Statement on the Virginia Beach Shooting
Sunday June 2, 2019
Good morning dear friends. Once again, we are faced with dealing with an unspeakable tragedy, this time, very close to home.
On May 31, 2019, 12 people were senselessly murdered at their place of business at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center. Our hearts truly break for them, their families, and the City of Virginia Beach.
CRCC, over the last several years, I’ve stood before you too many times and said something similar. What do we do with this kind of continual news, spiritually, emotionally, and practically?
I’ve never done this before, but today, I’d like to offer some counsel. By God’s merciful grace in Christ, may we consider approaching such things…
Prayerfully, continuing to seek God for His protection over our lives.
2 Thessalonians 3:1-3 (KJV) Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: 2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.
Compassionately, seeking to pray for, and if possible, serve those affected by such tragedy.
Romans 12:9-15 (KJV) Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; 11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
Soberly, realizing that radical evil exists among us and never becoming used to it (desensitized).
Ephesians 4:17-20 (KJV) This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But ye have not so learned Christ;
Practically, according to our own consciences, preparing to protect our families if necessary, LORD forbid.
1 Timothy 5:8 (KJV) But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
Confidently, refusing to bow to worldly fear, again, because of the grace of God in Christ.
2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
1 John 4:18 (KJV) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
Romans 8:31-39 (KJV) What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
May the LORD Jesus bless those who are mourning today and will bury their loved ones soon. May the LORD Jesus raise up the church to be agents of compassion, hope, and healing. May the LORD Jesus give us courage to continue to fight the good fight of faith.