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The Funeral of a Rich Man

By Harold Smith

I have a story today, boys and girls, about a very strange funeral, the funeral of rich man in England many, many years ago. The man was very, very rich - but he was very, very selfish. He didn't want anybody else to have anything, he wanted it all. He wasn't concerned about the poor people and especially the poor children who used to go to school with holes in their shoes and thin clothes in the cold. He didn't care about them at all, or the poor people on the street that had no money and little or nothing to eat. He just lived for himself. He was plenty warm. He had all the clothes he wanted. He had all the money he wanted. Why was he going to worry about somebody else? There was only one thing that bothered this rich man. He thought, "What am I ever going to do when I die? What am I going to do with all my money? Who am I going to give it to? I'm not going to give it to these lazy people who won't work! What am I ever going to do with it?" He had a real problem. Then he thought, "What I'll do is make a will. I'll put in my will that I want all my money to be spent on my funeral. I'll have the biggest funeral this town ever had!" Then, he died. The will was opened, and that was his request. So the mayor of that town said, "I don't know what we're going to do! We can't find a casket expensive enough to use up all that money. Even if we could, thieves would dig it up!" Then, somebody had an idea: "Why don't we invite everybody in town to the funeral. We'll supply them all with a good warm suit of clothes and shoes and we'll serve them a fine meal and we'll spend all the money on his funeral, like he requested, but we'll spend it on the people who come to his funeral - not on his dead body in a casket". That they did. The whole village remembered with thanksgiving the old, miserly man that died - and the clothing and the shoes and the meal they got as a result. He never really gave it in love, but you know, God did. God gave His Son, the best He had, boys and girls - gave Him with all the love in His heart - for you and for me, to die on the cross that we might be saved. We can be rich toward God if we'll put our trust in that Savior. Will you do that? Be saved this very day!