Mourning the Loss of a Loved OneSubmitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Wednesday, December 4, 2013.
I. The reality of death. 1. Death is a reality that we must all face (Ecc 8:8). A. No man has control over the day of his death. B. There is no getting out of it - "there is no discharge in that war". 2. God alone determines the length of our lives (Job 14:1-5). A. Our days are determined by God. B. He has set bounds on them that can't be passed (Job 14:5). C. The days that we spend here on earth are few and full of trouble (Job 14:1). 3. Our life is short like a vapor (Jam 4:14; Job 7:7; Psa 78:39; Psa 89:47-48; Psa 144:4; Psa 103:15-16). 4. Since our time here is short we should pray to God to help us recognize it and to know how frail we are (Psa 39:4-5). A. Our lives are usually between 70-80 years and they are full of labor and sorrow (Psa 90:10). B. We should be asking God to teach us to number our days that we may spend the time we have left applying our hearts to wisdom (Psa 90:12). C. No matter what age we are, we should try to redeem the time (buy it back) (Col 4:5; Eph 5:16). D. Have you wasted all or part of your life until now? E. Then make up for it in the time you have left (Pro 19:20). 5. When our time is up our spirit departs and our body dies (Ecc 8:8 c/w Ecc 3:20-21 c/w Ecc 12:7). A. Our spirit will only go to one of two places: heaven or hell (Luk 16:19-23). i. The judgment to come is a sobering thought (Act 24:25) ii. "Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened." – Winston Churchill iii. Therefore we persuade men (2Co 5:8-11). B. For the believer, his spirit goes back to the presence of God Who gave it (Ecc 12:7; 2Co 5:8). i. To depart and be with Christ is FAR BETTER than to be here on earth (Phi 1:21-23). ii. For this reason a Christian shouldn't fear death (1Co 15:55). iii. Jesus Christ has delivered us from the fear of death by destroying it (Heb 2:14-15). iv. Therefore we shouldn't count our lives dear unto ourselves (Act 20:24). v. Just as Paul was, we should be ready to die (2Ti 4:6-8). II. It is good and normal to mourn the loss of a loved one. 1. There is a time to mourn (Ecc 3:2-4). A. Jesus did (Joh 11:33-36). B. Men have been doing it from antiquity (Ecc 12:5). C. It's better to go to a funeral than a party (Ecc 7:2-4). D. It's the fool who lives in denial and can't face reality and mourn. 2. Though mourning is good and necessary, we shouldn't mourn like others who have no hope (1Th 4:13). A. We believe that Jesus will return and resurrect the dead and we will see our loved ones again (1Th 4:14-18). B. Even if we don't know if a loved one is one of God's elect, God knows (2Ti 2:18-19). C. Jesus knows His sheep and gives them eternal life which can't be lost (Joh 10:27-28). D. If a person is one of God's elect, nothing will separate them from the love of God which is in Jesus Christ (Rom 8:38-39). 3. God comforts them that are of a broken heart (Psa 34:18-19). A. Jesus was sent to bind up the brokenhearted, comfort them that mourn, and to give them joy for mourning (Isa 61:1-3). B. Weeping will endure for a while, but not forever (Psa 30:5, 11-12).
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