>> On Sunday evening April 19th, I’m doing a special simulcast event for churches: “Do Christians In The Middle East Face Genocide? How Serious Is The Threat of ISIS & Radical Islam? What Can Christians In The West Really Do To Make A Difference?” With so much interest in these topics, I hope your church or small group Bible study will take advantage of this special event. Please register today.
UPDATED: Much of the West remains asleep or lethargic concerning the threat posed by the Islamic State, even as the movement’s gruesome killing spree continues unabated.
The latest: an Islamic State affiliate has beheaded 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians who were working in Libya, according to a new ISIS video released on Sunday. “In the video, militants in black marched the captives, dressed in orange jump suits, to a beach the group said was near Tripoli,” reported Reuters. “They were forced down onto their knees, then beheaded.”
“The people of the cross, followers of the hostile Egyptian church,” read a caption on the five minute video, Reuters noted.
President Obama spent eight hours golfing on Sunday.
But Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi vowed to “avenge” the “criminal killings.” He immediately ordered the Egyptian air force to bomb ISIS sites in Libya, and he announced that more attacks against the jihadists were coming. He also called for a seven-day period of mourning for the murdered Christians.
“These cowardly actions will not undermine our determination” said el-Sisi, who also banned all travel to Libya by Egyptian citizens and said his government reserves the right to seek retaliation, reported the Associated Press. “Egypt and the whole world are in a fierce battle with extremist groups carrying extremist ideology and sharing the same goals.”
The AP report noted that “the killings raise the possibility that the Islamic militant group — which controls about a third of Syria and Iraq in a self-declared caliphate — has established a direct affiliate less than 500 miles (800 kilometers) from the southern tip of Italy. One of the militants in the video makes direct reference to that possibility, saying the group now plans to ‘conquer Rome.'”
“All crusaders: safety for you will be only wishes, especially if you are fighting us all together,” states one of the jihadists on the ISIS video. “Therefore we will fight you all together. The sea you have hidden Sheikh Osama bin Laden’s body in, we swear to Allah we will mix it with your blood.”
A few thoughts on these horrific new reports:
- My heart is grieving for the growing number of ISIS victims from Syria to Iraq to Jordan to Egypt and Libya and beyond.
- Let us pray for the families and friends of all who have been murdered.
- Let us pray for the safe and quick release of all those whom ISIS is holding captive.
- Let us pray for the Egyptian Church — to be brave, bold, courageous witnesses for the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to be faithful lights amidst such terrible darkness.
- Let us pray for Egyptian President el-Sisi to know best how to deal with this crisis.
- Let us pray for President el-Sisi, Jordan’s King Abdullah II, and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as they continue to form a quiet but fiercely determined alliance to protect their people from Radical Islam, as I wrote about yesterday.
- Let us also understand that ISIS is a demonic movement. This is not mere terrorism. These barbarians are making blood sacrifices to their god. They must be stopped.
- I will continue to pray faithfully for President Obama to have a change of heart and mind, to truly come to understand the magnitude of the threat Radical Islam — from Iran to ISIS — poses to the American people and our allies.
- But I also believe that with the gathering storm of Radical Islam building, 2016 cannot come fast enough.
- We need new leadership — but we must choose very carefully and prayerfully.
- We are not simply looking for a leader who will revive America’s economy and put tens of millions of unemployed and under-employed Americans back to work in good, high-paying jobs that can support their families.
- We are not simply looking for a leader who will get America’s fiscal house in order, and stop borrowing massive amounts of money from the Chinese.
- We are not simply looking for a leader who believes in the Judeo-Christian values America was founded upon, and will operate according to the Constitution, and will defend the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — in that order.
- We are not simply looking for a leader who understands the moral and spiritual dangers facing America, and the need for God’s grace and mercy and a Third Great Awakening.
- We are looking for all these qualities, but we are looking for more.
- We need a War President — someone with a well-developed understanding of the rising threats we face from Radical Islam to Russia, someone who believes in “Peace Through Strength,” someone who is building around him or her a team of wise and experienced foreign policy and national security advisors, someone with a plan to rebuild America’s military, someone who will rebuild our tattered global alliances, someone who will defeat ISIS and neutralize the Iran nuclear threat, someone who isn’t trigger-happy but is ready to use force when necessary, someone who will lead the free world from the front, not from behind.
- We are not facing a jayvee squad, and we cannot afford a rookie.