Violence No More Forever!
Just within the last few days, we have been confronted with terrible mass shootings in the USA. Reuters wrote on August 2 that “the teenager who opened fire with an assault rifle at a weekend food festival in Northern California died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Three people attending the festival were killed, including a 6-year-old boy and 13-year-old girl, and a dozen others were injured, some seriously. Police said the gunman opened fire with an ‘AK47-variant’ of an assault-style rifle, which he had purchased legally in Nevada. A shotgun also purchased in Nevada was later found in his car.”
On August 4, The Week wrote: “At least 20 people [as of August 7, 22 people] were… killed on Saturday in a shooting at a shopping center in El Paso and at least 40 people were… injured. A white male suspect in his 20s is… in custody.” It was stated that El Paso had been known as an extremely peaceful city and that the supposed murderer did not live anywhere near El Paso. Also, “at least nine people were killed [including his own sister] and 26 others were injured after a shooting in Dayton (Ohio) early on Sunday morning. The suspect, who was wearing body armor… was reportedly shot and killed by police.”
The shootings in El Paso and Dayton were the 21st and 22nd mass killings in the U.S. in 2019.
We still remember very vividly the mass shooting in 2017 when a murderer opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip. He killed 58 people and wounded 422 and fired more than 1,100 rounds of ammunition from his suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. He was later found dead in his room from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The incident was the deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in the history of the United States (compare Wikipedia).
These are horrible statistics and extremely heart-breaking events which the sound human mind cannot really comprehend. But recently, violent murders seem to occur more and more in other parts of the world as well. For instance, Deutsche Welle wrote on August 1 about “a 36-year-old man [who] was stabbed to death in Stuttgart… with a weapon described as a ‘sword.’ The man was attacked in a street in the late afternoon… The attacker fled the scene by bicycle, but he was later arrested after a widespread search… A police spokesman described the act as ‘unusual and appalling.’… Stuttgart… is regarded as one of Germany’s safest cities.”
Deutsche Welle wrote on August 2 about another gruesome and highly publicized murder by “a Swiss-resident Eritrean migrant [who] shoved a boy and his mother in front of a moving train. The mother was able to roll to safety, but the boy was killed.”
One could go on and on, but these few examples, which don’t seem to reveal any motive of the murderer and which do not even include daily gun violence in the USA, “executions” of dissidents in authoritarian countries and the tragic deaths of thousands upon thousands of people in global wars, show the incomprehensible violence which is engulfing the world.
Christ warned us that His return would be preceded by wars and rumors of wars (Matthew 24:6) which would become bigger and worldwide (verse 7), increase of lawlessness (verse 12), and by those same terrible events which led to Noah’s Flood (Matthew 24:37-38; Luke 17:26-27). Genesis 6:11, 13 tells us that at that time, “the earth was filled with violence.” For sure, this is true today as well (Ezekiel 7:23). People showed a remarkable indifference to their evil brutal acts without consideration of God’s sure punishment and destruction “at the day of judgment” (2 Peter 2:3, 5, 9). Paul described the perilous times of the last days in exactly the same terms, saying that man would be “unloving” and “brutal” or “violent” (2 Timothy 3:3; cp. Revised English Bible).
Satan is man’s destroyer and murderer from the beginning (John 8:44). People who commit senseless violent acts are being inspired, if not possessed, by him or his powerful evil spirits. Far too often, “insane” murders may be viewed as being perpetrated by mentally unstable or impaired “sick” persons, because the scientific community does not even consider the possibility of demonic influence or possession.
Sadly, we can expect the degree of worldwide violence to increase. In His due time, God will begin to intervene directly in man’s affairs. At first, many will not be willing to repent of their murders (Revelation 9:21)—not considering or caring about the fact that God hates those who love violence (Psalm 11:5) and that He will scatter those who delight in war (Psalm 68:30).
Thankfully, the good news is that Satan will not rule this world much longer (Romans 16:20). When Christ, the God and Prince of Peace, returns, He will replace Satan and take over his throne. He will “make wars cease to the end of the earth” and destroy the weapons of war (Psalm 46:9). Man will learn to hate war and violence and beat their swords into plowshares (Isaiah 2:4). “Violence shall no longer be heard in your land” (Isaiah 60:18). A time of universal peace will begin which mankind has never experienced before, and of that peace there “will be no end” (Isaiah 9:7).
Today, we sigh and cry over the abominations which occur all around us (Ezekiel 9:4), but very soon from now, our tears will turn into laughter, and our sadness and sorrow into gladness and everlasting joy (Psalm 126:5). Then, violence will be no more forever!