What will be said about you at your funeral?

Last night my wife and I had the privilege of attending the funeral of a dear lady we had known for nearly 20 years.  We had not seen her in several years though.  I must admit that I don’t like funerals.  I go because it is the proper thing to do but I just like to.  I am sure I am not alone in that way.  Having said that, last nights funeral was different.  My wife and I agreed afterwards that it was probably the best funeral we had ever attended.  We spoke to others who shared our opinion on the matter.  So, what was different about this funeral?  Good question.   Nothing about the service itself stood out as noteworthy.  The funeral home did a fine job directing the event but there was nothing out of the ordinary.  The music was good but it also was nothing that isn’t usually heard at funerals.  The pastor preached a very nice sermon.  The content was biblical based and he spoke from the heart but it was not his ability to speak or the content of his message that stood out.  In the end, what really made this service different was life of the person we were there to pay our final respects to.  She lived a life in which God was glorified.  She was not a great missionary to some foreign country or someone others would consider important to the community (in a leadership capacity).  She was a woman who lived out what the bible teaches us and people recognized that about her.  The pastor shared with us how she showed her love to others in prayer and concern for them and how she was an example of a persistent woman like the woman wanting justice from the corrupt judge.  In effect, she preached her own funeral by the way she lived her life.  What a testimony she has left for those who knew her.

In pondering all of this last night a question occurred to me.  What will be said about me at my funeral?  Have you considered what will be said about you at your funeral?  Most of us, me included, don’t like to consider such things because we don’t really want to think about the fact that we will all die one day.  But think about it for a moment.  What will others say about you?  What testimony will we leave behind?  Now, I am not suggesting that our motive for living a certain way should be so that nice things are said about us when we are gone.  No, I am saying that we should live out what we believe God has taught us in his word so that when we die our loved ones will have the peace of mind of knowing that we are in Heaven and that God was glorified through the life we lived.  Think on this question today.  Are there changes we need to make to our lives?  If so, today is the day to start.  Eternity will be here before we know it and it will be too late then.  Glorify God and he will take of the rest.  He has promised us that he would.  Now, believe it and live each day accordingly.

Theological Indifference

The tragedy is that our eternal welfare depends upon our hearing and we have trained our ears not to hear. — A.W. Tozer

As I look at the Church (the universal church) these days I am struck by the fact that so many believers are indifferent when it comes to theology.  Theology in general is not considered to be important to living daily as believers.  There seem to be whole movements founded on the fact that doctrine is less important (or not important at all) than “living out the gospel”.  The seeker sensitive movement in particular is inundated with the “social gospel” and post-modern humanism which teaches people that anything that divides (doctrine & theology) is to be avoided for the sake of maintaining community unity.

As the Tozer quote alludes to, we have a whole generation of believers that have been trained not to hear certain things.  The consequence is that we have a whole generation of believers that don’t know what they believe and why they believe it.  They have been trained to think that this does not matter, that living out the gospel in community is what really matters.  Living out our faith does matter but it should be a result of our understanding of what our faith teaches us and not what we trust for our salvation.

So, what can we do to remedy this situation.  The answer is not difficult to identify but it might be difficult to implement.  Theology needs to be taught starting at the earliest age possible in our churches.  We need to add an apologetics component as well as a church history aspect.  Over time the problem will be beaten as people are taught and embrace the importance of theology in understanding and living out our faith.

Do you agree?  Are there other steps you would recommend?  Do you believe this is not really a problem?  Leave a comment and tell me, and others, what your thoughts are on this.

A Great Theological Primer

Cover of "Dug Down Deep: Unearthing What ...

Cover via Amazon

I really enjoyed reading Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris.  Harris has written a serious theology book in a way that new or your Christians can understand.  He deals with doctrines such as God, Scripture, Jesus, the Cross, salvation, sanctification, the Holy Spirit, and the Church.

