Here is the encouraging message that was given at Dylan's funeral service on
Nov.2, 2001 by Pastor James Flanders from
Calvary Chapel , our home church at
the time (before we moved out of the area). We love and miss Dylan very much
and wish we could have him here with us, but this sermon reminds us that we will
see Dylan in Heaven someday.

The Bible tells us in the book of Psalms chapter 46 verse 1 that:
God is our refuge and strengh, a very present help in trouble.  And this morning, we know that the Lord
is here with us, to help, to hold and to encourage.  The Bible promises us that where two or three are
gathered in His name, He is there in the midst of them.

And this morning, as we gather in this place, it is in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that we are
gathered, and therefore we know He is with us in Spirit as our comforter, who gives a peace that
surpasses all understanding.

This morning, although this is a time of sorrow and it is a time of grief, as a believer in the Word of God
and what it tells us of the nature of God, and the hope of heaven that we have in Jesus Christ.

I also realize that in the midst of this sorrow, for those who know and understand what God's word tells
us, that in the midst of sorrow, we also have the joy of knowing that this precious little boy Dylan, is
right now in the presence of our loving heavenly Father in Heaven. And because of that, this family, who
I know many of which are Christians, although the grief is tremendous, it is not a hopeless desperate
grief.

In the Bible, in the book of Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul writes this to his beliving readers.  He says:
13...I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, In the Greek,
the phrase "fallen asleep" means those bodies have died.  And so he's saying, "I do not want you to be
uninformed or ignorant about those children of God who have passed away."   And then he gives a
reason why he doesn't want us to be uninformed...He says:  Lest you sorrow as others who have no
hope.  He doesn't simply say,"lest you sorrow."  He says,"lest you sorrow as others who have no hope."

The truth of the matter is that all of us are going to sorrow. We're gonna grieve over loss. It's natural and
it's good. But the Bible says we don't need to sorrow like those who have no hope.  

Now the word "hope" comes from the Greek word "EL PEACE". "an expectation of good."  In the
Christian sense, it means "joyful and confident expectations of our eternal salvation".  See, we have "EL
PEACE" as believers in Jesus Christ , we have hope.  We have a confident expectation of eternal
salvation.  So we don't need to grieve like those who have no hope.  Our grief is going to be different
because we know that physical death is not the end. It's just a change of address.

The Bible tells us that to be "absent from the body is to be present with the Lord." And so we know,
confidently, that that's where Dylan is.  And not only do we have great hope, knowing where Dylan is,
but we also have the great hope through Jesus Christ, that one day Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa,
brother, sisters...  One day, you will be reunited.

In the Old Testament, in the book of 2nd Samuel, King David was mourning the loss of his new born son
and he shared great hope with those around him when he said," One day I will go to be with him."
And this morning, that's our hope, realizing that this life in these physical bodies is not all that there is.  
We have heaven to look forward to.

1 Corinthians chaper 2, verse 9 tells us that:  "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the
heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him."   The Lord has unbelievable
things in store for His children.

From time to time, I have people ask me, "What's heaven gonna be like?"   And to be honest, I don't
really know.  The Bible doesn't exactly describe it in such a way that we can get a perfect little picture in
our minds of all that's in store.  I dont' think at this point we can even begin to comprehend the wonder
and beauty of Heaven.  But there are some things that the Bible says about Heaven that we can
understand.

In the Book of Revelation chaper 21, it tells us that:  "God will wipe away every tear from our eyes."
I love that..all those things that have brought us tears will be gone.  It says there will be no more death,
nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things will have passed away."  
Because we'll be in the presence of God. And that's where Dylan is...In the presence of God.

We could say in our grief, "That Dylan's life was cut short." But see, whether a person lives on this earth
for one day or a hundred years, either way, compared to eternity, life on this earth in these bodies for all
of us is incredibly short.  And the truth is that one day each of us will leave this world behind, and step
into eternity.

Last night as I thought about that, I thought about Dylan, who has gone before us.  I wondered and I
prayed, and asked the Lord to give me the right words to share.  And wondered what it would be that
Dylan would want his mom and dad, and the rest of the family to hear.  And the words of Jesus in John
chaper 14 were the first thing that came to my mind. Let me read you this passage of scripture.  Jesus at
this point was speaking to His disciples during a time of fear and uncertainty, and he said:

"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father's house are many
mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and
prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be
also.  And where I go you know, and the way you know.  Thomas said to Him " Lord, we do not know
where You are going, and how can we know the way?"  Jesus said to him "I am the way, the truth, and
the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me."

I believe with all my heart that Dylan would want me to assure you that Jesus has taken him to that
special place that was prepared just for him.  I also believe that Dylan would want me to share with all of
you here just how much he wants to see you in heaven.  And with all my heart, I believe he would want
you to know that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  That He's the door into Heaven.  I believe he
would want me to share with you that simple message that:  "God so loved the world that He gave His
only begotten Son what whoever believes in Him will not perish, but will have everlasting life."

God is our refuge and our strength, and He is a very present help in time of trouble.  And I encourage all
of you that during this time you would draw near to God, knowing that the Bible promises us that:  If we
draww near to the Lord, he will draw near to us.  Look to him for your strength.  Look to him for your
peace.  And find comfort, knowing that right now, Dylan is with the Lord."
Cross:  Beloved Grandson
Bleeding Heart:  Beloved Son & Brother
Rest in peace, until we meet in Heaven,
      Our sweet baby Dylan!