The Funeral

Last night I spoke at the funeral of a dear friend. He had given his life to JC and was baptized several years previously. Cancer was discovered in his colon last year and he began the lengthy process of chemo, hospitals, doctors a being constantly sick.  Facing the reality of winding down his life was understandably difficult to take. His faith was challenged as everything  he believed was brought into question. Last week he passed away leaving a young wife and an 8 year old son for our fellowship to care for. Several people spoke at the memorial that were relatives and neighbors. One of our fellowship members spoke then I did the pastoral talk at the end.
There was a stark contrast between the unbelievers and his Christian friends. Some of the 1st group spoke to him directly as though he was still there and could somehow hear them. It was sad and evident that they had no hope beyond the grave.
I thought back to when I saw him in the hospital a week previous. His eyes were open but all life was gone from his body.
If you took the peanut out of the shell, closed it and gave the empty shell to someone,”That’s not a peanut just a shell” they would say back to you.  In that coffin lay the shell of a man. The decay process began as soon as his life left his body. He was instantly transported into the presence of his Lord and Savior. His suffering and pain was finished. He now spends eternity in heaven.
The bible says “the day of your death is more important than the day of your birth”
It’s like a graduation ceremony from high school into real life. Instead of learning about life, he gets to go out and do the real thing, leaving us poor students behind in the classroom.
I hated school. It was like a prison sentence to me. I’ll never forget the last time I closed the door behind me at Templeton High School. It was like I was finally free to experience what I had been learning about for the past 13 years.
If your life is all about aquireing possessions, death will rob you of a lifetime of acquisitions.
If your life is all about friends and family, in a few short years you will be forgotten.
If your life is about being mean to people, stubborn and unforgiving or just willful against God’s will, make no mistake about it, hell is a very real place.
If your life is hid in Christ and His purposes, all eternity in His presence stretches before you.

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