By Ken Weliever
As bizarre as it may sound, I recently attended my own funeral. The occasion was my fortieth birthday. My good wife and close friends decided it would be a good joke to have a surprise party that began with a funeral bemoaning the passing of my youth. A friend’s basement was decorated in black with dead flowers and set up to resemble a funeral parlor. Jim was selected to play my part and was laid out in a homemade coffin resembling something out of the movie “Dracula.” Mourners and singers wailed and sang intermittently as Reggie Robarts officiated this “service.” It was something between a roast and “this is your life” with ample misrepresentation by brother Robarts!
Believe it or not, the whole skit was very funny and an enjoyable evening was had by each one. However, I must admit, it did seem a bit weird sitting there listening to my life being spoken of in the past tense. Later as I reflected about this silly scene, I realized that one day I really will attend my own funeral. “It is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). But you, too, will die. Unless Jesus comes first, every person reading these lines will attend his own funeral. I hear people say things like, “If anything ever happens to me. . . ” or “I just took out more life insurance, just in case. . . ” and “I don’t know what I’ll do if anything ever happens to him (her).” I want to shake such souls and say, “What’s wrong with you? Something is going to happen to you – you’re going to die! But death is something we want to avoid although it is the end of the living.
Furthermore, what will they say at your funeral? Are you living a life that good things could be spoken about you as a faithful servant of Jesus Christ? Or will it be an occasion that some preacher will have a difficult time because of the tragic waste of your life devoid of service to God? How we live now will determine the tone and tenor of the words spoken at our funeral service.
Dying men have said that they were sorry that they had lived as an atheist, skeptic, agnostic, or sinner; but no man has ever said on his deathbed: “I’m sorry that I’m a Christian.” Indeed, “blessed are the dead which die in the Lord” (Rev. 14:13).
Guardian of Truth XXXII: 15, p. 466
August 4, 1988