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Short Funeral Sermons for Unbelievers

Funeral sermons are a chance to celebrate the life of the deceased. They’re also a time to help friends and family members process their grief, and to show them that they are not alone. A funeral sermon is a chance to commemorate the life of your loved one, while also helping them move forward from their loss.

We know that not everyone who attends your loved one’s funeral will share your faith in God, so we’ve created this list of short funny funeral sermons for unbelievers. These are meant to be read at funerals, but could easily be used at wakes or memorial services as well.

Right here on Churchgists, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on Best Sermons For Unbelievers, Short Powerful Funeral Sermons, and so much more. Take the time to visit our Website for more information on similar topics.

Preaching Funerals for Unbelievers – I'm Listening to GOD

Free Funeral Sermons for Non-Christians

Today, we gather in the presence of the Lord to celebrate the life of [Name], a beloved member of our community who did not identify as a Christian. While we may come from different faith backgrounds, we are united in our desire to honor and remember [Name] in a way that reflects their beliefs and values.

Respecting Different Beliefs

As Christians, we are called to love one another and to show compassion to all, regardless of their faith traditions. In the book of Matthew, Jesus teaches us to treat others as we would like to be treated, showing kindness and understanding to those who may not share our beliefs.

Matthew 7:12 – “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Let us remember that our faith teaches us to show grace and love to those who are different from us, honoring their beliefs and celebrating their lives in a way that is meaningful to them.

Honoring [Name]’s Life

As we reflect on [Name]’s life, let us remember the ways in which they brought joy and light into the world. [Name] may not have shared our Christian beliefs, but their love, kindness, and compassion touched the lives of all who knew them.

1 Peter 4:10 – “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

Let us honor [Name]’s memory by continuing to live out these values of love and service, spreading light and hope to those around us just as [Name] did during their time on earth.

As we say goodbye to [Name] today, let us hold onto the memories of their life and the impact they had on each of us. While we may come from different faith backgrounds, let us remember the importance of showing kindness, love, and respect to all, regardless of their beliefs. May we carry [Name]’s legacy forward, spreading love and compassion to all we encounter in the days ahead.

Short powerful funeral sermons

According to the Bible, everyone is a sinner. Every one of us has broken God’s law. Each of us has disregarded God and pursued our own goals in life. According to Romans 3:23, death is the price of sin.

However, God is incredibly loving. He sent His Son Jesus to pay the price for us while we were still sinners as a sign of His love for us. Jesus experienced what ought to have occurred to us. Jesus passed away.

The good news is that Jesus lived again after his death! He rose a third time on the third day! God raised him from the grave, just like he did Lazarus.

Jesus is currently in heaven at the Father’s right hand, interceding on our behalf. He desires for all of us to one day be reunited with Him. He does not desire for anyone to die. He anticipates that we would acknowledge our transgressions, turn from them, and turn to Him as the only one who can save us.

“If you believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and confess with your mouth that he is Lord, you will be saved,” according to Romans 10:9. Death serves as a sobering reminder, but it also leads us to the most amazing, hopeful message of all! The Lord of life and death is Jesus. Not only will the believer not perish, but they will also have eternal life!

We must keep our eyes fixed on the unwavering love of the LORD during difficult times.
A family arrives while a deer runs to the water.

Family Seated: “I’ll Fly Away” is introduced as the congregational song.

I am the life and the resurrection; whoever believes in me will live even if they die, and whoever believes in me will never perish. 11:25 in John

Make this sermon unique.

  1. Everyone has a funeral custom. This is our effort to:

a. Recall

b. Dignity

c. Provide Solace

d. Get ready

  1. What funerals bring to mind:

a. According to Ecclesiastes 9:5 and Genesis 5, death is inevitable.

c. Life’s briefness (James 4:14)

Obtain the sermon’s slides.
A 55-year-old unbeliever’s funeral Lamentations 3:20–25
Get Now for Free
Use PRO c to unlock the preaching slides. The Life Shortage (John 10:10)

1) How much do we spend on unimportant things?

2) Priority is given to power!

c. The reality of eternity and God’s sovereignty.

