Buried with Him…that…even so we also should walk in newness of life. — Romans 6:4
No one enters into the experience of entire sanctification without going through a “white funeral”* — the burial of the old life. If there has never been this crisis of death, sanctification is nothing more than a vision. There must be a “white funeral,” a death that has only one resurrection — a resurrection into the life of Jesus Christ. Nothing can upset such a life; it is one with God for one purpose, to be a witness to Him.
Have you come to your last days really? You have come to them often in sentiment, but have you come to them really? You cannot go to your funeral in excitement, or die in excitement. Death means you stop being. Do you agree with God that you stop being the striving, earnest kind of Christian you have been? We skirt the cemetery and all the time refuse to go to death. It is not striving to go to death, it is dying — “baptized into His death.”
Have you had your “white funeral,” or are you sacredly playing the fool with your soul? Is there a place in your life marked as the last day, a place to which the memory goes back with a chastened and extraordinarily grateful remembrance — “Yes, it was then, at that ‘white funeral,’ that I made an agreement with God”?
“This is the will of God, even your sanctification.” When you realize what the will of God is, you will enter into sanctification as naturally as can be. Are you willing to go through that “white funeral” now? Do you agree with Him that this is your last day on earth? The moment of agreement depends upon you.
* “white funeral”: phrase from Tennyson’s poem “To H.R.H. Princess Beatrice”; to Chambers, it meant a passage from one stage of life to another; leaving the past behind and moving into the future; he often used it to mean death to self and a complete surrender to God.