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As the mass shootings continue to occur, remember that the issue is not, “Is there a God,” but instead, “what kind of God is He?” Please understand three truths before drawing your conclusion.

God is not the originator of evil.

There is never any evil or evil intent in what God does or even allows to happen: “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’, for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone” (James 1:13). Mass murders are the results of man’s depravity when he first turned his back on God in the Garden of Eden: “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). Evil started with sin coming into the world and man’s inclination towards evil has multiplied ever since. So much so that Romans 3 describes us as people “whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:14–18). Left to our sinful depravity, we would rather take life than preserve it, destroy rather than deliver.

A loving God gives people a choice.

A God of hate would tell people precisely what to do, acting as powerful puppeteer and nothing more. A God of love, though, warns His people of what they should do, explains the advantages of obedience versus disobedience, and gives them the choice. Once again, that choice started in the Garden of Eden: “And the Lord God commanded the man saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die’” (Genesis 2:16–17). He tells us what He told the people of the Old Testament, “I have set before you life and good, death and evil.” An all-knowing God knows what is best and how each person can find fulfillment, life, and happiness. An all-caring God explains the blessing of obedience and the consequences of disobedience. The choice, however, is ours.

An all-powerful God will do something.

Just because God has not done something yet does not mean He is forever silent. God describes the heaven He has prepared for those who know Him in Revelation 21:4: “And God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things are passed away.” There will be no stealing, killing, hatred, jealousy, lust, or anything evil when we are in the presence of God. Even believers who die today as victims of a mass murder are in His presence—a place from which they would never want to return. A murderer can take away their physical life but not their eternal life. The earth will know no violence one day and “the wicked will be cut off from the earth, and the unfaithful will be uprooted from it” (Proverbs 2:22). Keep in mind that all this is spoken by a God who has never once broken a promise.

As we hear of mass murders, our first question should not be, “Where is God?” We should be asking, “Where am I?” God pleads with us to come to Him as sinners, recognize that He paid for our sins by dying for us and rising again, and trust in Christ alone to save us. This is a relationship and an assurance that you can claim today. Then when God’s justice is one day poured out or should we die before then, together we will be forever with Him.

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