Summary: In life we often say Good Bye to loved ones and friends, but one day God will say His eternal Good bye to the unbeliever.
A Sermon For You
A Ministry of Huckaby’s Evangelism
The Eternal Good Bye
By-Evangelist Gary Huckaby
(Message delivered at Lakeside Baptist Church 1980)
Before we read our text verse, I would like to tell you of some of the "Good-byes" we have all experienced. Every person born to this world has or will someday say "Goodbye" to someone. These good byes maybe to a friend, or to a loved one. Many times we gladly say "goodbye," and then there are the sad "good byes."
I remember well one summer vacation when my family drove across the country to visit my relatives in California. At the time I was twelve years old. We left Georgia on a Friday afternoon and drove until Saturday night before we stopped at a motel in Texas. Then on the next day we drove from morning until Monday afternoon before arriving at my grandfather’s house in Crest California. Crest is located just outside of El Cajon which is about thirty miles from San Diego. It was quite a difference to say "goodbye" to my dad’s parents, my grandparents on that Friday afternoon, it was a happy "goodbye" as we were going on vacation. I remember saying goodbye to my uncles and aunts and friends that Friday afternoon, with the thought that we would be returning in just a couple of weeks to see them again. During our vacation in California, we had a great time with relatives which I had not known before. I met my cousins, uncles, aunts, and saw my grandparents while there. We went swimming in the Ocean, at swimming pools, explored caves and had weekend gatherings for all of my mom and dad’s friends which they had not seen in years. What a vacation it was! Even though I was born in San Diego, I had lived in Georgia, (my father’s home State) since I was two years old, therefore, I really did not know my relatives in California or what the country was like there, I had one of the greatest vacations of my memory. What a joyous time we had those few days together.
Then it came the day and time to say "Goodbye." It was time for us to leave and get back home to Georgia. The family and friends gathered that last afternoon to say "Goodbye." A sad goodbye it was too. Everyone was crying, hugging and crying some more. I felt like my heart would break to pieces. Several of us cried for a long time as we drove back toward our home in Georgia. That was a sad "Goodbye" for me, but I have since met with all of my relatives and friends again.
Then there were many "Good byes" to my friends in school. Those who moved away when we were in grammar school, High school, college; those who had become close friends through the years of learning. Many moved away to different jobs, some married and moved away. Some are not here anymore, for they have now gone to their eternal reward, by the way of death. Those "Good byes" really hurt too. On December 28th 1977, my dad died at about 10:00pm. We lived just across the street from my parents. God chose to call my dad home at an early age as that he was only 46 at the time. That night is one which I will never forget. The phone call that dad had fallen to the floor, the attempts we did to resuscitate him, all to no avail. He had left for heaven where dwells our Lord. A sad Goodbye, maybe the saddest I have known. To abruptly say Goodbye for the last earthly time.
I also remember my grandfather’s death. He died in his sleep one night in 1974. I preached his funeral, which was the first funeral I conducted. I loved my grandfather, and was very close to him as I grew up close to him. It was also a sad Goodbye for me, for I would have to wait until my day came to meet him and my dad again. These were hard Good byes to say, but we had no choice in the matter. Years later my grandmother died and we said Goodbye to her for a while. Many of my relatives both young and old have caused us to say Goodbye to them in death.
I have learned through the years that death is no respecter of persons. It claims the baby, and the young, and the middle age, and the old. The rich, the poor, and those who are in between. The Bible tells us that Death is appointed to every man. Hebrews 9:27, says, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. One day should the Lord Jesus not return before then, we too will say Goodbye because of death.