"Granddaddy" Bennie Shearouse
There is so much that could be said about the fullness of his life. He was a man who loved. He loved his wife, his family, his friends and his work. He loved to get outdoors and hunt and fish.
This past week has been a week of relishing in the memories we have of my husbands Granddaddy (Bennie Shearouse). He passed away on Monday. We had his funeral service on Saturday and I asked Chuck for permission to post the message he gave at Granddaddy's service. My husband so graciously told me yes and handed the notes he used to me. Several months ago Granddaddy sat Chuck down and asked him if he would preach his funeral. As a grandson, there was no greater honor than to share the message Granddaddy wanted Chuck to share with others at the time of his passing.
He was a man who cared about people, a man who didn't meet a stranger, and would help out even the strangest of strangers. But most importantly, he was a man who knew Jesus.
He told Chuck not to talk about how good he was or what he had or hadn't done. He wanted the gospel of Jesus Christ shared. He gave Chuck some passages from the Bible that he wanted Chuck to use and with those passages Chuck shared the victory that his Granddaddy has over this grave, and the hope that is only found in Jesus Christ.
In Chuck's ministry as a youth pastor, he is constantly confronted with today's changing culture. One of the aspects of today's culture is a way of thinking, that unfortunately for many people, has become a way of life. It's called post-modernism. It's not only in our youth today, but it has crept it's way into every generation.
Josh McDowell offers the following definition of postmodernism: "A worldview characterized by the belief that truth doesn't exist in any objective sense but is created by the specific culture and exists only in that culture. Therefore, any system or statement that tries to communicate truth is a power play, an effort to dominate other cultures."
In other words, truth is relative. What may be true for you, may not be true for me and so therefore there is no real truth.
In 1994, the then-President of the Czech Republic and renowned playwright Vaclav Havel said postmodernism is an era: "where everything is possible and almost nothing is certain".
Today, we are reminded of the fact that there is certainty in this life, and that is the certainty of death. The grave is a reminder that with life comes death. To some it is an object of fear, a symbol of the unknown, and unanswered question about eternity.
Even godly people in the Bible have pondered these things. Job asked..."When a man dies, will he come back to life?" (Job 14:14)
The only certainty concerning life after death comes from God's word. The only real assurance of a heavenly life after death rests in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because He lives, we can live also.
In John's gospel account Jesus said "In My Father's house are many mansions; if not, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also. You know the way where I am going....I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
Granddaddy read that passage to Chuck and said, "That's where I'm going, and Jesus is how I'm getting there." Granddaddy believed there was eternal life after death, not only because Jesus said there is, but because Jesus showed us that there is.
In John 11:25-26 Jesus said "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die."
Grandaddy knew that the grave what not an end, but a beginning, a doorway to eternity. Jesus has overcome the grave through His resurrection, and Jesus' victory is our victory.
In his letter to the church in Corinth, the Apostle Paul said..."Now when this corruptible is clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal is clothed with immortality, then the saying that is written will take place:
Death has been swallowed up in victory.
O Death, where is your victory?
O Death, where is your sting?
Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory, through our Lord, Jesus Christ!
(1 Corinthians 15:54-57)
There is a poem entitled "God's Promise" it says: