Funeral  For A Suicide


Psa. 130:1-2                   

Psa. 91:1-4

Heb. 4:14-16

Psa. 23



I want to begin with a couple of things about the way ____________ died.

First, I entered the ministry in 1979.



I was very green.

I didn’t know much about a lot of things.



And I still don’t.

But one thing that I learned is that there’s a lot of things worse than death.



Lot’s of people have told me that they were ready to go.

Some were in a nursing home.



Some were very sick.

Some had emotional problems that hurt as much as the physical pain of a     

terrible disease.



I’ve looked at their situation and said I don’t blame them for feeling the way

they do.

I thought about Paul.



He said, “For me to die is gain.”

His situation was not good.



Death was his personal preference.

But he pushed aside his personal preference out of consideration for others.



I don’t recommend taking one’s own life.

But I’ve known several GOOD people who did that.



Were they out of their mind?

I don’t think so.



Were they confused at the moment?




My first funeral was a good Church member who took his own life.

He was very sick.



He had no quality of life.

He worried about what his illness was doing to his family.



I don’t know.

But I think his love for others drove him to do what he did.



Second, I can’t remember.

But when I preached that man’s funeral, I think I ignored the way he died.



I was uneasy talking about it.

I didn’t want to hurt the family.



I may mishandle this today.

But I’m older and wiser and there’s something I want to say.



Some people have THE MISTAKEN IDEA that a person won’t go to heaven,        

if they take their own life.

Notice, that I said the mistaken idea.

Paul said, “I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities,

 nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,”

“Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us    

from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-       39).



Unbelief is the only unforgivable sin.

How a Christian dies doesn’t cancel that Christian’s confession of faith in     




It doesn’t separate that Christian from the love of God.

Nothing can separate us from the love of God.



Unbelief is the only sin that the blood of Jesus can’t cleanse;

The only sin that the heart of God can’t forgive.



______________ eternity didn’t hinge on this one single act.

His faith, and all of the good things he did, weren’t wiped out by one mistake.



What advice can I give you?

1st---Look to God for strength.



If you try to handle this without God, you’ll leave out your greatest and most         

important source of help.

Be like the Psalmist who said, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my         




“My God and My Strength in whom I will trust.”

I want us to consider something Jesus said,




“I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were    

dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).

“I am.”



That’s the name of God.

He told Moses, “I am that I am.”



“I am” means God exists.

God is real.



“I am” is a name that Jesus used dozens of times.

But it’s more than something He called Himself.



Because after He said “I am,” He raised Lazarus from the dead.

Jesus also said, “he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he    




“He that believeth in me.”

______________ believed in Jesus.



“Though he were dead, yet shall he live.”

______________ will be raised from the dead.



The Living Bible says, “even though he dies like anyone else, he shall live      


Jesus made no exceptions.



He placed no conditions on how we die.

The time will come when ______________ will literally be raised from the   



God didn’t approve of the way he died.

But that didn’t cancel out ______________ security as a believer.



It didn’t cancel out his good works;

His hope beyond the grave;



The promises God made to him.

God’s won’t go back on those promises.



God’s promises to us don’t depend upon our good works.

They depend upon God’s goodness, grace, mercy, righteousness and honesty.



So trust God.

And expect Him to help you.



2nd---Look to your family for strength.

Love each other.



Hug each other.

Cry on each others shoulders.



Share the strength YOU have with others in your family.

John said, “let us love one another:”



“For love is of God;”

“And every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.”



“He that loveth not knoweth not God;”

“For God is love.”


“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his        

only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.”

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son         

to be the propitiation for our sins.”



“Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another” (I Jn. 4:7-  11).

Life is short.



Love each other.

If you don’t, you’re not doing the will of God.



3rd---Look to your friends for strength.

Many people want to help you.



Many have sent flowers;

Many have come to express sympathy and understanding.



Let your Church help you.

We love you.



We’re praying for you.

That’s one of the reasons why the Church is here.



And our hearts go out to you.

4th---Be thankful for the _______ years that ______________ lived.



Lots of people don’t live that long.

Some who do are sick.



Some can’t get out and go.

Some can’t hold a job.



______________ could.

Be thankful for his life.



He made a confession of faith in Jesus.

He attended Church.



He lived right.

Be thankful for that.



Several Church members have told me what a nice guy ______________     was.

He was good to people.



Be thankful for that.

He had a wonderful little boy.



Be thankful for that.

By the way, did you ever notice how _________ took care of __________.



He brought him to MYF at Brazil last Sunday night.

But he didn’t just let him out of his vehicle and drive on.



He got out and walked him inside the Church.

He came back and got him.




But he didn’t sit outside and wait on him.

