I recently conducted the funeral of Ruth Patterson, a dear sister in
Christ, she departed this life with a sure heavenly hope. I, along with
other preachers, have conducted many funerals for a variety of people.
Some have been relatively easy funeral because they were for those who
were prepared for their journey into eternity. Some were difficult in that
they were for those who left this life without hope for eternity.
The Great Question
The great question that we must all ask ourselves is found in Acts 16:30,
"what must I do to be saved?" This the question that the Philippian jailer
asked Paul and Silas in depths of a Roman jail. In order for us to be sure
that we are pleasing to God when we leave this life we have to ask this
question. What must I do to be saved?
Why is it Important?
It is important because all have rebelled against God (Romans 3:23).
We will all be judged for our sins (2 Corinthians 5:10), and that the wages
of sins is death, or spiritual separation from sins (Romans 6:23). "And
as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews
9:27). Since we have all sinned and we will be held accountable for our
those sins, then we must again ask the question, "what must I do to be
No One Can Earn Their Salvation
No one can do enough good works to deserve salvation from God. The Bible tells us that we are saved by the grace of God (Ephesians 2:7-9) and not by our own good works. Paul says that we are saved, "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy he saved us" (Titus 3:5). No one can live "good enough" to be pleasing to God when we die.
Salvation - God's Part
God's has provided a part of our salvation that we could never provide.
Jesus came to this earth to pay the penalty for our sins. Jesus gave His
life as a sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 2:2). Isaiah, in prophesying
of Jesus declared, "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised
for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by
His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). Jesus could make this sacrifice
on the cross because he was suffering for the sins of others, not his own
sin (Hebrews 4:15).
Salvation - Man's Part
While we cannot do anything to deserve salvation, the Bible teaches us that we must obey God's commands for us concerning salvation. Concerning Jesus, the Hebrew writer tells us, "though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. and having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him" (Hebrews 5:8-9). We must "obey from the heart that form of doctrine" (Romans 6:17).
What are the commands we are to obey? We are required to have faith that Jesus is God's Son (John 8:24; Romans 10:9-10). We are required to sorrow over and turn away from our sins - that's repentance (Luke 13:3; Luke 24:47). We must confess our faith before others - that's what the Bible calls confession (Romans 10:9-10; Acts 8:37). Finally, we must die to sin, being buried with Christ in baptism (Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21). When we come out of the waters of baptism we start a new life (John 3:3-5; Romans 6:3-4). After our baptism we are to remain faithful Christians all our lives and we will inherit a crown of life (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10).
Are you prepared for death? Remember, some day a minister will be preaching
your funeral. Then, all that will matter will be whether you die saved
from your sins.
Copyright 1999 by Grady
Scott may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.