by Dan Jones
It seems every blogger in the blog-o-sphere is writing about the attacks and the bloodshed in Paris.
All over Facebook, we have washed our profile pictures in blue, white, and red to stand in solidarity with the French.
In the comments sections of all the articles about French jets bombing the defacto capital of ISIS, there are voices shouting for bloodshed and war and revenge. One article ended by saying the French are truly doing the work of God.
And a video has been posted by the jihadists swearing by the name of their deity that they will attack Washington D.C. next and many more will die.
And on the radio at the very moment I write this, a song is playing with the lyrics:
“And they’ll know we are Christians by our love. “
And I am sitting in my nice, safe, warm home eating slices of dried mango and drinking purified water in a country where I am free to worship God and say pretty much anything I want on this page before me.
Yes, I am safe at home.
But many are not.
And many of us may think we are safe when we are not.
After all, if it can happen in Paris, can’t it also happen in Minneapolis, or Mankato, or Maple Hill?
Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 NIV)
As Christians, we know that even if death should come upon us, our souls are safe. We will go to our ultimate home where we will be safe for all eternity.
But is the rest of the world ready?
As I sit here writing this, it seems war and an escalation of war is inevitable. It seems clear that ISIS will not suddenly come to its senses and relent from its stated mission to draw Christians into a war at a place called Dabiq for the purpose of bringing about the end of the world.
And that’s where all of this gets very, very twisted. The Muslims of ISIS believe that Jesus existed and that He was a great prophet, but not the Son of God. They do not believe He died on a cross and rose again to bring forgiveness of sins, but they do believe He will return again at the end of the world as messiah and ruler. His return, they say, will follow a great battle between Muslims and Christians at Dabiq, a small town on Syria’s northern border.
They want us to fight them there—which is why what they are doing is designed for maximum media impact. It doesn’t just look like they are looking for a fight, that’s exactly what they are doing.
That’s why they have expended so much time and effort on the propaganda aspect of this. That’s why the films they make to provoke us are of such high quality.
They want us scared. They want us terrorized. They want us to think, “What will I do?”
And the enemy of our souls agrees. Worry about yourself. Worry about your family. What will you do? What will you do?
And because of that fear, the hot burning voice of hate in our hearts calls for revenge.
And the violence will escalate and the death toll will mount.
And every person that dies without knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will go to hell—terrorist and victim alike.
And while “Revenge!” is still on our lips, what of the souls we made no effort to save? What of the millions we were too nervous or scared to reach with the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Make no mistake, our Bible clearly says governments have been put in place to bring punishment on those who do wrong. (Romans 13:4) But while our rulers and the rulers of other countries make war and carry out what seems inevitable at this point, and we will support our troops--we are not allowed the luxury of sitting back and smugly cheering this on like some kind of armchair generals.
No, war should always break our hearts because war is not hell. War sends people to hell and hell is much worse than war because wars eventually end.
So, as we sit in your safe and warm homes tonight and the name of someone who does not know Jesus comes to our mind, the Holy Spirit is telling us to fall on our knees and pray for the words and the courage to speak the Word of Life to that person today. It is also a good day to consider supporting Kinship Christian Radio, which sends out the gospel of Jesus Christ 24 hours per day, every day.
Because “tomorrow” did not come for those 132 people in Paris.
And the heavens proclaim his righteousness, for he is a God of justice. Psalm 50:6