Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Americans watched in disbelief on the morning of September 11th as two passenger jets slammed into the twin World Trade Center towers located in the lower section of Manhattan in New York City.

Americans watched in disbelief on the morning of September 11th as two passenger jets slammed into the twin World Trade Center towers located in the lower section of Manhattan in New York City. The first aircraft struck at 8:48 a.m., soon followed by the second at 9:06 a.m. These two incidents were followed by another aircraft smashing into the Pentagon leaving in its wake death and destruction. Less than thirty minutes later another plane crashes in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, southeast of Pittsburgh. And, if this was not enough to create fear and desperation, the world then watched in horror as the south tower of the World Trade Center collapses, only to be followed twenty-five minutes later by the north tower.

The shock and disbelief of this tragedy will not soon go away. Americans are slow to anger, but once there we will understandably demand retribution. Who is to blame for this cowardly act of terrorism? Many have pointed to Osama bin Laden, a multimillionaire Saudi terrorist operating inside the safe harbors of Afghanistan. Bin Laden has denied any involvement and continues to blame the United States for its policy of standing with Israel. He also contends that the US continues to have ambitions to dominate the world through the cover of the New World Order. Yet many believe the issue goes much deeper than this. On the morning of September 11th Americans were awakened to the realization that we are in a war, a war with the combined forces of the Islamic terrorists of the Muslim world.

In light of these events one can only wonder: has the world gone completely mad?

It’s important to understand that the Bible predicted such a time as this would occur in world history shortly before the Lord’s return. Jesus spoke of this in Matthew 24:37: "But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." What do the Scriptures say concerning the "days of Noah"? Genesis 6:11 tells us that, "the earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence." This certainly depicts our modern day era of the 2lst century. The Bible also tells us that "every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Gen. 6:5). If you’ve heard about the new fall line-up on prime-time television, you can easily see how we would fall into this category.

Paul in the New Testament also warned us about this: "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come" (2 Tim. 3:1). He went on to say that, "evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived" (2 Tim. 3:13). On a recent "Nightline" presentation, Ted Koepel outlined the impending dangers of terrorism and their consequences for our nation. Other countries in the world have had to deal with these threats for many years and have countered the threats of terrorism by strengthening their security in airports and other areas of daily life. Many believe that it is only a matter of time before we are faced with an atomic, biological, or chemical attack by terrorists on our land. We as Americans must realize that the forces of evil are even now planning even more and heinous acts of violence against us. Let us be ever vigilant in our determination to stand strong against the forces of evil around the world.

Many have asked: "Where is the United States in Biblical prophecy?" One must realize, first of all, that it is Israel, not America, that is the focus and key to all of Bible prophecy. Many have speculated about passages in Isaiah 18, Jeremiah 50 and 51, and Revelation 18. Many of these Scriptures, upon closer examination, yield no definitive evidence that the United States is in view. Of course, most of the judgments described in the Tribulation period of Revelation chapters 6-19, will affect the whole world, including every nation, even America.

One can only surmise that the closer we get to the Lord’s return, the more severe these events will become. In fact, we are already seeing the shadows of the twenty-one judgments mentioned in Revelation 6-19 and Matthew 24. Jesus spoke of this in Matthew 24:8 when he said: "All these are the beginning of sorrows." Just as the births pains of a woman in travail become closer and more severe as the time of delivery draws near, so also will the events preceding the Lord’s return become more severe and closer together as the time nears for the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

There are several indicators that we can use to nail down, so to speak, this time in history that we are living in. I have outlined these below so that you might be able to see where we are in relation to the Lord’s return:

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