The London Bombings.
No-one living in the UK can have remained unmoved by the events of 7th July 2005 that took place in London. Certainly, our thoughts and prayers are with those who lie injured and with those who have lost loved ones in the tragedy.
It is a stark example of "Man's Inhumanity to Man", which can blight our daily existence on this planet.
Sadly, religion has been dragged into this mess, with those claiming responsibility for the bombings, linking themselves to Islam. Subsequently, there have been isolated attacks on mosques etc which suggest retaliation.
Whatever our views on Islam, whether we agree or disagree with the various aspects of their faith, no-one who has looked into the religion will have failed to realise that Islam is basically a peaceful religion. When we see the indiscriminate nature of the bombings and the fact that Muslims have also lost their lives, we can be sure that this is not a true justification for the attacks (if there could be any justification anyway). Also, the G8 conference which the bombs were timed to disrupt, may have done much to help Muslim countries. At the time of writing, the summit has not published what progress if any it has made on the key problems facing the developing world. But if it has made any progress on eradicating poverty, then this would surely help Sudan, one of the poorest nations on earth (and largely Muslim). Likewise, any agreement on fighting global warming and climate change could only help Pakistan and Bangladesh, two Muslim nations badly affected by coastal flooding.
The fact is that this callous and barbaric act of terrorism has no more to do with Islam than Northern Ireland has to do with Christianity. In both cases, religion is used as an excuse for political ends.
If these events have left you worried about the future and uncertain about how events will unfold, please remember that as troubling as things are, they were foretold by Jesus long ago in Luke 21. It is worth reading the whole chapter to get the context of what Jesus was saying.
25 "And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."
There is a lot of symbolism in these verses; the sun, moon and stars represent rulers and the sea and waves represent the tide of humanity, but the important thing is that Jesus predicted that such things would be occurring on the earth, immediately prior to his return.
The return of Jesus to earth is essential. Humankind does not have the answer to the world's problems. No matter how well-meaning the world leaders at the G8 conference may be and indeed how well-intentioned the Live Aid organisers are, I think we all know in our hearts that only Divine intervention can truly bring about lasting change.
If we want to be part of that lasting change, then we need to be associated with the Lord Jesus Christ:
12Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12 New King James Version)
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