Summary: Sermon I preached for the funeral of a very faithful woman of God. Can be adapted for any faithful Christian.
Title: Our Place In Heaven
By: Mark Engler, Mt. Vernon Christian Church, Mt. Vernon, MO
We’ve come here today with a purpose on our mind, haven’t we? Some may say that the purpose we came with was to bury and pay our final respects to our loved one. While that is true, I believe the purpose, more so, is the purpose of celebrating a life. You might be thinking, how can we celebrate a life when the life is no more and that’s where a lot of us go wrong. It is true that Grace is no longer with us on this earth. I don’t mean her body, but I mean her spirit. It’s not her body that all of you loved, it was her spirit wasn’t it. The body is just a vessel in which the spirit lives.
It is a body that is frail, which gets old and has pain as a lot of us know more and more as we get older. Grace lived a long time on this earth with this body that she had, but it has finally come to the end of its usefulness here on earth. Just like Grace’s body is no longer useful on this earth, so our bodies will be the same way one day. It is a natural part of life.
Now I only mention life and not death, because in life, if we are Christian, we only die once and Grace did that many, many years ago. Matter of fact she did that at the age of 9 years old when she accepted Jesus Christ into her life. And she lived her life from that point on in faithful service to her Lord and Savior.
Romans Chapter 6 tells us that when we are baptized we die, our old self is crucified. From that point on we are a new person in Jesus Christ. We don’t get a new body at that point, but our spirit is reborn within us. It’s our spirit that’s goes on. It’s Grace’s spirit that animated her body and it’s her spirit that has moved on, and now is with the Lord in heaven. Not only that, not only is she with the Lord, who I know she longed for to see, but she is with all of her loved ones that have died in Christ before her. Oh what a reunion she has had in the last few days.
We, who are left here on this earth are still longing for the day that we will be united with Christ face to face. And while we are left, we grieve. Grief is a natural part of life. Yes most of us, if not all of us here today are Christian and we know that there will be a day that we will meet our Lord in heaven and as well as be reunited with Grace. But that doesn’t take the reality away from her being gone from this earth today. She will be missed I know, and therefore we mourn the loss of her presence in our lives.
Jesus left us with many comforting words. We can comfort each other, and as Christian’s we are called to comfort each other in times of sorrow. But I believe the best comforter we have is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I want to convey to you the words of Jesus and I pray that they comfort you. (Read John 14:1-6 (quickview) )
I. LET NOT YOU HEART BE TROUBLED
First off Jesus says, “Let not your heart be troubled.” And I would guess that Grace would probably say something along the same lines just now. When I visited with the family the other night I asked them about Grace. I wanted them to tell me anything they wanted about her. I didn’t ask them to give me one-word statements about her, but many of them pop into their minds. They said she was “faithful”, that she was an “encourager”, and “loving, she was “unselfish”, and a “leader”, I think all of those statements tell a lot about her and the way she was. While this next statement is not a one-word statement, it’s one of the things that I took away with me that night and I think it sums up a lot, if not all about Grace’s life. That was the statement that she was a “Christian woman of great faith”