Summary: Someone once said, "Life is what really happens on your way to your dreams." On September 11, 2001 we were a nation on it’s way to it’s dreams when life happened, and it happened in the most horrendous way imaginable.
What did God See on September 11, 2001?
Turn to 2 Peter 3:9
Someone once said, "Life is what really happens on your way to your dreams."
A year ago this Wednesday we were a nation on it’s way to it’s dreams when Life happened. And it happened in the most horrendous way imaginable.
And many of you were not just observers after the fact but witnesses of history. I would bet that most of us can remember where we were during those horrible hours last September 11th.
I was in my office meeting with two men when my wife called and said, “turn on the t.v.” And like myself, many of you were watching live as the plane slammed into the second World Trade Center tower. For most those images will be forever etched in our minds. And what did we see that day?
We saw the incredible slow motion video of a jetliner slamming into a 110 story building.
We saw the footage as those two towers came crumbling down.
We saw firemen covered with dust.
We saw rescue workers combing the wreckage.
We saw a bastion of strength in the Pentagon with a gaping hole in the side.
We saw scenes that made us cry.
We sat in front of our television & saw an act of war against our country.
That’s what we saw.
But we must pause and ask the question, what did God see on September 11, 2001? And as I pondered that, based on what is revealed about God from the pages of the Bible, I can make some safe assumptions as to what God saw.
On September 11, 2001 God saw passengers, crew and hijackers on four airplanes that needed to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. He saw thousands in the World Trade Center that he wanted to call his children. He saw thousands in the Pentagon that he wished to be reconnected with. And he saw many that perished without ever coming back into relationship with their heavenly Father.
And we need to open our eyes not just to the tragedy of death but the tragedy of how many of them died without knowing Jesus Christ as their Savior.
How many attended church the Sunday before 911 and heard the last sermon they would ever hear, the last invitation they would ever have a chance to respond to and yet without knowing that it was the last one, stayed in their seats and never responded.
When I was 21 years old I preached at my home church in Hemet, California. I preached the evening service. The sermon was on being soul conscience. Aware and concerned for people’s souls. Less then 12 hours later, a gentleman that was at church that night, his name was Ray Hancock, suffered a heart attack and died. And at 21 I was overwhelmed with the thought that I had the opportunity to preach the last sermon that man would ever hear. To give the last invitation he would ever have a chance to respond to. And I told myself then I better take this seriously.
We don’t know when the last opportunity is for us, for those around us to respond to an invitation. To get our lives right with God. To confess him as our Lord and Savior. To be baptized for the washing away of our sin and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Mark 10 – Blind Bartimaus rushes out to Jesus – didn’t know it was the last time Jesus would be passing through. Not all respond this way.
2 Pet. 3:9 says that God is not slow in keeping his promise, but he is patient not wanting anyone to perish, but all to come to repentance.
Will they all? No. They will go about their dreams until life wakes them up. And for some it will be too late. And that’s why a great church is consumed with an urgency for reaching people with the message of salvation.
Now, How do we do that? How do we become a church that is a rescue station searching for lost and hurting people. How do I become a person that has a passion and a sense of urgency?
And it has to begin with an understanding of the all-consuming love that God has for people. For all people.
God loved the people that died on 9/11 – he loved the firemen, the office workers, the airline travelers, and here’s the one that shocks us, even the hijackers. Did he approve of them. No, that’s abundantly clear in Scripture, he’s a righteous God and a just God. But he did love them because he’s also a loving God.
And there may be something inside us that says, How could God love them, but isn’t the real question “how could God love me.” I know what I’ve done. I know my sin.