The Answer to Why God Lets Things Die | Tony Evans Sermon

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The Answer to Why God Lets Things Die | Tony Evans Sermon

Dr. Tony Evans emphasizes the importance of believing in Jesus as the resurrection and life, moving beyond theological knowledge to a personal, present trust in Christ’s power. He challenges us to pursue faith-driven actions that invite God’s miraculous intervention, illustrating how faith precedes God’s transformative work.

Dr. Tony Evans is the founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, founder and president of The Urban Alternative and author of over 100 books, booklets and Bible studies. The first African American to earn a doctorate of theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, he has been named one of the 12 Most Effective Preachers in the English-Speaking World by Baylor University. Dr. Evans holds the honor of writing and publishing the first full-Bible commentary and study Bible by an African American. His radio broadcast, The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, can be heard on over 1,400 radio outlets daily and in more than 130 countries. Dr. Evans’ sermons are also streamed and downloaded over 20,000,000 times annually.

Turn with me to a very familiar story.
I’ve gone over it many times, but I wanna do it from the perspective of what I’ve been talking about in John 11.
God, why are you killing me?
For a number of weeks, we’ve been asking that question, and we’ve looked at various scenarios in the Bible where it looks like god was working against his people.
God was looking like the one causing the problem. Rather than the one solving the problem.
God, why are you killing me? Why are you hurting me like this?
And we all know the story of Martha Marion Lazarus Martha and Mary have come to Jesus, and they said, our brother is sick.
Our brother is sick.
They had a they had a go to Jesus meeting chapter 11 verses 1 and 2 and 3.
And you love him and he’s sick verse 3 says. Jesus gave him a promise.
His sickness is not to end in death. But for the glory of god.
Now the first thing you’ve got to know is to god uses sickness.
He says, this sickness is for the glory of god. So god does use sickness and allows it.
So anybody who says, if you say you don’t get sick, that’s just not true.
That is just not true.
In fact, if that were true, you would never die because nothing would ever be wrong.
But god was going to use it.
It’s for the glory of god so that the son of god may be glorified by it.
So god allows negative scenarios, and he uses some negative scenarios for his glory.
The problem occurs in that Lazarus, we would say, dies.
But notice what Jesus does in verse 11, then he said, and after that, he said to them, our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep.
Jesus takes the word death and switches it. He says he’s fallen asleep.
He wanted to give them a different view of death.
And by the way, when you die, quote, unquote, to use our normal nomenclature, you fall asleep.
You end the and that word is only used of Christians, by the way.
You fall asleep that you enter into another realm of consciousness.
So the problem occurs in verse 20.
Motham, for when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to medium, but Mary stayed at home, because Mary is not talking to Jesus.
She’s upset. Because she called on Jesus, and Jesus did absolutely nothing.
And if you tell her truth, many of us get upset because we didn’t called on him and called on him and called on him, and he was nowhere to be found.
Verse 21. Martha then said to Jesus, lord, If you would have been here, my brother would not have died.
Translation is your fault. Cause because you weren’t here, I called you and told you we needed you here.
You didn’t come here. It’s your fault because if you came here, if if you would have come here when we called you, we wouldn’t be in this mess.
Even now I know whatever you ask of god, god will give you.
Now that that is an amazing amount of faith.
Because even though she’s upset, because she blames him, she says if you were to even now, He’s been dead now 4 days.
Even now, god will listen to you. She has a very high view of Jesus.
Which is, I mean, end with that in just a moment.
But Jesus said to her, your brother will rise again.
Martha said to him, I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.
I’ve I’ve been to prophecy conferences.
And I know that one day in the suite by and by, when we cross over to Chile Jordan River, he will rise again.
Verse 25. Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life.
Whoever believes in me will live even if he dies.
And everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?
That’s what I wanna talk about for a few minutes. I wanna ask you a question.
Here’s my question. If it was Jesus’s question, Do you believe this?
That’s the question. Do you believe this?
Jesus says your brother will rise again.
She says, well, I know he will rise again in the resurrection.
Jesus raises the question do you believe I am the resurrection?
That’s a different belief. She believed in the theology.
He will rise again, you know, in the future resurrection. That was theologically accurate.
But Jesus’s question is not about a theological statement, it’s about a person.
I am the resurrection.
See, many of us believe about Jesus who don’t believe in the Jesus we believe about.
In other words, we believe the data. We’ll amend we will amen the sermon.
We will amend the the information But Jesus switches the question.
The truth of god the information you learn about god is always designed to lead you to the god you learn the information about.
So if all you do is go to the information, you have not experienced the god who gave it.
