The big news topic of the day will obviously be the Naval Yard shootings and it should be. Someone who had been entrusted with being a member of the Navy Family had evidently turned on it for unknown reasons at this time. We grasp for answers. But this problem goes back as far as the first two siblings on earth, Cain and Abel. Cain slew Abel out of jealousy and hatred because Abel’s actions were deemed better than his own and he didn’t want to be considered unacceptable or judged to be inferior. The seed of death and sin is ingrained in the heart of mankind since sin entered into the world. Treason, Adultery, and Idolatry have led us into unimaginable acts and heartache. The good thing is that God has given us remedy and grace to know what goodness is and how to return. It is only through His Son. Even though that remedy might seem narrow and exclusive it is a most wonderful remedy of great proportion. It is a sad situation that it is greatly rejected and despised.
I once was challenged by an atheist to consider the evil in the world and that if there was a God he didn’t care about it and should be held guilty for it also. I asked him if he had considered Jesus Christ. The truth that Christ was God, became a man, grew up, lived and worked, was tempted as we are by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, yet without sinning and then suffered a terrible death at the hands of His own creation so that He might reconcile those same violators to God was what I placed before him to consider. He lowered his head with an acknowledging nod that if that was true then God was active and very patient toward evil doers out of love and concern for even the most sinful of men. I then also told him because Christ died and rose from the dead that there is no evil that will go unpunished and no innocent person that will not be recompensed for the evil done to them. We all will stand before God and give account and be rewarded.
He acknowledged that the Historical Christ did suffer unjustly if Christ was who He claimed to be and if the recorded accounts were true. The atheist also acknowledged if these things were true about Jesus then most of his arguments fell apart.
There is a remedy. The problem is that men just love darkness because our deeds are evil and we want to be the ones who determine what is right or wrong based upon how we feel. We want to find fault with God because we don’t want to live righteously or submit to His authority. It is a sad thing we do this and neglect the Love of God in Christ. I neglect it often. I am grateful God is long-suffering and patient with us.
Repentance is a wonderful gift. To people of our generation Repentance (or a call to quit acting badly) is harsh and unloving. That is a shame because repentance actually is a call to return to become loving and righteous again. It is a call for the chance to repair, reconcile, and start over again. We all need that “Second Chance” many times over in life.
Let’s not neglect the fact that there is great evil in the world. But let us also not neglect the fact that God has done something about it and will do more.
Rom 5:6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
Rom 5:7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—
Rom 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Rom 5:9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
Rom 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
Rom 5:11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Let’s not neglect the truth and goodness found in the Law of God.
Mat 22:36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
Mat 22:37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the great and first commandment.
Mat 22:39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
2Th 1:5 This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering—
2Th 1:6 since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you,
2Th 1:7 and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels
2Th 1:8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
2Th 1:9 They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,
2Th 1:10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.
There is hope and good things to report. We see these things also shine when great evil becomes evident. When evil appears we usually see a common grace of dignity, sacrifice, and heroism stand out. I pray for all of our eyes and hearts to be comforted during these times of great hardship.