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Saginaw, Michigan, United States
A sinner who may come before God because of Christ

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Death of an Evil Man

Saddam Hussein was hanged just before dawn in his country. There was no doubt that he had done some horrendous and terrible things to others. He ruled with a tight fist, he exploited his people, he was ruthless to his enemies, and he showed no mercy.

He professed Islam, but there are reports that he did not believe in God. Perhaps he saw that faith as a sound political decision rather than something that was heartfelt. The reports indicated he was carrying a Koran when he died, perhaps in the final days, his faith became more important to him.

His death is a happy day for those who were oppressed by him, but it is also a sad day for those who love humanity because he passed onto an eternal fate that no one wishes on another. Saddam Hussein was not saved by the blood of Christ.

For some reason, we Christians have become squeamish about making just such a statement about someone else. It yields cries of “judgmental” or “intolerant” or even “how presumptuous”. I think we are afraid to face that truth because it means we need to do react to that reality.

Is my neighbor saved? I don’t know but I might offend him if I tell him of the gospel and ruin a perfectly good relationship (hey, I might need to borrow his step-ladder some day).

But we should be questioning the salvation of others by constantly conveying the gospel. We should be breathing the words of salvation. We should be preaching to the choir. I should be asking you and you asking me.

A few years ago I was talking with one of the men ushering at church. He was a neat guy. He was known for his generosity, his kindness, his love for others. He passed out candy to the kids coming into church. He volunteered on the menial tasks. He was the kind of guy you just wanted to hug when you saw him. He had even developed the habit of writing the names of people in his Bible to remind him to pray for that person. My name was in there, as were the names of many others. I felt a great assurance by this.

During our conversation, he looked at me and his brow furled. He said he was reading the Bible the other day and was not sure he was saved.

You could have knocked me over with a feather. His statement left me dumbfounded. At first I stuttered something to the effect of “of course you are” – thinking of his position and long-standing membership in the church – he is an usher. He had been an elder. He prayed for the people whose names he had written in his Bible!

He retorted that he was just not sure.

I asked him if he had ever repented of his sins and accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. He said he had. Then I told him to be assured about his salvation - on that day an evil man had died and a child of God had been born.

He chuckled and smiled, his countenance changed and he seemed assured by this. No opportunity to discuss this issue further happened because soon after our conversation he passed away from an illness.
Was he “saved”? I believe he was because of his profession and his life.

I will take the criticism that I am being judgmental and intolerant and even presumptuous, because the reality is that all evil men will someday die – either in the flesh, like Saddam Hussein, or in the spirit, like the usher at church.

For His Glory,
Tom Peck

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