Thursday, May 05, 2011

The sting of death

This week I've been thinking a lot about the death of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan. I have mixed feelings about this. My initial reaction to the news was somewhat hawkish. “Got him!,” I thought, as I pumped my fist in the air. Bin Laden was someone that Jesus died for, but subconsciously rejected him. We shouldn’t think that anyone is beyond the reach of God’s grace, but clearly some people are so hardened in their hearts that they are irredeemably evil and he was one of them.

As I wrote this post I looked up an online Bible reference tool to look up the keyword harden. There are numerous passages in both Testaments that describe the depravity that humanity falls into whenever they harden their hearts against God. As you trace the grand narrative of redemptive history, this seems to be a recurring theme. Time and time God calls people and nations to repent, and sometimes they do. When they ignore Him and refuse to repent, eventually God steps back and leaves them to the consequences of their rebellion, in effect saying, "Fine, have it your way."

This brings Him no pleasure. We can also infer from Scripture that God is grieved whenever someone goes to eternity without Him (Romans 2:4, 1 Timothy 2:4, 2 Peter 3:8). It was a horrible way to die, but I deeply empathise with the victims of September 11, who presumably now have some closure. Even though it was almost 10 years ago, I remember crying a lot that day. This event was seminal in reshaping my perception of how depraved human nature can be.


Steve Finnell said...

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JD Curtis said...

I think you hae yor head screwed on strat about this Ross.

I don't think OBL subconciously rejected Christ but overtly so.

The truth is there for all who seek it.

JD Curtis said...

Ravi Zacharias once said in an interview..

"..let me tell you what happened in the case of a Muslim woman who worked for a well-known institution in her country. She told me how she was leaving her office at the end of her day's work and was very unhappy in her heart. As she was walking she muttered 'I don't know why I am so empty,' and after that, out of the blue, she said, 'Jesus can you help me?' She stopped on the sidewlk and said to herself, 'Why did I name him?' Well, that woman ended up becoming a Christian.

In her case, I think God saw a heart that hungered for him but did not know how to reach him in the cloister of her existance. I think this was God breaking past the barriers of her environment because she was already breaking through the barriers of her inner-life, seeking after Him. Thus, God can reach into any cultural situation in response to anyone who wants to know him"

Ross said...

You're right. I was just watching a video from Joel Rosenberg. He was talking about Muslims being reached with the gospel through satellite TV broadcasts, dreams, and visions. It's incredible and very moving.