Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Preparing an Obituary and Funeral Service; Part 3 of 3

You might want to include a brief Christian message on the gravestone. A Bible verse or line from a Christian poem or saying. It can be a testimony to those who pass through the cemetery in coming years. But don’t try to imply someone was a Christian when they weren’t; a grave marker is not going to get the deceased into Heaven! 

What about cremation? I don’t like cremation. While the Bible does not directly speak against it, Christian history and tradition certainly favors a respectful burial rather than cremation. Scripture speaks of burial, and says nothing of Christian cremation.  Also, the grave marker can be a Christian witness in the years to come. The time of the death and of the funeral, however, is not time to debate this issue. At this time, if the family has chosen cremation, nothing negative about it should be said.  

Possible Verses To Include On Gravestone:

A gravestone can be a Christian witness for years to come. Below are some possible Scriptures and messages to put on a marker. Some of these can be abbreviated. These Bible verses give what the Bible teaches about death for the Christian. Of course, these verses and saying are not exhaustive.

I am the way, the truth and the life. -Jesus Christ; John 14:6

Absent from the body, present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:8)

“I am the resurrection and the life.” -Jesus; John 11:25

“He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” -Jesus; John 11:25

God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. -Psalm 73:26

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” -John 3:16

“He who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life.” -Jesus Christ; John 5:24

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. -Psalm 23

I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. -Psalm 23

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. -Psalm 23

“To live is Christ, to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21

The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. -1 Corinthians 15:26

Our citizenship is in heaven. -Philippians 3:20

Other Quotes:
There’s a land that is fairer than day.

Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible, tells me so.

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.

What a Friend we have in Jesus.

I was a guilty sinner, but Jesus died for me.

Only a sinner saved by grace.

Admit a ransomed sinner, for Jesus died for me.

Dust thou art, to dust returnest, was not spoken of the soul. -Longfellow.

There never was night that had no morn.

What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see.

Other Bible Verses:
Matthew 11:28; John 14:1-6; 2 Timothy 1:12; Psalm 17:15; 31:19; 32:10; 37:18; 37:37; 48:14; 49:15; Romans 6:23; 8:28; 8:35-39; 10;9-10,13; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:9-10; Revelation 21:4; etc.

Some just put the Scripture reference (for example: 2 Timothy 1:12). If someone wants to know what it says, they will have to get a Bible and look it up.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, February 29, AD 2012. 

Other Articles:
Preparing an Obituary and Funeral Service; Part 1 Preparing an Obituary and Funeral Service; Part 2 of 3
More article in lower right marin.

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