Sermon #1632                                                         Miscellaneous Sermons


      Title:                       “The End Of All Men”

      Text:                       Ecclesiastes 7:2-6

      Subject:      Death and Judgment

      Date:                      Tuesday Morning – October 4, 2005


Funeral Sermon for Eugene Francis Montgomery

Lancaster, Kentucky




Solomon was a man of great, God-given wisdom. Writing by divine inspiration, he gave us much wise counsel in the Book of Proverbs and in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Listen to this word of wisdom found in Ecclesiastes 7:2-6.


2.   It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. 

3.   Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. 

4.   The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. 

5.   It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools. 

6.   For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.


We have come here today to pay our last respects to Eugene Francis Montgomery. Francis died at his home in LaGrange, GA last Thursday. Born June 23, 1934, he was 71 years old. Francis was the son of Hubert and Louise Montgomery, who are now in Glory, with the Lord Jesus Christ, the Redeemer they worshipped. He was a retired mechanic, and is survived by…


·         1 Son— Rodney Eugene Montgomery of LaGrange, GA.

·         3 Brothers — Kenneth Montgomery and his wife Barbara, Dwight Montgomery and his wife Della of Lancaster, and Pastor Maurice Montgomery and his wife Sue of Madisonville, KY.

·         2 Sisters — Joyce Montgomery and Judy Estes and her husband Bobbie of Lancaster.

·         2 Grandchildren


Francis is now gone to eternity. His body lies here before us, and will soon be forever buried out of our sight; but his immortal soul has passed from this world in which all things are temporal to that world in which all things are eternal. And this is the end of all men, you and me. Soon, you and I will also leave this world to meet the holy Lord God in eternity. Will you lay it to heart?


I did not know Francis well. When he was in this area, visiting his family, he usually attended our worship services. I preached the gospel to him on numerous occasions. We had only a few, brief opportunities to talk. But I liked the man; and, I think, he like me as well. But you all knew him far better than I. But, now, your brother, your uncle, our friend is gone. His body lies here before us dead; but he is gone. There nothing I can say today that will, in any way affect him. But I pray that God will give me your attention, and that he will graciously speak to your heart this day by his Holy Spirit through his Word.


Oh, may God almighty, whose wrath we deserve, have mercy upon your soul, and give you life and faith in Christ! I pray that God will cause you to lay to heart what you see and hear today, for the glory of Christ and the salvation of your immortal soul.


·         These bodies must die, decay, and rot in the ground. This is the result of sin. Because we are all sinners, we all must die. “The wages of sin is death.” But death does not end all.


·         After death, we must meet God (Infinitely Holy! — Inflexibly Just! — Inconceivably Pure! — That great and glorious Lord God who is a consuming fire, whom no man hath seen, nor can see!) in judgment.


(Hebrews 9:27)  “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”


We are all immortal souls. (We have bodies. But our bodies are just tents, outward shells, temporary housings for our immortal souls. Man is a living, undying, immortal soul.) We must spend eternity somewhere, either in the bliss and glory of everlasting life, with God in heaven, or in the torments of the damned, forever enduring the second death in separation from God in hell. Will you lay this to heart?


You may try to convince yourself that man dies like a dog, and that is the end of things; but you know better. In the deep recesses of your heart, in your conscience, God has inscribed words you cannot erase, a voice that you cannot silence, constantly makes you uneasy. That word is – “Righteousness! —Judgment! — Eternity!” Being the sinner you are, your conscience torments you with these facts, and will continue to do so until you find some way to answer the demands of God’s holy law inscribed upon your heart.


I try to live with these facts always before my mind. Ever since Judy called last week and asked me to preach her brother’s funeral, I have been asking myself – “Don, how will it be for you, when you are on your deathbed, when your body is trembling, gasping for breath, when the cold sweat of death is on your brow, when you are compelled to face the fact that soon you must meet God?” The fact is, these are questions I ask myself, with all the honesty my depraved heart can muster, continually. This is the calm, confident answer of my soul…


My sin, (Oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!)

My sin, not in part but the whole,

Is nailed to the cross the cross and I bear it no more!

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! It is well with my soul!


Perhaps you say, “Pastor, how can you be sure? How can you know that when you meet God in judgment, he will smile upon you and accept you? How can you be certain that you will die in peace?

