Sermons

Summary: Is the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on America punishment for our sinfulness or a wake up call for us to examine our hearts?

ABRAHAM LINCOLN ONCE SAID, "I HAVE BEEN DRIVEN MANY TIMES TO MY KNEES BY THE OVERWHELMING CONVICTION THAT I HAD NOWHERE ELSE TO GO. MY OWN WISDOM, AND THAT OF ALL ABOUT ME SEEMED INSUFFICIENT FOR THE DAY."

IT IS SAFE TO SAY THAT THE SEPTEMBER 11TH TERRORIST ATTACKS ON AMERICA HAVE GIVEN OUR NATION AN OVERWHELMING CONVICTION THAT EVERYTHING ABOUT US SEEMS INSUFFICIENT FOR THE DAY. YET A QUESTION REMAINS: IS IT STILL ENOUGH TO DRIVE US TO OUR KNEES?

I HOPE WE HAVEN’T BECOME SO WRAPPED UP INTO OUR OWN LIVES THAT TRAGEDIES LIKE THIS THAT BEFALL OUR PEOPLE AND NATION FLY RIGHT BY US AS IF THEY WERE NOTHING MORE THAN JUST STORIES ON THE EVENING NEWS.

I HOPE WE HAVEN’T BECOME SO IMMUNED TO THE LAWS OF GOD AND THE TEACHINGS OF CHRIST THAT IT HAS TO TAKE EVEN MORE HORRIFIC TRAGEDIES TO KEEP US AWAKE AND TOGETHER AS A NATION AND A CHURCH.

WHAT AMERICA HAS EXPERIENCED IN THESE PAST SEVERAL DAYS IS A WAKE UP CALL TO SPIRITUAL AND SOCIAL VIGILANCE. IT IS A WAKE UP CALL THAT THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES IF WE CHOOSE EVIL INSTEAD OF GOOD.

I HONESTLY DO NOT BELIEVE THAT GOD IS PUNISHING OUR COUNTRY FOR SOMETHING SPECIFIC WE ARE OR ARE NOT DOING. TO LOOK AT THIS TRAGEDY AS NOTHING MORE THAN PUNISHMENT FROM GOD IS AS LUDICROUS AS SEEING THE HOLOCAUST AS GOD’S PUNISHMENT UPON THE JEWS.

MANY FACETS OF HUMAN DEPRAVITY HAVE ALL PLAYED A ROLE IN WHAT HAS HAPPENED. MANY FACETS OF SINFUL DECISIONS TO DISOBEY GOD’S LAWS ALL PLAY A PART IN THE VARIOUS HARDSHIPS THAT COME INTO OUR LIVES AND UPON OUR NATION.

BUT TO ACCUSE ONE PARTICULAR GROUP OF PEOPLE, OR TO POINT FINGERS AT A SPECIFIC IMMORAL BEHAVIOR, OR TO TRY AND GROUP TOGETHER PARTICULAR SINS BY NAME, AND ADD UP A LIST OF PAST TRAGEDIES IN OUR COUNTRY IS NOTHING MORE THAN A SELF-RIGHTEOUS ACT OF PLACING BLAME ON EVERYONE ELSE BUT OURSELVES.

WE PROBABLY WILL NEVER KNOW, IN THIS LIFE-TIME, THE REASON WHY GOD ALLOWED SUCH A TRAGEDY. THIS IS WHY WE SHOULDN’T BE WASTING OUR TIME TRYING TO SPEAK ON GOD’S BEHALF BY ATTEMPTING TO PUT A FACE AND A NAME ON THIS TRAGEDY.

IT IS UNCONSCIONABLE THAT ONE WOULD TRY TO PUT WORDS IN GOD’S MOUTH AS IF HE NEEDS US TO SPEAK ON HIS BEHALF. EDITORIALIZING A TRAGEDY IN THE NAME OF GOD JUST MAKES IT THAT MUCH HARDER FOR THE UNSAVED TO SEE HOW THE CHRISTIAN MESSAGE DIFFERS FROM THAT OF THE TERRORIST.

IF WE ARE GOING TO SPEAK OUT DURING TRAGEDY, THEN WE MUST DO IT FOR THE RIGHT REASONS: NOT TO FIND SCAPEGOATS, CONDEMN, OR DENOUNCE; BUT AS A WAY OF CONFESSING TO ALL THE THINGS IN OUR LIVES THAT ARE HURTING OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.

IT STARTS WITH EACH OF US INDIVIDUALLY! WE CANNOT AFFORD TO TURN A BLIND-EYE TOWARDS SIN ANY LONGER. ALTHOUGH WE DON’T LOOK FOR ANY ONE PARTICULAR SIN TO BLAME OVER ANOTHER FOR OUR TRAGEDIES, WE SORT OUT ALL SINS AS THE SPIRIT REVEALS THEM TO US IN ORDER TO DEAL WITH THEM ACCORDINGLY.

EVEN IN THE MIDST OF OUR FOCUS ON THIS TRAGEDY, WE CANNOT CONTINUE TO IGNORE OUR RAPID COURSE OF SPIRITUAL AND MORAL DECLINE IN THIS COUNTRY AND SIMPLY EXPECT GOD TO KEEP ON BLESSING AMERICA.

NO, IT MAY NOT BE PUNISHMENT, BUT WE CAN BE ASSURED THAT GOD IS USING THIS TO GET OUR NATIONAL AND RELIGIOUS ATTENTION. JUST THINK HOW MUCH BETTER THINGS WOULD BE TODAY IF HE ALREADY HAD IT!

JEREMIAH WAS ALSO STRUGGLING WITH HAVING TO DEAL WITH PEOPLE WHO TURNED A BLIND EYE TO SIN. THEY HAD BECOME AN APOSTATE PEOPLE AND REFUSED TO BELIEVE THAT THEIR SIN WAS THE REAL REASON FOR THEIR TROUBLES.

OBLIVIOUS TO THEIR SINS AND REFUSING TO ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY THEY IMMEDIATELY TURNED AND PLACED ALL THE BLAME UPON GOD. THEY ACTUALLY BEGAN TO BELIEVE THAT THEIR TRUST IN GOD WAS TO NO AVAIL!

JEREMIAH COULD NOT UNDERSTAND HOW THEY COULD BE SO SPIRITUALLY IMPAIRED THAT THEY COULDN’T EVEN SEE THEIR OWN SINFULNESS.

EVEN AFTER BEING TAKEN CAPTIVE BY THE BABYLONIANS AND THEN DEPORTED TO A FOREIGN LAND THEY STILL HAD THE NERVE TO WONDER WHY GOD ALLOWED THIS TO HAPPEN TO THEM!

ALL SEEMED HOPELESS FOR A PEOPLE WHO WOULD NOT CHANGE THEIR WAYS OR EVEN TRY TO LOOK FOR GOD AMONGST THEM IN THEIR TROUBLES. THE HOPELESSNESS WAS TOO MUCH FOR JEREMIAH. HIS HEART IS BROKEN AND HE WEEPS BITTERLY FOR HIS PEOPLE.

GOD HAD GIVEN JUDAH EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO REPENT, BUT THE NATION CONTINUED TO REBEL. BY NOT TAKING ADVANTAGE OF GOD’S PROVISION FOR FORGIVENESS WHEN IT HAD BEEN AVAILABLE, THE PEOPLE, ONCE AGAIN, FOUND THEMSELVES IN A SITUATION OF HOPELESSNESS. A SITUATION BROUGHT ON BY SIN, NOT BY GOD’S ABSENCE.

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