  1. Our lives serve as our funeral oration.
  2. Tributary

The song “How Deep the Father’s Love” is introduced. John 3.16–17


The Beginning and Baptism
examines the deep meaning of baptism as a blessing, a declaration of faith, and a connecting thread among Christians.
Genesis 1:1–5 Sermon

A. Collaboration Is Essential on Many Levels

  • The Green Bay Packers were all about teamwork. Their motivation was not personal success. Because they loved one other, they took that action. Vince Lombardi
  • Achievement and failure are never synonymous. The important thing is courage. ~ John Wooden

Teenagers require role models, not critics. ~ John Wooden

B. Timothy viewed collaboration as:

  • Oilfields; Business; Athletics
  • My chances of success were poor because I was raised in a group home and had an undetected learning problem on top of it all. However, I discovered the importance of discipline, attention, perseverance, and collaboration when I joined the high school football team—skills that have been crucial to my success as a C.E.O. and social entrepreneur. ~ Darell Hammond
  • Household

C. Love is the foundation of family, as the Body of Believers also understands.

II. Coping with Loss Involves Collaboration

A. Loss Causes Real Pain —

Fans of the late racing great Dale Earnhardt are going to a farm 50 miles south of Jacksonville, Florida, because of a goat with a birthmark. The star of the show is a nine-month-old Nubian goat whose white birthmarks match the number “3,” which is located on Dale Earnhardt’s racecar’s right side.

Jerry Pierson, the goat’s owner, said, “It’s strange. I’ve witnessed someone cry while taking photos.” — Page 6 of Parade Magazine, December 29, 2002.

People who are grieving sometimes exhibit unusual behavior, such as seeing meaning in a goat’s birthmarks.It is an effective tool for assisting individuals in accepting their loss. Without the Lord’s help, our sorrow might easily turn into hopelessness.

Short Funeral Sermons for Unbelievers

One of the most difficult things to do as a pastor is preach at the funeral of someone who was not a believer in Jesus Christ. First, you need to come to terms with the fact that they are lost and going to hell. Second, you need to deal with the fact that the family doesn’t really understand how serious this is. Third, you need to try to bring some hope and comfort in an impossible time.

Dealing with a lost person dying is one of the most difficult things we have to do as pastors. First, you need to come to terms with the fact that they are lost and going to hell. Second, you need to deal with the fact that the family doesn’t really understand how serious this is. Third, you need to try to bring some hope and comfort in an impossible time.

These are some thoughts on how I have dealt with these issues:

  • Remember death is not final for unbelievers: The truth about who Jesus Christ is needs to be brought into every funeral service where an unbeliever dies (or anyone for that matter). For example, Romans 6:23 says “for the wages of sin is death”—not just physical death but also spiritual death which separates us from God forever unless someone intercedes on our behalf by dying in our place (see 1John 2:1). So when someone dies without accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior they will spend eternity separated from God—but this separation doesn’t mean they cease existing; it means they will exist without God forever! The Bible says in John 5:28-29 “Marvel not at this: for the hour cometh in which all those in the memorial tombs shall hear his voice and come forth.” In other words there’s no reason why unbelievers can’t be resurrected along side true believers during Jesus’ return so don’t be afraid!

Best Sermons For Unbelievers

Here are two short funeral sermons for unbelievers that I have preached. Both are based on Psalm 9.

Psalm 9 is a prayer for vindication and victory. David, who had been persecuted by Saul, prayed that the Lord would give him justice. He did not doubt God’s willingness or ability to do so: “He will make known his ways to me; I shall walk in his paths” (v. 10).

David knew the character of God well enough that he could confidently tell Him what He would do on David’s behalf (v. 6-7). This confidence was not based on some kind of wishful thinking or blind optimism, but rather on knowledge of who God was and what His promises were (vv 3-4). In fact, it wasn’t just any god who made these promises—it was Yahweh!

A Hope That Does Not Disappoint (Romans 5:5)Outline:

Death is certain, but it will not be the end. Death is final, but it will not be the end. Death is powerful, but it will not be the end. Death is painful, but it will not be the end.

We all must die someday. But we do not have to fear death because Jesus Christ has conquered death for us through his resurrection from the dead. Our hope in Christ gives us confidence that our lives are secure beyond this world and even after our physical bodies cease to exist here on earth; for we know that if we die with Christ then we shall also live with him (2 Timothy 2:11-12).

Death brings no ultimate security for those who do not trust in Christ.

This is a sermon for unbelievers.

Death brings no ultimate security for those who do not trust in Christ. The only hope you have is the hope of death! Death isn’t the end of your problems, it’s just the beginning of your new ones—the conflicts that await us all on the other side of life.

The Bible doesn’t say that when we die we go home to God or even see our loved ones again; it says that some go home to God and some see their loved ones again. In fact, it doesn’t say anything about what happens after death at all; that’s an assumption based on faith in Christ (or lack thereof).

