Too bad I can’t say the same thing for the theology of the military chaplain who spoke! Oyi… don’t they even read their bibles anymore? He gave the benediction from Numbers 6 (one of my absolute favorite biblical blessings)… but FOR those buried at the national cemetery.
Numbers 6: 24 – 26
The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you & be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
You cannot bless the dead. Their eternal destiny was decided at then moment of their deaths. Nothing can change that.
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
“There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.
1 John 2:1-29 ESV
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: …
That is the reason I had written on The Patriarch’s headstone these words: “Alive in Christ“. I KNOW where The Patriarch is today because of his faith in his Lord Jesus Christ’s work ALONE as the payment the Lord required for his sins. He truly desired to live a life that was pleasing to the Lord and to apply the word to every area of his life. He knew he wasn’t perfect. Only God is perfect. But he also knew that as he lived each day, the Lord would cleanse him of those things that were not pleasing to Him.
My prayer is that someone my walk past and read those words and question their assurance of their eternal destiny… and repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ alone.
Ephesians 2: 8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
We walked past The Patriarch’s grave on our way home. I wanted a picture of the overall grave site where my beloved is buried with the flags on each grave. As we were standing there a woman came up and gave me a hug and greeted me… she was our neighbor from our previous neighbor hood! Her husband had died in March and she and her family were shocked to find that The Patriarch had died in February! Her husband is buried a few rows behind him. You can see his headstone directly behind the orange flowers (a bit to the left & 5 rows back). They too are believers and have the same assurance of where their dearly departed is now. He is with my Beloved praising Jesus Christ!
Blessings, ~Aunt Mae