On Wednesday, August 26th, a tragic murder shook the state of Virginia and even the United States as a whole. A man by the name of Vester Flanagan who also went by the name of ‘Bryce Williams’ fatally shot and killed two WDBJ-TV employees while on-air. The first victim was 24-year-old Alison Parker who was a news reporter. She was known as the ‘rising star’ in her particular field and was beloved by many of her colleagues, friends and family members. She was also in a serious relationship in which it seemed that she and her boyfriend were poised to enter the arena of marriage.
The second victim was 27-year-old Adam Ward who was a cameraman for the news station. Ward was also involved in a serious relationship and had recently become engaged to be married. The gunman acted with extreme violence and was later found to have committed the act out of anger and resentment over what he stated to be racial and even sexual harrassment during his tenure at the same news station. In the end, the gunman committed suicide while at the same time leaving those who witnessed the horrific news story to ask the question, ‘Why?’ Why is it that such tragedies like this occur every day? Why are we seeing an escalation of violence in our world?
The answers to such questions can be found throughout scripture. God’s Word leaves humanity with available answers to the hard questions of life. It is the map that helps us to navigate through the fiery trials that you and I face. God has given us His word but also Jesus Christ as the answer to the world’s problems. It is Christ who died and rose again in order to give you and I an opportunity to receive eternal life.
In the book of Colossians chapter 1, verses 15-17 sheds light on the questions and even the concerns that many have today as we see the brokenness in our world.
(NLV) “Christ is as God is. God cannot be seen. Christ lived before anything was made. Christ made everything in the heavens and on the earth. He made everything that is seen and things that are not seen. He made all the powers of heaven. Everything was made by Him and for Him. Christ was before all things. All things are held together by Him.”
The first observation to take note of is that the Apostle Paul says “Christ is as God is.” In this verse, Paul points to the fact that God and Jesus are essentially the same in their being although they are not the same in their function. The Holy Spirit, God, and Jesus are all one or they are triune in their being. So, Paul says that Christ made everything which includes the Heavens and the Earth. The reason this is so is because, in the very beginning, all 3 which comprise the Trinity existed and took part in the creation of everything that was not man-made.
So, if Christ made all things and as Paul says, “all things were made for Him”, then it also means that Christ holds all things together as Paul says in the last part of verse 17. What does Paul mean when He says that all things are held together by Him? You can think of it in the sense of someone who is the inventor or the architect of a product. The original person who creates a mechanism understands what it takes for said mechanism to work. He/she controls the inner workings of what was created because they have the sole responsibility of being its creator.
The reason that we are able to know that Jesus Christ holds everything together is because Christ is also equal with God. Christ is equal with God in being but not in function, however, He participated in the creation of humanity, the Heavens, and the Earth. The bottom line is that Christ is the answer to our chaotic world because He holds everything together. However, why is it that we see a myriad of tragedies on a daily basis? If God is in control as many Christians say, why do such travesties occur? In a previous post regarding ‘The Sovereignty of God’, it was explained to a degree as to why some things are allowed to happen. However, there are at least two other reasons as to why our world is seemingly in chaos.
1. Humanity is insistent on its rebellion against God – Whenever a nation or a group of people decide that they themselves want to be independent of God, they will find that their objectives are futile. Essentially this means that a person who desires to become their own god rather than submitting to God will be met with swift confusion and an eventual destruction. We are sinful beings from the very day that we are born. It is because of our sin that we are prideful which means we desire to operate separately from God who is the ultimate authority.
If you look at the massive increase in violence worldwide, many world leaders are seeking answers in their human wisdom and intellect. Even in America, there is once again a national debate regarding gun usage and who should have gun ownership. Even after Wednesday’s tragedy, many are pointing to ‘mental health’ as the culprit instead of seeking God to find that much of our issues are spiritual. The fact is, a generation of people are ascribing to humanism rather than submitting to God in obedience. Horrific tragedies occur because there is an abundance of sin throughout our world. The more humanity sins and is persistent in violating godly principles, the more we will see demonic spirits wreaking havoc. Until there is a willingness to bow down in humility, then healing will not come to our world.
2. The End Times – In previous posts there have been multiple references to ‘The End Times’ or ‘Signs of the End Times.’ It begs to be repeated because the message about Christ’s return must be taught and proclaimed. The increase in violence and the senseless tragedies that occur daily are a result of the signs of the times. It is up to each person who is in Christ to be open to not only understanding the times that we are living in but to prepare themselves and others for what is to come.
The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:2 that there shall be an increase in wickedness and selfish behavior. The days that we are living in are the same as it was in the times of Noah. Each generation grows further and further away from God becoming godless in the human existence. As a result, more tragedies abound which leave many attempting to understand how such a loss of life can be conscionable. While many world leaders desire to end violence and live in world peace, the Bible shows us throughout various scriptures that these things must happen before the ultimate victory is won as satan is vanquished at the hands of Jesus Christ.
So, what is the answer to our chaotic world? The only answer to these issues is Jesus Christ. The media, politicians, and even everyday citizens are all wondering what the answer is. Many believe that we can solve these issues on our own. However, many historical facts throughout time have shown that humanity cannot fix these issues because many of the problems are inherently spiritual. The underlying fact is that a world that remains in rebellion against God can only result in the continuance of tragedies.
What occurred on Wednesday is indeed horrific and I am sure you and I wish that no one experience the loss of life that took place. At the same time, there are reasons as to why the violence will not cease. Unless we all surrender unto God with our lives and until Jesus Christ returns, our society and our world will only grow worse. It sounds like bad news, but the good news is that with Christ we are complete.
As the scripture of Colossians chapter 1, verses 15-17 state, Christ is the one who holds everything together. If you don’t know Jesus then your world is already vulnerable. Accept Christ who gave His life for you and experience safety in a time of confusion. Our world seeks answers in the human sense, but the true answers come from God Almighty. It is only in God through Christ that we can understand why these things happen and what God can do to change the course of our world.