We have seen the emergence of suicide bombers in the last decade or so. All the suicide bombers I have heard about have considered themselves muslim believers. They understand that Jews must be driven out of what they call Palestine, and that Americans, who have supported the Jewish State, are also guilty – and deserve to die and go to hell for this reason. So they have no problem in blowing themselves up along with Jews and Americans. They believe that if they die in the cause of Allah, fighting infidels (those who don’t believe in their brand of islam) their victims will go to hell, but they will be assured a place in a kind of sexual paradise (as long as they are men). This paradise will include 70 or so virgins with swelling breasts who will give the suicide bomber sexual delight for all eternity as a reward for their faithfulness to Allah in “Holy” War.
You may think this is silly, but for many well-educated muslim youth, it is the absolute truth. It is a clear application the word of Allah and his prophet in the Qu’ran which must not be doubted. They so believe in God’s reward for them after killing themselves and blowing up their religious enemies in sidewalk cafes, or whatever, that they look forward to the day that they will do it.
These people believe in their conception of the afterlife very much. They believe that killing themselves and others is a sure path to salvation – perhaps the surest path their is.
Now Christians are not taught by Jesus Christ to do such things.We are not to kill our enemies. But we ARE taught to resist sin to the point of shedding blood. And we are taught that the way to overcome satan is to “not love our lives unto death”. We are taught to die to our sinful nature and live to the glory of God.
In the early centuries of Christianity, the church multiplied even as earthly rulers put Christians to death in the cruelest ways. Christians would die with smiles on their faces even as they were torn to pieces by wild animals on the orders of the Roman emporer Nero.
Today most believers are concerned more with how to enjoy life here and now, than how to be faithful unto death. I fear that radical muslims have taken the spiritual ground which belongs to us, by being devoted to their prophet even unto death. The challenge for us western Christians is to recover our love for Jesus to the point where we can truly say that we love Christ more than our houses, our cars, our bank balances, our careers, or EVEN OUR OWN LIVES.
May we see Christ once again so that we will be ready to both truly die and truly live for Christ our Savior.