Summary: This sermon was preached the Sunday morning after the 9/11 attack.
These are the times that try men's souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict the more glorious the triumph.
Thomas Paine, The Crisis -- December 1776
We are beginning to see United States flags displayed everywhere. Many stores have sold out. Between Wal-Mart and Kmart almost one million flags have been sold nationwide.
I believe that if national pride is the only byproduct of this tragedy then we as a nation are in terrible danger. If a heightened sense of patriotism is the only result then we are doomed as a nation.
Many are calling on God or at the least recognizing that we need God to bless our land. Many of the signs and messages of businesses read, "God Bless America."
How many times have we as individuals called upon God to deliver us from our trouble only to return to our sinful way of living after His deliverance.
It is my prayer that this tragedy will bring about not merely a national unity and pride but a national repentance and humility and a return of our dependence upon God.
On Wednesday I had the opportunity to give my observations on why this tragedy has occurred. I said that I believed that God is judging our nation for our sin. I said that I believed that because we have allowed sexual promiscuity to define as a people and because we are allowing the murdering of millions of babies while still in the womb that God is removing His protection.
Since then I have heard this observation repeated by pastors and ministers across this land.
God, who does not change, has taken this course of action in dealing with His people in the past:
(Jer 25:1 NKJV) The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah (which was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon),
(Jer 25:2 NKJV) which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Judah and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying:
(Jer 25:3 NKJV) "From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, even to this day, this is the twenty-third year in which the word of the LORD has come to me; and I have spoken to you, rising early and speaking, but you have not listened.
(Jer 25:4 NKJV) "And the LORD has sent to you all His servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear.
(Jer 25:5 NKJV) "They said, 'Repent now everyone of his evil way and his evil doings, and dwell in the land that the LORD has given to you and your fathers forever and ever.
(Jer 25:6 NKJV) 'Do not go after other gods to serve them and worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands; and I will not harm you.'
(Jer 25:7 NKJV) "Yet you have not listened to Me," says the LORD, "that you might provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt.
(Jer 25:8 NKJV) "Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Because you have not heard My words,
(Jer 25:9 NKJV) 'behold, I will send and take all the families of the north,' says the LORD, 'and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against this land, against its inhabitants, and against these nations all around, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, a hissing, and perpetual desolations.
(Jer 25:10 NKJV) 'Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp.
(Jer 25:11 NKJV) 'And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
(Hosea 11:1 NKJV) "When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son.
(Hosea 11:2 NKJV) As they called them, So they went from them; They sacrificed to the Baals, And burned incense to carved images.
(Hosea 11:3 NKJV) "I taught Ephraim to walk, Taking them by their arms; But they did not know that I healed them.
(Hosea 11:4 NKJV) I drew them with gentle cords, With bands of love, And I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck. I stooped and fed them.