Jesus Christ's Teaching Concerning Sudden and Violent Death

Recent terrorist atrocities have caused an outcry in the media and have resulted in immediate and destructive miliary responses.

In order to try to get these violent deaths into perspective a few simple calculations may be instructive. Information gleaned from the internet suggests the present world population is about 7 billion souls and current average life expectancy is about 70 years. To retain the status quo we can say simplistically that there would need to be 100 million births and deaths per year. Thus, worldwide, we can expect there to be, through all causes, about 270 thousand deaths each day. Most of these tragedies only affect the subjects' families and contacts and have no discernible impact on other lives. Recently reported atrocities clearly wouldn't cause a blip in the normal daily totals and even the Syrian civil war, that during 4 years has reportedly cost 250 thousand lives, represents less than the world average death toll of a single day!

The perplexity and fear that violent death presents to its hearers is no new thing. This was a question dealt with by Christ nearly 2000 years ago in the case of both deliberate killing and accidental death. He answered to the effect that, Do you think that these were worse sinners than all others because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish (Luke 13:1-9).

In violent times the nations act out of their perceived interests but, in Christ's answer, there is an opportunity for individuals to consider their own position in relation to God's revealed Word, rather than just living out their lives and perishing as members of the vast throng of humanity intent only on doing what's right in their own eyes.

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