Friday, April 10, 2009

Funeral Message



By Jim Davis

Preached on March 11, 2009


On behalf of the family, I want to thank you for coming today. Thank you for the condolences and the other acts of kindness,...that are such a blessing at a time like this. It's friends and family coming together, that helps to ease the pain and loss that we all feel. Death is a part of the human experience...in this fallen world in which we live. "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. 'BUT,..I'm glad to declare to all today....there is hope in the Lord Jesus Christ... He HAS conquered death.......................

I too would want to honor our Mother with some reflections of my own. I believe that most of you here today, know about Mother and our family when we were children. A young Mother with four children.......

World War 2 was raging

No Father in the home to provide

Having to work to care for our needs

In a time before day-care providers

Not being able to find good baby-sitters

Mother had to make, what I'm sure,..was a difficult decision. To split up the family and place all of us in homes,..where we would be cared for......I would like to share with you, the last birthday card I received from her, just a month ago....

A Son Leaves a Trail of Memories

A little mud tracked in..... some grass stains on his knees.....

his handprints on the walls and windows- well-worn memories.

Some pictures that he drew way back when he was small.....

the marks that measured years and growth spurts climbing up the wall.

A few small dents and dings from "accidents" remain...

each tells its tale, but no one here is likely to complain.

Those boyhood souvenirs together play a part in how a son

can leave his mark clearly on the heart.

Ever since that first tiny footprint,

Son, you've made your mark on this family in so many ways.

Thanks for all the good memories and for being the kind of son

any parent would be proud to have.

H a p p y B i r t h d a y


Altho' I wasn't with you when you did these things,

I thought about you and loved you every minute.

Love , Mother

2009

These words speak to me of her true heart of love for all of her children. I know my brother and my two sisters would agree with me;....what seemed to be ruin at the beginning,..has turned into blessing. I know I speak for myself,..what Satan meant for evil.....GOD meant for good. I too,..spoke to Mother about things eternal,..just a few days before her passing. I spoke to her about God's plan of salvation,...the truth of the Gospel of the LORD JESUS CHRIST...the gospel I will be bringing to you in a few moments. None of us know what goes on...between God and anyone ....in their final hours. So,..I leave our Mother in the hands of a merciful God....Nothing more can be done here for Grayce Cobel,...when it comes to her eternal destiny. The question for us here today is:....WHERE will you spend eternity? Will it be Heaven?........ or will it be Hell?

I admit, I'm like the old-fashion preachers I remember as a child. In that day, a funeral was a reminder to everyone present: here is death in front of us. Are you ready to meet GOD?... they would ask. In our fallen state,...in our sinful flesh,.. we don't want to think of Hell,....only Heaven. But,..when we look to the only authority we have.....The Holy Bible...the written Word of God....we find that Jesus had much to say about Hell. The Lord Jesus Christ tells us that,..just as Heaven is a REAL place of Joy and everlasting bliss,..so Hell is a REAL place of everlasting torment and judgment... Speaking of Jesus,...I probably don't need to spend much time convincing us here today,... that Jesus is the only way to salvation. But,..I must reaffirm that,..there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. As a minister of the gospel, I feel more compelled to show us that in our day,...there is another gospel and another Jesus,...and that the real Jesus, the only Son of God,..has nothing to do with either one. Some of the most serious words of the Lord,...come from his Sermon on the Mount. Reading from the Gospel according to Matthew,..Jesus said: "not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?...And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you:depart from me, ye that work iniquity," Here we see a large group of people who say they know Jesus,..calling him Lord.....They remind him of their religious activity: ....We preached

We joined the church

We were baptized

WE went faithfully to church

We did wonderful works in your name

Even,..casting out devils

And to all of this.... Jesus replies;...depart from me ye workers of iniquity, I NEVER KNEW YOU !!!!

In our day, Hell has been discounted as a reality,......or only relegated to what we make of this life. Yet for some who would grudgingly admit,..that there might be a real Hell,....it is only for the worst of the worst,...such as Hitler, or Saddam Hussein, or such like. Surely no "good" people go to Hell. Yet,....here Jesus destroys that false notion. Here IS the religious crowd,..who have their own way to heaven......they think. "I did it my way" as the song says. Another song of a few years ago says: "Me and Jesus, we got our own thing goin'...BUT, people, listen to me......we cannot escape the final decision of the matter...depart from me.....I NEVER KNEW YOU....And to depart means to be cast into Hell forever and ever. There is no Purgatory, no other place. It's either Heaven or it's Hell....

All that we have said to this point is to bring us to the reality of our CONDITION.

Let us look for a moment at our condition....We are all born into this life as sinners in need of a Saviour. The Word of GOD declares: "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God". WE are totally depraved. I don't have time here today to fully explain our DEPRAVITY. But,...put

simply,....there is nothing good in us,..no spark of the Divine,..... as some teach. Because of Adam's sin in the garden where God placed him and Eve,.. we come into this world separated from God. We are enemies of God,...with His wrath abiding on us. As one great preacher has said: Total Depravity does not mean that we are all as bad as we could be. We are not all Hitlers or Mass murderers, or the worst of the worst. It means we have nothing in us that can reach up to God. He must reach down to us. And,...He has reached down to a fallen world. God has come in the flesh through His Son Jesus Christ,...to die for the sins of all who believe on Him.

