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Suggestions For Funeral Sermons

Comfort For Troubled Hearts

"Let not your hearts be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me." (John 14:1)
1. Man a creature of sorrow and trouble; man's peculiar heritage – Psalm 90:10; Job 5:7; 14:1.
2. Man's sad heritage of sorrow not hopeless.
– It argues superior capacities and endowments of soul life.
– It argues that an all-wise and all-loving Creator should provide some solace
or comfort for sorrow. (Isaiah 51:12)
3. Jesus presents the only true solace to the world – Isaiah 61: number 1-2; Luke 4:16-21.
Jesus offers heaven's remedy freely to all: His love, sacrifice, sympathy, healing, and help
– Luke 7:11-15; John 11:33-44; Matthew 11:28-29.
4. Of all sorrows and troubles, none so distracting and despairing as those caused by death.
Jesus was facing death and His disciples despair.
Soon He would be on the cross and His disciples would be scattered; so He says,
"Let not…" (John 14:1-6)
5. Faith in God and Jesus Christ His Son is the solace for troubled hearts.
God, Christ, heaven to the great words for such a time like this.

Comfort All That Mourn

1. Mourning for the dead is common to all mankind which began with Eve; has continued
through all ages among all peoples.
2. We should thank God for the power to love and to mourn.
Not like brute beasts; man is godlike in love, sorrow, and in all of life.
Mourning shows all the finer qualities of the soul – John 11:31, 35.
3. Special mission of Jesus, as announced by Himself was "to heal the broken-hearted"
– Luke 4:18, and "comfort all that mourn" – Isaiah 61:2; Matthew 5:4.
Definition of the word "comfort." Jesus cares.
He is the Great Comforter – John 14:1-2.
Other comforters: friends -- John 11:31; the Holy Spirit – John 14:16.
4. He comforts with hopes of future life, and meeting our loved ones there – John 11:25; Matthews 5:4.

The Earthly Tent And The Heavenly House

"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God,
an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." – 2 Corinthians 5:1.

1. Paul preached of the resurrection.
His Epistles are full of argument and illustration – 1 Corinthians 15, etc.; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
The text draws striking contrasts: "earthly tabernacle" – "eternal house."
2. The earthly house, the body:
– Distinct from its tenant, the soul – 2 Corinthians 5:6.
– The body decays – 2 Corinthians 14:16.
– The soul endures – 2 Corinthians 4:17-18.
– Cannot stand the storm and stress of life; dissolves; weatherbeaten tent. And is this all?
3. The house of God; what is beyond?
I have a right to know for God wants me to know – 1 Corinthians 15:19; 1 Thessalonians 4:13.
"We know" (text).
– A spiritual body – 1 Corinthians 15; 44.
– Glorified and like Christ's – Philippians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:43.
– Eternal – 2 Corinthians 4:18; Hebrews 12:27-28.
– In the heavens – Hebrews 11:14-16; 12:22; Revelation 21:10-27.

Suffer Them To Come

"But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me:
for such is the kingdom of heaven." – Matthew 19:14.
1. It is a divine command from a loving Lord.
He knows what is best for them and us.
Jesus loved the little ones.
He exalted, dignified, and by his incarnation deified babyhood.
Infants were thought very little of before Christ came.
He rebuked His disciples for their indifference – Matthew 19:14; 18:6.
There is a peculiar sadness in the death of children.
Their going breaks many chords.
2. But there is a bright side.
Dying children go to Christ and heaven.
– They are saved from cares and sorrows of life – Mark 10:14-15.
– They never taste the pangs of personal sin – Matthew 18:10, 14.
– Their salvation is forever secure – Matthew 18:10.
– Parents should be submissive to the divine will of God. – Job 1:21; 2 Kings 4:26; 2 Samuel 12:23.

A Little Child Shall Lead Them

"And a little child shall lead them – Isaiah 11:6.
1. The influence of a little child.
Who can tell its power: in the life, in the home, etc.?
Tiny hands touch tender chords, rebuke discords and produce harmonies.
They are God's evangels to us.
Their ministry should be wholesome, helpful, and saving.
2. Why, then, does God take them from us?
A better question to ask is why He gives them to us.
They have been with us and fulfilled their mission here.
Better to love and lose than not to love at all.
Develops tenderness, love, and sympathy.
God gives more than He takes – Job 1:21.
3. Our dead children may lead us to Him and to heaven.
– We know they are in heaven – Matthew 18:10; 19:14.
– Where our love centers, that we want to go – Matthew 6:21.
– What they could not do in life, they may do in death.

Be Ready

"Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh. – Matthew 24:44.
1. Death in youth seems unnatural.
Nature has her seasons: seedtime and harvest, bud and bloom, blossom and fruitage,
opening but and falling leaf, summer and winter.
Not so death.
2. Death has all seasons.
Infant of days, man of years, youth and maiden, man and woman; no sex is spared, no age exempt.
3. The time of death is unknown, the day and the hour – Matthew 25:13.
A wise provision.
Foreknowledge is withheld but memory given; why?
Life happier, activities more intense, plans bigger and better than if we knew.
4. But uncertainty urges readiness.
Youth the time for joy.
Yes, but readiness for death should only increase the joy of life – Psalm 90:14; Ecclesiastes 11:9.
5. What is necessary to "be ready"?
– Faith in Christ – John 3:3, 14-16.
– Knowledge of sins forgiven – Revelation 21:27.
– Doing the will of God – Matthew 24:42-51; 25:31-46.

