Summary: As Christians, we must not lose sight of three eternal truths as we ponder and respond to the awful acts of terrorism in our country: (1) our future is in Christ and not in the world, (2) God judges evil and will triumph over evil, and (3) while the batt
Most of us have been glued to our televisions and radios this week, watching and listening to details of the horror that visited our shores on Tuesday, September 11. We’ve been hoping and praying for more survivors and mourning the thousands of dead with the rest of the nation, all the while asking ourselves how such evil acts could have happened.
We’ve been inundated with commentary and video replays. One Muslim representative on National Public Radio commented the only way the west could appease the Muslim fundamentalists would be not to exist at all, while another said no cause justifies the immoral and inhumane acts that occurred on Tuesday. Palestinians in Israel were shown celebrating the terrorists’ success in the streets, and the Afghan government advised its citizens to prepare for a holy war and said that it is an honor and a holy service to die fighting the United States.
A few well-known conservative Christian television personalities offered the opinion that our nation has sinned against God, and He no longer protects it . . . and they said that’s why the horrendous tragedies occurred. But we must remember that our nation is not a chosen people in a covenant relationship with God, as was Israel. Every Christian, no matter his or her nationality, is bound by Scripture to honor his or her relationship with God by faithfulness and righteousness. It is a personal, not a national, relationship. As to why the attack occurred, a National Public Radio commentator summed it up simply: It happened because the United States supports Israel, he said.
As we have sought this week to internalize the events and their meaning and impact, perhaps the lament of a volunteer rescue worker in New York City, in a short interview on MSNBC states the relevant theological truth: This world is evil. This world is evil, he said, shaking his head sadly.
Our sense of security has been shaken. No longer do our shores and borders seem safe from the hatred and violence in the world. Suddenly, we don’t just observe from afar the dangers people face in parts of the world torn by terrorism and violent persecution. We how experience the same fear and daily uncertainty as people living in countries of the Middle East, Africa, and other parts of the world. It’s not that hatred and violence is new. Indeed, the Bible teaches the wickedness of the unregenerate human heart beginning in the earliest chapters. But it is new to most of us experientially, and that has changed our thinking profoundly.
As Christians, we must not lose sight of three eternal truths as we ponder and respond to the awful acts of terrorism in our country: (1) our future is in Christ and not in the world, (2) God judges evil and will triumph over evil, and (3) while the battle rages in our midst, God wants us to live in the light of eternity.
1. Our future is in Christ and not in the world
Regardless of good or evil circumstances affecting us, the focus of our lives, as Paul put it, is Christ Jesus our hope (1 Timothy 1:1). Nothing that has happened this week and nothing that will happen will change the things that matter to us most as Christians. Those things are our relationship with God, our future home in heaven with God and with all our loved ones who have known Christ, and the forgiveness and lovingkindness God has shown us and continues to show us.
Jesus . . . HE is the issue for us, HE is our purpose and our goal, HE is what matters, not our circumstances.
And what about the sudden and violent loss of our sense of safety and security? In the world, there are no guarantees we will be safe. But there is the guarantee for Christians that we are loved, and that is the real security. Here is how God, through the inspiration of the Apostle Paul, describes it in Romans 8:34 & 35:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger of sword? As it is written: For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Always remember in every circumstance, whether positive or negative, that your future is in Christ, not in the world, and while there are no guarantees we will be physically safe, there is the guarantee that God loves us.