This is why all human effort fails to satisfy a Holy God. Even self reformation is to no avail. Jesus was preaching one day to the Scribes and Pharisees,....the religious crowd. " Woe unto you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites, for ye make clean the out side of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites, for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity." This is why conformity to some moral code cannot save us. We need a change from the inside out. Jesus told a ruler of the Jews, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again,..or born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God". To be born from above is to be born of the Spirit of God,...whereby we become a new creation within. .....

SO,...what is the answer to our CONDITION?

HOW...are we saved and delivered from our sin?

First of all,...God through, his Holy Spirit,...must convince you of your need....that you are guilty before Him. If you only hear the voice of Jim Davis,....you cannot do anything. You must hear the voice of God through the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul told the church at Corinth: "my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."

IF you were to hear his voice calling you,.....hearing his sentence against your guilt,........causing you to cry out;...O what must I do to be saved,....I have good news. REPENT and submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Repentance is a radical turning from sin.....that inevitably becomes manifest in the fruit of righteousness. It becomes outwardly visible that God is producing a holy life in daily living. It is a godly sorrow causing us to eagerly and aggressively pursue righteousness. It is an attitude that ends our indifference to sin. This sorrow is produced by the Holy Spirit of God...... THEN,.... we submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Remember we said earlier,....there is a false gospel in our day,....

which is no gospel at all. I call it easy-believism.....Men are told......all you need do is to believe in Jesus. But, the Bible says; even the devil believes. If I were to ask for a show of hands,..... I'm sure you would all say:....yes I believe in Jesus. BUT, I ask,.....is He the Lord of your life? My friends,....if I were to reduce the Gospel of Jesus Christ to it's most concise definition, it would be this:...That you must deny yourself and take up your cross and follow Him. In Jesus own words to his disciples,...."If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." I was one of those false professors to whom Jesus would have said,......depart from me,..I never knew you. This is why I know some of you may be guilty before Him today. I was in the church from the time I was 3 years old. I had many places of position and leadership. I taught people the no-lordship false gospel. I falsely believed,.....then taught others that....Jesus wants to be part of your life. I taught that....you just heap up all the things of your life....

your ambitions....your plans .....your wishes and desires........then you set Jesus right on top .....and everything will be alright. Folks,.... that's a lie. We don't ask him into our life. We must give up our life and come into his life,......or we have no life at all. It may be true ,when it comes to ordering your food,.....but you cannot have it your way when it comes to salvation in Jesus. WE cannot alter God's plan of salvation........ This sounds so simple and yet, as I said earlier,....it is impossible in our own strength. We do not want to surrender our self. As we reduced the gospel to it's most concise definition,...we can reduce the essence of our sin to it's most concise definition......The essence of sin is SELF. We love our own self.

.........We seek to gratify self in all that we do. This is why we cannot break free from our SELF. Fallen men are in the prison of sin and self. But, Jesus has the power to set men free. He has bought salvation for all who believe.....O,.....that word,..salvation,...it really means deliverance. We that know Him here today,....

better yet,...those of us that He knows,.....WE have a mighty deliverance. I can gladly testify today........that I am no longer a false professor. Jesus my Lord and Saviour has delivered me from sin and self. Paul writes to the Romans...."But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us". This is the good news we end on today....That Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.

This may be new to some of you here today......In these last days before Jesus comes back,.......many modern preachers have majored more on God's love ....than they have on God's wrath. He is a God of love .....His love endureth forever.......GOD IS LOVE.......But,....he is also a God of wrath. His righteous justice demands judgment on those who are finally unrepentant in heart..... I know that in a crowd like this,....some of you are like those that Jesus spoke about. You profess to know Him,....But HE does not know you...... I want all of you to make it to heaven. This is why I bring warning today......I can't think of a question more serious than......WHERE WILL YOU SPEND ETERNITY? It is the most serious question we will ever answer........ I know everyone here would raise their hand if I were to ask: ....do you want to go to heaven? As we leave this place today,....I want you to think on this......If Jesus is not the Lord Of your life,...... then He is not your saviour.

Finally.......as we depart today,.....I want to comfort the hearts of all that truly belong to the Lord. Though we are reminded of death...through the loss of our loved one.....There is a better hope....The hope of the resurrection.

O death where is thy sting,...O grave, where is thy victory? Death is swallowed up in victory......through Jesus Christ our Lord. He is the God of all comfort.

LET US PRAY.

1 comment:

Mark Swan said...

Blessed Assurance!
What a comfort to KNOW that my sins are forgiven and that my name is written in Heaven!
Glory to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Angi

"Not too many days'