Don’t miss the opportunity to learn about the Gospel (Good News) and Grace (undeserved favor) in this shooting spree and the aftermath.
Dr. Mark Jones, Senior Minister at Faith Vancouver Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Vancouver, Canada, comments on recent events:
Listening to the family members of those who were mercilessly killed in the Charleston church was an opportunity to witness some of the best theology you’ll see in your life. I only hope that if I am ever faced with a similar situation that I’ll react half as well as those people did as they spoke to Dylan Roof.
We are truly in a singular moment, when the light of the Gospel (Good news) of Jesus Christ is shining brighter than the greatest darkness evil can throw at it. Times like this clearly reveal the deep reality of what Christians profess to believe.
As the Apostle John poetically pens at the beginning of his account of Jesus:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
“Word” here translates the Greek term “logos”—many in John’s time used it to denote the Great Divine Principle of the universe; a God-essence. No doubt the Apostle confused more than a few when he said that the Word–the Divine essence–was “with” God–he was definitely communicating something new and important, and getting the attention of his Hellenic reader.
Later, he totally blows their mental gaskets with this: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
What!?! The Divine became a lowly man? Yes. Yes, that’s exactly what John was saying, and the rest of his book reveals a heart-melting picture of the God who loved rebellious men so very much that He sent the Divine Son into this world to live among us, and to show us love.
Jesus lived a perfect life, and then we proceeded to kill Him for it. He simply said Who He was, and that was too much for the religious hierarchy and political movers of the day—He claimed to be King. Not just “a” king, but The King, and that was a threat to every man who refused to bow to any god but himself.
Do you want to understand what enables people to forgive a hate-filled young man who just hours earlier had put bullets into those they dearly loved? Discover Jesus, the One Who said to The Father in Heaven as He bled out during one of the most brutal and cruel forms of execution ever devised by man: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Dylan Roof intended to be the spark of a “race war.” Instead, he unleashed one of the most powerful, mouth-stopping displays of Divine love our nation has ever witnessed. Dylan Roof attacked the family of Jesus, and instead of hating him for it, they pleaded with him to repent of what he’d done, and join with them as forgiven sinners on the road to eternal glory.
We are all invited to join hands on that road, and to show a watching world the profound difference Jesus makes in a human life. You and I are as guilty before God as Dylan Roof. The question is: Will we truly receive the paid-in-full forgiveness offered or not? Will you?
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.” —John 3:16-20
Don’t try to hide what God already knows. He knows you at your very worst—Jesus died for that very worst—and His grace and mercy are greater than all your sin.