Yesterday afternoon was a very sad experience for me. Part of the sadness was because I was attending a funeral, but it was mostly because to my knowledge the person didn’t know Christ.
A group from my Church would visit the man at his home to sing, pray, and share the Gospel during his last days. Because of this, his wife asked if we would be willing to sing at his funeral.
Though this was an awkward situation I felt the Lord leading us to sing because it opened the door for a clear Gospel witness.
That witness was especially important since the funeral was held at a Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Just to clarify, my attending in no way agrees with the beliefs of the Seventh Day Adventists….my reason for being there was to ensure the Gospel was actually shared.
I’m thankful the Lord allowed me to read Romans 8:18 yesterday and explain that those who truly believe in Christ would spend eternity with Him in Heaven.
About thirty-minutes later the Pastor preached a sermon that said among other things:
- If you are faithful to Jesus, then you will go to Heaven
- He later clarified being faithful meant to love one another
- Jesus came down from Heaven to give us a “second chance.” We need to make sure that we are ready when He comes back because there won’t be any more chances
- Our souls and body will stay in the grave (not go to Heaven) till Jesus calls us up
- And as we all “stand together” in “one love” (a Rastafarian term) Jesus will take us to Heaven
As most of the Church shouted amen, waved their hands, and clapped loudly I could just sit there and shake my head.
Driving home I couldn’t help but see how contradictory the pastors message was with Scripture. The fact that he had to redefine faithful as “loving people” is proof in itself that we aren’t good enough to earn Heaven (and never will be).
Yet the people ate it up because his Gospel allowed them to do whatever they wanted (as long as you are loving).
I honestly don’t make it a practice to take part in services at other Churches. I’ve done it four times since being here, and each time it was for a funeral. But in a way I’m thankful that in the middle of the service that said “just love people and God will let you in” the true Gospel was heard.
It didn’t draw the thunderous applause and hand waving, but my prayer it brought the conviction of the Holy Spirit.