Thursday, May 5, 2011

Death of bin Laden.

Tom's Journal.

I was so glad to read this balanced view of how we ought to view and act on the recent event regarding the disposal of a great enemy of ours.  I feel much better now, and I suggest others circulate this article.

Tom Schuckman
Jesus is Lord, and Heaven is my home.
**Today's article is courtesy of Dr. Randy White who is a senior pastor at the First Baptist Church of Katy, TX.  He is an upcoming guest on Jan's Understanding the Times radio show, and the author of a new book, The Antichrist: What You Can Know! What You Need to Know! that Olive Tree Ministries now carries.

Don't forget!  Olive Tree Ministries has a new office phone number: 763-559-4444.  You may also call 612-210-8291.  Our mailing address remains the same one we've always had!
A Christian Response to the Death  
of Osama bin Laden
by Dr. Randy White
May 5, 2011

Public enemy #1 is dead.  How should a believer respond? Many of us are torn between rejoicing and grief.   Here is a four-point response I believe every believer can make.   
1.  Rejoice that an enemy is dead.   

Osama bin Laden was a clear enemy.  As the leader of Al Qaeda, he was responsible for the death of over 3,000 men, women, and children on 9/11, as well as those who died on the USS Cole, the deaths of US servicemen shot down in Somalia in Operation Restore Hope, the 301 persons killed and 5,000 injured in bombings of U.S. Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, the bombing of a synagogue in Tunisia, the deaths of 180 people in a nightclub in Bali, and the list goes on.  Clearly, Osama bin Laden has been the deadliest terrorist of this young century.

Is it Christian to rejoice at the death of this wicked man?  Yes!  The Bible is full of examples of rejoicing over the death of the wicked.

Moses rejoiced that, Pharaoh's chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; And the choicest of his officers are drowned in the Red Sea. The deeps cover them; They went down into the depths like a stone (Exodus 15:4-5, NASB95).

When Jezebel died, the Scripture records that, ...they returned and told him. And he said, "This is the word of the Lord, which He spoke by His servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 'In the property of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel; and the corpse of Jezebel will be as dung on the face of the field in the property of Jezreel, so they cannot say, 'This is Jezebel'"  (2 Kings 9:36-37, NASB95).

When Haman, the enemy of the Jews, was hanged on the gallows, and the Jews were allowed to defend themselves against his evil plan, the Jews made a permanent day of rejoicing, still observed to this day: because on those days the Jews rid themselves of their enemies, and it was a month which was turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and rejoicing and sending portions of food to one another and gifts to the poor (Esther 9:22, NASB95).

The Psalms are full of prayers against the wicked, such as, O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous; For the righteous God tries the hearts and minds  (Psalm 7:9, NASB95).

Even the wisdom of Proverbs rejoices when the wicked perish: When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices, And when the wicked perish, there is joyful shouting (Proverbs 11:10, NASB95).

Yes, it is acceptable for a Christian to rejoice in the fall of the wicked.  But there is a second response as well.
 2.    Grieve that a soul is lost.   

Osama bin Laden is in hell.  God wishes hell on no one.  A believer should grieve that the message that could have saved bin Laden was spurned and rejected.  The same rejection continues by followers of Islam worldwide.  Rather than accept Jesus as Savior, they relegate Him to the place of prophet.  The New Testament is clear that a person is only saved by calling upon the name of the Lord.  There is no need to wonder whether or not bin Laden is in hell because Scripture has made the declaration.

Believers should not, however, rejoice that bin Laden has gone to hell.  God "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (1 Timothy 2:4).  Our grief is that God's desire for salvation was not fulfilled in the life of this terrorist.  While such a statement may concern some and irk others, the truth is that bin Laden rejected the witness of the Gospel that has been made evident to everyone, leaving all "without excuse."

Our grief response should be to, beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:20).  Do not reject Christ and suffer the consequence of eternal hell as bin Laden did.      
3.    Pray for those under deception.

 The Islamic world is deceived by Satan, veiled in a cloak of darkness.  There has been a subversion of the message of the Gospel with a new "gospel."  Paul says, ...even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! (Galatians 1:8, NASB95).  The false prophet Mohamed created a contrary gospel and is accursed.  Sadly, his message has left millions without the truth.  The contrary gospel has also produced the degradation of women, the hatred of Jews, the killing of Americans, and the loss of personal freedoms which could bring joy to life.

Believers should pray that the Gospel of Jesus Christ would impact as many of the followers of Islam as possible.  Jesus Christ is their only hope!  We should pray that totalitarian governments of the Islamic world would collapse and be replaced with governments that allow for the freedom of worship.  We should pray for the collapse of Islam in totality as men and women have the veil of falsehood drawn back from their eyes.  While prophecy tells us of a coming war between Israel and the Middle Eastern (Islamic) world, it also shows that Islam will lose the war in a humiliating defeat.  With the coming collapse will come an opportunity for the Gospel to spread.  The sad reality, however, is that the anemic state of the Christian church will allow the void left by the fall of Islam to be filled with secularism rather than Christianity.       

4.   Long for the days of Messiah's reign.

 Someday the deceiver will find himself locked away, defeated by the returning King, and his deceptive ways will no longer blind the nations.  Until that day, the devil roams about like a lion, seeking whom he may devour.  Right now, Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, but the promise of God to Him is quickly approaching:  "I [will] make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet"  (Psalm 110:1, NASB95).  

When we pray, "Thy Kingdom come," we pray for the day when the deceiver is thrown into the abyss which is shut and sealed for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:3).

May that day come quickly!

Special note from Jan:

As we prepared this e-mail for you, I received an e-mail from an elementary school teacher in an unnamed city.  She had received a memo from the school district administrators regarding the death of Osama bin Laden -- it had been sent to all teachers district-wide.  In part the memo read (this is a verbatim copy and paste from these sections of the memo):

"We want staff to be aware that the killing of Osama bin Ladin could result in inaccurate assumptions about Islam and Muslims . . . The death of Osama bin Ladin may be a topic of conversation in classrooms, particularly social studies and world events classes. This event may also result in some students who do not know much about Islam to make inaccurate characterizations of that religion and its followers.  
Since the 2001 terrorist attacks, we know that many American Muslims have had their religion wrongly associated with terrorism.  We ask you simply to be aware -- inaccurate comments should be countered with basic, factual information (e.g. millions of Muslims live peacefully around the world and in the United States)."

An astounding memo but hardly surprising.  This lie has saturated our society.  They are fast-approaching final preparation for "the lie" (II Thess. 2:11).

As Dr. White stated in his article, a correct viewpoint on the Muslim community is that they are spiritually lost and in need of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Let us maintain a firm grasp on the truth concerning the danger of their false religion and simultaneously keep a Christ-honoring perspective of their need for our Savior.

Get acquainted with Understanding the Times radio, now heard in 416 outlets. We simulcast out of Minneapolis/St. Paul on two stations, AM980 KKMS and AM1280 The Patriot (WWTC), Saturday, 9 - 11 a.m. CST. You can always "listen live" there. All programming is posted to "Radio Archives" on Sunday. Visit this link  for podcasting info via iTunes.

Eric Barger is guest host this weekend as the ministry recovers from a move. Recently featured on air are Joel Rosenberg, Dr. Mark Hitchcock and Caryl Matrisciana. That programming is posted to "Radio Archives."

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Awaiting His return,

Jan Markell

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