I’m always greatly appalled to attend a funeral where the officiating pastor stays absolutely mute about the glory of God and when he perversely makes sinners into saints.
I have a friend that I greatly love whose mother died. The gray haired and sage looking Reverend pontificated from the pulpit about how the dearly departed lady was magnificent in life – so giving and so caring! His funeral sermon text was from Psalm 23 and he related how this wonderful woman was like the shepherd depicted in the Psalm. In life, she had been a nurse, so he waxed long and eloquent on how a nurse is extraordinarily like a nurturer of lambs.
I sat on the edge of my seat waiting for the moment when he would lower the boom. I imagined him spring-boarding into the graciousness of God and the sinfulness of mankind. All of this fawning language would certainly not end in the glorification of a mere mortal. Certainly, I thought to myself, he will explain that men are desperately in need of a Redeemer to rescue them from their sins.
The moment never came and I recall feeling a profound sense of frustration that a person of my craft would have such a low esteem for the saving power of God. He was a worthless pastor. I came so close to telling him how much I abominated his sermon. I stayed my tongue that day and I still regret it.
Our highest calling as pastors is to reveal Christ. What better place to remind people of their eternal destiny and of their Savior than at the moment of death. To miss this enormous opportunity to evangelize says only a few things – either you don’t believe in the salvific power of God yourself or you worship men over God.