May 16, 2011
It is appointed for a man to die once and after that comes judgment. Hebrews 9:27
The US Government had reported bin Laden was dead. Still, people had their doubts.
Those doubts were laid to rest when Al Qaeda in its own announcement confirmed the passing of its leader. That announcement, in its desire to make the uber-terrorist look good, created one of the world's great works of fiction. It was a whitewash job that would make Tom Sawyer proud.
For example, did you know that bin Laden had "lived a compassionate life"? Yup, that's what the obituary said.
But there's more.
The announcement said bin Laden had died "after a life full of work and efforts, determination and patience, encouragement and jihad, generosity and open-handedness, migration and traveling, advices and good government, wisdom and practicality." I wouldn't be surprised if Al Qaeda doesn't nominate its deceased leader for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The truth of bin Laden's life is this: he was a sinner who -- as Hebrews says -- has lived, died and been judged.
On that Day of Judgment it didn't make any difference what you, I, or Al Qaeda thought about the man.
On that day the only thing that made any difference was this: if bin Laden had been given a repentant heart which acknowledged Jesus as his Savior, he was saved; if he had rejected the forgiveness which was won upon Jerusalem's cross almost 2,000 years ago, he was condemned.
Faith in Jesus Christ -- that is what every person needs when they are called upon to give an account.
With faith the believing thief on the cross next to Jesus was saved; without faith the unbelieving criminal was condemned.
The fact that you are reading this Daily Devotion says you probably know that wonderful truth. But there are millions who do not know. It is our privilege to tell them of their crucified and risen Savior.
Faith in God's Son and not the words of an incredibly creative obituary can transform a sinful soul and will move the eternal residence of that soul from hell to heaven.
Faith in God's Son can take a murderer and make him a powerful witness to the greatness of God's grace. Ask St. Paul and he will tell you it's true.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, for my Spirit-given faith in the Redeemer I give thanks. Today I pray for all the millions of the world who do not share that faith. May they see the wonders of Your love and the greatness of the crucified and risen Savior's sacrifice. In His Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries