Gunman Identified as University Student

By ADAM GELLER

BLACKSBURG, Va. (April 17)Virginia Tech  on Tuesday identified the gunman responsible for the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history as an undergraduate English major at Tech.

A news release identified the gunman as Cho Seung-Hui, 23, of Centreville, Va.

The bloodbath ended with the gunman’s suicide, bringing the death toll from two separate shootings — first at a dorm, then in a classroom building — to 33 and stamping the campus in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains with unspeakable tragedy.

 

Online Child Porn More Brutal, Group Reports

By YUXING ZHENG

AP

LONDON (April 17) – Child pornography on the Internet is becoming more brutal and graphic, and the number of images depicting violent abuse has risen fourfold since 2003, according to an Internet watchdog report published Tuesday.


Of the 10,700 Web sites surveyed, more than three in five were hosted in the United States, while nearly a third were based in Russia.

The British-based Internet Watch Foundation said in its annual review that it received nearly 32,000 reports of potentially illegal content on its hot line last year, marking a 34 percent increase from the previous year.

 

About 80 percent of the children in the abusive images are female, and 91 percent appear to be children under the age of 12, it said.

Why must people suffer? Why doesn’t God just take out all the bad people?

 

Rom. 9:14-23

14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses,

“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,

and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”f

16 It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”g 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ”h 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

22 What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 

 

From this verse what can you see of God? Who is God in this verse? What are His attributes?

What riches do you see gained from tragedies such as these?

 

Persecution of the Early Church

Peter and John had just returned from meeting with the Jewish leaders after healing a blind man. They had captured them and threw them in jail, but when they were allowed to speak many were saved. Although the leaders did not like what they said they were allowed to go warned not to preach the gospel anymore. We are joining them just as Peter and John join their church family after their frightening ordeal as the believers join in prayer.

 

Acts 4:24-31

24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:

“ ‘Why do the nations rage

and the peoples plot in vain?

26     The kings of the earth take their stand

and the rulers gather together

against the Lord

and against his Anointed One.a’b

27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the peoplec of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

 

What do we learn of God’s character in this selection?

What does “sovereign” mean? What do you think God’s sovereignty meant to Peter and John?

What are the attributes of a believer verses the lost highlighted in this verse?

Is it possible that, depending on your perspective or where you stand (objects of justice verses an object of mercy), we see God as the cause of pain rather than the source of healing?

In the face of severe persecution for nothing other than professing faith in Jesus, what was the attitude of the church?

How does the condition of your heart alter your perception of world events?

What have you learned about the opposition of the power of darkness from the course of events in your life?

 

There was an interview on the morning show at Va. Tech between a reporter and a psychologist. The reporter wanted to know how can we be sure our children are safe and the psychologist said, “well, parents need to realize that this is very rare, 1 in a million chance of this happening.” She was asking for answers, but he had no hope to offer.

 

1 Peter 3:10-17 (NIV)

10 For,

“Whoever would love life

and see good days

must keep his tongue from evil

and his lips from deceitful speech.

11     He must turn from evil and do good;

he must seek peace and pursue it.

12     For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous

and his ears are attentive to their prayer,

but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”a

13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fearb; do not be frightened.”c 15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. [1]

 

 

Imagine your next door neighbor’s daughter was murdered in this school shooting. You know the parents are not saved. The mother met with psychologists and friends, but for some reason she turned to you for answers knowing you believe in God. “How can you worship a God who would allow this to happen?” she demands from you.

 

What do you say? What is the reason for the hope you have within you?

 

If God asked you to allow your child to go on a journey that promises tribulation, pain, suffering, who among us would say yes?  What if He added, “On this journey your child will experience tribulation, pain and suffering. But I will never leave his side. I will promise to pick him up when he falls. I will carry him when he no longer has the strength for another step. I will comfort him in his sorrow and rescue him from the evil one. And as a result your son will know Me as Father and Friend. He will trust Me in all his ways. He will recognize My voice. And he will cause many to seek My face. Now will you allow him to go with Me?”

 

John 12:23-29 (NIV)

23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

27 “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!”

Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.

[2]

 

In order for one seed to bear much fruit, it must die. We are the harvest of the many seeds that have died before us.

What does it take to die everyday and live for Christ? Why would that lifestyle be one that would draw your grieving neighbor?

 

Jesus was clothed in the flesh, he saw his circumstances and knew full well it was within his power to escape it. And yet he stayed on the cross. He stayed when the “objects of wrath” taunted him to come down. He stayed to redeem those the Father had given Him. He stayed on that cross for me.

 

When have you asked to be released from your circumstances only later to say “Father, glorify thy name!”

 

 

Prayer

Father, redeem our pain and loss. Give us a fresh faith. A bold faith in the face of the opposition of this world. God we mourn sin and the consequences of sin, the pain and suffering it causes. Lord, when I entertain a thought or action that would grieve you, I pray that I would feel physically ill immediately and reject it. Take captive the thought and toss it away. Help us to resist Satan so that he will flee from us. We trust you with our husbands, children, friends and family. You hear our pleas for mercy and see our hearts breaking over the acceleration of end times. While we rejoice that you are coming soon, God we ask for your protection from the evil one.

 

 


f Exodus 33:19

g Exodus 9:16

h Isaiah 29:16; 45:9

a That is, Christ or Messiah

b Psalm 2:1, 2

c The Greek is plural.

a  Psalm 34:12-16

 

b  Or not fear their threats

 

c  Isaiah 8:12

 

[1]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984

 

[2]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984

 

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