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Sydney Green's funeral

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Sydney’s funeral

John 3:11-21

We all gather here today to mourn the passing of Sydney Green, to support and comfort Margaret , the family and all who knew him

But ultimately we come to seek God, who alone has the answer to such times as this

For God so loved….

For God-

we are talking here of the God of the Bible

We are living in days when people follow their own gods

Gods of their imagination

Gods that suit them

But to understand life we must begin with God- the God of this book

Don’t discard the Bible as irrelevant

This book has outlasted the test of time and will continue to do so

Just because it goes back a long way does not mean it is out-dated

The God of the Bible is the same God we worship today

It tells us of One who is merciful, who is just, true, holy, omnipotent (all powerful), omnipresent (everywhere all at the same time) and omniscient (knows all things)

So loved-

This is a love that is unique to God

It’s a love that loves the unlovable

 “        “            is unconditional

  “         “          does not expect anything in return

Whatever we might think of the way that Sid lived his life- the fact still remained that God loved him

And he loves each one of us in the very same way

At the end of the day none of our lives can reach God’s standard of purity

As Jesus put it- “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone”

The world-

This is not planet earth that he refers to but we who live on it

Whoever you are

Whatever your age

Whatever your background

Wherever you slept last night

God loves you

But what is God’s verdict of this world that He loves- see v19-20 “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed”

We are like rats released during daylight- we scurry for the shadows

Of course we feel uncomfortable when we realize that God knows all the evil thoughts we harbour

We may not put them into action but still they are there

The heart of the matter is the matter of the heart

Left to our own devices, mankind is doomed- v18 “whoever does not believe stands condemned already”

That He gave-

As much as we do not deserve it, God makes the first move toward us

Don’t think for one moment that God is a soft touch-

He is a righteous judge, justice had to be done

We all want justice- so how was sin to be punished

His one and only Son-

“God demonstrates His own love toward us in this- while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Rom5v8

Here we are “cowering in the darkness” as it were and yet God makes it possible for us to be forgiven

Illust- I was with Sydney two days before he slipped into unconsciousness

I read some verses to him that describes the Lord Jesus- “a bruised reed he shall not break and a smoking flax he will no snuff out”

How gentle and gracious the Lord is

There was Sydney looking very helpless and fragile curled up under the sheets, he had a bruise on his forehead - do you know what this means- “some one has fallen and you shouldn’t smoke”

Friends, I don’t know whether Sid trusted Christ for forgiveness before he died but I do know this-

That the promise of scripture is sure-

That whoever believes in Jesus shall not perish but have eternal life

Now I know if I were to ask you all- do you believe in Jesus, you would all say yes

What else can we say- the very change in our pockets testifies of Him

But God requires more than head knowledge, we are to love Him with all our hearts- does Jesus come first?

Illust- many miss heaven by about 18 inches!

The distance between your head and your heart

And so we commit Syd’s soul to Almighty God whom we know will judge rightly

Our closing hymn is Amazing Grace

This is John Newton’s personal testimony, even though he was a slave trader, a gambler, a drunkard and a blasphemer, God forgave him because he turned to Christ to save him.

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