I had often wondered if this would ever happen in our church, or in any church today in America. What would we do if someone came in unnoticed, carrying a gun, and during the message demands all those who truly believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, to stand up to be shot? What would you do? What would I do?
Something like this took place this week in the state of Oregon, only it was not a Sunday morning church meeting. The shooter demanded answers from the students he was planning to shoot. If they were 'Christians', he informed them that that was good because they would go to be with the Lord in a few seconds. Then he shot them. Others who had some type of religion got shot in the foot.
I'm sure those students were totally taken by surprise. While this is a tragic event, and we hope that it is not a continuing trend, something interesting is coming out of it.
Today, there are many professing Christians who are on the fence, so to speak. I would say, probably a majority of professing Christians think it is o.k. to continue living in sin. They would tell you that they believe in Jesus Christ and are ready for heaven if they die, while they sleep around and live deceitful lives. We are not talking about professing Christians who are struggling with sin. We are talking about Christians who embrace sin, and at the same time, say they believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. What's missing?
In the case of those in the above paragraph, they are missing the point of the Gospel, which is that Jesus died for our sins, and rose again the 3rd day, and that whoever puts his or her trust in Him, will be saved. To believe or trust in Jesus means that a person would have to repent of their sin. They would have to turn to God, and God would be the center of their lives, not themselves anymore. They would have to realize that sin is our enemy, not our friend. It is a trick of the devil to keep us away from God, and it is the lie of the devil to keep us under God's wrath and in darkness.
But consider this; There are churches filled with professing Christians who say it is o.k. to have an abortion. At the abortion clinics, many there profess to believe in Jesus Christ. Even the workers pray for those who are going to be going through the procedure, and the workers encourage them to go through with the abortion because that is what God wants. Many who go for an abortion complain to the sidewalk counselors and say that they are not allowed to 'judge' them.
But here is my question; Let's say, a church thinks abortions are a good idea. They may even take a stand for it or have people in their congregation who are influential. What if a shooter came into their midst and asked them to raise their hands if they were true believers in Jesus Christ, with the intention of shooting them?
I think the shooting incident earlier in the week will do two things at the same time. I think it will define who truly is a Christian and who isn't. Those who love sin and hold onto sin will either repent at the last minute and stand up for their faith in Christ, or they will back off and continue in sin. Those who know the Lord will be more prepared for this kind of event, although we hope that it doesn't happen again.
I have seen many people on Facebook openly making a profession of faith since the shooting incident. This is good. Those who genuinely don't have faith and have no intention of turning to the Lord will not make a bold stand.
I would find it interesting to see how these false Christians will respond to actions like the shooting incident. I wonder if this will cause some of them to wake up and take a stand for Christ, or, if it will cause them to try to make their false pretenses even stronger. Either way, the dividing line will be more clear. And that is a good thing.