Right after Osama bin Laden's death, many were posting about his eternal destiny, and their feelings about what happened. I noticed that on facebook statuses and blogs there were some people who were quite upset that others had assumed that Osama is in hell. There were those who were angry that he was killed in the first place, and others who said, "how dare anyone assume that someone else is in hell! Who are we to judge?"
The other day my husband brought up a point that I thought was absolutely brilliant. I'm posting it because it's much too good of a gem to let pass by and just stay with me. Before I share his gem, let me lay some ground work...
First consider this about Osama's situation:
- He did not surrender when confronted. (He did not do the right thing.)
- He pulled his wife in front of him as a human shield and allowed her to get shot. (Not just cowardly - sinful.)
- He was instantly killed thereafter.
It's relatively clear cut. We are not other people's judge however the Bible does talk about blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. What is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? Let me say that if you have ever been afraid that you have committed the unpardonable sin as spoken of in Matthew 12 and Mark 3 and cannot be forgiven, you are the least likely to have committed it! If you have feared committing the unpardonable sin, your soft heart and attitude of the fear of the Lord is the exact opposite of all that blasphemy of the Holy Ghost is about. I believe the definition of the unpardonable sin as referred to in the Bible to be a person who has become so hard to the work of Christ on the cross and the spirit of grace that they refuse to repent until their last breath. Only then do they reap the eternal consequences of torment. So we do know according to scripture that some blaspheme the Holy Ghost, and others can be judged by their fruit, according to the Bible (Matthew 7).
Osama rejected the work of Christ to the point of his death. After refusing to do what was right and surrender he then pulled his wife in front of him and received a bullet through his head. Whether you believe his killing was right or wrong is inconsequential at this point. I'm also not saying that it's right for people to be happy that he's in hell. I am personally never happy when ANYONE including Osama bin Laden rejects Christ and goes to hell. But the fact is, there was no time in between his refusal of surrender, pulling his wife in front of him and having a bullet through his head and dying instantly that he could have accepted the work of Christ. In all of the news reports we have seen it was clear this was quick and and almost instant if not instant.
Now, interestingly enough in the days following the killing of OBL, some people railed against those who say he is in hell or even infer it. They say you cannot be sure of where he, or anyone is...we are not their judge. This argument would be much more powerful if these folks held it across the board but most of them don't.
My husband noticed something when he saw a friend's facebook status. Days before this person had railed against those who assumed Osama to be in hell. But now on the eve of mother's day they posted the following:
"I miss my Mom so much! She's in heaven now, and I know I'll see her again one day. I love you, Mom!"
Larry said to me, "Wait a minute...according to their standards, how do they KNOW their Mom is in heaven? Didn't they just say on their status during the same week that we shouldn't judge where anyone is after death? How do they know their Mom is not burning in hell? I guess according to their standards they have just become her judge."
He remarked about how he would never post this on the person's status, but found their double standard interesting. Apparently it is not okay to judge a person to hell but you can judge them to heaven.
I shared this with our choir on Sunday when we were talking a bit after rehearsal and they all agreed it's interesting how many people are so quick to say we cannot be sure about hell but we can about heaven. People don't like to talk about hell. It's not popular, it's even scary (and if you don't know Jesus it should quite literally scare the hell out of you...) but the fact is, it's real.
We don't get to make up the rules about heaven and hell -- God has already made the judgment and it's in His Word. When we speak of absolutes on heaven and hell as outlined in God's Word says, we are just speaking what God Himself has already spoken. Repeating God's Word tends to make people angry. It has always made people angry as they were very angry when Jesus spoke of these things too. By the way, because I speak boldly on this issue doesn't mean I'm excited or happy that there's a hell. I cry because I know hell is real. I hate hell!!! My heart breaks that people are going there. That's the main reason I've chosen to passionately follow a call to let people know about the love of Jesus, because they don't have to go there!! There is GOOD NEWS!!!
Do I believe that we can know a person is in heaven? Yes. There are people in my life who I am absolutely positive are in heaven. I know it by the fruit of their life here on earth -- the decision they made to follow Jesus Christ right up until the point of their death and the fruit that accompanied the life they lived. I am also sadly assured of a few people who are in hell, by the decisions they made, the fruit that accompanied their life and the way they were so quickly taken from this world with no opportunity at their last breath to cry out to Jesus.
It would be a much more comforting way to live to say that we can't ever know. So many are able to live in a comfortable denial about people in their lives who never served God or they aren't sure they served God to the fullest, and this spares them some of the mental anguish about whether their loved one is in torment. But it's simply not accurate to say that we have no idea at all who will and won't be in heaven or hell. The Bible is very clear about who will be there and who will not be there although we will have some surprises! We know this because the Bible says we'll have some surprises! Those who we thought served the Lord but really didn't - will be absent. I'm sure there will be some folks there who converted upon their last breath that we didn't know about. We'll be surprised to see some of them too. I will agree there are some unknowns and the fate of everyone is not certain but if someone rejects Christ up until the final second and is then instantly killed...HELLO...get your head out of the sand.
I have to admit it is very hard for me to hear some people talk about how you can never know if a person is in hell but they go on and on talking about all their precious relatives who are waiting for them in heaven or post songs about them being there, and I'm like..."okay, whatever.. sounds pretty much like Universalism to me." One of the most dangerous doctrines EVER! Perhaps THE most dangerous because it's leading people to think that all roads lead to the same place.
All of this is more fuel to me concerning why we need to tell everybody we know about Jesus and BE READY!!! If you don't know Him today, you can know Him RIGHT NOW. I know I do have blog readers who don't come here just to hear about spiritual things -- you read for many other purposes from parenting stuff, to career advice to recipes or whatever. If you want to know Jesus today and nobody has ever introduced you, I'd be honored to. Write to me here, I'll help you.