By Merrill Olson
Since the recent tragic deaths of innocent people by gun violence, the whole issue of gun control has surfaced again. There are politicians, popular news personnel, and others who are advocating stricter gun laws. There are also those who are promising that they are going to do everything they can to see that something is done about it.
This all sounds good but guns are not the problem. The government can pass stricter gun laws and even seek to ban certain gun types, but that will not bring a solution. Evil people without guns will use other means to destroy human life. Therefore, stricter gun laws are only putting a bandage on the symptom but not getting at the cause.
Jesus clearly stated the cause (source) when He said, “What comes out of a man that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man” (Mark 7:20-23). Take note that He mentions “evil thoughts…murders.”
The Lord is emphasizing that the root of all wickedness is “from within” so that “out of the heart proceed” all the evil actions He mentions. Consequently, each one is typical not only of America but the world as a whole made up of a sinful fallen humanity.
No amount of gun control or laws can stop a depraved heart, out of which flow all wicked actions and evil attitudes. Thus, the only solution is that sinners need to be changed inwardly by God that shows outwardly through their actions and attitudes. It is only through the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, that such a transformation can take place.
Jesus identifies this miracle by a person experiencing the “new birth,” becoming spiritually “born again” (John 3:3). It goes all the way back to the Old Testament and God’s yet future promise to the Israelites. He said, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you…I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statues, and you will keep My judgments and do them” (Ezekiel 36:26-27).
The New Testament identifies this reality as the miracle of “regeneration.” The Bible says, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us [we who are born again], through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He [God] poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior” (Titus 3:5-6). “Washing” means being cleansed from the filth of sin.
Tragically, the more Atheistic groups and left wing advocates seek to ban any Christian influence from American society, the more devastating will be the results. As people reject the Lord and His ways and turn away unto themselves, the more their wicked hearts will show in the actions that He stressed in Mark 7:20-23.
However, the only way to overcome evil is for people to seek the Lord and forsake their wicked ways. Then, they will experience a God who abundantly pardons (Is. 55:6-7).
Merrill Olson served as a senior pastor for thirty-four years. He received a B.S. from Minnesota State University-Mankato, an M. Div. from Bethel Theological Seminary, and a D. Min. from Columbia Evangelical Seminary. He is currently involved as an interim pastor along with a teaching and writing ministry. His emphasis is on apologetics and training believers to defend their faith in Christ from God’s Word. He is well versed in Bible prophecy as it pertains to end times. He is a gifted speaker with the conviction that only by the Word of God can people experience inward transformation by the Holy Spirit. He has been married to his wife, Jan, for many years and resides in Minnesota.
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