He came in and walked him out to his van.



Be thankful for that.

One of his last acts was to take his son to Church.



Don’t tell me one mistake wipes that out.

I’ll never believe it.



5th---We didn’t want to give ______________ up, but understand that losing        

him is not all bad.

The Bible teaches that good can come from it.



Paul said, “It’s appointed unto man once to die.”

Solomon said, “There’s a time to be born and a time to die.”



Both men were saying that death is a part of God’s plan.

We know that.



So we need to make the most of our lives;

To get our priorities straight.



If ______________ death can cause just one person to live better,

Just one person to draw closer to God,



Just one person to accept Jesus Christ,

Then, his death wasn’t in vain.



Abe Vanderpoi asked a pastor’s wife, “What put you in that wheelchair?”

She replied, “I had cancer in my leg.”

“And the doctors had to take it to save my life.”

Losing her leg was awful.



But losing her leg saved her life.

Losing ______________ was awful.



But if losing ______________ causes just one person to live better, good has       

come from it.

Paul said, “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who

are the called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).



When President Kennedy was assassinated, Governor John Connally and his          

wife were riding in the front of the limousine.

Governor Connally said, “We could have died that day.”



“As far as my wife and I are concerned, it brought into sharper focus what’s

really important in life.”

President Kennedy’s death was a bad thing.



But good came from it.

It made the Connallys understand the importance of life;



The importance of family;

The importance of loving each other;



The importance of salvation;

The importance of life beyond the grave.



6th---Let ______________ death cause you to pull together.

Families get separated;


Torn apart.

The death of a loved one reminds us that we won’t always be together.



We need to make life better for each other while we can.

Today, someone might say, “______________ made a mistake.”



Yes, we all make mistakes.

We can’t help ________________.



But we can help each other.

We want God to overlook our mistakes.



We should overlook each others mistakes;

Forgive each other.



I believe ______________ would want us to do that.

7th---Let ______________ death increase your faith and worship.



God’s more than Someone to go to in a crisis.

He deserves more than our prayers when things are going bad.



James said, “Draw nigh unto God and He will draw nigh unto you.”

That’s an invitation to a relationship with God;



An invitation to receive all of the benefits of an all-knowing, all-loving God.

The day will come when God will call us away.



We need to be ready to go.

James said, “Go to now, ye that say, today or tomorrow we will go into

          such a city and continue there a year and buy and sell and get gain;

“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow;”

“For what is your life?”



“It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away.”

“For that, ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live and do this or that.”



We’re not promised a tomorrow, a next week or a next year.

The best thing we can do while we’re still alive is to make things right with    

God through Jesus.



That’s a good way to turn ______________ death into a victory.

8th---Don’t blame yourself.



It’s easy to say, “If I had been there, things would be different.”

“If I had said this.”



“If I had done that.”

______________ was _____ years old.



He was old enough to run his life.

He did.



He got confused.

He made a bad decision.



We’ve all done that.

Just trust God to bring good out of this.





I want to close with a story (Difficult Funeral Services by James L.     


As far as I know, it’s a true story.



A famous man terminated his life.

Everyone was shocked.



His family planned a short funeral.

A prayer, just a little music, and some Scripture.



That’s all.

The service was almost over when the man's daughter stood up.



She said, “My dad was a good man.”

“He was good to us.”



“He was good to a lot of people.”

“We should never forget that.”



“It is true that dad got depressed.”

“True that he lost his zeal for life.”



“But I want to ask you to remember his good qualities.”

“I want to ask you to pray for his family.”



“I want to ask you for your understanding and love.”

“And I want to ask God for His mercy for my dad.”



“But remember, please, dad was a good man.”

We’ve gathered here to honor the memory of _______________________.

I ask you to remember the good things: his childhood, his teen years, the      

happy times;

The good things he said.



The good things he did.

Keep those pictures.



Remember the good things.

Finally, we ask God for mercy and grace for ______________.



God’s mercy and grace are real.

The Bible says His mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:13 NIV).



It says His grace is free to ______________.

And to each one of us.
Almighty God, we believe that you are always with us.

We give you our worship and praise.



Even during this trying time we worship you because you are worthy of our  


Forgive our sins.



As we gather in your presence, we ask thy mercy for __________________.

We ask for thy forgiving love for ______________.



We ask for thy marvelous grace to keep working in his life.

And God we ask you to comfort his family.



You promised that if we would come to you, we would not be turned away.

Forgive us for ignoring you.



Bless _________________ family.

Give them strength and understanding.



Speak to all of us of eternal things.

Challenge our hearts to serve thee.



Thank you for being good to us.

Thank you for ______________ life.



Minister unto his needs.

And unto the needs of his family.