Short Powerful Funeral Sermons

Funerals are among the most vulnerable times in people’s lives. As shepherds, we must do our best under God to comfort those who are grieving without compromising the truth. Sadly, I have attended many funerals where ministers fed the false hopes of unbelieving people. When preaching the funeral of an unbeliever, we need to keep several things in mind:

  1. We must not dilute the gospel. Any message which does not require confession of sins, repentance, and sincere faith is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is why Paul says with unparalleled seriousness, “If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:9).
  2. We must give a clear message. Mixed signals only entangle an audience in a deeper web of misconception. It is dangerous to mention heaven at all in the funeral of an unbeliever; whatever context you give, the audience almost always hears, “that’s where my loved one is.” Giving people a glimmer of false hope is not a loving thing to do.

If someone dies without a clear testimony of being born again, the minister should avoid mentioning heaven at his or her funeral.

  1. We must be sensitive, speaking the truth in love. Just as tragic as preaching another gospel is making the real gospel look like bad news instead of good news. Our purpose in a funeral sermon is not to convince the audience that their unbelieving loved one is in hell, but to lead those who are still living to a personal encounter with Jesus. Funerals are times when people are unusually sensitive; the Holy Spirit uses people’s brokenness to draw them to the God of all comfort. These are wonderful opportunities to glorify God by glorifying the Son, that many may believe.
  2. We must stay radically rooted in the Scriptures. It is unfortunate how many funeral sermons avoid the Scriptures. Sadly, there is more topical preaching at funerals than in almost any other venue. When we draw our funeral sermon thoughts from the text of Scripture, people are confronted with the Word of God which stands forever instead of a preacher’s best attempt to sneak in the gospel.

A good funeral sermon is considerate of the grief of those attending, affirms the lovingkindness of God, considers the question “why,” and points to Jesus as the Lord of life and death. There are few Biblical texts that cover all of these bases as well as that of Jesus raising Lazarus. Here is an example of a simple sermon to illustrate how we can show sensitivity and gospel faithfulness at the funeral of an unbeliever.

The Text (John 11:1-44)
Of all the places that we could turn to in times of grief, it is especially precious to read about Jesus. One of the followers of Jesus—a man named John—wrote about Jesus’ life. It is in The Gospel According to John that we read the most famous verse in the Bible, John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”

One of the many stories that John records in his gospel tells us about a man named Lazarus, who was a dear friend of Jesus. In John chapter 11, we read:

Jesus and his disciples heard that Lazarus, who lived in a town called Bethany, was very sick. Now Jesus loved Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha. And after two days, Jesus told his disciples: ‘Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.

By the time that Jesus arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had been dead in his tomb for four days. Lazarus’s sister Martha ran out to meet Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.’

Then Lazarus’s other sister, Mary, came out to meet Jesus.

Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus wept. So the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’ But some of them said, ‘Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?’

Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’ Then, Jesus prayed to His Father and cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out.’ The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.’ (John 11, paraphrase)

The story of Lazarus teaches us several important lessons for facing times of grief. First, we need to take time to grieve. Second, Jesus understands our grief. Third, God has a purpose in mind. Finally, Jesus is the Lord of life and death.

Take Time to Grieve
First, the story of Lazarus reminds us that we need to take time to grieve. Sometimes, we convince ourselves that what we need to do is “be strong” and “press on” for the sake of those around us. But when Jesus came to Bethany to comfort the family of Lazarus, he did not brace himself and hold back his tears. He wept.

When we love someone very dearly, as Jesus loved Lazarus, it is natural to cry. It is part of God’s plan that we go through a grieving process when we experience loss. The Bible says, “There is a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (Ecc. 3:4).

Holding back tears does not mean that we are strong, it means that we are weak — scared to accept how we feel. Some people never allow themselves to grieve properly, and it only hurts them in the long run. It’s okay to cry. It’s important to grieve. It’s good to remember the precious times we have spent with a loved one, even though it hurts.

When Jesus saw the tomb of Lazarus, he faced what had happened. He likely reflected on the memories he shared with Lazarus when they reclined at the dinner table and laughed while enjoying Martha’s famous home-cooked meals.

Even though Jesus had the power to resurrect Lazarus immediately, He paused and took time to grieve. We live in a demanding world that tries to push us along to the next activity. But when tragedy strikes in our family, we need to pause.

You have many memories with your loved one, and they are very precious. Take time to remember. Take time to grieve. It is okay to cry. Remember, Jesus wept.

Jesus Understands
Second, the story of Lazarus reminds us that Jesus understands our grief. In the dark times, we sometimes feel like God is very far away and doesn’t understand how we feel. But Hebrews 4:15 confirms that God is able to sympathize with our weaknesses because he came to earth and lived as a man named Jesus. He endured the worst kinds of sufferings, from grief over his lost friend Lazarus, to a painful death on the cross. Whatever we are going through, Jesus really does understand.

