My Funeral Message

Three years ago the Lord Jesus led me to write my own funeral sermon, and today, May 22, 2023, he led me to record it. So, the dated information here is three years old, but the message has not changed.

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.
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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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