We Need to Know Why

Published on Oct 4th, 2017 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
We Need to Know Why

We Need to Know Why It has been called the deadliest shooting in United States modern history. 59 people dead and over 500 injured. The magnitude of what happened brings great sadness to our hearts. The fear that it brings to everyday events and gatherings will be felt for a very long time. People were immediately calling for stricter gun laws, greater security in hotels and they were encouraging people to keep a greater eye on each other. Someone had to know something before this happened but they did not report it to police. People just want to feel safe. One of the most difficult things to accept in this brutality is that no one can seem to determine why this man did what he did. What motivated him to act with such malice? Why would he seek to kill so many lives who never touched his life? If we knew why then maybe we could figure out a way to stop it next time.

One of the most difficult things to accept in this brutality is that no one can seem to determine why this man did what he did. What motivated him to act with such malice? Why would he seek to kill so many lives who never touched his life? If we knew why then maybe we could figure out a way to stop it next time. As believers, we immediately understand the reason that this was done. Jeremiah 17:9 points us in the right direction, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can know it?”. Our hearts are evil. There is a very real thing called evil. At times, in our world, we get a glimpse into just how deep our evil and wickedness extends. As people, apart from God, we are blinded by the god of this world and self-consumed. While many hide this evil, some give in to it completely and decide that they will act like God. They will decide who lives and who dies. They will create, in their minds, a world where they are always slighted and everyone deserves to be punished. While we are shocked when people act out these evil thoughts we are not completely surprised. God warned us about our hearts.

But we live in a world where there is no moral authority. Where there is no category for this kind of evil. Where men are thought to be progressively getting better. The old-fashioned ideas of religion and morality are doing nothing more than holding us back from evolving. When something like this happens, the unstable footing of our world’s beliefs is exposed. You can hear and see the desperation they feel as they grapple with trying to fit this kind of event into their worldview. It just does not fit into a category. It exposes a reality about man that they just do not want to look at. If someone is led astray by a violent idealism then we understand. If someone is desperate and lashing out, then maybe we can see how that could happen. But a man who had means and no history of violence simply decides to stockpile guns and ammunition in a hotel room so that he can shoot as many people as he can...where does that fit? What does that say about us as a human race? Is that kind of thing in all of us?

I grieve with the rest of my community. Our way of life has been forever altered by the actions of a few. It is hard to grasp that a fellow American can so easily take the lives of his countrymen. But I am also reminded of why Jesus came. That evil that drove the shooter is the same evil that resides in my heart. I was completely and utterly unable to overcome that evil. Just like our shooter, I would have had to pay for the evil present in my life. But Jesus came and paid the penalty for the evil that resided in me. He offered, by the work of the Spirit of God, to apply that payment to my life. I accepted, by faith, and the Father accepted Jesus payment on my behalf. I now stand forgiven for that evil and I live by strength and power of the new life that Jesus has given to me. My evil may have never manifested itself by the taking of lives but it was the same evil. I am eternally humbled that God opened my eyes to see that the work of Jesus was for me.

What this man did, was pure evil. His choice to reign this terror down on so many families will be dealt with justice at the throne room of God. But we cannot assume that our evil acts, in comparison with these, are acceptable to God. Just because our acts are not as evil, does not mean that we will not have to give an account before God. The good news, the very good news, is that Jesus has paid for that evil. He has conquered evil and he offers, to you, today to cover the payment that you will one day have to pay. I would plead with you to accept that payment today. It is the only way to be truly safe.

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