On the DRUDGE website Sunday the link to Whitney Houston’s funeral was, “NATION GOES TO CHURCH.” Funerals are interesting things. They are more for the living than the deceased. Such is the case for Leon Perry, us, and Whitney Houston.
The way a person lives & conducts their life, along with what they say… over time (The true proof of character)… is the best indicator of whether they are in heaven or not after death. What people say during a funeral service (Including the minister) has NO bearing on their eternal state. With that said…
I once did a funeral for a person I didn’t know. I met with the family and asked them about the deceased’s life and faith. They gave me a lot of information, which I used in the well attended service. After it was over, a person well-known locally said (With smerk on his face), “Preacher, that’s the best service I’ve ever heard from a person who didn’t know the individual.” Later that day I got a call from a church member who said, “Pastor, you really brought a great message today! But WHO were you talking about?!” Then the first man’s comment made sense…
ASIDE: When I don’t know a person and am presiding over their funeral I say, “I didn’t have the honor of knowing Joe/Susie myself, but the family has told me…” I guess you could say that’s my pastoral disclaimer.
On the other end of the spectrum I did a funeral last week for Leon Perry. He was a kind, loving, forgiving, gracious, compassionate, and gentle man. He served the Lord Jesus faithfully for many decades… and people had observed him over that period of time. Leon preached his funeral long before I ever stood behind the pulpit! Everything I said was affirmed by those attending. His family didn’t “sorrow like the rest of the world that had no hope” because of the testimony of his life.
You are preaching your funeral now by how you live. At the service after your passing, those in attendance will know the truth about you regardless of what the preacher of speakers say. You won’t be any different in death than you were in life. The only change will be in the eternal location where you dwell. It doesn’t matter if you are a Whitney Houston type… Leon Perry type… or one who is unknown, life on earth determines eternal destiny. The only thing that matters is whether or not Jesus Christ saved the person (Which will be evident to all by how life was lived on earth).
What funeral message are you preaching?