Funeral Philippians One

II Tim. 4:6-8; Phil. 1:21-24



Paul loved sports.

He talked about boxing, “I’ve fought a good fight;”


Running, “I’ve finished my course” (II Tim. 4:7);

Wrestling, “we wrestle not against flesh and blood” (Eph. 6:12).


He loved competition.

But he always competed for Christ.


When he wrote his letter to the Philippians, he was in prison;

Awaiting trial;


Chained to a Roman soldier;



Not sure whether he would live or die.

But he wouldn’t give up.


He kept preaching, witnessing and writing letters to the Churches.

He told the Philippians, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”


He was saying, “Jesus is my Coach.”

“Every day I live-----I’ll live for Jesus.”


“Everything I do-----I’ll do for Jesus.”

“And when I die, I’ll be better off.”


I believe ______________ lived for Christ.

_______ accepted Jesus as his Saviour;


Attended Church regularly;

Was an officer in the Church;


A prayer warrior;

A Sunday School teacher.


But he was more than that.

He was a man who demonstrated his faith in Christ at work, in his community         

and everywhere he went.


He shaped the character of multitudes;

Helped multitudes develop the attitudes, habits, skills and values they needed          

to succeed in life.


He labored to see that his students got a good formal education.

But he wasn’t just concerned with their formal education.


He was also concerned with their moral and spiritual values.

He wanted his students to develop basic values that would remain with them

all the days of their life.


He lived for Christ.

And now the Great Referee has blown the whistle.


______________ has stepped out of this life.

But I believe _______ would say, “The game’s not over.”


“I’ve just moved to the other end of the court.”

That’s what I want to talk about today: ______________ benefits at the other       

end of the court.


King David said, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his   benefits.”

_______________ 1st benefit is a new body.


Paul said, “We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle [this body]   

were dissolved, we have a building of God,”

“An house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (II Cor. 5:1).


Someone said the human body is the most wonderful machine ever built.

It is wonderful.


But it’s not a machine.

Our body starts as a one cell organism.


It grows into trillions of cells with bones, muscles and nerves;

A brain that remembers and thinks, a heart that pumps, lungs that breath, a    

stomach that digests food.


We can feel, hear, see, smell and taste;

Dribble a basketball, block shots. grab rebounds and pass off;


Run up and down the court;

We can switch from offense to defense.


The Psalmist rightly said, “We are fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psa.       


It’s difficult to imagine a body that’s better than the one we have.

But the Bible says ______________ will receive a better body, a new          

glorified, resurrected body;

A body like the one Jesus had when He was raised from the dead.


John said, “We know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him

(I Jn. 3:2).

Other passages show that Jesus could appear and disappear;


That people could recognize Him;

That His body was not subject to disease or sin.


That’s the way we will be.

Paul said, we will be “sown a natural body and raised a spiritual body” (I      

Cor. 15:50).


He said, “our mortality will put on immortality” (I Cor. 15:52).

We won’t sin.


We will have the spiritual understanding of Jesus;

Live in the presence of God.


We cannot imagine how wonderful that will be.

But that’s what the Bible says.


The resurrection of Jesus is the greatest news ever heard.

It’s also proof that God can raise ______________.


God’s people have believed this since the beginning of this Creation.

And Paul said if it’s not true, the disciples lied, and preaching and faith are    



_______________ 2nd benefit is a mansion in heaven.

Jesus said, “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I

would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”


“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you          

unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (Jn. 14:2-3).

Paul was talking about us when He said, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,   

neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath   

prepared for them that love him” (I Cor. 2:9).


He was talking about the heroes of faith when he said, God “hath prepared  

for them a city” (Heb. 11:16).

John said, “I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God         

out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev.     21:2).


So God has prepared a place for ______________.

I’ve been tempted to smile and say, “It will be a big gymnasium in the sky.”


“______________ gone to a big gymnasium in the sky.”

“Or it will be another Spring Hill School.”


“______________ gone to another Spring Hill School.”

But I honestly don’t know what _______ prepared place is like.


I just know that Jesus promised ______________ a mansion.

And it will be better than anything we can imagine.


_______________ 3rd benefit is attendance at the Marriage Supper of the    


I almost ignored this benefit because other benefits seem so much more        

important than this one.

But God put it in the Bible.

And that means it shouldn’t be ignored.


Jesus said He will eat with us in the Kingdom of God (Luke 22:16-18).

John said we will eat from the Tree of Life in the New Jerusalem (Rev. 2:7;    

22:2, 14).


He said, “Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the   

Lamb” (Rev. 19:9).

This tells us something about our heavenly body.


We’ll be like Jesus who ate fish and honeycomb with His Disciples after He  

was raised from the dead (Luke 21:41-43).

We will attend great buffets;


Great celebrations in heaven.

Jesus said, “many shall come from the east and west and shall sit down with

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Matt. 8:11).


______________ attended great buffets and celebrations at home, at Church        

and here at Spring Hill.

He will do it again in heaven.


He will sit down with his family;

Former Church members;


Some of his coaches and teammates in high school and college;

Some of his former teachers, students, basketball players, cafeteria workers  

and custodians.


