FUNERAL MESSAGE FOR FRANCES ____________
TEXT - Deut. 29:29 - "The secret things belong unto the Lord
our God but those things which are revealed belong unto us."
Death is not an easy thing to accept. Even under the best of circumstances, death is a terrible thing. Nature has its seasons but death can come to anyone, at anytime, in any place. Truly, we know not what a day may bring forth.
We come here today with sorrow in our hearts and questions on our minds as to why these things happen. Can we really know? There are many inexplicable sorrows in life, and we must simply leave these in the hands of God who know all things.
All of us are sorrowful here today but the Bible teaches us of 2 types of sorrow. I Thess. 4:13 "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep that you sorrow not like others who have no hope"
Some here may have a sorrow with no hope beyond the grave while others have the sorrow of one whose friend has gone on a long journey and who you will join again in God’s time. In Christ, we share that glad anticipation of a reunion day.
Frances ________ knew the Lord. She settled it at the Cross ______ yrs. ago.
To comfort your hearts and ease the pain of loss, I want to make 2 statements.
1st - Frances did not die. God’s children do not die. Jesus said it Himself in John 11:26, "Whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die". 2 Cor.5:8 says, ". . . absent from the body and present with the Lord". Francis did not die. She simply 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 know the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Frances has changed residents from this world to the city of God. We are here only to bury the mortal presence which briefly housed the eternal soul. Frances is not here. The part which made Frances who she was has gone 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 Frances _______ 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 Frances walks among the patriarchs of the Bible . She did not die but simply fell asleep in Jesus.
2nd - This may be a shocker but, if my Bible is right and if I understand anything of the glories of heaven, then I believe that it is safe to say that Frances would not want to come back into this world of sin, pain, trial, and sorrow.
The two exceptions are 1. Maybe to ease your sorrow;
2. Maybe to urge some loved one to turn to the Lord.
I was thinking that Frances has already seen the angels – maybe for the first time. She has heard the choirs, seen sights that we have never seen, walked the streets of gold, talked to the people of the Bible. But best of all, she has seen Jesus, the Lamb of God upon His throne.
Why did this happen?
In Frances’ case, she was very blessed with many years upon this earth. Her loved ones and friends could see this coming for some time. The life God gives us has its seasons but death has no season. It can come to anyone, at anytime, at any place. It comes in God’s time and for His reasons which only He can know. Truly the Bible is seen to be true when it says "we know not what a day may bring forth" - Prov.27:1
Why do our loved ones die? Because our flesh is from the earth, and to the earth it will return. But our spirit is from God, and that is eternal.
There are many inexplicable sorrows in life, and we must simply trust our loving god who knows all things. There is much we do not know and even if we did, we would still feel the momentary sorrow and pain and loss. But God has reasons for all he allows and has a word for every heart and every heartache. "For now we see through a glass darkly,” (1 Cor. 13:12) but in God’s time, we will understand. In His Word is life eternal for all who believe in His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. It was He who rose from the tomb on the third day, and Death forever lost its sting.
We do not know why a preacher’s wife dies on an operating table due to a mistake in blood type or why a little baby is taken before it draws its first breath. I Cor.13:12 says,
In closing --- Remember the Bible teaches us that
1. death is not the end but the beginning
2. death is not a loss but a gain
3. death is not a defeat but a victory
Jeseph Jennings, when on the verge of that glorious world to which Frances 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".
And we need to look beyond the shutters of this world today and see Jesus. Let us look to Him as our comfort and as our Savior. Take His hand. In Matt. 14:12 speaking of the death of John the Baptist, it says “And his disciples came and took up the body and buried it and went and told Jesus.” Let us turn to Jesus this hour and tell Him. He cares.