Friday, November 28, 2008

Thank You!

I was afraid, and you comforted me, I was weary, and you gave me rest. I was beaten from head to toe, lying by the side of the road, and you came and bandaged my wounds and restored me. I was filthy, and you cleaned me. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was blind, and you gave me sight. I was dying, and you gave your life so that I might live. Thank you Lord! Thank you for your kindness and compassion. Thank you for your mercy and grace. Though I was a poor beggar in rags when I met you, you did not recoil from me, but you took off your own robe and covered me. The rich garments of your salvation have warmed my heart! Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friend! Thank you, my friend, my Lord, my Saviour. My life is yours!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The God Of Numbers

"And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered." Matthew 10:30

Have you ever stopped to think about that? God knows the exact number of hairs on your head - real time! Whether one grows or falls out - he never loses count!

Oftentimes this verse is used as a means of comfort, indeed, Jesus follows on with a word of encouragement for his followers - but have you wondered at the implications of this verse as it relates to sinners!

God knows all things, and he is keeping count!

He knows how many times you have blasphemed his name. Not only that, but of your total life to date, he has a count of how many minutes and seconds that you have spent uttering proud blasphemies, even the count of syllables of all blasphemous words combined.

He knows how many lies that have left your lips - white, black or otherwise - and the number of times you have gossiped about or slandered friends, family, colleagues or strangers!

He knows how many perverted photographs you have viewed, even down to the number of mega pixels in each shot. How many hours, minutes and seconds of pornographic content you have hired from the store or streamed from the Internet using your computer - including the number of bytes downloaded and the time taken to download them all.

He knows how many times you have committed adultery (both physically and in the heart), how many men or women you have lusted after, and how many prostitutes that you may have visited including the amount in dollars and cents that you have paid for services rendered.

He knows every course joke you have ever laughed at, thought about or spoken to others! Including ones about his only begotten Son, whom he loves!

He knows how many people you have hated and precisely for how long you have hated them, even how many times you have given them the middle finger - whether to their face or behind their back! He knows how many times you have got angry at your spouse or children without cause, and how many times you have hit them - even the force of every blow.

He knows how many things you have ever stolen in your life, including, to a fraction of a cent, the total dollar figure of the goods taken (plus interest). Not only that, but He even knows the date and time of each theft or robbery and what you were wearing at the time.

If you have ever thought about murdering someone - he knows it! If you have murdered someone then He knows exactly how long it took for them to die, where you hid the weapon and disposed of their body. He knew how many hairs were on the head of your victim too!

Friends, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So are your heartbeats! He knows how many times your heart will beat in your lifetime, and how many beats are left before it stops!

All of this will come out on that great and awesome day when you stand before the throne of God to be judged! It is all written down!

"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."

Worried? You should be! If you die in your sins, you will find yourself standing before God wishing you were never born - as he brings judgement upon you swiftly. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!

There is hope though! There is good news! There is a gospel! God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked. He is both willing and able to save to the utmost all who come to him! Will you not humble yourselves? Will you not turn to God in repentance and call out to Him for mercy?

We are all spiritually bankrupt! We have transgressed all God's laws more times than we can remember! Will you not come to him as a beggar and cry for mercy - which he will freely give out of the rich storehouse of his grace? Please do not have such cruel thoughts of him, as if he would treat you as the rich man treated Lazarus! But he calls all who are poor, blind, naked and hungry:

"Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost."

Do you not know that Jesus Christ came to save fallen creatures such as we? As a doctor does not come to help the healthy but the sick, so it is that the Saviour did not come because we are good, but because we are sinners! If we were righteous, then there would be no need for Christ to shed his precious blood! But there is no one righteous, no not one! We have all gone astray!

This is the good news folks! Jesus Christ does not come to us because we are clean, but because we are unclean. He does not call us because we are worthy, but because we are unworthy. Though our sin is as leprosy, he does not recoil from us in disgust!

"And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean."

Will you not come to him to be clean?

Monday, November 24, 2008

This Is My Son, Whom I Love!

And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." Matthew 3:17

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.

When the great war broke out, the son enlisted to fight for king and country. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.

About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands.

He said, "Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art." The young man held out this package. "I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this."

The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. "Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift."

The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.

A few years later the man died too. Since he had no heir, all his paintings were to be sold at auction. Collectors came from all around, it isn't often that such a great collection becomes available.

As the auction opened the first painting on the platform was the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. "We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?"

There was silence.

After a few moments, a voice in the back of the room shouted, "Is this a joke? We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one!"

But the auctioneer persisted. "Will somebody bid for this painting. Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?"

