#UAskIAnswer is a series of answers to questions raised (mainly) by the students of the Pointe and Momentum, Grace Pointe Plainfield’s student ministries. For the rest of the series, check it out over at The Youth Room. I am continuing the series here on my pastoral blog.
I was asked recently whether I think terrorism will ever stop, and whether I think it will come here to Illinois.
My answer is this: Jesus promised his followers that they would have “tribulation”–persecution, suffering and hardship–in this world (John 16:33). Terrorism, whether from radical Muslims, or atheists, or other so-called “Christians” will probably remain a part of this world until the Lord Jesus returns to judge the living and the dead.
Will terrorism come to Illinois? There is no way to know. However, terrorist attacks have recently happened in very unexpected places, all over the world. Illinois may certainly be a target, although we hope and pray for God’s protection.
What Jesus promised his people, however, is not physical protection. That verse, John 16:33, continues as Jesus says, “but take heart! I have overcome the world.” The hope of the Christian is not in physical security, but in everlasting, spiritual security. Jesus Christ really has overcome the world; He did that when He died on the cross and resurrected, to save His people from their sins.
When we are tempted to fear a terrorist attack, we need to remember that the terrorists are not our real enemy, and they are not to be feared. The Bible says in Ephesians 6:12 that,
…we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
And Jesus commands Christians not to, “fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” When it comes to real fearsomeness, terrorists have got nothing on the almighty God of the universe. And that same God, who is able to cast every sinner (terrorists, you and me included) into hell forever, is the same God who calls Himself Father. He is the One who sent His only-begotten Son into the world, taking on the likeness of sinful flesh, and dying a death at the hand of terrorists, on behalf of everyone who will every believe in Him.
See, the Bible says that all people are born as sinners into a sinful world. We suppress God’s truth–truth about God and truth about other people–and that leads to us hurting ourselves and our neighbors. Terrorists are a stark example of that being played out, but we all do it. It comes from suppression of God’s truth. Because of our sin, we all need a Savior.
It is my urgent hope (hence the name of this blog) that everyone who reads this will see their need for a Savior, and will repent of their own sin, and trust in Jesus Christ alone to save them from God’s wrath and give them everlasting life.
For an encouraging story of a former Muslim jihadist who repented and gave his life to Jesus the Messiah, watch the video below. It’s a really powerful reminder of the importance of loving those who would call us their enemies. In doing that, we are simply sharing the incredible love that the Father has given us. Check it out: