Saturday, August 4, 2012
The Sunday after the shooting in Aurora, CO our pastor, Greg Ralston, decided to change his sermon topic. Knowing his congregation would be emotionally affected by the news.
First he mentioned something I had also thought about. Aren’t we, at some level, surprised that this kind of thing doesn’t happen more often? Think about the thousands of people, and hundreds of places, where someone could inflict this type of massacre. Could God be keeping us from far more evil than we know about?
Greg then taught about choices. (Genesis 1:7-31) We are fashioned in the image of God regardless of what people do, or who they are. He declared it good. God created us good. God’s image rests in all of humankind, but we can choose to go our own way. (Genesis 3:3-7) The story of Adam and Eve is the story of all humankind. There is always a tempter and always a choice before us. (Romans 5:12). Sin is an infection that has gone unchecked for 1000's of years. Humankind has a fallen nature. (Romans 7.15-23) There is a war going on inside us between being created good, and doing evil. There is a struggle between good and evil. Even the best people we know will admit to moments of wanting to do wrong.
Then Greg spoke directly to the event n Aurora. The key words in Romans 1:18-32 are "God gave them over". God loves everyone so much that he gave us free choice. You cannot be completely free and be limited by God. In order to fully experience free will, humankind has the capacity to experience horrific deeds.
People need a savior. (1 John 1:8-10) We cannot clean our own lives, sin is too deeply rooted in who we are. (2 Corinthians 5:17-19) We need to be remade. It' not enough to modify our behavior, we can only be cleansed by God.
We must let God remake our inner being. That's the challenge in being a follower of Jesus, to choose complete surrender to Jesus Christ.