The Bible reassures us that when we pray to God in hard times, He hears us: “I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live” (Ps. 116:1-2).

God Has a Purpose
Third, the story of Lazarus reminds us that God has a purpose. Both Mary and Martha said to Jesus, “If you had been here, you could have healed Lazarus from his sickness and prevented him from dying!” So, why didn’t Jesus come earlier and heal Lazarus?

Jesus explained the reason to his disciples: “Lazarus became sick and died for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it…for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe.”

God saw the bigger picture. The eternal destinies of Lazarus’s family and the crowds that gathered at the funeral were at stake.

When we experience a tragedy, we often ask, “Why?” Romans 8:28 is a precious promise: “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” If you love God, you can be confident that He will take the worst possible circumstances and use them to accomplish something good. If you do not love God, you can come to know him.

In the case of Lazarus, God’s purpose was to show that Jesus is the Son of God so people would believe and be saved from their sins.

Jesus is Lord of Life and Death
Finally, the story of Lazarus reminds us that Jesus is the Lord of life and death. Jesus proved to everyone that He was truly God by the incredible miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead.​

Now, you might think, “my loved one will not be raised from the dead.” But the Bible tells us that someday everyone will be raised from the dead, and we will stand before God.

Jesus said to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life…everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

What would your answer be? Would you say to Jesus, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God”?

Receive the Lord of Life
The Bible teaches that we have all sinned. We have all disobeyed God’s law. We have all ignored God and lived our own way on our own terms. Romans 3:23 says that the penalty of sin is death.

But God is very loving. He showed His love for us in that while we were still sinners, He sent His Son Jesus to pay the penalty for us. What should have happened to us, happened to Jesus. Jesus died.

The wonderful news is that Jesus did not stay dead! On the third day, He rose again! Just as Lazarus, God raised him from the dead.

Today, Jesus is at the right hand of God the Father in heaven praying for us. He wants us all to be reunited with Him some day. He is not willing that anyone should perish. He expects that we confess our sins, turn away from our sins, and look to Him as our only hope for salvation.

Romans 10:9 promises that “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Although death is a solemn reminder, it also points us to the most wonderful, hope-filled message of all! Jesus is the Lord of life and death. Whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life!

Encouraging Funeral Sermons

“What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?”–Matt. 27:22.

Nineteen hundred years ago a star poised above a lowly manger in Bethlehem and above the moonlit hills of Judaea the angels heralded the beginning of the life of Jesus Christ upon this earth–He who came to teach us the religion of human kindness, brotherly love and salvation through repentance and faith in His shed blood.

No matter what He said or did, the Jews refused to acknowledge His claims as the Messiah. Their enmity finally culminated in the greatest tragedy that the brutality of man ever committed, or the eye of God ever witnessed–the murder of Jesus Christ under false testimony. Jealous of His popularity and rejecting His divinity, they resolved at all hazards to kill Him.

Not having the power of life and of death in their own hands, or tribunals, they renounced Him before Pilate, the Roman governor. To stir up his enmity, they said that He was an impostor, that He had stirred up sedition and that He was an enemy of the government.

Pilate examined these charges made against Him but, being unable to prove Him guilty of any offense worthy of death, proposed that they release Him. But the rabble shrieked and screamed: “No! Away with Him! Give us Barabbas!”

Next to Jesus, Pilate is the scene, and from his lips fall the words I have taken for my text. When they cried, “Barabbas!” he turned to them and said: ‘Well, then, what will I do with Jesus which is called the Christ? I got rid of Barabbas at your suggestion, but I still have Jesus on my hands.’

Pilate was very near the line. He tried to reason with them. Then he arose from the throne, took Jesus by the hand, led Him out in front of them and asked, “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?”

So I lead Him out before this audience tonight and ask you the same question Pilate asked the crowd that surged around the throne that day.

Pilate was confronted, my friends, with difficulties. He had many things to encourage him. He had his wife’s dream. The story of Mrs. Pilate is very briefly told in the Bible, in one verse of Scripture. It is no evidence of her worth and character as a woman that God condescended to reveal Himself in a dream to her. He revealed Himself in a dream to Pharaoh, to Nebuchadnezzar. Yet for all we know, Mrs. Pilate might have been a very reverent, devout woman, constantly on the alert to save her husband from the difficulties into which she knew his miserable, pliable temper would lead him. Somehow, while she slept, God worried her by a dream. What He revealed, I do not know. Presumably it was about Jesus and the part her husband was to play in this tragedy. (They couldn’t put Him on the cross without the consent of Pilate.)

