Aurora, Sandy Hook, Charleston, Chattanooga, San Bernardino, Orlando, and now Las Vegas. When I woke up Monday morning I was saddened to hear that once again a mass shooting had occurred in the country that I love.
Sunday evening, during the closing performance at the Route 91 Country Music Festival on the Las Vegas Strip, 64 –year –old Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. He murdered 58 people and injured 530 others. The horrible events of this day marked the deadliest mass shooting by a lone gunman in U.S. history.
With each mass shooting, we seem to be hearing more and more. We are given constant reminders which we need to think about seriously.
- Each day could be our last. Death is one of the great equalizers in life (Hebrews 9:27). Tragic events like the one on Sunday, remind us that we really don’t when we are going to die. Do you think any of those 58 murdered people thought they were going to die at that concert? Do you think that any of them woke up that Sunday morning thinking that it would be their last day on earth? Those folks did not go to that concert to die, but rather to listen to music and have fun. Death was probably the last thing on their minds! And yet, it would be something they would experience before the night was over. Tragic events like this remind us of the words of the Lord’s brother in James 4:13-15. We don’t know what will happen to us each day. We don’t know when we are going go die. Compared to eternity, our lives are very short and we need to be prepared to leave this world any at moment.
- There is a lot of evil in the world. People often ask, “Why does God allow people to do evil?” This question fails to consider that God made man in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). Part of being made in the image of God means that we have the ability to make choices. This is one of the things that makes us superior to anything else God has made. We are not programmed robots. We do not live off our instincts like animals. God made us free moral agents. We can choose to do good or evil. We can choose to love God or flat out reject Him (Joshua 24:15). If God intervened in every tragic case, He would be taking away man’s free will. He will not do that! Unfortunately, we live in a world where men often choose to do terrible, wicked things. Sometimes these wicked choices impact others in a negative way. This has been going on in the world since the time of Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:1-8). The events of Sunday remind us that we live in a world where evil exists and men sometimes choose to do horrendous things.
- This world is not our home. This world is not a perfect place. The only way we will escape the wickedness of this world is to go to heaven. In heaven there is no evil. There is no murder. There is no rape. There are no periods of mourning and tears. There is no death (Revelation 21:1-4). These are things that we have to deal with now on this earth, but not in heaven! Heaven is a perfect place with perfect happiness and security. It is a place where all the horrible things we see on the news will be absent! The events of Sunday remind us that this world is really a sad place and heaven should be what we are seeking above anything else (Matthew 6:19-21; Philippians 3:20; 2 Corinthians 5:8). They remind us of just how important it is to serve Jesus, because He is the ONLY way to heaven (John 14:1-6).
This will probably not be the last mass shooting we hear about. Living in a sin-filled world, there are sure to be other cases. But with each case we are confronted with, the same reminders are brought to the forefront of our minds. Will we heed them and take them seriously?
– Shawn Jeffries