|ISIS beheads 21 Egyptian Christians and threatens Rome|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Tuesday, 17 February 2015 15:17|
The terrorist organization that has become known as Islamic State has released a video of the brutal murders of twenty-one Egyptian Coptic Christians that had been taken captive by the group. In the video, entitled 'A message signed with blood to the nation of the Cross', the Islamic State threatens to carry out further attacks against Christians as well as promising to conquer Rome...
Quote: “Oh people, recently you have seen us on the hills of Al-Sham and Dabiq’s plain, chopping off the heads that have been carrying the cross for a long time, and today, we are on the south of Rome, on the land of Islam, Libya, sending another message. All crusaders: safety for you will be only wishes especially if you are fighting us all together. Therefore we will fight you all together. The sea you have hidden Sheikh Osama bin Laden’s body in, we swear to Allah we will mix it with your blood. And we will conquer Rome, by Allah’s permission, the promise of our Prophet, peace be upon him.
The graphic footage of the murders drew immediate condemnation from the Egyptian government, which has stepped up air strikes against Islamic State strongholds in Libya. Sadly another thirty-five Christian farm workers in Libya are also feared kidnapped by ISIS, raising the prospects of further butchery by the terrorist organization. Last week the group also released footage of the brutal murder of a Jordanian pilot, who they burned alive inside a metal cage. The murder caused outrage in Jordan, and king Abdullah vowed in response to wage a 'relentless war' against ISIS until it was degraded and destroyed...
Quote: “French president François Hollande called for the UN security council to meet over Libya and to take new measures against the growing power of the militants. Italy has already said it is willing to lead a coalition of European and North African countries to stop the ISIS advance in Libya. Significantly, it did not rule out using ground forces.
The brutal murders of Jewish people in France last month, and in Denmark just a few days ago, show the magnitude of the threat now posed by Islamic extremism. Amedy Coulibaly, who callously murdered four Jewish people in a kosher supermarket in France last month, had pledged allegiance to Islamic State shortly before his attack. As did Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, who shot and killed a filmmaker in a free-speech debate in Denmark, and a volunteer security guard outside a Jewish synagogue in the capital. Israeli President Binyamin Netanyahu has declared that Europe is no longer a safe-haven for Jewish people, and has called for them to return to Israel.
It's difficult to know what to say about these things. There is a certain hypocrisy among Western nations when it comes to the problem of Islamic extremism. For instance, you may remember that in November last year, four Jewish rabbis were brutally murdered by Islamic terrorists in Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority glorified the attacks by publishing cartoons of Muslims killing Jews in synagogues. Last October, a woman and a three month old baby were murdered when Islamic terrorists deliberately ran them down in Jerusalem. Again, Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party praised the attackers and a whole string of cartoons were published, encouraging Muslim drivers to commit murder by ramming Jewish pedestrians in the street. But Western media outlets questioned whether Israeli settlement policy was actually to blame for these attacks, even though they were obviously religiously motivated and all committed in undisputed Israeli territory. This happened before the Charlie Hebdo murders in January of this year.
When Islamic terrorists murder Jewish people in France, suddenly it's a different story. But ironically, the French government did not initially want Netanyahu to appear at the march in Paris, and even invited Abbas to attend as a snub. So here was a man, whose own political party encourages the murder of Jews in Israel through the publication of cartoons, attending a rally for Jews and cartoonists murdered by Islamic terrorists in France. No wonder Netanyahu wants the Jewish people to leave France. Again, when Israel defends itself against Islamic terrorism from Gaza, Israel is labelled as the aggressor. 'If only the Israelis would give up Jerusalem, there would be peace!', they would say. But when ISIS threatens Rome, nobody is talking about giving them half the city. There is plenty of talk about recognizing a Palestinian Arab Muslim state on Jewish land, but not so much talk about recognizing Islamic State. Yet both are headed by terrorist organizations which have no rightful claim to the land they occupy. Unfortunately these double standards will ultimately be the unravelling of Europe.
Having said that, I do not believe that Islam is the 'enemy'. Western leaders have often stressed the fact that 'we are not at war with Islam'. While that might be wishful thinking on their part - it is Islam that is inspiring its followers to commit these acts of terror - as Christians we do need to recognize that we are not at war with Islam in that sense. Nor with any people group. Paul says in Ephesians 6:12, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”. We need to recognize that Christ died for Muslims too, and that it is really Satan who holds these people in spiritual bondage. And the only thing that can free them from Satan's grasp is not democracy, but the message of the gospel. True, it is terrible to see these atrocities and the suffering infflicted by those who believe they are doing Allah's will. And we should pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ and pray that an end will be brought to this evil. But we also need to recognize that it is Satan who is behind it, and that these events are leading us up to the great tribulation period, as spoken of in Daniel 12:1, and by the Lord in Matthew 24:21.
The time is short. So many events are pointing to the soon return of Jesus Christ. The Islamic terrorism, the economic turmoil, the redividing of Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the Temple all prove that we are truly living in the last days. Jesus Christ is coming back soon. Are you ready to meet Him? God loves you so much. He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, into this world to be your Saviour. Jesus Christ bore the punishment for sin that you deserved when He died upon the cross. And all who trust in Him as their Saviour can know their sins forgiven and have everlasting life. Turn away from your sin, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation today.