Epitaphs: Good and Bad!

By Louis J. Sharp

Epitaphs we read may not always be truthful. Some are brutally frank! But if there should ever be placed an epitaph on your tombstone, and it was truthful, how would it read?

In the Bible, we read epitaphs both good and bad. The thing that is striking about each of them, is, they were true! There was no shame, no holding back the truth, no apology! Indeed, we do write our own epitaphs by the life we live. If one was being written for you today, how would it read?

Some Good Epitaphs God Wrote

I . “He went about doing good” – Jesus (Acts 10:38).

2. “She was full of good works” – Dorcas (Acts 9:36).

3. “He was a good man” – Barnabas (Acts 11:24).

4. “He walked with God” – Enoch (Gen. 5:24).

5. “He being dead, yet speaketh” – Abel. (Heb. 11:4).

6. “Asleep in Jesus” – Christians (1 Cor. 15:17-18).

7. “Well done good and faithful servant” (Mt. 25:21).

8. “At rest” – Those who die in the Lord (Rev. 14:13).

9. “I kept the faith” – Paul (2 Tim. 4:6-8).

10. “They kept my word” – Church in Philadelphia (Rev. 3:8).

Some Examples of Evil Epitaphs

1. “He betrayed Him” – Judas Iscariot (Mt. 26:25).

2. “Sinned wilfully” – Hebrew Christians (Heb. 10:26).

3. “Have forsaken the right way” – Many (2 Pet. 2:15).

4. “Left thy first love” – Church at Ephesus (Rev. 2:4).

5. “Made shipwreck of the faith” – Some (1 Tim. 1:19).

6. “Loved this present world” – Demas (2 Tim. 4:10).

7. “In hell he lifted up his eyes” – Rich man (Lk. 16:23).

8. “Obeyed not the gospel of God” – Many (2 Thess. 1:7-9).

9. “She repented not” – False Prophetess (Rev. 2:21).

Truly, we are writing our epitaphs each day that we live. If an honest appraisal is given, would you be proud of yours, or ashamed of it? If a preacher was preaching your funeral today what could he honestly say? Truthful epitaphs are written by the living, not after one is dead and gone!

Think on these things!

Guardian of Truth XXXI: 13, p. 403
July 2, 1987