Summary: How a death of a young Christian can be used for the Glory of God.
Why Does God Take the Good Ones?
When I heard that one of our youth at the church had been killed in a car accident, my first question was “Why Spike, why not someone else?” As always when I unjustly question God, He gave the answer through my lovely wife. She said, “Because God wanted him now.”
God knows what He is doing. God is in control. God has a plan, even though we don’t always understand it when thing like this happens. This young Christian had his whole life ahead of him. Just two weeks ago Spike and his girlfriend declined to go on a trip with the youth group to a water park, because they were helping with Vacation Bible School. Spike felt it was more important to help train these young children than to have fun with the youth group. This is what is called taking up your cross and sacrificing for Christ.
I think we could all take a lesson from this young man. Do we sacrifice for the work of Christ? Do we care more about leading others to Christ or enjoying ourselves? I remember watching Spike up here last Sunday morning after Vacation Bible School. He was so happy and so proud to be working with those little ones. I will always remember the smile on his face that day. I am thankful that I told him that I was so very proud of him. What if I hadn’t said that? There wouldn’t have been another opportunity for me to tell him.
We never know when we may lose a love one. Have you said all the things that need to be said to your wife, your husband, your children or your parents? Why wait? You may not have another chance. Have you told your love ones recently how much you love them and how very proud you are of them?
1 Cor 15:55-58
55 "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
You know, I envy Spike. Spike is with our Lord. He is singing praises to God. He has seen Christ and he has seen the angles. He has walked on the streets paved with gold. How happy he must be. I long for the time that God will call me home, but until that day, I will serve my Lord and preach the gospel to all those that will listen. Death has no victory over believers. For believers there is no sting in death. Thanks to God, Jesus Christ has given all those who believe total victory over death through the forgiveness of sins. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The wages of sin is death and eternality in hell. But by the acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Savior we have eternal life with God.
That is great for all of us believers, but what if someone that we know is killed in an accident and they are not a Christian? We have youths right here in our church that has not accepted Jesus Christ has their Savior. If one of these youth had died in that accident, they would be spending eternality in hell. Are we willing to accept that? I’m not. We need to set our priorities according to God’s will. Christ gave us the great commission. Our first priority is to preach the gospel to all the nations. That includes unbelievers right here in our hometown and right here in our church. Sometimes we get all tied up in our personal problems, church politics or planning for church growth, that we don’t see the forest for the trees. If we know that there is one person in our church that is not saved then our highest priority should be in leading that person to Christ and everything else comes after that.
We cannot let the death of one of our Christian youth, be in vain. There are family members that need to know Jesus Christ as their Savior. We have youth that needs to understand where Spike is today. Though his death and his eternal life, we can lead others to Christ. We need to let our youth know that this could have been any one of them that died. If you had died in that accident where would you be today? Are you sure? Through my military career and through my involvement with Promise Keepers, I have learned that the best way to counsel someone or to lead them to Christ is on a one on one basis. We must take that extra time and spend it with someone who doesn’t know Christ. We must approach them on their level and talk to them and not down to them. Listen to what they are saying and what they aren’t saying. I learn more from a person by listening to what they are not saying than I do from what they are saying.