Summary: Here's a sermon to preach when someone in your congregation dies unexpectedly.

Why Did Diane Richards Die?

Psalm 116:15

15 Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His saints.

This past Monday Gospel Chapel lost a member.

Diane Richards had a heart attack at work and died.

We were all shocked when we heard the news.

We knew Diane had heart problems,

but we had no idea that her life was in danger.

I have no doubt that her soul is with the Lord in heaven.

I believe that her faith in Jesus was genuine.

She started coming to our church about a year ago.

She didn't miss many church services.

She brought her sister and her nieces and nephews to church.

When we needed a teacher for the Alpha Children's Church class

Diane volunteered to do it.

She told me that she learned a lot about the Bible...

by being a teacher.

I have no doubt that Diane's soul is in heaven this morning!

We all miss seeing her on that back row!

At times like this, we are prone to wonder why it happened.

An elderly lady slipped on the steps

after leaving church one day,

and died soon after with a broken hip.

Many people came to the funeral home to offer their sympathies.

Some were saying to the sorrowing husband,

"God must have had a plan for this, so accept it."

Another said, "It was God's will and we must live by it."

Still another said, "Somehow God planned this to test your faith!"

And still another said,

"There is a silver lining in every cloud --

you will find God's reason behind this eventually."

The preacher who was listening to all this...

soon grew tired of these "babblings".

The funeral was conducted the next morning...

and the first thing he said was this:

"My God doesn't push old ladies down flights of stairs."

It's ridiculous to blame all bad things on God.

Can I explain why God allowed Dianne

to die suddenly of a heart attack?

No, I cannot!

But I'm weary of people blaming God for horrible tragedies.

But then, the question is: where is God?

I'll tell you where God is.

God is with us.

Point #1 God is love.

1 John 4:8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

Everything God does,

is because He loves you!!

Everything God does

is done in love and with love!!

One day a pastor was visiting a farmer and his family.

He noticed a weather vane on the barn

that was spinning around in the wind.

On the weather vane the words "GOD IS LOVE" was engraved.

The pastor said to the man,

"I don't think that is a very good way to talk about God's love.

"Why not!" asked the farmer.

"Because you are saying that God's love is Wishy Washy

and changes depending on the way the wind blows?"

said the preacher.

" Absolutely not" said the farmer.

"That Weather Vane is saying,

"No matter which way the wind blows,

God is Love."

No matter what is happening or has happened God is love.

Point #2 God knows when we will die.

The 139th Psalm says God knew all about each of us...

even before we were conceived in our mother's womb.

Psalm 139:16

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.

And in Your book they all were written,

The days fashioned for me,

When as yet there were none of them.

That does NOT mean God controls everything we do.

It merely means that God knows what we are going to do.

God knows everything about us.

He knows how we will react...

to every situation that comes up in life.

He knows what good decisions and bad decisions we will make.

Point #3. One of God's gift to us is free will.

From the outset God determined that his creation

would not be under his direct control.

He gave us life -- and a beautiful world

full of everything Adam and Eve needed to enjoy.

Genesis 3:3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.' "

He told them to leave that tree alone.

He gave them all they needed and more,

and still they wanted what they couldn't have.

Their refusal to deny self won out

and they squandered Gods precious gift in the garden --

and they were free to do so!

God did not push Eve to where that tree was!

He didn't make her pick the fruit from that tree!

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