Mass Shootings and the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Lee Faler • August 15, 2019

On Saturday August 3, 2019 a gunman (who will purposefully remain unnamed) opened fire in an El Paso Walmart, killing twenty and injuring many more. Sadly most of America woke up the next day to the news that another mass shooting occurred, this time in Dayton Ohio. Social media quickly became a firestorm with people on both sides of the aisle voicing their opinions about the country’s need or lack of need for gun control. One side feels that we need tighter restrictions on firearms, while the other side feels that everyone, everywhere needs to carry a firearm. 

But as Christians, how should we respond to these recent events? How do we view these events through a biblical worldview? Allow me to offer a few suggestions.

We’re not in Eden anymore

All is not right in our world. This is not based off recent events, this based off of one event that happened once upon a time in a place called the Garden of Eden. When sin entered the world it proceeded to have devastating effects on all of creation. Sin has affected our relationships, our environment, and even our bodies. Sin has been transmitted to all people, because in Adam all are sinners, and that sin is clearly evidenced not just by situations such as El Paso, and Dayton, but also in cancer clinics, natural disasters, and divorce hearings. Sin has devastated all of creation, and has left us “groaning in the pains of childbirth (Romans 8:22-23)” for freedom from captivity. We cannot afford to get comfortable here on earth, because we are longing for a kingdom to come. We are living in the tension of the kingdom of God being “already but not yet” and events such as these serve as stark reminders. We are like John in Revelation crying out, “Even so come Lord Jesus!”

This means war

We ask the question “How could something like this happen?” and the answer is actually quite simple. At this very moment we are in an unseen, yet seen war. We have an adversary who goes by many different aliases such as “The father of lies”, “the accuser of the brethren”, “the prince of the power of the air”, and “a lion seeking whom he may devour”. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He is currently at work in the hearts, minds, and lives of lost people. He hates the work of God, and will stop at nothing to advance his kingdom of darkness. Sadly events like this awaken the Church to the reality of spiritual warfare, and cause us to begin the transformation of the Church from a luxury liner to a wartime vessel. One of the biggest tragedies today in our churches is that we have blinded ourselves to the storm clouds of spiritual warfare looming over our heads. Perhaps its time we wake up, strap on our armor, and sharpen our swords. This means war.

Preach the gospel

So what can we do? We must do something, right? Well Church, here is what we must do.

We must preach the gospel. The solution to the brokenness that sin has brought on our world cannot and will not be fixed by Washington. New laws will not change lawless hearts. The only thing that can transform a lawless heart is for that heart to be awakened to the beauty, and glory of God through the gospel of Jesus Christ. We must preach the full gospel that God in His holiness, will judge all who have sinned against Him, not just the mass shooter, but the sexually immoral, the thief, the swindler, the gossip, and the proud. He is returning with a sword to judge the nations, but praise God, we get to herald the news that right now He offers a full and complete pardon to anyone, and everyone who will turn from their sin, and place their faith in Him. That pardon is found through the slaughter, and resurrection of the King’s only son Jesus Christ. He has lived the life we could not live, died the death we should have died, and is now alive forever and ever. This is no time to shrink back and sip drinks from our luxury liner. The time to grab our megaphones and herald the gospel is now. 

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