A Prescription for a Shaken Nation

As of this writing, another shooting has occurred in a crowded public place with a dozen dead and dozens more wounded. A young man who appears to have had a lot going for him is in custody and will soon answer for his crimes in court. As a nation, we now begin once again the soul-searching, the questions that beg an answer at times such as these. How can we prevent such things from happening? How could this have been foreseen and stopped? What kind of intervention should there have been in this young man’s life to address his troubled mind and spirit?

Incidents like these are used by both political parties and the press to advance an agenda or to smear political opponents. Gun control advocates point to such events and press the case for tougher gun laws. Others advance the idea that if more people carried guns, this rampage might have been stopped before it got very far at all. Calls come for more programs for “at risk” children, restrictions on ammunition sales, and armed guards at every theater. Others decry such government intrusions upon what those people view as basic freedoms and rights we are guaranteed in our laws.

Even the church world sees the need to get involved. Religious figures of every stripe are quick to decry such violence and implore the aid of the almighty for healing for the wounded, and for the healing of our nation. President Obama visits survivors and the families of those fatally wounded. Everyone bemoans the loss of life and the senseless violence that seems so prevalent in this country, and indeed all over the world. But for all the talk and hand wringing, no real, lasting, foolproof solutions are offered.

Why is this? Why are events like this impossible to predict and therefore prevent? What is it in the human psyche that “goes haywire” and leads people to kill each other every minute of every hour of every day? Scripture leads us directly to the answer, and that answer is sin. “For the wages of sin is death;” Romans 6:23. Events like this are a direct result of the falling into sin of our first parents Adam and Eve in paradise. Despite God’s warning to them that in the day that they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they would surely die, they believed the lie of Satan and ate. And ever since, we continue to die, sometimes of “natural causes”, and sometimes at the hands of a madman with a gun. Abel, the son of Adam and Eve, met his end at the hand of his jealous brother Cain in the very next chapter after the fall into sin is recorded. Sin lies at the root of all this world’s woes and struggles, and people killing each other is the natural outgrowth of our warped and twisted nature.

Some of you might protest. “I could never enter a theater and gun down innocent people in cold blood! What kind of monsters do you think we are?” Scripture will allow us no such pride in ourselves. In Genesis 6, God offers his assessment of our natural state: “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” And the Apostle Paul echoes this assessment in the New Testament when he quotes the Psalms in Romans 3:10-18; “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Paul makes the case in the context that all men, Jew or Gentile, find themselves in this miserable state. The fact of the matter is, you and I are indeed capable of every sin imaginable, murder included.

What shall we then do? Are we doomed to forever wallow in this cesspool of murder and iniquity? Is there no hope for us? Thanks be to God, the answer is no. Immediately following the fall, God presents His plan of salvation in seed form: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15. God will send His son to die for the sins of all His elect, so that they might look forward to living with Him in a new heavens and new earth, where sin, the devil, and our old natures will be forever banished. A place where the prophecy in Isaiah 11:6 shall come to pass:”The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” All shall be peace and beauty and harmony. And as for the world that will then be, scripture assures us in Revelation 21 that “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

This is what the world needs. The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Not more government controls in our lives, and not an armed populace either, for that matter. Not more social programs, not more self-help books, and certainly no wishy-washy self-help religion of man. The great need of this world is the good news of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Only in this can we have true hope, true confidence. Only in Christ can we live and die happily, regardless if that death comes at a great age, or at the hands of a deranged gunman tomorrow. Place your trust and faith in Christ, and look for that “city that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Hebrews 11:10. Seek out this Christ and his church, and begin to enjoy a small foretaste of that eternal city already in this life. Learn to serve this risen Lord and Savior, and put your full confidence and trust in Him. And let the churches of this land say unashamedly, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” Isaiah 45:22.

Categories Articles | Tags: | Posted on September 10, 2012

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