A Christian Response to the Death of Osama Bin Laden
Dr. Randy White
Public enemy #1 is dead. How should a believer respond? Many of us are torn between rejoicing and grief. Here is a four-point response I believe every believer can make.
1. Rejoice that an enemy is dead.
Osama bin Laden is a clear enemy. As the leader of Al Qaeda, he is responsible for the death of over 3,000 men, women, and children on 9/11, as well as those who died on the USS Cole, the deaths of US servicemen shot down in Somalia in Operation Restore Hope, the 301 persons killed and 5,000 injured in bombings of U.S. Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, the bombing of a synagogue in Tunisia, the deaths of 180 people in a nightclub in Bali, and the list goes on. Clearly, Osama bin Laden has been the deadliest terrorist of this young century.
Is it Christian to rejoice at the death of this wicked man? Yes! The Bible is full of examples of rejoicing over the death of the wicked.
Moses rejoiced that, ""Pharaoh's chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; And the choicest of his officers are drowned in the Red Sea. "The deeps cover them; They went down into the depths like a stone" (Exodus 15:4–5, NASB95).
When Jezebel died, the Scripture records that, "…they returned and told him. And he said, "This is the word of the Lord, which He spoke by His servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 'In the property of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel; and the corpse of Jezebel will be as dung on the face of the field in the property of Jezreel, so they cannot say, 'This is Jezebel'" (2 Kings 9:36–37, NASB95).
When Hamaan, the enemy of the Jews, was hanged on the gallows, and the Jews were allowed to defend themselves against his evil plan, the Jews made a permanent day of rejoicing, still observed to this day: "because on those days the Jews rid themselves of their enemies, and it was a month which was turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and rejoicing and sending portions of food to one another and gifts to the poor " (Esther 9:22, NASB95).
The Psalms are full of prayers against the wicked, such as, "O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous; For the righteous God tries the hearts and minds. " (Psalm 7:9, NASB95)
Even the wisdom of Proverbs rejoices when the wicked perish: "When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices, And when the wicked perish, there is joyful shouting." (Proverbs 11:10, NASB95)
Yes, it is acceptable for a Christian to rejoice in the fall of the wicked. But there is a second response as well-
2. Grieve that a soul is lost.
Osama bin Laden is in hell. God wishes hell on no one. A believer should grieve that the message that could have saved bin Laden was spurned and rejected. The same rejection continues by followers of Islam worldwide. Rather than accept Jesus as Savior, they relegate Him to the place of prophet. The New Testament is clear that a person is only saved by calling upon the name of the Lord. There is no need to wonder whether or not bin Laden is in hell because Scripture has made the declaration.
Believers should not, however, rejoice that bin Laden has gone to hell. God "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (1 Timothy 2:4). Our grief is that God's desire for salvation was not fulfilled in the life of this terrorist. While such a statement may concern some and irk others, the truth is that bin Laden rejected the witness of the Gospel that has been made evident to everyone, leaving all "without excuse."
Our grief response should be to "beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God" (2 Corinthians 5:20). Do not reject Christ and suffer the consequence of eternal hell as bin Laden did.
3. Pray for those under deception.
The Islamic world is deceived by Satan, veiled in a cloak of darkness. There has been a subversion of the message of the Gospel with a new "gospel." Paul says, "…even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! " (Galatians 1:8, NASB95). The false prophet Mohamed created a contrary gospel and is accursed. Sadly, his message has left millions without the truth. The contrary gospel has also produced the degradation of women, the hatred of Jews, the killing of Americans, and the loss of personal freedoms which could bring joy to life.
Believers should pray that the Gospel of Jesus Christ would impact as many of the followers of Islam as possible. Jesus Christ is their only hope! We should pray that totalitarian governments of the Islamic world would collapse and be replaced with governments that allow for the freedom of worship. We should pray for the collapse of Islam in totality as men and women have the veil of falsehood drawn back from their eyes. While prophecy tells us of a coming war between Israel and the Middle Eastern (Islamic) world, it also shows that Islam will lose the war in a humiliating defeat. With the coming collapse will come an opportunity for the Gospel to spread. The sad reality, however, is that the anemic state of the Christian church will allow the void left by the fall of Islam to be filled with secularism rather than Christianity.
4. Long for the days of Messiah's reign.
Someday the deceiver will find himself locked away, defeated by the returning King, and his deceptive ways will no longer blind the nations. Until that day, the devil roams about like a lion, seeking whom he may devour. Right now, Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, but the promise of God to Him is quickly approaching: "I [will] make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet" (Psalm 110:1, NASB95).
Distributed by www.worldviewweekend.com
When we pray, "Thy Kingdom come," we pray for the day when the deceiver is thrown into the abyss which is shut and sealed for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:3).
May that day come quickly!
For more information about the end times, read my book, The Antichrist.
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Babykilling abortionists are americam terrorists
America is not the victim of muslim terror. Muslim terror is a simple result of a Holy God Muslims to terrorize us. For 39 years, men have decapitated, stabbed to death, drown in pans of water, stabbed in the back of the head, and vaccumed the brains out of fully viable full term children. Make no mistake, God has taken His hand off this wicked nation. The chastening will increase, as long as The Church refuses to speak for their unborn neighbors.
|Posted On: 06/13/12 12:35:54 PM
||Age 0, IN
Who Were the Terrorists on May 1st?
