A Christian Response
to Osama Bin Laden’s
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 is a clear enemy. As the leader of Al Qaeda, he is 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 15:45, 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 9:3637, NASB95).
When Hamaan, 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. [Clarification. Bin Laden is not in hell and no one is in hellthe lake of fireuntil the judgment (Revelation 20:14-15; 21:8). Today, when a sinner dies, he goes to hades which is a temporary place of torment until the resurrection (Luke 16:23-26).]
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 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.
[The original article continues from here to complete Point #3 and also includes a Point #4.]