Yesterday, we mentioned that the Bible tells us that someday God will end all the evil (and suffering) and usher in a new earth – one that will be governed by Jesus Himself — in peace, goodness, and righteousness.
But, inevitably, the question arises… If God is able to end all evil at any time He wants… why doesn’t He do that NOW? Why not intervene to stop all the nonsense?
Why all these tragedies? Why all the natural disasters that devastate the lives of so many? Why not stop all the killing, the raping, the hate… NOW? If God is able… why does He wait so long?
At the heart of this question is an important observation. One that was answered by the Apostle Peter:
At the very core of repentance is this idea that every person must choose to think differently. That God has made it so we are all free to determine HOW we will think – and how that thinking will affect our actions. Our choices in life (good or bad) are the fruit of our thinking – they are the product of what we accept as right and true.
God’s desire, from cover to cover (in the Bible), is that we would choose to align our thinking with His. That we would conform our thoughts with His thoughts. This is up to us. He has provided what we need to come to a reasonable conclusion about God and about His love for us – but we must choose to embrace Him. We are also free to reject Him. And in rejecting Him, we open our thoughts to accept things that mislead us, delude us, deceive us – and in some cases, lead us to commit horrible acts against others.
This was the case in the tragedy in Sutherland Texas. One individual, filled with rage and anger, released his rage at the people in that small Baptist church.
People have said… “Why didn’t God protect His Own people? Why didn’t He intervene to stop such a terrible thing from happening?”
God may have been doing just that.
It was interesting to learn that just a few days before the tragic killings, the killer had attended a social event at that very church. The people of the church knew of him, had heard of his domestic violence issues, and reached out to him. They saw his appearance at their event as a sign that he was seeking help – that he needed what only God could provide… help and healing for a troubled heart.
Could this have been God, seeking to pre-empt the strike? Could this have been God working in this man to bring him the help he needed – and to avert the fruit of the terrible seeds that had taken root in his heart?
We do not know.
But what we do know is that God loved that man – as He loves all of us. God seeks to capture all our hearts with His love. He patiently waits for us to choose to turn away from our own self-serving ways… to Him. It is the freedom of the act of our wills that He chooses to honor most – even when that choice leads to terrible things.