The headline in the Washington Times read, “Gunmen in Kenya mall shooting targeted non-Muslims to kill, witness says”. All tolled at the time of this writing some 250 people were either shot dead or wounded in the horrific attack at a shopping mall in Kenya by a Muslim terrorist sect called “Al Shabaab”.
While the assault on mall shoppers was under way in Kenya the BBC reported, “A twin-suicide bombing outside a church in Peshawar in Pakistan has killed at least 75 people, in one of the worst attacks on Christians in the country.”
The suicide bombers were with the Muslim sect “Jandullah” and killed worshipers at the All Saints Church. The Christian Post reports that they, “Vow to continue attacks on non-Muslims”
Here is a question all of us need to ask ourselves. If a Muslim terrorist stuck a gun to your head and asked you if you were a Muslim, what would you say? What if you saw people getting shot on the spot who professed Christ while anyone who confessed the Muslim faith was released? What would you say if a gun was pointed at your head?
Would you be a false witness to save your life or would you confess Jesus Christ knowing that would get you shot?
“If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise,” is what Peter told Jesus Christ according to Mark 14:31. The verse continues with, “Likewise also said they all.” All of the Apostles pledged their unyielding love and support for Jesus Christ. But as we learn later on Peter denied Jesus three times in attempt to save his own skin.
Jesus said, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:25-26
Would You Denounce Jesus Christ?
This is something all of us need to ask ourselves. Would we denounce Christ, as Peter did to save our own skins or would we profess Christ and save our own souls?
It is a tough question and it is one all of us need to contemplate and resolve. Jesus Christ knows how difficult it is for us. Our spirit and our flesh war we each other. This great conflict was best described by the Apostle Paul.
“For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” Romans 7:22-25.
So you can see that this inner war between our spirit and skin is nothing new or nothing unusual.
At Gethsemane Jesus Christ told Peter, James and John, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41
Our spirit is willing but our flesh is weak. Why? Because sin is in the skin and not in the spirit. But let’s look at the first part of what Jesus said, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation”.
What Jesus is saying here isn’t simply to look and pray. Jesus is literally saying to give strict attention, be very cautious and “take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one” according to Strong’s Concordance.
The calamity Jesus is warning man about is the weakness of flesh and its propensity to take the quick and easy way out of any immediate crisis. With sin being in the skin, man is apt to chuck precepts, principles and commands and follow what gives immediate pleasure or gratification.
The “temptation” Jesus speaks of isn’t so much of an enticement as it is a trial, a test or more to the point a proving of our convictions. The temptation is the fire applied to the gold to separate out the dross (impurities) from the pure. This is the true purpose of all trials and tribulations in life. And this is why it is so important to think about it now. What would you do if you were in that Church in Pakistan or in that mall in Kenya? Would you profess Jesus Christ as your Savior or would you give a false witness in the hopes you wouldn’t be shot.
Now is the time for each of us to determine what our relationship with Christ is. Are we, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” (Matthew 15:8)
Or are we realizing that, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14) What is so sad about it is that everyone is called but some choose not to hear or adhere. The choice is ours.
John Wesley said, “Many hear; few believe. Yea, many are members of the visible, but few of the invisible”.
John Gill said best when he wrote to be, “Called by the powerful grace of God, out of darkness into marvellous light, into the grace and liberty of the Gospel, into communion with Christ, and to the obtaining his kingdom and glory, according to the eternal purpose of God.”
Gun or God? Which do you choose?