This morning as the nation woke to find that terror has once again struck our homeland, the pundits, the preachers and everyone in-between are looking for answers to the question “What are we going to do?” In response to a 2014 shooting, Geraldo Rivera said, “The 2nd Amendment, the provision that gives every American the right to keep and bear arms, is blind and stupid,” but what does the Bible have to say about this issue?
In making another point, Jesus uses a common sense example of how a man defends his home. He said “Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house” (Matt 12:29). As a father of four and a former Marine, I know exactly what Jesus means. If any man wants to come and plunder my home, he would be wise to disarm and disable me as his first priority, otherwise his success is doubtful at best.
However, having everyone hunkered down, locked and loaded does little to bring resolution to our nation’s current terrorist threats. In prayer meeting last night, one of our elderly ladies asked me “Pastor, is the government going to come and take our guns away?” I was wondering how many guns this 79-year-old widow had, but I responded that I thought it was unlikely.
Disarming this nation would, in fact, be counter-productive. Those who threaten our nation with violence have made clear that they plan to subdue the world with violence against families in shopping malls and public places. This has been the plan of every dictator and evil king in history; use violence to subjugate more and more people. Taking away our guns would just make us more vulnerable to that plan. So how do we get out of this circle violence?
The headline of the Daily News this morning read “God isn’t fixing this.” However, the Bible tells us that God does have a long term plan to rid this world of violence and evil. Just as in the days of Noah, God will once again use His own wrath to cleanse this world of unrighteousness.
Isaiah tells of this time. “The earth is defiled by its people they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse consumes the earth, its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earth’s inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left.”
Just like with Noah, God will remove His people, and those who remain will either turn to Him in repentance, or they will be burned up in God’s holy fire. God is going to deal with the evil that covers this earth today. He will bring peace to his people, and we will return to in habit the earth with Jesus as our king in Jerusalem.
Isaiah 2:4 “He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.”
In that day we will have no desire for our guns anymore. There will be no thief coming in the night. There will be no armed terrorist killing disabled adults. Jesus will be our king, and the King’s decree is that the violence is over. We will melt down our guns, tanks, swords, spears and any other weapon of war and we will concern ourselves with agriculture just like Adam in the garden.
So what is the short-term plan? What are we going to do today? Jesus is the ultimate answer, but what are we going to do today? The answer is that, as believers, we are limited to the tools that God has given us today; while they are not perfect answers, they are powerful tools nonetheless and underutilized.
First and foremost is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. These terrorists were raised here in America. How many Christians neglected the opportunity to share the Gospel with this young couple? This young man worked at the facility he attacked; how many Christian co-workers did he have? Who was praying for Syed and Tashfeen? We bear responsibility when we neglect to share the Gospel with those around us.
Our second tool is prayer. We are directly connected with the God of all creation. We need to pray for peace, pray for protection and pray for the lost. Just as in the days of Noah, we are preaching to a generation on the brink of destruction. We need to pray for the lost, including those who practice Islam.
Our third tool is our government. God has given us our government for our good and protection. Regardless of what you think of our government, they are hard at work trying to stop these kinds of plans from coming to fruition. We need to pray for our leaders and become very involved when they fail to protect our citizens.
Even so, we know that we will continue to walk among those intent on evil until that glorious day when Jesus asks us to round up our guns, lay them down and live in perfect and wonderful peace forever.