Summary: A funeral message for a 36 year old believer who died suddenly. The certainties that we have in a time of uncertainty.
Certainties Related to Death
It is natural to have feelings of sorrow at death. In First Thessalonians, The apostle Paul sought comfort those who had been mourning the death of their loved ones. Part of the sorrow and agony that the Thessalonians were going through was due to feelings of uncertainty and hopelessness. Paul tells them that excessive grief is a result of being uninformed and that as Christian we do not have to be like those who have no hope. Instead when we turn to the word of God we are provided with certainties that give us hope. Today I would like for us consider for certainties.
I. There is the certainty of death.
A First Corinthians 15:22 "… In Adam, all die…"
B Scripture says in Hebrews 9:27 because of our sin "it is appointed unto men once to die and after that the judgment."
C One of the things we can rejoice in is that for our brother in Christ the sting in his passing, which is sin, has been removed and so also the judgment. For Romans 8:1 says "there is therefore now no condemnation (that is there is no Great White Throne Judgment for sin) to them who are in Christ Jesus."
D For our brother, this appointment has been canceled because an earlier appointment was made and kept when he received Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. Christ's death canceled sin's penalty and its judgment was born by the Lord in the sinners place on the cross.
E Although Christ's death canceled sins penalty for those who have committed their lives to Him, we still must face the effects of sin by experiencing physical death.
II. There is the certainty that Christ understands the sorrow associated with death.
A The sorrow of death is a reality. The Scripture speaks of death as being our enemy. It is our enemy because:
1 it separates man from his body
2 it separates us from our loved ones
3 it separates men who are without Christ forever from God removing them from all hope
B Christ understands the pain and the sorrow that we experience when someone dies. In John 11 we have the account of the death of Lazarus. Both Mary and Martha were heartbroken at the death of their brother. When Mary falls at the feet of Jesus weeping with tears we read that in response to her tears and those around her "Jesus wept".
C Hebrews 4:15 "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities..."
D Christ's heart is touched, deeply touched, with sympathy for the sorrow of others. He wept because the mourning sisters Mary and Martha wept. He mingled His tears with theirs. He has true sympathy, "weeping with those that weep," making their sorrow His own.
E Hebrews 2:17 "For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people."
III. There is the certainty that the soul does not die.
A John 11:23-26 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die."
B The Scriptures teach us that man is comprised of both that which is material (physical) and immaterial (spiritual). That is we have a real body (material substance) and a real soul (immaterial substance).
C While the material our mortal bodies die, our souls are immortal. They survive physical death and continue to exist apart from this world and the body which perishes. The body without the spirit is dead (James 2:26) but the spirit without the body is not dead.
D II Corinthians 5:6-8 tells us that when we who are Christians die, we go immediately to be with God. To be "absent from the body-present with the Lord."
E In Philippians 1:23 Paul tells us when those who have received Christ as Savior and Lord depart from this life, they are with Christ.
F Christ warned: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both the soul and the body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).
IV. For the believer, there is the certainty of a glorious resurrection and reunion.
A. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 " But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words."