Recently I've seen a lot of discussion amongst believers about the terrorist organization ISIS or ISIL or the Islamic State or whatever you want to call them. I'm making little attempt to add an original voice to the conversation, rather this is my voice in the conversation without putting too little into a comment on Facebook and misrepresenting myself.
First, let me say that what ISIS is doing is incredibly evil and against God in so, so many ways. They are trying to form a worldwide caliphate (not a state but a strictly Islamic nation) and most caliphates in history have viewed themselves as the rightful heir of Muhammad that must make the Islamic sphere of influence ever expanding. ISIS will not be appeased until it has the whole world is under their Islamic rule. I'm not making this up, they've said this. They want to wipe out all other religions and states until there is one government in the world ruled by one caliph.
So, ISIS's goals are innately evil and anti-God. It's methods are as well. They shock the world with the most evil terror. They've burned a Jordanian Muslim man alive and 45 others as well. They've beheaded 21 of our Egyptian brothers. And the United Nations has reported that they're raping children and selling them as sex-slaves, burying children alive and even crucifying children. This is just some of the atrocities that the group ISIS has perpetrated so far.
ISIS is no doubt evil. As a Christian how do I respond to this?
First, I pray for justice to be done. What ISIS is doing is against God and all people and I hate what they are doing and I know God hates it, too. I want God to be a God of justice. I know at the end of all things He will crush His enemies and throw them into the lake of fire for eternal torture. When I think of what ISIS is doing this powerful justice gives me hope.
So, I pray things like King David did:
"Arise, O LORD!
Deliver me, O my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked." Psalm 3:7
I pray that God would not allow this evil to go unpunished. I pray that He stops and crushes ISIS.
Secondly, I pray for radical redemption. What ISIS is doing as an organization is evil and what the men of ISIS are doing as individuals is pure evil. But I know my God saves evil men and changes evil men to be God fearers and God lovers.
I can't see ISIS and not think of the Apostle Paul. Before Paul was Paul his name was Saul. Saul was a ruthless murderer of innocent Christian men and women. Saul took great honor and pleasure in killing the "infidel" Christians. Saul was filled with evil and lusted for violence... until God met him on the road. Read Acts chapter 9 and the chapters that lead up to it and see for yourself. Saul was so evil that when he was radically converted hardly any of the Christians believed it. Saul went from murderer to Paul the greatest Christian evangelist ever.
If God can radically convert Saul/Paul, He can radically convert some or all of the men of ISIS. So, that is my prayer as well. I pray that God changes the hearts of these men. I pray He intervenes to perform the miracle of conversion.
My prayers seem opposite, but they aren't. God is a God of justice and mercy. He is 100% both. And so I pray for both justice and mercy toward the victims and toward ISIS.
Join with me and pray for justice and mercy toward the group ISIS and the individuals in ISIS today.