We don’t need more data. We need to experience the god who gave the data.
We already know. Jesus says, I am the resurrection. Please notice he makes it personal, not merely doctrinal.
And he makes it present tense, not merely future tense.
I know my brother will rise again. Jesus says I am.
He brings it back from sometime in the unforeseen future to the presence. Present right now.
I am. And those of us who remember the book of Exodus, that was the name for god.
I am that I I am. Now what is he? He is the resurrection. What needs resurrection?
Something that has died. That that’s what you resurrect, something that has died.
So watch this. Why does god allow something in your world to die?
So that you can experience resurrection. Why?
Because once you experience resurrection, you’ve had a personal experience with god and not merely an informational study about god.
See, most of us here tonight don’t need another sermon.
We need a we need a fresh experience.
Doctrine that is biblical truth is designed to bring you into personal experience.
Biblical Truth is is the roadway to the supernatural.
It is not merely to know the information.
And once you stop with the with the information and mister I am the resurrection, then you’ve missed the experience.
So god let Lazarus die because he wanted them to see that he was the resurrection.
So suppose right now what god is letting you or me or us go through.
Is all purpose. Now I know you’re praying to get out of it.
You’re praying to be delivered from it. You’re praying to I I got that, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
But suppose his purpose. Yes. Okay.
When she went to him, she said my brother is sick in the first three verses.
So it was bad, but it was not as bad it was gonna get because he was gonna die.
So she went to him in a bad situation, and guess what?
It says, Jesus stayed where he was longer, stayed in Bethany longer.
In other words, he intentionally let it get worse.
A lot of us would say, uh, why call on Jesus if because my situation has only gotten worse.
Suppose it’s gotten worse on purpose.
Post god has let me get worse because he wants that thing to die because resurrections are miracles.
And only god can perform them.
This is a little different perspective of what you’re going through.
He literally could be answering your prayer by letting the thing get worse.
He literally, he literally could be answering your prayer.
By letting what was sick, get worse, and Do you believe this?
Do you believe that I am the resurrection that I’m in the resurrection business?
So what’s dying in your world? Do you believe this?
Well, let’s say you say yes. I believe this.
I believe not only the doctrine, I not only believe the information, I trust in the person, the I, the person, I believe I don’t only believe the truth I believe in the person who is the truth.
I am the way the truth and the light.
I am looking to you Jesus in this dead, dying, sick, situation that there is no human solution for You remember the lady with the issue of blood?
For 12 years, she had spent all the money she had to get her resolve to her problem.
And then she heard Jesus was nearby. This woman got on her hands and knees.
To crawl to Jesus, to touch the hem of his garment, Jesus said, I felt power leave me.
Uh, I felt power leave me the disciples said, what? What? What?
Jesus said, who touched me? The disciples said, well, who bunch of folks touched you?
You got you see on this crowd? People bumping into you and all that? He said, no. No. No. No.
No. They ain’t what I’m talking about.
I’m talking about who came to me for me Jesus can draw a crowd.
He can get a crowd, but it’s different than getting a crowd and getting power.
She got down and touched the she was not going to be denied.
She got there and touched the him of his garment. She was insistent on getting to the person.
She was not satisfied to be in the crowd.
And the problem is that many of us I was satisfied to be in the crowd.
When I went to church today, I was in the I was in the audience.
I was in the crowd, but we ain’t pressing to the hymn.
And it’s depressing to the hymn that got the power, not the being in the crowd bumping up against Jesus.
See, a lot of the time, well, suddenly, we bumping up against Jesus. We just Jesus here.
I’m here. We here. We’re just bumping up to Jesus. But this woman was desperate.
This woman was desperate.
So do you believe this?
Do you believe in the I am, I personal am present?
Do you believe that I am present right now in the midst of your dead, dying situation.
Do you believe this? So she says yes. 1st 25th. She says, yeah, I believe it.
I believe it. Well, then Jesus tells it in verse 39, remove the stone.
Remove the stone.
The stone that was in front of the tomb.
Martha, the sister of the deceased said to him, Lloyd, By this time, there will be a stench for he has been dead 4 days.
Jesus has moved the stone.
She gives him an an election in mortuary science.
She said, let me explain something to you.
There is a stench Because he’s been dead 4 days, Rick and Mortise has set in.
There’s been bodily decay. There is an order what you just asked for isn’t practical.
Doesn’t make sense. It’s ridiculous.
It is not unusual for us to instruct god or what he ought to do.
Given the fact we have degrees. We’ve been to college.
We we, you know, we know a little something something.
You know, what’s interesting is that she was absolutely correct. He happened at 4 days.
And when the body’s dead 4 days, it decays and it stinks.
That’s all true.
But she had just said, yeah, to the theology. Yeah.
Hit a resurrection. Jesus can fix it. I know he’s able.
