THE TRAGEDY IN LAS VEGAS
"But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they denied its power; and avoid such men as these."
When I awakened on Monday morning, October 2, I was shocked and deeply saddened to read about the brutal mass shootings in Las Vegas—59 people were killed and 527 were wounded. The shooter, Stephen Paddock, committed one of the greatest acts of gun violence our country has ever seen. Our hearts break for the families and the wounded who have lost so much due to this brutal, heinous crime.
What are we to make of this latest tragedy before us?
1. The Lord told us things would be difficult and dangerous in the last days. The verses in 2 Timothy detail the unbridled evil that will be prevalent in the last days. Jesus said before He returns, the moral climate of the world will be just as it was in the days of Noah. Those days were filled with vice and violence. The time period was so wicked that God was forced to destroy everyone—save Noah and his family—with a worldwide flood.
2. Tragedy tends to bring us together. It is encouraging to see people of all races and backgrounds come together to pray and to minister to the hurting in times of tragedy. While America is bitterly divided on a number of important issues, we can all grieve together the senseless murders of so many unsuspecting people. We can all agree that what took place was unspeakably twisted and horrifying. We can band together instead of pulling apart.
3. The only hope of the world is Jesus Christ. Our politicians do not have the answers to our growing problems. Science and technology do not have an answer for the issue of evil. Humanistic wisdom cannot do anything to curtail the wickedness and rebellion raging in the hearts of men. Only Jesus can make sense of the senseless and offer hope to the hopeless. Only He can change the human heart. As someone once said, "Any fool can put a new suit on a man, but only Jesus can put a new man in a suit."
4. The growing spiritual darkness in our world reminds us that the Lord is coming soon. The last days are certainly upon us ... but they do not last forever. Jesus will come again one day. We are closer than ever to His promised return. The intensifying presence of earthquakes, fires, famines, floods, and human atrocities serve to testify that our world is in serious trouble. Suffering is a reality in a fallen world. Genesis chapter 3 makes that crystal clear. Increased suffering, however, is a definitive mark of the last days. The right response to tragedy and suffering is not to bitterly blame God … but to humbly look to God for mercy, grace, and salvation.
May you and I become more serious than ever about living for Jesus in these last days. May we see that being a half-hearted, lukewarm Christian is just not an option for the true child of God. People all around us are dying inside and headed to an eternal hell. The Lord is calling each of us to “come out from their midst and be separate” (2 Corinthians 6:17). He wants us to shine and share until He returns. Will you do it?
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
P.S. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Direct questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 149 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
Life's Big Questions
Everybody has questions in life. But not all questions are created equal. Some questions are really big… and they can become stumbling blocks to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. In this compelling six-message series, Dr. Jeff Schreve boldly tackles Life's Big Questions to help believers and unbelievers alike better understand the firm foundation of Christianity.