I have a very good friend and dear brother in the Lord who works in building 197 at Nav/Sea Command. One of the shootings that occurred yesterday occurred just outside his door. For him, it was a reminder of what a dark, evil, broken & sin-sick world we live in. For him, it was a stark reminder of the frailty and the fragility – even the brevity – of human life. He was very grateful to be home with his family last night, but at the same time he was very heavy-hearted as he thought about the families of those who were killed in yesterday’s shootings; families who lost a husband or wife, a father or mother, a brother or sister, a son or a daughter; families whose lives will be forever altered by yesterday’s events.
As I spoke with another friend about the events of yesterday, he reminded me of the words of Jesus: “…as the days of Noah were, so also shall the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matt. 24:37). The reference to the ‘days of Noah’ took me back to Genesis Ch. 6 and the Lord’s own commentary on those days: “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of man’s heart was only evil continually…and the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence” (Genesis 6:5, 11). What an apt description of the days in which we live – days of great wickedness, days filled with violence. Nevertheless, I am/we are not hopeless. Jesus went on to say “there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth, distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear – from the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth… (therefore) when these things begin to come to pass, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:25-26, 28).
The signs of the time declare it: the return of Jesus for His bride, the church, is imminent. Perhaps VERY soon. In fact, it might be today. That reality begs the question: If the Lord were to come for His church today, would you be ready? If you were to enter eternity today, would you be ready to stand before the Lord to give an accounting of your life? Some of you think this possibility to be highly unlikely – so did the 13 people who lost their lives at the Navy Yard yesterday.
The truth of the matter is that we all tend to think of eternity at times like these. Please don’t turn your attention away from this awful event before you have made peace with God. If you sense Him knocking at the door of your heart, won’t you open the door and welcome Him in? He knocked at the door of my heart in the wake of a personal tragedy in my life (the sudden death of my just-younger brother) 34 years ago… and my life has never been the same. What’s more, I have the hope of eternity and the assurance of eternal life in the presence of my Saviour. And you can have that hope & assurance too.
May God, our Father in heaven, open the eyes of your heart to see Jesus, His Son and the Saviour of all those who will look to Him by faith.
“If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation… for whoever calls on the Name of the Lord, shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9-10, 13)