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One student. Two handguns. Thirty-three dead, including the gunman. It happened so quickly. That Monday morning, students and faculty woke up thinking they would accomplish certain things that day. But caught in the snare of a murderer, their plans, and their lives, abruptly ended.
Within days, the timeline of the tragic Virginia Tech shootings was established, the killer was identified, the wounded were cared for, the dead were mourned.
And in the aftermath, people were left to ponder the meaning behind such a meaningless, brutal act.
From the President of the United States to the ordinary citizen, heartfelt condolences were offered. Words of sympathy were expressed from the international community, even from governments currently at odds with the U.S. Throngs of tearful Virginia Tech students assembled the night after the mass murder, raising lighted candles, jingling keys (a school tradition to show support when their football team was about to make a key play) and shouting cheers.
Humanly, ministers did their best to comfort those on campus who were grieving over the April 16 massacre. Religionists struggled to bring meaning to the sudden carnage and the sorrow it had brought.
Nonetheless, universal questions were left unanswered: Why would God allow this to happen? Does He care? Where is God—does He even exist?
At best, only vague and general platitudes were offered—messages that tried to convey hope, yet failed to give concrete answers.
The article “Why Does God Allow Suffering?”, written by David C. Pack, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of The Real Truth, explains why our Creator permits tragic events:
“Why does God allow war, terrorism and violence? Why must men suffer disease and famine? Why must humanity suffer poverty or misery in the wake of natural disasters? Again, WHY do these things happen almost routinely on planet earth?—and why doesn’t God intervene to end it?
“If God is working out an unseen purpose through these conditions, what is it? Is there a great reason for the almost constant state of affliction encompassing, to one degree or another, most of humanity?
“Is not the God of the Bible described as merciful? Does He not speak of His kindness to, and compassion for, all mankind? If God is all-powerful, and a God of love (I John 4:8, 16), why does He not stop the terrible human suffering billions now endure?
“The ministers and theologians of traditional Christianity cannot explain the purpose of human suffering. Many theorize that Adam and Eve were created perfect and complete, until they ‘fell’ in the Garden because the devil overthrew God’s Plan by tempting them into sin. This popular idea continues with the explanation that God’s Plan is to restore men to their pre-fall condition, but the devil keeps slowing things down and disrupting God’s progress.
“Is this true? Is God desperately trying to repair damage brought by Satan’s unforeseen attack on a Master Plan that God did not think through carefully enough?
“Grasp this. In all physical and spiritual matters, mankind only addresses the bad effects engulfing the world today. He does not understand and cannot explain the causes—the true meaning and purpose—behind the world’s woes and ills. Our many books, booklets and articles address and explain the true causes of these bad effects. There is no use trying to remove wrong effects, when the causes are ignored.
“You need not be ignorant of the answers to these questions. You can know God’s Plan. There is a cause for human suffering. The Bible reveals it so clearly that a child can understand.”
Mr. Pack’s booklet Does God Exist? reveals mounting, irrefutable evidence of God’s existence. For example:
“What is the truth of modern science regarding the origin of all matter in the universe? Do scientists tell us that it has always existed? Or have they determined that there was a moment in time in which all matter came into existence? The answer to the second question is, yes! But what is the proof that this is true?
“The First Law of Thermodynamics is stated as follows: Matter and energy can be neither created nor destroyed. There are no natural processes that can alter either matter or energy in this way. This means that there is no new matter or energy coming into existence and there is no new matter or energy passing out of existence. All who state that the universe came into existence from nothing violate the first law of thermodynamics, which was established by the very scientific community who now seem willing to ignore it. In summary, this law plainly demonstrates that the universe, and all matter and energy within it, must have had a divine origin—a specific moment in which it was created by someone who was all-powerful.”
And the book Tomorrow’s Wonderful World – An Inside View!, also written by Mr. Pack, reveals that a time of universal healing, comfort and recovery from the troubles and ills plaguing mankind is just ahead!
“The streets of cities around the world will soon be safe for all. Look at this description of how Jerusalem, certainly one of the most violent, unsafe cities on earth today, will change: ‘There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof’ (Zech. 8:4-5). Abandoned buildings, choking traffic, drug dealers, the homeless, street gangs, criminals—and all fear!—will soon only be memories.
“How ironic that God will have to force a rebellious mankind to receive His blessings—and to enjoy health, well-being and joy—compulsory happiness!”
“This is a wonderful picture of a complete renovation of the war-torn lands of the Middle East. Here is more: ‘Thus says the Lord God; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be built…And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited’ (36:33, 35).”
“All want to live life to the fullest, and feel happiness and joy. But most have simply not known how to do this. Almost no one understands that it is God’s will that we ‘prosper and be in health.’ Notice what Christ told His disciples—and what He will one day tell the whole world: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
“Yes, God wants everyone to live rich, full, abundant lives. He wants all peoples to enjoy His blessings. Savor this next wonderful verse: ‘And in this mountain [God’s government] shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And He will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations’ (Isa. 25:6-7). This passage reveals God’s truly awesome Plan to bless all nations and remove the veil of blindness now covering them.”
Sadly, the religions of this world have long failed to paint the grand picture—the awesome future!—God intends for humanity, a time when mass murders, government corruption, famine, poverty and every health problem imaginable will be a thing of the past.
That marvelous future of ultimate healing, comfort and recovery for all—to be established by a world-ruling government in divine hands—is just ahead!