Another voice angrily. "We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!"

But still the auctioneer continued. "The son! The son! Who'll take the son?"

Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the young man who's life had been saved all those years earlier during the war. "This man means everything to me! Please let me have the portrait sir. I'll give $10 for the painting, it's all I've got!" Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.

"We have $10, who will bid $20?"

"Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters."

"$10 is the bid, won't someone bid $20?"

The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son, they wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.

The auctioneer pounded the gavel. "Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!"

A man sitting on the second row shouted, "Now, let's get on with the collection!"

But the auctioneer laid down his gavel. "I'm sorry, the auction is over."

"What?", the crowd stammered, "Is this some sort of joke? What about the paintings?"

"I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including all the paintings.

The man who wants the son gets everything!"

God gave His son 2,000 years ago to die on the cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is: "My Son, My Son, who will give all for My Son?"

"God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life."

1 John 5:11-12

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Living, Loving, Personal Savior

We are in the habit of saying that Christ saved
us by dying for us on the Cross. In an important
sense, this is true. We never could have been
saved, if He had not died for us.

But we are actually saved by our relation to a
living, loving, personal Savior—into whose
hands we commit all the interests of our lives;
and who becomes our friend, our helper, our
keeper, our burden bearer—our all in all.

Christian faith is not merely laying our sins on
the Lamb of God and trusting to His one great
sacrifice; it is the laying of ourselves on the living,
loving heart of one whose friendship becomes
thenceforward the sweetest joy of our lives!

"The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith
in the Son of God, who loved me and gave
Himself for me!" Galatians 2:20

(J. R. Miller)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Baptist Minister Raises Hell In Jewish Dialogue

The following article is taken from the Australian Jewish News (published November 3, 2008) - with commentary added.

A WOLLONGONG Baptist minister has admitted telling two Jewish emissaries that Jews suffer from a sin affliction and will face a fate "worse than the Holocaust" because they don't accept Jesus as the messiah.
[The bible says that we are all sinners - irrespective of nationality. As the apostle Paul writes in Romans 3, “Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. There is no one righteous, not even one”! If you are human, you qualify! You are a sinner – it’s that simple!]

The comments have sparking outrage among Jewish groups and interfaith leaders.
[The preaching of Christ crucified for the forgiveness of sins will be offensive to some and foolish to others. And this is a problem for all interfaith dialogue! Many faiths say Jesus Christ is a way, a guide, a good teacher. Christ says he is the only way. Christ has made it clear that one must come to him alone for salvation! This will mean that you are either for Christ or against him.]

American-born Pastor Kevin Harris of the Illawarra Community Baptist Church made the comments in a private meeting last Thursday with NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBD) CEO Vic Alhadeff and education manager Lynda Ben-Menashe, who were touring the area on a bridge-building exercise as part of the JBD's speaker service.

Pastor Harris said he told them that anyone who did not accept Jesus suffered from a "cancer" and that Jews were doomed to face "a period of tribulation worse than the Holocaust", according to Christian scripture.
[Actually, the fact is we all suffer from the ‘cancer’ of sin – irrespective of whether we believe in Jesus Christ or not! Not believing in Christ is not the cause of the ‘cancer’! All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God! Because all have sinned, therefore all are condemned! Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. (John 3:18).]

"We don't wish this ill-time upon them. We love the Jewish people. [I'm] just quoting Jesus," the American-born Pastor Harris told The AJN.
[Jesus did say: I am the way, the truth and the life: no one comes to the Father but by me. (John 14:6). If you saw a blind man walking towards the edge of the cliff, would you not warn him? In the same way, if you see a condemned man walking towards the judgement seat – without the saviour – would you not warn him also? To stand back and say nothing, whether the hearer responds or not, is not loving!]

"All of us have the cancer of sin, and there's one solution Jesus Christ. I liken it to cancer to show that it's fatal. Those of us who reject Jesus as the saviour ... all of us, Jew or Gentile, would spend eternity without God in hell."
[Quite clearly the pastor here is pointing out the important fact that he is not attacking the Jewish people, but rather, showing that he himself is also counted with them in this malady. For all have sinned!]

Alhadeff said it was a "chilling experience" to be on the receiving end of the pastor's comments. "We told him we appreciated the candour of his remarks, but found his position completely unacceptable," Alhadeff said.
[All world religions operate, in some form or another, on the principle of working to attain salvation. If I try hard enough to be good, if I try to keep as many of God’s laws as I can, if I pray enough, fast enough, keep religious days, go on pilgrimages… but to put your faith in Christ solely, and not your works, is completely contrary to this position! You will be in one camp or the other! You cannot both try to justify yourself through your own efforts, and also abandon all efforts to justify yourself to rely solely on the promises of Christ.]

