Summary: True born again Christians are not to have a worldly eulogy given at their funeral. Eulogies and the messages spoken at their physical death experience are to be reminders for Christians of their future home going and an opportunity for the presentation
Turn your Bibles to John 14:1-4, 6
Title: She Wants to See Jesus
Theme: Rejoicing in What Christ Has Prepared for Doris Isabel Stump
Series: Pillars of the Local Church (September 30, 2007)
John 14:1-4, 6, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” … “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:1-4,6) Let us pray!
Introduction: After doing the funeral of Carol Harshbarger in March 2006 I went by and told my mother-in-law, Doris Stump, about the funeral and about the message the Lord laid upon my heart as I prayerfully studied John 14:1-4,6. Doris was so illuminated with these truths that she shared with me (Pastor Terry Laughlin) how she wanted these truths proclaimed at her funeral. She did not want to be lifted above the truths of Christ, but to have Christ glorified through her physical death. I thank the Lord for enabling me to be a part in fulfilling her vision. This message and the message “Enjoying Christ Epistle Among Us” covering the theme, “Christ Working in and Through Doris Stump” is now in transcript format, on CD and on the websites of SermonCentral and CrossRoads Church. These two messages have also been placed in special binders in the libraries of CrossRoads Church and Long Island Methodist Church, and offered to the children, grand-children, and friends of Doris Stump.
Proposition: I would propose to you that true born again Christians are not to have a worldly eulogy given at their funeral. Eulogies and the messages spoken at their physical death experience are to be reminders for Christians of their future home going and an opportunity for the presentation of the life changing message of Christ. The Bible study, “Created for His Glory” done by Dr. Jim Berg so touched the heart of Doris Stump, she wants no glory given to her, but Christ glorified as doing a work in and through her.
Interrogative Sentence: Just what destiny awaits Doris and everyone else who will live upon this earth? Why are Christians and non-Christians cast into the river of death? What has Christ prepared for those who know Him as personal Savior and Lord? What is in the heart of the child of God who is truly connected to Christ?
Transitional Sentence: The first truth Doris wants taught and presented to all her family and friends is their need to grasp the realization of physical death. Hebrews 9:27 says, “…Inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27 NAS)
It has often been said, “There are two things that are going to be. There will be taxes and there will be death.” There are those who have figured out how to avoid paying taxes, however, no one has figured out how to escape death. As I stand here and as many of you sit here we are faced with the truth of God’s undeniable Word. Your body is going to experience physical death. It is the duty of all Christians to use this common experience to point family members, friends and co-workers to Christ rather than to waste it.
Questions may be asked and I can assure you it does not offend the Lord for anyone to ask questions such as, “Why is there death?
We know that God is not offended by such questions, because He gives such clear answers in His written Word. I am not going to give you a full exposition of why God allowed tragedies, sicknesses and why all of mankind must be thrown into the river of death, for that would take several lengthy messages.
However, Paul gives a quick and to the point answer why all of us here will be pushed into the river of death if the Lord tarries another 120 years or beyond, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.” (Roman’s 5:12) The Bible says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) The Bible also holds this promise, “for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
Death, even the death of a born again Christian brings sorrow and it can bring weariness on our soul. There is a passage of Scripture that the Holy Spirit illuminated upon the spiritual heart of Doris that comforted her as she faced the uncertainties and possibility of losing her mind as she moved along in years and at the time of the physical death of her husbands. She found her comfort in the very words of Christ, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)