Some Things Christians Don't Have

Bible Book: Romans  8
Subject: Funeral; Death

[This funeral sermon appears in outline and sentence form, and was delivered by Dr. Minnix at the funeral of a Christian man. There are some things Christians do not have and because of that they face death victoriously! These truths should bring great comfort to Christian family members and friends]

(At this point, it is good to relate a bit of the history of the departed saint. Some words of his family life, service to his country, employment or career, and his labors for the Lord in the local church mean a lot. Even an anecdotal humorous story is fitting, if told with dignity and care.)

I. No Condemnation (8:1)

When a person accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, divine condemnation is removed. Believers do sin and make mistakes, but they never live in condemnation. “Jesus paid it all!”

Most people measure life by what they have or have obtained. Actually, life should be measured by that which we have gotten rid of. The absence of sin is the greatest blessing in life because it means that the Christian will never face God's wrath. Why? Jesus took the wrath of God for the believer! God did not wink at our sin, He carried it to the cross.

Our brother was a good man, but being a good man did not save him. In fact, as good as he was, he was not without sin - none of us are! Yet, the grace of God in Christ provides the redemption we cannot obtain on our own.

Our brother was a church man, but being a church man did not save him. You can be on the church roll and not be in the Lamb's Book of Life. Thankful, our brother made sure that his name is inscribed where it counts most - in heaven. His work in the church surely provides him with a greater reward, but years of labor in the church do not erase a single sin from the book of our deeds in heaven. Thankfully, when one is in Christ, the record in heaven reads, "Paid in full!" Signed, "Jesus!"

Our brother was a veteran of a foreign war for his country, but that did not save him. Yes, he fought for our political and civic freedom, but aren't we glad today that Jesus fought and won the victory for Him to be free from this world's evils and cares?

He was a Christian – he trusted Christ and Christ alone – that is what saved him. He did not escape condemnation when he met God in death; he escaped condemnation when he met God through Christ and was gloriously saved. Those who are in Christ are already forgiven and all condemnation has been removed from that moment. He did not have to wait till he died to find out whether he met God's conditions for heaven. He settled out of court - he chose Jesus as his Advocate and his salvation is sure.

II. No Frustration (8:28)

Life has its little and great frustrations, but the purpose of God cannot be frustrated in the life of God’s children when we love Him and do His will. Just think of Romans 8:28. Life can hurl a lot of difficult things at us but there is nothing that can frustrate God’s grace, love and purpose for us as long as we love and serve Him.

Note in Romans 8:28 that God says "we know" - He does not say that we merely "hope." We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, who are called according to His purpose. What a wonderful truth for us to remember today. Even death works for good. Life's trials have ended and any chance of frustrating the grace of God is impossible.

I'm sure our brother experienced some very frustrating days in his life. We all go through such things. Yet, life, death, pain, sorrow, hardship, trial and even failure cannot frustrate the work of God in our lives once we have heard His call, loved Him in return and expressed faith in His Son. This is not a day of defeat; this is a day of victory!

III. No Separation (8:29ff)

Nothing can separate us from His love, nor from His presence. Our deceased brother crossed over the troubling waters of death but was never separated from Jesus. To be absent from the body is to be present with our Lord. David penned the words, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me...." You do not walk through the valley of death alone - the saved have a Friend Closer than a Brother who takes every step with us.

Listen to these words by Edward Hopper.

"Jesus, Savior, Pilot me,

Over life’s tempestuous sea,

Unknown waves before me roll,

Hiding rock and treacherous shoal,

Chart and compass come from thee,

Jesus, Savior, Pilot me.

When at last I near the shore,

And the fearful breakers roar,

Twixt me and the peaceful rest,

Then, while leaning on they breast,

May I hear thee say to me,

Fear not, I will pilot thee!"

For those who know Jesus as Savior and Lord, death is not a eternal separation. We will gather again in the presence of the Lord with all those who have gone before us. After all, our deceased brother is with Jesus and Jesus is with us – so, we are only a step apart!


Let us, then, go on in our service for King Jesus. He has conquered sin. He has defeated Satan. He has triumphed over the grave. He now has your loved one and our brother in His royal presence. As Jesus piloted him, He will pilot us.

By chance, if there is someone here today who does not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, remember that this day is coming to you as well. You need to make preparation for death. Turn from you sin and trust Him - He will not turn you away.