3 Ways to Respond to the Tragic Shooting in Las Vegas, by Ty Tamasaka
I don’t think anyone would disagree that it is a dark time and a dark world we live in today. The tragic shooting in Vegas on 10/1/17, reminds us that we live in a world ravaged by sin and rage, and broken by hatred.
While as Christians we have a hope in eternity, the questions remains. How should we live today? How should we as Christians respond to such tragedy? How should we respond as church leaders, pastors, citizens, and parents?
1 – We will not let the enemy dominate our nation with fear. We invite God’s peace into unanswered questions and His comfort to the hurting.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 NIV
At this early point we are unsure what to pray and how to pray – we still need to pray. We need to respond in genuine, heartfelt prayer. There are unanswered questions. There are people who are hurting and broken.
So Christ-follower, lift your head. Take a deep breath. Say a prayer for the victims and their families. Pray for the wounded. Pray for our great country and her leaders – whether you agree with their ideals or not. Pray for the churches in Vegas. Pray for your church and pray for your family. Pray that more hearts would be touched by His grace and mercy in this life.
2 – When everyone in the world is calling for increased hatred, God’s people are called to grow in increasing love.
These days, especially on social media – it is easy to fall into endless debates on politics, policies, and protests, but one thing is undeniable for those who call ourselves followers of Jesus. Jesus Christ Himself calls us to be known – not for our political stances and agendas – but by our love for God and others.
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 NIV
In a world moved with hatred, prejudice, and violence, Christians – more than anything, we need to be moved by compassion and we should be known for our love for God and others.
3 – We understand that laws and legislation cannot change human hearts – only the Gospel can.
“For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” Matthew 15:19 NIV
In the wake of this tragedy, the media and politicians will surely seize the opportunity to urge the changing of laws and legislations to prevent such horrific events. While those efforts and intentions may be noble, the sad truth is the main problem here is not a matter of law. This is a problem of sin and evil in the heart of man. The purpose of this blog is not to debate gun control laws, politics, or to place blame. The simple truth is that changing laws cannot change the hearts of men. The Gospel of Jesus Christ can and does change hearts.
Take heart Christ-follower. The work you do in the church matters – perhaps now more than ever. Sharing the timeless truth of the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ has never been more relevant. If you are a follower of Jesus, you hold the key to real transformation – keep pressing on.
4 – Take heart – Jesus has overcome the world.
How much more can our hearts take? Flooding, earthquakes, hurricanes, mass shootings. If you are a follower of Jesus, let God get your attention through these events. Let these tragedies grip your heart and stir you to pray, love, and give. In the midst of it all, take heart. You have a great and loving Savior who has overcome this world. The pain is real. Evil in this world is real. Jesus is still in control. He is still on the throne.
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV
If you don’t know Jesus Christ – or aren’t sure, click here to go to Finding the Assurance of Salvation.