Being Happy Someone’s in Hell?

Just yesterday we found out that Osama Bin Laden has been killed. I’m glad that the villain has been vanquished. But I have a question for you — While I’m not God and don’t know everything, I’d bet money that the guy is probably in hell. How does that make you feel?

Already there has been controversy stirring around the celebration of his death. That phrase celebration of his death sounds a little weird when thought about. However, Osama was responsible for so many terrorist plans; justice has been properly administered. But to what extent? How should followers of Jesus respond, given that the God we worship is one of both love and justice?

Below is a piece written by my beautiful high school sweetheart, Hannah. She entitled it, “Can you really rejoice that someone’s in hell?”:

“I have mixed feelings about Bin Laden’s death. While I am happy that he is no longer a threat, I don’t rejoice in where he is now because without God’s grace I deserve the same.

It’s really hit me how crazy His grace is because it’s so totally undeserved. Try to wrap your mind around the thought that Jesus would have come and endured death on a cross just to save Hitler. Crazy, right? You are probably thinking, “Hitler is the worst person to have ever lived and he definitely doesn’t deserve the chance to be saved.” Neither do I, but that’s the thing about grace…no one deserves it, it’s given. Yet we live in a society where we constantly compare ourselves to others and are satisfied in ourselves as long as we are “better” than the person next to us.

The problem with that is that whether we are deemed a “good” or “bad” person by our friends, ourselves, or society, it won’t make a difference to God if we haven’t accepted salvation through His grace alone. Our actions don’t save us (they condemn us because no matter what we do, it’s never good enough), but a single choice can save us and it’s offered to all. It’s easy to judge others and think yourself superior (trust me, I’m quick to do it) but you have to remember that you aren’t the Judge. This really isn’t meant to be a “turn or burn” thing… It’s important for us to remember that we are ALL broken and have a Savior who wants to know each of us despite whatever we have done in our pasts.”

I’m so proud of her! What a deep and encouraging piece of writing. And I can’t help but agree with her. It’s great to rejoice at the times when good triumphs over evil (like now), but when you take pleasure from the fact that someone is being eternally punished in hell, a place where we deserve to go without God’s grace, you are treading on dangerous waters.

What are your thoughts? How does Osama’s death affect you?


8 thoughts on “Being Happy Someone’s in Hell?

  1. This is exactly the message I way trying to get across to my classmates today in school. Thanks so much for writing it, because I now have proof that I had a valid point.

      • They didn’t agree that we all should have faced the same punishment when we die, but that we are saved by grace. Also, they were having trouble realizing that all sin is equal. And that Jesus loved him just as much as he loves us.

      • Interesting they didn’t realize that without God’s grace we deserve hell, and that God’s grace is totally undeserved (Ephesians 2:8-9).

        I would purport, though, that not all sin is equal. Does it all end in death? Yes – Romans 6:23 makes that clear. However, the Bible is clear that some sins are worse than others: see Ezekiel 23:11, Luke 11:23-24, and John 19:11. Also, consider that different sins in the OT had different punishments (some drastically different). Here’s a cool article on the subject:

        At the end of the day, though, all sin separates us from God, and no matter what people are struggling with, the most important thing is that we all need God desperately. Not one more than another. Everyone.

        Thanks for being open and honest about your situation with your classmates!

  2. Pingback: Snow day snippets {5.7.11} « Grow Up!

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