Deserving to Die – Terrorists or Victims?

On 9/11/2001, terrorists flew the passengers on their flights into eternity. During the approximately one hour between the fall of the twin towers that claimed almost 3,000 lives, around the world another 7,800 lives went out to meet their Maker. Over the next 24 hours while America and the West struggled to understand the loss of almost 3,000 lives, approximately 256,200 more individuals crossed the line from life unto death. Hebrews 9:27 says, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.”

On November 5, 2009, Major Nidal Hasan, an officer in the US Army walked into a military service center, jumped on a table, yelled “Allah is great!” (in Arabic), pulled out semi-automatic pistols and pumped out more than 100 rounds and sent 13 more Americans into eternity. Each week since that event approximately 1.3 million have taken their last breath. This is a number 100,000 times more than the 13 who died in the service of their country.

Did any of those almost 3,000 people deserve to die on 9/11? Did the 13 people who were shot at Fort Hood, Texas deserve to die? Ask the majority of Americans and the general consensus will be, “Those terrorists deserved to die and face God!” They would continue, “Men like Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Nidal Hasan, and Osama bin Laden deserve to die. Let’s kill them all!”

However, there is a greater question we need to ask ourselves. Do men like Hitler, Hussein, Hasan, and bin Laden deserve to die more than those who perished at their hands? What made the people who died on 9/11/2001 or on 11/05/2009 in the terrorist attacks any less deserving than the 7,800 or the 256,200 or even the 1.3 million to go and face the eternal Son of God and be judged for their sins?

This is by no means to demean the sacrifice demanded of those who did not ask to be killed! Nor, is this a support of any terrorist group. Nor, is this intended in any way to demean the loss of life and the sorrow of those families who were left to pick up the pieces.

The purpose of my writing is because I have been doing some serious searching of my heart, and sadly I find I have not been meeting the criteria required of me as a true believer. Let me explain further.

As Americans, we are very patriotic, almost at times to an extreme. It is a trait that many nations of the world fail to understand about us. It is a large part of what binds us together in the face of a common enemy. In very short order, for example, after 9/11, the vast majority of Americans were ready to take on the enemies of our country by whatever means possible. Hatred and anger ran cold and deep in the veins of millions who were upset that our country had been assaulted. We were ready to hunt down the infidels and murder them all and make them pay for what they did to us! Even many who claim the name of Christ were standing side-by-side in the call to arms and had no issues with our government spending billions of dollars to bomb and attack two foreign countries.

However, I wonder how many of those same Christians were praying that God would bring sorrow and godly repentance to those who would inflict evil upon America. How many spent time agonizing over the true loss of life – 7,800 or the 256,200 or the 1.3 million? How many mourned the fact that the vast, overwhelming majority of those individuals perished with no hope of ever knowing or even hearing the name of Jesus Christ?

Do we stop to think that every year since 9/11, an unbelievable sum of approximately 95 million (the equivalent of almost 1/3rd of the US population) go into eternity? Who mourns their loss? Why are they any more deserving to face a God of wrath than those we know and love, or than those who live on our streets? In the 6,303 days since 9/11, almost 1 billion (956 million) have exited this world, a number equivalent to a little less than the entire population of India!

Yet, we actually rejoiced when we watched the evening news from the comfort of our sofas and armchairs, and we saw the countless thousands being swept into eternity for their part in attacking our country. Oh, we were happy! Justice was being meted out by our brave men and women, and the judgment that was pronounced and executed was in our minds – “FAIR!”

However, does this stack up with the commands of Scripture that we who claim the name of Christ are called to obey? We as Christians are commanded to love our enemies. We are to share the good news of the gospel with those who have never heard. The apostle Paul loved his fellow countrymen of Israel so greatly that if it were possible, he was willing to be eternally accursed from God if only all Israel would place their faith in the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ alone for their salvation!

During His earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus Christ was asked what the greatest commandments were. He replied, “The first is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. And, the second is very much like it – LOVE your neighbor as yourself.”

Do we bother to realize that only God can hate the wicked with the demand for perfect justice that hatred requires? Who are we to think that we can stand in the place of the Almighty and condemn others to eternity where they will be in the lake of fire forever? What hypocrisy that our churches are willing to spend millions on new edifices and on entertaining the sheep while 3 people every second go to stand in judgment before the Holy, Righteous God of the Universe! What hypocrisy and lack of true Christian character that we can say equally with the lost of America that we hate our enemies and wish their deaths in whatever manner it comes upon them!

How are we ANY different from those of the Islamic faith? They are willing to kill for the ideals of their faith so that they might enjoy eternity in the bliss of earthly pleasures. Yet, we are willing to kill simply because we hate what others have done to us. We hate and kill indiscriminately because they made our lives uncomfortable. We hate and demand death as they make our trips through airport security highly annoying at best. We hate because we somehow believe what is coming from our pulpits – our sins are not as bad as those of the terrorists. Here in America, we are civilized. We do not deserve death like they do. They deserve justice. They deserve the wrath of God to fall upon them. They deserve hell!

Wake up Christians before it is too late! The world should know us by our love for one another and by the fact that we are willing to sacrifice our very lives so that others will know the love of God, and more importantly, so they will know it is possible to escape from the wrath to come!

We want to ask God to bless America, yet we refuse to obey His commands. May God forgive us for our hatred! The Lord Jesus Christ said that hatred is the same as murder. May the Lord forgive us for our lack of compassion! May He help us to see that we ALL deserve to die, but for the grace of God – His mercy endures forever!