I preached this sermon at Bob Jones University this past High School Preaching Conference. I hope that you are blessed by it!
Last week I went to Oklahoma’s Memorial for the 1995 bombing and after hearing about the college shooting in Texas this afternoon, this common thought came to my mind once again, people will try to murder mass amounts of people if they have a gun or not. The problem is mankind’s sin nature, not guns or bombs or knifes or baseball bats.
If someone is out to murder someone or some group of random people, he will find a means to do it — be it by the means of guns, bombs, or knives (even though for mass murdering purposes knives would be more difficult to employ for that purpose, but if knives were all you had [like in Europe, where by population the violent crime rate is higher than the United States, even with a ban on guns] you probably would be more inclined to pick off your victims one by one, rather than a group setting).
You’ve heard it before, you are about to hear it again — guns don’t kill people, people kill people. There can be all the guns in the world (or whatever other type of weapon), but it takes a person with intentions of murder in his heart to use a gun for murder.
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” -Matthew 5:21-22
As the years have gone by, we contemplate the heroism displayed on September 11th, 2001 with an incredible feeling of pride, because of all the firefighters, police officers, and ordinary citizens who went above and beyond the call of duty to help their fellow Americans in a time of dire need. Faced with remarkable adversity countless stepped up; in a heroic show of brotherly love, they died struggling to save others.
“Now, we have inscribed a new memory alongside those others. It’s a memory of tragedy and shock, of loss and mourning. But not only of loss and mourning. It’s also a memory of bravery and self-sacrifice, and the love that lays down its life for a friend–even a friend whose name it never knew.” -President George W. Bush, December 11, 2001
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” -John 15:13
The way we pray can reveal what type of person we really are.
- Selfish people generally pray very little.
- Selfish people will pray for things that affect only themselves.
- Grateful people will regularly go to the Lord in prayer.
- Grateful people thank God for all the blessings He gives to them.
- Grateful people consistently pray for other people and their needs.
What type of person are you?
As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man. (Proverbs 27:19 ESV)
What does the reflection of your heart look like? Do others see Christ in you? We call ourselves Christians but are we really reflecting the way of Jesus Christ in our lives? This is a question that we should constantly be asking ourselves. Do we look like Christ? Do we act like Him?
“Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!—assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
(Ephesians 4:17-24 ESV)
These verses are saying that we ought not live like the Gentiles, in other words… we are not to live like the unsaved! We have been taught about Christ’s righteousness and His holiness… Are we reflecting attributes of Christ or attributes of the world in our hearts’ desires and in turn our lives? Are we living worthy of the Lord?
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24 ESV)
“In whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.” (Ephesians 3:12 ESV)
May we remember who paid the price for our ultimate freedom.
“For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit.” (1 Peter 3:18 ESV)
We have a strange illusion that mere time cancels sin. But mere time does nothing either to the fact or to the guilt of a sin. – C.S. Lewis
We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (Isaiah 64:6 ESV)
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ [who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification (Romans 4:25 ESV)] died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6 ESV)
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
(Romans 5:10 ESV)
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 ESV)
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
(Proverbs 28:13 ESV)
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1 Corinthians 15:57 ESV)
May we who are living on the home front and who are the beneficiaries of the fruits sowed by our soldiers hands, always be thankful for their sacrifices for our freedom as One Nation Under God.
For love of country they accepted death. -James A. Garfield
From the very beginning of our country, the LORD has shown indescribable grace to our undeserving nation. May we now, with the power of the Holy Spirit, live in a way that is worthy of the LORD’s grace!
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
(Psalm 107:1 ESV)
God Bless America and thank you to all who have served!
Do we default to the world for entertainment? I urge you to think about this topic from a biblical perspective. Don’t be conformed.
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:6-7 ESV)