Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Cross & the AR-15

   I find it ironic the name of our latest mass shooter is Nikolas Cruz. Nicky Cruz, you may recall, was the name of the sinner turned saint in "The Cross and the Switchblade".  If that Nicky Cruz could be saved, why not this Florida youth of the same name? Yes, he had a hard life, but why turn to murder? Had he never heard of the healing power of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
   For those of you not familiar with the book and movie, The Cross & the Switchblade was the true story of the conversion of Nicky Cruz. Cruz was a gang leader in the barrios of New York City, and David Wilkerson was a young preacher from Pennsylvania (if I'm not mistaken). Wilkerson tried time and again to tell Cruz and other inner city youth of the love of God. Cruz beat him up- I don't wanna say everday, but more times than most of us would have put up with! Yet the man of God would not give up.
   Ultimately, God's love broke through, and Cruz turned from his evil ways and followed Christ.
   So, what about Florida's infamous Nikolas Cruz of today? They say his adopted father died when Nikolas was four years old, and his single Mom succumbed to the flu this past November. The young man had numerous run-ins with police, and was receiving psychiatric care of some sort for awhile. 
    Did anyone tell him Jesus loves him, and died for him???  Did anyone tell him he was worth something? Did anyone tell him God could wipe away all his tears, and heal his broken heart? Some of you may think it's cliche' or even corny to tell someone "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life", but isn't that just what this messed up kid needed to know? Because I guarantee it wasn't God's plan for him to gun down a dozen classmates and a handful of teachers!
   Is the Church dropping the ball in reaching out to today's kids? What has changed? I graduated years before the Brady bill ever came along, yet "school shooting" wasn't in our vocabulary. Weren't kids messed up back in the 70's? Weren't they depressed, lonely, rejected and bullied? I wasn't exactly Mr. Popularity in school: I was like Forrest Gump trying to find a seat on the schoolbus, and had my permanent place at the Losers' Table in the lunchroom. Guess how many kids I shot?
   Why didn't I kill myself and everyone else? Because I gave my life to Jesus Christ and He gave life to me. 
   Because somebody somewhere cared enough to get the message of the cross to introverted wimpy nerds like me. As the saying goes, "But for the grace of God, there goes me".   So why are loser kids shooting up schools now, or is that all staged fake news propaganda?
   Why aren't we reaching this generation of rainbow-love, gender-confused, detergent-eating, feminist, dumbed-down safe-zone kids? Ok, I get that they are taught from kindergarten we evolved by chance and the Bible is not but myths and fairy-tales; but what are we doing to show them otherwise? From birth our kids are immersed in the Disney world of sex and magic as the spirit of antichrist pervades the media and education establishment. But are they beyond hope? Or do we just not care?
   What good is it if TV preachers push a Chicken Soup for the soul, get-rich-quick pyramid scheme, with no calls for repentance and no calls to the altar?
   Listen, I will be the first to admit my failure as a Christian! I suck as an evangelist, I really don't have that loving heart that's needed to show hardened sinners God's pure love.  My preaching style steps on peoples' toes & stuff. I've oftened struggled with believing God would use a PoS like me, and whether anyone was listening in the first place.
   But friends, Jesus promised He would be with us until the end of this age! It ain't about my ability, but His. We need to get the message to the lost that Someone is looking for them. Jesus commands us to go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in!
We need a light in this dark generation.
   We need to send laborers out into the fields and reap, because it ain't over 'til God says it's over!  I can't imagine feeling so overwhelmed and so overwrought that killing everbody at school sounds like a good idea. That ain't normal.  Fatih comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. We need to get the gospel to these kids. Gun laws aren't the answer, but saved and healed souls are.
   As Isaiah the Prophet wrote thousands of years ago, and Keith Green sang decades ago, "Here am I, Lord; send me!"