googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: How Should We Feel About the Death of Osama Bin Laden?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How Should We Feel About the Death of Osama Bin Laden?

Bin Laden is dead and a lot of people are happy about it. I admit, it's hard to not be happy about it. A lot of the folks I saw rallying in front of the White House after the President's announcement looked like they were in their twenties. Weren't they, like, 10 when 9/11 happened? Maybe they are old enough to remember but I know I can certainly remember where I was and how I felt when I saw the Towers fall. My first thought when I heard bin Laden was dead was, “good.” But is that how I should react?

When we search the Scriptures for an answer on how we might act, a lot of verses come to mind. Some people will immediately go to Exodus 21:24, “Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” Not that it really matters but that is OT Law so some people reject it out of hand. Therefor, some will turn to the teachings of Jesus and cite something like Matthew 26:52, “Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Thus, if bin Laden lived by the sword, it is just that he should die by the sword.

Certainly it's just that bin Laden should die for his crimes. Even so, does that mean we should rejoice about it? I'm reminded of the words in Ezekiel 33:11, “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live.”

God, who is the perfect Judge, holds the guilty accountable for their crimes – if not in this life then certainly in the next. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). We all die physically because of our sins but the unrepentant face the second death which is the lake of fire. God isn't “happy” about it. It's His will that the wicked would turn from their sins and live. Jesus said, “this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40). So God's will is not that anyone should die but that all should come to Jesus and live.

I think God's will should also be our will. I know there will never be peace in the world until the Prince of Peace returns so there will always be a military component to the war on terror. Even so, shouldn't we also be zealous about winning radical Muslims – indeed, wining all Muslims – to Christ? In the war on terror, the death of Osama bin Laden is a huge victory. In the Great Commission, any person who dies without Christ isn't a victory; it's a loss.

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