A eulogy delivered on December 17, 2001
Family, friends, and beloved guests, I want to thank you for attending my father’s memorial service. Not only was he a devoted brother, husband, and father, but above all, he was a born again child of God.
Even though I’ve lived for only 19 years, I praise God for the memories I shared with my father. I remember my father teaching me how to ride a bike at Eisenhower Park. Although he did not have a son, I fulfilled that role when he taught me how to play football. I look back memorably on the last Sunday of each January when my father and I would sit and watch the Super Bowl. My father has taught me everything I need to kow to watch sports with my future husband. He taught me that soccer is true football and that no one (but Americans) calls football soccer. He raised me on cheering for the New York Yankees, but would take me to a Mets game when he had the opportunity.
All the areas of my father’s life seems to be all right but he felt an emptiness that he could not explain. To fill this longing in his heart, he set out on his quest to find God. Raised as a staunch Catholic, he realized he could not find what he needed in the traditions of man. God led him to Bible Baptist Church where he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. As a born again Christian, he began reading the Bible and learned that he could go directly to God for the forgiveness of his sins, not through a priest. Because of my father’s earnest efforts to bring me to a Bible-believing church, in July of 1998, I also came to know Jesus Christ as my Savior.
As my father immersed himself in the Bible, God changed his heart and gave him a joy that he had never possessed. A verse from his favorite Psalm reads, “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” When trials headed his way, he turned to God for comfort and assistance. Leaving New York for a Christian college in Florida was not the easiest thing for me to do, but my father was at peace with the decision, knowing that I was doing the will of God.
When people ask how they can help ease the pain of my father’s passing, there’s only one answer: To do what I know my father would want people to do, and that is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins. Everyone in this room is a sinner. Romans 3:23 in the Bible says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The ultimate punishment of sin is death, but because my father believed upon Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross, he is now living eternally in heaven with God. People should be sad today because my father is no longer physically present. But I know that my father is in a better place right now, not because he deserved to be, but because God made salvation available to my father as He is making it available to everyone here. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Do not focus on my father’s death; instead, I ask you to focus on your eternal destination. It doesn’t matter whether you’re 19 or 90, each of us will die eventually. Then where will you go? There’s a heaven above, a hell below and nothing in between. Had my father not trusted in Jesus Christ, he would have suffered from eternal torment.
Has there ever been a time in your life when you told God that you believed Jesus Christ died, was buried and resurrected for your sins so that you could have access to the gates of heaven? In John 14:6, Jesus states, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.”
Philippians 4:13 emphasizes, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” If anyone is without Christ, he can do nothing. But I praise God that when He calls me to my home in heaven, I can see my father again. Can you say with definite assurance that you are on your way to heaven? If my father’s death has not made you questions your eternal destination, then he will have died in vain. But if someone here realizes that he is a sheep wandering without a shepherd, the Lord Jesus is beckoning you to come to Him.
August 22, 1942–December 9, 2001