In light of the tragedy in S.C. one question will always surface. Where was God in all this. I mean it was in a church? During a bible study and prayer meeting right? Bible study were God speaks to us, learning about His character. In prayer were we are in His immediate presence confessing our sins and seeking His council. How can this be?
Well in Luke 13: 1-5 Jesus was faced with similar question in light of two local tragedies by His disciples:
#1 A tower under construction had collapsed killing 18 people. It happened by the well known as the pool of Shiloam (John 9: 7, 11). "very likely as they were purifying themselves in the pool..."( Gill) Purifying themselves to the Lord!
#2 In the temple Galileans were offering sacrifices when "Pilate came suddenly upon them and killed them, and mixed their blood was with the blood of the animals that they were slaying for sacrifice. In Church!
Two unexpected tragedies; two very sad events that devastated a community. The question was asked of the Lord, literally, "How can this be?" Where's God in all this Lord?" They were in the purifying pool Lord; in Church?" Why Lord?
What was Jesus response? Unless you repent you will likewise perish. What???? That's a hard saying( John 6:60)! In each occasion ( v3 &5) Jesus concludes with the weightier matter of the incidents. In it's context "it should be seen as a warning to all the nation of Israel that unless they repented, a similar doom would come upon them. This doom came to pass in a.d. 70 when Titus invaded Jerusalem."( BBC)
But in a practical sense, as applied to everyday life, Jesus "flipped the script" by pointing His disciples perspective from horizontal to vertical; from temporary to eternal. Could Christ have given them a glimpse into the heavenly council of God in order to appease their temporary inquiry? Absolutely! Could He have settled the matter by saying:
Isa 46:9B"....I am God, and there is none like me,
Isa 46:10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,' Sure could have! But Jesus didn't seek to satisfy their temporary inquiry nor appeal to God's absolute sovereignty and providence. Though the latter should be sufficient for us ( Job 42:1-6). He gave them an answer that was comprehensive; covering their inquiry, their perspective and God's sovereignty and providence.
Jesus was saying, your asking the wrong question. The question you should be asking is "Why didn't that tower fall on me? Why wasn't my blood mixed with the sacrifice? Why didn't that gunmen come into my church and...?" See the point?
Ecc 9:12 For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.
the path of sudden destruction does not discriminate. Death is one per person. No one escapes! Eternity awaits all.
And unless you repent, turn to Him a far worse fate awaits (John 5:14).
Heb. 9:27 says ...it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,
This verse reminds us of the fact that we all have an appointment that we will keep.
All will stand before God and give an account for his life.
Jesus said that
...I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (Matt 12:36)
We will be judged by the standard of the 10 commandments.
If we've looked with lust then we've committed adultery in our heart
If we've hated someone then we're a murderer
If we've stolen one thing irregardless of it's value then you're a thief
The bible says we're thieves
Pro 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
There is a day when God will judge the world in righteousness
And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. ( Heb 4:13)
It's a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Lord.
Hell awaits those who transgress the law.
But God being rich in mercy sent forth His Son; born of a women to die on a cross.
Christ redeemed from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.
He satisfied the demands of eternal justice, rose from the dead at the feet of the power of the grave; and all who repent and trust in Him receive remission of sins and the gift of everlasting life.
Rom 3:10 as it is written:(Psalm 14:1) "None is righteous, no, not one;
Rom_6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Act 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
Rom 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Joh 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
Joh 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Act 16:30 Then he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
Act 16:31 And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household."
Joh 10:28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
Joh 10:29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.
Rom 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
Rom 10:11 For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame."
Repent! Turn from sin and trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin. For no one is exempt from what went on in S.C.!