We’ve been progressing through the attribute of love as God loves and expects it of His children. It’s love week here at the End Time.
I’d planned next week to explore hate. Not everyone’s favorite subject, I’m sure, but we’ve all experienced it, either prior to salvation when were at enmity with God or afterward when we had fleshly flashes of it.
Today, sadly, we as a nation are once again mourning in the aftermath of a massacre shooting. This was the worst kind, a school shooting.
Yesterday alleged shooter Nikolas Cruz allegedly shot 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a public school of about 3,000 students outside Boca Raton, FL. In the recent past we’ve endured:
February 14, 2018 – Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School – Parkland, Florida. 17 people killed and at least 14 others injured.
January 23, 2018 – Marshall County High School – Benton, Kentucky. Two killed and 18 injured.
December 7, 2017 – Aztec Hight School – Aztec, New Mexico. Two killed and shooter kills self.
September 13, 2017 – Freeman High School – Spokane, Washington. 1 student killed, 3 injured.
April 10, 2017 – North Park Elementary School – San Bernardino, California. Adult kills student and teacher, then self. Two others injured.
That is a list of just the shootings within the last year, and of course you and I know there are many more, and not just school shootings. In the aftermath, we see quotes like this one from CNN.
“This has been a day where we’ve seen the worst of humanity. Tomorrow is gonna bring out the best in humanity as we come together to move forward from this unspeakable tragedy,” he said.
So often we are quick to blame others for our failures and shortcomings. We even mask how we do this by employing the “if-only” rationale to excuse our sin. “If only I had been raised differently…I had a better job…you hadn’t provoked me…my husband would listen to me…my church were better….” The list is endless and usually contains genuinely flawed people and circumstances that are blameworthy.
But no circumstance, other person, or activity can ever justify my sin. I sin, Jesus said, because my heart is sinful. That is a shattering reality. But we must humbly face it if we want to be spiritually healed.
Alleged shooter Nikolas Cruz shot people because he is a depraved human. But we’re all depraved. The difference is that prior to salvation we have no hope of resisting that depravity. Afterward, it is a constant battle, albeit aided by the ministry of the indwelling Holy Spirit. But it’s in all of us. Ask Abel. There is none good, no not one. When the hate against God that’s inside us grow to such monstrous proportions one cannot restrain it any more, we unleash it in terrible ways. Gossip, slander, adultery, extortion, oppression, murder. It’s all there in all of us.
It is exactly why we need the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness–or lack of it–or the righteousness of another. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself. But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.
The only way you can receive the benefit of Christ’s life and death is by putting your trust in Him–and in Him alone. You do that, you’re declared just by God, you’re adopted into His family, you’re forgiven of all of your sins, and you have begun your pilgrimage for eternity.
Praise God He made a way for us to be reconciled to Him. The Gospel is life.