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By Sir Godfrey Gregg D. Div

During every funeral, you must remind the audience that funeral sermons are for the living, not the dead. Words spoken in the hour of death can encourage the living to remain faithful to the Lord. After the first martyr gave his life for the Lord, Luke tells us that “devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him” (Acts 8:2).

(Acts 9:36) tells us of Dorcas, a woman “full of good works and charitable deeds.” While at Joppa, she grew sick and died. The disciples washed her and placed her in an upper room. When Peter entered the room “all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them” (Acts 9:39). This godly woman was remembered what she left behind. (Revelation 14:13) says our works will follow us. When you die, what will you leave behind?

“We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (1 Timothy 6:7). Why do so many people get all wrapped up with “possessions”? Jesus asked, “What is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).

What would you gain if you had the whole world? Whatever it is, it will not endure after the Judgment is passed (2 Peter 3:10).

What would you give in exchange for your soul? Whatever it may be, this is one transaction you will eternally regret. Judas sold his soul for 30 pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14-16) — some Christians will sell out for far less. Some will sell their soul for a few more minutes sleep on Sunday morning, or another hour of TV on Sunday night. Gospel preachers have been known to exchange their hope of eternal glory for the praise of men (2 Timothy 4:3). So, my question to you this afternoon is what will you give in exchange for your title or position in the church? Will you today take a fight for leadership or will you let the Lord be your Leader and constant guide?

When you die, all that your spouse will have left of you are memories and pictures. Don’t wait till your spouse dies to express your love. Flowers at the graveside might make you feel better, but your spouse could only have enjoyed them in life. What do kind words have to do with the departed brother or sister? They cannot hear you and it is just useless saying it at the funeral and more, in a eulogy. While they have the breath of life is the time to tell them all the nice things you want them to hear at their death.

Among the many laws in the Pentateuch, (Deuteronomy 24:5) is one of the most quaint. It says, “When a man has taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war or be charged with any business; he shall be free at home one year, and bring happiness to his wife, whom he has taken.” God intended for the home to be pleasant for both parties.

The Psalmist tells us our “children are a heritage from the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). How are you treating your “gift” from God?

You probably purchased life insurance so your spouse can meet the financial needs of your children in the event of your death — this is to be commended. We may have brought life insurance policy for our children. But that money could not dry a single tear from our children’s eyes.

I am saddened by parents who get all wrapped up in material things so they can give their children “the best of everything.” My daughter will love to spend every last moment with me, but, I know she is married with a family. So I would rather spend 30 minutes with me than to lose out for a day.

What will your friends think when they read your obituary? Will they be surprised to find out you were a Christian? Will the reputation of the Lord’s church be harmed? Your death will affect them, for “none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself” (Romans 14:7).

My brother/sister, you have run this race with one of the greatest trainers and leader in the Spiritual Baptist Faith. He was the late Patriarch Dr. Granville Williams, who left you to walk in his steps and principles. You have finished your course, kept the faith and now you are on your way to reward after your labours. I pray that you who have heard these words will make your calling and election sure with God your Father. May the angels of God transport you to your place in heaven while your body is taken to its final place of rest. God bless and keep you in Jesus’ Name.

In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

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