We all know that the famous saying concludes with “…stays in Vegas.”
But not this week.
This week dozens of families will be receiving corpses from Vegas, and hundreds of people will only wish their wounds – both physical and emotional – could stay there.
As always, many people are immediately focusing the conversation on how the shooter accomplished his act of terror. Why did he have so many guns? Look at all the different kinds and sizes. And see how he modified them because that style is already illegal in the U.S.?
And while those are valid observations – something that the investigators certainly need to explore – a biblical worldview makes a completely different series of observations.
- Murder is sin, and the officers were right to stop him from killing more people by killing him (Genesis 9:6; Romans 13:4)
- Sin (and murder specifically) comes from a heart that is not right with God (Romans 1:29; 13:9; Galatians 5:21; 1 John 3:12)
- The only way to become right with God is through a faith in Jesus alone for salvation followed by a lifestyle of submitting to the Holy Spirit (Acts 16:31; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 5:16, 19-23)
The Las Vegas shooter was not right with God. Now, it is possible that he was saved, that he had believed on Jesus at one point in his life. However, at that moment, when he intentionally loaded the bags with guns, rented the hotel room, carried the bags upstairs, unloaded and set them up, and then proceeded to shoot hundreds of people – in those moments, he was not right with God, regardless of his salvation.
- He had rejected the intrinsic worth of those people created in God’s image.
- He had suppressed both his conscience and any conviction the Holy Spirit may have given him.
- He willfully broke both God’s eternal law and the American government’s law.
How did the shooter do it? That will be answered by law enforcement.
Why did he do it? That is answered in Scripture.
How can we keep it from happening again? This is the tricky one. The politicians and lawyers believe that creating laws and restricting the freedom of everyone is the only way to prevent crime. But that has been proven incorrect every time.
In reality, we cannot prevent it from happening again because murder comes from a heart that is not right with God, and no human government can fix that. Even in Jesus’ own future kingdom, there will be rebels who he will have to punish.
Only if every human heart was right with God and in submission to his Spirit could we guarantee that this will not happen. Until then, those who do believe in Jesus can help change this world one heart at a time as we point people to Jesus for the first time and help fellow believers stay on the path toward him.
It’s not the solution America or this world is looking for, but it’s the only one that can work.