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A Death Worth Dying (Dr. Evans)

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
November 3, 2021 8:00 am

A Death Worth Dying (Dr. Evans)

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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November 3, 2021 8:00 am

Dr. Tony Evans’ wife passed away in 2019 after battling a rare form of cancer. Just days later, he was back in the pulpit sharing what had to be one of the hardest messages he ever preached. Hear what he had to say in a powerful and personal lesson on what the Bible says about life and death.


Don't end your life wondering why you lived. The Bible teaches our days are numbered, and Dr. Tony Evans says we should live with only one goal in mind till that number runs out. To hear God say you fought a good fight, you kept the faith, and you finished the course. Celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, this is the alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative.

Dr. Evans' wife, Lois, passed away on December 31, 2019, after battling a rare form of cancer. Just days later, he was back in the pulpit sharing what had to be one of the hardest messages he ever preached. It was both a powerful and personal perspective on what the Bible says about life and death, and we want to share it with you today. Dr. Evans will be referring to passages found in 2nd Timothy chapter 4.

Let's join him. A few days ago, Sister Evans went home. She went home. As I reflected on her homegoing and this passage, the principle that dawned on me was, the best way to have a life worth lived is to have a death worth dying. Paul is saying goodbye to Timothy, his son in the faith, and in his goodbyes to him.

He has some very valuable lessons. Some of them, most of them, I saw them lived out in the goodbyes that I just experienced. He begins in verse 6 by saying, the time of my departure is at hand. He knew his life was coming to an end. He knew that his time on earth was closing, and he wanted Timothy to know that it was okay.

All of us have a time. The Bible says it's appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgment. All of us have a time to go home.

The problem is, we don't know the time. We really don't know today who the old people are in the church, because how old you are is not determined by your birth date but by your death date. If you're 50 and only gonna make it to 60, you're old. If you're 50 and gonna live to be a hundred, you're still pretty young.

Many people think they're younger when they're older than they think, because we don't know that time. But when that time begins to dawn, as it did with Paul, he said, the time of my departure is at hand. It became clear, even though he made it out of a number of other scenarios that threatened his life, he wasn't gonna make it out of this one. One of the things I observed in life and in Scripture is that when people walk with God and he doesn't take them suddenly, he will give them a glimpse of heaven while they're still transitioning from earth.

He will let them know not only that it's time, but it's okay. Two years ago, when we found out that this rare cancer had come upon Sister Evans, we had all these plans prior to that, and then we got the sudden shock of this rare disease, the disease that the doctor says has no cure. We did all that we knew to do to see MD Anderson, Baylor, went online, what was out of the country, all of the options we looked at, hoping that this could be arrested. We would get good news from the doctors, it seemed, that things were not progressing as they predicted, and life was not ending as quickly as they said it would. You were praying for us, and we felt the prayers extending time, and maybe, just maybe, God would cancel it altogether. But as time went on, particularly over the last month and a half or so, it became increasingly clear the time of her departure was nearing. But simultaneous to the time of her departure were things taking place that were letting us know she was dealing with something outside of the earth's realm.

For example, she said, my father, there's my father, and there was no one in the room physically. She was seeing something as the time of her departure got closer. She said, two days, two days, take me up.

Two and a half days she was gone. She heard something. She saw something as the time of her departure got nearer, like Stephen in Acts chapter 7, when he was being stoned to death.

He says he saw heaven open and Jesus standing on the right hand of the Father, giving him a standing ovation. When the time of your departure comes, you want to be close enough to God that you can hear things that other folk can't hear and see things that other folk can't see. You don't know whether you're gonna get sick. You don't know whether life is gonna change, whether you'll be laid off. You don't know all that's down the line.

Therefore, it is absolutely critical, since you and I don't know. Death has a way of surprising you. It's the intruder that disrupts our well-being and gives us grief. Paul says, the time of my departure is at hand. What was it about Paul that prepared him for this time? He says three things in verse 7 as he talks about his departure.

The word departure is a picture of an anchor being pulled up so that the ship can move from the dock to a new shore. The first thing he says in verse 7 is, I fought a good fight. I hope you know all fights aren't worth fighting. Far too many of us spend far too much time with bad fights.

I look at some of the stuff Sister Evans and I disagreed over. Most of the time it wasn't huge stuff, but when I look back, even the non-huge stuff wasn't beneficial. So when you look at your battles in life, you must ask the question, not am I fighting, but is it worth the battle? He says, I fought a good fight. I fought in the realm of that which was beneficial. Yes, you fight for that relationship. You fight for those kids so that they don't go astray.

