September 3, 2022
“…the 24 elders fall down before the One seated on the throne, worship the One who lives forever and ever, cast their crowns before the throne and say: ‘Our Lord and God...”
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“…the 24 elders fall down before the One seated on the throne, worship the One who lives forever and ever, cast their crowns before the throne and say: ‘Our Lord and God, You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, because You have created all things, and because of Your will they exist and were created.’” Revelation 4:10-11
I’ve had the privilege of leading music at several funerals. There is great ministry opportunity at funerals. Of course, the funeral of a Christian has a bittersweet element. Bitter because a loved one is no longer with us, and sweet because we know they are with the Lord.
The funeral of a non-believer is a different story. It’s simply bitter.
A thing to remember about funerals is that the ceremony is not really for the deceased. Funerals are for those of us left behind. They help us mourn by giving us a chance to say goodbye. Before our memories begin to fade, funerals give us a chance to memorialize the departed.
After the death of an unbeliever, the family will often ask the minister if their loved one is in Heaven. I once heard a pastor wisely answer that question. He said, “I am certain that wherever they are, your loved one would tell you to trust in Jesus!”
Heaven & Hell are not merely theological concepts. They are real places. I could see why you might not trust the testimony of the average person. But at least consider the testimony of those who are there! Those in Heaven would say that trusting Jesus was the best decision they ever made! Those in Hell would say rejecting Him was their worst mistake.
The apostle John was enabled to see Heaven through the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit. He saw 24 elders worshipping God. These elders were once people like you and me living on earth. When they passed, they joined the Father and the Son in Heaven. By their own admission, they received salvation and honor only because of God’s grace. The same grace is extended to us. It is free and immediate if you would only choose to turn from your sin and accept it.