Jim Denison | Denison Forum on Truth and Culture | Wednesday, January 27, 2016
A terrorist group you've probably never heard of may be the greatest threat America faces.
A new report on threats to America has been issued by the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for the Study of War. It claims that Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al Qaeda, is "much more dangerous to the U.S. than the ISIS model in the long run." Why?
ISIS is alienating Muslims worldwide with its horrific executions, rapes, and forced allegiance to its ideology. Al-Nusra is following a more gradual strategy. It provides services to Syrians, builds strong relationships with local communities, and focuses primarily on fighting the al-Assad government.
According to Middle East expert Fred Kagan, the group is "quietly intertwining itself with the Syrian population and Syrian opposition. . . . They are waiting in the wings to pick up the mantle of global jihad once ISIS falls."
As a result, defeating ISIS will not defeat Islamist terrorism. A recent report listed eighty-three different Islamist groups it classified as "terrorist organizations." We are waging a generational conflict with a movement passionately committed to global conquest. (For more, please read my white paper, Is Islam a Religion of Violence or Peace?)
To defeat your adversary, you must be more committed to victory than your opponent. This principle is true in politics, athletics, and business, as well as in war.
The same is true spiritually. Early Christianity spread quickly because early Christians were passionately committed to the cause of Christ. Jesus was clear: "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me" (Luke 9:23). The first believers were willing to live—and die—for Jesus. And millions were drawn to the Lord they loved and served so passionately.
Now Jesus is calling us to follow him as sacrificially as those who first called him Lord. God is grieved when Muslims die for a lie while Christians sit on the sidelines of this spiritual battle.
Take a moment right now to surrender your day to Jesus. Choose to be "crucified with Christ" (Galatians 2:20). Put him in charge of your plans, opportunities, and challenges. Tell him you will do whatever it takes, whatever he asks, whatever the cost. Decide you will live for the Savior who died for you.
ISIS and other terrorist groups will pay any price to spread their message of hate. What price will you pay to spread Jesus' message of love?
Publication date: January 27, 2016
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