Monday, May 2, 2011

Enemies (Considering the death of Osama Bin Laden)

The death of Osama Bin Laden, and vast spectrum of reaction has me thinking about how followers of Christ are commanded to relate to our "enemies". Understand that I'm approaching this from a Biblical perspective, not from an "American" perspective. Neither does the following cover every aspect of this topic.

Should we hate our enemies? Should we celebrate the death of an enemy?

But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? - Matthew 5:44-46

Who is responsible for justice? Should we celebrate God’s justice?

Never pay back evil for evil to anyone Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord. "BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD." - Romans 12:17-20

I will sing of lovingkindness and justice, To You, O LORD, I will sing praises. - Psalm 101:1

Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, In due time their foot will slip; For the day of their calamity is near, And the impending things are hastening upon them. - Deuteronomy 32:35

Who does God consider to be "evil/wicked"?

THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE. - Romans 3:10-12

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. - Romans 3:23

What is God’s desire for the wicked? Should we celebrate the death of somebody who will spend eternity without Him?

But a wicked person who turns his back on that life of sin and keeps all my statutes, living a just and righteous life, he'll live, really live. He won't die. I won't keep a list of all the things he did wrong. He will live. Do you think I take any pleasure in the death of wicked men and women? Isn't it my pleasure that they turn around, no longer living wrong but living right—really living? - Ezekiel 18:23

Who are “God’s children”?

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. - John 1:12-13

From what I understand from God's Word and character, here are a few thoughts:

- Any believer who celebrates the death of an enemy and that enemy's eternity in hell does not truly understand the heart of God or the reality of hell (and, truthfully, nobody completely understands God or hell).

- Any believer who doesn't praise God for His justice doesn't truly understand God's justice (again, nobody completely understands this).

- In the eyes of God, everyone of us is "wicked" and on our way to eternity without God...the murderers, the liars, the nice people.

- God offers eternity with Him to anyone who believes in Jesus. The good, the bad, the most evil. The fruit of Bin Laden's life speaks very evidently that he never held that belief. BUT, if he did, he will spend eternity in Heaven.

- The "children of God" are those who have believed in Jesus. Again, if Bin Laden never believed, he is not "God's child".

Nate

11 comments:

Susan, taking it one day at a time. said...

Great blog!

Anonymous said...

Israel rejoiced in the victory over its enemies.

Heather Fullerton said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

-Heather Fullerton
Austin, TX

Tammy Rhoden said...

I've been looking for good blogs on this topic this morning. Thank you for a thoughtful one supported by God Himself.

Anonymous said...

A couple more to read and think about:

http://www.redletterchristians.org/whose-death-does-god-cheer/

https://www.facebook.com/notes/blair-yager/when-gods-ultimate-justice-is-meted-out-how-will-we-respond/10150564360985154

Rachael said...

http://mypoorhusband.blogspot.com/2011/05/osama-bin-laden-is-dead-this-brings-up.html

The Nut said...

Thanks Nathan. It is always interesting to read different views. This is a view that isn't seen on the news stations or hot internet news sites. I enjoyed reading and seeing this in several different perspectives.

Jessie

Rick Lawrenson said...

@ Anonymous...(?)

War always results in death. That's a fact of life. Some wars are "righteous". We're not Israel, either. Not close to having the relationship they had with God.

This "war" is far from being won.

Maybe there's a difference between rejoicing over the defeat of a foe and the eternal punishment of a flawed man.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Nate! Appreciate all the scripture especially. InHisName from TWC! : )

JL and Associates,Ltd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JL and Associates,Ltd said...

We see the blessing of God's Love for us everyday, in our industry and personal lives. By keeping us safe, defeating our enemies(that are evil)and injustice of the incarceration of innocent people.

Is it a miracle? We believe so, however, we cannot show our admiration and appreciation enough..

We are the servants of the Lord and we Thank you for your Goodness..

JL & Associates, Ltd
www.ConsultAPI.com