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Summary: These are words of comfort for a believer that has passed away. i.e. This is a funeral sermon

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I had the privelege to preach this sermon at my dear Grandmother’s funeral who passed away on February 2, 2006. It was an encouragement to my family and our friends who packed out a church to say our last goodbyes.

Introduction:

As we gather here this morning to remember the dear and precious life of ______________ I know that many of you are dealing with mixed emotions. On the one hand, there are emotions of great sadness. Sadness not for _______________ because _____________ is in a better place, but sadness because we have come today to say our final goodbye and pay our last respect to someone who was and will always be very dear to us.

But on the other hand, there is great joy in knowing that because of the relationship that ________________ had with the Lord that she is already in His presence. For the Bible say’s in:

2 Cor 5:6-8 in the NKJV “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”

For the Christian there is no greater joy than to be in the presence of the One that loves them like no one else can.

So today is not a day of mourning but it is a day of celebration. It’s not a day of sorrow but truly a day of rejoicing. Today we come to remember the life of ___________________________ and reminisce over all the special moments that we had with her.

You see _________________ had a relationship that carried some wonderful promises found in John chapter 14:1-6. Let me read that portion of scripture to you.

John 14:1-6 "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know." 5 Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?" 6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

I. The First Promise to Christians is that We Don’t have to

Fear Death. Jesus said "Don’t let your hearts be troubled"

1) We are troubled when we don’t know what is going to happen when we die, but Jesus has taken the fear out of dying.

a) He has conquered the grave and death so there needs to be no fear in our eternal future.

Rev 1:17-18 "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore.

b) Do you know what the good news is this morning? Death had no hold on Him nor does it have a hold on us.

i) Because Christ conquered death there should be no fear for the Christian because through Christ we also conquer death.

2) We are Troubled when we view death as an end instead of a beginning.

2 Cor 5:1 "For we know that if our earthly house, this tabernacle, is destroyed, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

Paul is saying here that after this life is over that our spirit which is the real you won’t be found in a physical body. The body which is represented by the Greek word skenon "tent" which refers to the physical body. Paul say’s that though this earthly body (house) will be "dissolved", God has promised that there will be a "building of God."This is a description of death of the mortal body,yet it is intended to be encouragement for the believer as he/she looks at death. The word that is translated "building," is the Greek word oikodomen which means "the process of building something." The basic idea in this verse is that God is building a new house for the believer’s spirit which will be disembodied at the point of death ,leaving the body to remain on the earth. This indicates that God will create something completely new. Then Paul uses Greek word oikian which means "dwelling place", which refers to the completion of the "eternal body." Now there is 1 peculiar feature about this new body that I want to focus on, first of all it will be similar to the present one and identifiable, yet not identical because it is not going to be made by human hands, but it will be produced by God. The literal translation for the phrase "not made with hands"in the Greek is the same word that Jesus used in Mark 14:58 when He spoke of destroying the temple,which was made by the hands of men, and in three days,building another,not made by man. Jesus was speaking of His body following his resurrection.Although His own body" was made of a woman"(Galatians 4:4) at His birth,yet no human being was involved at the time of His resurrection.The believer’s human body will have the same outcome.When we are first born into this world,our body is physically produced. However,at the resurrection of the righteous dead the Apostle Paul proclaimed in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 v.15 "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord,that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. v.16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel,and with the trump of God:and the dead in Christ shall rise first: v.17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air:and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

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