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Monday, May 02, 2011

The Quandary Of A Death

I'm having a problem. Osama Bin Laden. He is dead. He is assumedly in hell. It is rather clear that he died without Christ in his life. And it brings me no joy.

Please do not misunderstand. I despise what he did. "Despise" is not a strong enough word. I can throw out a lot of other words in an attempt to be more specific. More accurate. I am horrified. I find him despicable. I detest who he was, what he stood for, and what he did. Hell is precisely what he deserves. Eternal punishment in never ending torment.

And so do I.

Of course I have never given the orders to fly people filled passenger jets into people filled buildings. I have never ordered or even cheered for the death of a human being. But it doesn't take that kind of evil to cause a person to deserve hell. It just takes one simple act of rebellion against God. Even a small one. Need convincing? Ask Adam and Eve. It was just a piece of fruit. A simple piece of fruit. It was the only fruit on the planet that God told them not to eat. And they ate it. Sin. Rebellion. Just a little. And it multiplied and multiplied and multiplied until we witnessed that mind-numbing moment of history we call 9/11. It still turns our stomachs. I still feel the shiver of horror when I think of that day ... those images ... the desperate families seeking lost loved ones.

And it all began with a piece of forbidden fruit.

Every lust filled thought I have ever had, much less acted on, is the result of the fruit salad the first couple dined on thousands of years ago in that beautifully perfect garden. Every lie I have ever told. Every law I have ever broken. Every idol I have ever worshipped. I could go on but it makes my stomach hurt to think about "the real me." The one underneath "the pastor me." Oh yes, the pastor one is real too. But only by the grace of God.

1st John 1: 5 says, "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." You see, light and darkness can never occupy the same room. Light always wins. Always. There was a lot of darkness in me. I invited the light in one day and the darkness had to flee. I can still taste it. Still remember its chill. But today, thanks be to God, I walk in the light. There was a lot of darkness in Osama Bin Laden. He chose to die in that darkness. And that causes the light in me to grieve. I believe we see that same effect in the heart of our God when we read in Ezekiel 33: 11 "Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?" I do not grieve because his evil reign of terror has come to an end. I do not grieve because their was a fire fight and the bullet found it's mark in his head. I grieve because the darkness won another one. Osama Bin Laden was not Satan. I suppose they knew each other quiet well. But until the very moment the bullet ended his life even OBU could have repented and come to The Light of Christ. He chose not to. And that is why I grieve. The real terrorist ... Satan ... won the battle for the soul of Bin Laden.

There is one death that will give me great joy. It is spoken of in 1st Corinthians 15: 26. "The last enemy to be destroyed is death." Now that will be a day to cheer. There will be no place to be found that does is not filled with the light of Jesus Christ. No soul remaining to reject His love. No graves to visit. No taste of fear in our mouths. No "breaking news" that causes our hearts to skip a beat. There will be light. Sweet, precious Light.

The Light of my Jesus.

11 comments:

Felicia Marie said...

This is beautiful- and I completely feel like my feelings have just been conveyed through this. Praise be to the God who is Light in a very dark world.

Sarah said...

Very well put! :) I am not celebrating because he is dead eaither- I am celebrating the military victory of our nation and the removal of a tyrant from power and the lives that were saved by that. He could have been captured and placed under permanent house arrest and I would be just as happy so long as he is powerless and incapable of influencing others anymore.

jeffy777 said...

It is too bad we as Christians cannot do better. Maybe if we loved better we could wipe out sin (not loving). OBL(Osama Bin Laden) is not our problem now and has you know has never been our problem. Our problem is why don't we love better. To some people in the world we look as bad as OBL to them.

Is our loved not received? Are we as Christians loving poorly? What are we doing wrong?

As we go to see the end of death we need to find the answers to these questions. Yet we know the answer, we are as far from God as was OBL without God's grace. It is grace that saved us. Too often we act as if our works got us there and we have achieved something. We look at people without loving eyes not thinking about the fact grace redeemed us and we too often lift ourselves up above our brother. We sit at tables and take the best seats not thinking at all about anyone else.

