In the heart of Glendale, Arizona, the proclamation of the gospel faced an unforeseen challenge when Hans Schmidt, a 26-year-old military medic and committed Christian, was shot in the head while sharing his faith on a street corner.
The incident unfolded on Wednesday, Nov. 15, leaving Schmidt in critical condition and a community grappling with the senselessness of this violent act.
As we unravel the details of this tragic event, it is paramount for us, as Christians, to turn to the Scriptures for guidance and solace. In times of persecution, our faith undergoes scrutiny, yet the Bible assures us of God’s enduring presence and promises.
Schmidt’s response to the Great Commission exemplifies the courage and conviction necessary to share the gospel, even in the face of hostility. The apostle Paul, no stranger to trials for preaching Christ’s message, conveyed to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:12: “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” This revelation serves as a poignant reminder that persecution is not an anomaly but an anticipated aspect of a life devoted to Christ.
@GlendaleAZPD spokeswoman Gina Winn hoping witnesses come forward leading to arrest of person who shot Veteran Hans Schmidt 51st Ave & Peoria. He was shot around 6pm Nov. 15th while standing on the corner peaching ,he remains in critical condition #fox10phoenix pic.twitter.com/D2oyAQ0V8l
— Rick Davis (@rdavisfox10) November 17, 2023
The incident is a stark reminder of the escalating animosity toward those who openly profess their Christian faith. Witnessing this unfortunate event, it is crucial to discern the signs of the times. In Matthew 24:9-10, Jesus cautioned, “Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and will kill you. And you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. Then many will fall away, and betray one another, and hate one another.” These words echo the current climate, emphasizing the urgency for believers to stand resolute in their faith despite the challenges that may arise.
In the midst of the darkness, a glimmer of hope emerges. Victory Chapel, where Hans Schmidt served as the outreach director, provides an update on his condition, stating that the family is encouraged by signs of improvement. As a community, let us unite in prayer for Hans’ complete recovery and for strength for his family during this trying time.
Navigating a world increasingly opposed to the message of Christ, let us not be disheartened. Instead, let this incident galvanize the response among Christians. The Great Commission, as given by Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20, implores us to “go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” This mandate remains unwavering, even in the face of persecution.
Let us join in prayer for Hans Schmidt’s recovery and for the restoration of our communities. May this incident inspire a renewed commitment to sharing the love of Christ in America and around the world, even in the presence of opposition. As we traverse these challenging times, may our faith stand firm, anchored in the promises of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.
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