We need to know the truth and not just nice sounding words that make us feel better.
I recently read an article entitled, ‘My Friend Honored God and His Parents – Why Did He Die Young?‘ It was a very good question, but I did not have high hopes that the article would provide any real answers – and sure enough it didn’t. It was the usual, “Well God moves in mysterious ways and all things work together for good, including children dying” type of religious nonsense. Some people reading this are already offended, but don’t be – 1 Corinthians 13:5 in the J.B. Phillips translation says, “Love is not touchy“. So try to put any offense to one side, keep reading, and allow God to speak to you. I want to spend time going through the article and refuting what it is teaching. We need to know the truth and not just nice sounding words that make us feel better. Jesus said in John 8:32, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free“. If we can find out the truth, as to why good Christians sometimes die young, then we can guard against it happening in our own lives, or in the lives of our families.
Jesus’ number one reason for coming to this planet as a human being was to die on the cross.
One of the first ways that the article attempts to explain good Christians dying young, is by giving the example of Jesus. It explains that Jesus was more obedient to His parents than anyone has ever been, and that Jesus honoured both God, and His earthly parents, more than anyone else. The article points out that despite Jesus’ obedience, the promise in Exodus 20:12, “Honor your father and mother, that you may have a long, good life in the land the Lord your God will give you” (The Living Bible), did not come true for Jesus. (Why is it that people think they are being really spiritual when they give reasons why Bible verses don’t mean what they appear to say?) However, the life of Jesus cannot be used as any sort of example of how long we should live for though. Let me explain why – Jesus’ number one reason for coming to this planet as a human being was to die on the cross, so Jesus knew full well that He was not going to live a long life. You cannot say that because Jesus died young, anyone could die young. God made a promise in Exodus 20:12 and He meant it, but that promise did not nullify Jesus’ mission.
“You are my hiding place; You, Lord, protect me from trouble; You surround me with songs and shouts of deliverance. Selah.” Psalm 32:7 AMP
— Jesse Duplantis (@jesse_duplantis) 5 August 2017
The article goes on to suggest that maybe the promise of living long in the land was to the Israelites as a nation and not as individuals. But if that’s true, why does Psalm 91:16 say “With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation“? Psalm 91 is referring to an individual, not to a group of people and if you want to use Jesus as an example, up until the point where Jesus willingly laid down His life, Jesus walked in the protection promised throughout Psalm 91 – the protection that a great many Christians do not believe in. Look at the example in Luke 4, where the people wanted to throw Jesus off a cliff, but He just walked away. No-one could harm Him, until He laid down His life.
John had a firm revelation of the protection that was available to him.
Let’s continue analyzing the article, here is a direct quote:
‘Ephesians 6:3 says if you honor your parents, it will “go well with you.” And “going well with you” in Romans 8:35 means you might be killed for Jesus’ sake. That is what “going well with you” may include.’
What?!?!? Getting killed for Jesus’ sake doesn’t mean things are going well with you!!! It is true, that eleven out of the twelve original apostles died martyrs’ deaths, but John didn’t. Why was that? It was because John had a firm revelation of the protection that was available to him. Christian history records that before John was sent to the Isle of Patmos (from where he later returned), the Romans attempted to boil him in oil, but he emerged unscathed. Paul himself, was not killed until he decided that he was ready to go. Paul discussed this in Philippians chapter one, and came to the decision that he should remain alive at that time. Paul was not talking about suicide, so he must have been talking about whether he should submit to execution or not, and at that point he decided not to submit. Look closely at Hebrews 11:35, “Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection“. There is a reward for those who die a martyr’s death and some have chosen a martyr’s death in order to receive the reward – not accepting deliverance. Whilst others have died, because they were not aware of the protection that was available to them – maybe they had received similar teaching to the article I am referring to.
God doesn’t take children away from their parents for any reason.
These words are found towards the end of the article: “If God takes a child in the most ultimate sense, it has gone well with them and that is what he promised“. What a lie! It’s like when people say, “I guess God needed another angel in heaven…“, or something similar. It sounds nice and comforting, but its total rubbish – God doesn’t take children away from their parents (i.e. He doesn’t kill children) for any reason and certainly not for something as frivolous as because they’d make a nice addition to heaven. Jesus made it very clear in John 10:10, who it is that does the taking and who it is that does the giving, “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]” (Amplified Bible). “Oh but Matthew, remember what Job said: ‘The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away’ (Job 1:21)“. Yes Job did say that – but Job was wrong! Job and his friends got a lot of things wrong. For example, Job thought that God was causing all his trouble, but reading the book of Job makes it clear that Satan, not God, was the one behind it.
All of God’s promises can be taken at face value.
The basic message of the article is a message that Satan has been pushing for a long time. Namely, that you can’t take anything God says at face value, that all of God’s promises in the Bible don’t exactly mean what it looks like they mean. Except for the bit about salvation, that’s completely true, with no hidden meaning or loop holes – hopefully. Way back in the Garden of Eden, Satan was saying to Eve, “Did God really say that you shouldn’t eat from any tree in the garden?“, and now he says, “Did God really say He’ll give you a long life, if you’ll honour Him?“. Ignore Satan’s lies and deception, the truth is that all of God’s promises can be taken at face value – you just need to believe them, speak them, and expect them to happen for you. Why do good Christians sometimes die young? The answer is found in Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge“. So find out what God has promised, and then, instead of looking for reasons why God didn’t really mean it, simply believe it. Ignore the circumstantial evidence and believe that God was speaking the truth and that you don’t need to read between the lines to see what He really meant.
If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.
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