LISTEN: The Christian Funeral, Part 1 (Preparing for the Inevitable #41 with Daniel Whyte III)



Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

This podcast will help you get ready to face the inevitable unpleasant things that will happen in your life — things like trouble, suffering, sickness, and death — the death of people you love and your own death. Trouble, suffering, and death are common threads that run throughout all of humanity. They are inescapable. You will never meet a person who has not, is not, or will not experience these terrible things in life. Yet, we attempt to hide from these inevitabilities, to pretend they don’t exist or that they won’t happen to us. Our world is filled with news of people dying, children suffering, entire government systems and organizations enduring trouble and turmoil, but we tend to see these as things that only happen to “other people” and never to us. Trouble, suffering, and death come equally to all people, of all races, from every socio-economic status, of every religion, in every country of the world. It makes us all equal. This podcast will show you how to accept these realities of life, and not just cope, but face trouble, suffering, and death in your own life and in the world with confidence, courage, class, and most of all, with faith, hope, and charity.

The Bible says in Genesis 25:8: “Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people.”

The featured quote for this episode is a poem from James Whitcomb Riley titled, “He Is Not Dead”:

I cannot say, and I will not say
That he is dead. He is just away.
With a cheery smile, and a wave of the hand,
He has wandered into an unknown land
And left us dreaming how very fair
It needs must be, since he lingers there.

And you—oh you, who the wildest yearn
For an old-time step, and the glad return,
Think of him faring on, as dear
In the love of There as the love of Here.
Think of him still as the same. I say,
He is not dead—he is just away.

Our topic for today is titled “The Christian Funeral, Part 1” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.

WHAT WE DO AND WHAT WE SAY WHEN SOMEONE dies is an expression of what we believe about life and how we want to live. The altars people create following the death of a movie celebrity or pop singer reveal who our culture worships. When people say that someone will live on in our hearts, they express their faith in a specific eternal destination.

But not all expressions at death are filled with pop culture sentimentality. At the funeral of a longtime naval officer, I saw how our country, particularly our armed forces, views death. The funeral was a Christian service, presided over by the deceased’s thoughtful and well-spoken pastor. But while his Christian faith was the most important aspect of the man’s life, he also spent a number of years in full-time and reserved naval service.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.