Faithlife Sermons

A Saint's Death

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So much has been said about Sydney and how could we sum up the man’s life in a few minutes. His life was a testamnet to God’s grecae, mercy and the life changing power of the gospel.
God has many things to say to say about death in general. But he has a few choice words aboout the death of one of his children.
Psalm 116:15 ESV
15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
I want you to read this and understand this powerful sentence. To God, when one of His saints passes from this life God sees it as something precious and special.
Quite different from the way we see it. We see it as sad, tradgic, heartbreaking. But God sees it as precious and wonderful, and i want you all to know why.
Why is Sydney’s death preciouys in the sight of God?

1: Because it means that Sydney has recieved the promise.

James 1:12 ESV
12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
Jesus said:
Matthew 24:13 ESV
13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Sydney’s faith was strong, steadfast and endured right to the very end. Not many people do.
Many are called but few are chosen. Like the parable of the sower, some seed gets chocked by lifes worries, some faith gets burned away by the heat of persecution, some gets snatched away by the evil one before it even find the soil. But some land on good soil, and produce a harvest.
Sydney has his share of worries, but his faith endured. Sydney suffered terrible persecution (by many who were jelous of God’s grace and favor on n old greyville ducktail), but his faith was steadfast.
And up to the very end his Faith in Jesus was clearly manifet - and now, having endured to the end Sydney has recieved the promise God made to all whos faith would endure.
Today you will be with me in Paradice.

2: It is precious because Sydney’s battle is over.

Not only his battle with cancer, but his spiritual battle against the World, the flesh and the Devil.
2 Timothy 4:7–8 ESV
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up 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 loved his appearing.
Looking back at the 12+ years that i have known him and the 7 years that he serve3d as a leader and pillar of UFGC, this verse rings true for my brother.
Sydney was always a fighter. In his yonger days as a boxer he knocked a few teeth out. Even in his 70’s one day after church a poor soul made the mistake of trying to rob sydney of his phone. Well the would be robber never saw that hard, calloused hand coming towards his face with the force of a mountan slide and Sydney knocked him out cold, that his buddies had to drag him into the car before they made their getaway.
But when Sydney discovered that he could not fight against God and waved the white flag of surreneder and gave his life to Jesus, the kingdom of Heaven gained one heck of a fighter.
There is not a single meber of UFGC that Sydney did not love, did not pray for. He stopped fighting with his fists and God taught him to fight on his kneees in prayer.
The race has not been easy for Sydney.
He faced many obsticals on his way. From Alcholalism to drug abuse and everything in between. But God delivered him out of them all.
Sydney’s fight is now finally over, he won his race.
Like a policeman who manadges to survive to retirement is a wonderful and precious thing, so to, Sydney can retire and finally get some rest, and that is precious.

3: It is precious because Sydney is finally in the presence of his Savior Jesus.

Jesus said:
John 14:1–4 ESV
1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”
Sydney is in the place prepared for him by Jesus. A place so wonderful as the finger of God has wiped away every tear.
Sydney always bragged to me about getting to Heaven first and at every funeral he expressed his longing desire to be in Heaven.
2 Corinthians 5:8 ESV
8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
He is in a place with no pain, sadness, suffering to hurt. A place where the streets are paved in gold. He crossed the river of death and found the beautiful shores of Heaven waiting for him.
And that is precious.
When Jesus told his disciples about Heaven Thomas had a question.
John 14:5 ESV
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”
Here is a rephrase of Thmoa’s question: If you were to die today, would you be good enough togo to Heaven?
Test - 10 commandments.
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