The shocking, ongoing murders and beheadings of women, children, Christians and American citizens by the Islamic terrorist group ISIS has captured the headlines in recent days. World leaders have condemned such grizzly acts, but it remains to be seen what will actually be done about it. Meanwhile, decent humans across the globe are outraged that such barbarism could be committed by so many. They can’t believe this depth of pure evil could be perpetrated, and in the name of religion. Everybody is shocked and stunned.
Everybody except Jesus Christ.
When asked about the sign of His coming, Jesus told His disciples that prior to His return, earth would resemble the “days of Noah” (Mathew 24:37). As we rewind to Genesis 6, we get a clearer picture of what He was referring to. Fast-forwarding to Revelation 5-19, we see it again. One of the marks of Noah’s generation was a rampant spirit of violence throughout the earth (Genesis 6:11-13). This brutality and violence is one specific reason God cited for unleashing global judgment on mankind.
What we see happening with ISIS is a replica of that same spirit of violence. But have you pause to wonder “why”? Haven’t you asked yourself how thousands of human being could ever be so evil? Fortunately, the Bible shed light on this situation. Here are 5 reasons why people could act like this:
- They Have a “Seared Conscience” (I Timothy 4:2) Paul wrote that it’s entirely possible for human beings to reach a point in their sin where it literally doesn’t bother them to commit evil. There is no guilt. None. No remorse. In fact, they celebrate and rejoice in it! Sin dulls their sense of right and wrong so deeply they are totally numb to morality. There is a complete inversion of what is right and wrong (Isaiah 5:20). The devaluing of human life becomes a natural next step. This same type of barbarism happens over 125,000 times a day in abortion clinics all across the world.
- They Have No Spirit Influence – One of the telltale signs of the very last days is the removal of the “Restrainer” (2 Timothy 2:6-7). Pauls says that the Antichrist will not be revealed until “he who restrains … is taken out of the way.” I believe this “Restrainer” is the Holy Spirit living in believers (the Church). Once the Rapture occurs, there will be nothing to hold back evil from exploding all over the earth. But even now, Paul says, this “mystery of lawlessness is already at work” (2 Timothy 2:7). In a land like Iraq where Christian influence is all but extinct, and where a controlling, wicked religious group is possessed by a spirit bent on bloodshed, it is no surprise that these activities are occurring. When the Church loses it’s influence in holding back sin in a society or culture, that’s a sign things are about to get really bad.
- They Have Been Abandoned by God – Romans 1 outlines the process by which God abandons humans and humankind. After rejecting the revealed truth about Him through creation and conscience, men create substitute gods and pursuits. Immorality becomes inevitable and even encouraged. Finally, God’s patience comes to an end and He declares, “Enough is enough”. At this point, He literally and judicially delivers them over to a “depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper” (Romans 1:28-29). One of those “things” is that they are “full of murder”. There is no God among these people. You might wonder, “But could an ISIS member be saved? Perhaps like the Apostle Paul, who murdered Christians prior to his conversion?” Yes, is it possible with God. But probable? I don’t think so.All indications are that these men are reprobates, and have disqualified themselves from salvation by rejecting God’s grace (Galatians 5:4).