Today is Monday, July 23. The sun shines brightly in beautiful Priest River, Idaho. A cool breeze is blowing, and the weather is absolutely lovely. About an hour ago I took a short break from work at my office for a peaceful walk in the pine-studded forest nearby, picking a few wild Juneberries growing along the path. They were delicious.
Yesterday my son Seth celebrated his eight-year-old birthday. About ten of his young friends came to our home, and my Sunday afternoon was spent happily watching children frolic in an inflatable pool, zip around in a small toy jeep, and bounce on our trampoline. Yesterday was a picture-perfect day too. As birthday presents, Seth received a new bike, his first real pocket knife, and a feathered-topped walking stick for hikes in the woods. His happy, boyish face still thrills me, as do the gleeful smiles and laughter of our precious 4-year-old daughter Abby, who received a new stuffed rabbit so as not to feel left out.
On my walk, I not only thought about my wife Kristin and our children, but also about little Veronica Moser, who just four days ago might have been a friend of Seth. If so, she might even have attended his small birthday gathering. Media reported: “She was a vibrant 6-year-old. She was excited, she’d just learned how to swim. She was a great little girl, excited about life — she should be at 6 years old.”
Today, to her family’s unimaginable horror, little Veronica’s lifeless body lies motionless in a Colorado morgue. Three days ago — along with 11 others who just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time — she was brutally gunned down in cold blood in a Colorado movie theater rampage at the hands of 24-year-old James Holmes, who until Thursday night, most of his acquaintances thought was just a normal guy. Entering the theater dressed in full attack gear during the premier of the new film, “The Dark Night Rises,” Holmes shot 71 people, killing 12, and wounding 59.
What can one say about such a nightmare? Do I see it as another “sign of the times”? Tragically, yes, for Jesus Christ Himself predicted that immediately preceding His return the days of Noah will be reenacted, when “the earth was filled with violence” (Genesis 6:11; see Matthew 24:37-39). The Colorado movie massacre is also an indication that, just like “Satan entered into Judas” (Luke 22:3) so long ago and inspired him to betray his Lord with a kiss, even so is the same cruel devil still invading human hearts who give him a foothold.
When will such awful tragedies end? The truth is, not until “the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41) are “cast into the lake of fire and brimstone” (Revelation 20:9) and sin itself is completely destroyed. After the Day of Judgment and the Lake of Fire (where every unrepentant soul will be held fully accountable for every departure from love and virtue), the Bible’s last book predicts,
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write: for these words are true and faithful” (Revelation 21:4,5).
Dear reader, this is our only hope. Only God Himself can eliminate sin, Satan, mass murder and death — permanently. In the wake of the recent Colorado massacre, may we all fix our minds upon the last words of The Holy Bible:
Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen (Revelation 22:20,21).