The recent tragedy at Virginia Tech is both disturbing and thought provoking. Some have already suggested that the gunman, who caused the untimely death of so many, actually sealed the eternal doom of some of his victims. An understanding like that makes the physical atrocity, a spiritual one as well.
The seeming randomness of this event contributes mightily to its emotional impact. In the physical realm, we see evidence of apparent randomness in many of life’s circumstances. One lives in good health to age 90 and dies in his sleep. Another is born with physical conditions which lead to an early childhood death. Whether the underlying explanations involve heredity or environment, randomness or happenstance seem to play a part in one’s life circumstances.
In science, i.e. Quantum Theory, randomness has been demonstrated as a very real aspect of physical phenomena. However, the question I ponder is whether the randomness, which is undeniably a part of physical reality, extends to the spiritual realm. Can it be that some die young with little chance for salvation and others live 90 plus years and “become saved” at the last minute?
The randomness of physical circumstances is mystifying and troubling, to say the least. When one extends this randomness to the area of eternal, spiritual circumstances, it defies comprehension. Could a madman send people to eternal torment, in addition to extinguishing their young lives? If God operated like this, I can’t imagine how He could be called “Just”. On the basis of ethics alone, one would have to reject a god who “tosses the dice” with people’s eternal destiny in the balance.
No, God is not a gambler with the souls of mankind. He operates in the world of the “sure thing”. Gloriously, the surest thing in the universe is the faithfulness of the one who promised Abraham that through him all the world would be blessed, swearing by himself because no greater existed to bear witness to that surety(Hebrews 6:13-20).