What we are feeling:
Outrage, shock and horror as rural American is traumatized by terror. Time seems to be standing still as we relive another church massacre. Loss of loved ones whether we knew them personally or not. An empty, sick, knot in our stomachs as we realize another place we thought sacred and safe is now scarred.
What we know:
Twenty six Christians dead and another twenty seriously injured.
Ages of fatalities: 5-72 years of age.
The shooter was known for anti-Christian rants. His dishonorable discharge from the armed forces restricted him from owning a firearm. Criminals do not obey gun laws. Two passersby helped stop the carnage, one with his own weapon.
What the Bible says:
2 Timothy 3
3 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.
What we understand:
These Baptist worshippers were martyred for their faith. They did not know they would become members of this select group of believers when they dressed for Sunday worship on November 5, 2017. John the Revelator saw their day two thousand year ago and wrote about it in the Sixth Chapter of Revelations:
9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
The day and the hour has arrived for America. Our brothers and sisters in Christ in various place around the world have been suffering martyrdom for decades, we are just now entering into their suffering. For those in Iraq beheading and crucifixion, for the Body of Christ in South Texas the assassin’s bullet. It is the same spirit of anti-christ that stalks all those that hold to the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Revelation 12: 7
And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon: and the dragon and his angels fought but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. (9) So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world he was cast to the earth and his angels were cast out with him…(12) Therefore rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time….(17) And the dragon was enraged with the woman and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
This spiritual battle has taken a more deadly, sinister and physical turn. The stakes are high and our lives are the spoil. We must be ready to meet Jesus at any moment and from any venue. Settle it in your heart now to stay pure before Him, prayed up and living in repentance and forgiveness. For we know not the hour when we will stand before him.
And from the same Chapter of Revelation that describes the devil’s hatred for
Christ -lovers, the antidote for his aggression: And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony and they loved not their lives to the death. (11)
He is with us always.