The flurry of activity on this score, some of it excellent (see Justin Taylor for example), gave me pause about piling on to the discussion.
Two billion inhabitants of the planet earth have never heard the blessed gospel of the glorious God, the good news of Jesus Christ, the light of the world, come to live a perfect life and die a substitutionary death on behalf of undeserving sinners, so that they might know forgiveness, have credited to their spiritual account the 100% righteousness of Christ, and receive the gift of eternal life.
I don’t know for sure, but I suspect Osama bin Laden was one of them. More than likely he never even had a chance to walk in the light that the darkness might not overtake him, as it most surely did given the acts of evil he perpetrated.
Oh how grateful I am, who except for the grace of God may well have gone the way of bin Laden, for the mercies of God which opened my eyes to my rebellious heart, and brought me out of the domain of darkness into the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:13-14). If He hadn’t shown me such mercy, how easily the same darkness, to one degree or another, could have overtaken me.
Can we see this poor, evil, got-what-we-all-deserve man in this light? Have we in the west, with so much greater access to the gospel of Jesus, heard His plea to walk in the light while we have the light? Spurgeon warned:
I put before you this serious consideration, that you are at present favored with the Light of God, but you are only favored with it for a certain term. Do not reckon upon always having it, for the Light may be removed from you. My dear Hearer, the day may come when you will have to go away from this country and be found far off in the bush of Australia, or the backwoods of America. Or you may even, in this country, be located where you will not be able to hear the Gospel, for what you will hear will not be the Gospel, and you will be obliged to confess that it is not! Therefore, while you have the Light of God, remember that it is a favorable season for your decision for Christ. The day may come, as I said before, when the voice that has thrilled you, again and again, and that wakes the echoes of your soul’s most secret chambers, shall be silent in death. The time may come when, although your minister and you, yourself, are still left in the same place, yet, so far as you are concerned, the Holy Spirit will be gone, and so the Light will have departed from you. Take heed, I beseech you, lest it really be so, and use the Light while you have it.
Can we who by virtue of our union with Christ gained the privileged and responsible identity of sons of light see this man’s death in yet another light? Does it not call us to double and triple our efforts to shine like stars (Philippians 2:14-16) in bringing the good news to those near and far with gospel works and words?
Lord, shine your light in our hearts regarding this state of affairs and more that we might look beyond the obvious, the superficial, the carnal, the political, that we might see with the spiritually discerning eyes of the gospel.