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What about the Afghans left behind?

Afghan people sit along the tarmac as they wait to leave the Kabul airport in Kabul on August 16, 2021, after a stunningly swift end to Afghanistan's 20-year war, as thousands of people mobbed the city's airport trying to flee the group's feared hardline brand of Islamist rule. | WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images

“Afghanistan has fallen to the Taliban, while masses of Afghan citizens are storming the Kabul International Airport, trying to force their way onto planes evacuating foreign diplomats.”

This description from The Jerusalem Post paints a grim and desperate situation as Islamist militants have now forced their will upon the entire country. 

The report goes on to say: “More than 60 western countries, including the United States, Britain, France and Japan, issued a joint statement saying all Afghans and international citizens who wanted to leave must be allowed to do so.”

Amid all the chaos at the Kabul airport, an Air India flight with 129 passengers managed to take off. “I have never seen the plight of citizens of a country so desperate to leave their land. When they walked into the plane, you could see that desperation in their eyes,” one passenger said.

But what about the Afghans left behind? What about those people who will be oppressed under Taliban rule due to their faith, or their gender? Will women, children, Christians and other minorities be allowed to live in peace, without the threat of violence against them?

It is incredibly sad to think about how many people in Afghanistan, and around the world, are being oppressed by gangs, or by their government, or by religious zealots who hate liberty, and who demand submission to their suffocating agenda.

The Afghans left behind in the chaos represent a much larger number of people on Earth today who long for liberty, but who nevertheless are forced to “shelter in place.” Those three words were part of a security alert issued by the U.S. Embassy in Kabul on Sunday. “Do not come to the Embassy or airport at this time.” What a horrendous situation when it is too dangerous to come to the airport, and even more dangerous to get left behind!

Can you imagine the sense of hopelessness you would feel if you and your children were trying to flee from the Taliban? Picture yourself at the Kabul airport, with young children and luggage in hand, and the Taliban creeping ever closer. 

Think about those who have tried in vain to get to the airport, but couldn’t get through the traffic jams. Now they are forced to either shelter in place or risk going through Taliban checkpoints just to get back to their home.

Most human beings long for freedom. And as desperate as many people feel in Kabul right now, we can only imagine the sense of desperation many people will feel on the day Jesus Christ returns (Matthew 25:31-33).

Many will not be able to board God’s flight to Heaven due to their sin and unbelief (1 Thes. 4:15-17). Many will get left behind when believers escape God’s wrath against sin on Judgment Day (Acts 17:31).

Since “God is love” (1 John 4:16), the Lord loves every man, woman, and child on Earth. And yet so many people do not yet know God. Jesus told some religious leaders, “You do not know me or my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also” (John 8:19).

The people of Afghanistan need Christ right now more than ever. The same is true for people in every nation. Many of them do not live with the earthly freedoms we enjoy in America. They long to escape oppression, and they line up in airports and at borders with their family members and belongings in their quest to make it to a safe place.

“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other” (Zechariah 7:9,10).

Today, in the midst of turmoil in Afghanistan, God is giving people the compassion necessary to carry out critical rescue efforts. Some of the oppressed will escape with their life and the lives of their children. Others will board that ultimate flight headed to Heaven, as they trust Jesus to forgive their sins. Once aboard the Lord’s flight to Heaven, you can be assured that your plane will take off at God’s appointed time, and you will safely reach your desired destination (John 14:1-4).

In the meantime, merciful people are working around the clock to assist those who are trapped in unbearable situations. The tense and arduous work goes on, while the Gospel continues to go forth as well. Bodies and souls are being delivered from darkness every hour! 

Sadly, some Afghans will be left behind when there are no more flights available to take them to a new home. God’s plane, however, still has plenty of room for you to come aboard, and to lock in your trip to Paradise (Luke 23:43).

Will you trust Christ today to forgive your sins? If so, God’s love will begin to fill your heart, and you will be highly motivated to assist those who remain in a dark and dangerous place, whether it be under the control of the Taliban, or under one of many other stifling forces around the world today.

Freedom in this life is something everyone should be able to experience. And while multitudes today are seeking asylum, freedom forever is granted to anyone who comes to the Lord in faith and trusts Christ alone for salvation.

Jesus said, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Today could be your day to receive Jesus into your life. When that happens, you will be motivated to do everything you can to help others escape the tyranny of hateful forces that oppress the bodies and souls of men, women and children.

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska. 

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