Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Here's a sermon to preach on a Sunday close to December 7th about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

The Better Pearl Harbor

1 Timothy 1:15-17

15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

16However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.

17Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Today is December 6, 2015.

We are getting ready for Christmas.

It's a time of peace and happiness.

That's how it was 74 years ago today.

Americans were decorating for the holidays.

They were doing their Christmas shopping.

Children were looking forward

to the arrival of Santa Claus and his reindeer.

The next day, it wasn't Santa and his reindeer that came.

It was enemy planes flying through the sky.

Japanese planes led by Mitsuo Fuchida attacked Pearl Harbor.

Today, I'm going to tell you that story.

Mitsuo Fuchida grew up loving his native Japan and hating the United States, which treated Asian immigrants harshly in the first half of the 20th century. Fuchida attended a military academy, joined Japan's Naval Air Force, and by 1941, with 10,000 flying hours behind him, had established himself as the nation's top pilot. When Japanese military leaders needed someone to command a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, they chose Fuchida. In the morning hours of December 7, 1941, Fuchida ordered his torpedo bombers to devastate the American Pacific Fleet anchored in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. When he and the others flew away, U.S. ships lay capsized, sunk or damaged, and 2,117 U.S. servicemen died. Fuchida was the voice that sent his aircraft carrier the message "Tora! Tora! Tora!" indicating the success of the surprise mission. Later, he too was surprised when he learned that, of the 70 officers who participated in the raid, he was the only one who returned alive. President Franklin Roosevelt reacted to the "Day of Infamy" as he called it by urging Congress to declare war the next day.

The story of Pearl Harbor reminds us of 3 important lessons.

Point #1. We serve a powerful and faithful God.

On December 8, 1941 things looked bad for the United States.

Most of our naval force had been destroyed.

American people feared Japan would attack California.

Japanese people in our country

were rounded up and placed in special holding camps.

Most Americans wanted us to stay out of the war in Europe,

but now we now were at war with Japan.

Young men and women enlisted in the military

leaving behind their families and friends.

Americans knew many of them would never come back alive.

God is capable of overcoming doubt and darkness.

We are not under attack today by the Japanese.

However, there are other things that cause us to have fear.

Some of us are battling cancer

or other illnesses of the body.

Others are getting older and weaker.

Some are missing loved ones who have died.

When things look bad, we need to have faith in God.

He can give us strength and hope to go on.

Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you."

Psalm 27:14 Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage,

And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,

And lean not on your own understanding;

6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

God can bring us through the difficult times of life.

Some of us have loved ones and friend

ho have not been saved.

Remember that God can change lives.

He is capable of saving even the least likely individuals.

Don't ever think someone you know is so bad,

or so resistant that the Sovereign God of the universe

can't get to him or her.

Soon after, he called General Jimmy Doolitle from retirement to organize a surprise attack on Japan. On April 18, 1942, 16 B-25s were to launch from the aircraft carrier the USS Hornet, bomb select Japanese targets, and fly into friendly China and be available for future service. But their secrecy was blown by a surprise discovery by a Japanese boat, and Doolittle had to launch his planes early. They accomplished their mission and Japan's confidence in their military was shaken, but the planes were terribly out of sync with the flight plan, and they arrived over China in the dark. All the US planes were either lost at sea or over China as crews bailed out.

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