A Gospel Response to ISIS Part 2

“But I (Jesus) say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may fnbe sons of your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:44-45

27 Comments
  • Christopher Mantei
    Posted at 14:32h, 22 April

    Wow wow, yes! Sharing everywhere. 🙂

  • Sally Heyns
    Posted at 21:05h, 22 April

    Amen, brother…please keep up your work in the Lord to open the eyes of Christians.

  • David Baird
    Posted at 23:37h, 22 April

    Amazing! may they be led by the Spirit to Repent and to worship the lamb that was slain.

  • Wendy
    Posted at 01:09h, 23 April

    Shockingly powerful.

  • Joseph
    Posted at 01:51h, 23 April

    Sir- I appreciate your insight and praise the Lord for voices of clarity like yourself. I am personally confused on how to respond especially after studying/praying into differing opinions from teachers I trust. What are your thoughts regarding violent resistance?

  • good4u
    Posted at 02:31h, 23 April

    A challenge to western churches to show it to their congregations to awaken them as well, wouldn’t you say?

    Blessings!

  • MeatHook
    Posted at 04:09h, 23 April

    Thank you. I needed the reminder. I have said this about others who have done me wrong before, but have looked at this through different eyes as of late. It’s sobering to remember I am not so different from them, minus my righteousness gained through my faith in Jesus. There is none righteous, not even one. Praise be to The Lord My God who saved me when I didn’t and don’t deserve it.

  • Joel
    Posted at 04:28h, 23 April

    Joseph,

    I support violence when necessary. I support for instance Christians forming militias to protect their villages etc. I would absolutely support covert US military operations against ISIS. (I think openly declaring war would be a terrible strategic mistake).

    But what should our heart response be? That is the real matter. If our response is not first and foremost the proclamation of the Gospel, and prayers for our enemies to repent and find salvation, then we are Christians in name only. There is much out there that masquerades as righteous Christian indignation, that is in fact little more than carnal fear, hatred, and self-rightousness. If any voice is celebrating war and bloodshed, and is not calling for hearts of love toward even our enemies, then it is not from God. The Lord takes no delight in the death even of the wicked. As evil intensifies in the days ahead, and it will, we must guard our hearts against our love growing cold. For even greater than death, this will be one of the greatest pitfalls of the last days.

    Blessings,
    Joel

  • Joseph
    Posted at 16:50h, 23 April

    Joel- I agree. Thank you for articulating the words written on my heart. In one paragraph you have solidified the Holy Spirit’s inner convictions. These words are so needed in my sphere of influence (Military, Law Enforcement, EMS) the harvest field is ripe. Many of us are really questioning how we serve and proclaim the gospel while in the role of public servant. Something is wrong when so many of my brothers/sisters struggle w/ severe PTSD, addictions, depression etc. Many law enforcers attempt to enforce Justice from their own carnal understanding. I have personally experienced this and have seen others crumble under the weight of trying to serve and protect w/o the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Although outwardly Public Servants appear righteous we can quickly become self-righteous and lawless behind closed doors. Appreciate you Sir. Preach on! I dream of a day when a soldier’s greatest weapon will be a garden trowel/seed and a tongue ready to proclaim Christ and Him crucified.

  • Joel Varner
    Posted at 17:33h, 23 April

    Hi Joel! First off I want to say you’ve been a tremendous blessing! The way in which you teach about the end-times is sobering and yet gives me joyful expectation of the Second Coming and a heart towards Muslims. I know you love Jesus with all of your heart and you are truly a light in the world.

    My question would be Scripturally, when Christians are persecuted the Lord tells us to flee (Matthew 10:23). I’m just curious about your basis for a Christian militia. I know Romans speaking of governments having a sanctioned obligation to fight to protect themselves and others but as Christians we “are not of this world” and Christ’s Kingdom is not of this world. He said if it was of this world that His servants would fight to defend Him. Peter also told us to use Jesus’ patience in suffering as an example..

    “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. (‭1 Peter‬ ‭2‬:‭21-23‬ NIV)

    The Lord also told us to be as wise as serpents but innocent as doves and that we will go out as sheep amongst wolves. Doves and sheep do not have a way to protect themselves. When there is danger they flee. Or in the case of the sheep they may rely on their Shepard.

    We also have the example of the Apostles. Paul was repeatedly beaten, jailed, whipped and even stoned but he never asked anyone to protect him. He also never told the Church to protect themselves but to rejoice in suffering (even gladly giving their possessions to those who stole from them).

    Then on a more philosophical level we have the question of eternal destiny. If someone kills a Christian they immediately go into the presence of the Lord. If a Christian kills an unbeliever that person goes to eternal judgment. If the Christian was killed, refusing to protect themselves with violence, and the killer lives that killer has a chance to find Christ. Just as if the Church killed Saul while he was hunting them down there would be no Apostle Paul.

    If our Hope isn’t enough to die for then it won’t be seen by Muslims as enough to live for.

    I also see a difference in the mindset of believers when it comes to missions and “being at home.” Some believers will say that on the mission field they would not protect themselves with firearms but in their home they would. When Paul says “bless and do not curse” when you are persecuted is there a difference depending on our location? Shall we also say we shall not lust while on the mission field but it is permitted at our homes?

    I am wresting with this myself and from the Scriptures I cannot see a way to justify armed resistance. Our weapons are not of this world and our enemies are not people, but principalities, powers, rulers of the heavenly realms, etc.

    What I see is that to fully embrace the cross we must count ourselves as already dead. Dead men do not kill. Those who live by the sword will die by the sword and those who try to save their life will lose it. But those who lose their life for His sake will find it. There is much more to say but I’m sure you are familiar with the verses.

    I am convinced that in the days ahead we are to rely completely on the Lord. There is a biblical precedent for supernatural protection but also martyrdom. If we flee when persecuted then our persecuters will not be killed and will have the opportunity to repent. If we die while fleeing then what have we lost? Nothing. We’ve gained everything. If we stay and fight and kill our enemy what have they lost? Everything.

    I hope I’m not coming off as mean-spirited because that is not my intention at all. But I know having a conversation through text doesn’t always show the heart of the person or express our intentions.

    I have been and will continue to pray for you, your family and your ministry. Continue to be a light to us!!

    I appreciate you more than I could explain, brother.

  • Doug
    Posted at 19:55h, 23 April

    Wow, Joel! Well put. Thank you!

  • Joseph
    Posted at 23:50h, 23 April

    Joel Varner-

    Militia for the purpose of protecting women and children? Is that not biblical? Are we to sit back and watch our mothers, daughters/children, sisters be abused? I too wrestle with these questions yet not just from a theoretical perspective. I have witnessed first hand the monstrosities committed against women and children in times of civil unrest/war. I have seen the Lord work through able bodied men/women to protect the young, widowed and weak etc. and those that have been rescued have been given new life.

  • Joel
    Posted at 02:04h, 24 April

    Hi Joel,

    Thanks for the thoughts. I see this as an issue of conscience without a clear single answer for all occasions. I know that violence is necessary at times. Otherwise we would have to say that every police officer or soldier is in sin. I see no biblical basis for making such a claim. Now, with regard to self-defense, if fleeing is possible, it then that would most often be preferable. But in many cases, for instance in Syria, this is simply not an option. Christians are often treated horrifically in the refugee camps if they are a minority. Personally, if a burglar were to break into my home and were threatening to harm my family, I would do what was necessary to protect them. But as I said, it is not so much the action that is critical, but the heart issue. If one is in touch with the heart of God, then they will seek the salvation of theories as their highest priority and self-protectionism as secondary. When I have sheep under my care, this becomes a different matter. I hope this has perhaps helped.

    Bless you!

  • Adam N.
    Posted at 05:09h, 24 April

    POWERFUL!!!!

  • Debbie Wallace
    Posted at 11:02h, 24 April

    this is powerful thank you for sharing , be bless in GOD’S wisdom as you share with us

  • Greg L.
    Posted at 23:52h, 24 April

    What a profound statement in these last days. I was moved to the depths of my soul at the video of the faces of our dear brothers in Christ who
    knelt as lambs before the slaughter. Who loved not their lives even when faced with death. Yes, we must tell them of the love of God in Christ.
    And show them by our lives(or the sacrifice of them) that we are His true
    sons!

  • Tom
    Posted at 15:33h, 25 April

    Joel, you said the most profound statement in your reply above. “As evil intensifies in the days ahead, and it will, we must guard our hearts against our love growing cold. For even greater than death, this will be one of the greatest pitfalls of the last days.” I agree wholeheartedly and struggle with this. Only when I read from God’s word, can I find the comfort I need at such times. I truly wish the churches would focus on this right now. Many people need to hear this and be encouraged. Thank you for this encouragement.

  • Rossie
    Posted at 06:34h, 26 April

    VERY MOVING!
    GOD BLESS YOU MR JOEL, YOUR TEAM AND YOUR WHOLE FAMILY!

  • Keith Kennon
    Posted at 19:25h, 26 April

    We shared this message with our congregation today.

  • Marc
    Posted at 01:12h, 27 April

    Joel

    SYRIANS CRUCIFIED JESUS OUR LORD.. I will explain the Crucifixion later in this post. A few things i wanted to cover and hopefully you can shed some light on it and see if i am right or wrong, but first i want to say your teachings are inspirational and i enjoyed mideast beast and your eye witness documentary..
    I am fairly new at a lot of this and have came back to the faith a little over a year ago and i have never seen the bible like i can see it now. Like so many others here in the west i always thought it was Rome and Europe. I have seeked the truth and searched it and prayed for it and here i am.

    About the crucifixion of jesus and syrians(locals). We all know Daniel 9:26 and Josephus account of locals being trained as soldiers destroying the city and sanctuary. I have seen some people say well you can’t really trust Josephus writings of locals. There is actually a verse in the bible i believe that backs this theory up and if true then that also means the locals done the actual Crucifixion. Here is the Verses.

    Psalms 22
    12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
    13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.
    14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
    15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
    16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

    We all know this of Jesus crucifixion. What is in verse 12 is strong bulls of BASHAN. Bashan was in Syria bible map. I believe this also shows the people that pierced him.
    GOG and Magog.. We know Gog to be Antichrist, but it says in Ezekiel that god mentioned him before. I believe i found the actual reference to GOG in Job. Here is the verses.

    Ezekiel 38
    4 I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out,

    Job 41
    1 “Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook,
    Or snare his tongue with a line which you lower?
    2 Can you put a reed through his nose,
    Or pierce his jaw with a hook?

    He is also mentioned in Isaiah 27 and in the psalms. The reason i am mentioning this is because a lot of people say the bible contradicts itself, but i am seeing and realize that it don’t, it is just people don’t understand how to read it and it’s meaning.
    Last is i have always wondered somewhat how GOD is going to gather all nations to battle and make war. Who would actually try to fight Jesus, and now i know after studying ISLAM. I believe When Jesus appears and declares who he is and that he is King of Kings Islam is going to explode. Here is the Hadith with the teaching that helped me to see this.
    In the hadith (Sahih-Al-Bukhari Bk 73; Num 224) Mohammed said, “The most awful name in Allah’s sight on the Day of Resurrection, will be (that of) a man calling himself Malik Al-Amlak (the King of kings).”
    Is my thoughts of all this right Joel

    Thank you and god bless Joel

  • Canuck
    Posted at 15:13h, 29 April

    Hi Joel;

    Do you know who in particular made this video? I would like to show it for a presentation and it would be nice to say who its from.

    Thanks.

  • Joel
    Posted at 22:54h, 29 April

    I thought it was made by the Coptic Church, but I’m not sure.

  • jean dean
    Posted at 04:27h, 03 May

    Greetings, Joel! This is beyond AMAZING! I plan to share this with as many folks as God’s gives me grace to do so!

    The “message” is the very same, today, as was the “message” that the Lord wanted to get across to His Disciples, when He walked the earth, and as He departed, and that is: Matt 28:19-20 “Therefore go and make “disciples” of ALL nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe ALL that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

    The “message” is the Gospel (Salvation has come); and His command was/is to “love” God with everything we’ve got; and to “love” our “neighbors” as we “love” ourselves.

    It’s because of God’s “love” that we even have Salvation…period! God’s love is eternal! God’s love has no beginning, no ending. And, if we are made in His “image,” (born again), then we need to be all about LOVE! His love!

    God thinks “eternal” thoughts. His thoughts are above man’s. They are lofty, and too high up, we cannot attain onto them. However, if we are truly “born again,” our thoughts should be “eternal thoughts,” just like His.

    We need to look at those who hate us, despise us, and want to kill us, as children of God. Yes, that’s correct! Hard as that may be to understand, we need to see them as God sees them … lost sheep, lost souls, those who are without hope, perishing, and who need to hear the Gospel, who need Salvation, while there is still time for it to be offered.

    He warned us, Scripturally, that because lawlessness will increase, most people’s “love” will grow cold. Their “faith” will grow cold, too. Our faith in Him is what sustains our love for others. There is a HUGE lack of faith in God taking place on earth right now, and it’s causing a HUGE lack of love for others.

    At any rate, and in a nutshell, {didn’t mean to preach a sermon, Joel ;)}, all the nations will be gathered together, soon, before Him, and He will separate the people, one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. Those who love … from those who hate. The saved … from the unsaved.

    Our job right now, as long as He keeps us here, is to make sure “everyone” we come into contact with, hears the “Message” of His great love, grace, and mercy = Salvation! And, then, to make “disciples” of them, that they may disciple others as well, and then make more disciples of men.

    Even to those who are disciples of allah!

    Shalom to you, Joel, my brother in Messiah Yeshua/Jesus! -jd

  • Tom
    Posted at 16:06h, 05 May

    jean dean….AMEN!

  • joe
    Posted at 22:05h, 07 June

    I have found the comments interesting, but I have a few thoughts and questions. I go to an anabaptist(Amish,Mennonite)type of church. We teach that all Christians are to “love their enemies” and “turn the other cheek” at all times, no fighting in wars, being soldiers, or law enforcement of any type in any way. My Church teaches that Jesus came and started a new religion with new commands. But I have struggled with this for a number of years as I wonder if this is a form of replacement theology. I wonder this because Jesus was a Jew and his theology would have been based on the Old Testament, the law and I have wondered if Jesus came to clear up wrong teachings, man-made teachings and traditions added to the Scriptures, and to show what God was teaching in the law. My church teaches that Jesus gave us new commands and this is what all believers in Jesus should follow. Did Jesus start a new religion? Did Jesus give us totally new commands that went 180 degrees the opposite from what was talked before? how do I reconcile being a soldier or law enforcement official with being a Christian and having to use force at times to protect society and family? any insights would be much appreciated.

  • kennon
    Posted at 12:01h, 13 June

    True 🙂

  • Robyn
    Posted at 07:59h, 28 August

    I sure loved this video and felt it made my heart jump right into my chest and felt Gods presence thru it. I feel a lot of the people making comments did as well. I had watched your part two program and you had mentioned your surprise by the negativity you got from showing this video but I don’t see any negativity unless I haven’t read all of it or it has been erased? Anyways,,,,it is so beautiful, I would love to be able to do something like this and will aspire to…..thank you

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