Monday, October 2, 2006

Billy Lee Hinton

December 7, 1928 - September 2, 2006

This is the sermon I preached At my father's funeral on September 8, 2006

My father’s eulogy spoke of the things in life that my father had accomplished. The last few days after my father’s death, we as a family have talked about other things. These things are more of the funny stuff that happened in my father’s life. The day that he drove in circles around a parking structure. Dropping me off at church and not remembering my name or going out on, my sister Debbie’s, first date.

Every one who knew my dad had a different experience with him. Some of these experiences are good and some are admittedly not. My Dad had however the best quality that a father and a husband could have.

He was a God fearing Christian.

But what exactly does that mean?

To start with, it means that we have to overcome a sin nature. We will read the following passage and we take it very lightly until days like today. Days when we caannot avoid one of the hardest things in life, death.

God has found Adam and Eve and they have confessed to eating of the forbidden fruit.

Genesis 3:14-19 (NKJV)14 So the Lord God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life.15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”16 To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.”17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life.18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field.19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”

Adam ate of the fruit and he would surly die. With that one act, he sent this world in a completely wrong direction. He brought in death. We really don’t understand death and how bad it is until we have a loved one that dies.Then it becomes a little to real.

Another thing that we seem to take lightly is that we are all now born with a sin nature.

David said after his sin with Bathsheba

Psalm 51:5 Psalm 51:5 (NKJV)5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.

We can see here that after the sin of Adam in the garden all of humankind is born with a sin nature. So then how do we deal with this “sin nature” that we have.

We must repent.

Paul says

2 Corinthians 7:10 (NKJV)10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.

Now I want to talk to the family here for just a minute.

Dad was a man of repentance. He showed that he truly was a man of God. It took a while for dad and I to get to that point in our relationship, to get to the point that we repented of our own sins. What I mean by that is as Christians we do not go around looking for everyone else’s faults. We look into our own lives and repent of our own sin. That was who your dad had become. A true man of repentance.

When you start reflecting on your own sins you become more forgiving of others. When people look at our lives they should know us by the love we have for one another. This should always be the priority.

The biggest spiritual leader in this family is no longer with us. That means that every one of us needs to step to the plate. That means that we need to be the Christian people that we say that we are. The world should see our faith and it should reflect what we say we believe. This means that the world should see God’s word being lived out in our lives. We need to show the world that we believe what we say we believe.

Too many times people who claim to be Christians do nothing but become critical of others when they should be just loving one another for the sake of the gospel. Christ tells us that we need to pick up our cross and follow Him and that means that we suffer at the hands of others and like Christ the only thing we do is serve. We should always be serving and worshiping God.

What is being a Christian?

Now I would like to address the rest of this room

When we face this day and we pass on God’s not going to ask us what denomination we were or who we hung out with. He is not interested in what we have done, the only thing that He is going to be interested in is what are relationship to Christ is.

Matthew 7:21 (NKJV)21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

I believe that my Dad is in heaven now. That is he knew Christ. He did not get there by being a good person In fact this is not a good way in. Deep down we all know that we are evil. None of us really want to stand before God and be judged on our own. That is very scary proposition.

At the end of the day, there is nothing that we can do to earn God’s favor. We have all sinned. We all have a sin nature. Left to our own devices we all fail before God.

So what do we do?

Is Christianity the way to heaven?

Christianity is like no other religion on earth the way to heaven is a free gift and it requires nothing.

Romans 5:18 (NKJV)
18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.

So how do you obtain this free gift?

Romans 10:9 (NKJV)9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
James gives us the best description of what it means to come before God.

Humility cures worldliness

James 4:7-10 (NKJV)7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

In the simplest terms:

These passages are telling us to Believe and repent.

It takes these two things.

Believing is not enough by itself, James tells us

James 2:18-19 (NKJV)18 But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!

The demons believe, we will see none of them in heaven.

In Matt 7:21 Christ said, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Know Christ

Not of Him

Not who he is

Not even just what He has done for humankind

Know Him and Know Him personally

Matthew 7:21

Do the will of the father

But the only way you will do the will of the Father is through the power of the holy spirit.

Philippians 2:12-13 Paul says;

12 work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
13 for is it God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

Rely on God today

Turn to Him

Pray for Him to come into your heart and life today

Take the free gift

Make Him Lord of your life

That’s what my father did

He was not perfect, far from it just like me

The world celebrates life and mourns a death.

That is because this life is the closest they get to heaven.

Celebrate my dad’s death with me. He died as a young boy when Christ came into his life. He died to his sin nature and it was Christ that made him alive. This world was the closest my father ever came to hell!

My Dad is in a better place not because of what he did but because of a free gift that was given to him.

I beg you today take that free gift, confess your sin and make Christ the center of your life.

Now to my Mother

John 19:26-27 (NKJV)26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!”27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

From this day forward, we take the burden. This family has a higher responsibility to you and your care and we will dedicate ourselves to taking care of you for the rest of your life

Lord help us look forward not only to the day we see Bill again but the day that we come face to face with you in Glory.


Anonymous said...

Amen brother! Death is going to happen to all of us one day and it is so important that we die knowing Christ as our Lord and Savior.

ezwaffles said...

Chris, thanks for sharing the Eulogy. The last blog entry you wrote about your Dad struck my heart and this entry did as well.

Justice said...

Amen Brother. Thanks for sharing that. I am sure it wasn't easy to preach that message, but praise God you did.

Anonymous said...

You know Chris, I was thinking as I read what you wrote and the words you said at your Dad's funeral that there are not many Sons that can state those things about their Dad like you did. You have alot to be proud of my friend. Alot of great memories to cherish! God did a wonderful thing by giving you and others the gift of your Dad.

We need more men to step up and be what God intends for them to be spiritually. Men that will hold high their holy calling; living out their biblical role of man-hood! Like your Dad Chris, I wish I could have met him.

Chris Hinton said...

There were things that I was thinking as I shared this message. The time that my father and I had together that was repentant and Godly was only toward the end of his life. I hope that others that read this will see the value in making their relationship with there fathers or anyone close to them right before God. Don't waist time trying to do it the man centered way do it God's way. It sounds basic but for some reason it is the hardest thing to really do.

Thank you for your comments

Chris Hinton said... that you!!!

ezwaffles said...

the one, the only....