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A pastor’s response to the Orlando shootings
by Scott Miller Pastor, New Life Church
Jun 21, 2016 | 2832 views | 0 0 comments | 395 395 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In the wake of the horrific event that occurred June 12 in Orlando, some jump to the conclusion that this is an example of God’s judgment, specifically upon the LGBTQ community. This is an erroneous conclusion for two reasons.

First, death, in general, is a judgment upon sin and not one of us is exempt from this, regardless of your sexual orientation. Romans 6:23 tells us, “The payment for sin is death” and since there are “none righteous” (Romans 3:10) and “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23) then a day comes when every person dies. Whether you are straight, homosexual, black, white, Christian, or non-Christian – whoever you are and whatever you have done – physical death is God’s judgment upon you for your sin against him.

Second, I refer you to Jesus’ clear teaching in Luke 13:1-3 meant to guard us against jumping to erroneous conclusions about God’s judgment. In verse 1, Jesus speaks to people who thought those who died at the hand of Pilate were somehow worse sinners than others. To such a thought Jesus extends this question in verse 2, “Do you think that those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way?” This is a great question. It is a question that all too many people might hastily conclude, “Yes, they were worse sinners.” But that would be the wrong answer. In verse 3, Jesus turns his attention to the ones making this erroneous conclusion and corrects them by saying, “No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

Jesus does not even address the specific event. Instead he directly addresses the persons thinking erroneously. When Jesus uses the word “likewise” he is not saying that if you do not repent, you will die in the same manner under the hand of Pilate.

Relevant to our current event, Jesus is not saying that unless you repent you will die by gunfire. What He is saying is this – unless you repent, you too will die. This is true of all of us regardless of lifestyle. Every one of us has sinned against God and because of that we deserve the judgment of death and will receive it someday. However, hope for the sinner comes in the word “unless” in verse 3. In other words, repentance is able to reverse the curse of death.

Now please understand that Jesus is using this physical analogy of death to point us to the spiritual.

Physical death will come to all even if you do repent, but spiritual death, which is everlasting, can be only averted through repentance of sin against God. In Mark 1:15, Jesus expanded upon the need for repentance (what we are to turn from, sin) and added the need to believe the gospel (to whom we are to turn, Jesus). He said in Mark 1:15, “Repent and believe the gospel.” The gospel is the good news that Jesus died in the place of sinners in order to rescue from eternal death all who will repent of their sin and trust in Him alone.

Therefore, in the wake of this horrific event that occurred in Orlando, please do not jump to the erroneous conclusion that those victims were worse sinners. Instead hear the words of Jesus, “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

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