This week was another week in which we see some of the depths of the depravity of the human heart as the mass murder and wounding of so many happened this past weekend in Nevada. The killer has been called “a monster” which seems to be the best description the news media can come up with to try to summarize the horrific nature of this killer.
The Bible tells us that murder is in the heart of man—Mark 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery,
We know that there was murder in the first family on Earth as Cain killed his brother Abel.
We know the source of murder—John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
I have said that this is an act of depravity so let me take a moment and give you a brief but important theological understanding of depravity. I will share one of the succinct but excellent explanations from the Moody Handbook of Theology to make this clear:
"Total depravity should first be defined negatively: it does not mean “(1) that depraved people cannot or do not perform actions that are good in either man’s or God’s sight.… (2) that fallen man has no conscience which judges between good and evil for him.… (3) that people indulge in every form of sin or in any sin to the greatest extent possible.”
The word depravity means that because of sin’s corruption “there is nothing man can do to merit saving favor with God,” while total means that depravity “has extended to all aspects of man’s nature, to his entire being.” Calvin defined man’s depraved estate as follows: “All men are conceived in sin, and born the children of wrath, indisposed to all saving good, propense to evil, dead in sin, and the slaves of sin; and without the regenerating grace of the Holy Spirit, they neither are willing nor able to return to God, to correct their depraved nature, or to dispose themselves to the correction of it.”
The Scriptures emphasize the depravity of man by man’s continual sinning (Gen. 6:5; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:10–18). The reason is that man is born a fallen creature with the pollution of sin (Ps. 51:5). Depravity also affirms the inability of man to do good (Matt. 7:17–18; John 15:4–5; 1 Cor. 12:3). Depravity further affirms man’s inability to understand the good (Matt. 13:14; John 1:11; 8:43; Acts 16:14; 1 Cor. 1:18; 2:14; 2 Cor. 3:12–18; Eph. 4:18). Depravity also indicates man cannot desire the good (Matt. 7:18; John 3:3; 6:44; 8:43; 15:4–5; Eph. 2:1).
Total depravity indicates man’s utter inability to do anything for his salvation. God must initiate the process if a person is to be saved.
Among other things this teaches us that there is absolutely no action of wickedness to which the human heart cannot go. We saw evidence of this in the actions of this man who took the lives and damaged the lives of so many. We also see that nothing apart from the work of God can reach the human heart. Thank God for His grace!
We should all grieve for and pray for those who have been impacted by this situation. We should grieve for and pray for our nation. We should pray for those in law enforcement and all our civil servants.
And we must remember that while there is so much darkness in this world and in the human heart, there is HOPE. It is found in Christ alone. And you and I have the opportunity to be a light in this darkness. Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” As has been said, “the darker the night, the brighter the light.” There is much darkness around us so we should be shining very brightly. Show and shine the light of Christ in the darkness around you.
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Have you ever taken time to reflect on deeper questions such as "Where did I come from?" or "What happens when I die?"
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