Why Does God Allow Christians to Die In Accidents?

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Why Does God Allow Christians to Die In Accidents?

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Scripture tells us that God never leaves us or forsakes us (Deuteronomy 31:6 Deuteronomy 31:6Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD your God, he it is that does go with you; he will not fail you, nor forsake you.
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). He is our refuge and our strength, and a help in time of trouble (Psalms 46:1 Psalms 46:1God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
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). He is our Shepherd: guiding us, providing for us and protecting us (Psalm 23).

So how do we rectify these two things? On one hand is the absolute truth of God’s divine protection and provision, and on the other hand is the fact that our Christian brothers and sisters sometimes die in sudden, unexpected and tragic ways.

Life as a Christian isn’t easy. Nowhere in Scripture are we promised a life free of pain, suffering and tragedy. In fact, Scripture states the exact opposite.

People have struggled to explain this concept for millennia. During Job’s time, there was a misunderstanding that is expressed by Job’s friends that somehow Job deserved what was happening to him as a result of his sins—basic cause and effect. Much of the book of Job is spent discoursing this concept back and forth between Job, his friends and God. Buddhists have taught the concept of Karma for several thousand years—that a person’s actions have long-range consequences. Good deeds lead to good karma, bad deeds lead to bad Karma, like a cosmic bank account that credits and debits your future with each action and every consequence however unrelated it might be, is a result of the balance of your account.

Jesus Christ ran into this line of thought during his earthly ministry when two tragic situations occurred in Judea. In one situation, a number of brethren from Galilee were killed and their blood was mingled with the sacrifices by Pontius Pilate. In another, a group of people were killed when the Tower of Siloam collapsed. (Luke 13:1-5 Luke 13:1-5 1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answering said to them, Suppose you that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, No: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen, on whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think you that they were sinners above all men that dwelled in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, No: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.
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) Christ’s point to those gathered was that these people were no worse sinners than anyone else and this wasn’t punishment for a life of sin. He illustrated to those gathered that this fate—death—would come to all men and that they must redeem the time and repent.

These sudden, unexpected and tragic deaths were not a result of these people’s sins … instead Christ makes the point that death comes to us all, and we must lead a Kingdom-focused life while we are here.

When Satan tempted Jesus Christ in Mark 4, he quoted a passage from the book of Psalms, where the psalmist praises the Lord for his protection: “No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.  In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone” (Psalms 91:10-12 Psalms 91:10-12 10 There shall no evil befall you, neither shall any plague come near your dwelling. 11 For he shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. 12 They shall bear you up in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
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In Matthew 4, Satan twists this passage to tempt Christ to throw himself from the parapet of the temple—to somehow prove God’s protection. Christ’s simple response to Satan was to quote Deuteronomy 6:16 Deuteronomy 6:16You shall not tempt the LORD your God, as you tempted him in Massah.
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;and a paraphrase of Psalms 95:9 Psalms 95:9When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.
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: “You shall not tempt the Lord your God.”

Christ’s response to Satan was telling. Does God protect his people? Yes He does … but if we do something unwise—like throw ourselves from a tall building in order to test God’s protection, there are no guarantees.

If we extrapolate this concept to the modern day—we can’t smoke for 50 years and then question why God didn’t protect us from lung cancer. If a loved one gets into the car without a seatbelt and gets into a horrible accident, and we question why God didn’t protect them, the honest answer is that there are consequences to our choices and we ultimately reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7 Galatians 6:7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap.
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). That is a biblical principle.

Can God protect His people? Absolutely.

Does He always? No.

And that is tough to swallow sometimes as a believer in God. Why didn’t God protect this person in this circumstance? Why didn’t He send an angel to bump their car back on the road? To somehow cushion the fall, preventing an untimely and tragic death?

It’s just not fair! They had faith in Him and served Him as a Christian.

The Jews in Rome during Paul’s time asked these kinds of questions as well, regarding the fairness of God. Why God was working with the gentiles when he promised to be Israel’s God. To answer that question, the apostle Paul responded with other decisions that God made that could be perceived as unfair. His answer is recorded in Romans 9.

“And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), it was said to her, ‘ The older shall serve the younger.’  As it is written, ‘Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.’  What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.’  So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, ‘For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.’  Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens” (Romans 9:10-18 Romans 9:10-18 10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; 11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calls;) 12 It was said to her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. 14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 15 For he said to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy. 17 For the scripture said to Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. 18 Therefore has he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardens.
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, emphasis added).

We don’t always understand why God does what He does—why some live and others do not. The apostle Paul tells the Jews and us in Romans 9 that essentially God will do what He wills, and it really isn’t our place to question why. He will have mercy on whom He chooses to have mercy on, compassion on whom he chooses to have compassion. This is hard to accept.

Life as a Christian isn’t easy. Nowhere in Scripture are we promised a life free of pain, suffering and tragedy. In fact, Scripture states the exact opposite.

In 1 Peter 4:12-17 1 Peter 4:12-17 12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you: 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy. 14 If you be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are you; for the spirit of glory and of God rests on you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. 16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. 17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
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, the apostle Peter tells us not to think it strange when we fall into fiery trials. When we suffer tragedy and difficulty in our lives, we shouldn’t think as though this is some strange thing that has happened to us. Instead, his point to the recipients of his epistle was: “ Expect it.”

Satan is the god of this age (1 Corinthians 4:4 1 Corinthians 4:4For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judges me is the Lord.
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). He has been given control over the earth for a time. As such, the pain, suffering and tragedy that we see in the world around us today is a direct result of his influence. The people of God are not immune from this suffering, tragedy and tears.

However, there is a time in the future when Satan will be put away for eternity. Jesus Christ will return, and the Kingdom of God will be established. As we see recorded in Revelation 21, at this time there will be no more pain, no more suffering, no more tears and no more death.

Sadly, that time is not now, but we can rest assured of fulfillment of God’s promise (Hebrews 6:17-20 Hebrews 6:17-20 17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show to the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before us: 19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters into that within the veil; 20 Where the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
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) and a time when we will see our loved ones again in the wonderful Kingdom of God.