Mass Shooting in Allen, Texas: When Will the Violence End?
This weekend, a tragic mass shooting occurred at a popular mall in Allen, Texas. This tragedy hit close to home for those of us behind Life, Hope & Truth.
This past weekend, a horrible tragedy took place in Allen, Texas. On Saturday, May 6, a shooter dressed in black roamed a busy outdoor mall, firing shots randomly at shoppers. A police officer eventually killed him, but only after the shooter killed eight people and sent another seven to the hospital.
This tragedy hit close to home for us at Life, Hope & Truth. Our offices are located just about 3 miles from the Allen Premium Outlets mall. Many of our employees and local members of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, live close to this mall and regularly shop there.
Thankfully, none of our employees or members were at the mall when the tragedy occurred. But we know that numerous families are now grieving the loss of loved ones because of this senseless tragedy. One of the victims was a 3-year-old who was killed along with his mother and father. Details about the other victims, and the shooter, are now starting to emerge.
Why are we seeing so much violence of this scale in our country and world? Is there hope for having a world without violence?
An epidemic of violence
By some counts, there have been nearly 200 mass shootings in the United States this year alone, which is more than one per day.
The Bible describes a time when violence covered the earth in the days prior to the Flood. “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually . . . The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence” (Genesis 6:5, 11).
Our society has been increasingly embracing violence—celebrating it in media and entertainment and sometimes justifying it for political reasons—so it shouldn’t surprise us when we see it in our streets.Three words are used to describe the world of that day—corrupt, evil and violent. The same three words aptly describe our world today. If God destroyed the pre-Flood world because of corruption, evil and violence, where is our world headed today?
It seems that since Cain killed his brother Abel, humanity has resorted to violence as an answer to its problems. War and violence in the streets have killed large numbers of people, especially young people.
In the past, America has been called a bright “city on a hill,” an example to the rest of the world. But it cannot be denied that today America is leading the way when it comes to violence.
Notice this prophecy in Ezekiel 7:23: “Make a chain, for the land is filled with crimes of blood, and the city is full of violence.” This prophecy describes both ancient and modern Israel, which includes the United States. (To learn more about America’s identity in Bible prophecy, read “Who Are the United States and Britain in Prophecy?”)
Our society has been increasingly embracing violence—celebrating it in media and entertainment and sometimes justifying it for political reasons—so it shouldn’t surprise us when we see it in our streets. Clearly, those who perpetrate it on a mass scale are disturbed, and tragically, their numbers seem to be increasing. Bible prophecy tells us this will only get worse as we approach the day of Christ’s return.
To learn more about the roots of mass violence, read “Why So Many Mass Shootings?”
Is there hope?
So, is it hopeless? Is our world doomed to increasing violence? Will we eventually destroy ourselves?
The Bible shows there is hope.
There is a day coming when violence will end, but it won’t happen until the return of Jesus Christ. During the time before the Flood, there was no human solution. Humanity had become so evil, corrupt and violent there was no turning back.
Jesus Christ described the end of this age in the same language. “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:37). (To learn more about this prophecy, read “As in the Days of Noah: Warnings for Today.”)
He will intervene and prevent humanity from destroying all life, and then He will begin building an entirely new world—a world without violence.
Isaiah 60:18 describes the future world after Christ returns: “Violence shall no longer be heard in your land, neither wasting nor destruction within your borders; but you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.”
Only when the world turns to God for the answers and rejects the spirit of hatred and violence will these problems be solved.
To learn how that will happen, read “The Kingdom of God Will End Suffering and Evil.”
A call to repent
This message of hope is found in the gospel Jesus preached, the “gospel of the kingdom of God” (Mark 1:14). When proclaiming this message of His coming Kingdom, He also gave a clear statement to those who heard His message. He said, “Repent” (verse 15).
What a novel idea! Change your life! Reject the evil, corruption and violence of the world around us. Become the person God wants you to be—one led by His Spirit. Reject the evil ways of our society and instead be a “light” to the world (Matthew 5:14-16).
It is time to get serious about your life and your relationship with God. The time for complacency has passed. The apostle Paul admonished Christians to “become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15).
What should we do now?
In the meantime, we grieve with and pray for those who suffered loss in the past few days. We groan for the lack of justice and peace throughout the world, and we pray for God’s protection, for ourselves and others, from the evil and violence that cover the earth.
Today the world is truly in chaos, with thousands being killed in shootings, wars, floods, earthquakes, etc. Every human being is created in God’s image, with the potential of being in the very family of God. When we see violence, we should remember how highly God values human life.
This recent incident struck close to home, but God’s Word reveals that this kind of behavior will come to all our cities and near all our homes in the times ahead. The only real solution to such chaos and violence is a fundamental change in man’s nature. Such a conversion will be possible, on a global scale, only after the return of Jesus Christ.
Continue to pray fervently, “Thy kingdom come”!