2007-04-18 - Blacksburg, VA
Editor's Note: The prayers of the CFStaff go out for the victims of the Virginia Tech murders, as well as their friends, families - and all who have been affected.
Psalm 31:15, "My times are in your hands."
There is little doubt that many in the United States are shocked as I write this, early Tuesday morning 4-17-07, less than 24 hours after the shooting at Virginia Tech - that has thus far claimed 33 lives. I suppose there are a lot of things that will be and can be written on this sad event. I don't want to talk about gun control. I don't want to try to answer the question, "Where was God in Blacksburg, VA on April 16, 2007?" I would only touch on the hardness of the human heart that is outside of Jesus Christ. I would like to use this day to talk about the need for us to share the gospel with others.
As I write this, about 15 names of those who were killed on Monday have been released. I have used MySpace.com to look up some of the names, and four of the eight that I have checked had personal pages. Of the four I found, one was 21, two were 20, and one was 18. They were all youthful, vibrant, young adults who were probably heading for productive lives in our culture.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon said in a sermon that was delivered on April 22, 1866, 141 ago from this coming Sunday, "The very sins of men, horrible as they are to think upon, may be made an argument for proclaiming the gospel." I think Spurgeon is right. The horrible sins of others ought to motivate us, drive us from our cushy lives of Evangelical apathy, to tell others of their need to repent of their sins and come into a relationship with Jesus Christ. Everyone reading this has an area of influence where he/she can speak about the love of Christ for sinners, and His offer of free grace. You can reach people that I never could with the gospel. You may live your entire life, and never come into contact with any person that I will or have come into contact with in my life. We are that isolated as a society, and one person has the ability to speak abou t the things of grace that another never will, because the paths of life will not bring them together. We must all seek, in our areas of influence, to share the love of Jesus Christ with those who are outside of the experience of God's mercy in Christ.
We need to learn from these lessons in history. The individual we are speaking with today, may be called to give an account before the Lord in less than a day. I am sure that of the three that were online on Sunday, and killed Monday morning, none of them thought that Sunday would be their last day of life. We don't know our times or those of any others that we know. We read in Job 14:5, "Man's days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed." It is a sobering consideration. Eternity is calling us, and none of us know the time of its call. May this thought motivate us to be heralds of the love and mercy freely given in Christ. May we give ourselves to the work of spreading clearly, winsomely the message of the gospel of salvation from sin in Jesus Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria,