, but to a new dynamic spiritual life in the same dimension in which God Himself lives, eternity.
• Notice the wording the apostle Paul uses to compare these two dimensions.
• 1 Cor 15:42-44 So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body.
• Not only does God offer us the gift of grace by forgiving our sins, He also promises us life after death.
• And He has gone to a lot of preparation so that we can join Him in that new life after death.