Eternity is rushing towards us.
You and everyone else must be ready.
We do live in some amazing times. Political season is upon us here in the US. Terrorism seems to be happening at a very rapid pace around the world. And seemingly difficult topics, that we would rather avoid, sometimes come rushing at us.
One thing I have noticed in life, as I get older, is that some middle-aged and older people can really get opinionated about certain issues. Another thing I notice, as I am reading and talking with others, is that part of the reason for such strong opinions is that people know their days are numbered. They are more than halfway finished with their days down here. They are wrestling with the questions: What have I done with my life? Has my life counted for anything? I think this is one reason why we see Hollywood actors and actresses standing up for various causes they supposedly believe in. I am not sure how much satisfaction you can get from making a film, but it canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be too much. Musicians do the same things. We are seeing more and more athletes taking a public stance on issues, too. It seems that no matter how many championships you win, how much money you make, etc., none of these can bring true contentment. So many celebrities are getting involved in certain movements or political causes, I think, as a salve for other things in their lives. They really want their life to count.
Now, that is one of the major benefits of being a Christian. Every day is a joy! DoesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t matter how much money I have in my bank account, if I made the big sale today, or what my batting average looks like, I can and do get joy from just loving the Lord! Witnessing to lost people brings so much internal joy. The Christian life is unlike any other life. We can love the Lord, raise our kids up to be soldiers for the King, know that the day we die we are going to Heaven, and have the utmost satisfaction as we live this life.
I was reading an article about the head coach of the Golden State Warriors, Steve Kerr. His father was the President of American University in Beirut and was assassinated by two Muslims. Interestingly, his dad was offered a body guard because the previous president of that university had been kidnapped. He turned down that offer and had a chauffeur instead. I wonder if he regrets his decision now.
Steve Kerr wound up on a podcast and voiced some rather interesting statements:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When 90 percent of our country wants background checks on gun purchases and weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got our senate and our house not only voting it down but using the Bill of Rights as a reason for people to have rights to carry these automatic weapons, and weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re getting people murdered every day at an alarming rate,” he said.
“I just have to get this off my chest,” Kerr continued. “Our government is insane. We are insane. And what bugs me is this adherence to the right to bear arms, you know. That was back in 1776. People didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t own automatic rifles. You had to have a musket in case the Redcoats were coming. The British were coming. And the beautiful thing about the Constitution is they left open amendments to change things because things change over time.
“I kind of think that our forefathers would not have okÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d automatic weapons to be sold to everybody if they existed back then. LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s have some checks. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s easier to get a gun than it is to get a driverÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s license. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s insane. And as somebody whoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s had a family member shot and killed, it devastates me every time I read about this stuff Ã¢â‚¬â€ like what happened in Orlando Ã¢â‚¬â€ and then itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s even more devastating to see the government just cowing to the NRA and going to this totally outdated Bill Of Rights, right to bear arms. If you want to own a musket, fine, you know, but come on. The rest of the world thinks weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re insane. We are insane.
“And until we vote these senators and congressmen and women out of office, the same thingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gonna happen. And itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s infuriating and I had to get that off my chest.
“You wonder if any of these Senators and Congressmen and women who are so opposed to even holding a vote on not only the right to buy an automatic weapon but just the background checks and the lists and all the stuff, how would they feel about this if their own child, their own mother, their own father, sister, brother, wife, husband was murdered. Mass murdered. Would that change your mind? I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know but how many times do we have to go through this before our government actually does something about it?Ã¢â‚¬Â
The Orlando nightclub shooting occurred just a day before Game 5 of the NBA Finals. A moment of silence was held prior to tip-off.
“It was very emotional,” Kerr told The New Yorker. “I was thinking of my dad.”
“It’s very personal because you’ve gone through it. You understand how much they are suffering, just like how our family went through that suffering. When you think of it, all of those statistics have names and these names have faces. They are people who are now lost.”
