The World Needs Jesus

No doubt about it, the news in recent weeks has been grim as we have been bombarded by story after story of violence that has erupted on our own homeland. In the span of just a few short weeks we’ve awoken to stories of racially motivated hatred that sparked violence in Charlottesville, the senseless mass shooting of concert-goers in Las Vegas which killed dozens and injured scores more, and the brutal and inexplicable massacre of more than two dozen Christian worshippers far too close to home in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
And as human beings and Americans we grieve and cry out all sorts of questions: why all the suffering, the hatred, and the violence? What’s going on here and how can we stop it? Some answer with cries for gun control. Others answer it with a call for law-abiding citizens to bear arms. But as Christians, in addition to lovingly supporting and encouraging those directly victimized by this senseless violence, what is our unique calling and witness in response to this season of increasing violence? I believe that the Church can provide leadership to our culture and society by responding faithfully at this dark and difficult hour.
First of all, we cannot react out of fear. The most frequent command of God in all of Scripture is to not be afraid. Fear is destructive, and worry is its harmful cousin. I’ve heard it said before that worry is the misuse of God’s gift of imagination. Remember Jesus asked, “Can any of you add one moment to his life-span by worrying?” So reacting in fear or worry is simply not a faithful response.
Instead, I believe that the Church must respond with a deep conviction and determination to bring about Gospel-transformation and to love one another with a Christ-like love. NFL quarterback Carson Wentz responded to the Las Vegas shooting with a tweet stating simply that “The World needs Jesus in a bad way.” I couldn’t agree more. Followers of Jesus can and will disagree about the merits of both gun control and bearing arms, but we simply must agree with Carson Wentz’s faithful response: the world desperately needs Jesus.
So Church, let this be a wake-up call to our collective negligence in delivering the transformative Gospel of Jesus Christ to our communities. And instead of being preoccupied with developing defensive security plans and procedures or mobilizing people for a political agenda, let’s get preoccupied with our most important task of sharing Jesus. We proclaim and trust that Christ is King and acknowledge that he commands us to neither fear nor worry. Therefore in faith we shall respond to this evil with the proclamation and incarnation of God’s amazing grace in our communities and wherever we have influence and do so in the face of fear with the peace of God that surpasses all human understanding.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom should I fear?” – Psalm 27:1
Pastor Bryce Formwalt is the Director of Mission Growth for the LCMC Texas District. Residing in Georgetown, Pastor Bryce is available to coach congregations on mission. Feel free to contact him with any questions or comments: 512-942-7776 or
© 2017 Bryce J. Formwalt, All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.
December 2017

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