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Life After Death

Life After Death

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Published by David Salazar
Life After Death
How to Deal with Suffering, Dying, and Death within Your Ministry
Jim Pile
Associate Pastor, Pastoral Care Ministries
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15).
Life After Death
How to Deal with Suffering, Dying, and Death within Your Ministry
Jim Pile
Associate Pastor, Pastoral Care Ministries
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15).

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Published by: David Salazar on Jan 14, 2009
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Life After Death
How to Deal with Suffering, Dying, and Death within Your Ministry
Jim Pile
 Associate Pastor, Pastoral Care Ministries
 
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15).
INTRODUCTIONI.
 
PREPARATION FOR DEATH
Help Christians to prepare for life after death:SpirituallyThe death of a child of God:
It is precious in the sight of the Lord (Ps. 116:15).
It is to go to paradise at once (Luke 23:43).
It is to go to the Father’s house (John 14:2).
It is to be with Christ (Phil. 1:23).
It is to be at home with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8).
It is gain (Phil. 1:21).
It is far better (Phil. 1:23).MateriallyHelp them get their affairs in order.
II.
 
THE PLACE FOR GRIEF
Grief is a proper expression of emotion over a life-shaking loss. It is the expression of a painful or  profound sorrow, sorrow over a loss that hurts!It is not wrong to express real sorrow at the loss of fellowship with loved oneswho have died, and sorrow also for the suffering and hardship that they mayhave gone through prior to death. Sometimes Christians think it shows lack of faith if they mourn deeply for a brother or sister Christian who has died. ButScripture does not support that view, because when Stephen was stoned, we readthat ‘Devout men buried Stephen,
and made great lamentation over him’ 
(Acts8:2)…Their sorrow showed the genuine grief that they felt at the loss of fellowship with someone whom they loved, and it was not wrong to express thissorrow—it was right. Even Jesus, at the tomb of Lazarus, ‘wept’ (John 11:35),experiencing sorrow at the fact that Lazarus had died, that his sisters and otherswere experiencing such grief, and also, no doubt, at the fact that there was death
 
 
2in the world at all, for ultimately it is unnatural and ought not to be in a worldcreated by God.
1
 Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus (John 11:35). As Mary and Martha’s sympathetic high priest, Heunderstood the pain and sorrow that they were experiencing. As Isaiah the prophet foretold, “He was aman of sorrows, and acquainted with grief…” (Isaiah 53:3).First Thessalonians 4:13 indicates the propriety of grief for the Christian, “But we do not want you to beuninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have nohope.”
III.
 
PRACTICES IN BIBLICAL TIMES
Mourning was expressed by:-
 
Weeping (John 11:33-35)-
 
Loud lamentation (Jer. 9:17-18)-
 
The rending of clothes (Gen. 37:34; 2 Sam. 1:11, 3:31)-
 
Wearing sackcloth (Gen. 37:34; Ps. 35:13)-
 
Sprinkling dust or ashes on the person (2 Sam. 13:19; Jer. 6:26; Job 2:12)-
 
Shaving the head (Jer. 16:7b; Job 1:20)-
 
Fasting (2 Sam. 1:12)-
 
Cutting the flesh (Jer. 16:6-7) and laying on the ground (2 Sam. 12:16; 13:31)-
 
In the later times we find a class of mourners who could be hired to grieve by their loudlamentation the external tokens of sorrow (2 Chron. 35:25; Jer. 9:17; see also Matt. 9:23)
JEREMIAH 9:17-18
 —“Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Consider and call for the mourning women,that they may come; And send for the wailing women, that they may come! And let them make haste,and take up a wailing for us, That our eyes may shed tears, And our eyelids flow with water.’”The period of mourning for the dead varied in biblical times according to the custom of the particular nation. For example, the Israelites typically mourned for seven days. Genesis 50:10 tells us Josephand his family mourned for Jacob seven days once they returned to Canaan from Egypt (Genesis50:10). While Joseph and his family were still in Egypt the mourning period was seventy daysaccording to Egyptian custom (Genesis 50:3). For Aaron (Numbers 20:29) and Moses (Deut. 34:8) itwas thirty days, and for Saul, seven days (1 Sam. 31:13).
IV.
 
PRACTICAL TIPS AT THE TIME OF DEATH
1.
 
Be with the family or get to them ASAP.2.
 
Spend time with them (Rom. 12:15).-
 
They may be in shock.-
 
Comfort them.
1
Wayne Grudem,
Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine
(Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House,1994), p. 814.
 
 
 
3-
 
Give direction when needed.3.
 
Avoid trite clichés and answers:-
 
“Well, this is the Lord’s will!”-
 
“You’re taking this too hard.”-
 
“Just think of the blessings you still have.”-
 
“I know what you are going through.”4.
 
When necessary, help in the days ahead to make funeral arrangements.
V.
 
PURPOSES OF FUNERALS
1.
 
Funerals allow people to grieve together.2.
 
Funerals provide an opportunity to express Christian love and support.3.
 
Funerals help people to accept the loss.4.
 
Funerals allow people the opportunity to remember the highlights of a person’s life.5.
 
Funerals are a great opportunity to share the hope of the gospel.
VI.
 
ON THE DAY OF THE SERVICE (WHEN THE SERVICE IS AT THE FUNERAL HOME)
Arrive at least 20-30 minutes before the service is scheduled to begin.Check in with the funeral director to receive clergy card and honorarium.Ask the funeral director if there are any last-minute changes.Give copies of the order of service to the funeral director.Give a copy of the order of service to the organist or piano player and review it with them.Greet the family.Comfort them.Ask them if there is anything to be added to the service.View the body with the family, when appropriate.Pray with them, if possible.Ask the family if they have any last-minute questions.Sign the guestbook.If possible, spend some quiet time in an office alone to pray and review the service.Perform the service. (See VII. below for guidelines.)

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