Luke 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. 38 And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.
This passage of scripture has often been misinterpreted to mean that Christ advocates the use of deadly force in self-defense, if ever it should become necessary in situations involving His followers, and even the disciples back then had come to this conclusion, hence the reason why one of them said that they had two swords readily available. And since that time, many of us as Christians have taken it upon ourselves to arm ourselves with guns and ammunition, as if in preparation for some potentially deadly confrontation with the more beggarly elements in our society.
Now, while it is true that we should do all we can to protect our families, according to the Biblical guidelines, we should remember that it was Christ Himself who issued the following rebuke to Peter, who had saw fit to take his security, and that of Christ's into his own hands, and because of what Christ then stated, we can form a balanced view of where the middle ground between protecting ourselves, and trusting in God may be found. Let's read:
Matthew 26:51 And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear. 52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
It is worthy of note that two important statements are here made by Christ, the first which says implicitly that they which take the sword shall perish by the sword, and then He makes reference to the fact that holy angels are quite capable of protecting Him, if need be. Thus in this particular response, Jesus refuted the view that as Christians we should be armed in self-defense, and also confirmed that the angel of The Lord is able to protect us from foes, seen and unseen.
But never should we conclude that because of our right to carry guns in self defense, that we should now arm ourselves to the tooth, in anticipation of some probable confrontation with robbers, mass-murderers, or even terrorists. Our lives are in God's hands, and as such we should trust His promises to protect those who serve Him according to His will, once we walk in harmony with His laws and institutions. Let's read:
Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? 20 Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it. 21 He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the Lord his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.
There are "Open-carry" laws now being considered in the Florida legislature, which will allow gun owners to carry their weapons into the public domain, openly displaying them for all to see, and because of this there have been heated arguments on both sides of the debate as to what effect this will have on society. These laws have already been established in the Lone Star state of Texas, and according to the Bible, it's just a matter of time before America will become like the wild, wild west, with gunfights breaking out spontaneously, and with random shootings occurring at times when heated arguments occur, even in those who are supposed to be mentally stable. This state of affairs was predicted in the scriptures, so that as Christians we would place our lives entirely in God's hands, who is able to protect us from dangers which we may not have anticipated. Let's read:
2nd Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.
The servant of The Lord also expounds on the times in which we now live, by warning us of the rapid deterioration of society, through the repeated acts of random and intentional violence against the innocent and guilty alike. And once the fear of God has been removed from the hearts of men, as His Holy Spirit is withdrawn from the earth, and His sacred institutions and laws are repudiated and made void, we will witness very disturbing developments, which may tempt us to bear arms in self-defense, but we should steadfastly resist the temptation to do so, for once we decide to go down that path, then we will have taken the issue of our personal protection out of the hands of God, and placed it in our own, and therefore, the results of our decisions and choices we will have to deal with. Let's read:
[Great Controversy pp. 585] Those who teach the people to lightly regard the commandments of God, sow disobedience, to reap disobedience. Let the restraint imposed by the divine law be wholly cast aside, and human laws would soon be disregarded. If the law were not binding, why should any fear to transgress? Property would no longer be safe. Men would obtain their neighbor’s possessions by violence; and the strongest would become richest. Life itself would not be respected. The marriage vow would no longer stand as a sacred bulwark to protect the family. He who had the power, would, if he desired, take his neighbor’s wife by violence. The fifth commandment would be set aside with the fourth. Children would not shrink from taking the life of their parents, if by so doing they could obtain the desire of their corrupt hearts. The civilized world would become a horde of robbers and assassins; and peace, rest, and happiness would be banished from the earth.
Let us therefore decide to trust God, even in difficult or dangerous circumstances, for the just shall live by faith, which means that the invisible shield of protection drawn over God's people will also cover us in the day of vengeance, and we will be hidden as it were, under the shadow of The Almighty. We therefore end with two passages of scripture which confirm this sacred truth, and it is the will of God that we now learn to trust and obey, for there's no other way. Let's read:
Isaiah 59:18 According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies".... 19 So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.
Jeremiah 17:5 Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. 6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. 7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. 8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
May the Lord add His blessing to the study and practice of His every word. God bless!