Summary: A funeral sermon for those who have lost a Christian family member or friend to death.
From the testimony of the Apostle Paul, we learn two truths which I believe should comfort us today.
1. "To Die Is Gain"
Paul speaks of the fact that because Jesus Christ was his Savior, he knew that the life that awaited him was far better than anything he could know on earth. In the same way, we need to understand that because of this one’s faith in Christ, they are in a better place than we are today. They have experienced the fulfillment of the promise Jesus makes to all who believe on Him in John 14:1-3. Yes, they have gone to heaven, which is a better place than where you and I are, because heaven is a place of...
A. Rest- Revelation 14:13
Life in this world is full of difficulty - Job 5:7; 14:1
But in heaven, the days of difficulty are passed -Revelation 21:4
Can this be death?
To be released from fear and sorrow,
From sickness, weariness and pain?
To be removed from sin’s enslavement,
From Satan’s influence and domain?
Can this be death?
To Know complete fulfillment as I look upon God’s face? To feast upon the glories and the riches of His grace?
No, this is life!
With all that it can offer, it is joy that overflows!
It is peace that knows no measure,
It is victory, forevermore!
B. Reward - Revelation 14:13
While, too often in this life, good things done are overlooked, God takes notice. And there, in heaven, everything worthy of commendation will be rewarded! Rest assured that this one who has passed into the presence of Jesus is receiving their reward. I imagine that it just might be like the song describes it...
One by one they came, far as the eye could see;
Each life somehow touched by your generosity.
Little things that you had done, sacrifices made,
Unnoticed on the earth, In heaven now proclaimed.
And I know that up in heaven you’re not supposed to cry,
But I am almost sure there were tears in your eyes
As Jesus took your hand and you stood before the Lord;
He said, "My child, look around you, great is your reward!"
Yes, rest assured this one who is heaven is receiving their reward, as they are made aware of how many lives they touched. And as more of us join them, they will be rewarded with even more "thank-you’s."
C. Rejoicing - Ecclesiastes 4:2
They have gone to the place Jesus spoke of when He said, "In my Father’s house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you!"
As beautiful a description of heaven as we have in the Bible, the reality of it’s beauty will far surpass anything we read about in Scripture, because what we read in the Bible about heaven is but an accommodation to our level of understanding. It is God’s attempt to describe for us the indescribable. Just think ...
Of stepping on shore and finding it heaven;
Of taking hold of a hand and finding it God’s hand;
Of breathing in new air and finding it heavenly air;
Of feeling invigorated and finding it immortality;
Of waking up and finding - you’re home!
That’s what’s happened to this one who has passed on!
Yet their joy is even greater than we could ever imagine (Ephesians 3:20a)!
Your loved one is now part of the greatest "family reunion" of all! They have join the family of God around the throne! And, there, they are waiting for you to join them (2 Samuel 12:23)
For- No, they’re not cold beneath the grasses,
Not close-walled within a tomb;
But they-re living in our Savior’s presence;
Simply living in another room.
Therefore - Shall I doubt my Savior’s mercy?
Shall I think of death as doom?
Or the stepping, over the threshold,
To a bigger, brighter room?
Shall I blame my Savior’s wisdom?
sit, overwhelmed with gloom?
When I know my loved one is happy -
Waiting for me in another room?
2. "To Live Is Christ"
"How can I go on?" Is a common question, in light of experiencing a tragedy such as this. Paul gives us the answer. The answer is Jesus Christ. By the power of the One Who is present with us, we can carry on!
Because .. .
A. He Gives Us Help In The Midst Of Difficulty -2 Corinthians 4:8-9; 16-18
Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come.
Tis grace that hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home!
There is coming a day when no heartaches shall come;
No more clouds in the sky, no more tears to dim the eye;