This week, I’ll be out of state preaching a funeral for a very decent man. He was raised by Christians and was a father and grandfather to Christians. I only met a him a few times myself, but he positively impacted my life through his family. He was a good neighbor, a good worker over his 40 year career, and universally attested to as a good and likable man.
But the reason I’m doing his funeral—instead of any local preachers he was associated with—is that he was never associated with any. The only preacher he was associated with was one of his close relatives, my friend, so I was called.
This good man was not a faithful man. He was often around faithful people. Faithful people shared the gospel with him. He knew of some of his children and grandchildren confessing the Savior, repenting of sins, begin baptized in Jesus’ name, living faithfully for the Lord. He did not hinder or stop them. But he never confessed and submitted to the Savior.
True believers often act differently at funerals than others. At Bro. Dean’s funeral a while back, it felt more like a family reunion than a mourning. There was joy at a life well lived and a soul securely saved. Those gathered enjoyed each other’s company, especially if they shared in the same great hope.
1 Thess. 4:13,14“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.”
Sadly, at this funeral, I’m afraid might be those with the most faith who’ll have the most grief.