by Michael Gilbert
Terrible tragedy has struck our nation. At least 33 reported dead at the hands of a gunman at Virginia Tech…and the nation is asking “why”.
Whatever the reason for the senseless shooting, there are some lessons to be learned from the tragic event.
Life Will End – Be Prepared
No one expected to die that day. The sun was shining…classes were in progress… students were coming and going. All seemed normal. However, lives were taken that day.
The Bible teaches, “…it is appointed unto men once to die…” (Heb. 9:27, KJ21). Whether it be by the hands of a gunman, illness, or old age, our lives will come to an end. We must be prepared for death at all times, for “…after this the Judgment…” (Heb. 9:27). We must get right with God and stay prepared for the final judgment.
When Life Isn’t Fair, Blame Satan
Does anyone in America remember Satan? He is the creature that our preachers used to warn us about. Be assured that he is still alive and he “…walketh about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour…” (1 Pt. 5:8). Let’s lay blame for the events at Virginia Tech where is should be laid – at the feet of “…our adversary the devil…” (1 Pt. 5:8).
Be About Our Father’s Business
Even though Jesus was only 12 years of age when He said, “…knew ye not that I must be about my Father’s business…” (Lk. 2:49), that message rings loud and clear today. No matter what Satan throws in our path, Christians must be consumed with “the Father’s business” of building up the body of Christ. Those who are “…always abounding in the work of the Lord…” have no fear of death because they know their, “…labor us not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58).
Get Right With God Today
Tomorrow may be too late. Nothing is more important than being right with God when we die. There are no second chances after death. Jesus taught, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mk. 16:16). Why did Jesus connect baptism with salvation?
Baptism brings us into contact with Jesus’ cleansing blood. Baptism connects us with Christ’s death and He shed His blood in His death. Paul wrote, “Know ye not that as many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?” (Rom. 6:3).
Baptism saves us. Peter wrote, “In like manner baptism doth also now save us…” (1 Pt. 3:21). He explained that salvation has nothing to do with “getting physically clean” in the water, but it has everything to do with having “a good conscience toward God”. That “good conscience” comes only from obedience to Christ. Mere obedience doesn’t save anyone. Our hearts must be right.
Baptism places us into the body/church of Christ. When Peter told the Pentecost crowd to “repent and be baptized every one of you” (Acts 2:38), about 3,000 people “…gladly received his words…” and “…were baptized…” (Acts 2:41). We are then told, “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47, NKJV).
Friend, if your life were cut tragically short, would you be prepared to meet your God? Why not lay the blame for terrible events at Satan’s feet, be about your Father’s business and if you haven’t already, “arise and be baptized, washing away thy sins” (Acts 22:16)?