Monday, May 23, 2011
Saul of Tarsus and Osama Bin Laden: Is There A Difference?
There has been something has been gnawing at me for quite some time, ever since the news reports began to surface that Osama Bin Laden was dead. Now I happen to believe that he's been dead for over a decade, but that is irrelevant to the point I'm trying to make here.
Here's the question: Is Osama Bin Laden any different from Saul of Tarsus, who later came to be known as the Apostle Paul? Think about it--both committed murder or authorized killing in the name of religion. One had a Damascus Road experience, and God's perfect plan for the other was that he too be delivered from a murderous religious spirit.
There is no difference between the two of them. You see, God does not measure men and women like we do. From the Father's perspective EVERY soul born into this world is a prospective son or daughter. This is why Jesus came. "For God so loved the world" [John 3:16a]; not the world system but mankind itself. All the husbandman desires is the fruit that is to be harvested from the field; nothing else matters to him. Can you imagine Osama Bin Laden as a born-again, Holy Ghost-filled believer? That was the Father's plan for his life. It is no different than His plan for yours.
The Apostle Paul himself wrote in the first chapter of Galatians of the reputation that he had when he was known as Saul of Tarsus:
For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: [Gal. 1:13]
As well as the apprehension and eventual acceptance of his fellow believers as to whether he was truly converted:
The account from the Book of Acts:
But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ. [Acts 9:21-22]
From Paul's letter to the Galatian church:
Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. And they glorified God in me. [Gal.1:20-24]
The Father's Will for Osama Bin Laden's life was that he came to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. Let us bear this in mind as we intercede for the lost. It is only by the Father's Mercy that permanent change can take place in any person's life. Just think...what if you were the one trapped in a culture that celebrated the persecution and murder of the followers of Jesus? Think of how Blessed you are now to be called a child of God. Would you not want the same for everyone else? Love shares the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Love. You are salt and light. There is no greater miracle nor is there any greater joy in Heaven than when a lost soul turns to Jesus.
The future belongs to the Intercessor...PRAY!
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. [John 3:16]