I am writing as I am thinking this morning. These are my thought as I think about the tragedy that unfolded in Orlando this past Sunday in the dark hours of the morning.
Tragedy is the only way to describe what happened.
I do not know all the details, but apparently a lone gunman entered at nightclub and began shooting into the crowd. By the time it all ended there were over 100 victims dead or wounded, including the shooter.
Many people, including politicians, lobbyists, and every other person on Facebook, are placing blame on any number of factors: 1) Weak gun control laws, 2) ISIS, 3) LBGT hate crimes, 4) Mental illness of the shooter, 5) The Republicans, and 6) The Democrats especially the current administration. Personally, the cause does not matter. We can figure that out later.
What matters is tragic loss of life and the grief of the survivors and the loved ones of the deceased.
No one deserves to die a senseless violent death. Not the revilers at the nightclub or even the shooter. Yes, the police and SWAT unit had to stop the shooter, I do not blame them. The shooter put himself into a situation that necessitated such action, but he did not deserve it. I hurt for his relatives and friends who are grieving his loss and wondering what lead him to commit such a violent act.
What matters is that everyone deserves an opportunity to respond to the good news about Christ.
Murdering people who live a lifestyle or practice a religion different from yours, prevents them from hearing the message of saving Grace.
The good news of saving Grace is simple,
“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you— unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. (1 Corinthians 15:1-5 – emphasis mine BSMc)
Look at the phrase I underlined and placed in bold. The gospel (good news – God’s spell) is what saves and is that Christ DIED for our sins, was BURIED, and ROSE from the grave conquering not only sin, but also death for us.
This is why Paul would say in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Christ (the sinless) died in my (the sinner’s) place to atone for my (the sinner’s) crimes against what is right and holy.
We obey that good news when we by faith re-enact the gospel as we put on Christ.
“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.” (Romans 6:3-6 – emphasis mine BSMc)
“for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:26-27 – emphasis mine BSMc)
Notice our obedience to God’s Spell – the good news the gospel – is when we die to self and sin, are buried with Christ since we are dead and are raised in newness of life and in that process of faith we put on Christ. We are then called by His name – Christian.
As we consider the uncertainty of life and the threat of terror and mass shootings please consider the following:
- Pray for the families of the victims as well as the survivors
- Try not to place yourself in dangerous situations.
- Remember vengeance belongs to the Lord, who will repay.
- Run, hide, and fight to protect/defend yourself.
- Most importantly, make sure you are ready for death to come.
P.S. If I can help you in your obedience to Christ or if you need me to put you in contact with someone closer to your location, please let me know.