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Before Your Funeral is Finished


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Before Your Funeral is finished

 

Revelation 14:13, "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them."

 

Imagine for a moment, you have died.

        It may have been some prolonged disease, a sudden heart attack or you were involved in an accident.

        But, at any rate, you have expiblack.

        You are no longer here, you're gone.

Now, what happens during that time?

  • The family begins to weep and friends are notified.
  • Next comes the burdensome and painful task of meeting with the funeral home director and making the funeral arrangements.
  • The service may begin with a song and then the minister gives a scripture reading, a prayer, another song, and then the funeral message.
  • Now, it is time for the processional over to the grave site.

But, before your funeral is finished, there are some things that are going to happen to YOU, which you will realize.

        I am thinking in terms of the child of God, although, I will say some things about the unsaved.

        But, child of God,

o       before your funeral is finished on this earth,

o       There are some amazing things you are going to realize.

I.             You Will Realize That Death Was Easy

A.            We have all had thoughts about what it is like to die.

1.             To cross over that great divide.

2.             Death, what is it like?

B.            As a Christian, you may have reasoned within yourself that Jesus conqueblack death on the cross.

1.             He removed the stinger from death; therefore, it has no sting left for you.

a.              I Corinthians 15:55, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"

2.             But, even at that, you are somewhat apprehensive about dying, because it is a mystery.

a.              You have never died before.

b.              You don't know what to expect.

3.             But, as you die, you discover how easy death is.

C.            Nowhere in the Bible is death depicted a horrible, dreadful thing for the child of God.

1.             In fact, the New Testament pictures it, as just falling asleep.

a.              In Acts 7:60, when Stephen was dying, the Bible says, "Öhe kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep."

b.              So, Stephen was dying, and as he expiblack, when he breathed out his last breathe, the Bible says, "he fell asleep."

2.             You discover there were no dark valleys; there were no ghosts and hobgoblins.

a.              There were no demons in that crossing.

b.              Death was easy, but you dreaded it the whole time.

3.             Dying is not hard for the child of God, living is what is hard.

a.              The day you lie down and die, your going to say, "This is a piece of cake."

b.              There was nothing to this after all.

c.              Here, I just fell asleep and there I awoke into a world of light, right there in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.

4.             So, the first thing you realize, death was easy.

II.          Next you realize, You Are Released From Your Earthly Body

A.            Philippians 3:21, "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself."

1.             In this verse, our bodies are referblack to as "vile."

a.              What does that word, vile, mean?

b.              It does not mean sinful.

c.              There is nothing evil or sinful about the body God gave you.

d.              If you do sinful things in it, that makes it sinful.

e.              But, God gave you a body that was created in the image of God.

2.             The word vile means lowly, weak.

a.              You are in a weak, lowly body that suffers humiliation, because of the curse of sin and the fall of man.

b.              Your body is not what it was intended to be, it is limited, it is restricted, it is a vile body in that sense.

c.              You might feel strong now, but the day will come when your body will grow weak, frail and you will not have any strength left.

3.             But, when you die, you are released from this body of restriction and limitation.

a.              Suffering sorrow and pain no more, because you are out of that body.

4.             Sometimes our bodies can become a prison house.

a.              Those suffering from a stroke or those confined to a wheelchair who require constant attention from a caregiver.

b.              They say, "I wish I could get out of this body of pain and suffering."

c.              Listen, some day you will be released from your body.

d.              That is what dying is all about.

5.             Dying is not a ceasing to exist; dying is getting out of your body.

a.              Soul and spirit in tact, all your senses, all your facilities.

b.              You will be alive, but you will be released from this vile body.

c.              Thank God, we have a new body coming someday.

B.            Philippians 1:21, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

1.             Paul could say this, because it is going to be better in heaven, than it is here.

2.             Therefore, you discover death was easy

3.             And you might wonder why you were so concerned about it.

C.            You awake to find yourself in the land of Light with your Savior, and released from this body of clay.

1.             No more worrying and wondering about death, it is over.

III.      You Discover You Are Being Safely Transported Upward

A.            A Christian does not die alone.

1.             A sinner yes, but a Christian, no.

2.             A child of God will be safely escorted upward into the land of light, in the presence of Jesus Christ.

3.             You have guardian angels.

B.            Hebrews 1:14, "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation."

1.             The context is talking about guardian angels and when you expire and leave this earth, they will be waiting to safely escort you upward into the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.

2.             You will not make that journey alone.

3.             You won't die alone.

4.             Won't it be wonderful, that you will find yourself being transported safely upward as your soul and spirit leave your body.

C.            What do you fear most of all in this lifetime?

1.             Donít you fear Dying the most?

a.              Do you normally sit around talking about death with your friends?

b.              No, because you don't like to talk about it.

2.             You say, "I have a lot of living to do and I don't want to talk about dying."

a.              But, you're going to.

b.              You will, so you need to know what you can expect.

D.            Death is easy and you will find yourself being safely escorted up to heaven as you are released from your body.

IV.      You Will Be Arriving In A New World

A.            If you're saved, you will arrive in a world unlike anything you have ever known.

1.             And, just think, while your funeral is going on down here, you are already in the new world, getting acquainted with your new environment.