She sent a messenger to Pilate with the plea: ‘Have thou nothing to do with this just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. Have nothing to do with him.’

So we have the personality of Jesus. Never had such a personality appeared before Pilate for sentence. There He stood in His calmness, in His purity, in His power–more beautiful than a dream of Pericles.

I am frank to tell you that if I were on a jury, the personality of the man would have a big drag with me–almost as much as what the man on the witness stand would say. If I were called upon to try a man like Bryan, or Roosevelt, I am frank to tell you that his personality would have a tremendous drag with your Uncle Fuller.

Pilate had the personality of Jesus. He had the miracles of Jesus. I do not know that Pilate had ever witnessed Christ’s performing a miracle. I do not know that Pilate had ever seen a man or woman who had been a recipient of the power of Jesus. Positive am I that he knew about the miracles, for they were current conversation. There was no section of the country where he could not find somebody whom Jesus Christ had benefited, either by opening their eyes or curing their lameness.

So while certain things influenced Pilate for Jesus, other things discouraged him. And while God is trying to bring influence to bear toward making you a Christian, the Devil is bringing influence to bear toward keeping you away from Jesus.

So Pilate had these things to consider: first, what would the Jews say? The Jews were at this time under the control of the Romans, who were severe in their exactions; and Pilate was the very triple essence of severity. So harsh was he that some of the influential Jews had gone to Rome to intercede with Caesar to have Pilate recalled and a more kind and humane man placed over them in Jerusalem.

Pilate knew that these Jews had no use for Jesus. He also knew that if they heard that he had thrown his influence on the side of Jesus, it would only increase their enmity and their hatred and they would bring stronger influence to bear. Pilate figured: “These Jews up at Jerusalem have no use for Jesus. They say He is a fraud. If they hear that I say He is not a fraud, then they will have no use for me. But if they hear that I have denounced Him, I will win their friendship, they will withdraw their opposition and I will hold my job.”

Pilate was willing to let that gang nail Jesus Christ to the cross in order to keep their friendship and hold his job. All over the land today there are people who are willing to do the same thing for a trifling reason. Pilate, my friends, asked himself: “What would the Jews say about it?”

Pilate should not have yielded to their clamor, but should have been willing to sacrifice his office and his life to avoid convicting Jesus Christ, an innocent Person. It was that Jewish hierarchy that threatened old Pilate as an officeholder.

Pilate was a stand-pat, free-lunch, pie-counter, pliable, plastic, lickspittle, rat-hole, tin-horn, weasel-eyed, wardheeling, grafting politician of his day, pure and simple. Old Pilate was a direct product of the political system of Rome. He was a typical machine politician. And there is no more low-down scoundrel on earth than a mere typical machine politician.

So, “What will the Jews say?”

Listen, “What will Caesar say?” (Caesar’s word was law.)

Pilate says: ‘If Caesar at Rome hears that I have let Jesus go, and by that act admitted that I believe His claims are just, he won’t stand for it; so off will come my head; I will surely lose my job. But if Caesar hears that I say this man Jesus is a fraud and that I let them put Him on the cross,, he will know that I am at my job, working for the interests of Rome. I will win Caesar’s favor and keep my job.’

Oh, he was willing to sacrifice Jesus Christ to please old Caesar and to please the gang that had no use for Jesus Christ. I despise a man like that. But, hold on! I don’t have to go back to old Pilate–I don’t have to go out of this city to find people of the same low-down type as was old Pilate.

Pilate often heard of Jesus; no doubt he was prejudiced against Him, and was longing for the chance to pass sentence against Jesus. I have imagined the look of wonder that must have swept over the face of Pilate as Jesus was ushered into his presence. Pilate turned to Him and said: ‘Art thou the Son of God?’

Jesus answered: ‘I am.’

He was either the Son of God, conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried; or He was a bastard, for He was born out of wedlock. He was either conceived by the Holy Ghost or He was an illegitimate offspring of a Jewish harlot.

Away with your damnable Unitarian theory that makes Jesus a bastard! My mother taught me that the Good Book didn’t lie. And if Jesus Christ wasn’t the Son of God, it does lie. My mother taught me that a good man didn’t lie. And if Jesus Christ wasn’t the Son of God, He was a liar, and all the teachings of the Bible are false.

I have often tried to imagine how different the early history might have been had there been in Jerusalem at that time a great Jewish daily, a string of popular newspapers down through Asia Minor–a Hebrew Lord Northcliffe, or a Jim Keeley of the Chicago Tribune, or a Pulitzer or a Hearst. Just imagine what a hard time those high priests would have had, had there been a syndicate of newspapers playing upon the front page a three-column display headline about the villainy of that little crowd of religious bigots and crooked politicians who were intent on murdering Jesus Christ, the One who stood for the common people as no other man in history had stood and no other man in history ever will stand.

