Former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic, died today in prison as a result of his leading role in the Serbian ethnic cleansing campaign that saw thousands of Kosovo Albanians killed during the 1990s. For all his bluster, butchery and self-important preening, Mr. Milosevic ended up at the same place that is decreed by God for everyone: “…man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment…” (Hebrews 9:27 NIV).
The awesome thing about God's Gospel is this: God punished Jesus Christ for every life that Slobodan Milosevic butchered. Jesus took Milosevic's punishment - the beatings, the humiliation and the nails through the body. If during his life Milosevic failed to acknowledge Jesus’ death as a substitute for his own, the fate of the “rich man” in the following parable is Milosevic’s position today:
There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, `Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.' But Abraham replied, `Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.' He answered, `Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.' "Abraham replied, `They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.' `No, father Abraham,' he said, `but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.' He said to him, `If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.' (Luke 16:19-31 NIV)
Since it is appointed to everyone to die once and then to face the judgment, I urge every reader of this blog to ask themselves the same question that I proposed for Slobodan Milosevic above. Are you the ‘rich man’ above? Have you accepted that Jesus was punished for every one of your bad deeds as well? If not you will have to answer for them personally (just like the "rich man").
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