Good morning. My name is Shaun LePage and I am the pastor of Community Bible Church in Lawrence. I did not know Mr. Hards. Shannon—his son—asked me to come and officiate this morning. I am honored to do so. But, as Shannon told me about his father, I had to wonder what James would think of me being here. If someone would have asked him before he died whether or not a preacher should come and talk, I have a feeling he would have said absolutely not. But, it is my belief that if we could ask him right now, he would say “Absolutely yes! Let that guy talk for as long as he wants!”
Are you shaking your head? Did you just whisper to the person next to you, “No way!”?
Let me explain. I’ll try to be brief.
Out of every 100 humans on this planet, 100 will die. We don’t usually know when. We don’t usually know how. The one thing we are sure of is that the mortality rate among human beings is 100%. You and I have this certainty in common. Man has always struggled with the mystery of death. What happens when we die? Will I cease to exist or will I live on in some other place? Will I come back in some other form—a toad, a cow, the owner of the Chiefs? Every culture. Every people-group on the planet has struggled with these questions. After studying the Christian Bible for over 25 years now, I am satisfied that the answers to all of our questions are found there. I’d like to share a few quick observations with you. I don’t intend to force my opinions on you. I promise not to pound this pulpit a single time. I simply want to share with you what I have found in this book. If I am only giving you my opinions, then your opinion is as good as mine. But if this book is truly from God—as it claims—then God Himself has said a great deal about death and life after death. So, here are a few things the Bible says about death:
Everybody dies. I only bring this one up because its true and we know it.
First, In fact, the wise king, Solomon, said if my guess is he’d probably think it was ridiculous to have a preacher he didn’t know stand up here and talk at his funeral.
When we step back and look at some of the things we do, they can seem a little odd. Funerals—in my opinion—can be some of the oddest things we do.
Funeral in other countries/cultures
I’m not going to insult your intelligence…I think we all know James would probably rather hear a really good “man walks into a bar” joke than a sermon.