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God, Hitler and Stalin
|Created by Gerard de Vos|
Category: Bible related
To build an empire is usually a costly enterprise. The toll often has to be taken by the populace involved. They are the ones who have to bear the brunt when something goes wrong (it usually does). Take the case of Adolf Hitler. He wanted to take the German nation to new heights after their humiliating defeat in the First World War. When things went wrong, he committed suicide and all his dreams died with him. Who paid the price for this costly blunder? The women, the children, the old and retired, the men who served in the army who were killed, sent to Siberia and never got out. What about those who opposed his grand plans? They were eliminated by death, banishment or demotion. Nobody was allowed to come between the great leader and his plans for a world empire.
This has happened countless times during the course of history. The ordinary people suffer most for the ideals of their leaders. We have all seen pictures of the citizens fleeing before advancing soldiers, the hunger, deprivation and indiscriminate killing in many instances. These atrocities are often regarded as necessary to achieve the goal. As Stalin remarked to Roosevelt: the loss of 10 million Kulags (independent farmers who were perceived as enemies of the Communist goal), was not of great consequence.
God does not operate in the same way. He is vastly different from these human generals and leaders. He gave His own life to attain His goal. Jesus died to enable us to inherit His glorious, eternal kingdom. He was the first one to be resurrected into the kingdom of God. He opened the way for others to follow Him. While living on this present earth, each person is given the opportunity of accepting or rejecting God’s offer in Jesus. This is the brilliance of God dividing life into two stages: the preparatory decisive one on earth before a person dies, and then after death the reward of the decision made during life. God gives every rebel the opportunity to reject Him. (A comparison would be if Stalin gave his people the opportunity to decide whether to follow him or reject him.)
See how wonderful God planned it. We live a short life on earth. We have two options: we either accept God’s hand held out through the message of the Bible, or we ignore or reject it. The two choices are clearly laid out, and the two countries where each choice will eventually take us is explained. Each decision has eternal consequences. It is a free choice, so it is ridiculous to hate God and deride Him if we refuse to accept His invitation. It is true that the country for the rebellious (hell) doesn’t sound that enticing. Yet God cannot be blamed if people decide by their own choice not to make use of His invitation to emigrate from out of the kingdom of the devil and into God’s kingdom. This package is entirely without cost, so no one is barred from making use of it.
Let us compare this to emigration which is a process we are familiar with. A person who wants to emigrate, investigates the country he fancies, and then makes an informed decision to apply for acceptance. He knows the new country is different, but he is willing to submit to its laws and ruler. Some people who emigrate find it very difficult to adapt when they arrive in their new country. They decide to return home and are often impoverished in the process. God is absolutely fair by giving us ample time to get used to Him and His way of doing things, when we make the decision to follow Him. He gives us the opportunity to live under His lordship. That is why believers or potential believers have ‘dual passports’. One is for their physical country like the USA or Canada, and the other is for the kingdom of God. The fact that we have a passport (the Name and face of Jesus Christ who guarantees us the privilege of citizenship in the kingdom of God), doesn’t automatically mean we will arrive there. We are still on probation to make sure that we accept our new King’s rules and constitution. We are also free to turn away and reject God if we wish.
God is always the gentleman giving man many opportunities to reject Him. He is not like Stalin, Hitler, Mao, or Mugabe who used violent means to impose their ideas and philosophies on the population. What a wonderful leader! (Information from C Foss, The Tyrants, 2500 years of absolute power and corruption, Quercus, 2006.)