I have been asked, of late, to perform funerals outside the church family. I used to be somewhat hesitant to do a funeral for someone I didn’t know. You see, you want to honor the memory of the person and bring comfort to the family. If I do not know the individual I have to rely on others people opinions, who are most likely going to be nothing but positive. Who wants to speak ill of the deceased? But, I do research. Ask questions. Make calls. I am not here to judge the inner secrets of the heart, I do not know what emotions stirred within someone as they came face to face with Lord of Glory moments before entering eternity. But I know God does no wrong. Ever. He is compassionate to those that fear Him.
I agree to perform a funeral if I am allowed to give a Gospel presentation. The funeral I did the other day was for a truly wonderful man. My research and questions being answered showed a man loved, respected, admired and missed. He was an inspiration to many people for decades because of his vocation. And he was well remembered. And I mentioned his accomplishments, his dedication, his love for others and his uniqueness. But, as a pastor, there will never be anything more important than sharing about Jesus. The Gospel. Sharing about what He has done, what He has accomplished. His dedication, His love.
Romans 5:6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
There are certainly better preachers out there than me, but there is not a better message to preach than that one.
I will forever be astounded of what God has done to reach out to humanity. To the very people that reject Him. He gives us the Law and we break it. He allows people to rule as king, when people ask, and the kings become corrupt. Judges are to help and they, too, lead people astray, prophets are sent to tell people about coming to repentance and turning to God and they are murdered by the very ones God sends them too… yet, He is gracious. He sends The Prince of Heaven, Jesus, the Second of the Trinity to live a perfect life required by God’s Law. What we could never do. Jesus wraps His Divinity in humanity and is born a baby. A baby needing to fed, needing another to give Him to drink and to clean Him from the mess He would lay in. We know what babies do. But, Jesus does all that so that we could understand when He calls Himself the Bread of Life, when He calls Himself the Living Water and why He can be the Only One to cleanse us of from our sinful condition. Jesus knows our condition because He lived it. You do not ever need to feel alone.
Jesus lives a life of perfection, never sins, never breaks one commandment and alone is qualified to be the Perfect Sinless Spotless Lamb of God that could take away the sins of the world. He taken by sinful men and God allows His Only Begotten Son to endure what OUR sin deserves. He is beaten, whipped, shamed, humiliated and finally killed. Treated worse than a common criminal. but, that is not the end. To prove that sins penalty was paid, Jesus rose to new life, new life that is offered to those that will surrender, repent, and trust and believe what Jesus has done. What God has accomplished. He promises to give us the Holy Spirit to live inside and help us live differently. Old things are passed away and all things become new.
Dear reader, the Gospel is the only message that can lead you to the Father, through Jesus and to regeneration through the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of sins. there is no better message you will ever hear. Find a Bible believing church and try to hear it as much as you can.
The writer is the pastor of the Cornerstone Assembly of God in Sidney.