"While one is only too aware that there are fundamentalist beliefs and extremist preachers out there, his brazen approach and the fact that he is influencing others on a daily basis are the issues of real concern."

Peta Jones Petach, an expert in interfaith relations, said she does not believe the pastor's comments reflected the official views of churches throughout Australia.
[If that is so, then these churches are not the church of Jesus Christ! Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. (2 John 1:9) And what did Jesus teach? He is the only way to the Father. Except you repent and believe you will likewise perish (Luke 13:3)]

"Unfortunately, nutters can also become Christian ministers," she said. "I think any of the organised churches would be horrified."
[The true church would uphold the truth of God’s word! The true church of Jesus Christ would not be horrified to hear Christ lifted up as the only way of salvation!]

Jones Petach added that the comments highlighted the current challenges facing interfaith work. "Sometimes when someone makes extreme comments like these, the church recognises they have more work to do, in terms of spreading the true Christian message, which is not about vilifying Jews."
[This is somewhat correct; the true Christian message is not about vilifying Jews (or anyone for that matter). However, the true Christian message is to call all people everywhere to repent and put their faith in Jesus Christ for the salvation of their souls. Regardless of whether you are a Jew, Muslim, Atheist, or professing Christian – if you do not repent and put your trust in Jesus Christ, you will perish! The true church of Jesus Christ will never preach hate! Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him (1 John 3:15). The true church of Jesus Christ will, however, speak the truth in love. “For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!” Ezekiel 18:32]

Australian Council of Christian and Jews past-president Henry Mendelson added: "This sort of thing has to stop. We have to accept that we're not living in a bible-belt society, and that we've progressed from the narrowness of the attitude that one religion is superior to another."
[Christianity is not about the superiority of the people. All have sinned! It is rather about the grace of God, extended to fallen, sinners! God is just, and because he is just he must punish those who violate his laws. But, because God is full of compassion and mercy, he chose to provide a way of salvation. This salvation was secured by Christ, who bore the sins of all those who would repent and put their trust in him! “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5). All those who do not to repent, but continue to attempt to justify themselves (be it through religious ceremonies, prayers, good works, trying to keep the law et al), they will perish.]

NSW Baptist Union general-secretary Alan Soden said Pastor Harris was not a registered member of the union and declined to comment specifically on his comments, but stressed the Baptist Church respected the rights of other faiths to have their own views.
[Despite the exclusive claims of Christ, “I am the ONLY way”, a Christian cannot force anyone to repent and trust in Christ. It is a work that must happen in the heart of each individual man and woman. All a believer can do is plead with people to heed the words of Christ.]

"Major world religions have many differences and a person of faith should not be expected to commit intellectual suicide, in order to follow a particular faith. However, any dialogue must take place in a spirit of mutual respect and goodwill."
[Christ was unashamedly exclusive in his claims that he alone is the only way of salvation. Secondly, trusting in Christ for the salvation of your soul is not merely an intellectual exercise! It is a work wrought in the heart by the God of heaven himself! No one can come to Christ except the Father draw them.]

B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) chairman Tony Levy said the pastor's comments were offensive "not only to Jews, but to billions of human beings around the world, who are not Christian".
[I do not dispute this statement. The gospel will be offensive to some, and seem like foolishness to others, but it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith." (Romans 1:16-17)]

He also said the pastor's reference to the Holocaust was particularly distressing for Holocaust survivors.
[The Holocaust was a horrific time in the history of the Jewish people, there is no denying that! Being found guilty on the day of judgement by a holy God will be far worse than anyone could ever imagine. One only has to look at the severity of God’s wrath poured out upon his own Son on the cross to see that God does not, and will not, treat sin lightly.]

"The ADC works hard to combat anti-Semitism and to promote tolerance and understanding in the wider community. Unfortunately, Pastor Harris' shameful views may inflame anti-Semitic sentiments among his congregants and also give succour to those, in the wider community, who harbour and promote anti-Semitic ideas," Levy said.
[The words of Christ are not anti-Semitic! They are far broader in scope – reaching out to all people, of all tribes, tongues and nations. Jews, like gentiles have all broken God’s law. Jews, like gentiles must repent of their sin and put their faith in Christ. If anyone claims to be a follower of Christ and promotes violence or hatred, he is a liar and the truth is not in him. Unfortunately, from a racial standpoint, warning someone that they are enemies of God through wicked works (Romans 1) is now becoming a hate crime – which is the exact opposite of its purpose or intention, speaking the truth in love.]

