I was driving home from a Lutheran church yesterday when I finally turned on the radio and let in the outside world. That’s when I heard about the Orlando massacre, and got the first inkling that it was probably Islamic terrorism. Since then, I have watched the reactions of many friends and acquaintances on social media, as well as how various politicians and talking heads have weighed in on this horrible tragedy.
It seems like almost every argument and point of view has been covered as some people look to fix blame or position themselves in the best light. And there have been many expressions of sorrow and grief and anger that are all easy to understand. So I have been in no hurry to rush to make a statement, or be a part of any particular camp. It’s not because I am heartless or do not care, but I do have what seems to be an unusual perspective. I hope you will take time to consider it.
Every day in America between 6,000 and 7,000 people die of various causes. Around the world, it’s over 150,000 deaths per day. Although many of them are untimely or tragic, they all have one thing in common: they are inevitable. And from there, the go to spend eternity in the presence of their Savior, or they go to Hell. And very little is said about this, the ultimate tragedy.
Perhaps you do not believe this is the case. Keep in mind that you do not make the rules. We were created by a holy God, and He ultimately calls the shots. Bring your lawyer if you wish, but remember that he will just be another defendant on Judgment Day.
Because I do believe this, and so do many of you who are reading, that puts a weight of responsibility on us to share the Good News, that God so loved the world that He gave His Son, to pay the price for all of our sins, so that whosoever believes on Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. In fact, we have been commanded to share that message. And I don’t need to bring out empirical proof to all of you for you to know that most of us live lives of gross disobedience to the Great Commission.
Over the next several months I expect to see a lot of changed profile photos expressing solidarity with the victims of the Orlando massacre by many believers in Christ. Keep in mind that showing your sadness is appropriate, but it is not a substitute for sharing the Gospel with the lost world.
It is interesting to note that the shooter was born in the US and went to school here. I have to wonder if he had heard the Gospel while he was growing up. Was he or his family befriended by Christians who shared the Gospel with them? Every sinner, no matter how vile you believe that person to be, started life as a child.
That is the lens through which I see this terrible event. In a nation where we have the right to share the Gospel, most of us don’t. And even those of us who do, focus on reaching people AFTER they have grown up. The average church spends 3% of its budget on ministering to children, and most of them do not evangelize the children they have.
This terrible event will not be changing my profile picture or how I live my life. I am back at work today, planning on reaching hundreds of children this summer with the Gospel. Many of them will make first time professions of faith, and begin a life of living by faith in Jesus. I am blessed to have many volunteers who give of their time to obey God and do what He has told us to do. But there are many thousands more to reach in this area, and we don’t need sympathy. We need your help.
Visit us online at CEFCH.ORG to give your time, talent, or treasure. Thank you.