Tommy Hanvy’s Memorial Service (Homecoming)

On behalf of the family of Tommy Hanvy I thank you all for being here today. It is an honor and a privilege to be able to testify for Tommy and for Jesus. I apologize in advance if my voice is a little off – I’m battling a head cold. It’s not Covid – I checked. I’m a little broken. But so are we all.

The obituary for Tommy (Fate Thomas Hanvy) noted that he was a retired forklift operator for Samsonite. I read also, “Born July 21, 1944 in Maury County, he was the son of the late Herman L. Hanvy, Sr. and the late Ophelia Dial Hanvy. Mr. Hanvy never met a stranger, loved spending time with his grandchildren, woodworking, traveling to the Gulf Coast, and eating. He was a member of Riverview Baptist Church”.

Tommy has gone on to a place that Jesus promised to those who love Him.

I know that Tommy’s family & Friends will miss Tommy –
I know we at Riverview will miss Him.

Tommy received Jesus as his Lord and Savior, and as a believer he is with the Lord in another place. It is a place that the Bible says:

“{Heaven is where} God dwells with His people. God Himself will be with them as their God. God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away”
(my paraphrase of Revelation 21:3-4)

Personal Testimony: I first met Tommy over 11 years ago in a hospital room. My wife Sherry and I had come to Riverview at the request of the Pulpit Committee, and were yet to be called as Pastor. I heard that Tommy was in the hospital so Sherry and I went to visit him and pray for him. From that moment on we became friends.

Tommy loved coming to our Tuesday night Bible studies, and was an active participant in the class. Tommy loved his Sunday School class. It was Jimmy Aslinger – a dear friend also with the Lord – that got Tommy into the Men’s Class. When Jimmy went to be with the Lord, Tommy continued to come and be a part of that class. He enjoyed Tim Laws and Tony Scott’s teaching. Tommy was good natured, and loved to laugh along with the men as they told “fish tales”.

Tommy loved to eat! He loved coming to the “Eating Meetings” at Riverview, or going to the Legion meals with his friend and brother in Christ David Patterson. Tommy loved our Monday morning coffee meetings at the Church. He loved to sit and swap tales with the men. We will miss Tommy at these meetings – but we will see him again one day.

Our Lord Jesus promised to those who loved Him:

John 10:7-9, 11, 14, 27-28 Verily, Verily I say unto you, I am the Door of the sheep. I am the Door. By Me if any person enter in, He shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep. I, Jesus, am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine.

27-30 My Sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are ONE.

None of us are perfect. None of us are unbroken. But this is why Jesus came to this earth. He came to rescue us from our brokenness.

Jesus said, “There are none good, but One, that is, God” (Matthew 19:17; Mark 10:18). Compared to God there are none of us “good”. We fall far short of the glory of God. Even “our righteousness is as filthy rags” in the eyes of God (Isaiah 64:6). No, we all fall short. When asked why Jesus loved meeting with the broken, He said in …

Mark 2:17 …. They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

The Bible says that God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16-18)

Knowing that Tommy believed on the Lord Jesus Christ is what comforts my heart today. This should also comfort your hearts if you love Jesus as well.


The Bible has what I consider one of the oddest verses in it in:

Romans 8:28 And we know that ALL THINGS work together FOR GOOD to them that LOVE GOD, to them who are the CALLED according to HIS PURPOSE.

The Bible does not say that all things are GOOD, but that ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD.

We would not dare say that CANCER is good. I do not believe that any disease among humans if good. There are a lot of bad things in this life. HEART DISEASE, ALZHEIMER’S, DEMENTIA, there are so many diseases that afflict us as humans. Not just bad people get sicknesses and diseases. “Good people” suffer along with the bad. Sometime the most evil live, while it seems as if the young die.

