Ezekiel 18:31b-32 (NLT)
31b For why should you die, O people of Israel? 32 I don�t want you to die, says the Sovereign LORD. Turn back and live!
These are the sovereign words of our righteous and just God who desires a good long life for people. God has good plans and wants to give us an expected end to our lives.
As I wrote above, God wants to provide us with an expected end to our lives, but often our choices interrupt God�s plans for us. God planned a wonderful, eternal life for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, but that was interrupted after Adam and Eve made their own sinful choices. God planned the rescue of Lot and his family from Sodom and Gomorrah, but Lot�s wife refused to obey the warning given by the angels not to look back to their former life. She ignored the warning looked back and suffered the consequences of her actions.
Sometimes death comes at unexpected times, not by God�s plan, but as a result of Satan�s work of killing, stealing and destroying. Jesus said in John 10:10, �The thief�s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.� The thief is Satan who desires to take away what God has planned for or given to us. We can look at Job who loved and obeyed God. It was not God who went against Job, but Satan. Satan was the thief who took Job�s family, workers, possessions, and even his health. Job however proved his faith to God and God blessed and restored Job.
We must remember God�s will for us does not mean that His will is always the conclusive end. God�s will is that everyone would be saved through the salvation of Jesus Christ. But will everyone be saved? No, for some choose not to partake of God�s plan of salvation.
So why does God allow those who have placed their faith in Him to be persecuted and even killed for His sake? --- Because God wants to reach out to those who do not know Him. Our souls are already in His hands. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. God wants to reach out in love to those who don�t know Him for their worldly death means an eternal separation from Him. God is willing to sacrifice some of His own children, just as He allowed Christ to be sacrificed, to reach a lost and hurting world. Count our trials and tribulations as a blessing for God is using us to fulfill His purpose.