Funeral service - Margaret Kraft

SERMON TOPIC: Funeral service - Margaret Kraft

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 19 June 2019


Sermon synopsis: Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), one of the Founding Fathers of the United States was a printer, author, politician, scientist and inventor. When he was about to die, he wrote in advance the epitaph to be on his gravestone:

“The body of Benjamin Franklin, Printer, like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out and stripped of its lettering and gilding, lies here ... Yet the Work itself shall not be lost; for it will, as he believed, appear once more in a new and more beautiful edition, corrected and amended by the Author.”

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Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. (Psalms 116:15, ESV)

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), one of the Founding Fathers of the United States was a printer, author, politician, scientist and inventor. When he was about to die, he wrote in advance the epitaph to be on his gravestone:

“The body of Benjamin Franklin, Printer, like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out and stripped of its lettering and gilding, lies here ... Yet the Work itself shall not be lost; for it will, as he believed, appear once more in a new and more beautiful edition, corrected and amended by the Author.”


WHAT AWAITS A CHRISTIAN WHO DIES? Let’s look at the “no mores” in the kingdom of God that is to come:

“There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.” (Rev 22:5, NIV)

“No longer will there be any curse” (Rev 22:3)

In Gen 3:17 the ground was cursed because of man’s sin – in the New Jerusalem the curse is removed.

No more corruption and decay

Matt 6:20 “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”


No more sin

Rev 21:26-27 … Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

No more sickness

Rev 22:2 On each side of the river stood the tree of life… And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.


“There will be no more… death … for the old order of things has passed away.” (Rev 21:3-4, NIV)

The dying words of John Newton (former slave trader who became a Christian) were: “I am still in the land of the dying; I shall be in the land of the living soon.”

No more things we don’t understand

1 Cor 13:8-12… but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears… Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.


“There will be no more… pain” (Rev 21:4). This includes physical and emotional pain. So the grief and pain when a Christian dies is for those left behind.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more … mourning or crying…” (Rev 21:4,NIV)

No more bad memories. Have you got memories you’d rather forget? God will erase them.

Isa 65:17 “Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.”


Instead there is:


Isa 57:2 Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.


When the Apostle Paul felt death approaching, he said: “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 


 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day - and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (2 Tim 4:6-8)



Shortly before Adoniram Judson, missionary to Burma, died he said:

“I am not tired of my work, neither am I tired of the world; yet, when Christ calls me home, I shall go with the gladness of a boy bounding away from his school.”

Psalm 16:11 (NKJV) … In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.



Rev 14:13 … Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on… they will rest from their labour…

Death is referred to as sleep. When Stephen died we read that “he fell asleep” (Acts 7:60). But sleep is a temporary condition. We fully expect the sleeping person to awake. So with the Christian who dies.


We will be in the presence of God. Paul says at death the Christian is “absent from the body” and “present with the Lord” (2 Cor 5:8).

Rev 22:3-4… The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.

Francis Jane Crosby wrote more than 9000 hymns including “Blessed Assurance” and “To God Be the Glory”. This was despite being blind. One well-meaning preacher said to her, “I think it is a great pity that the Master did not give you sight when he showered so many other gifts upon you”. She replied, “Do you know that if at birth I had been able to make one petition, it would have been that I was born blind? Because when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Saviour.”


D.L Moody wrote in “Heaven (It’s Inhabitants)”:

If there is anything that ought to make heaven near to Christians, it is knowing that God and all their loved ones will be there. What is it that makes home so attractive? Is it because we have a beautiful home? Is it because we have beautiful lawns? Is it because we have beautiful trees around that home? Is it because we have beautiful paintings upon the walls inside? Is it because we have beautiful furniture. Is that all that makes home so attractive and so beautiful? Nay, it is the loved ones in it; it is the loved ones there.


 I remember after being away from home some time, I went back to see my honoured mother, and I thought in going back I would take her by surprise, and steal in unexpectedly upon her, but when I found she had gone away, the old place didn’t seem like home at all. I went into one room and then into another, and all through the house, but I could not find that loved mother, and I said to some member of the family, “Where is mother?” and they said she had gone away. Well, home had lost its charm to me; it was that mother who made home so sweet to me, and it is the loved ones who make home so sweet to every one; it is the presence of the loved ones that will make heaven so sweet to all of us. Christ is there; God, the Father, is there; and many, many who were dear to us that lived on earth are there–and we shall be with them by and by.


