Summary: What death is to a Christian - a funeral message for an elderly Christian.
(Please note that the basic outline of this message was adapted from a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon related to a Christian’s death and prayerfully reworked to meet the need of the family of the deceased)
THE DEATH OF A CHRISTIAN
PSALM 116:12-15 What shall I render to the Lord For all His benefits toward me? I will take up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord Now in the presence of all His people. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.
I. Death is Inevitable
A. Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment,
B. Death is not an appointment for some, but for all. No one is singled out to die; and not an individual is selected as one who is exempt. No exception is made in favor of youth, beauty, breeding; status or standing.
C. I recently heard a new medical term. I was told that a seriously ill individual was "pre-terminal." Evidently this means he was not yet terminal, but it was expected that soon he would be. That really can be said about each and every one of us? When it comes right down to it, we are all "pre- terminal". We all are going to die someday, unless the Lord comes back first? - copied
D. Romans 5:12 Therefore, even as through one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed on all men inasmuch as all sinned:
II. For the Christian Death is Acceptable
A. Philippians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
B. The Christian has nothing to lose by death.
C. Consider what a believer gains by dying; he is released and delivered from all the troubles and distresses of this life, arising from diseases of body, losses and disappointments in the things of this world; he is free from the oppressions and persecutions of wicked men; from indwelling sin, unbelief, doubts, and fears, and the temptations of Satan.
D. As soon as the believer dies he enters into the presence of God, and is immediately with Christ, which is far better than being here.
E. 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
F. Around 125 A.D., a Greek by the name of Aristeides wrote to one of his friends, trying to explain the extraordinary success of the new religion, Christianity. In his letter he said, “If any righteous man among the Christians passes from this world, they rejoice and offer thanks to God, and they accompany his body with songs and thanksgiving as if he were setting out from one place to another nearby.” - copied
III. For the Christian Death is Timely
A. A Christian never dies too soon or too late. God never makes mistakes. His timing is always perfect although we may not understand it.
B. Job 5:26 You shall come to your grave in a full age, like a shock of grain comes in its season.
C. Psalms 31:15 My times are in Your hand…
D. Octavius Winslow, wrote in The Reformed Reader: Christian, Your time of death, with all its attendant circumstances, is in the Lord’s hand. All is appointed and arranged by him who loves you and redeemed you – infinite goodness, wisdom, and faithfulness consulting your highest happiness in each circumstance of your departure. The final sickness can not come, the "last enemy" can not strike, until he bids it. All is in his hand; then calmly, confidingly leave life’s closing scene with him. You cannot die away from Jesus. Whether your spirit wings its flight at home or abroad, amid strangers or friends, by a lingering process or by a sudden stroke, in brightness or gloom, Jesus will be with you; and upheld by his grace and cheered by his presence, you shall triumphantly exclaim, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me," bearing your dying testimony to the faithfulness of God and the preciousness of his promises. My time to die is in your hand, O Lord! and there I calmly leave it.