Article - The Value of a Funeral

“Better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will take it to heart” (Ecclesiastes 7:2). If I were to make a list of the top ten things I enjoy doing, attending a funeral would not be on that list. Please do not misunderstand me. I feel great sorrow for any one’s loss and enjoy showing them love during their time of sorrow. Yet, if we were all honest we would admit that attending funerals is not one of our favorite things to do. However, the Bible says there is great benefit in going “to the house of mourning.” Notice three eternal truths we can learn from a funeral service.

A funeral service should indelibly remind us of the value of NOW. As we think of the life of a friend or loved one who has passed away, we should also think of our own lives. Funerals should remind us that right now is all we are promised. Solomon reminds us that at funerals “the living will take it to heart” (Ecclesiastes 7:2). As we sit among the mourners, we must remember to take the life that we now have to heart. We must realize that we are not promised tomorrow (James 4:14). Jesus said, “I must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day, for night comes when no man works” (John 9:4). Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today, for tomorrow may never come.

In addition, a funeral service should remind us that we will all one day die. Solomon also reminds us that a funeral/death “is the end of all men” (Ecclesiastes 7:2). The Hebrews writer said, “It is appointed to man once to die and then the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). In our high-tech medically advanced world, we need to remember that we do not control death. As we sit in a funeral service, we need to stop and think about our own life. We all need to ask ourselves, “If this were the day of my death how would I be remembered?” And more importantly, “How would God remember me?” Evaluation of self should be one of the greatest benefits of a funeral.

Finally, a funeral service should remind us of the need for Jesus Christ in our life. As we remember that life is fleeting and we only have the here and now, it should place an extreme urgency on making sure we are right with God. Oh, how we desperately need to think about eternity. We need to remember that there is a wonderful place called Heaven for the redeemed and there is a horrible place called Hell for the lost. Our Lord said, “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter into Heaven, but only those who do the will of My Father who is in Heaven” (Matthew 7:21). If you were to die today, would you go home to be with Jesus? If you have not become a Christian, your funeral will be the saddest day of your life!

Dear friend, are you prepared for your own funeral? Have you taken advantage of NOW? Are you prepared to die today? Have you made sure Jesus Christ is the Lord of your life? If you are not sure about any of these questions, we would love to study with you.

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