ANSWERS FOR TRAGEDY
"How Long, O Lord?"
Paul J. Bucknell
Answers for Tragedy provides answers for questions about tragedy and catastrophes from a Biblical perspective.
- What does God think of those who massacred thousands of people?
God will Himself judge every last person connected with these massacres. We must realize that even a sentence from our highest courts cannot satisfy justice. When one recklessly murders hundreds or thousands, is not this judgment more serious than the one who kills just one person? Of course.
We could pass a death sentence. But God perfectly carries out His judgment in the eternal spheres. For this reason God declares that "Revenge is Mine." His sentence will be perfectly just.
"Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord." (Romans 12:19).
- Is it wrong to want judgment upon these people?
No. Judgment is right and fair. The terrorists were persuaded by misguided movements, but still man is always responsible for their own acts and words. Those who destroy the life of others should have their own life taken. If they are caught, they should quickly be put to death.
God has given the governments authority largely to bring protection. They should use it. However, we personally, need to pass our spirit of revenge over to God and let the government do its job. Any anger we carry will begin to greatly trouble our soul. We were not designed to hold evil in our hearts.
- "Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2 Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.
3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; 4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil." (Romans 13:1-4).
- Is there something better to do? Can we pray for the terrorists?
Sure! The evil one wants us to harden our hearts and not to pray for mercy and truth. The scriptures teach us to pray always. Pray without ceasing; (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Terrorists deserve judgment, but so do we all. We could pray for mercy and do a greater good for all. A recent email gives us this special perspective:
- What if Bin Laden were to become a Christian?
Outrageous? Not really. This is not a farfetched possibility. There is a biblical precedent for this: Saul of Tarsus was the Bin Laden of the First Century. Saul's mission was to hurt and destroy Christians. He terrorized them to the point that tens of thousands were forced to flee Jerusalem. And like Bin Laden he was also a religious fanatic with the backing of religious-political leaders.
The turning point came during Stephen's brutal murder. As he laid buried under stones that have shattered his bones, Stephen prayed for Saul and his accomplices, asking God to forgive them. This prayer must have pleased God because shortly afterwards Saul, the destroyer, became Paul the builder of the church. It can happen again because when sin abounds, grace is ready to overflow.
- Let us pray for Bin Laden and the terrorists everyday. Like Paul, he deserves severe punishment. Like Stephen, let us extend extraordinary mercy to the one who has done so much harm.
Doesn't man just disappear after death?
Some people are not sure what happens after death. God Himself is very clear. Physical death is a sign of God's judgment upon them. Death is a door for eternal judgment. The degree and duration of pain will be worked out in eternity.
What cannot be fairly judged on earth or through the cross, will be in the eternal realm. God Himself brings judgment that is totally just. He has seen it all, even what is in our hearts.
- "And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment", (Hebrews 9:27).
- What happens after death?
God speaks clearly as to what happens after death. There is a resurrection of the wicked and righteous (that means everyone). On Judgment Day God will oversee this eternal judgment and sentencing . Some have already sealed their end with their suicidal death.
This death is only part of the full judgment yet to come. They will be surprised on the other side of the curtain not to find reward for bravery but a heavy eternal sentence There are others, the sheep, who will by God's grace find forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (For more information on this click here).
- "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. (Matthew 25:31-33, NASB).
More questions and answers are on the following pages. If you have a comment or question, please email:
Please email Paul: firstname.lastname@example.org
What does God think about tragedies?
What does God think about natural disasters?
Is it wrong to want judgment upon these people?
Is there a better way? Can we pray for them?
Doesn't man just disappear after death?
What happens after death?
How can I find peace in such terrible times?
What scripture passages can we read? What prayers can be said?
Why does God allow such things to happen?
How does a loving God allow such things as tragedies?
Other Relevant Topics
Crossing from anxious thoughts to peace
What are the 7 steps to seek forgiveness?
How does one deal with spirit of revenge?
How did David personally deal with an horrible evil event?
A new basic discipleship series has a free booklet explaining how we should biblically think of natural and unnatural disasters.