Summary: Remembering 9/11.
INTRO. - The Galveston Hurricane.
ILL.- There is a book entitled, “Isaac’s Storm” which is about a hurricane that hit Galveston, Texas, in 1900. Apparently, everyone was convinced that a hurricane could never strike Galveston, even as one approached. The author vividly described how the streets began to flood but the people went about their business as if nothing was wrong. Children played in the water, men gathered for breakfast at the local diner, and no one fled from the storm that was about to strike.
Some people didn’t worry because Isaac Cline, the national weather service officer in Galveston, assured them it would not be a severe storm. Other’s simply believed that Galveston was invincible. Some people thought that since they had never seen a hurricane strike Galveston, one never would. So for a number of reasons people assured themselves that nothing bad would happen. And as a result over 6,000 people died one September day in 1900.
Brothers and sisters, just as that hurricane hit Galveston, TX, in 1900 so those planes hit the world trade center in New York and the Pentagon on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. And the people were totally unprepared. The people of Galveston, TX, were given some warning. The people of New York were given no warning at all.
I’m sure that people all across the U.S. thought that nothing like this could ever happen here, because it had never happened before. “Surely, no one would do such a terrible thing to the United States of America!” But it did happen. And the death count was over 3,000.
They called this the “attack on America.”
And it was, but what we experienced, some countries live with all the time. Most Americans thought this kind of terrorism would never happen here. Perhaps some even thought we were invincible. But we’re not.
ILL.- One news item was entitled “America the vulnerable.” WASHINGTON, SEPT. 12, 2001 (CBS News) - Hunkered down, grieving and nervous, America won’t soon be the same. The attacks that rained death on New York, Washington and a field in Pennsylvania brought an end to any idea that a strong country can be an invincible one.
Well away from the destruction, the symbols of American life - its work and play - slammed shut. No Disney World. No Mall of America. The first cancellation of a day’s major league baseball games, for reasons other than labor troubles, since D-Day. U.S. air space closed to commercial flights for the first time ever.
Even the government hid, diverting President Bush to military bases in the nation’s midsection on his way back from Florida and sending congressional leaders to a mountain fortification west of Washington.
"America is forever changed," said Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. "America is in for a long fight."
Evil exists in our world today! It always has existed and always will exist until the Lord calls a halt to this world as we know it!
ILL.- Theodore Roosevelt once said, “The times are evil; that is, there is much that is evil in them. It would be to our shame and discredit if we failed to recognize that evil; if we wrapped ourselves in a foolish optimism and failed to war with heart and strength against that evil.”
ILL.- When the Gulf War or Desert Storm took place in 1990 and 1991, people got a wake up call and headed to church.
- At the Second Baptist Church in Houston, TX, the preacher said, “Three thousand came to church the night the war broke out.”
- At the St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York one priest said, “Our numbers are up. We always have a good attendance, but our numbers are up.”
- Another preacher said, “Young people are coming back to church, searching for more meaning. And they are dedicated to praying about the war in the gulf.”
In the light of this last war in Iraq and continual fighting, I wish Americans would wake up to the reality of evil in our world and flock into our churches! But people are not flocking to our churches.
Brothers and sisters, we are not invincible. We are vulnerable. We are humans. We are capable to being hurt, deceived, and attacked by evil.
PROP.- I call what happened to America: Existing evil - Exhausting evil. These are the two thoughts that I shared two years ago and now repeat them for you. Basically, they answer the questions of “why” and “what.” Why this has happened and what we can do about it.
I. EXISTING EVIL
Eph. 6:10-12 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms.”