2.             What a wonderful world it is, if you're a child of God.

a.              This new world is filled with love.

b.              It is characterized by love.

c.              The atmosphere is fragranced with love.

3.             There is perfect harmony in heaven.

a.              There is not one word ever said in discord.

b.              There is not one thing ever done or said, as a cut, to harm anyone.

4.             It will be perfect harmony as you arrive in that new world.

a.              Your home in eternity is a land of peace and harmony.

b.              And people are getting ready for your funeral service down here.

B.            John 14:3, "And I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."

1.             People think of Heaven as a world unknown.

a.              When you exit this body and are released from this earthly form, you sail to a new world.

b.              It will be a world that is fully known, in the presence of Christ in that wonderful city.

2.             Some have asked, "Preacher, can we see people in hell, from heaven?"

a.              No and you wouldn't want to.

b.              There is nothing in the Bible that indicated that.

3.             After you are gone, no one can see where you are and you can't look back and see where they are.

a.              But, only if you could get a word, a message back to them.

1)             While they're at your funeral filing around getting a last look at your body

2)             and they're broken hearted and weeping,

3)             if you could just get a word back to them and say,

4)             "don't weep for me, but weep for yourselves and your children."

4.             You should live a life that when you die you will be missed.

a.              But, even while your funeral service is being held,

1)             you're strolling down the streets of glory

2)             and if you could get a message back down here you would say,

3)             "if you could just see where I am, I can see Jesus, so don't weep for me."

V.         You Will See Loved Ones

A.            Those of you who have loved ones who are already in heaven

1.             and they prayed for you to be saved,

2.             but never had the opportunity to see the day of your salvation,

3.             They know when you become a child of God.

4.             The day you got saved, it was echoed in glory and they were made aware that you had been saved.

B.            Luke 15:10, "Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth."

1.             The word presence is the key word.

a.              There is joy in the presence of the angels of heaven over one sinner that repenteth.

b.              Whoever is doing this rejoicing, is doing it in the presence of the angels.

2.             It is not the angels rejoicing, because they don't understand salvation.

a.              They are created beings.

b.              Christ didn't die for angels, it is a mystery to them.

3.             It was told to your loved ones the day you were born again.

a.              They knew it, the word got out in glory about the day you became a child of God.

b.              They know about your life down here.

c.              Not the details, but they know how you're running the race.

C.            Hebrews 12:1, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us."

1.             The cloud of witnesses are the ones who have gone on before.

a.              They know the day you were saved

b.              and the progress you're making,

c.              the kind of Christian you are

d.              and I can prove by logic from that,

1)             that they will know about the day of your death and your arrival.

2.             They will be standing at the gate waiting for you.

a.              You will embrace them

b.              and it will be real,

c.              it will be glorious

d.              and they will say, "I have been waiting for you so long and I'm glad you're home."

3.             While all that is going on,

a.              While your body down here is laying in the casket

b.              and before your funeral is finished,

c.              you're meeting loved ones.

4.             You will walk over and say,

a.              "Mom, I didn't get to tell you a few things before you slipped out, but let's catch up on old times"

b.              "Dad, I wanted to tell you just how I really felt about you and how much I loved you,

1)             but somehow I just didn't get that last card in the mail

2)             or make that last phone call,

3)             but now we can talk it over in the by and by"

c.              "Son and daughter, I missed you and now we're home forever."

d.              This will be going on even before your funeral is finished.

VI.      You Will See Jesus

A.            While your funeral is going on down here, you will be face to face with the Lord Jesus Christ.

1.             Acts 7:56, "And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God."

2.             As Stephen was dying he saw the heavens opened and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.

B.            Now, these things will happen immediately and you will discover death was so easy.

1.             Death will be as easy for the child of God as falling asleep.

2.             You will be released from your earthly body

a.              and you will be safely transported upward

b.              and arrive in a new world

c.              and meet loved ones

d.              and best of all, see Jesus.

C.            But, what if you're not saved?

1.             Death is horrible, fearful and dreadful.

a.              You better fear it,

b.              because as long as you are breathing you are on this planet,

c.              but when you take your last breath, you are out in eternity.

2.             Death is a fearful thing to the unsaved.

a.              You will be released from your body,

b.              but you won't arrive it a Pearly White City.

c.              Youíre going to Hell and you will know you're there.

3.             You will be alone,

a.              you will be tormented

b.              and you won't see Jesus until the Great White Throne

c.              and He won't be your Savior.

d.              He won't embrace you; He will be your judge.

4.             All this will be going on during your funeral, if you're unsaved.

D.            How much better to know Christ and to die in Christ.

1.             What a wonderful thing to look forward to, even through the medium of death, when you're a child of God.

2.             Death is an easy thing, falling asleep, waking up in the arms of Jesus.

E.             Let me ask you a sobering question.

1.             Where will you be while people are filing around in the state room at the funeral home to see your body one more time?

2.             You will be in heaven or you will be in hell at that very moment.

3.             Don't wait until it is all over and you wake up in eternity.

 

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