I know your wheel in the middle of a wheel and a bombing, Gilead, and a bright morning star, and, you know, all that.
I know it. I know it, say Amen, but Jesus said remove the stone. Okay.
Now let me do it. Believing this will always require an action of faith, and the action of faith will often be something outside of your realm of natural understanding, because removing the stone did not make sense.
Because she was right. She had the facts right.
But Jesus said, do you believe I am the resurrection? Well, yeah. Okay. Remove the stone.
Look at what Jesus says here. I think Jesus is a little ticked off.
Because Jesus said her, did not I say to you that if you believe you would see the glory of God, Okay.
Please notice the order that. If you believe you would see, not if you see, you would believe.
And how would we know she believed by the moving of the stone, not by the discussion of the theology?
So here’s the question you must always ask.
In a dying situation when you’re looking to Christ to be the resurrection, what stone do you want me to remove?
What ridiculous thing do you want me to do? Because the Holy Spirit has to reveal that.
It’s gonna be different strokes for different folks, But what is it that you want me to do as to demonstrate my faith and not simply to recite it?
What’s my point of action? What thing do you want me to do?
And it may not make sense.
The Bible’s full of god asking people to do what would appear to be ridiculous things that didn’t make sense but is what god wanted to test their faith.
So they removed the stone verse 41.
Jesus raised his eyes and said, the most important word in verse 41 is then.
Somebody say then, then meaning not until she removed the stone.
Then Jesus raised his eyes and said, father, thank you that you’ve heard me.
I know that you always hear me, but because of the people standing around, I said it that they might believe that you sent me when he had said these things he cried out with a loud voice Lazarus come forth.
When she moved the stone, demonstrating the faith in the person, not merely in the theology, then Jesus prayed.
Okay. Let me close with this. Here’s what you want.
You just don’t want you to pray you want Jesus to pray.
Now let me tell you why you want Jesus to pray.
Because Jesus said when he prayed, Prayed, you always answer me.
See, our problem is he doesn’t always answer. But he always answers Jesus.
So the question is, how do I get Jesus to pray when I’m praying?
I’m praying Lazarus is healed.
I need Jesus to pray Lazarus is healed because I know if Jesus praising, It’s gonna break through.
That means I need to get Jesus’ attention.
Well, how do I get Jesus’ attention removing the stone? What does removing the stone say?
I believe Jesus. Unfortunately, many of us are practical atheist.
We’re theologically sound, but when it comes to life’s decisions, we’re atheist.
Because Jesus been trying to get us to move some stones for years.
Things that he’s wanted us to shift that we didn’t wanna shift or We didn’t think we needed to shift or one willingness shift, or it didn’t make sense to shift.
God said Jesus is saying, I’ll wait. Let me know when you’re ready, then I’ll pray.
And notice what Jesus said. Lazarus come forth.
Now if he hadn’t said Lazarus, if it was just there, come forth, everybody in the grave would have got up and we would have been in zombie land someplace, but notice that Jesus’ answer was specific to the situation.
Because they had got a name about their brother named Lazarus.
So Jesus directly addressed the situation.
I kinda knew 2 days ago that I I was gonna, you know, review this passage a little that I know I would get a phone call today from a sister in the church.
She she’s in here now. I won’t identify her.
But of assisting the church who asked me to pray about a situation in her life.
That needed a reversal, but there was no human way that a reversal could be seen in this particular situation.
There was no human way, and the reversal would almost virtually have to happen immediately.
So there was a there was the size of the problem, the reversal then it was the timing of the problem.
It had to be it had to turn on a dime.
And so there was so the question the question we discussed was What should be the response to the situation?
What should be the response to the situation?
So we discussed it and and discussed back and forth the situation, and we came to a a faith response, a a moving the stone kind of response And the reason I called them moving the stone kind of response is because the response was not the preference.
The response that we agreed on was not the preference.
We agreed on the opposite to what was wanted. So we prayed.
We came to a an agreement that, you know, and that’s what the Bible talks about 2 or 3 agreeing.
And then, you know, and and and that’s why that agreement is is important. So there was an agreement.
So we agreed. It was an impossible situation. It was a big issue. It was a timing issue.
And the decision was opposite to what was wanted, but it was the best decision to make, even though it wasn’t what was wanted, And I get a phone call today telling me, god intervened in that thing and flipped it completely once 180 degrees.
And here’s the thing without the person having to do a thing.
In other words, nothing had to be done. Nothing was done by the person to change the scenario.
God just dipped down into that thing and twisted it and tweaked it and turned it after the decision was made.
See, a lot of us want god to work for us to make the decision.
And god wants you to make the decision so he can work.
A lot of us are waiting for god to move so we can make the decision.
God is waiting for us to make the decision so he can move.

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