Contemplating Death

January 24, 2020

We are all going to die one day. It is inevitable, unless the Lord returns first to take us home to be with him. My youngest sister died 5 years ago this month at the age of 61. My next to oldest brother died this past November at the age of 71.

Although, as far as I know, I am in good health, I am 70, and so I have lived a lifetime. And, so I am thinking about death and what I would want to have at my funeral, should there be one for me, and especially what I would want the sermon to say. For the message is very important to me. I believe that is the critical point of all funerals.

So, this evening I felt the Lord had something for me to write. He put the song in my head, “My Jesus, I Love Thee,” which talks about death and heaven. But, my brain was in a fog. I was reading scriptures, but nothing was working with my brain.

So, I closed up my computer, and I lay down on the sofa. In the dark I closed my eyes, and in the quiet I prayed. And, then these words here began to come to me. So, I am now going to write whatever the Lord Jesus gives me to write this evening, which I believe is to be my funeral sermon, although anyone can use it who wants to, if it fits.

The Message

If you are hearing this read to you right now, then that means that I have gone home to be with the Lord for eternity. I am no longer suffering. I no longer am in a spiritual battle against the enemy of my soul who would want to destroy my life. My tears are gone. I am rejoicing that I now get to be with my Savior forever. I am at rest. The war is over. The battle is won!

It has been a long hard road that I have been traveling. Life has not been easy for me. It was hard from the very beginning. But, God had a plan and a purpose for it all. He was preparing me for something special that he had designed for my life from even before I was formed in the womb of my mother. For, he was preparing me to be one of his messengers who would take his gospel message to the ends of the earth in these last days before our Lord’s return. And, that is why Satan has fought against me so hard.

But, I am at peace now. The battle is over. The victory is won! And, I am with my Lord forever, and I am rejoicing in Him. And, yes, I am repeating myself, because sometimes we need to hear things more than just once.

Most Critical

So, what message should I leave with you? What is the most important thing you need to hear right now? If I could tell you anything, what would it be?

What I need to tell you is the same thing many of you have heard me say over and over again, because it is what God’s Word teaches over and over again, and because you understanding and believing this message, and you applying it to your life is critical to determining where you will spend eternity.

If you want to be saved from your sins and have eternal life with God, you must die with Christ to sin and live with Christ to his righteousness – all in the power and working of his Spirit. And, His Spirit is living within those who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin, and who have been raised with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Read Rom. 6:1-23 and Eph. 4:17-24).

“And he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.’” Luke 9:23-26 ESV

Thus, we are not saved from our sins and bound for heaven on a mere confession of Christ, or on a mere profession of faith in Jesus Christ. We aren’t “saved,” then we live however we want, and then one day, when we die, we get to go to heaven. That is not what God’s Word teaches.

Faith in Jesus Christ is something we must exercise every day. And, that faith is realized in what we do, not in what we profess. And, the doing has to be in obedience to our Lord and to his commandments (New Testament). And, we have to be walking (living, in practice) according to (in agreement with) the Holy Spirit of God. And, we have to NOT be walking (conducting our lives) according to the flesh, if we want to have eternal life with God (Read Rom. 8:1-17 and 1 John 1:5-9).

“And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” 1 John 2:3-6 ESV

For, Jesus Christ, God the Son, did not give his life up for us on that cross just so we could be forgiven our sins and so we could go to heaven when we die. He died that we might die with him to sin and live with him to righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. And, he gave his life blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God that we might now be God’s possession, and that we might now honor God with our lives (Read 1 Pet. 2:24; 1 Co. 6:20; 2 Co. 5:15, 21; Tit. 2:14).

In fact, his grace to us is not just a “get-out-of-jail-free-card.” His grace to us is that he died to deliver us out of our slavery to sin. So, contrary to popular opinion, God’s grace is not free license to now continue in willful, blatant sinful rebellion against God as a matter of life course, and then claim that all your sins are covered under God’s grace. What a slap in the face to God. What a mockery that is of God’s grace to us.

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” Titus 2:11-14 ESV

So, please know that if you are claiming Jesus as your Savior, but you are still living for the flesh, doing what you want to do, and your life is not committed to Jesus Christ, to following him in obedience to his ways; and if you are not surrendered to your Lord to do his will for your life, the scriptures teach that you do not know God, he doesn’t know you, and you don’t have eternal life with God. But, you will die in your sins, because you would not die to your sins and live to Christ and to his righteousness (Read Gal. 5:16-21; Eph. 5:3-6; Rom. 2:6-8; Gal. 6:7-8 and Rom. 8:1-17).

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” Galatians 6:7-8 ESV

So, take this to heart, for not one of us knows if we have tomorrow. In fact, if you are hearing this read at my funeral, and I am gone, please know that I did not know when I would breathe my last breath, either. So, don’t play with fire. Surrender your life to Jesus Christ today while you still have today.

