Wednesday, April 18, 2007


I think it's pretty safe to say that by now most of us have heard about the horrific events that took place at Virginia Tech this past Monday. My prayers are with all the families of the victims as well as the family of the killer. More specifically, I have prayed that the God of All comfort would indeed comfort these sorely bereaved families in the wake of this senseless act. I also pray that those among these families who have saving faith in Jesus Christ as their LORD and Savior and rest in the assurance of dwelling eternally with that very same God, will so intimately know His comfort that they will in turn so shine and glorify God that the unsaved families will at last find hope and comfort. I have prayed that a "peace that surpasses all understanding" among these believers will stand out in such stark contrast to all the despair that the media is promoting that hearts related and unrelated to the victims and their families will be convicted and effectually called. I have prayed that, as is His modus operandi, God will take this heinous, vile act and turn it around for His own glory and the salvation of many.

I also pray that it will give those of us, who have been thus far spared of such a fate pause to consider,"why didn't God allow this to happen to us"? I realize that a question of this nature is counter-intuitive. We naturally ask the more common questions, "why did God allow this to happen" or "where was God when this happened"? Indeed, this event brings into focus, once again, "the problem of evil". Men who were and are of far greater preeminence than myself have tackled this problem with little ultimate success. What little I have to offer is this and it is in no wise original: the "problem" is not the existence of evil, the "problem" is the existence of any "good" in this fallen world.

The LORD Jesus gives us, in Luke 13:1-5, the perspective that we who have been spared tragedies such as Virginia Tech, Colombine or 9/11 should have. Jesus was, for all intents and purposes, asked: "where was God when Pilate mingled the blood of the Galileans with their sacrifices" and "why did God allow the tower in Siloam fall on and kill eighteen people"? Jesus didn't give a sermon on the "problem of evil" or provide a thesis regarding God's ultimate intentions for these events. Jesus responded with His own penetrating question: "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered this way . . . or those on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem"? He answered for them twice, "No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish".

Why didn't God allow this to happen to us? We are all guilty of sin (cosmic treason and rebellion) against a Holy God. A Holy God, who in order to be true to His own holy nature MUST punish sin. Who are we in His sight without Jesus? The Apostle Paul describes us: "They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.  Though they know the decree of God, that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them, but give approval to those who practice them" (Romans 1:29-32). Earlier Paul charges us with suppressing the truth of God in our unrighteousness. He exposes our guilt saying that we are without excuse because we do know that God exists from creation alone; yet although we know God we do not honor Him as God and rebelliously turn to worship idols of our own creation. I challenge you to study the first chapter of Romans again. Do it while sitting in front of a mirror . . . ouch!

Indeed, it is truly a testament to the mercy and grace of God that there aren't Virginia Techs, Colombines and 9/11's every hour. We deserve worse, BUT thanks be unto God for His Son Jesus Christ!!! Yes, these tragedies strike Christians and non-Christians alike, for all of us are citizens of a sin sick world. The difference, however, is that those who have received God's gift of saving faith in the LORD Jesus Christ live on eternally in the massacre-free, terrorist-free, sickness-free, death-free loving presence of the Almighty Invincible Holy Triune God of All comfort. With Him there will be no more death, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore (Rev 21:4).

There is another ending, however, for the unbeliever. Having rejected the mercy of God as displayed in Jesus, the unbeliever freely chooses to receive the justice of God. Without the atoning blood of Jesus to expiate the sin guilt of the unbeliever, a Holy and Just God must punish that sinner, if indeed He is holy and just. The one who faces death, either violently or in the peace of sleep, not having accepted God's gift will enter an eternity of unending conscious torment, a place the Bible calls, "Hell". The horrific experience of this place will dwarf the total combined suffering and evil of the entire existence of planet Earth.

What do these two outcomes have in common? In both, by displaying His mercy and grace or by displaying His justice and wrath, God is glorified! Amen!

That leaves us who have been spared, thus far, from tragedies like last Monday with a decision to make. "The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent, because He has fixed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom He has appointed; and of this He has given assurance to all by raising Him from the dead" (Acts 17:30-31). I've made my choice, how about you?

(Be Like the Bereans, Baby!!!)

P.S. I received an e-mail containing a video which seemed truly appropriate at a time such as this. I would like to share it with you for your consideration.

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