I want to read from one of (the deceased's) favourite Bible verses: John 14
1“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.
2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you?
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Dealing with death is never easy. There is a deep sense of loss. And the pain is very real. And it’s okay to cry, and mourn; in fact, it is important to take time to grieve the loss of a loved one.
But today, I hope to share with you some words of comfort that hopefully will strengthen you in this difficult time.
In the portion of Scripture read, Jesus gives THREE TRUTHS that are of tremendous comfort:
Firstly, He speaks about a PEACE we can have.
He says: Do not let your hearts be troubled.
Jesus brings peace to troubled situations, and to troubled hearts.
In the face of death, Jesus declares: You do not have to fear death.
Later he says to John: Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever!
Jesus brings peace because he is the Prince of Peace
Romans 5 says We have peace with the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ.
In other words, Jesus says to us: you do not need to be afraid of death because I overcame death, and I control death....I hold the keys.
Death is not to be feared...because Death is not the end.
The body remains, but the spirit lives on.
When Jesus hung on the cross…in Luke 23:46 he said... into your hands do I commit my spirit.
In Acts 7:59 Stephen, the first Christian martyr said: Lord receive my spirit.
(the deceased) did not fear death...he had peace...because he had the prince of peace living in his heart.
2. Secondly, Jesus speaks about a PLACE he has prepared.
He speaks of many rooms…or mansions.
Some say one or the other...but the greatest reason heaven is going to be great is found in Rev 21:3-4...
God will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain...
God himself will be there…(the deceased) called Him his friend
In that place, that heavenly home, there will be No more hurt…or sorrow…..or suffering.
Tears will be wiped away. There will be
No more death
No more mourning
No more crying
No more pain
There will be no more hospitals...doctors...oxygen tanks..discomfort...breathing difficulties
No more disabled parking bays
No more funeral parlours
In Psalm 116:15 it says: Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his faithful servants.
It’s a reunion.
It’s a reason to rejoice.... celebration.
It’s a rest.
(the deceased) has moved from a place of difficulties, of pain, of trouble, to a place of peace.
Rev 14:13 says: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord...they rest from their labours.
Paul….in 2 Cor 5:8....talking to believers, says: to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord
Paul…says in Phil 1:21-23: For me to live is Christ. To die is gain.
This is in stark contrast to the death of the wicked:
Ez 33:11 says: As I live says the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked.
Because they have no hope beyond the grave. But only...
Ps 116:3 trouble and sorrow
Jonah 2:2 Affliction
Luke 16:25 Anguish
2 Pet 2:9 Judgment
3. Thirdly, Jesus speaks about a PATH we must take.
He says that there is a way for us to get to heaven. he says:
I am the way
There are many detours and side roads. But all we have to do is follow Jesus.
he says: I am the way....
Listen to 1 John 5:11-12
11 God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
(the deceased) has taken this path.
We get troubled when we view death as a finality….when we see it as the end instead of the beginning.
But (the deceased's) life hasn’t ended, it's only just begun.
The words of D L Moody, Evangelist that touched both the UK and USA can be applied to Alex’s life:
Some day you will read in the papers that D.L. Moody of East Northfield, is dead.
Don't you believe a word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now;
I shall have gone up higher, that is all, out of this old clay tenement into a house
that is immortal—a body that death cannot touch, that sin cannot taint;
a body fashioned like unto His glorious body.
I was born of the flesh in 1837.
I was born of the Spirit in 1856.
That which is born of the flesh may die.
That which is born of the Spirit will live forever
Alex has been born of the spirit...he gave his heart to Jesus
He put his trust in Jesus to save his soul
And now he just changed his address. He’s in a better place.
King David, at the loss of his newborn son, said: He cannot come back to me. I must prepare to meet him.
There might be some here today...you may have never given a thought to your eternal destiny. Perhaps you ought to use this opportunity to do so:
1. God is holy
2. We have all broken his commands and are deserving of judgement...we don’t love him with all I hearts...we don’t love our neighbour as much as we love ourselves....we hold on to grudges and unforgiveness
3. Christ provides a way of escape - through.....his cross…his shed blood
4. All we have to do is repent and believe
1 John 3:12-13
12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
1 John 1:9
(the deceased) was saved...and he is safe right now - for eternity.
What about you?