Christians Response To ISIS Is Forgiveness
In the past 15 months, the religious extremists known as ISIS have been making news headlines on a consistent basis…and none of it for anything good. You know it’s become a mainstream issue when Saturday Night Live is doing skits mocking you.
ISIS, the abbreviation for The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, emerged from the ongoing conflict in Syria and northern Iraq and has been steadily taking land and resources in the Middle East, evicting millions of refugees from their homes along the way.
ISIS is comprised of certain Muslims with radical and violent ideologies who want to inflict their understanding of Islam on others. ISIS has killed innocent civilians in regions they’ve overrun. These terrorists have also been known to kidnap children and force them into battle as kid soldiers. The barbaric fighters think nothing of using rape as a weapon on the women in their destructive path, but they may be most infamous for their gruesome beheadings that they film and release to the world through Internet channels.
The most recent outbreak of ISIS’s hatred was felt a month ago in Paris, France, on November 13, 2015, where 130 people lost their lives, and approximately 350 more were injured, some very seriously.
All the terror, pain, and devastation they inflict on the people in their regions is a stark contrast to the Christian presence responding to the aftermath of the ISIS regime.
ISIS has declared war on the people of the cross, aka Christians. So, in response to ISIS’s ongoing global terror attacks, a group of western Christians working with Arab Christians created a video to share with the terrorists who work against love. Here’s how they describe the work you’re about to see:
As the world responds to the Islamic State with fear and cries for vengeance, there is one group that is responding differently. They are not allies with ISIS but enemies. And they have been slain by the thousands in the hands of ISIS. ISIS calls them The Nation of the Cross – The ones they have killed are bringing a message of forgiveness and hope. Declaring a love that they do not know – A love that reconciles even the worst of us and can make enemies into brothers.
It’s incredibly difficult to face the bitterness of murder and rape and terrorist attacks with a heart of compassion and forgiveness, but that’s what our world needs most right now. Our God is a God of forgiveness, wanting even the most evil among us to come to Him in search of eternal life. Since we are God’s people, we must be a people of that same kind of forgiveness, as well. We’re going to look at a simple passage of Scripture that will remind us of the forgiveness we’ve received from God that will hopefully challenge us to offer that same forgiveness to others.
[su_highlight background=”#f2f148″]Isaiah 1:18-19 (NIV) “Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. 19 If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land.[/su_highlight]
We’ve seen humanity at its worst: killing, raping, and destroying the lives of others. And, in the passage from Isaiah, we’ve seen God at his best: offering forgiveness to the worst of us. Like we talked about earlier, our God is a God of forgiveness. That’s what God does best.
The two big questions I want you to wrestle with for a moment are these: first, have you been forgiven, and second, are you willing to forgive others?
If you haven’t been forgiven by Jesus, chances are good that you will be unwilling to forgive others. If you have been forgiven by Jesus, it may still be very difficult for you, but that is what God expects of you. God is a God of forgiveness; He wants His people to be forgiving, as well.
If you have been forgiven by Jesus, I’d like to bring you back to the this question. What’s one thing you can do this very week to help others understand the forgiveness God wants them to have?