Paradise or Torment?
It has become commonplace to open the daily newspaper and read of the latest bombing perpetrated by Muslim terrorists around the world. It may be Pakistan (as it was a couple days ago), or France, Spain, Russia, the UK, Syria, Iraq, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, India, Turkey, or America. We never know when the next bomb will explode.
The bomb may be connected to the Muslim’s body. It may be a car or truck loaded with explosives. It may be a bomb placed in a key location. However it may be carried out, the object is to inflict the most damage on the most people as is possible.
The recent bombing in Lahore, Pakistan, is only the latest in a series of such bombings that have been going on for many years now. In this case, we have been told that 69 (or 71) people were killed in the Lahore suicide attack, but there were an additional 341 wounded. The grim description shows the devastation that this “extremist” Muslim wanted to promote. The bomber detonated explosives in the vest that he was wearing and it happened at Gulishan-e-Iqbal Park on Easter Sunday. Lahore is “the cultural and political capital of Pakistan” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, March 29, 2016).
According to a splinter group from the Pakistan Taliban (Jamaat-ul-Ahrar), this group wanted to kill as many Christians as possible on this religious holiday (of Easter). We know that the “Christianity” found in Pakistan consists of a very small minority in this Islamic nation of some 200 million people. (We also might point out that the “Christianity” that is found in this country is generally something less than the true Christianity found on the pages of the Scriptures.) Pakistani officials are wondering about this claim of wanting to kill Christians, however, since most of those killed were Muslims, not Christians. But the intent is the main point: The Taliban desire apparently was to murder as many professing Christians as possible. The reason: They are convinced that Islam is the only true and legitimate religion and they want to promote this as forcefully as they can—even if it means killing themselves in the process!
Paradise or Torment?
Most of us know that the devoted Muslim who chooses to go through this kind of murder is convinced that the moment after he (or she) has killed himself, Allah will welcome him into Paradise. There the martyr will enjoy the delights of carnal pleasure with a large selection of virgins, eternally feeding on the finest of foods, and enjoying all that the bomber has ever wanted. Because of this prospect, the bomber is willing to take his life for the sake of Allah.
Apart from these basic facts, we must ask what the bomber has actually done. What sins is he willing to commit in order to arrive to his presumed paradisiacal pleasure?
- The bomber is a murderer. In the case of the bombing of a couple days ago, the perpetrator killed 69 or 71 people and maimed 341 additional ones. God, in Scripture is quite clear that all “murderers” will have “their part . . . in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). The Bible says that those who commit murder “are worthy of death” (Romans 1:29, 32) and they will face the judgment of God (2:1-2). The bomber thinks that he will go to Paradise, but a moment later he will discover that he faces the burning and holy wrath of Almighty God! Even if he claims that this murder was justified since he is fighting jihad, it still remains murder!
- The bomber commits self-murder. Although the perpetrator thinks that God will not hold him accountable for suicide, even “moderate” Muslims admit that this kind of action is suicide and isn’t promoted by the Qur’an. Suicide—even “religious suicide”—is a very serious sin. Scripture says that “no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:15). Not only does the person murder other people but the person murders himself (through suicide)—and thus forfeits eternal life!
- The bomber lies or is deceptive. This is a sin that is inherent in these attempts to bomb and murder other people. They want to keep their intention a secret until they push the button that will take out human life. They portray themselves as just part of a crowd and nothing to be concerned about, but actually their intention is to kill and destroy. God’s Word declares that “all liars” will be sent to the lake of fire which is the second death (Revelation 21:8). Scripture says that “lying lips are an abomination to the LORD” (Proverbs 12:22a) and also says that those who practice “deceit” are “worthy of death” (Romans 1:29, 32). This clearly describes the Muslim terrorist.
- The bomber is willing to hate others to enter Paradise. This is a case of one willing to commit known sin in order to receive blessings. It is a twisted logic that contradicts the very idea of sin and righteousness. God says, “Love does no wrong to a neighbor” (Romans 13:10a), but the Muslim “extremist” is willing to do massive wrong to other people, whoever they may be. This is the very opposite of love—which Jesus said is the second greatest command of God (Mark 12:28-31).
The Surprise of Surprises!
It is quite clear that the Muslim bomber is a murderer—he kills as many as he can. The bomber is a self-murderer since he commits suicide. The bomber is a liar since he deceives others about his true intentions. And the bomber is filled with hate rather than love—and remember that love is the very nature of God (1 John 4:8).
We also know that Scripture says “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). The one who is guilty of unrepentant sin is dwelling in spiritual death now (Ephesians 2:1) and will experience the dreadful “second death” when he is cast into hell (Revelation 20:14; 21:8). Sin separates from God (Colossians 1:21), even though the Muslim thinks that his sin will send him to God! How utterly deceived!
The murderous Muslim will receive “the surprise of surprises”! He is expecting to be ushered into Paradise and receive praise from Allah. Actually, he will discover that God says the very opposite. Like the sinful rich man in Luke 16, the unrepentant, murderous, lying, blaspheming “extremist” Muslim will be sent to a place of “torment” (v.23) and a place of “agony” (vv. 24, 25). This will be a surprise that will have no solution and repentance will be impossible. He will face that which God declares and our holy God has given sufficient warnings in our conscience and especially in His written Word what is true.
Christ is the only way of escape from this spiritual disaster. Even the murder and mayhem of the Muslim can be forgiven—if he is willing to repent and come to Christ Jesus for complete cleansing. Scripture says that God “is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). God wants all people—including Muslims—“to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). But the Muslim and all others on earth must come to God through Christ Jesus. He is the One who declared, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father [God] but through Me” (John 14:6).
When we read or hear of another Muslim bombing, let us not only have anger over the bomber’s gross and heinous sin, but also grief that the bomber went to eternal anguish in a burning hell rather than Paradise that he expected. How sad, how very sad!
(Some of the facts reported come from the article, “Pakistani Leader Vows to Bring Justice to Lahore Blast Victims,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, March 29, 2016).