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Summary: This is a sermon dealing with death and how to be prepaired to die. It has alot of personal illistrations that can be substituted with your own.

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Remembering those who have Gone Before Us 5/23/03

1 Peter 1:22-25

I can remember when I was a kid growing up receiving a pen with the invisible ink. You would write something and within a minute, it would fade away. But I also discovered that, watch what you write because when you hold the paper up to the light it you can still read the impression.

That reminds me of our lives. We are just here for a short time on this earth and when we leave here, all that’s left is the impression that we leave behind.

Today I want to talk about a few deaths that I have experienced and the impression that they left behind.

Righteous People

I’ve had two close relatives who have gone on to be with the Lord who were Preachers, my Grandpa and my Uncle Frank. My bloodline has a long line of preachers. I am the forth generation preacher in the Meadows blood line. But I can remember as a child when we would go visit Grandpa that it didn’t take long before my Dad and Grandpa would start discussing God. Both my Uncle and Grandpa loved the Lord. My Dad would tell me about times that Grandpa would preach as many as five times on any one given Sunday. He had a station wagon and he would load up Grandma and the eight kids and preach from one church to another. My Uncle started a church in his house. I can remember being there and getting out the folding chairs to prepare for a service. Both loved the Lord and I know when they got to Heaven, Jesus said, well done thy good and faithful servant for the sacrifices that they made while on this earth.

Isn’t that how you would like to be remembered? Someone who loved and worked for the Lord.

Back Sliden and then Restored

I had a best friend growing up. I met Chris when I was six years old. His family attended the church where my Dad went to pastor. I remember the first time I saw him, I thought he was the ugliest kid that I had ever seen. They didn’t have wire rims then, and this boy’s face was covered with freckles and he had these big thick black glasses. I had gone with my Dad as he went to visit Chris’s parents as the new pastor and I was asked to spend the night. From then on, I had a best friend. We were insupportable all through school. You didn’t see one without the other being to far away. But then something happened. We both went to work doing construction and I found out Chris was really lazy. Every time a load of sheet rock would come or any hard manual labor, Chris would have to go on a long nature call, if you know what I mean. This would cause me to have to do more than my share of the work. Our friendship began to suffer over it, especially after I tipped the porta potty over with him in it. The best friend that was inseparable from me growing up was growing apart from me. He ended up joining the Coast Guard and I went my own way also, and we went years without even seeing each other.

Chris at the young age of 30 discovered that he had developed Colin cancer. He received a medical discharge from the service and moved him and his family back home. We restored our relationship and I’m so glad that God allowed me to get my best buddy back again. And three years later, I carried his body to the graveside, but I knew that it would be a short separation till I saw my buddy again.

That reminds me of how we can be as Christians. We enter into this wonderful relationship with our Lord and Savior and then we lose fellowship with Him. Maybe because we are like Chris. We are lazy. We think after we accept Christ then that’s all we have to do. Salvation is that simple, but in James 2:26, God tells us that faith without works is dead.

For whatever reason you might have lost fellowship with the Lord, you too can restore that relationship with Him.

No Guaranty

One of the saddest funerals that I’ve ever been to was of a one-year-old baby of a friend of mine. This beautiful baby girl on her six-month check up was diagnosed with a rare cancer. The parents on her first birthday decided to turn off the life support. Why would God choice to take this little baby we tend to think. I don’t know, but this is what happened. After talking to the doctors about their decision, they came out into the waiting room to tell the family. They told the Grandfather he better go and tell his granddaughter goodbye, because he was not a Christian. And unless he would have a change of heart, he would never see his granddaughter again.

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