So old Pilate called for a basin of water, walked out before the crowd, washed his hands and said: ‘I wash my hands of His blood. I find no fault in Him.’

If he had washed his old black heart at the same time, he would have been a clean man.

There has come from across the seas a book bearing the strange title, Letters From Hell. The introduction was written by George McDonald. In that book Pilate is represented in the lost world bending over a stream of water. (I think the author must have gotten his wires crossed. A stream of water in Hell would be the limit, according to my idea. That is just like the average fool novel writer anyway.) Pilate is represented bending over, dipping his hands in the water. Some one touches him on the shoulder and says: “Will they never be clean?” And with a shriek of agony that rang through the lost world he cried: “Oh, will they never be clean! No!”

Poor Pilate! The blood of Jesus has been on you for nineteen hundred years in Hell. It will be on you through an unending eternity. You had your chance that day in front of the gang in Jerusalem, but you were willing to let them nail Him to the cross rather than stand by the side of Jesus Christ and His truth.

“What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?”

He didn’t have the courage of his convictions. He was convinced that Jesus was right. Oh, if Pilate had bared his back and said, “This Man is on the level; you can take me and crucify me, but you can’t touch one hair of His head”-he would have taken his stand in the same company with Joseph of Arimathaea and other famous men. We would have been glad to name our children after him. But tonight we speak his name with ignominy and repulsion. He had his chance. He was a miserable, white-livered coward.

Now, when old Pilate heard that Herod was in town he was glad to get rid of Jesus. So he shoved Him over to Herod. Herod thought that Jesus was sort of a sleight-of-hand performer- -legerdemain, Chautauqua entertainer and had a bunch of high rollers; so he asked Jesus to come up and perform a few miracles just to entertain the crowd. Jesus answered the old fox never a word.

So they secured Him and sent Him back to old Pilate. Herod had heard John the Baptist preach. John had said: ‘It isn’t right for you to have your brother Philip’s wife.’ Herod wanted Jesus and his brother Philip’s wife, too; but he could not have both. So he turned down Jesus and kept his brother Philip’s wife, which was against the law.

Is William Jennings Bryan a fool? Is he a believer in Jesus Christ as the Son of God? What are you going to do with the Christ of these Christian men?

Was the late William McKinley a fool? When the assassin’s bullet struck him down at Buffalo, fondly and reverently did he pray that he would be spared. When they gave him the anesthetic and the doctors bent over him to catch what might have been his last words, he was muttering the Lord’s Prayer. We smiled, dried our tears, shook hands and forgot our political differences.

Then the relapse came and we were informed that he was growing worse. They sent for his wife. He looked up and said: “It’s God’s will. His way, not ours, be done.” McKinley started to repeat, “Nearer, My God to Thee, Nearer to Thee,” and the lamp of life flickered and went out forever.

Down the streets of Buffalo went the funeral procession and the band played, “Nearer, My God to Thee.” The railroad track from Buffalo to Washington was lined with people who stood with bowed, uncovered heads and tear-stained cheeks as they sang, “Nearer, My God to Thee.”

I journeyed to Canton that I might be present at the funeral. Five hours I stood on the street corner, opposite the Stark County Courthouse where his body was to lie in state. The booming cannon told us that the funeral train had arrived. Down the funeral procession came, and bands, with muffled drum, played, “Nearer, My God to Thee.”

The hearse stopped opposite to where I stood, and the detachment of sailors from the battleship Indiana and soldiers from the regular army drew out the coffin and carried it into the courthouse where it was to lie in state.

Up dashed a carriage. Out leaned that giant of the west, Theodore Roosevelt. By his side was Elihu Root. By his side was Doctor Ritchie. I stood and watched Admiral Croinshield and Admiral Farquhar. Then I saw General Otis, just returned from the Philippines, and General Gillespie, both Roman Catholics, but both earnest, devout Christians who believed in Jesus Christ. By their side walked the finest specimen of manhood I have ever looked upon- -Lieutenant General Nelson A. Miles.

Up the steps hobbled my friend, General David B. Henderson, of Dubuque, Iowa, then speaker of the House of Representatives. By his side was William B. Ellison. I stood and gazed upon men from the North and men from the South; Democrats and Republicans of all classes. Then they were given the privilege to walk through, and I was among the first two hundred to go through. When I looked at the dead president’s pale, upturned face, my eyes were blinded with tears and I groped my way out of the north door.

