The Day I Preached a Man into Heaven
(Mark died in prison - in part because he had cirrhosis of the liver. He’d lived hard. He drank too much, he did drugs, and he did many other things that we don’t identify with godliness. And yet at this funeral, I preached him into heaven. The following is that sermon)
The Bible is filled with stories of men and women who struggled in this life
Abraham, for example is described in Scripture as the ‘‘Father of those who believe.’’ The Jews regard him as the forefather of their nation, Christians regard him as the model of a man of true faith, and even Muslims regard him as a great man in their religion.
And yet, Abraham wasn’t always such a great man of faith. Abraham had a beautiful wife and in two separate situations he feared that the rulers of the land in which he was dwelling would kill him to take his wife away from him. So in his fear he told his wife to say that she was his sister… and thus endangered her life.
Then there was Jacob. Jacob was honored by God by being given a new name: Israel. And he had 12 sons who became the fathers of 12 tribes called the 12 tribes of Israel. You would think he was a great man of faith as well.
But he wasn’t. He was a liar. And he cheated his brother out of his inheritance. And because of his deception he had to run for his life and left home, never to return for the next 14 years of his life.
David was one of the greatest Kings of Israel. Scripture even tells us that he was a man after God’s own heart. He wrote the Psalms and figures powerfully in the prophecies about Jesus.
And yet David committed adultery with the wife of one of his best friends. And when she became pregnant and it was obvious he couldn’t hide his sin, he arranged to have his best friend placed at the front of the battle where he was killed.
In the New Testament, Peter was one of Jesus closest disciples. He preached the very first sermon that began the era of the Churc ...
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