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Summary: In the aftermath of the events of September 11, many are asking that same question of God. God where were you?

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INTRODUCTION: Lazarus had become terminally ill. Upon being informed of his condition by Christ’s disciples, Jesus delayed going to the home of Lazarus until he had been dead for four days. Upon His arrival Christ is met by Martha who cries out to Christ, "Lord, if you would have been here, my brother would not have died." Mary, hearing that Christ had arrived, runs to Him and echoes Martha’s words, "Lord, if you would have been here, my brother would not have died." Christ going to the gravesite sees the mourners and Martha weeping. With a heart full of compassion, Jesus weeps. The Jewish mourners seeing His tears, said "See how much He loved Lazarus. Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?" Mary, Martha, and the mourners all in the face of this tragedy, the sudden death of a good man all were in essence asking the same question. Where were you when we needed you? In the aftermath of the events of September 11, many are asking that same question of God. God where were you? I believe that the truths presented the account of John 11 answer the question.

I. TRAGEDIES HAPPEN

A. Hebrews 9:27 "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"

B. Job 14:1 "Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble."

C. Ecclesiastes 2:22-23 "For what hath man of all his labor, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath labored under the sun? For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart takes not rest in the night. This is also vanity."

D. Tragedies are all part of the result of man’s fall and his sin nature.

E. ALEXANDER SOLZHENITSYN, "IF ONLY THERE WERE EVIL PEOPLE SOMEWHERE INSIDIOUSLY COMMITTING EVIL DEEDS, AND IT WERE NECESSARY ONLY TO SEPARATE THEM FROM THE REST OF US AND DESTROY THEM. BUT THE LINE DIVIDING GOOD AND EVIL CUTS THROUGH THE HEART OF EVERY HUMAN BEING." (LEADERSHIP, VOL. 4, NO. 1)

F. Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"

II. TRAGEDIES HAPPEN TO ALL MEN

A. I Corinthians 15:22 "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."

B. HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW "INTO EACH LIFE SOME RAIN MUST FALL."

C. Matthew 5:45 "... He makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust."

D. Ecclesiastes 9:2-3 "All things come alike to all. There is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrifices, and to him that sacrifices not. As is the good, so is the sinner; and he that swears, as he that fears an oath. [3] This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun. That there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead."

III. TRAGEDIES DO NOT HAPPEN OUTSIDE OF THE SCOPE OF GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY

A. John 11:4 "When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby."


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