ISIS and the Gospel

How many more videoed ISIS murders will the world tolerate? It isn’t a pleasant conversation to have; but the tragic brutality notwithstanding, one can’t help but wonder how horrific the scenes must become before there is a global, collective rising up of the human race to halt the butchery. The extermination of six million Jews during World War 2 began with a handful of murders here, another box-car-full there—but all of it (at least initially) beyond the eye and knowledge of an unsuspecting world. Not so the ISIS brutalities that are carefully, even professionally choreographed so all can witness (albeit after the fact) their bloody reprisals. Twenty-one Egyptian Coptic Christians, purportedly lined up for a mass beheading last week. Forty-five Iraqis reported burned to death in cages this week not unlike the hapless Jordanian air force pilot. And all of it at the hands of a taunting organization of terrorists. I am not advocating a “nuke them all” military strategy to end the cruel mayhem. The sword rarely halts the sword. But with every new ISIS headline, the conviction deepens that some sinister mind is cruelly dragging this race into a raging cauldron—for purposes perhaps not yet entirely clear to us. Will a popular moral leader finally speak up and unite the world in a crusade to obliterate such moral debauchery? But as long as all of this is “over there,” how could any leader, political or moral, effectively mobilize the world community? Must it come “over here” first? What lies ahead for us all? Jesus prophesied a “final sign” of His return: Throughout history His followers have been motivated to seek the fulfillment of this last sign, ostensibly to hasten the return of their Lord. But the ratcheting up of human misery and suffering across the earth is surely fresh impetus to obey Christ’s command. What else but the light of His Gospel could possibly penetrate the moral darkness and heal the crippling pain of hopelessness that far, far too many suffer today? Not only in the Middle East, but in the West as well. “. . . from every quarter of this world of ours comes the cry of sin-stricken hearts for a knowledge of the God of love. Millions upon millions have never so much as heard of God or of His love revealed in Christ. It is their right to receive this knowledge. They have an equal claim with us in the Saviour’s mercy” (Education 262-263). “An equal claim” on Jesus’ mercy—black-robed ISIS executioners are not immune to Calvary’s piercing love, are they? Neither are the sobbing loved ones whose wails rend the air. All have “an equal claim” on the Savior’s mercy. And so to all He sends us. For that reason “Kingdom Growth” is fresh language at Pioneer to express this university congregation’s unrelenting commitment to go into all the world, to send into all the world, to give into all the world. “An equal claim” on the Savior’s mercy. Kingdom Growth. Growing Christ’s kingdom one saved life at a time. Like the pioneers. 2015 and beyond.

Comments

At present, serious outreach to the Muslims, with serious positive response is being carried out by AWR, Gospel Outreach and Quiet Hour. May God multiply other creative types of mission organizations. Creating peace within Islam is essential.

Dear Pastor Dwight-I'm writing this commentary, starting with a question-how is it, that there are no comments about this particular blog? There must be thousands of SDA Christians, and others, who feel very passionate about the horrible things that ISIS is doing to many different races of people-no-one is exempt from their rage, hate, and indifference to, and of human beings. Throughout the world's history, there have been many murderous stories of people being systematically annihilated - on both sides of the spectrum-good vs evil in every story. I'm sure that some people don't understand why other people are choosing to stay silent about these things- feeling that there's nothing anyone can say, that'll change anything about such violent people. And yet, there are a few of us out there, that may seem quiet, but are actively and earnestly praying for the people who are committing these heinous crimes, which some people may ask, "Why are you praying for them-they don't deserve a kindness like that?!" I'm reminded that in the Bible, we are commanded to pray for our enemies by Christ Jesus-because He died on that cross, in forgiveness of the atrocities of His own people-out of love and desperation to save them, saying out loud, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." Christ died for ALL human beings, not just some of us, who accept Him in their hearts. We need to be following Christ's example in praying for these people out loud-being very vocal to the members of not only ISIS, but to every group of evil faction, around the world. We need to tell them out loud and directly, "whether you want it or not, I'm praying for you-because Christ Jesus loves you, and will forgive you, if you will turn away from these evil things!" Prayers like this will plant seeds of doubt, causing at least one ISIS member to turn away from these crimes against humanity-you don't hear it much, but there have been a few that questioned what they were doing, turning away from the grip of Satan's grasp-but God knows about it, and I can imagine the Angels Of Heaven, shouting for joy-Praise God! Radical, forgiving, out loud prayers of our enemies, and planting Christ's life-giving seed? For one human being at a time, it's worth the time and effort -Stephen did it when was being stoned, and Christ Jesus, the Son Of God did it, when He was being crucified! May God continue to bless your ministry, Pastor Dwight-Amen, and Amen! :-) ♥

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