Saturday, April 20, 2013

Heavy and Happy Heart

I never watch TV, unless it is for something REALLY important, like American Idol. However, last night, I was glued to the TV watching Fox News as the last Boston Bomber was being corralled. My son had been in lockdown in Cambridge all day, and I was very concerned. For one thing, I know he eats out a lot. I was afraid he would starve. But seriously, my heart had been aflutter all day, worried that the terrorist who had already callously murdered so many innocent people would find more victims. And my son was in the immediate area where the terrorist was hiding. Praise God, the terrorist was apprehended and in custody.

In describing the deceased older terrorist brother, Fox News commentators kept saying, "Hell has a new resident today."
It might...but the sentence bothered me. I know that both Boston terrorists, and all terrorists, do things that are deserving of Hell. I hope they receive the just consequences of their horrific actions. But, I also believe that every one of us deserves Hell, and by the grace and mercy of God, we don't necessarily get it. I know most of us don't go on murderous rampages, but all sins, from little to large, are an affront to a perfect, Holy God. And, the wages of sin is death.

If the Bible is true, and I believe it is, then Jesus paid the penalty for all our sin. We only have to repent, believe, and accept the truth and gift of His sacrifice. Hard as it is to stomach from an earthly perspective, even those terrible terrorists could enter Heaven by the grace and mercy of God, should they choose to believe and acknowledge Jesus as Lord. All of us could. It is the beauty of the Gospel, and why I find it so ironic when I hear people describe Christianity as exclusive. No one is excluded from the hope of Heaven.

There are, and should be earthly consequences to sin. In my opinion, the death penalty would be very appropriately applied in this case. But I cannot help but feel great sadness that a young man, 19 years old, would be so deluded that he would choose to inflict so much sorrow on the world, and cut short his own life and future of promise. So I pray for his tortured soul while I mourn for the victims, and the lives he destroyed. I do not rejoice that Hell has a new resident. I want every heart to know and love the Creator, who never desired us to veer so sharply away from Him.

John 3:16 (NIV)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Matthew 7:8,21-27 (NIV)
For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. [21] “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. [22] Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ [23] Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ [24] “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. [25] The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. [26] But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. [27] The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

-save a dog-

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