My Jesus, I Love Thee

Hymn lyrics by William R. Featherstone, 1864
Music by Adoniram J. Gordon, 1876

My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine;
For thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art thou;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I love thee because thou hast first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree;
I love thee for wearing the thorns on thy brow;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say, when the death-dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

In mansions of glory and endless delight;
I’ll ever adore thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

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13 thoughts on “Contemplating Death

  1. This is beautiful. It will be hard not to wrap at your funeral because your flesh will be gone, but just like with my mom, I know that you are at peace and one day I will see you again. Not as my aunt, but as my sister in Christ. Thank you for your bold and truthful profession of Him and aligning your deeds with your profession. You are an example of Christ’s love. I love you so much Aunt Susan and I love your love for Jesus. Cant wait until we can all dance before our Kind and give Him the crowns He so rightfully deserves. So glad I could call you family on this earth. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh, Rachel, that was lovely! It brought tears to my eyes. I am glad that you got to read this. And, I know you are probably feeling the emotion right now of missing your mom, for the anniversary of her death is only a few days away from now.

      Yes, when the Lord takes me home, it is not good-bye forever, but it is until we meet again one day in heaven. But, the scriptures say we will be known as we were known on the earth, so we will know each other, and yes, we are sisters in Christ, too, not just aunt and niece.

      Yes, I will look forward to dancing with you in heaven one day before our KING. Amen! And, that will be a miracle, because I can’t dance now. 🙂

      Thank you, my dear Rachel, for all your love and kindness to me over the years, and for all the wonderful times of fellowship we have had together in the Lord, and that I still hope to have with you, if the Lord permits. And, thank you for your kind and encouraging words to me here, too. And, I give all the glory to God for all the good that he has done in and through my life. It would have never happened this way otherwise.

      I love you, too, my sweet niece Rachel!! Love,
      Aunt Susan

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for faithfully sharing the truths of the Gospel in life and even possibly in your death one day. I only hope many will listen and find the Lord and real salvation because they checked out God’s word to verify what you’ve been saying and asked God honestly to reveal the truth of where their hearts are. Nothing in our lives is more important than finding God’s truth and giving our lives fully over to the Lord through faith in Jesus Christ, which is evidenced by a changed life that only God can do in and through us.

    I am hoping God will allow you to be around here a while longer, but that’s his call. I know you’d like to be with the Lord whom you love so much – one day that will finally happen! God will continue to be faithful to you and sustain you until that wonderful day comes!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Rick, as you know, all the glory goes to God for what he has done in and through my life, and for what he will continue to do until the day he takes me home to be with him.

      Like Paul, I am torn between my life on this earth and my home in heaven. Paul’s ultimate conclusion was that he would remain longer, for it was for the benefit of those to whom he was ministering. That is certainly up to the Lord how long he has any of us live, but it is my prayer that as long as I remain on this earth that my life will be for the glory of God, and that I will do the will of God in continuing to share his gospel and the truths of his Word with all who will listen.

      And, yes, God will continue to be faithful to me and he will sustain me through all that he allows me to go through on this earth until that day comes when I get to be with him forever. For, he is faithful in all that he does, and his promises do not fail ever. On that I can always depend.

      “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Eph. 3:20-21 NIV

      I love you! Sue

      Liked by 3 people

    • Lydia, I understand, but at my age it is an ever present reality. We all will go through life cycles. At your age, you and your friends are thinking about college, careers, and possibly marriage. Then comes the years of childbearing and then grandchildren and then you are no longer checking the wedding section of the newspaper, but you are checking the obits. Your friends are now retiring and some of them are dying, too. And now, instead of attending weddings you are attending funerals. And so, you make plans for your death and your funeral and you inform your adult children of your wishes. And that is the lifecycle I am in now.

      But, in reality, the gospel of Jesus Christ causes us to look at death and to face its reality every day. For, how we live our lives on this earth, either for our Lord, or for self, determines where we will spend eternity when we die. Too many people are ignoring that reality, and it will cost them their lives.

      But, I totally get where you are coming from. And I appreciate you sharing your heart with me. I am glad to have you in my life as an adopted granddaughter, and Lord willing, we will get to enjoy that friendship for many more years to come. Love you! Gma Sue

      Liked by 1 person

    • That was very beautifully said and bitter sweet to think about. You will most definitely finish your race with perseverance and win the prize, for you endured. You took the cup that was offered to you, even with all the pain, tears, and suffering and you drank it. Thank you so so much for everything you’ve ever done for us. I’ll tell you now and I’ll tell you forever that if you had not been so obedient to God, I might have been lost. You were always there for me in the darkest of my days from my youth, to a hard-headed teenager, and into prison you faithfully wrote me the words of life to speak solid truths into me. If I only live half the legacy of you I know I’ve done well. Thank you for helping me and never giving up on me. I’m so glad I have your songs and now your blogs to always remember the beauty God made from the ashes in your life. I love you so much and I can’t wait to serve Jesus with you forever.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Niece Jamie, thank you so much. That was beautiful! Glory to God! Only by his grace! I look forward to being with you for eternity, too. You have encouraged me in many ways, as well as have your sisters. I love all 4 of you as though you were my own daughters. Thank you so much for this encouragement. I love you! Aunt Susan

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  3. I have my funeral all planned out with the plans sent to our oldest child, including the music. Your post is absolutely beautiful and should be a part of every memorial service. Thus I sent a copy to my daughter to add to my plans for my service. I hope that is okay. Bless you for this!

    Liked by 2 people

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