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!
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.