“An Act of Pure Evil” –that’s the headline in USA Today’s newspaper describing the massacre in Las Vegas. One man gone mad. At least 58 dead and over 500 injured. How tragic! It is evil! I can’t help believe that something demonic influenced that man’s actions. What should our response be to this kind of evil? Here are three thoughts that come to my heart and mind.
- Realize that evil is real!
Sin does exist. It’s not a lack of education or opportunity. It’s not a mutated gene. To put it simply, evil is the absence of good. God is good and without God, evil fills the void. Evil comes in two forms – moral and natural. Mankind is rebellious against God – we’ve all sinned (Romans 3:23); and we live in a fallen world—all creation groans and suffers (Romans 8:22). Both are broken, we need God’s help!
“The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9 (NASB)
- Remember God is greater!
There is a tendency for us to look around us to find the answers to evil, when we need to look up! The solution to evil is not politics, it is Jesus. Only God can change a heart. Overcoming evil begins in the heart, not with human effort.
Only Jesus has the power to overcome evil. He demonstrated that on the cross and with his resurrection. God also promised the ultimate restoration of creation. One day there will be a new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:1)!
“Greater is He that is in you, than He that is in the world” 1 John 4:4 (KJV)
- Reengage with the world!
The Bible says that the way we overcome evil is with good. The Apostle Paul said we are to “hate what is evil; cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9).
As believers, we are called to be salt and light to the world. We are to lean into the problem, not withdraw from it.
We have to ask ourselves questions like: What impact are we making in our part of the world? Are we engaging in gospel conversations? Are we reaching out to those in our circles of influence – our family, our neighbors, friends, and coworkers ?
“Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing.” 1 Peter 3:9 (NLT)
Before You Go
We’re all left feeling at a loss when this kind of tragedy happens, particularly when distance limits our ability to help. Here are two actions you can take today, no matter where you call home.
Pray. Sometimes we preface this with the word “just” as though praying isn’t really valuable. But that’s where we’re wrong. It is not “nothing” to lift suffering families and friends before the throne of heaven. Intercession for others is never wasted. It has been said that praying for others is not the least you can do, but the most. On October 15th, churches through the nation are joining together to pray for the survivors of this horrific tragedy in Las Vegas. You can learn more about it on this website.
Give. Support your local church and other Christian ministries that are taking a stand against evil and doing good! For example Salvation Army, who has a family center in Las Vegas, is directly involved in relief efforts. You can donate to them here.
Take comfort. Scripture is full of promises that we are not alone, nor are we abandoned in our pain.
“I will never forget this awful time,
as I grieve over my loss.
Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.”
Lamentations 3:20-23 (NLT)