Is God angry at the Boston Marathon bombers? Is God going to send these two men to hell for what they did? I wonder how many people out there are CERTAIN they will go to hell or at least they sure want them to go to hell?
Does God love those two bombers?
Most Christians would say God’s love is unconditional, yet we can easily put conditions on His unconditional love for others and even ourselves. This contributes to our uncertainty and the Christian identity crisis that I believe is prevalent in the world. In fact there is a lot of identity crisis in the whole wide world as to people knowing who they really are!
Back to unconditional love. Does God love all people, no matter their beliefs or actions? What if their beliefs are lies and yet they are sincere in their beliefs? Wouldn’t Paul (Saul of Tarsus) be like that? He went around killing God’s kids, thought he was doing God a service, and look what happened to him. (Acts 22:4 Gal 1:13-16)
As I watched the unfolding of this startling horrendous loss of lives, injury and maiming of many, the eventual death of the ‘first suspect, and the capture of the ‘second suspect’, I found myself wondering how and where God is at work in it. The immediate impact of such a palpable grievous happening rivets us to the here and now. Understandably few are thinking about the bigger picture in that moment. But at some point we need to go to another place if we want to live in ‘certainty’, not uncertainty, fear, unforgiveness, anger, bitterness, revenge, confusion. That other place to go is, in Him – to see through His eyes and His eternal plan and original intentions.
Surely the Lord is encircling those innocent victims and their family members whose lives were altered by two young men. But, where is He in regards to the bombers? Is there any unconditional love for them?
A couple of days ago I was prophetically struck by several factors in regards to apprehending the second suspect:
- It occurred in Watertown – water scripturally represents the Holy Spirit, the flow of the Spirit, the life of the Spirit, the love of the Spirit (Jn 7:38,39 Titus 3:5 Rom 5:5)
- The 19 year old Dzhokhar (JOH’-kahr)) was found in a boat – boats are symbolic of salvation, restoration, and evangelism (consider Noah and the arc, Jesus teaching from a boat, the disciples catching many fish from a boat – fishers of men)
- Dzhokhar was under the covering of the boat – God covers us with His love, He covers us with His pinions, we are to cover the naked/vulnerable, and He covered Adam and Eve (1Pet 4:8 Ps 91:4 Is 58:7 Gn 3:21)
Looks to me like God is after Dzhokhar. What?! How can that be?! After what he did? Well then, what about his older brother, Tamerlan?! I don’t know. But, I do know God is good and abounds in grace and mercy. All men are made in His image and He is not wishing for any to perish (1Pet 3:9). I trust God in the kind intention of His will and His grace which He freely bestowed upon all men in His beloved. (Eph 1:5,6)
Let’s think about Dzhokhar (the captured 19 year old) for a minute and how he was lured into believing lies. Lies that involved radical destructive and judgmental thinking. Lies are not truth, they have no substance. Lies deceive and make us believe that something is really true, when in reality it is not. Have you ever believed something you thought was true, and later found out it wasn’t? I have. Does God fault or even condemn Dzhokhar for believing lies and being deceived?
Speaking of Dzhokhar believing lies, have you ever considered that many Christians believe lies about their identity and about who God is? These Christians hold fast to those lies, determine their lives by them, and even pass them on to others. Really, how many are there in the world who are bound up in falsehoods!? In the next post I will begin to address some lies we Christian believe.
For now, in regards to the Boston Marathon Bombers, this powerful dynamic of lies deceived not only Dzhokhar, but his older brother Tamerlan (who passed on lies to his younger brother). They were both living in lies, even as many others do, including Christians. So we need to beware of pointing the finger!
Since Jesus is the truth and He said you will know the truth and the truth will set you free, then I am more than confident that He knows how to bring truth to all men. (Jn 14:6 Jn 8:32)
Again I ask, does God really love all men unconditionally? Paul was beside himself when he expounded that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them! (2Co 5:13,19) Hmm, how good REALLY is the Good News?! Is there good news for Dzhokhar? I believe so.
- The ‘father of lies’ (Satan) has been operating since the Garden of Eden and twisting the truth. The enemy is still working to deceive anyone.
- Would you be open to having lies exposed in your life that you were just sure was truth?
- Do the things you believe so firmly in as a believer in Jesus bring freedom, joy, peace, hope, and love for all – or do they promote guilt, fear, judgment, criticism, anger, bondage? Maybe you are believing some lies too.