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Sermon #2047 — Miscellaneous Sermons


            Title:               “The End Of All Men”


            Text:                Ecclesiastes 7:2-6

            Subject:         Death and Judgment

            Date:              Tuesday Morning — February 5, 2013

                                                            Funeral Sermon for Charlotte Lawson

                                                            Chattanooga, Tennessee

            Reading:       2 Corinthians 5:1-21



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. (Ecclesiastes 7:2-6)


This is the end of all men, you and me. Will you lay it to heart? Charlotte, your mother, your grandmother, great-grandmother, our dear friend, dearly beloved as she has been, is gone. Her body lies here before us dead; but she is gone. I cannot tell you how happy I am for her.

  • Charlotte trusted, loved, and worshipped God our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • She was loved and chosen of God from eternity.
  • She was redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, when he died in her place at Calvary.
  • At God’s appointed time of love, she was born again, called by God’s irresistible, free, distinguishing grace and given faith in Christ.
  • Like Enoch of old she walked with God and now the Lord has taken; but before he took her she had received testimony in her soul from God himself that she pleased God, pleased God in Christ, pleased God because Christ live and died for her.
  • Though we now commit her dead body to the earth until the resurrection, Charlotte Lawson is not dead. — God’s elect never die (John 11:25). — Today, Charlotte lives as she never lived before, as we cannot even imagine, in the perfection of heaven’s glory with Christ our Lord! — No Tears! — No Sorrow! — No Sin! — Beholding Christ face to face, completely satisfied with his likeness! — Charlotte and Ed are now more perfectly united in love than they ever imagined loving one another on this earth; for now they are perfectly united to, wed to, devoted to, and in love with their Redeemer!


There nothing I can say today that will, in any way affect this dear saint we have come here to honor. But I pray that God will give me your attention, and that he will graciously speak to your heart.


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 a word you cannot erase, a voice that you cannot silence, that 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.


With these facts in mind, I have watched a lot of people die, men and women, old and young, believers and unbelievers. Here’s a question I often ask 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?” I ask myself that question, 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. — Washed in the precious blood of Christ! — Robed in his righteousness!

·      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.”


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?


As I have already shown you, God requires 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.”


God 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 can and must 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 discouraged a miscarriage. Every sinner loved and chosen of God from eternity, every sinner for whom the Son of God shed his precious blood at Calvary shall be saved by God’s free grace.


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 very 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, and you cannot wrap yourself.

·      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?


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.”


If I would stand before God, accepted, I must stand before him with the righteousness of Christ.

·      Romans 5:12-18

·      2 Corinthians 5:21


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.

·      We must be made new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).


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.”


Illustration: “Help me! Help me! Somebody, please, help me!”


Application: Come to Christ. Come to Christ now. God help you to come, for Christ’s sake.





Don Fortner








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