"We are also concerned that efforts to promote a greater sense of harmony in multicultural Australia could be harmed by such comments, which obviously target, not only Jewish people, but all non-Christians."
[Shall Christians apologise for the claims of Christ?]

Tis Good News!

One day this body of death that I'm in,
Will soon be dead because of my sin,
Torn from this world and all of its din,
I'll breathe my last, and then, what then?

Will I be caught up to heaven above?
To a life of no fear, and no pain thereof,
To be ever overwhelmed by unspeakable love,
And to worship in ways that I've never dreamed of?

Or will I fall deep into hell far below,
Where great thirst abounds, and hot dry winds blow,
Such peace or hope there will I surely not know,
Just great torment of soul in the harsh fires glow!

How can I be sure of the fate of my soul?
Must I work hard, and be good, and sign the church roll,
How can I be sure of my ultimate goal?
How can I be saved when the last bell does toll?

My record is bad, my sins much abound,
My own righteousness cannot make up the ground,
All my “good works” will surely be frowned,
Like a man lost at sea I will surely be drowned!

Is there any sure hope for a man such as me?
Am I destined to be lost for eternity?
What must I do that I might be free?
There is just one thing! Just one thing! You’ll see!

Believe on Him and you'll surely be saved!
He died in your place! He went to the grave!
He made a way! The road He did pave!
He shed His own blood so that you might be saved!

One thing that you lack, and then all will be well,
It is Faith in Him that will save you from hell,
Safe in His arms where like waves love does swell,
Believe in Him! Lean on Him! You will do well.

It is not just enough to know that Christ died,
For the sins of the many He bled and He cried,
But through faith, to Him, must your hopes be tied,
Your sins He took! In your place He died!

When you lay hold of Him, in faith, in this way,
The light of His life will be yours all the day,
Awash with relief “I’ve found rest you will say”,
My soul has been saved! In Him I’m okay!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Judas The Preacher!

"If you know these things--you are blessed if you do them." John 13:17

To obey the truth, and not to know it--is impossible.
To know the truth, and not obey it--is unprofitable.

For, "Not everyone who says unto me, 'Lord, Lord' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven--but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven." Saving knowledge is not as the light of the moon--to sleep by; but as the light of the sun--to work by. It is not a loiterer in the market-place--but a laborer in the vineyard.

A man may be a great scholar--and yet be a great sinner. Judas the traitor--was Judas the preacher! The snake which has a pearl in its head--has poison in its body! The tree of knowledge has often been planted, and flourished--where the tree of life never grew! All abilities and gifts--without grace and holiness--are but like Uriah's letters, which were the death warrants of those who carried them!

Mere head knowledge will be as unhelpful to the soul, in the judgment day--as a painted fire is unhelpful to the frozen body, in a cold day. Theoretical knowledge may make the head giddy--but it will never make the heart holy. How many professors are there, who have light enough to know what should be done--but have not love enough to do what they know! Give me the Christian who perfectly sees the way he should go--and readily goes the way he sees!

That is barren ground--which brings forth no fruit. "To him who knows to do good, and does it not--to him it is sin." The sins of ignorance are most numerous--but the sins of knowledge are most dangerous! That sinner's darkness will be the greatest in hell--whose light was the clearest on earth!

There are many who set a crown of glory upon the head of Christ by a good profession, and yet put a crown of thorns upon his head by an evil conversation. By the words of our mouth--we may affect to adore religion; but it is by the works of our lives--that we adorn religion.

As trees without fruits are unprofitable--so knowledge without good works is abominable! Leah and Rachel are fit emblems of knowledge and obedience. Knowledge, like Rachel--is beautiful. But obedience, like Leah--is fruitful.

(William Secker, "The Consistent Christian" 1660)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Salvation's Inevitable Joy

When a person truly repents and trusts in Jesus Christ, he receives a pardon from God – he knows without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ has taken his sin and punishment and granted him eternal life. At that moment, joy and peace flood into his heart – he has finally found a place of rest. A place of safety – not from the trials of this life – but from the shadow of death that hangs over him, and from the judgment that is to come.

Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 John 5:10, 11, 12)

It’s not an abstract, intellectual exercise in metaphysics! It is impossible for a man to be born again and not find rest! For Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest". Likewise, it is impossible for a believer to receive the gift of eternal life, by faith in Jesus Christ, and not be filled with an inner joy! Salvation's inevitable joy!

