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The tragedy is heart wrenching. A Sunday morning in Texas filled with hope and joy, becomes the last day twenty-six people would be on this earth. Another twenty or so were in critical condition, wounded by a gunman who entered the church and began firing while the people were worshiping. The gunman evidently killed himself after wrecking his vehicle, while being chased by two men from the scene. Only God knows the pain of families and friends and the little Texas church in Sutherland Springs. All of us hurt for them. We pray for their comfort by “the God of all comfort”.
At a time like this we ask, “Why?” Some ask “why” because they are heart-broken at their loss. This is a natural response to a tragedy that touches us personally. But the truth is, we may never, in this world, know the answer to that.
But others ask “why” because they want to avoid having to explore this realm of “the shadow of death” in which they find themselves so uncomfortable. It’s easier to bury ourselves in research about the details of the tragedy than it is to face the haunting question: “Am I ready to face death?”
There are answers as to why death is a part of our human experience: But you won’t find them in a laboratory. You only find them in the Bible. Yes, the Bible has solid answers to hard questions about death. It tells us why death comes and what happens the moment we experience it.
The Bible states,
“For by one man sin entered into the world and death through sin; and so death passed on all men because all sinned.” (Romans 5:12)
God never wanted death to be a part of this earthly experience. However, He gave man a choice as to whether we would fulfill the purpose for which He created us. If we chose to obey Him, we would live forever on this earth and God Himself would be the Source of our life. If we chose against His plan for us, we would receive misery and frustration as well as the quick end of this earthly existence. This “quick end” is what God called death.
Death is described in the Bible as the separation of the soul and spirit from the body. The thinking, conscious person comes out of the body at the moment of death. That person, if they have acknowledged God’s ownership of their life by accepting Jesus Christ as their Master, is carried immediately into heaven where God and other believers await them. If that person has refused to own Christ as Lord of their life, they, at the moment of death, find themselves carried into hell: A fiery place of suffering and judgment prepared originally for satan and his rebel angels. Only by admitting we’ve been wrong and receiving Christ as our Master can we be assured that heaven is our eternal destiny.
The first families who came to America believed these truths which are taught in the Bible. They suffered great loss their first winter here as half their number died from exposure and lack of food. But they didn’t give into despair, because their faith was in the faithful God who had created and redeemed them. Their governor and historian, William Bradford, revealed why they survived. He wrote:
“But these things did not dismay them (though they did sometimes trouble them) for their desires were set on the ways of God, and…they rested in His providence…”
(Bradford, William. 1607, in his work entitled, The History of Plymouth Plantation 1608-1650 (Boston, Massachusetts: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856; Boston, Massachusetts: Wright and Potter Printing Company, 1898, 1901, from the Original Manuscript, Library of Congress Rare Book Collection, Washington, D.C.; rendered in Modern English, Harold Paget, 1909; NY: Russell and Russell, 1968; NY: Random House, Inc., Modern Library College edition, 1981; San Antonio, TX: American Heritage Classics, Mantle Ministries, 228 Still Ridge, Bulverde, Texas, 1988).
Shouldn’t you turn to the God who loves you, and gave His Son to die and rise again so you could know Him? He says, “Come to me all you who labor and are heavy-laden; I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
Think about it; because if you don’t, someone else will do your thinking for you—and for your children! And you won’t like what that brings to you. I’m Don Pinson; this has been Think About It.