Summary: In this message, I want us to look back, to look around, and to look up, because looking up is our only hope.
INTRO.- WHO SAID THESE WORDS? “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair.” II Corinthians 4:8
ILL.- (From a news release by DeMoss News) In a summer filled with superhero movies, Americans are confusing Captain America’s messages of triumph with quotes from the Bible. The results of a survey released found 63 percent of U.S. adults incorrectly attributed 2 Corinthians 4:8 about overcoming suffering and hardships to civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., former President George W. Bush or comic book hero Captain America rather than the Bible. Martin Luther King Jr. received the highest percentage of voters.
The survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of American Bible Society to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11. And despite significant security measures taken since Sept. 11, only 9 percent of Americans feel safer today than they did prior to Sept. 11. Thirty-six percent felt safer prior to the attacks of Sept. 11 than they do today.
ILL.- Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., and author of the PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE, has announced that his church is planning a nationwide prayer event as a memorial of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Warren announced to his church, "On 9/11 weekend, we are going to link up with our daughter church in New York City. Ryan (Holladay, the pastor of Lower Manhattan Community Church) is going to help me with this service where is going to broadcast from Ground Zero. We’re going to have some testimonies out of our church in New York City of people who were there on 9/11."
Ryan Holladay told The Christian Post his church has always commemorated 9/11, but the 10th anniversary this year makes it very special. "It wasn’t just a national or civic tragedy; it was a spiritual tragedy, and we want to support people as they work through it. 9/11 left a spiritual vacuum behind for many people. We want to fill that vacuum with God’s love." Amen.
Every human person has a vacuum in his or her soul whether they realize it or not. Sometimes it takes a tragedy like 9/11 or a tornado or an earthquake or a hurricane or something else to make people realize their need for God. It’s a shame that it often takes tragedies to drive people to God. We have to be knocked down before we will ever look up. As long as life is good people don’t see their need for the Lord.
PROP.- In this message, I want us to look back, to look around, and to look up, because looking up is our only hope.
I. LOOKING BACK
There were a series of four coordinated suicide attacks by al-Qaeda on the United States on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. On that morning, 19 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four passenger jets. The hijackers intentionally crashed two planes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, killing everyone on board and thousands of those working in the buildings. Both towers collapsed within two hours, destroying nearby buildings and damaging others.
A third plane was crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. Hijackers had redirected the fourth plane toward Washington, D.C., targeting either the Capitol Building or the White House, but crashed it in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania after passengers tried to take control of the plane. There were no survivors from any of the flights.
Remember 32 year old Todd Beamer who was on that flight and who told the operator that the flight was hijacked and the pilots were on the floor dead or dying. Beamer’s last audible words were "Are you guys ready? Let’s roll."
Nearly 3,000 victims and the 19 hijackers died in the attacks.
Among the 2,753 victims who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center were 343 firefighters and 60 police officers from New York City and the Port Authority, and 8 private emergency medical technicians and paramedics. Another 184 people were killed in the attack on the Pentagon. The overwhelming majority of casualties were civilians, including nationals of over 70 countries.
Where were you on that day? What were you doing? How did it affect you when you suddenly realized what had happened? How do you feel about it today?
II. LOOKING AROUND
I think we should look around to see what is happening in our world then and now, and why it is happening. Why did 9/11 happen?
1- Some bad things happen because of God’s judgment.
ILL.- Remember the great flood as recorded in Genesis? Why did it happen? Gen. 6:5-7 “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth and his heart was filled with pain. So the Lord said, ‘I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth...’”