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Orlando & The Gospel

By Paul Bawden

The atrocious killings in Orlando have shocked the United States and the world. To murder people in cold blood is totally an abomination, totally evil. Certainly, our prayers are with the families and friends who lost loved ones and those still needing physical healing.

Different responses have been made to this wicked event such as blaming Christians and guns, and others are reluctant to call it what it is, radical Islamic terrorism.

From a biblical perspective, the God of the Bible loves all people of the world without partiality, regardless of ethnicity and lifestyle.

How do we know that? One word, the Gospel – the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Why the Gospel? The Gospel is the good news that God loves all people (John 3:16). Why does God love all people? He sees all of us in our desperate situation.

Christ put it this way in Mark 7:20-23, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man.  For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”

Knowing this, Christ goes into love action and takes upon Himself these sins, and all the sins of humanity, your sin and my sin, everyone’s sin, as He dies on the Calvary’s cross for you and me to pay the penalty for our breaking God’s law, which is death, was buried and rose bodily from the grave, winning His forgiveness and eternal life for everyone. This is the Gospel. Those who believe the Gospel receive Christ’s forgiveness with a new life that exhibits, relying on His power, a pure life of love that includes His joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – actually Christ-likeness. (Galatians 5:22-23).

This means that the Gospel speaks directly to what happened in Orlando. It is not about guns, Christians, the killer’s identification with ISIS, or about political correctness, and it’s not about the lifestyle of those who were killed, although God in His Word says that the lifestyle of homosexuality is sin, along with adultery, murder, thefts, coveting, slander, deceit, envy, pride, etc., as Jesus taught above. Rather, it’s all about the human heart. Each person’s spiritual heart is sinful and needs to experience the eternal Gospel of Jesus Christ.

For that to happen, each person needs to respond positively in faith to the Gospel. For only the Gospel can change the heart from hatred to love, from selfishness to selflessness, from arrogance to humility, and to change any sinful lifestyle to a pure life-style that displays Christ’s joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. It’s only the Gospel that can change each of our lives, for all of us have sinned against God – yes, it’s only the Gospel that can change each of our lives to do God’s will as each of us responds in faith to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Have you made that faith response to the Gospel? If so, does your life display Christlikeness?

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