Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

A Trip to the Cemetery

Better to go to the house of mourning
Than to go to the house of feasting,
For that is the end of all men;
And the living will take it to heart. (Ecclesiastes 7:2 NKJV)
Solomon had it made and he tried it all.  Yet he says partying or the house of feasting is not as good (in some sense) as the house of mourning.  I have gone to a lot of “houses of mourning” lately and generally I would have to say that a potluck during a normal family reunion or feasting on pizza while partying with friends seems a lot better to me.  But Solomon was wise and he was divinely inspired.  So why would he say it is better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting?
Solomon’s Answer
Feasting is designed to make people forget.  Funerals make people think.  Even if the funeral is preached by an unbeliever, and even if there is a veneer of partying going on at the wake, the body in that casket reminds us all that our time is coming.  The body in that casket is preaching more eloquently that any preacher from the pulpit.  Preachers from the pulpit often say that the person is now in heaven even if the person made no profession of faith in the Lord Jesus.  They usually tell us about all the good the person did and forget to mention that one unforgiven sin will keep a person out of heaven.  Isn’t it remarkable that when we ask preachers if we can know for sure that when we die we will go to heaven, most will say that nobody can know that for sure.  Yet, at the funeral they all seem to know for sure.  I think it is better to settle this “for sure” before we die, and I believe that the Bible was written so we can know for sure.  
Take a Quiet Walk
I think we all need to take a quiet walk through a cemetery and while we are walking we need to ask ourselves where all these people are whose graves we are passing.  They were probably told that they could be anything that they wanted to be.  They likely had dreams and some probably achieved them.  But many found their dreams to be disappointing even if they did achieve them.  Most of us want to know where did we come from and where are we going?  And more importantly why are we here?  Philosophers try to answer these questions, but most of us want to be “as gods” and we would like to think that our minds are smarter than the God who made our minds.  So we reject the message that God has given us in favor of some line of reasoning that “makes more sense” to us.  Unfortunately, Satan doesn’t care what lie we believe, he just doesn’t want us to believe the Truth.  
The Proper Question
Going to the house of feasting is like taking an aspirin for a headache.  It may solve the hurt for a while, but it doesn’t solve what caused the headache.  Going to the house of mourning just might make us think about the root cause of our headache which is sin and self-will.  We just might “repent and believe” if we take the preaching of the person in the casket seriously.  There is a headstone somewhere in Ireland (or maybe Scotland) that says:
As you are now, so once was I,
As I am now, so you will be!
Have you prepared to follow me?
We all should take that to heart.
Bruce Collins
Meditation for the week of March 21, 2021

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