Summary: Funeral Sermon: On the death of an 85 year-old believer - a lady who passed on after suffering for several weeks.
Let me begin by expressing my sincere condolences to each member of ____ (deceased’s name) family. ____ (deceased’s family), my prayers are also with you so that God may sustain you during these days.
I want to tell you today about two friends. The first is someone whom you know and whom you loved – ____ (deceased’s name). The Lord in his wisdom and mercy decided to call her unto Himself this past Sunday. And of course we are saddened by her passing. But at the same time, we are joyful that ____ (deceased’s name) was a person of faith – she knew Jesus Christ as Lord. And from all that we know about scripture and its teachings, we know that for all believers death is not an end – it is a beginning. It is how God translates people from this life to the blessed hereafter. God uses our death literally as a portal to take us to Him. And we know that ____ (deceased’s name) is there.
The last few weeks were very tough for ____ (deceased’s name) - and for you beloved. It was difficult to see ____ (deceased’s name) suffer because she was mom, friend, someone we loved and cared about. But I want you to hear and trust in the promises that scripture makes regarding the death of God’s saints. Hear Jesus’ words as He says: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” You see, ____ (deceased’s name) trusted in that Jesus. And because she did, I can tell you with all certainty that her days of suffering are past.
You see, she is in the presence of our God and Savior even now. Never again will ____ (deceased’s name) feel pain or shed a tear. That is God’s promise to us - a promise of comfort and hope. Perhaps no one expresses this eternal truth better than St. John. He says: “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain… (Revelation 21:3-4a) And beloved, I want to be a witness to you and to tell you that this is the blessed condition of our dear sister, mom and friend.
I want to share with you another reason why I know that ____ (deceased’s name) is in the arms of our Lord right now. Listen to this word of scripture from the Epistle to the Hebrews: “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14) The writer indicates to us that angels are sent by God to care for those who will be in heaven one day – those who are saved. Now some of you know this story, but I want you to listen to it again in the light of that scripture: I also want you to understand that before going to seminary, my academic background prepared me to be a skeptic. I say this to impress upon you the idea that I was not one who was easily swayed. But through ____ (deceased’s name), God has changed that about me.
You see, ____ (deceased’s name) was one of our shut-ins. That means that her health prevented her from attending church every Sunday. And so every Sunday, we pray for our shut-ins, including ____ (deceased’s name), by name. Two years and just about four months ago, my wife and I were preparing to go to a ministry conference in Wisconsin. We were packed and were planning to leave immediately after worship. ____ (deceased’s name) was feeling well enough to be in church that Sunday. After worship my wife and I greeted our family of worshipers as they filed out of the sanctuary.
Immediately afterwards, we started driving. And we drove and we drove. On about two in the morning somewhere along a dark stretch of road in Oklahoma, my wife turned to me and told me that ____ (deceased’s name) had shared something strange with her. I asked her, “What did she say?” She said, “Well, ____ (deceased’s name) said that she saw an angel. She told me that she woke up in the middle of the night and that this beautiful angel was sitting on her bed. ____ (deceased’s name) told me that when she reached out to touch the angel, her hands just went right through it. She told me that she knew it was an angel and that she wasn’t scared.”
But I was scared that evening as my wife started to tell me this story. I was scared for ____ (deceased’s name). You see, I started to think the worst. I worried that ____ (deceased’s name) might be loosing her wits. I worried that a bad spirit might be afflicting her. And so I started to pray. “God, please protect ____ (deceased’s name). She is one of yours. Don’t let her be deceived or loose her sanity.”