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I desire that this may be the text at my funeral:

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I desire that this may be the text at my funeral:

The Aged Christian’s Final Farewell to the World and its Vanities” John Whitson, 1558-1629)

I desire that this may be the text at my funeral: Psalm 42:2, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” 

Oh! when shall I ascend to the eternal throne of blessedness, where no comforts are lacking? 

When shall I be covered with the glorious robe of immortality, and shine in the brightness of my Redeemer’s innocence? 

When shall I behold the lovely face of my Lord and dwell in the courts of His holy temple, where . . .
  all tears shall be wiped away from my eyes,
  all sorrows removed from my heart,
  and all sins and spots are done away? 

Where I shall exchange the dross of this world, for true and durable riches! 

Where, instead of these earthly riches which moth and rust corrupt–I shall enjoy the heavenly riches of perfect peace and good conscience, never to be lost! 

Instead of these false and flattering honors, I shall enjoy everlasting glory, and be admitted into the fellowship of my Redeemer to reign with Him in His glorious kingdom! 

Instead of vain and momentary pleasures, I shall be filled with fullness of joy and be ravished with those delights which neither eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man to conceive! 

Instead of this dark and cloudy knowledge, I shall have my heart enlightened with the beams of the true light! 

Instead of this feeble strength, I shall be endowed with the might of angels! 

Instead of this transitory health, I shall enjoy a powerful and immortal vigor! 

Instead of this fading beauty, I shall be adorned with the loveliness of Christ’s spouse! 

Instead of long life, I shall be crowned with life eternal! 

We shall sing, Holy! Holy! Holy! Lord God almighty! Heaven and Earth are full of your glory. Glory be to You, O Lord, most High.

And now, as the deer pants for the water-brooks, so longs my soul after You, O God! 
O that I had wings like a dove, that I might fly away and be at rest!
For whom have I in Heaven but You–and who is there upon earth that I desire but You? 
My heart and my strength fail me, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever!

Heaven has become a trifle to you, Hell is almost a jest, eternity an empty notion, and death but a bugbear!

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Heaven has become a trifle to you, Hell is almost a jest, eternity an empty notion, and death but a bugbear!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able!” Luke 13:24

I do not wonder that so many are deceived, when I see the careless way in which they deal with their souls. When men have to do with their estates, they are very careful; they pay a lawyer to go back over the title-deeds perhaps for two or three hundred years. In trade they will hurry hither and thither to attend to their commercial engagements; they would not launch into speculations, nor would they run great risks. 

But the soul, the poor soul–how men play with it as a toy, and despise it as if it were worthless! Two or three minutes in the morning when they first roll out of bed; two or three odd minutes in the evening, when they are nearly asleep–the fag-ends of the day given to their souls, and all the best part given to the body! 

And then, with what indifference do you lend your ears too often to the preaching of the Word! It is an old song–you have heard it so many times. Heaven has become a trifle to you, Hell is almost a jest, eternity an empty notion, and death but a bugbear!

Alas! it is a marvel that there are not more deceived. The wonder is that any find the gate, that any discover eternal life, when we are so, so mad, so foolish, so insane–as to trifle where we ought to be solemnly in earnest; and to play and toy–where the whole heart should be given to a work of such everlasting importance. God help us, since it is so easy to be deceived–to search, and watch, and look, and test, and try, that we be not found castaways at the last!

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it!” Matthew 7:13-14 

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?” 2 Corinthians 13:5

There are more lies told at funerals!

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There are more lies told at funerals!

(Curtis Knapp, 2012)

Have you ever noticed that no matter how wicked a person was in his life, he becomes a saint at his funeral?

In reality, he was a bad father, but at his funeral he becomes a great father in the eulogy given by his estranged children. In reality, he was a bad husband, but suddenly, he is a great husband. In reality he was a very bad person, but suddenly everyone talks about what a good person he was.

He was never in church, but suddenly he is a great Christian man. The minister strains awkwardly to speak glowingly about the man he didn’t know and hardly ever saw. In life, he was primarily noted for his wicked works, but suddenly upon his death he is known as a man of many good works.

In short, they lie! There are more lies told at funerals than perhaps at any other occasion, and that’s the way people want it. If the minister did anything other than lie, the family and friends would be outraged!

