A FUNERAL SERMON
By David J. Riggs
A. Eccl. 7:2 - To consider and think about death does us good.
1. When death strikes close, we are reminded of several things.
I. WE ARE REMINDED OF THE UNCERTAINTY AND BREVITY OF LIFE.
A. Life is short. It is pictured as vapor that appears for a
little time then vanishes away (James 4:14).
B. The Psalmist also spoke of the brief nature of life when he
said - Psalm 103:15-16.
1. Again the Psalmist says - Psalm 90:10-12.
a. Because of good health practices, diet and exercise, we
might live a little longer; yet, the greatest thing we
can do as we contemplate death is prepare ourselves to
die, because at death the spirit returns to the God who
2. We should live every day as though it were out last, for it
may very well be.
II. WHEN DEATH STRIKES CLOSE TO US: WE ARE REMINDED THAT DEATH IS
COMMON TO ALL. Heb.9:27 - "It is appointed unto all men once to
A. Although we usually try to keep the thought far from us, today,
especially, we are made to realize that someday we also must
step from this life into another that is without end.
B. Each of us will have our individual funerals conducted:
1. We might ask ourselves: What memories will I leave? What
will my loved ones and friends feel?
2. Most importantly - What will my destiny be? Since we
cannot evade death and since we are really never more than
one step from eternity, we must prepare to meet our God.
III. WHEN DEATH STRIKES CLOSE TO US: WE SEE MORE CLEARLY THE FUTILITY
OF EARTHLY THINGS.
A. Life is too precious; happiness, joy and peace are far too
valuable to be neglected, or to be lost while rushing after the
material things that, at best, last us only a few days. Job
said, "Naked came I from my mother's womb, and naked shall I
1. 1 Tim. 6:6-8
2. Matt. 6:19-20; Col. 3:2
IV. WHEN DEATH STRIKES CLOSE TO US: WE SEE HOW MUCH WE REALLY DO NEED
A. We need Him to save us from our sinfulness, to lead us safely
through life, to give us strength and comfort, and to be with
us when we must walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
B. Jesus passed by means of death into the other world, and came
back again. Acts 2:31-32
1. Thus, Jesus is the one that has the answers, the revelation,
and the comfort regarding death.
2. Let us be comforted in the Lord Jesus. 1 Thess. 4:13-18
C. Let us always remember that we, too, are going down the valley
one by one. Gen 3:19
1. Through Christ, we can gain the victory over death. 1 Cor.
2. Let us strive to overcome. Rev. 2:7,11,17,26-27;3:5,12,21
A. All of us are busy writing the history of our lives.
After each hour, we write a paragraph.
After each day, we write a page.
After each week, we write a division.
After each year, we write a chapter.
And at the end, we finish the book.
B. An army Chaplin was ministering to a dying boy in World War II.
He asked if there was an message he would like sent home. The
young man replied, "Yes, tell mom and dad I died happy. Also,
tell my Bible class teacher that I died a Christian, and I have
never forgotten his teaching." A few weeks later the army
Chaplin received a letter from the Bible class teacher. The
letter said, "God have mercy upon me. Only last month I
resigned from teaching Bible classes, for I felt that my
teaching was not doing any good; and scarcely had I, through my
cowardly, faithless heart, given up my appointed work, when I
got your letter telling me that my teaching had been the means
of winning a soul to God. I'm taking up my work again; and, in
Christ's name, I'll be faithful to the end."
C. I want to close with this poem by Alla S. Armitage
Though home be dear, and life be sweet,
And thankful hearts God's bounty greet,
Yet rings at times the message clear
"Our soul's true home is not here."
Mid changing scenes of joy and pain,
There comes, again and again,
A vision of the changeless rest,
Where God's own face shall make us blest.
And through the web of earthly life,
Its grief and gladness, work and strife,
There runs a thread divine, to tie
Our life to the life on high.
O help us, Lord, with thankful hearts
To grasp each day's eternal part,
And build our home on that calm height
Where saints do walk with thee in light.