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“Why do GOOD PEOPLE have to die?” – Part One

A lifelong friend sent me a message on facebook Sunday Nite – He must have just missed me before I went to bed. The message was a question about Coach Kay Yow (NC State Women's basketball coach who went to be with the Lord). I have known of her courageous and long fought battle with breast cancer. She seemed to be an amazing woman who was known for her inspiration and determination – she was also known for her faith in Jesus Christ. His question is one that many must wonder:

"Why do GOOD PEOPLE like Kay Yow have to die?" (caps were his choice)

It's the age-old question, isn't it? Good people. Bad circumstances.  Why would a God whom Christians proclaim as good allow bad things to happen to those who actually believe and proclaim that He is good? Is God really good after all?

We will discuss this tomorrow here on WholeHearted, but we will do it in light of the following scripture – it's quite lengthy but necessary if you wanna seriously discuss this. If you won't read the scripture, don't come back for my words tomorrow (just kidding :)… but seriously, you won't get nearly as much out of this conversation as I will be referencing the scripture often).

John 11

The Death of Lazarus

 1Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair. 3So the sisters sent word to Jesus, "Lord, the one you love is sick."

 4When he heard this, Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." 5Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.

 7Then he said to his disciples, "Let us go back to Judea."

 8"But Rabbi," they said, "a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?"

 9Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours of daylight? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world's light. 10It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light."

 11After he had said this, he went on to tell them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up."

 12His disciples replied, "Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better." 13Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

 14So then he told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead, 15and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him."

 16Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with him."

Jesus Comforts the Sisters

 17On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18Bethany was less than two miles[a] from Jerusalem, 19and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

 21"Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask."

 23Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."

 24Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."

 25Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

 27"Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ,[b] the Son of God, who was to come into the world."

 28And after she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. "The Teacher is here," she said, "and is asking for you." 29When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

 32When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."

 33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34"Where have you laid him?" he asked.
      "Come and see, Lord," they replied.

 35Jesus wept.

 36Then the Jews said, "See how he loved him!"

 37But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?"

Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead

 38Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39"Take away the stone," he said.
      "But, Lord," said Martha, the sister of the dead man, "by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days."

 40Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"

 41So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me."

 43When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" 44The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
      Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go."

Check me out here tomorrow as we discuss why GOOD PEOPLE like have to die.

6 Comments on "“Why do GOOD PEOPLE have to die?” – Part One"

  1. Blake says:

    Everybody dies… so what if you are good. There will be “good” people burning in hell that didn’t accept that Christ was their savior. We have such a high importance of life. To God, it is but a vapor, a test for eternity. Life is a short ride, and God is just using it to judge our eternity – which is the BIG DEAL. Don’t put so much into life on this earth – it’s not the most important thing.

  2. mike p says:

    The “high importance on life” statement is so true, Blake. I believe for most (at least for me) it’s a trust issue. It’s also an out of sight out of mind issue. It’s a lot easier to trust in that which
    I have experienced.

  3. Deb Cadovius says:

    I agree….and I also believe that sometimes God has to allow a Believer to go home with Him so that non-believers will question eternity and really start to examine their need for Christ. I can think of NO GREATER honor than to pass away from this life into HEAVEN thinking someone may chose to give their life to Jesus and meet me there later. When Mom was so sick last year, I used to pray, “Lord, if you decide to take her home, remind me I get to spend ALL THE TIME IN ETERNITY with her later….I just may have to wait 50 years…and what in the world is 50 years compared to eternity???” That even brought smiles to my face when I could bare to see her suffer no more. God is TRULY good and let’s not forget He has our VERY BEST interest at heart…. I’m so glad I’ll see him someday!!!!

  4. mike p says:

    WOW DEB… what a great, great encouragement. Once again… I think it’s the fact that we’ve not believed INTO the truth that heaven really is better – it’s not a let down, it’s a reward.
    Thanks for the application from your mom’s illness.

  5. Ed Yost says:

    I felt I was near death during my hospital stay in Nov. 07 and it was frightening. That is to leave a wife that loved me, and our family I loved.God loved me more and sent his son so I could live forever with him! I feel we much depend on God’s word. He allowed me to come home and even though I can’t attend church or walk without assistance and need help to dress and put on my shoes, I praise God I’m here to serve Him! I thank Him everyday for another day. Not sure I made my point, but our Heavenly Father knows what is best to increase the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

  6. mike p says:

    Ed – thank you for another perspective, the perspective of one who has been there (almost…).
    I too praise God that you are here and that He can still use you for His glory. Praying with you that it may increase in your life daily in Jesus’ Name.

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