Dec. 18, 2009, Jefferson Township, Ohio: WDTN TV reports, “The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office arrested two men after a Jefferson Township woman called 911 as she hid in her bedroom from two men who were breaking in the back door. ‘They’re outside, but I can hear them banging,’ she told the dispatcher. ‘Are they trying to break in?’ he asked. ‘Evidently, but I’m hiding in my bedroom...hurry, please hurry,’ she said. The woman stayed on the line as officers rushed to the home. When they arrived, police said they found two men inside the home. ‘You never know what a person’s intention is. They might have just walked away, or they may have hurt her. You just never know,’ said Captain David Hale, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.”
Over the past decade, law enforcement officials have observed an increase in the number of home invasions.
Dec. 10, 2009, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada: The Buffalo News reports, “Niagara Regional Police are looking for four men who pulled off a home invasion robbery on Riverdale Drive Wednesday morning. Police said the four robbed residents of the home about 10:10 a.m., barging inside after ringing the doorbell. Two residents were found bound by the hands and feet when officers responded to a home intrusion alarm. An undetermined amount of cash was stolen and police said they believe the robbery was ‘not a random act.’”
A growing threat
The above are actual news reports describing recent “home invasions.” Over the past decade, law enforcement officials have observed an increase in the number of home invasions. This may be because many banks, convenience stores and fast-food restaurants, which have traditionally been targeted by criminals, have installed advanced security devices. As a result, outlaws are now targeting residential neighborhoods, as they are often less secure.
What can occur during a home invasion? Chris E. McGoey, a professional security consultant, discussed this subject on his Web site:
“The most common point of attack is through the front door or garage. Sometimes the home invader will simply kick open the door and confront everyone inside. More common is when the home invaders knock on the door first or ring the bell. The home invader hopes that the occupant will simply open the door, without question, in response to their knock. Unfortunately, many people do just that.
“Home invaders will sometimes use a ruse or impersonation to get you to open the door. They have been known to pretend to be delivering a package, flowers or lie about an accident like hitting your parked car. Once the door is opened for them, the home invaders will use an explosive amount of force and threats to gain control of the home and produce fear in the victims...
“Some home robbers have been known to spend hours ransacking a residence while the homeowners are bound nearby watching in terror... A major fear is that the robbers might commit more violence like sexual assault or even murder...
“If you can delay a home invader at the point of entry then you have a chance of deterring them or have time to call the police... The weakest home security link is the home occupant who fails to lock doors or windows or who will open the door without question at the sound of a knock.”
Are you at risk?
Obviously, the thought of a home invasion or any crime is alarming. Could you and your family members be at risk? Becoming a crime victim is certainly a possibility. In the United States, for example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation estimated that 9,767,000 property crimes took place in 2008, resulting in $17.2 billion in losses. Also, an estimated 1,382,000 violent crimes occurred that year, including murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
Are you protected by the ultimate security system? This system insures that no matter what trouble comes your way, you will be in good hands.
What can you do to make your home less susceptible to a home invasion? Security professionals encourage good safety habits and also advise installing solid core wood or metal outside doors with high-quality locks and deadbolt mechanisms. Additionally, many experts recommend using window alarms, motion-sensitive outdoor lighting, video surveillance cameras, interior motion detectors and a two-way voice activated security monitoring system.
Although these devices can help reduce your chance of a home invasion, they do not guarantee you will not become a crime victim. No matter where you live, you are at risk in a dangerous world. So what can you do?
It comes down to a simple question: Are you protected by the ultimate security system? This system insures that no matter what trouble comes your way, you will be in good hands. It is summarized in this statement by King David of ancient Israel: “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6).
While humanly designed security systems have their place and we should do what we can to shield ourselves from harm, complete protection can only come from God. Unfortunately, most people have rejected this critical security arrangement. Too often they have placed trust exclusively in humanly devised safeguards, which can and do fail.
So, is security even possible in this world? Where can we find the answer? A careful look into the Bible, God’s instruction manual, gives us the decisive answer. Throughout the Scriptures we find that God offers His mighty protection to those who trust and obey Him. A significant number of passages confirm this important and comforting fact.
King David wrote of his profound confidence in God’s pledge of security. “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.’
“Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you” (Psalm 91:1-7).
Beyond the physical
Just as a mother bird instinctively covers its chicks during a threat, God carefully guards those who believe and obey Him. But does this mean that no evil will ever befall those who trust in God? No, it does not. Biblical passages confirm that God permits difficult trials to afflict His people.
David distinctly understood this reality. “For all day long I have been plagued, and chastened every morning” (Psalm 73:14). Yet, although he suffered, David knew God stood by him and would deliver him. “Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory” (verses 23-24, emphasis added throughout).
Just as a mother bird instinctively covers its chicks during a threat, God carefully guards those who believe and obey Him.
King David recognized that there was life beyond his physical existence. He knew “glory”—eternal, spiritual life with God in His Kingdom—awaited him. The truth is, physical security and survival is not a categorical biblical promise. It is not without exception. In fact, Jesus Christ carefully explained to His disciples that they would face harsh persecution and some of them would suffer martyrdom (Matthew 24:9). Just as did many of the prophets before Him, Christ Himself was viciously abused and then brutally murdered at the hands of malicious evildoers (Luke 23:33, 46; Matthew 27:26, 35).
A future focus
The long history of God’s true servants is one of distress at the hands of Satan’s human instruments. The time just before Christ’s second coming will be no different. Although God offers protection to most of His people, He will allow other faithful brethren to be the focus of Satan’s fierce rage (Revelation 12:9-17). Indeed, some of God’s true believers will face the loss of their lives. But that prospect will not shake their faith! Why? Because their focus will be on their future, spiritual lifetime with God in His Kingdom rather than on this fleeting physical existence (Romans 8:18).
What then is the ultimate security system? It is our eternal salvation.
Just like those who preceded them in martyrdom in previous ages, they, too, will be more attracted to the promise of an eternal reward than a desire to extend their physical lives a few more hours, months or years. “And they overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death” (Revelation 12:11). Although some will die physically, they will nonetheless be utterly victorious. They know that God’s promise of perpetual security is absolutely guaranteed (1 Corinthians 15:53-54).
Although God regularly provides physical security to those who trust and obey Him, the protection of our minds and hearts is His foremost motivation and objective. The apostle Paul wrote, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
Although physical safety is important, our spiritual security ought to have significantly more meaning and value to us. “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:1-4).
Rescued from death
What then is the ultimate security system? It is our eternal salvation. Salvation simply means preservation, deliverance and rescue. And from what are we rescued? From the peril and threat of eternal death. Jesus Christ “has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10). Through His suffering, death and resurrection, we have been given full access to never-ending life as spirit beings in God’s coming Kingdom (John 6:51; Romans 6:23).
This salvation, which is our unending security, is only accessible through repentance from sin and our full acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf (Colossians 1:14). Upon conversion we must diligently labor to bring “every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). We need to “fight the good fight of faith” in order to “lay hold on eternal life” (1 Timothy 6:12).
Our faith and obedience will be rewarded at the second coming of Jesus Christ. “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work” (Revelation 22:12). That is ultimate security! The question is: are you protected?