How Should Christians Respond to the Threat of Terrorism?1
Rockets launching, bombs blasting, people hating, people dying. It's the world in which we live. From the garden of Eden to the neighborhood where you dwell.
From 911 until the present day some people have lived in a constant state of fear as it relates to the threat of terrorism. Striking without warning or regard for human life, there are those who devise evil schemes to their own ruin (Micah 2:1).
The threat level remains high, real or imagined. And down on the dusty dirty streets of town after town there's a very real threat. It comes across the airwaves through every media outlet. People are plotting our harm. Demonically inspired pawns want our demise. They radically pray for our deaths. They strap suicide bomb's to their children and load ready assault rifles.
Like a broken record we hear of one terrorist attack after another coming upon innocent bystanders. We all know none of us are truly innocent. We all deserve to die for our sins. But God is the only judge. And Jesus Christ is the righteous one who spilled His blood so that we might live forever with Him.
The threats swirl around us and we wonder what will happen. It would be easy to live in a state of fear. Many do. No matter your religious affiliation, it is very easy to be fearful. And it is not enough for us to just say it's a bad dream. Because it's our reality. It's an unknown evil that can strike in a moment when we are least suspecting. And so as a Bible-believing, Jesus-trusting Christian I want to address this question from that perspective. It's the only one I can know with full assurance.
What are we to do? The answer for Christians is not simple, it is simply Biblical.
First, we must trust our Sovereign God every moment of our lives.
Jesus instructed us to pray "deliver us from evil". We know that greater is He that is in us (Jesus) than he that is in the world (Satan). (1 John 4:4)
Second, we must know with assurance our future hope.
Jesus really has brought us out of death into life and if they kill us here we will forever be with Jesus in heaven. The worst they can do to us is to send us to glory. As Paul said, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. As Col. 1:27 says, Christ in us is our "hope of glory".
Third, we must believe all of God's Word, resting in that truth rather than the world's lies.
We have the whole story. We know, because God has revealed, the beginning and the end. There will come a day when God will right all wrongs and set all things straight. As Psalm 21:11 says, "Though they plan evil against you, though they devise mischief, they will not succeed."
Fourth, we must comfort and encourage each other with the truths of Scripture.
1 Thess. 4:16-18 says, "For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words."
Fifth, we must be all the more urgent to preach the Gospel fervently.
Psalm 2 is a Messianic psalm. It points us to Jesus. It is a declaration of God's provision of the only Savior. A clear call to believe in Christ or perish under His wrath. John 14:6 and Acts 4:12 clearly tell us that there is no other way of salvation but Jesus Christ. He shed His blood and the Cross and rose from the dead, thereby securing salvation for all who will believe and be saved.
God is patient. In forbearance He is giving opportunity for repentance. But there a come a day when time will run our for God's enemies who rebel against Him. As 2 Corinthians 6:2 says, "Behold, now is the day of salvation." God is calling everyone everywhere to turn from their sins and trust in Christ alone to save them.
This is how Christians should respond to the threat of terrorism and every other threat. Trust our Soveriegn God, know your hope with assurance, believe all of God's Word, comfort one another with God's truth, and be all the more urgent in preaching the Gospel of the grace of God in Christ. Have no fear of what man might do. Fear God who made us and has the power to determine your destiny. He holds the present and future in His hands.
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