The Sunday Evil Visited The Church

The Bible has two main characters; Jesus and the devil. The devil was originally an angel but he wanted to be God and God kicked him out of heaven. Since that time, the devil has roamed the earth seeking those he can lead astray.
In the Bible, the devil tempted Jesus but Jesus won. Every time Satan tempted Jesus, our Lord responded with scripture, and Satan fled.
The book of Revelation tells us that one day, the devil will be defeated… he will be thrown into the bottomless pit. But, until that time, the devil roams the earth tempting people and entering the minds of people leading them to do evil.
In sermons, we remind people that although Satan has some power, Jesus is all-powerful. I John 4:4 says, “Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.” So, Satan has some power but, rest assured, Jesus has more!
This past Sunday, evil went to church.
As Sunday dawned in Sutherland Springs, Texas, people were waking up after getting an extra hour sleep. That extra hour felt good. Those who were member of First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs started getting dressed to go to church.
Sutherland Springs is a small area. Everyone knows one another and everyone knew one another at the First Baptist Church. On that Sunday, the Preacher was going to be out. He was in Oklahoma at a meeting. Some may have thought about skipping church because the Preacher was going to be out, but church was more than the Preacher… church was family. Everyone knew one another.
Crystal Holcombe was eight months pregnant and had other three children. She home-schooled them. She told them to get ready for church. Sunday mornings could be tough for her… dressing three little ones… but she did it and off they went to church.
Around church times, folks started driving up in their cars and trucks. Everyone was on a first-name basis because the church was small… it was like family. They gathered in their sanctuary for the start of church. Maybe someone welcomed the guests. Maybe some announcements were made… or maybe they just went straight to singing. No one could have thought of what was about to happen.
About eleven o’clock, Devin Patrick Kelly, dressed in all black, drove up to the church. He had served in the Air Force but had been dishonorably discharged due to domestic abuse. He wasn’t coming to church to worship… He was coming to kill.
He thought his in-laws were in the church and he was coming to take their lives… in church…
Why was he doing that? Because he was filled with evil and hate. He came to a place where people were singing about the love of Jesus and he planned to kill people because his heart was filled with hate.
As he got out of his vehicle he began to fire. Then, he entered the sanctuary. As he did, he started spraying bullets. Bullets took the lives of children, elderly people, the Pastor’s daughter. He was walking up and down the aisles killing people when someone who hadn’t been in church confronted him. When he was confronted, he fled the scene. He was pursued and ultimately, the killer took his own life. By the time the killing was over, twenty-seven people lay dead in the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas. Twenty-seven people! Among those were Crystal Holcomb and her 3 children.
These people weren’t in Vietnam, or on the beaches of Normandy… they were in their church. A place of safety. But on this Sunday, evil came to church.
Today, I cannot imagine the grief, the pain, the people of Southerland, Texas are feeling. I cannot imagine how the Pastor of the church feels. He will bury his fourteen-year-old daughter because she went to church on a Sunday he was out. His life and the life of his wife were spared while their daughter’s life was taken.
What are we to do in the aftermath of this?
First, hug your families. Hug them again and again and again. Life is fragile.
Second, make sure you are ready to meet the Lord. Folks, don’t play around with this. Don’t put this off. Make SURE you are ready to meet the Lord.
Third, know that evil is real and the devil does win some battles.. but, in the end, Satan is destroyed. Until then, pray for protection from the evil one.
Satan is real and is powerful, but God is ALL powerful and will defeat the devil. We need to pray for every person whose heart is filled with evil and hate. Evil can only be overcome through the power of Jesus.

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