Imagine for a second the plight of a condemned man walking the green mile. At the end of the corridor his death awaits him - no one has ever returned from where he's headed. As he is strapped into the electric chair, a man steps forward and produces a legally binding document declaring his pardon. He has been spared at the eleventh hour. Do you not think that his dread will turn into relief, his terror into joy? In the same way, a when a man receives eternal life from the hand of his Lord, when he realises that his pardon is assured, his salvation is complete and such joy fills his heart!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

When The Penny Drops!

One day the penny will drop,
Your eyes will open wide,
You'll finally understand this truth,
I'm Saved Because He Died!

You'll lay hold of Him by faith,
Such joy will fill your heart,
He'll take your sin and punishment,
And righteousness impart!

Saved by grace through faith,
And this not of yourself,
The best works you can do, you'll see,
Deserve eternal hell!

Why did no-one tell me this?
The thought will cross your mind,
Truth is you heard it countless times,
It's just that you were blind!

No ear has heard or mind perceived,
The truth is mystery,
Until the God of Truth comes down,
And causes you to see!

And when He does you'll prostrate fall,
And glorify His name,
Then full of love you'll get back up,
To pull others from the flame!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Who Is There Like Our God?

Who is there like our God? Who is his equal? Who is there worthy of such honour and praise? He takes the twisted, corrupt sons of men, men who were conceived in iniquity, born in sin, who are rebellious to the core and proud at heart, men who are godless, heartless, faithless and supremely selfish, without hope and utterly helpless - and He saves them! He takes mere men, like wild beasts of the earth, and subdues them. Who can stand against him? Who can resist him or thwart his ways? The people plot in vain against him. All their fighting, and cursing, and bitter hatred is drowned out when he speaks, for he brings rebellious nations to ruin, and drives the proud of heart into the dust. He opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. The cries of the broken hearted he does not ignore, nor the pleadings of the weak, contrite ones. His loving kindness does not fail! He does not drive away those who come to him seeking mercy, nor does he hide himself from those who seek him with all their heart. He is full of compassion and mercy! Who is there like our God? Who is his equal? Who is there worthy of such honour and praise?

Friday, November 7, 2008

In The Beginning

Did God create the world in 6 24 hour literal days?

If Genesis refers to something other than literal 24 hour days, then to correctly interpret the text, God must have rested for something other than a literal 24 hour day.

Regardless of whether it was hundreds, thousands, or millions of years - What was Adam doing during this time?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Stones, Judgement & Mercy!

Late last month a young 13-year old Somalian girl was stoned to death publicly after having reported her own rape at the hands of three men. Little Aisha Ibrahim Kuhulow was sentenced to death by Islamic militants under Sharia law for having sex outside of marriage.

"Thousands of people witnessed the grotesque execution of Aisha at a football stadium in the port town of Kismayo on Monday.

The 13-year old was led in and forced into a hole in the ground. The hole was then filled so that only her head was showing. About 50 men then started to throw stones at her, according to Amensty’s information.

After a while, nurses were called to check whether Aisha was still alive. The think body was then brought out of the hold and examined. When it was established that she was still alive, she was again placed in the hole so that the stone-throwers could continue.

When some of the spectators tried to storm the stadium to save Aisha, the militia opened fire on the crowd, and a young boy was killed." (Source:

When I read this account my heart was troubled: For Aisha, for her family, for those who participated in her execution. I fear for those men who raped her! I fear for those men who stoned her! I fear for those who gunned down the spectators trying to prevent her murder! I fear for those holding the robes of those that cast the stones and cheered them on! For unless the Lord graciously extends mercy to them and moves among them by His Holy Spirit - such that they come under conviction of their sin, truly repent, and in faith reach out to Christ and put their trust in him - then all that awaits them is the fierce, wrath of God! It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God! Not a single one of them will escape His righteous judgement!

I wonder how many of those who cast stones are themselves guilty of committing adultery in the eyes of God? Probably all of them, as the Lord proclaimed in His Sermon on the Mount, for "anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." The Apostle Paul has an apt word for them (and us) at this time:

"You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment?" Romans 2:1-3

Lord, I pray that you would use this terrible event to draw members of Aisha's family, her murderers and those who cheered them on to a place of repentance and faith in Christ! Please have mercy on them Lord, for you are not a God who delights in the death of the wicked! Though these men deserve Divine Justice, please save them through your Son, for you are a God who is full of compassion and mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgement!

I am reminded again of the account in the book of John, of when the Lord was faced with a blood thirsty mob of men seeking to trap Him...

"At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"

"No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin." John 8:1-11

May we do likewise!