While the nation is still recoiling in horror and grief over the recent mass shootings, there were two others that took place over the weekend in Chicago claiming the lives of five (at the time of the writing of this article) and wounding 42 according to a local Chicago News headline:“At Least 5 Killed, 42 Wounded In Weekend Shootings Across Chicago.”
The Bible is clear that just before the Second Coming of the Lord, violence would increase in the land, just as it did in the days of Noah (see Matthew 24:37 and Luke 17:26). Just how were things in the time of Noah? “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them” Genesis 6:11-13. Such is the condition of the world today. Within a matter of days there have been 5 mass shootings throughout the United States all resulting in casualties and multiple injuries. Reporting on the previous shootings NBC News stated the following: “Within the span of one tragic, violent day, two mass shootings left at least 29 dead and 53 injured in a matter of just 13 hours. On Saturday, a gunman opened fire into a crowd at an El Paso, Texas, retail area that is popular among both local residents and shoppers from just across the southern border with Mexico. Less than a day later, a separate shooter attacked a crowd outside a popular bar in Dayton, Ohio, as patrons were attempting to enjoy a night out on the town. Both attacks follow a week in which Gilroy, California; Brooklyn, New York; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania were each struck by gun violence.”
Any time an individual loses his/her life, it is an incalculable tragedy; and yet as we approach the Second Coming of Christ, more senseless murders and acts of violence will occur in rapid succession. One often must ask the question, “how much more can we take?” Truly, because iniquity is abounding in the world, the love of many is waxing cold (Matthew 24:12). Satan is inspiring men and women with his spirit of hatred and murder (John 8:44 and John 10:10) in a final attempt to destroy the lives not only of the victims but also of the perpetrators. He is intensifying his efforts because he knows that he has only a short time left to accomplish what he has set out to do—cause as many people to be lost so that he does not have to perish for their sins. This is why God gives a “woe” to earth’s inhabitants in the last days. “Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” Revelation 12:12.
“We are living in the midst of an ‘epidemic of crime,’ at which thoughtful, God-fearing men everywhere stand aghast. The corruption that prevails, it is beyond the power of the human pen to describe. Every day brings fresh revelations of political strife, bribery, and fraud. Every day brings its heart-sickening record of violence and lawlessness, of indifference to human suffering, of brutal, fiendish destruction of human life. Every day testifies to the increase of insanity, murder, and suicide. Who can doubt that satanic agencies are at work among men with increasing activity to distract and corrupt the mind, and defile and destroy the body?”
“All the vast, complicated machinery of evil agencies is put into action in these last days. Through generation after generation, from age to age, Satan has gathered human agencies through whom to work out his diabolical purposes, and to bring about the enforcement of his plans and devices in the earth. The great putrid fountain of evil has been continually flowing through human society.”
All of the murders, mass shootings and acts of violence now taking place around the world, but especially in the United States, will culminate in the call to restrict civil and religious liberties in exchange for promises of peace and safety. Even now the call for gun control is getting louder and stronger with each shooting. Yet people fail to realize that the issue of gun control will not prevent mass murders or violence. The wicked, unregenerate heart will find any means to carry out his/her depraved desires. The violence will increase to such a point that earth’s inhabitants will, in their desperation, accept any proposal that promises relief. Citizens will be urged by religious leaders and also spiritualistic manifestations that the only solution to curb violence will be the strict enforcement of Sunday observance, which will fulfill Revelation 13:15-17, the enacting of the Mark of the Beast. The legislators in order to retain and/or secure popular favor will yield to the popular demand for Sunday observance. But God will have a class of people that will obey God rather than man and would yield their lives in defense of His truth, the seventh-day Sabbath. May we be counted as faithful!
“They [satanic spirits] will lament the great wickedness in the world and second the testimony of religious teachers that the degraded state of morals is caused by the desecration of Sunday. Great will be the indignation excited against all who refuse to accept their testimony… Those who honor the Bible Sabbath will be denounced as enemies of law and order, as breaking down the moral restraints of society, causing anarchy and corruption, and calling down the judgments of God upon the earth. Their conscientious scruples will be pronounced obstinacy, stubbornness, and contempt of authority. They will be accused of disaffection toward the government. Ministers who deny the obligation of the divine law will present from the pulpit the duty of yielding obedience to the civil authorities as ordained of God. In legislative halls and courts of justice, commandment keepers will be misrepresented and condemned. A false coloring will be given to their words; the worst construction will be put upon their motives.”
“Political corruption is destroying love of justice and regard for truth; and even in free America, rulers and legislators, in order to secure public favor, will yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance. Liberty of conscience, which has cost so great a sacrifice, will no longer be respected. In the soon-coming conflict we shall see exemplified the prophet's words: ‘The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.’ Revelation 12:17.”
White, Ellen. The Ministry of Healing (1905), page 142
White, Ellen. The Review and Herald, April 14, 1896, paragraph 5
White, Ellen. The Great Controversy (1911), pages 590 and 592
White, Ellen. The Great Controversy (1911), page 59