Here is an inquiry that I received from a college-aged young lady:
There’s this question I have been struggling with for a while now. I understand why people grow old and die naturally but why do young people have to die? I know a 21 year old girl who was driving home for a friends house at 3 am and was disoriented and flipped her car and died. She was a wonderful girl. My cousin’s best friend was on meds, it did something to his heart and he died randomly at 21.
I just don’t understand why young people have to die. My dad was telling me that he believes that the sin that brought our world to imperfection makes these things happen, that God will help sometimes but not always. What makes Him choose who dies and who lives?
First, I don’t propose to have any clue on why or how God chooses to do what He does (who lives, who dies in this case) unless the Bible clearly declares His reasons for all of us to know. In the case of a young person or baby dying, or a “good person” having bad things happen to them, that belongs to the secret knowledge of God and there it shall stay with my comments. Now, on to what we can know based on the Bible…
Your Dad is correct. God chooses for His own reasons when to intervene in human events but regardless, God will make all things right for eternity. That’s what we base our hope on as Christians. That’s why the “unfairness” of this existence does not cause us to despair like those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). That’s why injustice, suffering and bad things do not steal our joy as Believers.
A fact of human existence is people of all ages die and bad things happen to “good” people because of one reason: SIN. Not necessarily specific sin they’ve committed individually (though that can often be a factor), but the overall sin of humanity.
Sin is what caused God’s creation to be cursed. The curse brings accidents, disease, suffering, unfairness, injustice and evil.
Every time something like this happens, it reminds us of how horrible sin is, and how we should long for Jesus to return so that all the bad things will end. It reminds us of how perfect God is, and how imperfect we (as a whole of humanity) are not.
Our collective sinfulness, and the curse it brought on God’s creation is the origin of all the bad things that happen (Romans 5:12). Some day sin and the curse will be removed forever (2Pet 3:10; Rev 21:1)… until then, we trust that God will ultimately make all things right, punish all evil, reward all good, and rest in His perfect love and care.
We should have an eternal perspective… see things eternally, not just from the temporary nature of this life. This sin-cursed creation will be a blink, a wisp, a vapor compared to eternity. As we call this to mind, it helps us remain joyful and hopeful it the face of hardship or uncertainty. Our hope is in God’s faithfulness and unfailing promises:
- Psalm 39:7 – “And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You. (NKJV)
- Titus 1:2 – in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, (NKJV)
- Romans 5:5 – Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (NKJV)
- Romans 15:13 – Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (NKJV)
- Psalm 146:5 – Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the Lord his God, (NKJV)