On Wednesday, March 27th, we said goodbye to another saint in our congregation, Tom Keown. It was almost five months to the date that his dear wife, Ann, preceded him in death. I will be honest with you, these two dear believers are heroes to me! Why? Because they were married for 63 years. Because Ann was stricken with polio and I never once heard her complain. Because Tom cared for his dear wife for many, many years as her health deteriorated. But most of all, they are heroes to me because they loved Jesus. They both could say with the Apostle Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7 ESV)
Tom and Ann were not perfect, but they were faithful! They loved the Lord. They loved the Church. And they loved each other. They truly are heroes of the faith that we can look to and seek to emulate as they sought to honor Christ.
Below is an excerpt from some words that I gave at Tom’s funeral. I pray they are an encouragement to you.
In the last week of his life, Tom’s health took a hard downturn and so as family watched over him, they did what is good and meaningful in the last hours of anyone’s life. When someone is dying, when you know someone will soon leave this earth, you don’t ask them what channel they want to watch on TV, you don’t ask them if they would like go shopping, you don’t ask them if they want to do anything meaningless — you want to do something meaningful, something lasting, something of eternal significance — and so that is why his children read the Scriptures to him.
The Scriptures are the words of life, the very Word of God — they have eternal significance!
Tom’s daughter shared with me that they read from many places in the Scriptures but they started reading the Gospel of John. And when they got to John 11, these words were read:
Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me – though he die – yet shall he live – and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” (John 11:17–27 ESV)
As soon as his daughter finished reading this passage to her dear dad, do you want to know how he responded? “Again!” he said. “Read it again.” And so she did. She read it again and again and again.
Sometimes that is what we need in life, right? We need to hear the truth over and over and over. We need to hear the promises of God again and again and again.
What was the last thing that Tom wanted to hear knowing that he was about to die … he wanted to hear the words of eternal life again and again and again!
Let me ask you today: Do you have a good theology of life and death?
A good theology of life teaches us that while we are here on this earth, we are called to glorify God by loving Him and loving our neighbor. We are called to be faithful to the things, to the life that God has entrusted to us.
But do you have a good theology of death? A good theology of life must include a good theology of death because it affects the way you live – it matters for your worldview.
A good theology of death teaches us that this life is NOT all that there is.
Funerals are a great reminder to us that our days are numbered. It has been appointed that we will all die. And this is why it is good to come to funerals, to be reminded of this fact because our culture wants you to believe – and leads you to believe – that you don’t need to worry about death and that you will live forever. But that simply is not true or possible in a fallen world.
Therefore, since that is truth, where is your hope? If we are all going die, what hope is there for us when we are near the end?
This is where the good news of the Gospel comes to give us hope! This is where the truth and the wonderful promises of John 11 are so great to hear … again and again and again!
See you Sunday.
by His grace and to His praise,
|Preparation for Worship – April 7, 2019|
|This Sunday’s sermon: “Not One Promise Failed: Our Inheritance” Joshua 13-19In preparation for the sermon: “Healthy, grateful faith sees beyond the inheritance to the one who granted it and is careful never to prize Yahweh’s gifts more than Yahweh himself.” – Dale Ralph DavisClick here for this week’s bulletin. Hymn for the Week: His Mercy Is MoreWe are podcasting! Catch up on sermons on iTunes or on the Cornerstone App.We are LIVE STREAMING! Click here.|
|I’m buying what these guys are selling! Learn about The Rabbit RoomDoes the Bible Support Female Deacons? Paralysis and Forgiveness, great sermon by DAVID PLATT given at The Gospel Coalition National Conference.|