Shared March 6th, 2015

Psalm 9:17, ”The wicked shall be turned into Hell, and all the nations that forget God.”
We ended our series on “Deception” by looking at Abraham and Sarah and the legacy that their decision has bequeathed on mankind. Today’s exhortation is in line with, and timely in terms of current events. In the past few months we have been seeing the release of some videos, the contents of which tells us that satan lives amongst us, in our midst. I’m referring to the reprehensible videos of murder released by ISIL or ISIS or whatever its name is. The latest video, as you may be aware, trumped that of the Jordanian pilot who was executed by being caged, doused with some flammable liquid, set afire, and slowly burned to death. The latest video is even grosser where some twenty-one Egyptians, referred to as Christians, were killed, murdered in cold blood. I am referring to something that happened this year 2015 AD, not in the year 2015 BC. 
Soon as any of these videos were confirmed as authentic, the world immediately responds in utter shock to this display of unimaginable, total, senseless brutality that makes primitiveness something to be desired. After all while growing up, we (I believe everyone reading this exhortation) learned that human life is sacred and that murder (including doctor-assisted murder which is called “euthanasia” or “doctor-assisted suicide”) is the most profound injustice. 
The media (whether broadcast, print or virtual) together with the masses have been caught in rage, horror and fear in response to these despicable acts. And rightly so, because no one knows how close such perpetrators of this evil are to their backyard, especially when the young men and women of the Western world appear to be flocking to, and are indeed wholeheartedly embracing this evil.
Why am I bringing this up? Well when faced with this kind of unsurpassed evil, which is so acute and terrible in originality and nature, it is really difficult for any human in the right frame of mind to see how this can be treated. Will prison work for such evil? Will incarceration make a difference? Rehabilitation? We all know that some of the purposes of incarceration include punishment, rehabilitation, deterrence and protection of the public. But will it work for such? What about reformation? What else?
Enter the Gospel of, about Jesus Christ. Yes, what about viewing a solution through the lens of the gospel? “Sure, insane,” some may scream but hold your horses. For those of us who are Christians and purport to follow Christ, we may even find ourselves siding with this view of “insanity,” thinking that these evil perpetrators are unworthy of Jesus and of salvation. In the aftermath of such mindboggling murder (or any kind of murder), most families and loved ones of the victim(s) pine for, or need some sense of counterbalancing justice.
But, is that true, that these walking evils are unworthy of Christ’s salvation? Are they beyond grace, far out of the reach of God’s mercy? “After all we are dealing with satan himself, not the most despicable of sinners,” your thoughts may be trying to convince you to accept. But is it true? 

Well, it is true. You will be surprised that, for example, the violence that gushes out of US prisons is a much greater threat than terrorism and the associated costs are just unimaginably astronomical.
What am I saying? Simply that the only answer to sin, however terrible, however horrific, however incomprehensible, is the gospel. Christianity was founded on Christ and when it started, it was targeted by both society and the state. It started sharing the peace of God, spreading the good news (i.e. gospel). islam literally started in and with violence: its founder led sword-wielding warriors into battle to conquer and convert and it was a situation of accept islam or be killed (read ISIS or ISIL). That is how it spread across North Africa, into Asia, having overtaken Turkey and into Europe where it went as far as Belgium before it was repelled, repelled in Portugal, Spain etc. So ISIS (i.e. an exalted al-qaeda) is nothing new.
Christ is the light of the world that cannot be overcome by darkness. So, beloved, please pray that Christ’s light would overcome the darkness in the Middle East, the evil of this religion, which is today being spread through oil money, whether in Europe, North America, Africa and elsewhere. Pray that Christ’s light would lift up the despair of the murdered victims’ families. Pray for these perpetrators of evil.
Proposed prayer: “Dear Lord, forgetting You is not an option. It is not what You have called me to. Please help me not to, to never ever forget You. Sometimes there may be challenges that may try to turn me away from You but in those times help me to remember Your goodness, faithfulness, grace and mercy. I also pray for my country and leaders who keep removing You from the very solid foundation on which my nation was built. In Jesus’ name I thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Amen.”

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