The world has heard of the terrible massacre of 12 people and the injuries of 58 others when James Holmes opened fire on a movie theater full of people on July 20 in Aurora, Colorado.
Now the question looms, “Could it have been prevented?”
This question is asked because Fox News has reported that Holmes mailed a notebook “full of details about how he was going to kill people” to a University of Colorado psychiatrist before the attack. A source told Fox News that the notebook contained “drawings of what he was going to do in it – drawings and illustrations of the massacre.”
However, it has also been reported that the parcel containing the notebook may have sat unopened in a mailroom for up to a week before it was discovered on the Monday following the Friday night atrocity.
Could the massacre have been prevented if the notebook had been opened prior to that Friday night? Perhaps. But, the sad reality is it was not opened. And, as Neal Pollard has stated, “In that the book was not opened, it had no chance of saving any of those whose life was either ended or permanently changed.”
But there is another book that if unopened and ignored could lead to an even greater calamity. But if it is opened and heeded, its contents will lead people to the greatest joy…
Pollard writes: “There is another book that has gone unopened by the majority. It is a book that details life rather than death. It inspires hope and not fear. It details, step by step, where we all came from, why we are here, what we are to do, and where we are going.” That book is the BIBLE. It is a book that informs the reader of how to enjoy the abundant life now and eternal life to come (John 10:10; Mark 10:29-30).
The Book also informs us of man’s greatest problem: SIN, and the terrible, eternal punishment that will be administered to those who reject God’s offer of salvation from sin (Matthew 7:13-14).
But God does not want anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9). He loves us so much that He gave His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, so that through Jesus, we might have forgiveness and life (Ephesians 1:7; Romans 6:23).
The Book teaches us that if we will only: place our faith and trust in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turn from our sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38; Galatians 3:26-27), then our sins can be washed away by the blood of Jesus (Revelation 1:5; Acts 22:16). Then, as we continue to walk in the light of His Word, the blood of Jesus will continue to cleanse us from all sin (1 John 1:7).
IF –only we will open the Book, read it, and heed it…
David A. Sargent, Minister, church of Christ at Creekwood