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Funeral Sermon From John 14:1-6
Pastor Stephen Muncherian
May 23, 2009
It’s been a good to hear so much about _____ - either in what’s been shared here in her service - or in the last week I’ve been hearing - as I’m sure many of you have - different memories and experiences with _____.
Its almost an understatement. _____ was really neat lady. She was someone who asked how our kids were doing - because she cared about how our kids were doing. She had such great stories about George and cattle ranching and their travels - she was fun to listen to. A great smile with an intense look - she was fun to be around.
_____ touched all of us in a very positive way. Whether that was as a teacher - or in the community - or in the congregation - wherever. Its very evident that Merle is very much respected - loved - honored - and deservedly so.
I’d like to share a few verses out of John 14. Maybe these are familiar verses to you. They’re verses that are helpful for us to be reminded of this morning.
In John 14 - starting at verse 1 - Jesus is in the Upper Room - its the Last Supper - just prior to Jesus’ betrayal - His arrest - trial - and crucifixion. Jesus is sharing with the disciples truths which literally stagger the imagination. Jesus preparing His disciples for the hard realities that are coming.
Jesus says, “Do not let your heart be troubled; Believe in God, believe also in me.” Jesus equates trust in God to trusting in Him. He’s God. God speaking directly to the issues that trouble us.
Jesus goes on, “In My Father’s house - in heaven - are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you - in heaven there’s a place for everyone of you - we can put our own names there - John - Norma - Steve - Merle - George.
If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”
That’s the reality of where _____ is.
When Jesus talks about there being dwelling places in heaven He’s talking about our getting to live with God - where God dwells. That’s better than any place on this earth. The Bible describes heaven as more beautiful - more awesome - a place of great joy - peace.
There’s a river that runs through that dwelling - the river of life - the purist crystal clear water - coming right from the throne of God. We’ll be able to see God - right there on His throne and drink from that river. God’s presence - God’s glory - will shine so there’s no night - no darkness - no sin - none of the crud of this world. No death - no mourning - no crying - no pain.
When we get to heaven we’re going to get new bodies that don’t have warranties that expire. Bodies that aren’t subject to disease - that don’t wear out and break down.
Think about who’ll be there. There are so many people that I’m looking forward to seeing again. Aren’t you? Its worth it to go to heaven just to be with God. But imagine who’ll be there. And, _____’s there. She’s one more reason to look forward to being there.
Jesus said, “I’m going there to prepare your place in that place and I’m coming back to take you there.” Which means that when we die - if we die trusting Jesus as our Savior - we go there. And if Jesus comes back and we’re not dead - if we’re living trusting Jesus as our Savior - we go there. We’re gonna’ dwell together with God forever in that incredible place.
Isn’t that great? Are you looking forward to being there?
John 14 - verse 4 - Jesus goes on. “And you know the way where I am going.”
Verse 5: Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”
Do you appreciate Thomas? He’s the guy who’s thinking things through. Thomas is the guy - who while other disciples are just sitting there watching paint dry - Thomas is asking the hard questions.
“How are we to know the way to God?” That’s a huge question. Isn’t it?
People today - even here - people today are asking the same question. “Great place. But, how do we get to where _____ is? How can I be certain I’m going there?” There are as many ideas about what comes next as the day is long.
Jesus replies - John 14 - verse 6 - this incredible revelation about Himself - “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.”
That’s huge! Jesus doesn’t say, “I show a way. I teach a truth. I give a life.” Jesus doesn’t claim to be merely a religious philosopher - some enlightened way-shower - someone with a new angle on how we’re suppose to achieve nirvana. “I think this might be the way to heaven.” Jesus makes this absolute - dogmatic - politically incorrect statement - that people even in Jesus’ day choked on.
Jesus - claims to be God - speaking with Godly authority to the deepest issues of our lives - even death - Jesus says, “There is no other way - no other truth - no other life. When you come to Me you are meeting God; you have found ultimate reality and truth. When you come to Me you then and there possess life.”
Jesus can make any claim He wants - claim to be God - truth - or the man in the moon. Without proof - why should we believe Him? What sets Jesus apart from all the religious way-showers of history?
The validation of Jesus’ claim is what takes place four days later - the incontrovertible fact of history - Jesus’ resurrection - Jesus’ conquest over sin - over Satan - over death - His accomplishment of that which only God is capable of.
Jesus is the way to Heaven, the truth about how to reach that dwelling, and His is the life which leads to eternity with God. And Jesus says to us, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me.”
The Bible says that all of us have sinned and fallen short of the righteousness and holiness of God. We don’t measure up. We don’t deserve to enter into eternity with God. Ultimately, when Jesus returns, we’ll have to give an account for ourselves before God. We’ll be judged for our sins.
There’s a lot of people today that dismiss the idea of sin and judgment as outdated - as too narrow minded - not worthy of a God of love. But God is honest with us. He tells us that we’re sinners. What we earn by our sin is death - eternal separation from God.
And yet, Romans 5:8 tells us, “God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”
All of us are sinners in need of the Savior - and Jesus says, “Believe God, believe Me” He is God’s answer to our sin and separation. He is God’s door to eternal life - the way, the truth, and the life. All of us need to come to the point in our life when we admit our sin - our need for Jesus as our Savior - and to trust God with our lives.
That was _____’s hope. Its God’s offer to every one of us this morning. God loves us. God desires for us to dwell with him - today - and forever.