"We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women. If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market." So warns Islamic State Spokesman Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Adnani.
In less than a year, the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS or ISIL) has grown from a terrorist group virtually unknown in the West to a global network that threatens every one of us. For example, the FBI recently arrested IS members in Brooklyn, New York. One admitted he would kill President Obama or bomb Coney Island if IS asked him to do so. A second suspect was considering a shooting spree against police officers and the FBI headquarters.
The Justice Department recently arrested five Bosnian terrorism suspects with ties to IS. In January, an IS supporter was arrested in Ohio as he planned to attack the U.S. Capitol building. Authorities found two semi-automatic rifles and 600 rounds of ammunition.
And what about the thousands who have joined IS in Syria from the U.S., France, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Australia and other countries? Will they return home with combat skills and bomb-making materials? Will they conduct random acts of terror here? A plot in Australia to behead random citizens as "demonstration killings" was thwarted last fall. IS encourages its followers abroad to use their vehicles to kill "infidels." Is any place safe from "lone wolf" terrorists who are willing to die in order to kill us?
I have just completed my most in-depth report on the Islamic State—its origins, leader, purposes, and frightening apocalyptic vision. You can download The Islamic State: What You Need To Know here. In my research, I became even more convinced that IS and similar organizations are a real and present danger to the West, today. And more convicted to do all I can in response.
Here's how Christians can join the fight against IS. (Tweet this) First, pray for those who are being victimized by IS and other jihadists. God's word calls us to "remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them" (Hebrews 13:3). As God's angel released Peter from Herod's prison in answer to the church's intercession (Acts 12:1-19), so we must pray for angelic protection today.
Second, pray for our leaders and encourage them to defend Christians and stop IS. We are commanded to "rescue the weak and needy; deliver them out of the hand of the wicked" (Psalm 82:4). Pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2) to have divine wisdom and the courage to end the Islamic State's global threat.
Third, pray for spiritual awakening to continue in the Muslim world. Ask Jesus to reveal himself personally to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and other jihadists. Paul was converted from terrorist to apostle; what would happen if al-Baghdadi came to Christ?
We are fighting "the cosmic powers over this present darkness" (Ephesians 6:12). Will you join the battle today, on your knees?
Publication date: March 2, 2015
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