That's a good fight. You fight for your well-being. You fight so that other people's lives are better. You fight for your best self, cuz that's a good fight. He said, I fought a good fight.

Oh, this last year, it's a two-year process, but the last year has been a doozy, and it's been a fight. It's been a fight. Fight with prayer. Your prayers, our prayers, are a fight. Every day we went to this treatment, every day we fought, we fought. It's a good fight.

Make sure what you're getting divorced over is not something stupid, not a bad fight. Well, that broken relationship between mother and child or aunt and uncle or coworker and you, is it a good fight? Tony will tell us more about what it means to fight good fights when he comes back in a moment to continue this message from his new series, Living with Loss. It can be a painful topic, one we might want to avoid, but it's something each of us has faced, will face, or is facing. To help you when that time comes, Dr. Evans and his family have written a book called Divine Disruption.

They talk about their raw emotions they felt and the tough questions they asked after Lois's death. They also explore ways to keep your faith from crumbling and how to keep moving forward when grief and pain make it hard to even breathe. We'd like to send you a copy of Divine Disruption as our thank-you gift when you make a contribution to help us keep Tony's teaching on this station. Along with it, we'll send you CDs or access to digital downloads of all seven parts of our current Living with Loss series, including a touching roundtable conversation with the Evans family about grief. Again, both these resources are yours with our thanks when you make a donation online at or call our Resource Center day or night at 1-800-800-3222.

That's 1-800-800-3222. Well, Dr. Evans will come back with more of our message right after this. Add some adventure to your family time and impart spiritual truths to your kids with a library of books from Dr. Tony Evans, specifically geared toward children. Written for children of all ages, these books will help you teach your kids the Bible, lead them to depend on the Lord and spark joy in their hearts for him, all the while enjoying time together as a family. You'll find scripture to memorize, journal prompts, and practical applications for the whole family to put into practice. But most importantly, you'll have a way to spend intentional time with your kids, having fun and enjoying each other while learning biblical truth together.

Explore Dr. Evans' line of kids books today and start them on the path to discovering what it really means to live faithfully for Jesus. The second thing he says is, I finished my course. I finished my course. It's good to know when your time is up that you're finished. Paul was saying, I completed what I was put here to do. Don't waste your life so that when you are finished, you weren't finished, that you never got around to what God created and redeemed you to do, that there was nothing eternal about your life where the course that God had for you, and he has a course for every believer to serve his kingdom, to serve their Lord.

Don't end your life wondering why you lived. I learned a little bit more even than I knew previously about my wife. She got saved at nine. At nine, her mother led her to Christ, her and her older sister. She got on her knees with the two of them and led them in the process of trusting Christ as their Savior. At 15, she went to a camp and was challenged there to surrender her life to Jesus Christ fully and in service to him. As the story was told to me, she got on her knees at the camp at 15 and told the Lord, you can have all of my life for any of your purposes.

I surrender to you even if that means I will never marry or have children. So this was a serious moment where she gave up everything over to Jesus Christ. This would lead to us meeting, us marrying, but it would also lead to her fingerprints being all over my life. You would not maybe know all of that, but there's no place that you go or that I go that has not been touched by her fingerprints. I made it through school because she typed the papers and reviewed them. When we started the church with ten people, she was the secretary, she was the hospitality person, and she was the music leader. She was the pianist while at the same time raising the kids. When the Urban Alternative started, she would make the tapes, reduplicate the tapes, put them in a bag, take them to the post office, mail them, then she would manage things so that we got on the radio. So anybody who knows me anywhere in the world only know me because her fingerprints are on it. And her motivation was something her mother told her as she grew up.

All she would say regularly is, it's for his glory or for his namesake. So everything had the mark of God associated with it. Paul says, I finished my course. I did all that I was designed to do. When it comes time for God to transition me and you and us, you want to be able to say I'm finished. Paul thirdly says, I kept the faith. I didn't walk away from my faith. When times got hard, I didn't give up on Jesus. A bedroom looks like a hospital room, the wheelchair and a walker and all of the things that come with hospice.