Eternal life!

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This gift of eternal life is given by someone who cannot lie:

Titus 1:2 a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time

Jesus himself promised us eternal life when he said:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)


Our hope of eternal life is based on the authority of the Son of God, who raised people from the dead – and who himself came back from the dead. Just before he raised Lazarus from the dead, Jesus said:

I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die… [John 11:25-26]


The following is a quotation from the words of Dr. W. B. Hinson, speaking from the pulpit a year after the commencement of the illness from which he ultimately died:

“I remember a year ago when a doctor in this city said, ‘You are going to die, Walt.’ I walked out to where I live, five miles out of this city, and I looked across at that mountain that I love, and I looked at the river in which I rejoice, and I looked at the stately trees that are always God’s own poetry to my soul.


 “Then in the evening I looked up into the great sky where God was lighting his lamps, and I said: ‘I may not see you many more times, but, Mountain, I shall be alive when you are gone; and, River, I

shall be alive when you cease running toward the sea; and, Stars, I shall be alive when you have fallen from your sockets in the great down-pulling of the material universe!’”

This is the confidence of one who knew Jesus. Is it yours?


On the tomb of a Christian astronomer were these words (by his partner); “We have gazed too long at the stars together to be afraid of the night.”

For there is no death. No. Not for the Christian! There is only an honourable discharge from the battles of life, A promotion to Heavenly officership, That glorious moment to step forward And hear the Great Commander-in-Chief say, “Well done, good and faithful soldier! Come, enter into your Eternal reward”! There is no death. Not for the Christian. Only the soul’s blessed release from dark prison. Only a passage out of that prison into a palace. Only a golden key that unlocks the treasures of Eternity.


Death is not something for the child of God to fear:

Heb 2:14-15 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

1 Thess 4:13,16 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.


What is the sting that death holds for some? “The sting of death is sin” (1 Cor 15:56).

Were it not for sin, death had never had a beginning - and were it not for death, sin would never have had an ending. As Christians, Jesus paid for our sins and so death loses its sting.

1 Cor 15:54-57 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


King David wrote these comforting words in his Shepherd’s Psalm that have been a source of strength to many a Christian as death approached, “The Lord is my Shepherd… Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” (Ps 23:1,4)


Death is not extinguishing the light … it is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.


Henry Scott Holland:

“I am standing on the seashore. A ship spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the ocean. I stand watching her until she fades on the horizon, and someone at my side says, ‘She is gone.’ Gone where?

“The loss of sight is in me, not in her. Just at the moment when someone says, ‘She is gone,’ there are others who are watching her coming. Other voices take up the glad shout, ‘Here she comes,’ and that is dying.”


No, my friend, you are not dead. You will be alive when the mountains are gone. --Alive when the rivers cease their running toward the sea! You have gone higher, that is all. Out of this old mud shack, into a house that is immortal, A body that no enemy can attack! “Dust thou art, to dust thou shalt return” Was not spoken of the spirit. You don’t really die, you just keep on living, And go straight into the presence of the Lord!

2 Cor 5:8 (KJV) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.


I weep, dear friend, because I miss you. If I were unselfish I would be rejoicing with you, Thanking God that you are with Him! Thanking God that your troubles are over! No more crying, no more pain, no more sorrow, Nothing but eternal happiness in Heaven forever! Yes, we are so selfish about death, We count our grief far more than your joy! We go to the grave of a friend, saying, “A man is dead”. But angels throng about him saying, “A man is born!” So for now, farewell, my friend! We shall meet again!


There’s a land that is fairer than day, And by faith we can see it afar. For the Father waits over the way, To prepare us a dwelling place there.

In the sweet by and by, we shall meet on that beautiful shore.


It has pleased Almighty God to take from this world the soul of Margaret here departed. We now commit her body to the grave; ashes to ashes, dust to dust in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life for all who trust in Christ, who will change our frail and mortal bodies to be like his glorious resurrection body, according to his mighty power by which he is able to transform all things.

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they will rest from their labour. (Rev 14:13) ------- AMEN!



Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (

Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV: Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.