Rejoice in Judgment?

I was shocked Sunday night when I turned on the news to learn that Osama Bin Laden had been shot and killed. There were all kinds of emotions that went through my mind. I wanted to cry tears of joy but also tears of hurt. Because of this it did not surprise me to see the different reactions of people throughout the United States. Some were even driven to go into the streets shouting “U.S.A.”. The question I was asking myself was, “How should Christians respond to this event?” I have read a lot of Christian blogs over the last couple of days relating to that question. Let me give you some of the things I learned.

It is the responsibility of government to provide justice and rid the world of those who commit atrocities against humanity. Romans 13:4, “For he [governing authorities] is God’s servant for our good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.” Though the killing Bin Laden is accepted and required by God our reaction to it should be reserved. Ezekiel 33:11 states, “Say to them, ‘As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.” Judgment, even when just, should not be celebrated because God’s desire is for their salvation. We are to rejoice with those who repent, not celebrate the judgment of the wicked. We can, however, be glad that Bin Laden is no longer doing evil.

I like the way Todd Fisher, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Shawnee, stated it:

  • I am GRATEFUL the evil caused by OBL is gone (Prov. 11:10- “When the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness”).  I am GRIEVED he has entered hell (Luke 13:5- “But unless you repent, you will all likewise perish”).  I am HUMBLED that without Christ, my destination would be the same (John 3:16- “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”).

  • We should be thankful that one horrific source of the scourge of terrorism and religious abuse is no longer among us.  However, Jesus warned us in Luke 13:1-5 that the demise of others is always an opportunity for us to reflect on our own spiritual condition.  Instead of raucous celebration, perhaps we should think on Bin Laden and how we can make sure that evil and murderous thoughts, words, and deeds can be confessed to the Father and removed from our lives.  “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

Let our response as Christians be different than those who do not know the Lord.


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