1 Peter 5: 8-9 gives a warning that is especially pertinent today in the Mideast: "Be sober, be vigilant; your adversary the devil walk about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world" (NKJV).
Since we are all known by our fruits—that is, by our deeds, behavior, actions—it is reasonable to say that the people of isis (I know, it should be capitalized, but I refuse to give them that honor) fit this description of the devil walking around as a roaring lion. They are motivated by hatred, evil, and satan himself.
Jesus says in John 10:10 that the devil, there metaphorically called "thief," comes to "steal, kill, and destroy." That is exactly what isis is doing: stealing the property and lives of those who must leave every possession behind and flee for their lives to a safe place; brutally killing children and infants as well as adult Christians; and destroying the dignity, sanctification, and very lives of the young girls and women who are kidnapped, enslaved, and sold into the sex trade industry.
The murder of these Christians who refuse to convert (why would anyone be so stupid as to convert to that repressive and racist religious system?) is the same tactic used when the Koran was first written in the 7th century and the Muslims began their slaughter of Christians and Jews who would not convert to their religion. Their "evangelism by sword" (in stark contrast to Christian evangelism by the word of truth, the light of the gospel, and the love of the Lord Jesus Christ) occurred in the 7th and 8th centuries, placing the Holy Land and surrounding area under Muslim control. The Crusades were the military response of the then governmentally-controlled church of Rome, attempting to restore Christian control over the Holy Land (Nelson NKJV Study Bible, 1997, and http://www.ehow.com/info_8143657_religions-medieval-times.html).
Often I hear criticism of Christianity based on the crusades; however, those who malign the church based on that always gloss over the conquest of Christian lands by the sword of the Muslims prior to the Crusades; they also overlook the fact that, though the Papal armies realized temporary victories, the Christians ultimately lost the Crusades, giving rise to the Ottoman empire (http://www.ehow.com/info_8143657_religions-medieval-times.html).
This 21st century "conquest," begun by isis, is every bit as cruel, evil, and devil-driven as the first conquest. It is, in our modern terms, genocide. And like so many tribal genocides in Africa in the past years, the government of the United States stands by, watching.
And then there is Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen, jailed in Iran for nearly two years, under deplorable conditions, for the crime of preaching the word of salvation in Jesus Christ. Not killing, not raping, not plundering, not stealing, not dealing in drugs—simply preaching: evangelizing with the word, not the "sword" (or, in the case of isis, little knives, so the beheading takes longer and is more painful, and military rifles.)
Fortunately, there are Christian groups like Samaritan's Purse (Billy and Franklin Graham Ministries), the ACLJ, and others, who are stepping in to alleviate the suffering and rescue the Christians. Some of these workers are being killed by isis, as recently happened to some RUN workers, as reported by Grassfire.
We U.S. Christians, who are relatively safe here (for now), can give to these ministries and can, more importantly, pray for our brothers and sisters in Iraq, Iran, Syria, and other places, who are under attack, being hunted by the devil's workers.
And, even so, the Christians who are killed are receiving a martyr's crown and great eternal reward. (See 1 Peter 4: 12-13; Revelation 2: 10; 2 Timothy 4: 8; and Romans 8: 16-18.)
Here are some links to helpful sites:
(Please comment with information about other organizations and their websites.)
Father, may you watch over all your people everywhere, strengthening, delivering, keeping, and blessing them with your presence and your love. Protect those Muslims who are trying to help the Christians. May the leaders of our country be persuaded and emboldened to take the right action in aiding these suffering and displaced people. May the hearts of the people of the United States turn to these from the east who are persecuted unto death, and may I do that which you desire me to do for my spiritual family. May your love always be my motivation. In the Precious Name of Jesus, Amen.
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