Our loved is not received because we are hold too much of it back. We instead wrap ourself in our own love. So yes we are too often loving poorly.

I found something and it made me rich. Rich beyond anything I could use myself it is God's love. I took all I could and put the rest in the basket and for good measure I tried to put some of my love in the basket and failed. Yet as the basket went around the room there was more of God's love there than when the basket was in front of me. I asked who added to the basket? Everyone said as I did, they too failed to get their love in the basket. They failed too?

I asked how was there more of God's love than before? The answer is: Unlike my love that failed, God's love grew.

Too bad OBL you are gone. We should have been friends. We should have loved each other. I hope I would have loved you, I fail too often to give my love well.

No greater love than this than one who lays down his life for his friend. Jesus did that for us. We should listen better when he said : By this they will know you are disciples of mine when we have love for one another.

I love you Ron. I love your Ron!! Help me be better at love.

Melodie said...

You always could bring it around full circle my friend. Your words were exactly what I have been feeling. Thank you for sharing them..
Love you

Mel

Melodie said...

You always could bring it full circle my friend...
Your words are exactly what I have been feeling. It's hard to celebrate the death of someone who didn't know Christ.
Thanks for sharing..
Love Ya
Mel

Anonymous said...

Don't you think there will be DEGREES in hell for the Osama Bin Ladin or Hitler's who openly killed SO MANY with no remourse & they'll suffer more for their injustices towards mankind?

Anonymous said...

Just curious how you are in a position to judge OBL's destiny? I know it feels obvious (in this case) but I the moment one starts to make such pronouncements is the moment that hope and - tethered with it - love is lost. It's the moment arrogance presumes to be devine and infinite. It's the very illusion of knowledge that's represented by the "fruit salad" to which you allude.

Ron said...

Anonymous, I believe I said "assumedly." I am fairly certain Mr. Bin Laden never claimed to be a Christ follower. If I am correct I reach my conclusion via biblical authority If I am incorrect I will apologize to him when we meet.

Anonymous said...

Ron:

Among other things you wrote, "But until the very moment the bullet ended his life even OBU could have repented and come to The Light of Christ. He chose not to." Again, how do you know "he chose not to"?

I'm merely suggesting that your mantra "Love God. Love People. Pretty Simple." is made pretty complicated by your assumptions.

God is infinite, a mystery, and grace is a miracle. Why should any finite person even "assumedly" presume hell upon anyone else(regardless of the biblical text you may have to back it up). That seems simple enough.

Ron said...

I do not have to judge Osama Bin Laden. That is left to God and God alone. However to ignore the life he lived and the views he clearly propagated by his actions to his dying day would be foolish. You are reading a simple blog here, not "The Lambs Book of Life."

With that in mind...

Mirriam-Webster Dictionary
Definition of ASSUME
transitive verb
1a : to take up or in : receive b : to take into partnership, employment, or use
2a : to take to or upon oneself : undertake (assume responsibility) b : put on, don c : to place oneself in (assume a position)
3: seize, usurp (assume control)
4: to pretend to have or be : feign (assumed an air of confidence in spite of her dismay)
5: to take as granted or true : suppose (I assume he'll be there)

Please read #5 above. My blog post is from the presupposition that Mr. Bin Laden did not know Jesus Christ as his Savior. If my assumption is incorrect then I am thrilled for him. If my assumption is correct then my faith and world-view are such that to back up my comments with scripture is not only appropriate but absolutely necessary.

I appreciate your reading and commenting. Be blessed...

Anonymous said...

At this point, I'm willing to accept that my effort to communicate my point to you has failed. I would drudge on, but I suspect we have reached the end of what this forum can fruitfully facilitate.

I do appreciate your desire to love God and others. Peace be with you.