·         I’ve been there. I know from experience what it is to lie on a hospital bed in the immediate prospect of death.

·         I stand before God right now in peace.

·         I know the answers to three questions every sinner’s conscience asks. They are questions that few ever really face, questions which very few deal with honestly, but questions which will continually haunt your soul until they are answered satisfactorily, answered to the satisfaction of your own conscience by God the Holy Spirit.


These three questions must be answered before you will ever be able to live and die in peace. They can be answered only by the Word of God. So I ask your attention for a few minutes, as I show you what the questions are and what their answers are in the Book of God.


I.     The first question that must be answered is this – How good do I have to be to go to heaven?


What does God say in his Word? How good does a person have to be to be accepted of God?


(Genesis 17:1)  “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.”


(Leviticus 20:7)  “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.”


(Leviticus 22:21)  “And whosoever offereth a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD to accomplish his vow, or a freewill offering in beeves or sheep, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein.”


(Psalms 24:3-4)  “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.”


(Matthew 5:20)  “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”


(1 Peter 1:15-16)  “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”


(Revelation 21:27)  “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”


The holy Lord God demands perfect holiness, perfect righteousness. He cannot and will not accept less. God will never accept the best I can do. He will not, and in his strict holiness, justice, and truth, he cannot accept anything less that absolute perfection, righteousness, and holiness. If there is any spot of sin found in me, any failure in any point, any lack of perfection, any blemish of any kind, I must be consumed in the fire of his absolute light and infinite, perfect holiness. But we are sinners. – Sinners by nature. – Sinners by choice. Sinners by practice. Sinners at heart. And sinners in deed.


II.  That being the case, a second question must be answered. – What does this great and glorious, holy Lord God require of me?


What does God require of man?


A.  As I have just stated, God requires righteousness, perfect righteousness.


(Matthew 5:20)  “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”


B.  He also requires satisfaction.


The holy Lord God, that God who revealed himself to Moses, that God before whom Isaiah trembled, that God who killed his Son at Calvary, the one true and living God is the God of justice and truth, who declares, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die…I will by no means clear the guilty…The wages of sin is death.”


Does this mean we are all without hope? Does this mean we must all perish in hell, under the wrath of God forever. Oh, no! Thank God, it does not. There is a great multitude of sinners, chosen of God from eternity, who must and shall be saved. When justice called, mercy answered and God, because he is gracious, said, with regard to his elect, “Deliver him from going down to the pit: for I have found a ransom!”


I know, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that since Christ died, since he paid the ransom price for many, since he obtained eternal redemption for somebody, since he put away somebody’s sin by the sacrifice of himself, since he shed his blood to justify and save somebody, then all for whom he died must and shall be saved.


If Jesus Christ is God, and he is, then, as Isaiah said of him, — He shall not fail!” Those sinners Christ came to save shall be saved. The purpose of God cannot be frustrated. The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ shall never be discovered a miscarriage.


Yet, one question remains. My conscience still requires an answer to this third question…


III. How can sinners stand before this great Lord God perfectly holy, completely righteous, without any sin, without any blame, without any fault, without any guilt, without any debt to be paid? How can I be justified before God?


(Job 25:4-6)  “How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman? 5 Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight. 6 How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?”


I know that most of you are religious. Most of you have made a profession of faith. I presume that many of you go to church regularly and try to do good. But I fear for your souls. I have no doubt that many of you are described by the prophet Isaiah.


·         You’ve made a covenant with death and with hell; but your covenant will soon be dissolved.

·         You have a religious bed of ease; but it is too short, and you cannot stretch yourself upon it.

·         You have some religious covers to wrap yourself in; but the cover is too narrow.

·         You have chosen the wide gate and are walking in the broad road of free will, works religion; and the end of that road is death.


(Proverbs 16:25)  “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”


·         I know you have a refuge; but, if it is a refuge of your making, it is a refuge of lies, which will soon be dissolved.


How can a man be just with God? How can I obtain God’s salvation?


·         Not By Something I Do – Feel – or Experience.

·         Salvation is the free gift, work, and operation of God. If I have eternal life, it must be given to me and wrought in me by the irresistible, almighty grace and power of God. – “Salvation is of the Lord!”

·         Yet, even God, if he would save, must save in a manner consistent with his own character. God cannot and will not violate his character. – What does that mean?


