Summary: Worship choices we make today may affect who were aligned with in the last days--the Beast or the Christ!
A Warning for the Worldly
It was one of those days that you never forget—you know exactly where you were when you first heard the shocking news of unprecedented tragic world events.
It happened when President Kennedy was assassinated back on November 22, 1963. I was 10 years old in my fourth grade classroom when we turned on the TV for a Spanish Lesson, and Walter Cronkite announced the president was dead.
It happened again in 1986 when seven Astronauts, including school teacher Christa McCauliffe perished in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in Florida. I was a student walking across a parking lot at Dallas Theological Seminary.
And it happened again, of course, on September 11, 2001. I was on my way to have an early morning breakfast with a church member when I turned on the radio sometimes between 6 and 6:30 that morning. As the news came on, there was a special report. I think Peter Jennings was the announcer. And from what I gathered at the moment, an airliner had just flown into one of the World Trade Center Towers. I had trouble believing my ears and at first though of the infamous radio drama, War of the Worlds which had aired back in 1939. It was fashioned after an emergency news report on radio back then, and it sounded as though it were a real report. It reported on a supposed invasion of the United States by aliens, space-men, and it send hundreds of thousands of Americans into a panic, Americans who actually believed an alien invasion was occurring as the fictional news reports were broadcast as though they were true.
And it became even more incredible when I found out that it was the second plane to fly into a World Trade Center Tower. And almost immediately there were reports of a third airline which had crashed into a field in Pennsylvania, and it was only then that I realized this was really happening. That what was happening was not a fictional report, that what has happening was not an accident, but it the realization of what America had feared for more than a year—a deliberate terrorist attack on U.S. Territory using Airlines as terrorist to destroy some of the icons of American power and pride.
It was traumatizing, and when we weren’t at work, Americans were glued to the television for days as they saw the disaster unfold. The twin towers of the World Trade Center collapsing before their very eyes, 3,000 people, both at the Pentagon and in Pennyslvania and in New York perishing, smoking ruins, every airplane in the U.S. Airspace ordered out of the skies, stories of people jumping from a hundred stories high to their deaths to avoid fires, stories of courageous firemen dying as they sought to save those trapped in the skyscrapers, and the stock market closing down for a whole week, and also the rejoicing in Arab nations over the tragedy that had come upon their arch-nemesis, the supporter of Israel, the United States of America.
And a strange thing happened that day and the next. We began experiencing a measure of what pastors all over the nation began to experience—people clamoring for church services, people who wanted to seek God, and find security in Him, where they had lost their since of security in our nation, and in it’s supposed invulnerability to enemy and terrorist attack. For all anyone knew, this sort of thing could become a daily occurrence, and how many of us yet my lost friends and family or even our own lives in this assault upon America. And so we had a church service, and so there were many sermons on the topic of 9/11 and the government began to take steps to keep this from ever happening again. And it stopped happening on our soil at least. But we were shaken, our confidence in the U.S. was shaken, as the very symbols of economic and military power were damaged and destroyed before our very eyes.