About Jesus Steve Sweetman
The following is what I said at the graveside of my father-in-law.
Kenneth Borden Berndt
(1931 – 2010)
I'd like to take this opportunity to speak from my heart. On February 15th, 1970, I made the most important decision of my life. I handed my life over to the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, what I'm about to say is based on what I understand to be Biblical truth. Each one of us standing here should decide for himself what the Bible means to him. Is it authentic and historically accurate? Is it a credible document for modern people such as us? Most of all, do we accept it as God's divine message book to mankind, or do we reject it as being just another book? If we simply ignore the Bible, without giving it any serious thought, by default we reject it. There has been no other book in human history that has influenced humanity more than the Bible. For this reason alone, it's only logical and rational for any reasonable person to seriously consider what the Bible means to him.
What does the Bible say about the reason why we stand here today? The Genesis account states that God spoke all things into existence. When it came to human life, God formed man from the dust of the earth. (Genesis 1:26) Both the name "Adam" and the noun "man" that appear in Genesis are translated from the Hebrew word "adam", which means red, as in "red dust or dirt". Concerning this dust, the Bible states that "from dust we were created, and to dust we will return." (Genesis 3:19 and Psalm 104:29) This is clearly evident as we view Ken's ashes today.
In Genesis 2:7 we learn that God breathed into this formation of red dust or dirt, making it a "living soul", or, an "eternal spirit". You and I are spiritual beings, living in a body made from dust. Even though our bodies return to dust, we continue to live. (Ecclesiastics 12:7)
By God's designed, since Adam and Eve disobeyed Him all material things decay and eventually die. The scientific term for this is "entropy". Our bodies are in the process of decay as I speak. At some point our bodies will cease to be, but we will continue to exist. According to the Bible, there are only two places where we will eventually spend eternity. I know where Ken presently resides. He is in the immediate presence of God.
The reason why I know Ken is in Heaven is because in recent years he came to grips with his eternal destiny. He made things right with Jesus by obeying the Biblical mandate to repent and believe. This means he stopped being master of his own life. He subsequently handed his life over to Jesus in obedience to Him. This he made clear to Dianne.
We don't have to concern ourselves with Ken's eternal existence today. We do, however, have to concern ourselves with our own eternal existence. Serious thought needs to be given about what the Bible says concerning these things. Our day will come, as Ken's day has already come. At that point, what lies beyond the grave will be made clear to each one of us. Where will you spend eternity? Many people believe this is all a fairy tale, a long lost hope from a past age, or simply a matter of blind faith. For many logical and rational reasons, I'm convinced it's no fairy tale. For me, it's certainly not blind faith, or a leap away from logic.
I am convinced beyond any doubt that I will see Ken again, because I will be where he presently is. My most fervent prayer, which I pray many times a day, is for my loved-ones to hand their lives over to the Lord Jesus Christ. There is nothing else I want more in life than to see all my family in Heaven. That will only happen if those in my family give their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ in repentance and faith. I pray that when my remains lie before you, you will look down at them and say, "I will see you again in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Prayer Of Committal
"Lord Jesus, we now lay these ashes to rest in the ground. As your Word states, Ken's body has now returned to dust, but Ken himself has returned to you. We also know that because your body was raised from death into a new eternal body, so will Ken's body be raised into something new and wonderful on that day when you return to earth to make all things new. Although there is sadness in our hearts because Ken has left us, we are also eternally thankful that you have prepared a place of peace and joy for Ken, as well as for us."
In the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, we now lay these ashes to rest.
"For the Lord Himself will come down from Heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever." - 1 Thessalonians 4:16 - 17