Almost ten years ago…

It’s hard to believe that by this time next week it will have been ten years since we were all reeling from the shock of the September 11th World Trade Center attacks. As if those events were not enough for our materialistic, hedonistic, and pampered post-Christian nation to stomach, we soon found ourselves in a war in Afghanistan followed by a showdown with the Iraqi regime and its despotic dictator, Saddam Hussein. In due time, we invaded Iraq and experienced a resounding victory. Eight months later — after massive humanitarian aid, nation-building, and dictator-pursuing efforts — we captured that self-proclaimed Nebuchadnezzar, and placed him comfortably in chains.

Sadly, Saddam did not respond to this humiliating event in his life like the grass-eating Nebuchadnezzar of old –- with wholesale repentance (Daniel 5:21)! Osama Bin Laden met the same end when he too fell short of “Nebuchadnezzar-like” repentance and was taken-out accordingly by our Navy Seal Team 6. When will such men realize that their addiction to power will soon meet a violent end? . . . as God through Paul has promised, “Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men” (2 Timothy 3:8-9).

How then are Bible-believing Christians to respond to such evil in this on-going age of global terrorism? Answer: We are to act Biblically! This means that we are to view our era of war as God views it (Ecclesiastes 3:3). God, my friends, allows war to mercifully unveil to all men the utter sinfulness of their sin – as James 4:1-3 teaches us, “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” So, through wartime, God unveils to men: their wicked hearts (v.1), their murderous hearts (v.2a), their envious hearts (v.2b), their prayerless hearts (v.2c), and their selfish hearts (v.3). Why? Because [He has so ordained that] “where sin increases, grace abounds all the more” (Romans 5:20).

Isn’t that just like our merciful God? He allows men to go their own way (Acts 14:16-17), then provides the way of salvation escape (2 Timothy 2:26). Should we and our children then live in fear during this present age of terrorism? No way! We must always remember that God is in control. His perfect plan is right on schedule (Habakkuk 1:5-11). Let us then learn from D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: “War, then, is a consequence and an effect of sin of precisely the same kind as all other effects and consequences of sin.” O God, please protect our military in the Middle Eastern wars and around the world. Give us swift victory, and then bring our men and women home very soon thereafter!

Jerry Marcellino is pastor of Audubon Drive Bible Church in Laurel. He can be reached by e-mail at pastorjerry@audubonchurch.org

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