“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.”
On this particular Sunday morning, the Secret Service agent could perceive that the young man accused of murder sitting before him likes to talk about himself and express his opinions. Perhaps this would be the key to finding the truth about the charges brought forth against him.
“What do you think about religion?” he asks the young man.
“Karl Marx is my religion,” replies the accused.
“What I mean is, what faith are you?” the Secret Service agent inquires.
“I have no faith,” the prisoner answers. A moment later he adds, “I suppose you mean the Bible?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“Well, I’ve read the Bible,” says the young man. “Some people might find it interesting reading, but not me. As a matter of fact, I’m a student of philosophy and I don’t consider the Bible to be even a reasonable or an intelligent philosophy.”
“You don’t think much of it?”
“You could say that.”
The Secret Service agent then asks, “As a Marxist, do you believe that religion is an opiate of the people?”
The young man is in his element, and lights up at the chance to talk about ideology. “Most definitely so,” he answers.
The young man’s name was Lee Harvey Oswald, and the Secret Service agent was Inspector Thomas J. Kelley, flown into Dallas from Washington, D.C. Oswald was charged with assassinating President John F. Kennedy and murdering Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit two days prior on November 22, 1963. The above conversation between Oswald and Kelley actually took place exactly as it’s been presented above in the third-floor homicide office of the Dallas City Hall on Sunday, November 24, 1963, at about a little after 10:45 a.m.
About thirty-six minutes after stating that God’s Word is not “a reasonable or intelligent philosophy,” Lee Harvey Oswald was fatally shot by Jack Ruby while being transferred to the Dallas County Jail.
What did you say, Paul? “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).
Friends, God is love. He is a merciful, gracious, compassionate, patient God. I do not share the above historical account as evidence that the God who created us and offers us salvation through His Son is sitting up in heaven waiting to strike us down with a thunderbolt at the slightest infraction. For all I know, God had nothing to do with the events of November 24, 1963.
All I’m saying is that while God is love, God is also supreme. He created us, and we exist because He allows it. He offers us reconciliation and salvation from the hell we richly deserve because of our sin because He loves us so much. He offers us hope. Every good and perfect gift we have comes from Him (James 1:17). Yet we should not look at His continual, overwhelming kindness towards us as proof that we don’t need to serve Him or revere Him. We must not test Him (Matthew 4:7), and we certainly must not mock Him or His religion (Galatians 6:7). If we treat Him in such ways and do not repent, we will answer for it.
Paul brought out both sides of God best in his letter to Rome. “Or do you presume on the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, He will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil…but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good…For God shows no partiality” (Romans 2:4-11).
Let us all humbly choose to serve and revere God according to His Word, and never think lightly of Him or treat Him in any way other than with the reverence and honor He deserves.