One thing you realize very quickly about SteveÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s words is that he was speaking emotionally rather than logically. It happens, and can happen, to all of us. That is why it is important to know what you believe and be able to critically evaluate whatever someone is saying.
You cannot walk into a gun store and buy an automatic weapon. There are no machine guns for sale in there! They have semi-automatic weapons, but those are very, very different from an automatic weapon. It might behoove Steve to read the 1934 National Firearms Act.
I am also going to make the assumption that Steve has never bought a gun before. Because if he had, he would realize extremely quickly that a background check is run on anyone who wants to purchase a firearm! Interestingly, they found out after the Orlando shooting that the Muslim murderer bought all of his weapons legally! He passed every background check necessary in order to gain access to those weapons.
By the way, approximately 58,000 Revolutionary soldiers died by those muskets during the Revolutionary War. Yes, the British were coming, and yes, hooligans might just be coming after you and your family, as well.
Steve talked about the Ã¢â‚¬Å“totally outdated Bill of Rights.Ã¢â‚¬Â That has to be one of the biggest wow statements I have ever heard. You have every right to leave the country, Steve. You can move to another country anytime you feel like it, since the founding documents of this country are so outdated. But doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t that beg the question, why do so many people want to move here? One of the reasons is they love the freedoms those founding documents give us!
Steve also said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“. . . how would they feel about this if their own child, their own mother, their own father, sister, brother, wife, husband was murdered. Mass murdered. Would that change your mind?Ã¢â‚¬Â No, Steve, it would not. I would hope that all of those people would be ready to defend themselves and the people around them. As you probably have already guessed, the nightclub in Orlando was a gun-free zone. Criminals seem to like it when people wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t push or fight back.
Maybe try this, Steve. Maybe just put a big sign in your front yard that says, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Gun Free Zone.Ã¢â‚¬Â I have mentioned this idea to a few gun haters before, but they never seem to want to take the challenge! I wonder why?!
Maybe Mr. Kerr will, instead of talking the talk, walk the walk. I was excited when he asked the Golden State Warriors to make sure there were no armed policemen at their basketball games. He also asked for all of the security personnel, who protect him and all of the players, not to have weapons either. That took guts. Lots of guts. Oh wait. He didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do that. Why? Because gun control people never do that. You never hear about celebrities or politicians, who want to take away your guns, being the first to step up to the plate and announce that they will no longer have security personnel with weapons. Of course they want those people protecting them, armed and ready, just in case something happens! So what is supposedly good for you is not good for them.
Maybe the Golden State Warriors, instead of having a bobblehead night, should have a no defense night. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s right. The Warriors will not play a lick of defense against their opponent that night. They could be playing the worst team in the league, and they would definitely lose.
Do not underestimate the mind of a criminal. I do prison ministry. I meet criminals. They are some pretty smart guys. Of course, they got caught so they canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be that smart! Unless it is a suicide mission, many of them will take the path of least resistance to commit their crime.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:Ã¢â‚¬Â
1 Timothy 5:8:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The great encounter between David and Goliath is found in 1 Samuel 17:32-58. You may want to look at all of those verses, but verse 47 is very telling:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The Lord won the battle against Goliath and the Philistines that day, and He did it using a young man with a sling and some stones! That is a weapon by any definition, and a very deadly weapon at that.
Here is a good website if you want to learn more about biblical self-defense:
Also, anytime you can read anything by or watch John Lott on TV, go for it. He is amazing. He is always factually accurate and doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get overly emotional, like some do in this gun control debate. He is a very logical thinker who engages your mind:
I have spoken in a couple of churches recently where some men have let me know that they would be watching out for me in case anything happened while I was there. So I always ask each time that happens, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Are you packing heat?Ã¢â‚¬Â And they have always answered in the affirmative! Some of these pastors have been getting death threats, and these men are going to make sure nothing happens to them. So is it wrong to protect your pastor or your family?
