Thursday, May 19, 2011
Monday, May 2, 2011
The posts & status updates I'm seeing on Facebook today raise a good discussion. Should Christians rejoice at the death of UBL? Is there reason to praise God that a wicked man is no more, or should we instead pity a poor lost soul (one responsible for the deaths of thousands of people)? I'm not sure I want to join the chorus of the 'hand-wringers' just yet.
Things I've been contemplating today. They may not, in every way, apply to UBL, but I'm seeing some principles to consider as I think through these momentous events.
Pharaoh could have obeyed God's command, but opted not to. And God hardened his heart. Pharaoh met his doom.
Judas acted wickedly and betrayed the Lord. Jesus said, "It would have been good for that man if he had not been born." Think about what that means in terms of Judas' eternity.
Three times in Romans 1 the phrase, "God gave them over" is used. Why? Because they were wicked, evil, and deserving of this punishment.
Paul tells us that there will be those who "perish because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false" (2 Thess. 2:10, 11 NASB).
Is God to be reprimanded or criticized for his actions, i.e. judgment on these poor souls who are lost? Was he not at first gracious to them, and his graciousness was rebuffed for that which was evil and false? Do we dare to object to what God deems to be right and just?
And then I looked at Revelation 19:1-3 which pictures not just the death/judgment of 1 wicked individual, but rather that which has caused suffering, bloodshed, and death upon God's people.
"After these things I heard, as it were, a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,
'Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God;
Because His judgments are true and righteous; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants on her.'
And a second time they said, 'Hallelujah! Her smoke rises up forever and ever'."
Four times in Rev. 19:1-6 a shout of Hallelujah goes up. God is praised for His justice, and for avenging the blood of His people.
A far bigger day of judgment is coming than what the "Mastermind of 9/11" experienced yesterday. His actions killed thousands of people. How many of them were ready for judgment, who might have been had they been given another day? I feel no more pity for him than I did for Saddam Hussein when he met his justice at the gallows. Their free-will actions led them to their ultimate fate.
If anything, the presence of evil in the world reminds me that I need to be ready should my life be taken, and that I need to help others be ready as well. I'll grieve for the innocent who are taken; work hard to preach and teach that others might be saved; but for those who choose wickedness and evil over what is righteous and good, I will say Hallelujah for God's justice - however He chooses to distribute it.
"How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" (Rev. 6:10).
Inquiring minds want to know!
C'mon, Murphy! Let's go outside!