God's word in today's world

With a bag of hope to my funeral?

People don’t like talking about death. It’s not an easy subject that we rather prefer to avoid.

That’s true. It’s kind of obvious that death only enters our lives at the end of our lives. The only problem is that we don’t really know when our lives will end, because death can show up at any time.

To be honest, I’m a little afraid of death. I’ve taken a lot of flak about saying this, because Christians shouldn’t be afraid. But we fear the unknown. I do know where I’m going. But if you don’t know something and haven’t been there yet, you do feel a little uncertain.

I still remember the time when I had just finished school and received my call-up papers for two years’ national service. I remember my mom going to buy me soap and shampoo and a few other necessities. I still remember standing among thousands of other noisy young men at Wingfield and then rushing to get on the train. I still remember the train slowly departing and how I waved goodbye to my mom. I remember how afraid I was for what lay ahead …

It’s completely normal to be afraid of the unknown. I think it is completely normal to be scared of death, because it’s unfamiliar to all of us. But we don’t have to be afraid of life after this life. This is what makes it easier for us Christians. And immediately I think of my friend who believes in reincarnation. He must be very stressed about life after this one. He believes that you return in another form. What if he comes back as an ant or a mosquito? His whole life will be a chase to stay alive.

We don’t have to worry about life hereafter. We might be a little scared of the unknown, but for life hereafter we have a bag full of hope. Like Paul said: 13First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word.

It’s normal to cry about someone who has suddenly been snatched from our lives. We feel sorry for ourselves, because we are going to miss the person, but in a way, we can celebrate too, because we know where that person is. We know that he or she is with our Eternal Saviour. Therefore, we can also celebrate at funerals, because our loved one has gone to a better place.

I want all my friends and family to have a big braai after my funeral. I want them to celebrate because I’m in a better place. They must share in my joy that I’m with my Saviour. My wife is still struggling with this idea. I suspect it has to do with that little bit of fear we have for death.

Death and funerals aren’t easy things. It is sometimes even more difficult for ministers and pastors, especially when they didn’t even know that person or know that the person wasn’t even a believer. What do you say at such a funeral?

Therefore, the instruction: Live in a way that makes it easy for that person to say something at your funeral. Live in a way that the people who are sad, are sad because your death leaves a gap in their lives, not because they don’t know where you went. Live a life of hope, because we have a bag full of hope for life hereafter!


1 Thessalonians 4:13-18


Are you also scared of life hereafter?

Do you have hope?

Are you going to meet your Saviour?


Yes, Lord, when I think about death, I’m a little uneasy about the unknown. But next to the little bit of fear, there is a bag full of hope, because I know I will be meeting the living You. Amen.

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