Precious Death

Title: Precious Death

Bible Book: Psalms 116 : 15

Author: J. Mike Minnix

Subject: Death; Funeral; Eternal Life; Heaven


[Editor's Note: This sermon may be used in a normal worship service on the subject of death; however, what is being shared here is a message to be used at the funeral of a Christian - a believer.]

Precious Death

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor,

Psalm 116:15

"Precious in the sight of the Lord
Is the death of His saints." (NKJV)

I want to speak to you for a few moments today from Psalms 116:15, "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints." Isn't that an interesting statement? The Lord calls the death of a believer a "precious thing." We don't often think of death as precious - far from it - we look upon death as a horrible, frightening and awful thing.

Most people do all they can to keep death as far away as possible - from thought, conversation and experience. Yet, here we have a passage in the Bible that expresses that the death of a believer is a precious event in the sight of the Lord. This surely claims our attention, and causes us to ask how the death of a Christian is precious, prized or of great worth.

Granted, the Lord does not say that the death of an unsaved person is precious. Indeed, such a death is heartbreaking, since it means that a soul has gone out into eternity without God's grace and redemption. That is the saddest thought possible - an eternal separation from God. But, when a believer dies, it is a time for gladness in heaven and can bring about a spirit of gratitude to those left behind here on earth.

We are gathered here today to worship our Lord and to remember our dear fellow Christian and friend has passed from this life. Cerainly there are reasonsfor sadness today, but without question we have reason to be thankful. Let me share with you some grounds for thankfulness today and for viewing death as God does - as a precious thing for a person who knows Jesus as Lord and Savior.

I. Precious is the Life the Deceased was Given

Death is precious when we stop to thank God for the life that was given to the one we love. You see, life is a gift from God and the Bible teaches us that our days are in His hands. We can be grateful for the years of life that (name) was given.

The Scripture states in Psalm 90:10, 12,

"The length of our days is seventy years - or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."

It is said of Jeremiah that he was known by the Lord in his mother's womb. Indeed, our lives are gifts. We rejoice when a baby is born. Let us rejoice for the years and days God has given even when that life comes to an end on this earth.

Also, we ought to be ...

II. Precious is the Life the Deceased has Lived

Death is precious when we can thank God for the Life that (Name here) lived.

(Here is a good opportunity to extol the qualities of the Christian who has died. Doing proper work prior to the funeral helps in this regard. Talk to family, friends and fellow church members to get some beautiful, humorous and historical facts about this person. Remembering years of service and faithfulness to family, church, country, work and community is a wholesome thing in a funeral for a Christian. Share the gifts God gave this person and the way he or she used those gifts for God, family and others. It is okay to acknowledge that none of us is perfect - for the family and friends present will surely know some things about the person that were not best or praiseworthy. The point here is to make sure you are prepared before the service to have some personal information to share that draws out the personality and positive life of the deceased believer.)

Most importantly, we can be ...

III. Precious is the Life the Deceased has Now

Death is Precious when we can thank God for the life the deceased has NOW! In fact, that is exacytly where the word "precious" becomes absolutely clear in the scripture. You see, the word "precious" found in the Old Testament means "splendid, valuable, costly and glorious."

It is critical for us to remember the price paid for the heavenly home that (name) has right now. Jesus came to this earth, lived without sin, died on a cross with our sins upon and in His body, was buried and raised from the dead on the third day to grant those who believe upon Him and trust Him eternal life. The price paid for a home in heaven cost heaven the best heaven had.

Heaven is not the home of "good people" but it is the home of "redeemed people." Our dear friend who has departed from us placed complete and absolute faith in Christ alone. How precious is that! The Lord kept His promise to save all who believe on Him and follow Him. How precious is that! Our friend is with His Lord - how absolutely precious is that!

Now, how do we know that (name) is in heaven - is with the Lord? (This is the opportunity to talk about the salvation experience of the deceased. The preacher can elaborate on the way to salvation. Passages which promise heaven, such as Psalm 23:6, John 14:1- 6, and others can and should be shared. A call for those present, who are yet unsaved and have not trusted the Savior, to come to believing faith in Jesus before this day of death occurs can be presented at this time.)

Death is not the end. In fact, for the Christian's death is seen from heaven's viewpoint as precious because the Lord then opens up all that was promised and is provided through Jesus.

Throughout my ministry people have asked me the location of heaven. Early in my ministry, when I was in my early twenties, I simply said, "No one really knows the exact location." But within a couple of years the truth of heaven came to me clearly as I was reading the scripture one day. I was reading John 14:1-6 we I noticed exactly, precisely where heaven is.

Jesus said, "I go to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to where I am." Ah! There it is. HEAVEN IS WHERE JESUS IS - plain and simple! That is where our deceased familiy member and friend is now.

"To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" - 2 Corinthians 5:8. Who cares where the geological or cosmic location of heaven is. As long as we are with Jesus, heaven is a wonderful place.


No wonder God looks upon the death of a Christian as precious. All Jesus died to do for that person is completely realized when this body is laid aside and we are in the presence of our Lord.

Death is hard on those of us left behind. The Bible does not say that the death of a Christian is precious to us. So, our broken hearts and the multitude of tears we shed are natural. The hurt and loneliness we feel is okay - it would be strange if we didn't feel that. But comfort yourself in knowing where your beloved is - he or she is exactly now, at this moment, where Jesus is - and that is precious even to us.

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