Lessons from Colonial Hills Tragedy

2 Corinthians 5:1 states:

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

On Saturday at 4:15 pm, a fatal bus crash ended the lives of 3 adults and one unborn child who were traveling home from a youth camp outing.

One of the 3 adults who died in the accident was the youth pastor who tweeted that his ETA (estimated time of arrival) would be 4:15 pm. Tragically in this life, his arrival time was correct though gratefully in the next life, his arrival destination was incorrect. Instead of arriving at Colonial Hills Baptist Church, he arrived in heaven as a professing believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

That may sound strange to you. Admittedly, we all live our lives as though we will have forever to live in this world but forever only comes in the next world: heaven for true followers of Christ who trust in Him alone and hell for those who reject the love and eternal gift from Christ. There are only two destinations.

The persons in this tragic accident left this world for an eternal place of bliss with Jesus forever as John 14:1-4 reminds us:

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.

One of the other pastors of the church made some great comments on television to the effect that as Christians, we do not grieve as though we have no hope but are sad for our loss of these precious souls. He stated that they will be missed though he is confident they are with Jesus and fully satisfied. He sounded like a man who listened and received Jesus’ counsel to “not let his heart be troubled.”

As Christians, the Bible reminds us about grieving and we must keep both of these principles in mind simultaneously:

Rom. 12:15

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

I Thess. 4:13

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.

We weep with those at Colonial Hills Baptist Church in their suffering and great loss in this life yet we do NOT grieve as those without hope since we have everlasting life in Jesus Christ alone.

Please pray for the families and for the faith family at Colonial Hills Baptist Church during this difficult time that they would carry the name of Jesus well for His glory.

-Pastor Mark Shaw

Mark Shaw
Mark Shaw has 22 years of counseling experience working in a variety of settings including faith-based residential programs, dealing with issues surrounding “addictions” of all types, and supervising staff positions. His experience in the biblical counseling field began in 2001. He has written 14 published works including The Heart of Addiction; Relapse: Biblical Prevention Strategies; Divine Intervention: Hope and Help for Families of Addicts; Addiction-Proof Parenting; and Hope and Help for Self-Injurers/Cutters. He also co-authored a chapter in Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling (2013).