I was sickened by all the rejoicing by Americans about bin Laden's murder. Somehow those in charge thought giving him a Muslim ceremony and burial made any difference? They stalked and murdered the man! I am sorry America has come to this. Killing bin Laden will only create a new, perhaps more fanatical al quaeda leader and Americans will be hated by everyone, not just the islamic extremists. Our rejoicing only unveiled America's true colors. I just keep praying and wait for Jesus' return!
|Posted On: 05/10/11 03:11:58 PM
||Age 0, CO
I replied in hast (though I don't see my post)and would like to apologize. I talked to someone who has more of an understanding of the military and now understand how they function. I am so thankful for all that they do to to protect us at the risk of their own lives, especially the special forces. God hates evil and surly what OBL did was so evil...he chose to be evil and we can be thankful,relieved that the evil that existed in the life of OBL is gone. We can rejoice that God is in control. "In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." John 33:16
|Posted On: 05/09/11 10:28:40 AM
||Age 0, NJ
Where do you live?
It is all well and good to quote Old Testament Scriptures about how to "rejoice" over the demise of your enemies. I live under the New Covenant purchased by Jesus Christ. He said love your enemies (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27; Luke 6:35). Please stop living in the Old Covenant and move into the New. In other words, stop living under the law. That is "religion" not faith.
|Posted On: 05/08/11 04:21:16 PM
||Age 0, TX
I agree completely with this article. I am glad a very evil man is dead, but believe it or not, I am sickened by the fact that this man went to hell of his own volition. He rejected Christ and that is the fate of every person on this earth who rejects the death of Jesus as substitutionary atonement for sin.
Some people here have stated that he was "murdered" while unarmed, etc. This man murdered over 3000 unarmed people at their place of employment, and brought down two towers on American soil! Don't attempt to elicit sympathy for a man who hated Jews, Christians non-muslims and Americans so much so that he was willing to violently exterminate 3000 lives to get his point across. I do not rejoice in the death of this very evil and wicked man, but I am glad he will not be able to murder anybody else. As they said to David when Absolom was killed "May all your enemies be like this young man."
|Posted On: 05/05/11 12:43:36 PM
||Age 0, IL
Please respond to Proverbs 24:17-18
I don't see where it says we are to rejoice over our enemies death. People/armies in the OT turned to God after a battle. They rejoiced in His great power and protection as He delivered them and went before them when they conquered their enemies. Armies of God got their orders from God as did individuals and went in the power of God and God got the glory.
This was an assassination, he was unarmed and an arrest could have been made and then a trial should have taken place. The court of law should have determined his sentence; we still have the death penalty. We are told by God to be subject to the governing authorities (Rom.13:1)who have chosen to lead under the laws that are written. What kind of example are we to others and to our children when we choose to not follow our own laws. I agree, we should grieve over a lost soul but we have many lost souls including those that follow Islam who are now looking at the example of this "Christian " nation. What sets us apart? In their eyes is our God any different from theirs?
|Posted On: 05/05/11 12:33:18 PM
||Age 0, NJ
The verses cited in the article aren't exhortations to rejoice. Scripture *does* exhort us to rejoice, but it's never in worldly things (such as military victories): indeed, it's in things which most people would find alien. For example, in Luke 6:23 Jesus says we should rejoice in our persecution for His sake.
When I saw the scenes of revelry in Times Square, only one passage of Scripture entered my mind. ...Namely Proverbs 24:17-18.
"Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:
Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him."
God can't make Himself any clearer than that.
Seeing the partying and triumphalism over the death of an enemy (who will no doubt soon be replaced by some other Al Qaeda madman) made my heart sink. America is already under the Judgement of God --- as Brannon has taken pains to underline. Islam is part of that Judgement.
...And lest someone lament that Islam is too harsh a chastisement, recall how God used the monstrous Babylonians to judge a debauched, decadent and near-godless Judah. (And remember complacent Judah's reaction to Jeremiah's prophesies: they believed that The LORD was with them and would not deliver them into the hands of the Babylonians.)
Watching the scenes of largely godless exultation (e.g. Glenn Beck's marching band celebration) was something akin to watching a party on the Titanic.
The entire West --- what was called Christendom --- is under Judgement. What happened in 722 B.C. 586 B.C. is being repeated: the nations who had once confessed YHWH, the God of Israel, have turned away from Him and are being judged by those who follow the god of the nations around Israel.
Either we turn from our evil and back to God, or the fate of Judah and Israel will be our own.
|Posted On: 05/05/11 12:00:10 PM
||Age 0, WALES
Very well outlined! Both points are Biblical. "The violence of the wicked will drag them away, because they refuse to act with justice." Proverbs 21:7 NASB. I was glad to see the dead body of that murderous thug being "dragged away" by our amazing special forces guys! It is appropriate (& just) to rejoice at removing the wicked from this earth. But as God says "...I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live..." Ezekiel 33:11b NASB. This obviously speaks of the wicked being given the chance to repent & put their faith in the True God, through faith in his son Jesus. Bin Laden was an wicked thug to the end (still planing more murderous crimes!). Good riddance to him!!
|Posted On: 05/05/11 10:57:11 AM
||Age 0, CA
Should Christians Dance in the Streets?
You have an interesting take as to how a Christian living under the New Covenant should act.
The Scriptures in Romans 12 teach, "Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone." If I remember correctly, after the 9/11 attacks "in the eyes of everyone," ALL Civilized People Around the World Condemned those in the middle east who celebrated in the streets as being evil..? We called their action/celebrations evil..?
In my humble opinion, as a Christian, just because something might be our right, doesn't make it right.
|Posted On: 05/05/11 10:03:25 AM
||Age 0, MS
Rejoicing over the death of an enemy
Thank you for the article about A Christian's Response to the Death of UBL. I really feel most of the rejoicing was over the fact that evil had been defeated. I don't want anyone to go to hell but he had free will just like everyone else. I have heard chastisement from pastors and many Christians that we shouldn't be happy. I am happy that this particular enemy has been defeated. No I don't want anyone to go to hell but that choice is the individual's personal choice. Thanks again for spelling it out like this.
|Posted On: 05/05/11 08:17:32 AM
||Age 0, TX