A.  If I am to be saved, I must be saved by blood atonement. Justice must be satisfied.


The only way justice could ever be satisfied is by the infinitely meritorious, effectual, sin-atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, the God-man, as the sinners’ Substitute. Thanks be unto God, justice has been satisfied!


Illustration: “Why did Jesus have to die?”


(Isaiah 53:10-11)  “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.”


(Romans 3:24-26)  “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”


(2 Corinthians 5:21  “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”


(Galatians 3:13)  “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.”


(Hebrews 9:12)  “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”


B.  If I would stand before God, accepted, I must stand before him robed in the imputed righteousness of Christ.


·         Romans 5:12-18

·         2 Corinthians 5:21


C. If we would be saved, we must have yet another work performed for us and in us by the grace of God. We must have the righteousness of Christ imparted to us in the new birth.


·         “Ye must be born again.”

·         We must be made partakers of the divine nature.


D. If I would be saved, I must come to God as a guilty, helpless, doomed, damned sinner, trusting the Lord Jesus Christ alone as my Savior.


It is written, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” — “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” — “He that believeth on the Son of God hath everlasting life.”


Perhaps you ask, “But, pastor, how can I know if I am one of God’s elect? How can I know that Christ died for me? How can I be sure that God has called me? How can I know whether or not I was predestinated to be saved?”


·         If you choose Christ, your choice of him is proof that he chose you.

·         If you come to Christ in faith, your coming to him is evidence that he has come to you in grace.

·         If you call on him, he has called you.

·         If you have faith, he gave you faith.

·         If you get God’s salvation, it is because “God hath, from the beginning chosen you to salvation,”  — “In love predestinated you unto the adoption of children, by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.”


A Solemn Question


Now, let me ask you one more question, a solemn, sobering, serious question. It is a question you might prefer to avoid, but one you cannot avoid. You may suppress it, and postpone dealing with it; but you cannot avoid it. – Are you afraid to die?


I have watched a lot of men die, some young and some old, some believers and some infidels, some with no hope, some with a false hope, and some with a good hope. I have seen some die in utter terror and some with great comfort, some in brazen blasphemy and defiance and some with peace and joy. How will it be for you, when you come to death’s chilly waters?


I know a good many men and women who do everything they can to avoid visiting a rest home, a hospital, or a funeral parlor. They simply cannot face the fact that they, too, must soon die. Even now, the fear of death terrorizes them. I ask of you, what Jeremiah asked long ago. – If sickness and death torment you now, “then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?” Are you afraid to die?


A Reasonable Fear


The fear of death is a very natural thing to sinful men. And, the fact is — If you are without Christ, you have reason to be afraid. “It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment” (Heb. 2:15). Soon you and I must die. Long ago, a dying man requested that these words be inscribed upon his tombstone. He wanted all who passed by his grave to be reminded of the brevity of life and the certainty of death. We would be wise to lay them to heart.


“Please view my grave as you pass by,

For as you are so once was I,

And as I am soon you must be,

So make your plans to follow me.”


Because of your sin and guilt before God, you must die. But death will not end your existence. You will stand before a holy, just, and righteous God in judgment. And you will reap the exact penalty due your sin, the infinite, eternal wrath of God in hell (2 Cor. 5:10-11; Rev. 20:11-15). This is “the second death,” the everlasting death of your soul in hell. It is a torturous death that never dies!


A Blessed Deliverance


For the believer things are far different. In Hebrews 2:14-15 the Holy Spirit tells us that one great purpose of our Savior’s incarnation and death was that he might destroy Satan and deliver his elect from the fear of death. The Lord Jesus Christ came into this world for this purpose, that he might “deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”


You and I, who are washed in the blood of Christ and living by faith in him, should have no fear of death. Certainly, we must not expect to have dying grace until our time to die has come. Yet, we ought not live out our days on this earth clinging to the vanity of mortality and fearing its end. Christ came not only to deliver us from death, but from the very fear of death. He does so by effectually teaching us the gospel, giving us the blessed confidence of faith in himself as our all-sufficient Savior. Are you afraid to die?


Illustration: “Help me! Help me! Won’t

 somebody, please, help me!”


Application: Come to Christ. He is able to save to the uttermost all who come to God by him. Come to Christ now. God help you to come, for Christ’s sake. He has promised, “Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.