The Bad, the Good and the Righteous
I want to take some time to reflect on another death of a well-known political leader—Muammar Qaddafi.
As I think about the strong and ruthless leaders of the past, I am struggling to remember their names. At the time of their reign on earth they symbolized the power and wealth that the world offers to those that put no restraint on their wickedness.
The father of all lies, Satan, still has the same temptations to offer the world that he offered to our Lord in the midst of His temptation in Matthew 4. Remember what he said to Jesus?
“All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” —Matthew 4:9
This was after he showed Jesus the glory of the world. Jesus said no—that He would worship the Father alone. However, men and women throughout history have said “Yes” to Satan’s offer and Satan delivers . . . but he delivers a lie.
Muammar Qaddafi thought that he had it all, and with this attitude he thought he was invincible to God and man. History plays this tune over and over again . . . and the words of Jesus ring out still today, “He who lives by the sword, shall die by the sword.”
Powerful people come and go, but Jesus said, “The meek will inherit the earth.” Lasting achievements for Christians involve losing our lives for Jesus’ sake, while eternal destruction is found for the Qaddafis of this world—those who follow the evil one who deceives the world and seeks only to gather as many people as possible to join him in the “lake of fire” for all eternity.
In closing, I want to say to the followers of Jesus to be careful in thinking that it’s just the super evil who are destined for the eternal wrath of God. The good person outside of Christ is destined for the same fate.
I beg you—please recognize that most of us will never have to experience the ruthless rage of a man like Qaddafi. We live in a great country that values life and the rule of law. But never forget that we are surrounded by “good people” that are trusting in their own “goodness” to make them acceptable to a holy and righteous God. And these “good people” will end up in the same lake of fire as Qaddafi. Isaiah 64:6 says:
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
None of our moral actions bring us into the family of God. Let’s go and beg our “good, moral friends” to be reconciled to God through Christ Jesus.
The following plea by the Spirit of God uses this word “beg.” Do you know why? Because the issues of life, death, and eternity are hugely important for those around us. Listen to Paul’s words:
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
—2 Corinthians 5:20-21
Let’s follow Paul’s example. Let’s go and do whatever is necessary to share Christ’s redeeming love with those we care about . . . even beg if necessary.