Did They Deserve It?

As the magnitude of the Orlando terror attack begins to more thoroughly sink in, many are asking what should be the appropriate response to this horrific incident? More specifically, what should be the response of Christians to this murderous act? To go right to the heart of the question, “What would Jesus say about Orlando?”

To that question, there can be no doubt. In Luke 13, Jesus was approached about an incident that mirrors the Orlando incident precisely. Luke 13:1, says, “There were present at that season, some who told Him (Jesus) of the Galileans whose blood Pilate mingled with their sacrifices.” Without going into unnecessary details, what had occurred was the horrific murder of worshippers, in the act of worship, by Pilate. Evidently the blood of those worshipping was mixed (mingled) with the blood of the sacrifice on the altar in an act of unbelievable depravity. Jesus was reminded of this terribly tragic incident in an attempt to illicit His reaction to it. No doubt, the ones asking Him were anticipating that Jesus would respond in condemnation of those who were killed, because to the Jewish mind, if you died horribly, it was because you deserved it.

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In classic fashion, Jesus turned the debate on His questioners asking, “Do you suppose (think) that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans because they suffered such things?” Plainly put, if worded today, Jesus would ask, “Do you think that those gay individuals in Orlando deserved to die that way because they deserved it more than you?” Jesus answer to His own query is poignant and plain. “I tell you, nay (no), but except you repent, you shall ALL likewise perish.” In other words, they are no greater sinners than you. Unless YOU repent, you will also perish. Of course, Jesus is speaking of eternally perishing.

Simply put, Jesus brings the discussion back to where it should be. All men/women are sinners and deserving of hell. ALL are equally guilty before a Holy and Righteous God. Unless repentance of sin occurs, and faith in Christ takes place, ALL will equally and eternally perish.

So, for those professing believers, including a pastor or two across America, who are saying that the 49 who died in Orlando did so specifically because of their lifestyle choices, please understand the convicting words of Jesus in Luke 13. I am by no means diminishing, much less condoning, the sinful lifestyle choices of those 49. No, homosexuality is sin. But, we are ALL sinners in desperate need of a Savior. Lest some think themselves “less a sinner” than another, Jesus statements in Luke 13:1-5, should forever correct that inaccurate thinking.

So, for the families of the deceased, we pray. We pray for comfort, strength, resolution, and, above all, salvation. What happened to their loved ones is unjustifiable and should happen to NO ONE! As individuals, created in the image of God, the 49 who tragically died deserved the decency and respect due to all human beings. The actions of Omar Mateen were the result of a godless, anti-Christ, anti-God, anti-American ideology called Islam. And, by the way, an ideology that is antithetical to all that is America and American.

I appreciate the comments (not to be interpreted as an endorsement) of Donald Trump this afternoon. He unequivocally stated that he “refuses to be politically correct.” He laid the blame for Orlando’s attack squarely where it should be placed–on a purely evil ideology that is tragically on the rise in our land, and which, unless stopped, will continue to result in the very acts so heinously committed yesterday.

Dave Kistler
President, HOPE Ministries International/HOPE To The Hill
President, North Carolina Pastors Network (NCPN)
Co-host, Stand In The Gap Radio

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