For each doctrine, Harris introduces the basics of it and then he gives examples from his life that illustrate the importance of the doctrine.  Harris does not shy away from the theological terms.  He defines them and them describes then in ways that are practical and memorable.  This method makes the teachings he gives more enjoyable to read.  Often, I think those reading the book would not realize they are being taught.

I think this book would be an excellent primer for a youth group or a new believers class.  The book includes a discussion guide for this very purpose.  I am considering having my daughters to read this book or to read it with them.  I can highly recommend this book to you.  Reading it will be time well spent.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Multnomah Publishers as part of their Blogging for Books review program. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Ever Wonder Why Christians Have Hope In Christ?

Then listen to this sermon and find out.  This sermon clearly explains the condition of the sinner before salvation and then explains what Christ has done for His people.  Listen to it and let me know what you think.

Do You Know My King?

Book Giveaway

They are having a book giveaway over at The Lighthearted Calvinist.  The book is a commentary on Revelation.  If you are interested, click here and submit an entry.

Open Thread: What Does Christ’s Death On The Cross Mean To You?

Today is Good Friday and I have been thinking some about the significance of the events of this day in my life.  For those that are not familiar with Good Friday, this is the day we (Christians) celebrate the death of Jesus on the cross and what it accomplished.

I am very thankful for what Jesus did for me.  I know that He was thinking about me as He suffered for my sins.  I know that He did it willingly and with joy because He could see the reward for what He was doing.  It is hard for me to imagine what He went through.  I have read the accounts in the Bible and I have seen Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ but I can’t help but think that the reality is far worse than my mind can comprehend without seeing it first hand.  I have read some modern medical explanations of crucifixion and I am glad that I did not see it first hand.  I am more glad that I did not have to experience it firsthand.

I am most thankful that God chose to provide a way that I, in my sinful depraved state, could be reconciled to Him and that I do not have to pay for my sinfulness myself for all eternity.  It is a debt that I can never pay in full.  Christ, however, could and did pay my debt in full.  He has purchased my freedom with His blood.  He is now my Savior and my King.  If you are His, then He has done the same to you.

Christ’s death has given me freedom to be who I was designed to be in God’s plan.  It has allowed me to not fear the circumstances of my life because I know that God is in control of all things.  That does not mean that I don’t have fear or worry but it means that if I am relying on Him I don’t have to have those things.  I can now seek only to please God and not worry about anything else.  He is sovereign in my life.  Even though I fail Him, He still loves me and still works in my life.

Is He sovereign in your life?

Open Discussion: Seeking Knowledge of God vs. Worshipping the Unknown and Unknowable

In another post the comments have taken a turn into an interesting discussion that has nothing to do with the original post.  I am starting this post in order to continue that discussion.  I am not going to move those comments to this post because I don’t know an easy way to do it and I am not going to do each one individually.  You can go to that post to see how the discussion progressed to this point.

I hope you enjoy the discussion and if you have something to add, feel free to do so.

Five Reasons We Should Study Theology

For many people the study of theology is unimportant.  They think it is boring.  They think it does not affect them.  Some think that studying theology is a task for ministers only.  You can probably think of several more reasons you have heard, or used, as to why people refuse to study theology.  These reasons are all false.  We all need to study theology.

In this short post, Nathan Bingham gives five reasons why we should study theology.  I just found this blog and don’t know anything about Bingham but the reasons he gives are clear, concise, and will make you think.  After reading his post, let me know if you agree or disagree with what he says.

What is the Meaning of Life?

This question is answered by R.K. McGregor Wright in his book No Place for Sovereignty: What’s Wrong with Freewill Theism. He says

Since we are creatures, our meaning originates in the eternal intention of God for his creation. No finite thing has any meaning apart from its place in God’s plan. (p. 75-76)

This is the biblical response to the persistent question “What is the meaning of life?” The meaning of everything is logically identical to God’s intention for it. (p. 76)

Simple.  Don’t you think?  I have addressed this question before (here).  My answer in that post is still valid because it is basically the same answer that Wright gives.  He just says it better and more concisely than I do.

So, do you agree with Wright’s answer?  Why?

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