According to federal government sources, the San Bernardino couple which went on a shooting rampage resulting in 14 killed and many wounded had been “radicalized” some time ago. [Various news reports.]
If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. [Acts 4:9-12 (KJV)]
A new term has been added to the political correct dictionary of proper words and terms for use in the United States. That new term is “radicalized” and is applied to those highly dedicated Muslims who select a target involving a number of people and then in a surprise move, start shooting them. As of this writing, the most recent incident took place in San Bernardino CA with 14 persons dead and many wounded in the attack. Federal government sources declare that the couple responsible for these killings and injuries was “radicalized.” In reality what took place was that a couple of persons took their Quaran very seriously and became involved in the mission to purge the world of infidels, prepare the way for Islam to dominate and control the world and insure that all residents are Muslim in faith and practice!
But there is another group of persons who have become radicalized also. These are Christians who take their Bible seriously and believe it to be the absolute authority on matters pertaining to the Christian faith and the practice of that faith in everyday life! “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” [2 Timothy 3:16-17 (KJV)].
These Christians are radical in their convictions that Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, is the only source of forgiveness, peace with God, and the hope of entering Heaven when their earthly life comes to an end. One of many statements as to why they believe this is found in John 3 of the Bible: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” [John 3:16-18 (KJV)].
These Christians are radical in their identification of exactly Who Jesus Christ is. He is Almighty God revealed in human form. His birth was nothing short of a miracle in that no human father was involved in His conception. He was born of the virgin Mary and lived the perfect life here on the earth that He originally created a long time ago! “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. [John 1:10-14 (KJV)].
These Christians are radical because they fully believe all the claims Jesus made concerning Himself. A few of these are: “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst…… I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life….. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep..... I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” [John 6:35; 8:12; 10:9-11; 14:6 (KJV)].
These Christians are radical because they fully accept the demands that Jesus Christ has placed upon all who would come to Him and accept Him as Savior and Lord of their lives. There are four demands issued by Jesus which apply to all members of the human race. It is the choice of each person to either accept or reject the demands. Evidence is overwhelming that the majority of the human race has chosen to reject Jesus’ demands. The first one is this: “Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’” [John 3:3 (KJV)]. The other three are found in Matthew 18:3, Luke 13:3 and John 6:53. The price is obviously very high for those who choose to reject the demands!
These Christians are radical because of what motivates them to act and relate to others in this world. That which motivates them is love – love for God and their fellow humans. This doesn’t mean they have reached absolute perfection in performance, but it does mean that their desire is to please their Lord and to attempt to do His will in each day’s activities. Jesus set the standard by His own example and then told those who would follow Him: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” [John 13:34-35 (KJV)].
As Christians who have been radicalized practice the love of Jesus Christ it means there will never be any threats made, no knife to the throat, and no gun to the head or any act of violence. The invitation is to repent of sin and receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord – if the person to whom this offer is made rejects it, then so be it. There will be no act of retaliation ever taken.
Radical Christians attempt to be sensitive to various needs of others and to help them as opportunity presents itself in a variety of ways. This at times will involve financial assistance, the donating of food items as in the case of a food pantry ministry, etc. It matters not who the person is nor what their religious identity may be – that will not be the issue – if they are in need and the Christian has the means to give help, then the help will be given, no matter what!
However, radicalized Christians come under fire at times from other “professing” Christians. There are those who claim to be Christian who do not accept the Bible as God’s inspired Word. It is regarded as a human produced series of writings only. The reported miracles did not literally happen. Jesus’ miracles, His sacrificial atonement for the sins of the human race, His literal resurrection after crucifixion, and His promised return to this world to take control and rule it are either questioned or denied altogether! Consequently, those who do believe come under fire and are often labeled as fanatic, narrow, bigoted, prejudiced, etc!
There are those “Christians” who in past decades have compromised the faith through what is called dialog – the willingness to sit down with those of other religions in the world and discuss what they have in common, how they can work together, and always showing respect for each other’s faith! Implied in such gatherings is the attitude that each religion is fully legitimate and addressing the issues of life, responsibility, relationships, and eternal destiny. All are on an equal “playing field” with none superior to any other. Radicalized Christians, however, take the position that all religions beyond Christianity are false and that Christianity is the true faith. This position is based upon the revelation God has given us via the Scriptures and the claims and demands made by His Son, Jesus, as mentioned earlier in these comments.
One of the more recent conflicts involves human sexuality and the growing acceptance of same-gender sex activity and marriage between same sex couples! Radicalized Christians go with God’s revelation on this matter and again, are labeled in the most negative terms found in the English language!
Jesus in His predictive statements such as those found in Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 17 and Luke 21 indicated that those who are resolved to be faithful in following Him will be the targets of attack and persecution as His return draws closer. In fact He said there will be a time when those who kill His followers will think they are doing service to God Himself!
Fortunately rewards await those Christians who have been radicalized and they will have a place in a trouble-free environment forever!
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. [Matt 25:21 (KJV)]
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. [John 14:1-3 (KJV)]