Osama Bin Laden is Gone
The news came by radio, by newspaper, by television, by internet, and by word of mouth. Osama Bin Laden is dead. Using two helicopters, United States troops located this founder of al Qaeda in a hideaway just north of Islamabad, Pakistan. The report says that he was slain, along with his two couriers.
Jubilant crowds cheered at Ground Zero in New York where the Twin Towers had stood. The same happened outside the White House in Washington, D.C. National leaders applauded the death of this mass-murderer and moderate Muslims even expressed approval of ben Ladens death, saying that he represented an extremist faction of the religion of Islam. Nations such as Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, Iran, and Pakistan had rejected him earlier, though some of their citizens highly respected this Muslim warrior. Bin Ladens followers stated that another would take his place as leader of their terrorist organization and there would be retaliation for this killing.
Christians who view this from a Scriptural perspective recognize that it was only rightful justice that ben Laden die. Bin Laden seems to have been responsible for the wanton murder of thousands of innocent civilians in the World Trade Center, in the embassies in Nairobi, and in other locations in the world. He deserved to die (Genesis 9:6).
However, even in a right cause, Jesus forbad His followers from using a weapon. Peter attempted to defend Jesus from the crowd that came to the Garden of Gethsemane and drew his sword, cutting off the ear of the slave of the high priest. Jesus rebuked Peter, Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take the sword shall perish by the sword (Matthew 26:51-52). I believe it was Tertullian, about AD 200, who made reference to this incident and said that Jesus, in forbidding Peter the use of the sword, effectively unbelted every solder who would be a Christian.
God, in His own providential justice, does bring some people to their rightful end in this life. Some murderers are brought to justice and are executed. Some merciless regimes, such as Hitlers Nazi Germany, suffer greatly because of the crazed and ruthless leadership of Adolph Hitler. But this life remains very unjust. Most murders and others dont receive the punishment they deserve. More than 50 million abortions in the United States alone, not to speak of the multiple millions worldwide, have not received earthly punishment.
The life to come is when most people will receive the justice that they deserve. This includes not only mass murders like Mussolini, Stalin, and Mao tse Tung, but it includes the little lady down the block who doesnt hurt anyone but who has never repented of her sins. It includes the kindly roofer or carpenter or the owner of the hardware storepeople who were friendly and helpful, but who refused to bow the knee to Christ and acknowledge Him as Lord over their lives. Those who die in sin will meet God in judgment and give an account for what they have done in the flesh (2 Corinthians 5:10-11). They must meet the burning wrath of Almighty God and the returning Lord of Glory and suffer Judgment for their sins (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 21:8). We must not single out ben Laden, in our self-righteousness, and think that he will be lost and we will be saved by virtue of our own self-achievement.
It is really tragic, isnt it. People like bin Laden and others of his fellow Muslim terrorists are convinced that they will die and be received by Allah into a green paradise where they will have a harem on beautiful virgins and enjoy sensual delights for all eternity. Unknown to them, immediately on death, they will enter the terrifying torment and agony of the flames of hades, separated from God and all that is good (cf. Luke 16:23-26). There they will await the great judgment that will send them to the lake of fire for all eternity (Revelation 20:14-15; 21:8). What a shock it must be for those who kill themselves and others as suicide bombers, who think that they will hear approving words from Allah, to actually will receive the just judgment of the Judge of all the earth and begin unending punishment for their sins and unbelief!
When we hear of incidents like the death of bin Laden and other terrorists like this dreaded Muslim, lets remember to look at this with the eyes of God. Dont be pulled into the view of American secularists who only think of receiving vindication and earthly justice. Lets know that the unerring view of God Almighty is the only way to evaluate such an event. We should do more than rejoice in ben Ladens death and earthly justice. Lets view such events with the mixed thoughts of justice (Revelation 6:9-10) as well as deep regret over where he will suffer eternally for his sin. Lets also remember that Gods love and mercy is extended to allincluding all Muslim terroristsif they will only repent and come to God through the crucified and living Savior, Jesus Christ. There is no other way.