Making the Most of Tyrone

Tyrone

Tyrone, Missouri has experienced a tragedy that will affect the community for years to come. In the days ahead the news media will leave and new stories will grace the headlines, however for the people of Tyrone and the communities throughout Texas County these event will press upon their minds for decades. We should not consider lightly the impact of these events.

You may be asking, “How could anyone take a devastating situation such as this lightly?” The gravity of this situation becomes light if and when we only allow it to reside in our minds or on our lips. If we merely think and talk about this tragedy without taking action we are wasting it. Something of this magnitude in the community of Texas County calls for action. One way to take action might be pursing gun control or encouraging the right to bear arms. We could talk about home security and the need for ADT, however all of these solutions fall woefully short of helpful. Actually, they are damaging to the families and the community. Reactions such as these are horribly rude and not only waste but exacerbate the problem. So how do you and I take action in such a way that we encourage the families and assist the community? The answer lies in the Gospel! The Gospel of Jesus Christ calls us to three actions in tragedies such as this.

Examine Your Heart

When we view the tragedy of Tyrone through the lens of the Gospel, it first calls us to examine our own hearts. The temptation of living in any sleepy community throughout Texas County is the feeling of security. Whether it be Houston, Cabool, or any town in between, we grow to believe we have all the time in the world. We believe we are safe and there is little to no accountability. However, a horror such as this provides us with the opportunity to examine our own heart. Hear the words of Christ as he discussed tragedies in his day.

There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:1-5)

As Jesus addressed these two news stories, the people came to him asking about the souls of those involved. Jesus reply was, “What about your heart?” Instead of examining the motive and hearts of those involved in the tragedy, he calls them to examine their hearts because they will ALL likewise perish. I know that may sound harsh, but in all actuality it was the most loving thing Christ could do. We as a church and as individuals desire to assist the families affected by this tragedy in any way possible, however the most loving thing we can do for ALL who are impacted, Texas County especially, is call them to examine their own hearts. Have you taken this opportunity to examine your heart and ensure you are right with the Lord? Have you responded to the call of God with repentance and belief in his Son? Have you responded with hope in the Gospel? (To learn more about the gospel watch the video below.) This is the most important reaction you can have in response to Tyrone. Examine your heart today!

What is the Gospel? from Southern Seminary on Vimeo.

Share Your Heart

If you have trusted in Christ for the salvation of sins, there is an additional action that should come from viewing this tragedy in light of the Gospel. It should cause us to share our hearts. While this illustration is not original to me, allow me explain it this way. If someone you know and love has terminal cancer and you have the cure for that cancer, would you keep it to yourself? No way! In the same way, people in our community are terminal with sin. They are in a world corrupted by sin. They have been, are being, and will be sinned against by others. And worst of all, they have Sin dwelling in their hearts, destroying their lives. You have the only cure – the Gospel! This medicine gives hope and help to the hurting in such catastrophic circumstances. Why would we keep it to ourselves? We must make the most of this tragedy by sharing the Gospel with others. Many may be saying, “Texas County is in the heart of the Bible Belt. Everyone knows the gospel.” In a county of 25,810, 9,000 residents have no religious affiliation (2012 statistics). Considering the fact that not all those who claim affiliation are genuine believers, we have an overwhelming number of people that have no true hope. If you are a genuine believer in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then you hold in you the hope that can make the difference. If you truly love the people in this community you will follow Jesus example, in Luke 13:1-5, and share the hard words. The words bring hope and healing to our deepest problem – sin. We nor they are promised tomorrow, so don’t wait. Share the Gospel with them today!

Encourage Their Heart

Finally, we must encourage those who are hurting with the Gospel. If we have the hope of the Gospel and they have the hope of the Gospel, then refresh one another by recalling its truth. Consider God’s Word,

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. [For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words…For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:9-11)

When we consider the death of those dear to us and consider the fleeting nature of our own lives, we must use the hope of the Gospel to encourage one another. Mourn with those who mourn but rejoice in the hope of the Gospel with all who rejoice.

Make the Most of Tragedy

As you consider these events now and in the future, I pray these questions rush into your mind and call you to action.

  • What is the condition of my heart?

  • Do you care about the souls of others?

  • Are you encouraged by the hope of the Gospel?

  • Are you encouraging others with the hope of the Gospel?

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