Funeral of Petronella Ferreira

SERMON TOPIC: Funeral of Petronella Ferreira

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 9 October 2016


Sermon synopsis: When Benjamin Franklin was about to die, he asked that a picture of Jesus on the cross should be so placed in his bedroom that he could look, as he said, “upon the form of the Silent Sufferer.” 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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There will be no more death

When Benjamin Franklin was about to die, he asked that a picture of Jesus on the cross should be so placed in his bedroom that he could look, as he said, “upon the form of the Silent Sufferer.” 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.”


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

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

Hebrews 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.

The shepherd king David wrote:

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” (Psalm 23:4)


What is the sting that death holds for some?

1 Cor 15:56 The sting of death is sin…

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.


“Jesus… suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” (Heb 2:9) teaches us the ‘substitutionary’ death of Jesus i.e. Jesus died in our place.

2 Cor 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

John 8:52 “… you say that if anyone keeps your word, he will never taste death.”

Q: What does it mean that Jesus ‘tasted’ death for all?

A: One of the definitions of taste is “to become acquainted with by experience”. 1 So he experienced death on our behalf.

1 Merriam Webster Dictionary ( dictionary)



Let’s look at the “no mores” in the kingdom of God that is to come:

No more night

Rev 22:5 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.

No more curse

Rev 22:3 No longer will there be any curse.

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…

No more sin

Rev 21:26-27 The glory and honour of the nations will be brought into it. 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.

Matt 6:9-10 ‘Our Father in heaven… your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’


No more separation from God

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.

Rev 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.”

Francis Jane Crosby (1820-1915) wrote more than 9000 hymns, despite being blind. They include “Blessed Assurance,” “To God Be the Glory,” “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Saviour,” “Safe in the Arms of Jesus,” “Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross,” and “I Am Thine, O Lord”.


“I think it is a great pity that the Master did not give you sight when he showered so many other gifts upon you,” remarked one well-meaning preacher. “Do you know that if at birth I had been able to make one petition, it would have been that I was born blind?” said the composer, who had only been able to see for her first six weeks of life. “Because when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Saviour.”


No more sickness

Rev 22:2 On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

No more pain

Rev 21:4 There will be no more… pain…

This includes physical and emotional pain. So the grief and pain when a Christian dies is for those who are left behind.


No more death

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

John Newton was a slave trader who became a Christian. He later wrote the words to one of the most well-known songs of all time – “Amazing grace”.

John Newton’s dying words 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… where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 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.


No more crying

Rev 21:4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more … mourning or crying…

No more bad memories

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.

Have you got memories you’d rather forget? God will erase them.


Instead there is:


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


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.


Jesus woke up those who slept in death:

Mark 5:39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.”

John 11:11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”


1 Thess 4:13-18 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 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. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.


A tent is just a temporary living place – not a home!

2 Pet 1:13-14 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.

When we die we leave behind us all that we have and take with us all that we are.

The tent is left behind but the spirit lives on.


2 Cor 5:1-4 Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.

And so the apostle Paul writes:

We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. (2 Cor 5:8)

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Phil 1:21)


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)


John 5:21-29 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. … I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself…. Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.


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.”


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?


At the death of Lazarus Jesus said (John 11:25-26):


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…


And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.

For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life… (John 6:39-40)

Are you one of Jesus’ sheep?


My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. (John 10:27-28)

PSALM 103 (verses 8, 10, 13-18): The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children - with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his commands.


It has pleased Almighty God to take from this world the soul of here departed. We now commit her/ his 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!



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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.

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