But the Bible says ALL THINGS work TOGETHER for GOOD to … THEM THAT LOVE GOD. There are bad things. But even the bad things are good things when we love Jesus. The Bible is very clear that this life is but a tip of the iceberg of each of our stories. Once we leave this life, this chapter may end, but another – and greater chapter – begins. The Bible says:

Romans 8:31-32 What shall we say to these things? If God be FOR us, WHO can be AGAINST us? God spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up FOR US ALL, how shall He not with Him also FREELY GIVE US ALL THINGS?

When I was a young boy, people understood that the very nature of God is holiness. It is certain that God is love (1 John 4:8). That is a key part of God’s character. But just like us, God’s character is not just one note. The Bible says that God is holy. God told His people in the Old Testament:

Leviticus 19:2 … You shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy.

From the first of the Bible to the last, we see that God is both LOVE as well as HOLY, unbroken. We all fall far short of God’s standard. But this is why Jesus Christ came.

Jesus is the Messiah, the Mediator between God and Man. Jesus was born long ago in a manger. He was not just a “good teacher”, but when Jesus’ birth was announced to Joseph, Mary’s husband to be the Angel Gabriel said:

Matthew 1:20-23 Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

Jesus Christ is “God with us”. He is the Eternal Son of God. He is the only Mediator between God and Mankind.

Jesus Christ came into this world to “save His people from their sins”.

We are all “sinners” in need of a Savior. Being sinners, the Bible says, we cannot save ourselves. But God does not expect us to save ourselves. God sent His Son to this earth to make a way for us to go to Heaven. God calls on us all to repent – to turn from being our own God – and to turn to and follow Jesus. When Jesus was born into this world – born of a virgin – the Archangel Gabriel told the virgin Mary:

Luke 1:35 … The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

Jesus Christ – Eternal God the Son – became man so that He could receive our punishment for sin on Himself. This is the “Gospel” or “Good News” that God sends to us. This is the reason for the Christmas Season – a time to remember that when we could not save ourselves, Jesus came to save us. As the Only Begotten Son Jesus laid down His life for us on a Hill called Calvary.

Will salvation make you perfect? Not in this life. But salvation will bring you into a loving relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The Bible promises:

Romans 10:9-12 If you shall confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. With your heart you believe unto righteousness; and with your mouth confession is made unto salvation. The Scripture says, whosoever believes on Jesus shall not be ashamed. There is no difference … the same Lord is rich to all that call on His Name.

What makes a person right with God? It is NOT our works. The Bible says:

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

When we hear the Gospel that Jesus Christ was born of the virgin Mary, that Jesus Christ lived out His life on this earth reaching out to sinners, and that Jesus Christ died on a Cross, and rose again the third day to save us …

Oh, how we love Jesus! God “justifies” or makes us right in His eyes when we lovingly embrace Jesus by faith.

Romans 8:33-34 … it is God that justifies or makes us right. Who can condemn us? It is Christ that died, and that has risen from the Grave, Who now sits on the right hand of God the Father, making intercession for us.

The Christian is not perfect – but Jesus is. The Christian receives Jesus as Lord and Savior, and begins to trust in Him and follow Him one day at a time. Tommy followed Jesus the best he could.

Beloved, we all will eventually meet Jesus!

As cancer returned to Tommy and he began to go down physically, I asked Tommy “Are you ready to meet Jesus?” He told me that yes, he was. This is the greatest question each and every one of us needs confront and answer before we reach death’s door. Tommy’s journey is over now. This chapter of his life is over. But Tommy’s life is not over.

One day Jesus sent His disciples out with the power to heal the sick. They came back elated, saying:

Luke 10:17 (ESV) “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!”

Jesus told His disciples – those who lovingly followed Him:

Luke 10:19-20 (ESV) I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.

How can your name be written in God’s Book? It is only through Jesus Christ that you can be saved. You must receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, believing He died for you, and rose again to forever be with you. I’ll end with this Scripture:

Romans 8:38-39 (ESV) I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

May God the Holy Spirit draw you to Christ’s side this very day. Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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