AFTER THE BEHEADINGS, THEN WHAT?
So when do the beheadings stop? The dark revulsion the world community has expressed over these diabolical, taunting, on-camera killings certainly has not dissuaded the terrorists. Today they butcher captured journalists. And when they run out of journalists, who will be next? Subjugated women, children, and men—both Muslim and Christian—have already been the human fodder for ISIS and its grizzly on-camera executions. Who will be evil’s next choice for extermination? Twice now the black-hooded executioner has taunted by name the President of this nation. But the sobering reality is that the greatest political, military powers on earth are simply unable to staunch this hemorrhage of evil. The other day someone suggested that they simply nuke the living daylights out of the entire region. But what would that solve? And besides, wouldn’t such a response be guilty of the same black-hooded sin—butchering the innocent for the sake of making a point? Jesus identified “the increase of lawlessness” as the contributing factor for the moral collapse of this civilization on the eve of His return (Matthew 24:12). In fact, He warned, “as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man” (v 37). And what were “the days of Noah” like? “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). “Only evil continually.” Perhaps we still have a ways to go. Which is why “go” is the operative command for the followers of Christ in this global descent into darkness: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation”—“for I am the Light of the world”—“and you are the light of the world, so let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”—“for night is coming when no one can work” (Mark 16:15; John 9:5; Matthew 5:16; John 9:4). The followers of Christ can wring their hands and rage against the dying of the light. Or they can light a candle and move out into the night of human suffering and need—like medical personnel who have flown to the Ebola-racked nations of Africa to minister to the victims, irrespective of the personal cost—like volunteers at an inner city soup kitchen, who incarnate God’s love in the midst of impoverished suffering—like self-supporting evangelists who pay their way to a country they can’t pronounce to share a message they know by heart, by simply moving next door to perfect or imperfect strangers. Let the talking heads plot their political responses to earth’s unraveling conditions. We who follow “this same Jesus” have but one response He calls us to make—in His name we must go.