As ambassadors of Christ, we need to be balanced; we must not dare compromise the message, but we must also be respectful and compassionate to those we are sent to. In this excerpt, Mark shares how he sought to be faithful to Christ while sharing at the funeral of a lost person.
This excerpt was taken from the full sermon, “Transformation For Proclamation (Part 4)“.
My next door neighbor passed away. A big party hearty guy. In fact, he had a Mardi Gras float parked in his driveway. And I looked for many ways to witness to him and preach to him, and on that day when his sand ran out, and he wasn’t expecting it, I just happened to see the lights blinking out front. I woke up my wife and said, “Look. It’s 5:30 in the morning. They’ve got ambulances and EMS fire trucks. What’s going on?” So I walk out. And there’s his daughter and wife. They’re crying. So I go over there to try to find out what’s going on, and they tell me. So they know I’m a man of the cloth. So they say, “Go on in. We want you to pray over the body.” I guess in their way of thinking, somehow it’s going to help their husband or help their father get into heaven. But I go back there. Once again, having to make that line. Okay, I’m not going to be manipulated by that. I’m not going to do some sort of incantation because they want me to do something because it looks like it’s religious and it’s going to help the family. I don’t do that. On the other hand, I want to show my sympathy and my understanding to the family; I’m trying to give some sort of condolences. So I go there. Sure enough, they’re packing him up, so to say. And they’re bringing him out. So she turns to me and she says, “I want you to do the funeral.” Okay. So when the time comes for the funeral a few days later, he’s in the casket and he’s decked out for Mardi Gras. That’s how they wanted him dressed. And they said we want people to dress as they remembered him in the different categories of life that he represented. In other words, if he was part of the fire department at the airport, so if you remember him from that perspective, dress in red. He was also with security, so he was with the police, so dress in blue. And if you’re with the Spanish town floats, you dress in pink type of thing. So I asked the Lord to give me a word with that. To help them, but at the same time, being a faithful ambassador. I said those who get into Heaven dress in white. And it has to be purity. And it has to be not just any white. It has to be the whiteness of a perfect righteousness given by King Jesus. Once again, trying to be an ambassador that walks the line to be faithful to the message, and at the same time, trying to help people who are struggling and are sorrowful. I can’t compromise the message. You can’t compromise the message. No matter how hard and how tough it might be that you have to give somebody. But you can put an arm around them and you can say, you know, I’m willing to be with you to get through this to get right with God. That’s my purpose in being here. This excerpt was taken from the full sermon: Transformation For Proclamation