When I was a kid I read this story in Readers Digest.
A flood was coming and a man was going to be trapped in his home if he didn’t evacuate. As the water slowly deepened a man in a big truck called, “Get in, I’ll take you to higher ground.”
“No he,” replied . “God will save me.”
Next a woman in a boat came by. “Get in, I’ll take you to safety.”
“No,” he replied. “God will save me.”
Finally, the water got so high the man had to climb onto his roof. A helicopter flew over and dropped a rope ladder.
The man yelled up at the pilot, “You can go away, God will save me.”
The helicopter flew away and the man drown. When he got to Heaven he asked God: “Why didn’t you save me?”
God looked at him and said. “What do you mean? I sent a truck, a boat and a helicopter. You chose not to take advantage of them. It’s not My fault you drowned. Its yours.
I’m not a Televangelist, so I can’t speak for God. However, I’m pretty sure God looks at things differently than we do. I remember seeing a painting called, The First Day in Heaven the Hug of God. In the painting a broadly smiling little girl is wrapped in Jesus’s arms and welcomed to Heaven.
After seeing it a picture formed in my mind. In it, I was watching Jesus welcome victims of the latest shootings. As soon as he touched them their bloody wounds and clothes disappeared and they were clothed in pure white. Jesus hugged them and welcomed them to Heaven where they would never feel pain and everything was perfect.
Then I saw the shooter. He looked confused. I could tell he knew he’d done something wrong. I thought Jesus would condemn him to Hell, but He didn’t. Instead, He spent more time with him than his victims. When Jesus finally left him the shooter was crying uncontrollably and two angels were guiding him away from Heaven’s Gates.
The next person Jesus greeted was a respectably dressed older man. The man cried for joy and reached out to touch Jesus but The Son of God gently pushed him away. A look of shock and horror spread over the man’s face and two angels appeared at his side and lead him away.
Jesus motioned me nearer. “I see you’re confused.”
I fell to my knees, “I can understand why the man who killed didn’t get into Heaven, Lord. But why didn’t the second man? What did he do?”
Jesus helped me to my feet. “The man who killed was depressed and influenced by Satan. He wasn’t in his right mind. After he has time to repent for his actions I will welcome him into the Gates of Heaven.”
“What about the second man. Will he ever get into Heaven?”
Jesus’s eyes grew sad. “I’m not sure. While he was living he pretended to be one of my followers. He went to church and even studied the Bible. But it was all a facade. He believed in politics more than his religion, and the Second Amendment more than the Ten Commandments. He is a hypocrite of the most dangerous kind.”
Jesus continued. “The man who committed the killings, should never have had a gun. The second man, and men and women like him were selfish. They put their rights and interests ahead of their brothers and sisters. They looked at the caporal, not the spiritual. They lived for the present and ignored their eternal salvation…When their time for judgment comes they will realize their mistake”
I looked into the Son of God’s kind eyes. “Can’t you do something to stop this?”
Jesus shook his head. “I can’t make humans stop killing each other because I gave them free will. There is only one thing I can do, I can make them think. Only then will the senseless killings cease.”