I stood there bathed in the perfect sunlight of a perfect September day, and as I stood there I said to myself: “Hail to God! I stand with the best men of this nation when I stand beneath the cross of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”

What are you to do with the Christ when from the north, the south, the east and the west the trumpet of Gabriel sounds and the unsaved dead come out of their graves to the last judgment?

Lost! What will you do then? You can sit out there now and sneer at me. You can damn me, call me crude, and illiterate; but old man, I have you beat.

Now, our acceptance with God is going to depend on what we do with Jesus. The vilest sinner on earth, if he accepts Jesus Christ, will be accepted; and the very moment you accept Jesus Christ your sins are forgiven. If you reject Jesus, God will spurn and reject you.

In the Bank of England is a machine–a marvelous mechanism. It is used to weigh gold sovereigns. The Bank of England never takes gold for its face value, as our banks do. They always weigh gold because gold will wear off by circulation.

I had a friend out in Illinois who had some $45,000 in gold. He sent it to the First National Bank of Chicago for deposit. They weighed it for him and it was $1,500 shy on weight. The Bank of England always weighs gold. A man sits at the machine there, the gold is dropped through a little slit and falls on a pan. If it is standard weight it tips to the right; if it is a fraction short it tips to the left. It never makes a mistake. Never! It saves the Bank of England hundreds of pounds of sterling every year.

That is nothing compared with the scrutiny that we will lave to pass through when we stand before God. We can’t muster because of our wealth or intellectual standing. It is because of our acceptance or rejection of Jesus Christ; then our becoming children of God depends on what becomes of Jesus.

There is an insidious heresy: the teaching about the universal Fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man, the teaching that we are all one flesh. But if you are not a child of God, you are a creature of God. We are all creatures of God. (Nobody is a child of God but a Christian.) You are my brother in the flesh; that is, you are human and I am human. But you are not my brother in the spirit unless you are a Christian. God is the Creator of us all, but God is the Father of none but those who believe in Jesus Christ.

There was one way you came into the world–you were born. There is one way you will get into Heaven–you must be born again. You have had a physical birth. You must have a spiritual birth and that must come through Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

Does Jesus Christ lack anything in your esteem? Wherein does He fail to measure up to your ideal? Where could He improve? What could you suggest that would improve Jesus Christ? I would be very glad to know.

A man said: “If you can find me an absolutely flawless character, I will worship Him.” I challenge all the infidels on earth or in Hell to find one flaw in the character of Jesus Christ.

Oh, the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, Morgans, Vanderbilts, Armours, Astors are all powerful in the commercial and the financial world.

Kelvin, Agassiz, Newton, Spencer are all prominent in the scientific world.

Caesar, Alexander, Hannibal, Napoleon, Wellington, Washington, Grant, Lee are all powerful in military warfare.

Mightier in England than the king; mightier in Germany than the emperor; mightier in America than Washington or Lincoln or Roosevelt or Bryan or Jefferson is the name of Jesus Christ.

That is the name that unhorsed Saul of Tarsus. That is the name that knocked him blind on the highway. That is the name that knocked Newton to the deck of the ship. That is the name that holds 500, 000, 000 of the world’s population in its magic grip and power.

It is an encouraging name. Go to the cemetery, to the graves and read the epitaphs on the tombstones of the people who used to rule twenty-five or forty years ago. Oh, none so poor as to do them honor today.

Mighty names of earth will perish. All the great-Caesar, Cleopatra, Nero, Charlemagne, Gregory VI, Catherine de Medici, Catherine of Russia, Louis XIV, Louis XV, Louis XVI, Madam du Barry, Madam Pompadour–are gone.

We will perpetuate it in art. There will be other Raphaels, there will be other Michelangelos, there will be other Murillos, there will be other da Vincis, there will be other Rubens, there will be other Corots, other Millets, other Munkacsy’s to paint “Christ Before Pilate.”

We will perpetuate the name of Jesus in art, in literature and in song.

There will be other Cowpers who will write, “God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform: He plants His footsteps in the sea, And rides upon the storm.”

There will be other Topladys who will write, “The Rock of Ages.” There will be other Blisses who will write, “Almost Persuaded.” There will be other Fanny Crosbys who will write, “Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross”; “Pass Me Not, 0 Gentle Saviour”; “Once I Was Blind–Now I Can See.” There will be other Charles Wesleys who will write, “Jesus, Lover of My Soul, Let Me to Thy Bosom Fly.”

We will perpetuate it in architecture, Catholicism and Protestantism. There will be other St. Pauls; there will be other St. Peters; there will be other St. Johns, St. Johns the Divine; there will be other Kremlins at Moscow; there will be other Cathedrals at Cologne; there will be other Madeleines at Paris.

