God Is Present AND Active

So for the past week and a half or so, Facebook has been a very discouraging place. And this is primarily because much of what i see–both inside and outside the church–is about gun control. Now don’t get me wrong. I think it is a very important issue (and one that needs to be discussed rationally), but i feel like too often we either treat the discussion as a mantra of “In guns we trust,” or “In guns we doubt.” It feels like this is a polarizing topic in society and people are either idolizing guns as their saviors or damning guns as their destroyers.

And i get it. There was a school shooting in Florida and children lost their lives. I don’t want to downplay that for a second. If you’re reading this and you lost someone in the shooting, my heart breaks for you. Please know that i am praying for you, specifically that you would know the comfort of God in this time of loss.

But talking about guns in a time like this is not the answer either. Andy Mineo rapped the following lyrics originally responding to the Sandy Hook shooting of 2012:

People huddled round, hands on they mouth
Not again, same problem, it hit a new town
26 dead, 20 of ’em kids
Where do you begin when some lives just ended?
And everybody got the question:
If God’s so good how He let this happen?
Is it mental health? Is it gun control?
Is it we make superstars out of animals?
Is it the movies we make? The video games?
I dunno, but God I want an antidote
All I know is this world is broken
Our sin is the reason it ain’t like it’s supposed to
Words fall short tryna comfort the grieving
But you gotta know that there’s hope to believe in

I’ll share the hope that he mentions at the end, but first i just have to point out that while i believe it is insensitive to the victims for lawmakers to instantly point to gun control as the solution, i also believe it is insensitive and irresponsible to post the following picture that i found on Facebook:

god and school shootings (sad)

The only way in which that picture can be accurate is if guns really have become “God” to certain people. In addition, this picture reads like a slap in the face to those who suffered in the tragedy. God would never ever say, “That ain’t my problem,” and then just sign off. He sent Christ who made our sin His problem and suffered in our place. God is more compassionate and present than that shirt makes Him out to be.

Among passages like Psalm 139, Proverbs 15:3 proves without a shadow of a doubt that no one can actually remove Yahweh from our schools. He is not bound to manmade laws. It reads, “The eyes of [Yahweh] are everywhere, observing the wicked and the good.”

In light of God watching the evil and the good, Romans 1:18-19 points out the following:

For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth,  since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. (emphasis added).

Humanity’s problem (specifically America’s current problem) is that we suppress the truth about God. There are many ways that this happens: actively by parading around sin as accepted and Christianity as foolish and Neanderthal-like; passively by putting our faith in guns or the lack thereof.

The only answer to this problem is to stop doing what we’re doing. As individuals–and thus as a nation–we must turn our eyes back to the truth. We must stop suppressing the truth.

If you want a good picture of what suppressing the truth looks like, take a beach ball into a swimming pool. While you are in the pool, try to keep the beach ball under water. You will quickly find out that attempting to keep it under is hard. Eventually it will spring out of the water and smack you in the face.

What our culture is doing is pushing God under the ocean of sin. However, in a much bigger way than the beach ball, He cannot ultimately be forced down. We humans do not have that kind of power. As such, eventually God is going to smack worldly society in the face with the sword of His Word (cf. Revelation 19:15). He will not allow Himself to stay suppressed forever.

However, prior to His ultimate Reveal, Romans 1:24 shows us how God currently acts when people suppress Him.

Therefore God delivered them over in the cravings of their hearts to sexual impurity, so that their bodies were degraded among themselves. (emphasis added).

When God is shunned, treated like garbage, and tossed out of our lives like He’s an ancient fairy tale, He begins His judgment slowly. He doesn’t strike people down in their sins. Rather, He hands them over to their sins. He says, in effect, “You’d rather have this than Me; fine. Enjoy it until you can’t anymore, and then keep enjoying it.”

I don’t think it is hard to see how as an American society (specifically) this passage is being brought to fulfillment. The destruction of the family unit, the sexual revolution, the gender confusion discussions; all of these are proof positive that God is giving us over to our desires.

And i firmly believe that when a tragedy strikes, it isn’t a time to say, “Where is God?” but rather a time to say, “We’re sorry, God.” God never left. He’s just as present inside classrooms as He ever was. The real question we should be asking is not “Where was God when the Florida shooting happened?” but rather, “Why have there not been way more of these types of tragedies since God is as far from our society’s mind as He possibly could be?” It is His goodness and grace and mercy and love alone that keep these tragedies from being daily occurrences in a nation that by and large hates Him.

When a tragedy strikes it is God popping out of the water where we have suppressed Him, saying, “I’m still here. Turn back to Me instead of arguing about gun policies. Your time is not up yet. Turn to Me.”

The following picture sums up the main point of this article:

28377937_1990565934540046_38165669406842453_n

So what is the repentance Paul Washer speaks of here? It goes like this.

Jesus Christ came to earth and took on the same sufferings we experience daily for 33 years–including being the prime target in a preschool “shooting” (Matthew 2:13-18)–and was eventually murdered on a cross in the most unjust expression of capital punishment in history.

You see, all of us are sinners. Jesus never sinned. Before we can truly ask the question, “Why do tragedies happen?” we must ask, “Why was Jesus crucified?”

He was crucified because 1 John 4:8 says, “God is love.” Since love is part of His nature, He sent Jesus to the earth to live the life that we could never live, because sin completely separated us from Him. We could never reach God; so He came to us. He took on our sufferings and ultimately died the death we deserved to die. However, since He never sinned there was no reason for Him remain dead; so God raised Him up again.

All you have to do to know that God’s wrath has been turned away from you is to believe in Jesus. Believe He died and rose again to pay your sin debt and to turn God’s wrath away from you. Believe in Him, get involved in a local church, and point others to the hope that is found in Christ, even in the midst of tragedies. As Andy Mineo further explains:

Words fall short tryna comfort the grieving
But you gotta know that there’s hope to believe in
One day my God gon’ crack the sky
He gon’ bottle up every tear that we ever cried
Bring truth to every lie, justice for ever crime
All our shame will be gone and we’ll never have to hide
No more broken hearts, no more broken homes
No more lockin’ doors, no more cops patrollin’
No abusive words, or abusive touches
No more cancerous cells that’ll take our loved ones
No more hungry kids, no more natual disaster
No child will ever have to ask where his dad is
No funerals where we wear all black
And death will be dead and we’ll lock the casket
Yes!

So one day all wrongs will be put right, but that also includes the sin debt of those who refuse to believe in Jesus. Please don’t be one of those people!

Trust Jesus and love Him. Find your hope in Him and nowhere else. America is not your hope. Guns are not your hope. Gun control is not your hope. Jesus is your hope!!!

Soli Deo Gloria

Solus Christus

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