A Funeral Sermon
Nothing that I say about _________ tonight will change ________’s destiny. But it is possible, that something I say may change your destiny. I will say a little about her, but more about you.
Death is not the end – but the beginning of either a perfect life of joy with God for eternity or a life of misery in separation from God for eternity.
Deep down inside, we all sense that there is something more than this life. The Bible says that ‘God has placed eternity in our hearts’ (Ecclesiastes 3:11). So, in every human being there is this sense of ‘there must be something more than this life’ – something that transcends human existence on earth.
We don’t like to think about it. We like to think (more so when we are young) that we are immortal – indestructible – that no matter what we do – we can live on and escape death.
We busy ourselves with life so as to drown out the cry of souls which beckons us to think about and prepare for eternity.
Then someone we love or know dies. And we are faced with reality as spoken of in Scripture: “it is appointed unto man, once to die, and after that, the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
What a shock for many — to wake up in the presence of God and find out that they are accountable for their life on planet earth.
At that point your destiny has already been settled.
God’s judgment is a revealing moment. All who meet their Creator God face a common indictment. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). No one escapes that indictment.
But though all share a common indictment, there is a difference. Jesus put it this way:
46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life: (Matthew 25:46).
How can it be that that all are guilty of sin, yet some are rescued and granted eternal life?
There is no question that everyone here tonight is guilty. The question is – when you face your Creator God, will he send you into eternal punishment or into eternal life?
Can you know the answer to that question, here and now? Yes!
Listen to these familiar verses:
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (Joh 3:16-18 ESV)
God has provided a way for the guilty to be forgiven and rescued from the judgment we deserve.
What makes the difference in death is what you have done with Jesus Christ in life.
There are two groups of people here tonight, just like there are two groups of people at the judgment. Again the Bible says it clearly:
11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. (1Jo 5:11-13 ESV)
Now there are at least three ways people respond to their guilt:
1) Some run from God and reject his verdict on their lives – this is futile.
2) Some through their own self-effort or religion try to earn God’s favor — this is futile.
3) Some confess their guilt and helplessness and accept God’s offer of mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
I believe that ________ chose the third way. Tonight, which way will you choose?
Tonight, I confess my guilt before you and my need of Jesus Christ. I believe he died for me and rose again so that I could be forgiven. Tonight, by faith I submit to Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and ask him to rescue me from the judgment that I deserve.