But at any time, she could be conscious. You would hear her calling on Jesus or asking me or the kids to read Scripture or playing Scripture on a CD or listening to music on Christmas. We gathered the children and the grandchildren, the great grandchildren around. We just sang, sang carols about Jesus. She just would move her lips trying to mouth the words about Jesus. The night before she passed away, a friend came over and just sang to her songs about the Lord. When she stopped singing, she would pat on the leg. She couldn't talk, but that meant keep going, keep going. The lady wanted to make sure she was getting through, and so she said, if you are hearing me and if you are worshiping with me, blink your eyes.

She would blink her eyes. In other words, things got closed out with Jesus, never gave up on the faith, never walked away from God. I don't care how bad things get, you don't walk out on Jesus. You keep the faith. You stay with the Lord. Paul said, I didn't give up.

I kept. When I wanted to give up, when I wanted to throw in the towel, when I got too tired, I kept the faith. Then he comes to his final verse, verse eight. Paul says, Now there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, but not for me only, but for all those who love his appearing. Now there is laid up for me a crown of glory. Before he left, he knew that there was going to be an award waiting. Last week, Sister Evans rung out in the room, award, award, they're calling me for an award. She kept saying, award, award, they're just waiting for the song. There was anticipation about an award before she was gone, but Paul had an anticipation about an award before he was gone.

He said, Now there is laid up for me. When I came by the office yesterday, there was a plaque with a resolution on it. The resolution had a quote on it from Sister Evans that I never remember ever reading.

Let me read what she wrote in 2012. As a woman that heard the voice of God and stayed on track as much as she could, and with the plan that he ordained and preordained for her life, I want to hear well done. I might not please all the people here, but I want to hear well done. Because what he foreknew about me and predestined for me, I took time in my life to really accomplish that. I want to leave a legacy and heritage for my children and grandchildren and for any woman that the Lord brought my way. I want to leave some inspiration and some encouragement for them. Foremost in my mind is I want to hear well done. That must be, from this point on, the goal of everybody to hear well done, to hear God say, You fought a good fight, you kept the faith, and you finished the course. He says, Now there is laid up for me, which means that death wasn't the end, it wasn't a period, it was a conjunction. Sister Evans asked me, she said, How long is it gonna take my soul and spirit to leave my body and go to heaven?

How long is it gonna take? I was able to explain it's like a balloon with air. When you prick it, it goes pop, and the air escapes, and the rubber falls down to the ground. The rubber once you pop the balloon is useless, but the air that left it is still there. When that pop occurs and you close your eyes for the last time, the life escapes.

The body is dormant because it has no air, but the air is still there. You're very much alive. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. When you have that assurance that you don't get to stay dead when you die, when you have that confidence in the Lord. So if you are here today and you are a Christian, if you are here today and you love the Lord, then you follow Him because this life is your dress rehearsal for eternity. You say, but it's hard, but it's tough. But if I told you that if I got you to eat squash for a year and you didn't like squash, but if you ate it for a year, I would pay all of your bills for the rest of your life.

It would change your view of squash. Your life may have squash in it, but God says if you'll fight a good fight, finish the course, and keep the faith, I got you covered for your eternal destiny. Dr. Tony Evans, sharing biblical truth and personal experience in a message he calls, A Death Worth Dying. Now the full-length version of this heartfelt presentation is available as a part of his current seven-part series, Living with Laws. Remember, it's yours with our thanks, along with the divine disruption book I told you about earlier, when you make a contribution to keep this listener-supported ministry coming not just to you, but to people like this listener who left us a voicemail recently. Hi, my name is Matthew Greenwald, and I wanted to mention that I've been listening to Dr. Evans since he was on AM radio in Houston back in the early 80s, when I was just a young boy of 12 years old, and I wanted to let him know that he has been an absolute instrumental voice in my life, now more so than ever as I am 51 years old.

But I did want him to know that he has touched the other little boats in his world that he may not even know exist. So thank you so much. God bless.

It's been true throughout the 40-year history of this ministry. Everything we do is made possible by the faithful, generous contributions of people like you. So get ready to take down our contact information. I'll have it for you right after this.

more and find where Journey with Jesus will be showing near you. Get all the information on the movie and the special resources I told you about when you visit us at Or if you'd like some in-person help, our resource center is open for you 24-7 at 1-800-800-3222. That's 1-800-800-3222. Everybody knows that exercise builds strength, but Dr. Evans says there's an even better kind of strength we get when we do less, not more. Find out more about it when you join us tomorrow. The alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by the Urban Alternative and is celebrating 40 years of faithfulness thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-28 14:59:58 / 2023-07-28 15:07:44 / 8

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