Summary: A sermon of encouragement to Christians and prayer for our country and those who lost loved ones in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Distressed But Undefeated!

Victory Temple

Wed., 9/12/01 – Day after the World Trade Center Attacks

Our hearts are heavy on this day. Yesterday, September 11, 2001, the peace, safety and security of our nation were shattered when a group of terrorists attacked several important targets is our country. These attacks were likened to the attack that the Japanese carried out at Pearl Harbor that brought America into World War II. Indeed, some newspapers and leaders of our government have even used the same terminology that F.D.R. used in that day by referring to September 11, 2001 as another Day of Infamy. While the attacks were more devastating in terms of lives lost, I doubt that this will actually trigger a worldwide conflict. It is certain, however, that many more will die before this business is done as our military machine prepares for the certain retaliatory strikes to come.

Some have asked me what my thoughts were on this terrible incident. While I am a bit reluctant to say that the attacks are an “escalation” of the judgment that God is surely bringing upon America, I can’t help but wonder if that isn’t the case. Even if it is not a true mark of escalation, it is certainly a wake up call to those who defy God.

Many ministers, some far more known than I am, have been preaching that judgment upon America was coming. I believe that judgment upon America for its sins began a long time ago.

1 Peter 4:17-18 says, "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?"

First, judgment has come to the religious institutions of our country. In the past 15 years we have seen televangelists, high profile ministers and great ministries come crashing down as the Lord began to reveal the sin and corruption within His people. Thank the Lord, many of those who suffered great loss through those times have repented and started down the road to recovery in their relationship with God. Sadly, others have not and even though they may continue to minister, their voice and effectiveness have been greatly diminished.

Secondly, over the past several years, we have seen judgment fall upon the leaders of our country. It seemed that most of our elected Congressmen and Senators were involved in both moral and ethical failures. Then came the greatest blow of all to our prestige when our President was found to be a great liar, and a moral degenerate. This made America the laughingstock of the world.

The judgments of God have passed from our religious leaders for the most part. Judgments are still coming out against our leaders although they seem to have waned a little in very recent days.

Now we see judgment as it reaches to the general population as the Hand of God’s protection is being lifted to allow more and more unrest, political turmoil, race fighting, murder on the school campuses, and now horrible terrorist attacks.

I believe that all of these things are allowed as judgments to come against America to wake us up to the fact that we have gone far from God. Slowly but surely God is allowing us to grow further and further into judgment with the intention of causing us to fall on our knees in repentance as a nation.

Sadly, those who love Jesus will sometimes suffer the same physical pain and agony as those who don’t. I am certain that there were Christians who died in these terrorist attacks. Yesterday they left home to go to work and then reached their eternal home before the day was over.

As the events of yesterday were unfolding and I watched the smoke, flames and chaos of the terrorist attacks, I kept thinking over and again, “I wonder how many of those precious souls are now burning in the pits of hell?” What a tragedy! They didn’t know what was coming and many never even knew what hit them. They never had a space to repent for they were instantly killed in flames and explosions or in the collapse of the giant skyscrapers.

The sadness and shock that pervades our society is appropriate and understandable. Our hearts go out in concern and in sincere prayer for those who have lost or injured loved ones. We must cry out in prayer for God to have mercy on those who are still trapped alive in the mountain of rubble. It is our duty and our privilege to pray for our fellowman in their distress and to cry out to God for our country.

While we are sad, shocked and angry over the events of yesterday, let us not forget that we, as a nation, have shaken our fists in the face of God, thrown Him out of our governmental institutions, driven Him from our public schools and declared Him dead and irrelevant.

We may attempt to deny the very existence of God as a nation but I dare say that nearly every one of those who lost their lives, who were injured, or who are still trapped cried out to God for help if they had the time to do so.

One thing that I find so disturbing is that there were very few people who asked for prayer for those who were injured or grieving over lost loved ones. Even our congressional leaders did not ask for prayer. As they stood together in a show of unity they only asked for a moment of silence. God wants us to pray, not to be silent.

If there was ever was a time that we need to pray for our country, now is that time! God will still honor those who repent.

2 Chronicles 7:14 says, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

Let us never forget that God is still in control and that these things around us are only the beginning of a long line of catastrophic events that are to come upon the earth in these last days.

We should not be caught off guard and neither should we allow these things to steal our peace.

John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

Satan knows that if he can get you to fear that your peace will be gone. With your peace goes your victory in Jesus.

We face some troublesome days ahead as we come down to the end of this age. Jesus gave us a list of things that will happen as the time draws closer. He warned us of wars, rumors of wars, the removal of peace from the earth and times of both social and economic chaos. Who can deny that we are in those times right now?

I also must bring to your remembrance that Jesus said that the troubles and chaos of this world will grow stronger and stronger with more frequency as the end draws closer.

Children of God, steel yourself, look to Jesus, for only in Him can you find peace and meaning to all of these catastrophic events. There will be many more attacks and many more deaths before all of this comes to an end but look up, your redemption is closer today than it was yesterday.

Reach out to the lost! This is a golden opportunity to be a witness for Christ. Many will not hear, but harden their hearts, but some will hear because now they are searching for answers. Jesus, and the peace that He gives, is the only answer!

In closing, I would like to read Psalm 46. This is God’s promise to His children who will trust in Him and call out to Him in times of trouble.

Psalms 46:1-11, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge."

Child of God, do not fear the things that are happening in this world for your home is not here but in Heaven above. Man can only kill the body but the God of Heaven, your Father, loves you and He will keep you by His grace. It won’t be long until we shall all walk those streets of gold and we will remember this world no more.

Keep your eyes on Jesus; not on the circumstances around you!

Trust in God and He will bring you through. Our only concern must be for those who do not know Jesus and who are suffering and have no hope. Let’s reach out to them all that we can so that we might win some for the Kingdom of God.

Let us also pray for those who are in the military who will be entering into harm’s way in the next few days or weeks. May the Lord’s hand be with them to keep as many safe from harm as possible. May God help those families who have lost loved ones and those families whose sons and daughters may soon face military action. Keep all of these in your prayers for they will need your prayers.

May the God of Peace go with you. May the Lord Jesus Christ keep your minds and hearts in perfect peace. God bless all of you and God bless America!