I’ve changed the plans for my post today. Tomorrow I will pick back up on recognizing a fool, but it would seem wrong not to acknowledge the tragedy that took place yesterday. The bombing yesterday plays into the idea of folly in a way. We often look at foolishness as something negative, but never drastic in nature. In truth, events like these are the ultimate results of the fool. Foolishness leads to no hope and taking drastic action. A fool is incapable of seeing the light.
We look at tragedies like this and wonder how they can be prevented in the future. No doubt there will be discussion after discussion on how we can better secure our nation. There will be debates over how to keep things secure, but not infringe on the rights of the people. Debates will rage all in the name of preventing such tragedies. It’s not wrong to plan to prevent these tragedies. I even hope these discussion happen, but we still cannot lose sight of the bigger picture.
I spoke similarly when we were faced with the tragic school shooting in Newtown. In the end we leave with one simple question. How do we keep this from happening? We will look to different people for the solution. Many will look to the government to fix these problems. The reality is that the government can only treat symptoms to the real problem.
What if this man responsible for the bombing had received the gospel? What is he was completely sold out to the good news? His life would have been completely changed. His actions would have looked completely different. We know nothing about the person who did this. Perhaps he heard the gospel and rejected it. Perhaps he had never heard it at all. We cannot play the “what if” game t0o much. There is only one “what if” that I know would have brought about a drastically different result. What if this man had become a Christian?
We often focus on the change to the individual that receives the gospel. It is understandable since that is where we can recognizably see a difference. An individual who becomes a true believer will change his ways. He will live for God rather than himself. He will be sold out to a higher calling. The change to the individual is drastic, but the change does not end there. We often fail to realize the impact the gospel has on the individual’s encounters. The gospel does not just impact the individual. The gospel has an impact on how that individual behaves and treats others.
If this man had received the gospel before this bombing then hospitals would have been a little emptier this week. A mother and father would be tucking in their eight year old boy tonight rather than making preparation to lay him forever in the ground. Countless lives would not have changed for the worse in a single moment. The gospel does not just impact lives for the positive, it also prevents negative impact to countless others.
The truth is we cannot prevent every bombing. We cannot prevent every instance where a man walks into a crowded place to fire a gun. We cannot prevent terrorists from doing suicide bombings. We can share the gospel though. We can witness God’s power in the life of the individual, and thus be thankful that one more individual can go out in this world to bring about a positive impact in the lives of others. We can be thankful that we were not the man that made bombs to kill innocent lives. We can be thankful of the incredible power the gospel has on a global scale.
The gospel is not simply necessary for the individual. The gospel is the only thing all of creation needs. It is the only thing that can bring about change for the good of all. We live in a world where chaos often seem to reign supreme. A world where walls come crashing down. A world where even an eight year old boy cannot be safe at a family friendly event. The gospel can bring a little hope to this world though. It can remind us of the end game. An ending where all will be set right when the king takes his throne. An ending that marks a brand new beginning. A beginning where tears of sorrow will no longer be welcomed on faces. A beginning where hope is vindicated. A beginning where the gospels impact is recognizable to all. As we wait for that beginning let us cling to the gospel, and share it with all who will listen. It won’t just impact the individual who receives. The gospel will change the world.