Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: In this text we find what Jesus would say in light of the terrorist attack on America.

Intro: On Tuesday morning September 11, 2001 Dawn Robinson followed her usual morning routine while getting ready for work. Which consist of her morning quiet time where she prays for God’s leadership throughout the day. Shortly after arriving at work in New York City she made her way to her office in the south tower of the World Trade Center. At 8:45 a.m. she heard a loud boom and looking out her window saw smoke from the north tower. A voice came over the intercom and informed everyone that no was in danger and stay where they where. Dawn says that immediately she felt a compelling urge to get out of the building. Then she said she had a very intense feeling of Closter phobia. So she immediately began making her way to the stairs. Dawn then says, that about 75% of the people she came in contact with were following the advice from the intercom system and where going back to their offices to continue working. Never the less Dawn continued making her way down the emergency stairwells. When she made it to the 42nd floor at 9:03 a.m. Flight 175, a bowing 767 hit the south tower slamming into the area of the building where Dawn’s office was located. God put an urging in Dawn hearts. What if she would’ve brushed it off? What if on Tuesday morning Dawn skipped her quiet time, or didn’t pray for God’s leadership on that day?

There will be many stories of close calls and near misses we will hear from the past week. But while many of the people who experienced near misses are trying to figure out if it was luck, fate or God that saved them Dawn knows it was the hand of God that lead her to safety. While it brings us joy to hear Dawn’s story it brings us grief to think of the thousands who died. This brings up the question of all those who died. Where they not good, spiritual, God fearing people? Was this God’s judgment on those who died, was it God’s judgment on America? Mankind has asked these kinds of questions all throughout history. When something bad happens to people our natural reflex is to assume it’s God’s judgment.

Jesus addressed this exact question in the gospel of Luke chapter 13.

Luke 13:1-2

13:1Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?

As we have watched our televisions this past week and seen the cars and buses crushed from the tons of debris that fell as these enormous skyscrapers came down it’s hard to imagine a human body being subjected to that. We can’t understand thousands of American citizens dying at the hands of terrorists hear on our own soil. This is the first time since 1812 that Americans have been attacked on our own soil. So everywhere we go people are talking about it just as Jesus was asked about the horrible death of the Galileans at the hands of Pilate we want to know; what would Jesus say about those who died Tuesday? And in verse two we find our answer. The way and or the fact that these people died has nothing to do with God’s judgment.

The reason our countrymen died is because God allows evil in this world. These terrorist where evil men just as Bin Laden, Hussein, Hitler and many others who God has allowed to live at the expense of good people. Then we ask why does God allow the devil to exist? Why does He allow all these evil men to live and destroy so many innocent lives? Because He loves us so much that He allows us to have a choice. A choice to love Him or reject Him. If a person is forced to love then that’s not true love. But if we love someone because we choose to, then that real love. God greatest desire is to be in a love relationship with us. In order for that to happen we must have the choice to love Him. Then we step back and say; “well couldn’t He just cut back on some of this evil and not have quite so much?” I don’t even pretend to think I’ve got it all figured out, but I do know this much. It could be a lot worse. The only reason there is anything good in this world is because of God.

17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:18

Illustration: One of the greatest acts of heroism occurred on flight 93 that crashed into a rural area in Pennsylvania. 31yr old Jeremy Glick called his wife Liz from flight 93 using a passenger phone shortly after the plane was hijacked. He talked with his wife for about 20 minutes. He told her that three men had hijacked the plan and where using knives and told everyone they had a bomb on the plane. Jeremy had heard from one of the other passengers who had called family about the World Trade Center incident and he asked Liz if it were true. When she told him it about the other plans and their suicide missions he knew he had to do something. He and another passenger by the name of Thomas Burnette decided to rush the terrorists. He told his wife he was going to put down the phone and would come back. Liz couldn’t bare to listen so she gave the phone to her father. He said as he listened he could hear some screams which evidently was Jeremy and Thomas overtaking the terrorists after a minute he heard another set of screams, then a muffled sound and then the phone went dead. The last set of screams and the muffled sound was the plane crashing. Now it’s believed that the hijackers had planed to fly the commercial jet into the White House. In their act of heroism Jeremy Glick and Thomas Burnette saved the White House and countless other lives. In a culture that idolizes sports heroes who get paid millions of dollars to play a game we now realize what a real hero is. The true heroes of our day are Jeremy Glick, Thomas Burnette, the firefighters, police, and rescue workers who have all put their life on the line for their fellow Americans.

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