Osama Bin Laden is killed. All day long that was the news.
There has been has been all kinds of reactions to the death of this arch-terrorist: celebrations in the street, media frenzy and a plethora of conspiracy theories. People saw this as a major event in U.S. history when the mastermind of 9-11 finally was put out of the picture.
What caught my attention was one New York news paper that headlined his picture and the words “Rot in Hell.” The newspaper obviously was not making a theological statement, but it reflects the mindset of many Americans that believe a place called hell is the exclusive punishment reserved for really bad or evil people and that there are other not so bad people or those that are good enough to escape hell.
I think that the headline should have read “Osama Bin Laden: An Example for us All.” He is an example that not only genocidal maniacs, mass murderers and terrorists, but all those who commit treason against the Kingdom of God and all who break his laws will face God’s sentencing for eternity in a place called the lake of fire (Rev. 21:8). I do not say that in an unfeeling and careless manner. One has to wince in pain thinking about this because of the danger in which many people live who do not know Christ as Lord and Savior.
The first thing I thought of amid all the rejoicing were the words of Jesus Christ, “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3,5 ESV). Yes, in this way Osama Bin Laden is an example for us all. I was taken back for a moment, but long enough to think that the Lord Jesus was emphasizing that when we see others demise we should be warned ourselves that God’s justice has no favoritism (Rom 2:11) and we should use this time to turn away from soul damning sins (Isa. 55:6-7).
No matter how many tragedies we have experienced, no matter how many terrible things others have done compared to us, that does not exempt any human being from facing God for their sins against him.
Jesus emphasized this. If I could slightly paraphrase what he was saying, “Do you think that these people who were killed by Pilate or the others who had the tower of Siloam fall on them were perhaps worse sinners, meriting more of God’s anger and scorn that they would die in such a manner?”
Jesus says, “No way!” You will all face the bar of God. You will be destroyed unless you change your ways. Wow. How could he say such a thing, even to his own disciples?
He says this because he knows that everything human beings do will exposed. Every thought they think will be revealed. Nothing will be hid. God will judge the secrets of all people (Rom. 2:16) So you had better do a one hundred and eighty degree turn on the road of your life immediately away from your sin or you will perish in the same or should I say an even worse manner.
Osama Bin Laden was an example to us all because although he was religious he was deluded. He thought he was doing the work of Allah. How very sad. He thought he was earning his salvation by killing those considered infidels and all those that oppose Islam. Now all he leaves is a legacy of death. He is killed by bullets to the head and chest using his wife as a human shield. His lifeless body is carried away, ritually washed and thrown into the sea. What is worse he waits in a place of torture for the final judgment of God for his sins, where he will be hurled into a worse place. How many still believe like him? How many think he died a martyrs death and that they want to follow his example. How can we who are Christians not weep for the salvation of those like him and those who are his devotees.
I pray they will learn from his example. An example that eventually not only will the United States of America catch up with its enemies but God will punish those who are his. I pray we will see that God is serious when it comes to his laws and that “the mills of God grind slowly but they grind sure.”
Christ can save you from the wrath of God and his punishment catching up to you. He died to purchase your pardon, to save you from the self deception that you can save yourself by being good, or at least thinking you are not as bad as others.
God says all have sinned against him (Rom 3:10, 23). He will only accept one payment for sin and that is the death of Christ for sin. Christ gives us an ultimatum, “repent or be destroyed” it is not a pretty invitation but it is a solid one. He calls you to turn from sin to God’s son now before it is too late.