Sherry West, 41, of Brunswick, Georgia, was pushing her year old son Antonio in his stroller down the sidewalk. She was approached by two black teenagers, one of which was armed with a gun and demanded her money. West told the teens that she had no money, so the teen with the gun told her that if she didn’t hand over her money, he would shoot her baby in the head. She said she thought the gun was fake and again insisted she had no money, the teen turned, and shot Antonio in the head. In the ensuing melee, Sherry was shot once in the leg and another bullet grazed her ear.
A passerby called 9-1-1 as Sherry pulled her son out of the stroller and tried to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to save his young life, but her efforts were in vain. Police offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators. They received leads through various hotlines and phone calls. Following up on those leads, they arrested 17 year old Demarquis Elkins and an unnamed 14 year old. Elkins can be tried as an adult under Georgia law.
Sherry says the motive was robbery, yet many people have been asking why something like this could happen. What would cause teenagers to commit such a horrendous act of shooting a year old boy in the head? In all of the reports I’ve read, no one has been able to offer up any reason for the actions and that only shows just how far from God and the Bible our nation has strayed.
In Genesis 3, we read where Adam chose to disobey God, committing the first sin in history. That sin brought suffering, disease and death into the world (Rom. 8:22). Adams sin corrupted all of creation including his own offspring. In Genesis 4 we read where Adam and Eve’s first born son was jealous of his younger brother Abel and ended up killing him, the first murder. In Genesis 6:5, we read:
“The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
Since we are all descendants of Adam and Eve, we all are born sinners with wicked hearts and thoughts. Our sinful nature and wicked hearts are what leads to us committing such violent and obscene acts like shooting an infant in the head or gunning down a classroom of kids. It’s what leads to stealing, lying, cheating, lusting, sexual perversion, homosexuality, pornography and war.
It’s not God’s fault, it’s man’s fault. We’re filthy sinners, blackened by the vileness of our thoughts and deeds. As such, our only guarantee in life is to spend eternity in Hell because of our sins. According to Scripture, just one sin in a lifetime is enough to separate us from God in this life and throughout eternity. No one is capable of living a perfect sinless life, meaning that every person in history is condemned to Hell.
However, as John 3:16 states:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
That eternal life is a free gift from God for all who believe in Him. It isn’t anything we can earn by living a good life as our lives will never be good enough to earn it, so He provided the means for us to come to Him holy and pure. Romans 6:23 reads:
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
And Ephesians 2:8-10 reads:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Events like the shooting of little Antonio not only shows us the depravity of mankind, but also reminds us that we are in such dire need of a Savior and that Savior is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. Son of God and Son of man, He lived a perfect life and was offered up as the perfect and pure sacrificial lamb for OUR sins. He was hung on a cross and died an excruciating death for OUR sins. He was dead and laid in a tomb and descended into Hell to the pay the penalty for OUR sins. What makes Christ different from any other prophet or religious figure in history is that He was raised from the dead and ascended into Heaven to prepare a place for all who believe in Him. There is no other way to get to heaven but through faith in Jesus Christ. In John 14:6, Jesus said:
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Hopefully, you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and have the assurance of where you will spend eternity. If not, please find someone that can help you find that path before it’s too late.