The latest national tragedy in Las Vegas once again raises familiar issues and difficult questions as our people struggle to find answers.
The old drumbeat advocating additional gun control hit the airwaves almost before we knew the name of the perpetrator of what President Trump labeled “pure evil.”
The effort to find out what exactly motivated this mass killer will be ongoing and although we will never fully understand his heart I am sure many will attempt to do so.
And of course many will wonder aloud as to where God is when evil in measure proceeds unchecked.
In regard to gun control we actually have many laws in place including back ground checks aimed at weeding out those who may pose a risk to society as gun owners.
Trying to make our nation safer, while maintaining the right to bear arms, is an ongoing discussion that can be fruitful. However, it is a discussion which will never eliminate the possibility of evil.
Regardless of current gun control laws or the creation of additional gun control, those bent on evil will find a way to acquire what they need to perpetrate their hideous acts of violence anyway.
The problem is not gun ownership. The problem is evil in the heart.
In fact, a very strong argument is maintained by gun owners everywhere that the greatest deterrent to an unbridled increase in violence on the part of potential evil doers is the knowledge most are prepared to defend themselves if necessary with the guns they own!
Chasing the issue of gun control as though this will prevent others going the way of Cain is shortsighted. Instead of the discussion degenerating into a political debate a more profitable path would be the lofty goal of teaching our people the fear of God.
The more godly the society the less likely such atrocities will occur. As the Scripture declares it is by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil (Prov. 16:6).
One thing should certainly be obvious to everyone in light of acts of violence small or large. Mankind has a problem with evil.
President Trump was right to describe the tragedy in Las Vegas as an act of “pure evil.” Instead of searching for a motive as though we can blame such behavior on external influences that shaped the motive of the killer, we need to acknowledge the potential of evil that lurks in the heart of all men.
Jeremiah the prophet says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it (who can understand and explain why we are willing to yield to such wickedness)?” Jer. 17:9.
Once we acknowledge the spiritual problem we all have in our own heart we have a starting place to actually deal with the problem.
The answer of course is to turn to the Lord. Consequently, we should pursue godliness through-out our society including in our homes, our schools, our institutions, and our industries.
But we must also come to grips with an awful reality: in this fallen world it is not possible to eliminate all acts of evil. It is possible for men “to go the way of Cain” in spite of every advantage.
Cain’s problem (Genesis 4) was not the lack of godly influence. My friends, God himself spoke to the man!
And now we come to the answer of a question often posed by an unstable world when things like the Las Vegas tragedy unfold: where is God in all of this?
May I say kindly: HE IS ON THE THRONE AND HE IS DOING THE SAME THING HE DID WITH CAIN. He allows men to make a choice to follow him or to rebel against him.
Note the Lord’s words to Cain: “if thou doest not well, sin lies at the door.”
Right now the Lord allows men to make choices that often hurt others. Good and evil are stark realities in our sin-cursed world and are a result of the fall of Adam.
But you need to know a couple of things: 1) the Lord is going to bring every work into judgment; justice will be served . . . and 2) the Lord is going to make all things new; evil will not exist in the new heavens and in the new earth!
The bigger question for everyone is not why God allows these things, rather the bigger question is this: Am I ready to meet the Lord (regardless of how I may die) should I die today?