I can almost hear ______________ talking about some of those basketball  


About some of his former basketball players and students.


I’ve heard him talk about some of you.

I don’t remember enough to repeat it here.


But he loved you.

And many of you have demonstrated your love for him.


Some may think heaven will be boring.

But I think it will be more exciting than a championship game in overtime;


More exciting than a last second shot from the far end of the court;

More exciting than anything we can imagine.


_______________ 4th benefit is a grand reunion with _______ loved ones.

Paul said, “the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the         

voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall

rise first:”


“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them          

in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air” (I Thess. 4:16-17).

He assured us that this is a revelation from God.


He said, “This we say unto you by the word of the Lord.”

Some people call this the Rapture.


Dr. Oliver B. Greene called it God’s “great elevator” to heaven.

The Church sings about it.


One song calls it “that great meeting in the air.”

Another song says:


          On that bright and cloudless morning when the dead in Christ shall rise,

          And the glory of His resurrection share;


          When the chosen ones shall gather to their home beyond the skies,

          And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.


Dr. J. Vernon McGee speculated that, “It will be a very orderly procedure.”

He said, “The dead in Christ will rise first.”


“Here comes Stephen out of the grave.”

“It may be that he will lead the procession since he was the first martyr.”


“Then there will be the apostles and all those millions who have laid down     

their lives for Jesus.”

“Finally, if we are alive at that time, we will bring up the rear of the parade.”


Shakespeare wrote about it:


He said,  So part we sadly in this troublous world”

“To meet with joy in sweet Jerusalem.”


A grand reunion is part of our Christian hope.

Death separates us, but our separation is just temporary.


_______________ 5th benefit is what some preachers call the “no-mores.”

John said, “there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither  

shall there be any more pain” (Rev. 21:4).


No more hunger, thirst, curse, and night.

Rev. Ron Ritchie said, “We mourn for our dear ones who have died because          

we loved them, and now we miss them.”


“But I am convinced from the Scriptures that if we were to ask them, ‘Do     

you want to come back and be with us again?’”

“They would say, ‘Are you serious?’”


“I like you.”

“But leave the King of kings and Lord of Lords,”


“Leave my new body,”

“Leave a place where I don’t cry or get sick,”


“Leave a place where I can eat and eat and eat and never have to go on a      


“Come back?”



I’m just speculating, but I believe ______________ would say, “Leave a     

place where there’s no more technical fouls and bad calls?”


“Leave a place where there’s no more unsportsman like conduct.”



“I love (name of community).”

“I love (name of Church).”


“I love you.”

“I want to see you again.”


“But I want you to make your salvation sure.”

“And join me in heaven when your time runs out.”


There’s a reason why I say this.

I’ve had Church members who had life after death experiences;


Church members who said they went to heaven.

And they didn’t want to come back.


_______________ 6th benefit is attendance at heavenly worship services.

________ enjoyed attending Church.


There’s no doubt that _______ attended some great worship services here

on earth.

But John describes a future heavenly worship service like this,


“I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all        

nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the        

throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in   

their hands;”

“And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon        

the throne, and unto the Lamb.”


“And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the       

four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped   God”

(Rev. 7:9-11).

This will be a service of praise and worship with God and Jesus occupying   

the throne.


The crowd will be too great to number.

Everyone will be standing.


The angels;

The four living creatures;


The twenty-four elders;

And the Tribulation Saints will be there.


This may well be the greatest worship service ever.

______________ will join in to glorify God the Father and our Lord Jesus.


_______________ 7th benefit is _______ heavenly reward.

John said, “I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are   

the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth:”


“Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours;”

“And their works do follow them” (Rev. 14:13).


Write it down.

The dead in Christ are blessed.


John didn’t say everyone is blessed.

He said the dead in Christ are blessed.


What the Christian has done for God will be remembered in heaven.

God will say, “Pay my servant _______ hire.”


Crowns will be handed out:

The Incorruptible Crown for those who master the old nature.


The Crown of Rejoicing for those who win souls for Christ.

The Crown of Life for those who endure temptation and are faithful unto      


The Crown of Righteousness for those who love the Second Coming.

And the Crown of Glory for faithful preachers and teachers of God’s Word.


I’m not the Judge.

But it seems to me that ______________ falls into several of these    



And one thing that I want you to remember is that there’s a Great        


The Great Scorekeeper is good and generous.


His scoreboard never fails.

His scoreboard is never wrong.


He knows the difference between air balls, free throws and three pointers.

He will reward His people, according to their works.


That’s what Jesus said.

“Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man         

according as his work shall be” (Rev. 22:13).


“Behold” means pay attention.

Jesus will reward His people.


What do we need to do?

We need to accept Jesus as our Saviour;


Those who are “in Christ” are those who have done that.

We need to be careful how we live (Eph. 5:15);


Make the most of our opportunities to serve God (Eph. 5:16);

Learn God’s will for our life;


Act on God’s will for our life (Eph. 5:17);

Be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18);


Be sincere when we worship (Eph. 5:19-20);

And serve God with enthusiasm (Eph. 6:5-8).


______________ did it.

And _______ would want all of us to do it.