Dying for a Cause!
by Roger L. Berry

The recent conflict between the Israeli's and the Palestinian Arabs has highlighted the extent to which people will go to defend a cause. The conflict between Jews and Arabs is probably the oldest ongoing conflict on earth. Since the days of Abraham, some 4000 years ago, the conflict has raged. Abraham had two sons, Isaac and Ishmael. Isaac was the ancestor of the Jewish people. Modern day Arabs trace their ancestry back to Ishmael. The Jewish Scriptures, what Christians call the Old Testament, even hint at this ongoing conflict.

Genesis 16:12 says of Ishmael: "And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren [the Jews]."

In the recent conflict, the terror for the Israeli's are the suicide bombers. Young Palestinian men load themselves with explosives and position themselves at strategic locations where there will be a large number of Israeli's such as nightclubs, bus stations, airports. Suddenly the explosives go off, completely destroying the suicide bomber and killing many people around him.

The Palestinian community honors these suicide bombers as heroes. Indeed parents and teachers instill the desire to do this for the cause of the Palestinians and Islam. The father of a suicide bomber who killed 21 and injured nearly 100 at a disco in Tel Aviv said: "I am happy and proud of what my son did and, frankly, am a bit jealous . . . My son has fulfilled the Prophet's [Mohammed's] wishes. He has become a hero! Tell me, what more could a father ask? My prayer is that [my son's] brothers, friends, and fellow Palestinians will sacrifice their lives, too. There is no better way to show Allah [God] you love him."

Israeli officials believe that, at any given time, a group of militant Palestinians called the Hamas has from 5-20 men ages 18 to 23 waiting orders to carry out suicide attacks. What drives them to be willing to gives their lives to terrorize the Israelis? The Hamas start training children even in kindergarten and early elementary school. Classroom signs at Arab schools proclaim: "Israel has nuclear bombs; we have human bombs." In return for martyrdom, the youth are told that their families will receive financial compensation, their pictures will be posted in schools and mosques, and they will earn a special place in heaven where they will enjoy unlimited pleasure with celestial virgins.

Such zeal has led thousands to espouse a host of causes from Nazism to Communism to religious cults. People seem to have an innate desire to live for and perhaps even die for a cause.

Would you like to have something to live for, to die for, that will give you purpose and meaning in life? Consider living for Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God!

Jesus said, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:25, 26).

The only lasting satisfaction now or in the next life comes from learning to know Jesus as commander of your life. Living for Him is a cause worth living for. When you follow the teachings of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, you life will bring love, compassion, and healing to the people around you. You will find a peace of mind you have never known as you live for Jesus Christ and for the good of mankind. Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).

One of the basic differences between genuine Christianity and Islam is Christianity's emphasis on peace and love instead of war and vengeance. Sad to say, some professing Christians have justified killing in the name of Jesus -- how is that different that killing in the name of the Prophet Mohammed?

Following the Prince of Peace means that you will live at peace with the people around you, in your neighborhood and in your home. If you have been beating your wife and children, the Bible will show you how to have peace at home with strong, loving relationships. If you are bound by drugs, alcohol, or untamed anger or lust, you will find freedom.

Find that deliverance today. Find a cause that is worth living for and, in the end, will be worth dying for. "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Romans 10:9).

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This article appeared in Reaching Out magazine and is used with permission from the author.
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