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An Unchurched Person
1 John 5:12
As we meet today to pay tribute to your loved one my remarks will be very brief.
Today, we stand face to face with the two great mysteries of the universe -- life and death.
- They will be brief because words alone do not brighten or tarnish the future.
One's life and faith determine his destiny.
- They will be brief because at such a time none of us is able to express what he really feels.
Words are inadequate to convey our full measure of sorrow.
A few days ago this body had life; now, it has the same chemical constituents, but life is gone.
God alone knows the meaning of life and death.
We are naturally saddened by death.
Because of our fears, uncertainty, loneliness, and lack of faith, we are reluctant for death to invade our circle of friends.
We love life!
- That reluctance was expressed by Voltaire after spent a life of blasphemy, said to his physician on his deathbed,
"I'll give you all my fortune if you'll give me six months to live."
- The Queen of Scots cried, "I'll give you all my kingdom for one more minute to live."
We cling to it, and we fight for it.
We hate death.
We fear death.
Today, in the midst of what we are experiencing, let us turn to the words of Jesus to His disciples as He spoke
about His coming death: "... you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy." (John 16:20)
The resurrection of Jesus turned their fear into faith, their sorrow into joy, and their doubts into certainty.
This can also happen to you.
What is life?
Life is a school.
Death is the commencement.
If we have made the proper preparation, we will be promoted.
Sir Walter Raleigh called life a journey.
- Shakespeare said, "All the world's a stage."
We are actors who play our part and disappear.
The curtain comes down and it is all over.
If we have played our parts well, we have a great future in store for us.
- "Life," says James the Apostle, "is like a vapor that appeareth for a while and then vanishes away."
It is like a cloud floating through the air, and finally changes to a different form.
He said that life is like a ship at sea that sails on and on.
We see it going, going, going, until it drifts out of sight into another land.
"When men go down to the sea in ships
'Tis not to the sea they go;
Some isle or pole the mariner's goal.
And thither they sail through calm and gale,
When down to the sea they go.
When souls go down to the sea by ship
And the dark ship's name is Death,
Why mourn and wail at the vanishing sail?
Though outward bound, God's world is round,
And only a ship is Death.
When I go down to the sea by ship,
And Death unfurls her sail,
Weep not for me, for there will be
A living host on another coast
To beckon and cry, "All Hail!"
Someone has said, "Life is a game we play with our fellow men; the rules are stamped in the universe."
When the game is over, and:
"... when the One Great Scorer comes,
To write against your name,
He writes -- not that you won or lost --
But how you played the game."
"My life is but a weaving
Between my Lord and me;
I may not choose the colors,
He knows what they should be;
For He can view the pattern
Upon the upper side,
While I can see it only
On this, the under side.
Sometimes he weaveth sorrow,
Which seems strange to me;
But I will trust His judgment,
And work as faithfully;
'Tis He who fills the shuttle,
He knows just what is best,
So I shall weave in earnest
And leave with Him the rest.
Not till the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why --
The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver's skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned."
Death is not an unforeseen accident.
"He that hath the Son hath (eternal) life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not (eternal) life."
- It is not something left out of the purpose of our Creator.
- It is something well planned and necessary in the sight of God.
- It is an appointed event that will come to all of us.
(1 John 5: 12)
As we weep over this one who has passed into eternity, we must be sure that we are prepared for this event,
called death, which will come to each one of us
Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr. White at email@example.com