If you have been checking back frequently, then you know it has been a while since I have submitted a post. Well, my apologies. It has been a tough few weeks. Last Sunday, my 37 year old cousin was killed while on a Jet-Ski. He was the father of twin five year olds. A boy and a girl. They say that it was just an accident, and that he collided with another boat. Regardless of why it happened, the fact is that a family member was tragically lost. His parents lost their other son almost 20 years ago. So that really makes it an even harder blow.
I guess death really puts things into perspective. It makes you realize what is really important in life, life family, and especially our faith. The family asked me if I would preach the funeral message, and I said that I would be honored. This was only the second funeral that I have ever preached, the first being the death of my grandfather. Preparing for a funeral is very different than preparing for anything else. I felt conflicted as I was thinking about how to deliver the Gospel through the message. Someone once told me that a funeral was not a place to give an invitation to the Gospel. However, I will have to disagree. I think that a funeral is probably the strongest and most significant place where the Gospel can be presented for a few reasons. Number One - there are people that will come to a funeral that may never step foot in a church otherwise. For these people, that may be the only chance in their life to hear the gospel. Number Two - People's heart and minds are attentive more than any other time in their life. When ever you are in the presence of a family who has lost a loved one, or if that person is close to you, then it really makes you think about eternity. Number Three, and probably the most significant to me - no matter where that person who has passed is, they would want me to give an invitation. If they are in the presence of Jesus, then they would for sure want everyone at that funeral to know the joy that they are experiencing at that time. If they are in the place of the dead, which the Bible refers to as Sheoul, then they would want everyone to be warned. That is why it is necessary that whenever the Gospel is presented, to warn about the possibility of hell. That is a tough thing to do - talk about hell. Even right now it is difficult for me to type these words. But it must happen. We must talk about, or else we forgot about it. I always think about Jesus, he talked about hell more than he did heaven. Maybe we should do the same thing.
Anyway, I did my best to present the Gospel, and at the end, 8 people responded by asking Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Savior. Only God knows what other decisions were made, and we know that His Word will never return void. So I hope that I properly honored my cousin, and the Lord, through all of those things. Now, if we could only keep things in perspective after the funeral, I think we would be doing alot more for the sake of the kingdom.