11 September 2011

10 Years

10 years. 10 years. It's hard to believe it's been that long. Not to sound trite, but it truly does feel like just yesterday that I was wandering a shopping mall in between classes and looked up at a TV screen only to see the Twin Towers tumbling to the ground in a pile of rubble. 10 years. Wow.

I don't remember precisely what my first thought was that day. Shock, probably. Fright, confusion, sadness. It really doesn't matter. What I do know is which emotion was admittedly and shamefully absent: agonizing grief over the many souls that instantly stood before their Creator without ever having known Him in this life. Ten years later, it is this thought that consumes my thoughts surrounding this day.

Every year we remember the horrific events of September 11, 2001. Yet every year they get a little more distant and while perhaps they do not become foggier, they nevertheless become more intangible. So let me take you back. I do not want to write about terrorism or Islam, because neither of those things (which seem to go hand-in-hand) is going away any time soon. Let me simply remind you what happened that day.

On September 11, 2001, some nearly 3,000 people woke up to a sunny Tuesday morning. They selected their outfit for work, ate their breakfast, probably perused the morning paper. Perhaps some of them spent time in prayer and in God's Word. And then they hurried off to work or to the airport to catch a plane. Hours later, those same people were dead. Some died upon the impact of the planes hitting the buildings. Others jumped to their death in an attempt to escape the flames and the certain destruction. The point is, before they even ate lunch, they were dead. Their last chance had passed, their eternal destiny was sealed.

Perhaps it sounds harsh to propose that some of the victims of that day were not greeted by their great Savior, Jesus Christ, with welcoming arms. But it's the truth. Not everyone goes to Heaven. Just because you die an unjust death does not make you deserving of eternal salvation. Only one thing can acquire you that, and that is repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And that is precisely why we must bluntly declare that not all who died on 9/11 entered into eternal rest with their Savior...as a warning. If you have not repented and placed your faith in Jesus Christ, your first moment of eternity will be the first of millions of moments of torment. This is the truth, and it would be unloving of me not to speak it.

The events of September 11, 2001 were driven by pure evil. They were the result of grievous sin, originating with that first sin in the Garden. Yet they were allowed. Just as God allows cancer to ravage the bodies of some, or a silent stroke to take away others, so He allowed 9/11. He alone is in control of our final moments on earth. What if you don't make it to lunch today? What if it is your day? Like it or not, there's a timer on all of us, and God Himself has set it. Nothing we do can change it or alter it or stop it. Do you know that you are saved? If you are not sure, examine yourself. Once you know, you never have to fear an unexpected death, because you can know that you will be welcomed into the Kingdom as one of His own. You can know that Christ will name you before the Father. But woe to those who ignore the warnings! Woe to those who reject the call of salvation! Judgment is certain, and there are only two verdicts available: saved or damned.

4 comments:

  1. Well said! In this church culture of "Christ followers" and PC,very few even know,what salvation is. To most,it means just "believing" in Gods love.
    I pray that you keep speaking the truth,no matter what.
    Yes,people will question and maybe even hurt you,but this is what must be said!
    Thank you for your devotion to Christ.

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  2. Thank you for these words that needed to be voiced. After a week of the media glorifying many unsaved people, this is a good reminder that now is the time to be seeking eternal glory. Many of those who died unexpectedly on 9/11(and valiantly in the minds of their loved ones)have received all the glory they will ever get.

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  3. Yes it was a very sad day for America. I was thinking the same thing as you...it was a beautiful September day and folks were going about their lives just like every other day. Then the unexpected happened. Then something happened that had never happened before: four commercial jetliners were intentionally used to kill, destroy, devastate. Something almost unbelievable happened, something that most of us (all?) would never have guessed could happen. It happened suddenly, in a twinkling. One moment our lives were ordinary, the very next moment they changed forever. It got me to thinking about the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. This return will also be sudden. It will be almost unbelievable, except that it has been prophesied for a long time. It is something that has never happened before. And it will change everything. Today is the day of salvation. Make sure that you are at peace with the Lord God of the universe, for this day will come suddenly, when you least expect it.

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  4. On 9-11-01 I was walking everywhere telling people, anyone I encountered, the Gospel. About 10-15 miles of walking as then I had no car. Not a single person told me what had happened. So finally home around 9-930pm and turn on my little black and white tv and could either see the picture, although blurry and snowy but not hear the sound or I could adjust the knob to hear but not see the picture. It appeared to be a movie about the towers. A terrible drama, not about some made up place, but a real place, New York and those Towers. All of a sudden while watching what I thought was an awful movie to portray I wanted to hear what was being said and any other sound effects that might be heard. At first it seemed like a movie but then the newscaster started crying and it went from one news guy to another and I turned the knob around the channel changer to switch between hearing or seeing what's going on. It hit me...This is Real! The Twin Towers just got hit! So, being in shock, I ran down the hallway of my apartment building to tell my Christian friend of 85 years old that we need to pray because planes are hitting the Twin Towers and it's awful! It was then that she told me that it happened that morning and was not happening as we spoke. Shock. Not a single person told me that day on my rounds around the city telling the Gospel as a 1 and 1/2 year old Christian. It struck deep in my heart how fast our lives are snuffed out and so unexpectedly. My crying wouldn't stop. My prayers were from the very pit of my being. Truly 'life is but a vapor' as James tells us. That day was a day when death entered my head as a real possibility for me or my friends, nomatter what age. Oh yes, that day embedded in me how real death is and how fast life goes and how unexpectedly it can go. Today, that thought is in my heart every single day and as I look around and see all the souls that if they died today they'd go to hell. It surely put fire in my bones and boldness to speak God's message to everyone, nomatter what. Yes, it can get discouraging to hear people call me names or be disgusted with me or hate me and avoid me. Yet the good Lord has brought fruit that I've lived to see come from this zeal that is now in my heart even moreso than ever. Still, my sadness sometimes overwhelms me when people won't head the message and scoff. Life is short friends. Believer and Unbeliever alike, we are all going to die. Let us who are Christians remember that souls are at stake and that for eternity. May God Himself go before us and open hearts to hear the message we speak and may the message we speak be God's Truth right from the Scriptures not some purpose driven, seeker sensitive, word faith stuff that won't save a single person. That's not the Gospel of everlasting life. That's a made up self driven, all about self fable. Eternity is a long time, it never ever ever ever ends. Let us who are Christians pray for the Church because it's become so painfully obvious that's it's in apostasy and it's spreading like a fire, these false teachers and preachers are preaching. Let us go out boldly to proclaim the Good News of the Grace and Mercy of our Beautiful King and Saviour who died and rose again for our sins. Jesus, the Son of God did this and He's real. Let us remember too that hell is just as real, not some fable. Let us bear reproach for His cause and warn the masses telling them to Repent and Turn to the Lord asking for forgiveness. Let us live as Christians, foreigners and strangers in this world. Being living testimonies of what God can do. This world is not our home and we shouldn't be comfortable here either. Neither should we live like the world for that is not living for Christ. We all need to prayer that the Lord will open eyes, ears and hearts including those that are currently being decieved in the Church today so they can be converted by our Living God. Yes, I remember. It wasn't just a movie.

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