Suggestive Themes and Texts

A Comforting Invitation – Matthew 11:28; Psalm 101:2; Revelation 22:17.
Another Comforter – John 14:16-18; Isaiah 51:12.
Blessed Are They That Mourn – Matthew 5:4; Luke 6:21; Jeremiah 31:13.
God Gave and Hath Taken – Job 1:21, 5:18; Psalm 147:3.
God Our Refuge – Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 121:2, 60:11.
His Grace Is Sufficient – 2 Corinthians 12:9; Deuteronomy 33:25.
Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled – John 14:1.
Mourning for a Mother – Psalm 35:14; Isaiah 66:13.
Mourning for a Son – Jeremiah 6:26; 2 Samuel 18:33; Luke 7:12.
They Comfort Me – Psalm 23:4; 2 Corinthians 1:2-3.

Frailty Of Life

Days Numbered – Job 15:5; Psalm 39:4, 90:10-12; Acts 17:31.
Fear of Death – Hebrews 2: 15; Romans 8:15; Matthew 10:28.
Where is Your Hope? – Job 27:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:13; Psalm 16:9.

Immortality

Alive for Evermore – Revelation 1:18; Psalm 133:3.
Blessed Are the Dead – Revelation 14:13; Ecclesiastes 4:2.
Eternal Life – John 3:16, 10:28, 17:3; 1 John 5:11.
Ever with the Lord – 1 Thessalonians 4:17; John 14:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:10.
No More Death – Revelation 21:4; Hebrews 2:14; 2 Timothy 1:10.
Shall Never See Death – John 8:51-52, 11:26; Hebrews 11:5.
Victory in Death – Isaiah 25:8; Hosea 13:14; 1 Corinthians 15:55-57.


Heaven

A Better Country – Hebrews 11:16; Philippians 3:20.
Face to Face – 1 Corinthians 13:12; Isaiah 33:17; Revelation 22:4; 1 John 3:2.
Whole Family in Heaven – Ephesians 3:15; Genesis 12:3; Isaiah 8:18.

For A Child

Giving to God – Genesis 22:12; 1 Samuel 1:28; Luke 2:22.
God's Will Concerning Children – Matthew 18:14; Mark 10:14.
I Shall Go to Him – 2 Samuel 12:23; Matthew 18:2-10.
Like a Little Child – Matthew 18:3; Mark 10:15.
Safe in the Arms of Jesus – Mark 10:16; Isaiah 40:11.

For A Young Person

Death of a Daughter – Mark 5:35; Judges 11:40.
Death of a Son – 2 Samuel 18:33; Luke 7:12.
Death of a Young Man – Jeremiah 9:21, 48:17; Isaiah 40:30.


For A Person In Middle Life

A Soldier's Death – 2 Timothy 4:7-8; Joshua 23:14.
Business Interrupted – James 4:13-14; Luke 12:20.
Death of a Brother – 2 Samuel 1:26; John 11:23.
Death of a Deacon – Acts 6:5, 7:54-60.
Death of a Good Man – Acts 7:59-60; Proverbs 12:2.
Death of a Good Woman – Acts 9:36-39.
Death of a Husband – Joel 1:8; Song of Solomon 3:2.
Death of a Minister – Acts 20:24; 2 Timothy 4: 5.
Death of a Sister – Numbers 20:1; Acts 9:36-39.
Death of a Wife – Genesis 48:7; Proverbs 31:10-31.
In the Midst of Life – Psalm 102:24; Jeremiah 15:9; Isaiah 38:10.
To Die is Gain – Philippians 1:21; 2 Corinthians 5:8; 2 Timothy 4:6.

For An Aged Person

A Good Fight – 2 Timothy 4:7; Philippians 3:14; Hebrews 12:1.
A Good Old Age – Genesis 15:15, 25:8; Isaiah 46:4.
At Rest – Job 3:17; 2 Timothy 1:7; Revelation 14:13.
Days Numbered – Job 14:5; Psalm 90:10, 12, 39:4.
Death of a Father – Genesis 25:8; 2 Kings 2:12.
Death of a Mother – Psalm 35:14; Proverbs 31:1; Isaiah 66:13.
Death of God's Saints – Psalm 116:15, 34:22; Numbers 23:10.
Gathered Home – Genesis 49:33; Ecclesiastes 12:5; John 14:2.
Glad Homecoming – Isaiah 51:11, 35:10; Revelation 21:25.
God Took Him – Genesis 5:24; 2 Kings 2:11; Hebrews 11:5.
Valley of the Shadow – Psalm 23:4, 44:19; Job 10:21-22.
Victory over Death – 1 Corinthians 15:54; Isaiah 25:8; Revelation 20:14.
Work Ended – Ecclesiastes 9:10; Job 17:11; John 9:4.


This was adapted from several sources by Dr. Harold L. White