HOUSMAIL HM#080 - TERRORISTS AND REVENGE 13 September 2001
Only a day ago, a great evil was committed against the citizens of the USA. It was an act of terrorism, on a scale which almost defies the imagination of normal peace loving people. It was a sin of murder, committed by evil men, in which many unsuspecting and innocent people died without warning.
Jesus wept over Jerusalem when He foretold the impending "terrorist" invasion, and destruction of the city -- and the slaughter of its people. And followers of Jesus cannot help but feel the same deepest compassion for those citizens of New York and Washington who have lost family and friends in this great disaster. But let us keep a few things in perspective.
The number killed by this act of terrorism, may well prove to be many thousands -- but that is far short of the 60 million who suffered and died in World War 2.
In terms of destructive power, and sheer terror, it does not even begin to approach the scale of the nightly "Thousand Bomber Raids" against Nazi Germany in World War 2, or of the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Nor does it begin to match the daily suffering in developing countries like Africa, Ethiopia, India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, etc. Or the destructive forces unleashed against innocent and powerless victims, by abortionists!
Nor, if we believe Jesus, will it be the last such event! The Bible predicts that we may expect MANY MORE similar events ALL OVER THE WORLD, in the time which Jesus said would be like the "Days of Noah" -- when "the earth was corrupt in God's sight, and FILLED with violence" (Gen 6:11) and "every imagination of the hearts of men was ONLY EVIL continually". (Gen 6:5)
With this act of terrorism against the USA, our Western World has changed irrevocably. It has changed our expectations. It has the potential to affect our culture, our life style, and our economy, in ways which we cannot yet even begin to understand fully.
Nevertheless, great as the potential is for fear of further acts of terrorism on a similar scale, it can only be very tiny, compared with what is predicted by the Olivet Prophecy for the final days just prior to the second Coming of Jesus!
We have not yet arrived at the time when "the powers of the heavens will be shaken" and all over the world "men will faint with fear and foreboding of what is coming on the world"?. (Luke 21:26) When will that be? Indeed has it now already begun? Only God knows that day and hour -- but to our limited vision it does not seem that it can be very far away.
Let us prepare our hearts for it. God's people are promised that they do not need to " fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday".(Psalm 91:5-6)
The Governments of the world have unanimously joined with the USA to express revulsion for this terrible deed. And it was, of course, predictable and inevitable, that the citizens of the USA would cry aloud for justice and revenge against the perpetrators.
In the face of all those angry cries for revenge, our Christian Faith, and our commitment to the Gospel of the Kingdom of Peace, is sorely tested. It would be very easy to be swept along by the emotions of the masses now howling for blood! What is the correct reaction for those who are disciples of Jesus?
And what of our own safety?
In the current climate of reaction against the evil of Terrorism, it could be very perilous to proclaim the Sermon On The Mount as the truth , and the way , revealed by Jesus!
Shall we -- who have already been forgiven so much ourselves -- cast the first stone against others who do not yet know their need?
Could we carry a cross for those who have done this evil thing? Could we die for them, rather than put them to death? Could we forgive? Should we forgive? (Matt 18:35)
Must we turn the other cheek? And preach the Good NEWS -- even to men such as this?
Shall we refuse to avenge, and instead leave it completely to the wrath of God?
"WEEP WITH THOSE WHO WEEP ...."
"Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.....
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."
No, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink;
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Rom 12:15-21)