Sample Funeral Message for a Minister
Pastor Kenneth Hagin, Jr.
We have come here this day for a number of reasons…
1. We are here today to pay our tribute and our respect to a man of God, our brother, ______________________________. Not only have people from this congregation and community gathered, but many ministers have come… ministers who have respected _______________________ as a minister, and have loved him as a friend. To know _______________________ was to love him!
2. We are here today to show our love and support for ______________________’s very precious family. Not only have we sensed our own personal feelings of loss over __________________’s passing, but our hearts have been drawn toward them, and will continue to be with them.
3. Finally, we are here today to seek and to receive comfort. We would be less than honest if we said that our hearts have not ached over this situation. We are not too proud to acknowledge that we have come here today trusting that God would minister to our hearts, and give us strength as we continue in our walk with Him.
It is our human nature to want to understand everything now, but TRUST requires that we lean and rely heavily on God even when things seem unclear.
5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
I’m not going to tell you not to cry or not to experience emotions. Emotions are God-given. They are a part of who we are.
Jesus Himself said, "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." (Matthew 5:4)
Tears are the safety-valve that God built into us to help us at times like these. It’s OK to cry.
I’m not going to tell you today that you’ll never have questions come to you. But I will tell you this: There is something wonderful that you can focus on. Choose to focus on the things you know… things the Word of God declares.We declare with Job… Job 19:25
25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.We declare with Jesus… John 14:2-3
2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
We declare with Paul…2 Corinthians 5:6-8
6 …We are always confident, knowing that, while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7(For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.Philippians 1:21, 23
21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better…1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
We are going to move beyond the tears. We are going to move beyond our questions… because the Holy Spirit is here today to comfort and strengthen each and every heart! And he will continue to be with us as we continue to live for God.
An individual made the following statement: “The measure of a life is not in its duration but in its donation.”
When we think of ____________________’s donation… what he contributed… what he invested… we have much to be thankful for!!!
- Consider the investments of love and devotion that he made in his marriage with _________________.
- Consider the investments of godliness and nurturing that ______________________ made with into the lives of his children and grandchildren.
- Consider the investments of the Word of God that _______________________ made into the lives of so many people… not only members of this church, but all of the people, including ministers, that he poured his life into.
Let me say again that “The measure of a life is not in its duration but in its donation!”
Later this day, when all the words have been spoken, when all the songs have been sung, we will stand at the graveside and commit the body of our friend, _______________________________ to the keeping of this earth until the coming of the Lord, and we will commit his soul into the loving hands of the God he served… bringing an end to the final chapter of his earthly life.
But it will not be the end of his story, because the memory of his life and the influence of his life remains.
Because _____________________ committed his life to God and the work of God, He was energized by a power greater than this natural world understands.
We all knew _______________________ as a great friend and a wonderful pastor, but one of the things that caused me to so highly respect _____________________ was his great love for souls. In this sense, ____________________ was a real hero to me he did have, and continues to have my highest respect.
_________________________’s life reminds me of a preacher that was on the Titanic…
There were a lot of notable, wealthy people on the Titanic in 1912. But the most notable passenger on the Titanic was someone that most of the world has never heard of before.
He was a man by the name of John Harper. He was a plain, ordinary Pastor from the city of Glasgow, Scotland. He had faithfully shepherded his congregation for 15 years. He was a fairly young minister, only 40 years old.
Moody Memorial Church in Chicago had invited him to come and preach a series of sermons. So he had accepted the invitation and had booked himself on the maiden voyage of the Titanic. As he boarded the ship he thought, “I will have plenty of time to prepare my sermons for this preaching series.”
But Pastor John had a bit of a problem staying in his room and studying because he had such a heart for people. It is told that the night before the Titanic sunk that John Harper was on the deck earnestly pleading and begging people to come to Christ.
He had given his life day-in and day-out to see people get into the spiritual lifeboat. And that night when the ship struck the iceburg, he was awakened, he got up, and started making his way to the lifeboat, and he realized there wasn’t enough room for everyone.
So he started going from deck to deck crying out “Women and children and the unsaved to the lifeboats.” He said, “Let’s get the non-Christians in first.” Now as he was doing this you could imagine the panic. Pastor John was one of those who eventually ended up in the freezing waters. He hung on to a wooden piece of debris floating in the water.
Some of the passengers because of the swirling currents of the sinking ship were being brought close to one another and then flung back apart. One of the men was brought into close proximity with John Harper, and John cried out, “Sir, are you a Christian?” And the man answered simply, “no.” And the current took him away into the darkness. A few minutes later by God’s providence that same man was brought back into John Harper’s sight, and John asked him again, “Sir, are you saved yet have you accepted Christ?” And the man said, “No, I can’t honestly say that I am.”
Apparently that was the last thing John Harper ever said on this earth. He lost his grip on the piece of debris, sunk down into the Atlantic Ocean, and died.
The man that John Harper was pleading with to become a Christian was one of the very few who was plucked out of the icy waters by one of the ships that rushed to the scene. He testified that he did accept Christ that very night, and he settled in Hamilton in Ontario, Canada. He was often asked to speak and give his testimony and he would proudly step up and say, “I’m John Harper’s last convert.”
When I think of _____________________, I think of the verse in Revelation that says:
13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write: 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.'" "Yes," says the Spirit," that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them." (Revelation 14:13)
I have no doubt that _______________________ has already met people in heaven who have thanked him for leading them to the Lord. I have no doubt that others in the future will come up to him in heaven and express their gratitude for him having led them to the Lord.
His work on this earth was of eternal value, and because of that, he will have eternal reward.
This Memorial Service is not really for _______________________. He is in Heaven. This is a time for us who are yet on this earth.
He’s reached the ultimate destination of the universe.
We say that he has “departed,” but God says that he has “arrived.”
God sees things from such a different perspective than we do. God never sees His children die. He simply sees them coming home.
The real questions we face today don’t really pertain to _______________________. He has arrived.
The real questions today have to do with us.
- What are we going to do?
- What are we going to focus on?
Dwight L. Moody, the great Evangelist, may have one day lived amidst question marks, but he discovered the glorious secret of complete trust in God. His last days were wonderfully spent amongst exclamation points!
Dwight L. Moody said, "Someday you will read in the papers that D.L. Moody of Northfield is dead. Don't you believe a word of it. At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now. I shall have gone higher, that is all -- out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal, a body that sin cannot touch, that sin cannot taint, a body fashioned into His glorious body. I was born in the flesh in 1837; I was born of the Spirit in 1856. That which is born of the flesh may die; that which is born of the Spirit will live forever."
A few hours before entering the 'Homeland,' Dwight L. Moody caught a glimpse of the glory awaiting him. Awakening from sleep, he said "Earth recedes. Heaven opens before me. If this is death, it is sweet! There is no valley here. God is calling me, and I must go."
His son was standing by his bedside and said, "No, no, father, you are dreaming."
"No," said Mr. Moody, "I am not dreaming. I have been within the gates. I have seen the children's faces."
A short time elapsed...and he spoke again, "This is my triumph; this is my coronation day! It is glorious!"
Contrary to what we would have liked, our pastor and our friend has taken an earlier flight, but we still share a common destination.
His race ended earlier than we anticipated, but we still have our race to run, and David would not have it any other way than that we give our very best for the Kingdom of God.
I will deeply miss my friend, _______________________. But I rejoice this day that he is with my Savior, Jesus. And in honor of my friend, I say…
Ring out the welcome.
Swing wide the gates.
Choirs of angels stand and sing, “Amazing Grace.”
There’s one more soldier of the King.
Whose trials are past.
Ring out the welcome loud and clear He’s home at last.