Gen. Norman Schwartkopf was asked if there was room to forgive after September 11, 2001. The relevant question is: Will the evildoer repent? Repentance is the condition to forgiveness. Many people don’t like to admit FORGIVENESS IS CONDITIONAL. Some go so far as to create gods who don’t demand forgiveness, gods who even reward slaughter! They are stubborn and lazy. Their old nature doesn’t want to change. They resent instruction. They wouldn’t lift a finger to turn off a rough road for a smoother one. As surely as there is a hell, they don’t like the repentance part of Christianty.

Of course, the “all-superior” unbelievers, are ignorant of Luke 17:3. IF — big if — they repent, forgive them. GOD REQUIRES REPENTENCE, AND IT ALWAYS COMES BEFORE FORGIVENESS. If they repent, not if they play games. Not if they lie about repenting. Not if they rationalize their wicked, revolting ways.

When finished, repentance yields good fruit. Imagine what a different world it would be if every terrorist in 2001 had repented, turned from their wicked ways and encouraged others to do likewise. But, no, they don’t repent; they actually celebrate evil deeds. (For a season.) There would be peace on earth if evildoers didn’t rationalize, excusing their deeds, masking their vengeance. Often they claim to fight for people long dead, people they would probably kill if they were still alive!

“Getting even” is not okay, but self-defense is. Vengeance belongs to God, and He knows when evildoers try to disguise it as self-defense. The first battle recorded in the Bible was in self-defense. Today’s miserable, disgruntled terrorists and their sympathizers are like evildoers who came to steal from and kill Abraham’s relatives long ago. THEY ARE TRYING TO KILL US, NOT VICE VERSA. Self-defense is ours, a God-given right.