Saying Goodbye, For the Last Time

This past Wednesday I had the privilege to be able to speak at my grandmother’s funeral.  My grandfather had asked me and my sister to read what we had written on our blogs, and we were more than willing to do so.  But I wasn’t going to let this opportunity for the Gospel to slip away.  I knew that a majority of the people there were probably not saved, including, from all accounts, my grandfather.

Awhile ago, I had had a conversation with my pastor about how to do an unsaved person’s funeral.  How do you preach the Gospel when the person who died didn’t believe it.  My grandmother, from everything that we know, never made a true profession of repentance and belief.  So what I decided to do was to tell them that if my grandmother could say one thing to them, on this day, that she would tell them not to rely on their own righteousness, but on that of Christ’s. 

 We got to the gravesite a few minutes before it started, and the pastor who was doing the service never really spoke with my grandmother.  He didn’t know her at all, other than through conversations he’s had with my grandfather.  So he asked me if I would be willing to read Psalm 23 and John 14:1-3.  So I got up, read those passages, and then shared my own thoughts. 

This Reverend apparently didn’t know the Gospel too well, as he got up and continued to say all of the common misconceptions of the Gospel.  He said that she was saved and in eternal glory with Christ.  I felt like going up and speaking with him afterwards, but didn’t.  He never knew my grandmother, but everyone there did.  I can’t help but think that what he said contradicted what I did and would give people a false assurance of faith, thinking that if she was saved and lived like that, then surely I can be saved and live like I do. 

The man was a nice, old man, with very good intentions, just not very good theology.  He said what was popular, but also very damaging.  But the real Gospel was spoken, and the Word of the Lord does not return void, but accomplishes the perfect work of God. 


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