God is the only one worthy of a eulogy at a funeral, but no one offers a eulogy to God. Instead, they offer lying eulogies for the sinner who is most likely in Hell at that moment. Think about that. The sinner has already arrived at his permanent dwelling place in Hell. He is weeping and gnashing his teeth and writhing in agony in the flames. He is begging for just one drop of cool water for his tongue, but receives no mercy.

God is not impressed with this wicked man. God sees no good in him.

The inhabitants of Hell are not impressed with him. They don’t care about the time he helped an old lady across the street, and the time he gave money to a charitable organization. They don’t think he is or ever was a good person. They don’t like him and want nothing to do with him.

And yet at this very moment, on earth, in a church or funeral home somewhere–the man’s family and the minister are talking about what a wonderful person he was and how he has gone to a better place!

Have you ever noticed how no one goes to Hell–at least no one you know? When have you been at a funeral at which the minister and family did not conspire together to convince themselves and everyone else that the departed sinner was in Heaven?

Jesus taught us that the road to Heaven was narrow, and said that few find it. Conversely, He taught that the road to destruction was broad, and that many were on it. Yet, according to our funerals, Jesus was wrong. No one is in Hell–everyone is in Heaven! Have you ever noticed that all you have to do to get to Heaven is to die? Instead of believing in justification by faith alone, most people believe in justification by death alone. Death is all that is necessary to be transformed miraculously from a depraved wretch into a shining angel.

Why do we do this? Why do we lie? Ministers often do it because they are afraid not to. Many lie because they are false prophets who deceive people, and a funeral is the perfect opportunity to say “Peace, peace!” when there is no peace.

Some family members lie because they are grasping for some piece of comfort in their loss. But consider: Is grasping at a lie truly comforting?

I suspect that most people play this game of falsehood for selfish reasons. If they eulogize the deceased, then they will also feel better about the state of their own souls. If the departed sinner went to Heaven–then they will surely go to Heaven when they die as well. If everyone is a good person and going to Heaven–then we don’t have to worry about our own spiritual condition.

We hate death. We hate to be reminded of our weakness and our fleeting time here. We don’t like to think about what happens after death. We don’t want to consider that there might be a Hell, and we certainly don’t want to hear that most people go there. We don’t want to ponder those realities, but funerals force us to do so. So we fight back against death and reality by laboring hard to convince ourselves that everyone who dies goes to Heaven.

What does it accomplish? Nothing!
Is God deceived? No!
Will our lies change God’s mind? No!
Will our lies get us to Heaven? No!

I am not saying that I think ministers should stand up at funerals and declare with certainty that the departed person is in Hell. But, when the person’s life gives us little confidence that he or she is in Heaven, it would be far better to remain silent about the eternal destiny of the lost one than to boldly declare that the person is in Heaven. Oh for some honesty in our days!

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

I desire that this may be the text at my funeral

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“The Aged Christian’s Final Farewell to the World and its Vanities” John Whitson, 1558-1629)

I desire that this may be the text at my funeral: Psalm 42:2, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?”

Oh! when shall I ascend to the eternal throne of blessedness, where no comforts are lacking?

When shall I be covered with the glorious robe of immortality, and shine in the brightness of my Redeemer’s innocence?

When shall I behold the lovely face of my Lord and dwell in the courts of His holy temple, where . . .
all tears shall be wiped away from my eyes,
all sorrows removed from my heart,
and all sins and spots are done away?

Where I shall exchange the dross of this world, for true and durable riches!

Where, instead of these earthly riches which moth and rust corrupt–I shall enjoy the heavenly riches of perfect peace and good conscience, never to be lost!

Instead of these false and flattering honors, I shall enjoy everlasting glory, and be admitted into the fellowship of my Redeemer to reign with Him in His glorious kingdom!

Instead of vain and momentary pleasures, I shall be filled with fullness of joy and be ravished with those delights which neither eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man to conceive!

Instead of this dark and cloudy knowledge, I shall have my heart enlightened with the beams of the true light!

Instead of this feeble strength, I shall be endowed with the might of angels!

Instead of this transitory health, I shall enjoy a powerful and immortal vigor!

Instead of this fading beauty, I shall be adorned with the loveliness of Christ’s spouse!

Instead of long life, I shall be crowned with life eternal!

We shall sing, Holy! Holy! Holy! Lord God almighty! Heaven and Earth are full of your glory. Glory be to You, O Lord, most High.

