Summary: Comfort the beleivers in the 9/11 aftermath
NIV Revelation 20:4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.
Intoduction: Grace, mercy and peace are ours through our lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This past week has changed our lives. The routine of school, work, play and church each week, makes us numb to the suffering and death across the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans. Now we are changed. Now, like the rest of the world, our homeland, our way of life is interrupted. Imagine that after you left your home this morning a group of robbers watched you leave for church. After you were preoccupied with your family and church, they broke into your home, ransacked your home overturned the furniture, bookshelves smashing everything into pieces; pictures, pots, vases, windows. They rummaged through all your drawers and took your valuables. When you go home this afternoon, you would find only a mess of broken glass and torn clothes. Where would you go? What would you do? What would you wear? Where would you start? The religious fanatics broke into our lives this past week, and interrupted our way of life. They broke our peace of mind. They shattered our safety at home. They killed our friends and neighbors. They violated our way of life. They have caused us to fear and worry about tomorrow. They have brought terror into the vocabulary and hearts of our children. They are terrorists.
As much as I want, wish and pray for their efforts to have failed; they have succeeded in killing thousands of people. They destroyed a 4 block radius around the World Trade Center. My head still today is filled with a mixture of chemicals, swirling inside my body, setting off feelings of sadness for the suffering people in the ruble and the families of the dead, revenge on the terrorists and the country that harbors them, fear for the next terrorist attack, uncertainty of the future world my children will inherit, hopelessness and helplessness to do anything, and even guilt when I have fun and relax because I am forgetting the 1000’s of people searching for loved ones in the disaster. What in God’s name are we, God’s people to do? How do we deal with a disaster of this proportion so close to home? Where do we start to recover?
Remember our Sure Foundation:
Certain Victory for God’s family even in total outward defeat.
I was talking to a woman on the phone Wednesday when she asked me a very interesting revealing question: “What have we done wrong? Why did God do this?” Her thinking was that God shields his people from all disasters in this world because they deserve it. Did you know that terrible disasters in our world have been affecting God’s people ever since sin was a part of life? It’s true. Do you remember the account of the 12 plagues in Egypt? Did you know that all the water in Egypt was turned to blood even the water God’s people had in their homes as well? The same held true for the plague of frogs and gnats. God’s people suffered right along with the unbelieving Egyptians. A man by the name of Hitler exterminated some 12 million people in what is called the great Holocaust. Did you know that experts estimate 6 million Israelites were killed. And did you know that of the 6 million Israelites estimates say 1 million were baptized Christians. Those 1 million Jewish Christians were killed with another 6 million Christians from other nationalities, like Czech and polish. Ok so what’s my point, right? All of these terrible atrocities done against God’s Family, His Church, have been going on since the first believers started to spread God’s saving gospel. The great atrocities against God’s people all stem from God’s enemies, not himself. God our heavenly father has punished someone for all the evil in this world. God already has received justice for the sins against him. God has already sentenced a man for the sins of the world. That man we know and love is God’s only Son, Jesus Christ. God does not treat us as our sins deserve. God does not punish two people for the same sin; Jesus and you. Jesus Christ died once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous to give us peace with God. No, friends the disasters that happen in this world are not punishments from God. We are Christians and we have a sure foundation of God’s forgiveness in Jesus Christ. God is not angry with you. God promised to save you from sin, death and hell and he kept his promise in Jesus Christ his son: NIV Joshua 23:14 "Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the LORD your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.