A Letter to ISIS

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How hard it is to forgive and love ISIS.  Yet that is what we, as Christians, are called to do.  Jesus came to save everyone.  All sinners.  
For God so loved the world, He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16
That’s not easy to stomach. Watching video after video of horrific acts, reading and hearing the stories of their victims, and feeling the anger well up inside me, I have a hard time with this.  Yet it matters not how I feel about it.  The fact remains, Jesus came for ALL sinners.  Even the worst of the worst. 
Then it hit me.  Saul was the worst of the worst in his time.  He went after Christians and had them killed in barbaric ways. But God had a purpose for Saul.  He blinded and spoke to Saul.  Upon conversion, Saul became the apostle Paul, one of the pivotal people in the spread of Christianity.  
God spoke to him.  Literally. As in, he was in the middle of the road and God spoke from the heavens down at him.  That is pretty awesome.  But he was the worst.  If God can use Saul, God can use jihadis.  No one is beyond God. He is the Creator.  He can take anybody and change their heart.  They just have to be willing.
Although these thoughts humble me, praying for my enemy is still pretty hard.  Although I am not suffering at the hands of ISIS, they are still my enemy.  They are engaging in genocide against my spiritual family.  Who wouldn’t be angry at them?  But we are called to pray for them.  

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  that you may be children
of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the
good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
 Matthew 5:43-48
Despite the difficulty, I will remain resolute in praying for my enemy.  I will pray that these terrorists will come to know Jesus.  I will pray that the Holy Spirit convicts them of their sins, their many barbaric sins.  I will pray that the conviction is so strong that they can do nothing but submit to the will of God. Will you join me?  
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