And now, as the deer pants for the water-brooks, so longs my soul after You, O God!
O that I had wings like a dove, that I might fly away and be at rest!
For whom have I in Heaven but You–and who is there upon earth that I desire but You?
My heart and my strength fail me, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever!

Death–to the righteous and the wicked

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Death–to the righteous and the wicked

(George Lawson, “A Practical Exposition of the Book of Proverbs” 1821)

“The wicked will be cut off from the land–and the unfaithful will be torn from it.” Proverbs 2:22 

Must not the righteous leave the earth too? 
Yes! But the earth is a very different thing to the righteous, and to the wicked. 

To the righteous–this world is a place of preparation or Heaven. 
To the wicked–this world is all the Heaven they will ever have. 

Death is a kind messenger sent to the righteous by their heavenly Father–calling them to the possession of their eternal inheritance!
To the wicked, death is a messenger of wrath–summoning them to the abodes of misery! 

Death is the beginning of happiness to God’s people.
Death is the final conclusion of all that the wicked counted their happiness. 

To the righteous–death is a translation to a glorious eternity! 
To the wicked–death is everlasting destruction and woe! 

“If only they were wise and would understand this–and discern what their end will be!” Deuteronomy 32:29 

“So teach us to number our days–that we may gain a heart of wisdom!” Psalm 90:12


I am in eternity–and you are on the brink!

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I am in eternity–and you are on the brink!

(James Smith“A Solemn Admonition” 1859)

Passing through a country graveyard the other day, an inscription on a head-stone struck my eye. The stone was by the side of the path, where everyone could see it, and it was placed there in memory of a young man who died at the age of seventeen. It was–

   “Reader, one moment,
    Stop, and think:
    That I am in eternity!
    And you are on the brink!”

In eternity! A young man, only seventeen years of age, in eternity! 

In a fixed, a changeless, an eternal state!

In Heaven–or in Hell!

Saved with an everlasting salvation–or damned forever!

If it should be the latter–what a fearful supposition! And yet many have gone to Hell–before they have been seventeen years of age!

I am in eternity–and you are on the brink!” Yes, though you may be young, apparently healthy, full of life and vigor–you are on the brink of eternity! A slight accident, or a few days illness–and you are in eternity! What a solemn thought!

What will eternity be to you? 

Where will you be in eternity?

Are your sins pardoned? 
Are you reconciled to God by the death of His Son? 
Are you sanctified by the Holy Spirit–and thus made fit for Heaven? 

If not, remember that in Hell, there is . . .
  no gospel,
  no means of grace,
  no way of escape from the wrath of God!
Once there–and your doom is fixed forever! 

Think, O think . . .
  Of the dreadful consequences of dying in your sins!
  Of going down to the grave in an unconverted state! 
  Of dying under the curse of God!

“Behold, now is the accepted time! 
 Behold, now is the day of salvation!”

I have just been informed of the loss of your dear wife

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I have just been informed of the loss of your dear wife

(Letters of John Berridge)

Dear friend,
I have just been informed of the loss of your dear wife. She was mortal–but she has now become immortal! Should this cause you to grieve immoderately? O that I was where she is now!

“Safe landed on that peaceful shore, 
 Where pilgrims meet to part no more.” 

She was once a mourning sinner in the wilderness–but is now a glorified saint in Zion! The Lord has become her “everlasting light, and the days of her mourning are ended!” She was once afflicted with bodily pains and weakness, encompassed with family cares, and harassed with a crowd of anxious, needless fears. She is now arrived at her Father’s house! Jesus has wiped away all tears from her eyes, and freed her in a moment from pain, and care, and fear, and want! Shall this make you sorrow, as those who have no hope?

You have not left your wife–she has only left you for a little moment. She has left her husband on earth–to dwell with her glorious Father in Heaven. She expects your arrival there soon, to join her Hallelujahs for redeeming love.

And are you still weeping? Weeping because your wife can weep no more; weeping because she is happy–eternally, gloriously happy? Are you weeping because she is joined to the blessed assembly where all are kings and priests–weeping, because she is where you would be, and long to be eternally? 

The Lord Jesus has called her home to His kingdom, to draw your soul more ardently thither! He has broken up a cistern–to bring you nearer, and keep you closer to the overflowing fountain of all felicity!

“Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst.
 The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat.
 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their Shepherd;
 He will lead them to springs of living water.
 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes!” Revelation 7:16-17 


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