The fourth dimension
When I was a child, I remember seeing a somewhat amusing little film in school titled Flatlands - at least I think that is the title. Anyway, the setting for this film (as near as I can remember) is a two-dimensional world, and the story is when a three-dimensional object tries to interact with it, he just cannot get our two-dimensional friends to comprehend the nature of the third dimension, until he finds someone with the vision to understand the possibilities.
To paint another picture, imagine if you will that you are driving down a highway, when all of a sudden you come across an accident that has closed down the highway for miles, and your only alternative (other than waiting) is to turn back and take a detour around that accident about five miles back.
Wouldn't it be nice to know about that accident before you came to it? We do have a way! We utilize traffic helicopters (or airplanes); they can go above the road's surface and "see" the accident miles before you can, and let you know to take that detour five miles before you reach the accident.
That's similar to a three-dimensional object in a two-dimensional world; the highway is - for all intents and purposes - two dimensions, but the aircraft is the third dimension that gives you so much more information about your two-dimensional world.
Well, at one time, we on the highways were more or less stuck in our two dimensional world, until someone with the vision to utilize aircraft as "eyes in the sky" was found...
It is fairly common now to refer to time as the fourth dimension. We move along in our three-dimensional world, taking life as it comes at us, but how many times have we said "If I only knew then what I know now, I would change my past." That is also like saying, "If I only had access to the fourth dimension, I would do or not do something now in order to change my future."
Well, that reminds me of a song by John Denver - Gravel on the Ground; if we somehow did know the future, it could only be the catalyst for a fatalistic attitude. Why would we want to do anything if we already knew the result?
To put that in Christian terms: If God, in the fourth dimension, always told us what will happen if we do something, where would the trust in Him come from? I can relate to that on personal level. As some of you know, I am planning on going back to school here shortly, but was almost put off from doing so because I was told that it would take three years to complete what I was expecting to take two. I then wanted certain "assurances" - both from the school and from my place of employment - that all my ducks would be in a row before I decided to attend.
All of my Christian friends (including those in my immediate family) recognized that as a trap of the devil; Satan is the one who tries to make us demand assurances before we do anything, which was, I think, the main reason that Jesus Himself would not give any "proof" of His Messianic claim other than Matthew 12:38-44.
As regards the discussion that I had with my friend, it was about believers and non-believers. She said that believers includes only those who believe right now; therefore, we do not need to extend Christian principles (such as Do unto others as you would have them do unto you) to non-believers, because they are the "Gentiles". As heathen who do not themselves obey Christ's teachings, we deal with them as they deal with us (i.e. kill the terrorists before they kill us). We can save things like Matthew 7:1, and "doing unto others" for Christians, and do not need to practice those things on "Gentiles."
But God is in the fourth dimension; He knows who will be a believer (even if he is not right now), and thus treats that person as if he were a believer right now. We can only see who is a believer at this time, but since God sees time as a highway stretched out before him (like the pilot in the traffic helicopter), He sees who is the true believer. Thus, who are we to say that the terrorists (and suspected terrorists - please don't forget that) that we murder and kill are not indeed believers in God's eyes? Who are we to decide for Him?
As Steven Curtis Chapman wrote in his song, "God is God and I am not".
My friends, as I said, I cannot find any passage in Scripture that directly confirms this belief of mine, but everything that I have read in His Word points to this conclusion. On a personal note: I also cannot think of any other possible explanation as to why the Lord has kept me throughout my life (especially while I was sitting in a jail cell), when I in reality only committed my life to Him in 2002, other than the fact that He knew that I would be a Christian, and one day (in the future for me, but a certainty for God) would commit my life to Him.