Summary: A funeral message I preached for a Godly Christian woman who had suffered for over 5 years.
HOPE - A FUNERAL MESSAGE
It has been my privilege for the past 5 years to be ________ pastor. _________was a joy to minister to. She always used to say to me, “Pastor, I love your preaching.” I never knew just how to respond to that compliment.
This afternoon, __________and I know you’re listening, I hope you like this message, because it’s just for you.
Last Sunday – Easter Sunday – ________sat behind me in the choir and sang in our Easter Cantata. She loved to sing. – even though with all her health problems, her voice wasn’t what it had once been.
Today __________with Jesus – singing in the choir up there. Her voice is sweeter than it ever was down here. Her years of suffering are gone – her pain has ended. She’s singing and praising Jesus.
Charlotte’s last Sunday here on earth was Easter Sunday. Easter is about the resurrection. It’s about HOPE.
Man can live without a lot of things, but there is one thing we can not live without – HOPE.
Read Luke 23:50-24:6
On that first resurrection morning, these women went to the tomb of Jesus to anoint the body of Jesus. They arrived there despondent, discouraged, and without Hope. – Hopeless.
They left that same morning with Hope. Hope was victorious that morning because of the resurrection of Jesus.
• Easter is all about Hope.
• Christianity is about Hope.
• Jesus gives us Hope.
When these women arrived at the tomb of Jesus that day they found the stone rolled away from the entrance. – not so Jesus could get out but so that they could get in and see that Jesus was gone – so that they could have Hope. God is a God of HOPE.
For the Christian the resurrection is about HOPE.
WHAT DOES HOPE BRING A CHRISTIAN.
I. HOPE Brings a Better Body.
A glorified – resurrected body
In this present body of clay, we are subject to all the sorrows and tears of life.
Sickness – Suffering - Aging – and finally Death.
But thru death and the resurrection we gain a better Body:
• One that will never grow old,
• One that will never know disease,
• One that will never suffer pain, and
• One that will never die.
II. HOPE Brings a Better Home
Charlotte loved pretty things, but whatever the beauty and embellishments any home may possess here on earth, it is nothing compared with our mansion in the beautiful city of God.
In John 14:2-3 Jesus said
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also”.
III. HOPE Brings a Better Inheritance
I Pet. 1:3-4 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you."
Paul wrote in Phil. 1:21 – “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
To those who do not know Jesus, this life is all there is.
Popularity - Money – Power – Fame
• If for me to live is self – then to die is loss.
• If for me to live is money – then to die is loss.
• If for me to live is ambition – then to die is loss.
• If for me to live is sin – then to die is loss.
But if for me to live is Christ – then to die is gain!
To the Christian – our final reward is not here – it’s in Heaven.
IV. HOPE Brings a Better Fellowship
All of us live in this world of a dissolving family circle.
• Mother is gone
• Father is gone, or
• A child is gone, or
• Our beloved grandparents are gone, or
• A close friend is gone.
But the circle is unbroken in Heaven forever and ever. There is no death there, no sorrow or crying or pain, for these former things are passed away.
V. HOPE Brings Heaven and a Better Life.
Rev 21:4 "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."
No more tears
No more sorrows
No more pain
No more crying
No more death
Once there was a little girl who lived near a cemetery, and she often had to walk through it after dark.