Oh, you can cut, burn and crucify if you will, but if he who thus dies stands for some immortal truth, his soul will merge from his mutilated casket and go sweeping triumphantly down the halls of time.

Look at the love the pure and holy bear Him. See what an object of love He is with them in Heaven. Look at Him when He got ready to come to this old earth. The angels had to come down to sing to the shepherds, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).

Look at Him in His baptism of John, when God the Father stopped making worlds and leaned over the battlements of Heaven and said: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17).

Herschel the astronomer was a Christian. So were Jonathan Edwards, Blackstone, Gladstone, Washington, Lincoln, Lee, Queen Victoria, Grant–honored in his tour around the world as no man has ever been honored before. When Grant reached Jerusalem a feast was proposed for him, and he said: “No, not in this city where my Saviour bled and died. Let me get alone; I want to weep.”

Look at the love the pure and holy bear Him.

“What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?”

I am not worshipping a sleeping Christ in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathaea, but a living, ruling reigning Christ, at the right hand of God, the Christ who is coming to judge the quick and the dead.

“What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?” You ought to have to do because of the sacrifice He made for you.

If Shakespeare should enter this tabernacle, we would all stand up and bow. If Jesus Christ should sweep down that aisle, we would all kneel and bow our heads in humility as He swept by in all His regal splendor.

“What shall I do?” In the battle of San Juan Hill, in the Spanish American War, a roughrider was wounded on an eminence. He was supposed dead, when he was seen to wave his bloodstained handkerchief as the Krag-Jorgensen and the Mauser bullets were singing their death song back and forth. One of his friends, a cowboy from Arizona, turned to his colonel and said: “Colonel, I will go and save him . ”

“Oh, Jack,” the colonel said, “you couldn’t live out in that zone. You would be cut to pieces. I guess he is gone.”

But presently they saw the wounded American soldier wave his bloodstained handkerchief again. The cowboy said: “Look, he isn’t dead! I will go and save him.”

He threw down his Krag-Jorgensen, and throwing his arms to his face as if to protect himself from the bullets, he dashed out into the zone. But what protection would flesh and bones have against steel bullets that could go three miles and pierce through thirty-two inches of solid wood?

He ran out, grabbed his comrade and dragged him over the brow of the hill; then a bullet from a Spanish sharpshooter struck him just above the heart. It went through him as if he were made of papier-m?ch?. He dropped his comrade and a crimson tide spurted from his nose, eyes and lips. He said, “Tom, pard, I’m hit hard. It’s all up with me. I wish you well,” and he reeled and fell dead.

The man crept back into the ranks to tell the story.

Oh, if Jesus could come down here, I wouldn’t let Him get all the way here. I would jump from the platform and go to meet Him. He saved me and my wife and children, and I’ll go where He commands me to go, I’ll go where He wants me to go. We ought to do that for Him because of the sacrifice He made for us.

Savonarola stood speaking in the square at Florence. The people surged around God’s lionhearted preacher who told that gang of ecclesiastical crooks and thugs where to head in. He hurled the anathemas of God at them until they incinerated him to ashes because he dared rebuke their crookedness and their infamy. Savonarola stood preaching. He knew that these were the questions uppermost in the minds of the Italians: What sort of government will emerge

from all this? Will it be a Republican form or will it continue the monarchy with the king? The second question was, What will be our religion? Will it be the star and the crescent of the Mohammedan, or will it be the cross of Jesus Christ?

Those were the questions, and as they all surged to hear him, he climbed on top of his pulpit where the great crowd could see him and cried out, “Jesu Christo al nostero sino salvatoro” –Jesus Christ, our King and Saviour.

Down the streets of Florence they surged. Through every building and every alley they met the oncoming crowd, and they caught the spirit. Out into the country they went until it seemed to leap as by magic from mountain peak to mountain peak, until all Italy rang with the cry: “Jesus Christ is our King and Saviour.” Tonight the cross of Jesus Christ waves over Italy instead of the star and crescent of the Mohammedan.

Oh, Jesus Christ waits to be your King. What is your answer? Are you ready to crown Him? Are you ready to say, “Christ is ours”? Or will you dip the cross of Jesus into the forces of evil? What is your answer?

Get up and let me look at you. Come on, whoever you are. I don’t give a rap where you came from or who you are in the world, come on! Come on!

Don’t sit down; come on. You wouldn’t sit down if we played the “Star Spangled Banner.” Come on! The cross of Jesus Christ is waving over the crowd. Come on, and give me your hand and stand with me.

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