Summary: This sermon is about two aviators on opposites sides of World War II and their conversion to Christianity. (Mitsuo Fuchida who led the attack on Pearl Harbor and Jacob Deshazer who participated in the Doolittle raid).
TWO DIVIDED BY WAR,
UNITED THROUGH CHRIST
Text Isaiah 2:1-4
Isaiah 2:1-4 gives us a wonderful picture of God’s peace. Verse 4 poetically states that the weapons of war will be transformed into items that are constructive. Swords will beaten into plowshares. Spears will be beaten into pruning hooks. At that time, nations will no longer train their militaries for war any more. The transformation of these weapons as instruments designed to kill are transformed into tools that are used in farming. They become instruments that support the ways of life.
It is God who gives us the fruits of the field . It is also God who makes peace possible. Therefore, as the Bible tells us "man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4). Physical food nourishes our bodies, but the word of God nourishes our souls. For that reason we cannot have the peace that God offers unless we endorse the path of peace that comes from God’s word.
This morning I want to share with you a true story of two men who were divided by war, but later united through Jesus Christ. They did not cease to be enemies until they met the PRINCE OF PEACE (Isaiah 9:6). It was not until their conversions that they surrendered their swords and spears so that they could emotionally and spiritually be transformed into plowshares and pruning hooks.
There is an expression that is phrased having an axe to grind, that means having an agenda in a negative way. The agenda of enemies at war with one another is to destroy or defeat one’s enemy and thereby gain superiority. Today I am going to tell you about two enemies who were on different sides of the war, during World War II. The Gospel of Jesus Christ destroyed the barriers that existed between the two military aviators in this story.
THE BATTLE CRY
The United States did not enter the war until after WORLD WAR II until after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Both civilians and service men alike remember that event. That event marked a time in the history of our country when no one living at that time would forget where they were or what they doing when they heard the news of that day on December 7. 1941. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt described that day as a day that would live in infamy. Those who were not living at that time have learned about the events of that historic day from the history books. From the moment that Pearl Harbor was bombed onward, the name of the place known as Pearl Harbor became known as a battle cry.
An old battle of the 19th century like Pearl Harbor was a place whose name became a battle cry. The name of that place was the Alamo. The Alamo was a Franciscan mission in San Antonio, Texas, that was the scene of a massacre that was carried out by Mexican troops in 1836. Remember the Alamo became the battle cry of revenge in that day just as remember Pearl Harbor was the battle for the U. S, in the last days of 1941. In fact, the next day the U. S. entered World War II.
The Japanese at that time were obviously eager for battle when they made their unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese provoked the situation when they made their attack. Before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the U. S. was not even involved in World War II except for one exception. The only involvement that the U. S. did have prior to their entry into World War II (that I know about) as a small group known as the Flying Tigers (they were also known as the American Volunteer Group or AVG for short). They were a group of American pilots who fought for the Chinese against the Japanese.
For the Japanese, Pearl Harbor was a victory. Years before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, there was a young Japanese boy by the name of Mitsuo Fuchida who at the age of three aspired to become a national hero like the Japanese national hero Admiral Togo who had at one time destroyed the Russian fleet in a surprise attack. Years later, Mitsuo Fuchida became the equivalent of the modern day American TOP GUN in Japan. It was Mitsuo Fuchida who lead 360 Japanese planes in the attack on Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941. Listen to the results of their surprise attack on Pearl Harbor ...
Updated reports in 1991 suggested that there may have been as many as 5 Japanese submarines that were involved in addition to their 360 planes
- 2,403 Americans were killed
- 1,178 Americans were wounded