Think this through for a second. If you cannot protect yourself or your family, why do you call the police? So it is okay for the police to show up and pull his gun and maybe shoot someone, but you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have the right to do that? So you think it is okay to put a police officer in that position? So you want the policeman to protect you, but you wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t protect yourself or your family? If having a gun and shooting it in self-defense is wrong for you, then it is wrong for a police officer. Please donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t ever call 911 again.
The other thing I tell people is that when seconds count, police are only minutes away. Police canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be everywhere, and we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want them to be everywhere! What kind of society would that be to live in?
And incidentally, how can a Christian ever be a police officer? They might have to pull their gun and use it sometime. How can a Christian be in the military? I am guessing they canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t if their position has anything to do with using a gun. That is interesting since God trained DavidÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hands for battle.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:Ã¢â‚¬Â
By the way, would you throw a punch at an intruder? Punches can kill, if you didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know. Would you throw a crockpot at them? Please donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t hit them in the head, they may die. Would you swing a baseball bat at them? Just hope you strike out on that day and are not Babe Ruth at that moment.
Intent is big with God. You are not going around murdering people, but you are protecting your wife, kids, family, neighbors, and friends. What could ever be wrong with that?
I was in a restaurant the other day, and sitting a couple of tables over was this man who was open carrying a weapon on his side. He was a big, thick, black gentleman who looked like he could be the middle linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons! I watched him a few times as I ate and as he walked around. I had no fear at all. None. DidnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even cross my mind that he would shoot the place up. Not sure if he was a policeman or not. All that kept crossing my mind was that if something went down that day, this man would step up and take care of the situation.
Remember, we live in a sound-bite or bumper-sticker world. Politicians love this. They can throw out some quick phrase and people buy into it, but the facts do not bear it out. We now have a populace that loves to follow but doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t seem to want to dig for answers. They are blind. They could open their eyes, but they wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t. The blind are leading the blind. The Antichrist will love this in the days ahead.
Remember that Steve KerrÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s dad was not killed by a gun. He was killed by Muslims. It is that simple. They could have run him over with a car. It is still murder. My dad is just finishing up The Last Ride. He read the part about Islam on pages 149-159. He said everyone should read those pages.
Steve said at the end of the podcast, Ã¢â‚¬Å“You understand how much they are suffering, just like how our family went through that suffering. When you think of it, all of those statistics have names and these names have faces. They are people who are now lost.Ã¢â‚¬Â
No, those people are only lost if they are not saved. Everyone who dies today, by a heart attack or a gunshot, is still alive on the other side. What they did with the Lord Jesus Christ is all that matters. It is the same with a gun. I truly donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t care if you decide to, or decide not to, protect your family. That is your choice. You will answer to God for whether you were supposed to or not. I even tapped one of those men in the church on his hip to see if there was a gun there! It was. I am more concerned about the heart behind the gun. A born-again Christian with a weapon doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t bother me in the least. But a wicked person with a weapon can be bad, bad news for you and for many people around you.
Hit the streets. Share your faith. Hand some tracts out. Reach a murderer before he shoots someone or blows something up. That is the true service of a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. See you on the other side sometime soon!
Until the nets are full,
P.S. I had one of my friends look at this newsletter as I was putting it together. Here are some of his thoughts that I thought were really incisive:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ok here are my two cents. As an individual who cannot own a gun; I may have a different view than some others in my situation. I am a guy who supports the right to bear arms; even though I cannot. I want my neighbor armed if madmen come calling. More guns by legal citizens will lower crime!Ã¢â‚¬Â
Actually when you read John LottÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s material, he comes to the same conclusion: more guns, less crime. Matter of fact, he even wrote a book by that title!
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Personally I would hammer the point about sin. The condition of the heart of the unregenerate man and the way to curb the issues associated with the type of issues Steve Kerr is addressing is through believers getting busy sharing the truth of Jesus Christ. Christ can change the heart and that will change the conduct.Ã¢â‚¬Â
IsnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t that really the issue? People need a heart change that only the Lord can provide.
He also recommended a website I had not seen before that I thought was very informative:
P.P.S. Here are some other interesting pictures and editorial cartoons that make some strong statements: