That’s the question buzzing around this week. The answers I’m hearing are pretty diverse: from the cautious to the profane. I thought I’d drop my answer into the mix.
In 2006, I was watching FOX News. Four talking heads were loudly debating the USA’s inability to find and dispatch our mortal enemy OBL (or UBL if you prefer) five years after 911.
We had reportedly missed our chance to capture him in the 1990s when then President Clinton refused an offer from the government of Sudan to turn OBL over to the USA. We reportedly missed a chance to kill him at Tora Bora after the invasion of Afghanistan.
OBL escaped and successfully went to ground. I joked many times that OBL was probably living in a villa in the south of France with several of his wives watching FOX News along with the rest of us.
But OBL was no joking matter. He continued to propagate terrorist acts around the globe, and the failure to finish him was costly in real world lives and in lost credibility in the media wars.
My thoughts – as I watched the news that day — were interrupted by the Holy Spirit. I pray a lot. I mean, I pray a lot. So you would expect me to occasionally hear something from God. On this particular day, what God had to say rocked me.
I’m surprised you haven’t bothered to ask Me why the USA can’t catch and kill OBL.
“I never thought to ask you. It never occurred to me that you would tell me if I did,” I replied.
Would you like to know?
“Well, yes, if you want to tell me.”
His enemies can’t see him because I have covered him with My hand. If they walk right past him, they will not see him.
That provoked an immediate follow-up question. “And why would you do that?”
Because I am using OBL to bring more Muslims to Christ is a short period of time than have come to Christ in the last 1300 years. He is my missionary to the Muslims. He is my messiah.
I was stunned. How could this be? How could God use the most public enemy of Christ in the world (outside of American public life) as a missionary? As His Messiah, as His Anointed One, for goodness sake?
When I am finished with him, I will lift My hand, his enemies will see him, and they will kill him.
Then I remembered Isaiah 45.
In the 6th century B.C., God raised up Cyrus the Persian to conquer the known world. This was for God’s purpose of using King Cyrus to fulfill God’s prophetic promise to return the Jews to Jerusalem after 70 years of Babylonian captivity.
God called Cyrus – a king who did NOT acknowledge the God of the Hebrews as GOD over all (45:4) – God called Cyrus His mashiach – His Anointed One — His Messiah!
Now in 2006, the Age of Grace is racing toward its conclusion and God was doing it again — using a ‘king’ (who despised and actually blasphemed the GOD of the Jews & the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Christian family) to bring millions of his own people out of Islam into faith in the same Son of God OBL so much hated.
How could this possibly happen?
In short, three things have held Muslims captive to their religion for 13 centuries:
- Their relative isolation from the living Gospel culturally and geographically
- Their ignorance about the origins and attributes of their own faith (until recently very few Muslims actually studied and analyzed the Koran and Islamic history)
- Their fear of execution – conversion to Christ is a capital offense.
And to supercharge the religious world, Islam had been going through a Reformation the past hundred years: i.e. reaffirming the Koran as Allah’s authoritative revelation – back to Mohammed as the ideal man – back to Islam’s original ethics and conversion methods — all trying to recover true, uncorrupted Islam to drag it into the 20th and 21st centuries.
All for the purpose of activating and unifying the world of Islam for the final push to subdue the larger world under sharia law through jihad.
This Islamic Reformation can be seen in the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaida, et al. Each group has competed to see who could most purify The Faith and most extend sharia law through jihad.
OBL has been the primary spark plug helping to ignite this religious firestorm. He has forced the issue: are you down for the struggle? Will you sacrifice your life and your children’s lives for Mohammed?
But God has been breaking the Islamic world’s monopoly over their people at the same time:
- Through travel and media and education and business many Muslims have come into positive contact with Christians and the Gospel;
- Many Muslims have been forced by the demands of jihad since 911 to critically examine their own faith, and many do like what they are discovering; and
- Large numbers of Muslims are having supernatural encounters with Jesus or with His angels who are confirming the truth of the Gospel & helping those Muslims push through their fear to embrace Christ.
In short, right now is the historic hour for Muslims to meet, know and embrace the resurrected Jesus of Nazareth – the Son of Man (Daniel 7) – God’s unique Son, the 2nd persona of the Triune God – the crucified and resurrected Messiah to the Jews and Savior of the world — before His appearing to destroy the wicked, gather His People and establish His reign on the throne of David in Jerusalem for 1000 years.
Many Muslims have chosen to reject Mohammed as the Ideal Man and have instead placed their faith in the Christ Jesus as the incarnation of God. Some are public about their conversion. Many others are ‘under the radar’, so no one except God knows their number.
One final observation about OBL’s departure for Hades.
I have had the understanding (since the spring of 2001) that WW III would begin in the autumn of 2001.
WW III would begin and progress slowly (in comparison to worldwide explosions of WW I and II). Casualties would be relatively low in the early years – the fighting would be contained and managed – so much so that many people would declare that we are not even in a war!
But that initial season would eventually pass. And when it did, WW III would escalate. The world powers would no longer be able to manage and limit it. Casualties military and civilian would rise (into the millions?).
I believe this last decade provided God the opportunity to reveal himself to millions of Muslims (and others) and to bring them into relationship with Christ Jesus.
We now see that specific, limited season passing along with OBL. A new season is upon us. A season we are not going to like.
If my perceptions are anywhere near correct, we are facing escalating war, social disorder, and political chaos that will disrupt finances, business, travel, food supplies, energy supplies and the fabric of social order. Escalating natural disasters will add to the misery and the death toll.
We are about to witness the passing of the world as we have known it. America will not be exempt from what is about to happen.
The Good News is there is an available lifeboat in this deepening storm.
God knows who really belongs to Him. He knows who has given their heart and life totally to Him. He knows who you are. He knows where you are. His eye is on you. He will cover you. He will provide for you. He will protect you in natural and supernatural ways.
This is the time to press hard into Jesus. This is last call to establish your sense of security and well-being on your eternal relationship with him. Practice dependence on Him in matters great and small. Expect him to intervene in your life. He is your Strength. He is your Hope. He is your Life.
If the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ can cover with His hand for ten years the most sought after terrorist in the world, he can surely cover you until it’s time to bring you Home.