Summary: An encouraging Funeral message for my earthly brother age 57 in passing. Can be modified to fit any situation as true hope to the living.
A little girl lived near a cemetery, and often had to walk through it after dark. When someone asked her, “Aren’t you ever afraid?”, she answered, “Oh, no! My home is just on the other side.”
The best way for me to begin this sermon today, is to ask the question; ‘where are you going’? Do you have hope for journey’s end? As you pass through the dark shadows of this life, are you afraid? Or do you walk with a confidence that ‘home’ is just the other side?
Having grown up with _______ I could stand up here and share many stories with you about my brother. Most of our neighbors and people we grew up with are shocked that we have made it as long as we have. You see we were not known for being the Ideal mayberry family of the neighborhood. In fact as a child I tried on several occasions to put him here personally. Of all the memories I could share with you about my brother none has more meaning to me than a memory of Hope that happened three weeks ago when ________ fell Ill and was rushed to the hospital and God in his great mercy involved me to lead my brother to his Son Jesus Christ. This memory brought Hope to not only _________ but me as well. You see I know where he is today. The Lord stated in the gospel of John 14:2 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.
John 14:3 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
Thess. 4:13 "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep that ye sorrow not even as others which have no hope"
Some here may have a sorrow with no hope beyond the grave while others have the sorrow of a friend that has gone on a long journey and will be joining that friend shortly. The Christian who dies and the believer who remains will one day
meet again. There is a glad reunion day. “That my friends is our blessed Hope”
To comfort your hearts and ease the pain of loss, I want to make 2 statements.
1st -________ did not die. God’s children do not die. Jesus said it Himself in John 11:26, "Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die". 2 Cor.5:8 says,
"absent from the body and present with the Lord". ________ did not die. He simply relocated or changed residents.
Like the old poem: I cannot think of them as dead
Who walk with me no more
Along the path of life I tread
They have but gone before.
Yes, Gone to Glory! ________ simply changed residents from this world to the city of God. We are here only to bury the covering. ________ is not here. This is only the covering.
The important part, the soul, the being that made ________ went to be with the Lord. It is like when we receive a letter in the mail. We let the covering drop to the side and read and keep the letter inside that was important. God has left the outside here for awhile but has taken _________ to be with him.
We are told that when those who serve in the ranks of the Salvation Army die they are listed, not under the heading of "deaths" but under the heading "promotions". Promoted to Glory!
Even now ________ walks among the Patriarches of the Bible . He did not die. He simply fell asleep in Jesus.
Jeseph Jennings when on the verge of that glorious world to which Gerald has gone exclaimed "Beautiful! What a morning." His weeping wife, not seeing what he saw, said, "Shall I open the shutters to give you a better view?" "Oh", he said, "I have seen a great way beyond the shutters".
It all comes down to this, you know; either you know that when you leave this life you will enter into eternal life with the risen Christ, or you have no hope at all for anything beyond this life, and in your soberest moments you must face the fact that life is ultimately futile.
Unless we go in the Rapture or catching away of the church we will all at one point have to face the reality of crossing over. The Bible is very Clear in Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
But this is not the END. Rather the Beginning!
When we speak of funerals we usually don’t think of gaining anything do we? The word gain is usually not in our funeral vocabulary. Most of the time we speak of our loss – and that is what we concentrate on. People tell us how sorry they are for our loss. In fact when a person dies we say that they lost their life. We have a flood of emotions – sadness – grief – sometimes anger and regret. We have those emotions because we have lost something. We have lost fellowship with Gerald, and it hurts. We will not be able to sit and visit with ________ again in this life – and that hurts. There is pain when we loose a loved one. But did you know there is one verse in the Bible that uses the word gain when it speaks of death.