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Luke 13:1-5

LESSONS AMERICA LEARNED ON SEPT. 11, 2001

Intro: Early Sunday morning December 7, 1941, Japanese fighter pilots executed a surprise attack on the American naval forces anchored at Pearl Harbor. After that event became public, President Franklin Roosevelt declared that it was "a day which will live in infamy." The word infamy means, "an evil reputation brought about by something grossly criminal, shocking or brutal." For almost 60 years that heinous event was the most infamous event in US history.

However, this past Tuesday, September 11, 2001, we witnessed a new day of infamy that eclipsed the horror of Pearl Harbor. As we watched on live television, thousands of American citizens and people from other nations were sent into eternity by an act so brutal and so devastating that it is almost beyond comprehension. The loss of life was staggering! The economic cost hasn't even begun to be measured. It was an event that will impact every person in this room for the rest of our lives. It will do so emotionally, economically, militarily, psychologically and especially spiritually! The events os this past Tuesday were horrible beyond belief or description.

In the aftermath of the terrorist attack, and in the midst of the recovery of the bodies of the dead, in a time when the United States stands on the brink of war, we should take a long hard look at what happened and at ourselves. This morning, I would like to consider the events that transpired Tuesday and talk about some lessons that we can learn from these events.

In our text, Jesus used a tragic event of that time to teach the people some spiritual lessons. There are lessons in this tragedy that can teach us in this day. Allow me to share with you the Lessons America Learned On September 11, 2001.

I. WE LEARNED LESSONS ABOUT LIFE

A. Life Is Brief - James 4:14; Job 7:6-7; Psa. 103:15-16; Pro. 27:1

B. Life Is Precious - Gen. 1:26; Matt. 10:29-31

(Note: The outcry over the thousands dead in New York. This is justified because those were real people in those buildings and in those planes. May we never forget them! May their deaths have not been in vain! However, what about the 4,000 plus who die every day legally in the abortion clinics? What about the 4 per second who are dying every second? This amounts to 345,600 people who die per day, and the majority of them are lost! Where is the outcry and the outrage over these? Life is precious, regardless of where life is!)

C. Life Is Tragic - Job 14:1; Eccl. 2:22-23; John 16:33

D. Life Is Tainted By Sin - (Note: Why do these things happen? There are many complex answers, but the simple answer is sin! The root of these events can be traced back to the sin of one man and one woman. In Genesis 16, God had promised to give Abraham and Sarah a child. Instead of waiting for God to answer in His time, they sought to help God out and a baby named Ishmael was born. This baby was the father of all the Arab nations, and ultimately the father of those who conceived and carried out this attack. These things are a perfect illustration of Gal. 6:9.) Rom. 3:10-18; Psa. 14:1-3

E. Life Does Not End At Death - All those thousands who stopped living here Tuesday morning started living somewhere else immediately, 2 Cor. 5:8; Luke 16:22-23; Acts 1:25. (Note: One man called his family to tell them that he would see them in Heaven!)

I. We Learned Lessons About Life

II. WE LEARNED LESSONS ABOUT LIBERTY

A. Liberty Is A Precious Possession - We have a precious liberty in this country. We are free to worship and live for God without governmental intervention or persecution. That liberty must be preserved and defended at all costs.

B. Liberty Is A Fragile Possession - We could see our freedoms stripped away. It wouldn't take much to see America fall into the kind of disarray that plagues many nations around the world today. We must take our place alongside our fellow Americans and defend this great nation.

C. Liberty Is A Costly Possession - America is the nation we are because two and a half centuries ago men and women were willing to pay whatever price was demanded of them to be free. We did not live during the days of the revolution, but we are still involved in the fight for freedom! We must do our part in these days to defend this nation and to protect the freedoms we enjoy. We must saturate this situation in prayer, 1 Tim. 2:1-4. We must be ready to sacrifice, without complaint, to protect our liberty. We must be willing to give all we have, even our lives if necessary, to secure freedom for successive generations.

I. We Learned Lessons About Life

II. We Learned Lessons About Liberty

III. WE LEARNED LESSONS ABOUT THE LORD

(Ill. Events like those on Tuesday always raise questions about God. Some are: 1.) Where was God? 2.) Did He know? 3.) Could He have stopped it? 4.) Why didn't He? While there are no easy answers to those questions, there are several truths we know about God that give us comfort in times like these.)

A. His Love Is Constant - Some have no doubt questioned the love of God in the light of these devastating events. However, God's love was not diminished in this event. He still loved those who perished and those who perpetrated this cowardly act. If those who are hurting would reach out to God, they would find that His love has neither flagged nor failed! His love is constant! Jer. 31:3; John 3:16; 1 John 4:8

B. His Promises Are Sure - Some may have wondered about the Lord's promises at a time like that. I just want to remind you that what happened Tuesday changed nothing as far as God is concerned. His promises are still as valid today as they were on Monday. His Word is still true. God is still in control and He will still keep His Word, Rom. 4:21. Friends, Psalm 23 still stands true today!

C. His Grace Is Sufficient - Many are asking themselves, "How will we make it through these days?" The answer is simple! We will make it through these days as we place our faith in and our reliance on the God of Heaven. As we lean on Him, we will find that He is able not bear us up and to take care of these trials as well. We will find that His grace is abundantly sufficient, 2 Cor. 12:9. (Note: The Bible tells us that the last days will be troubled and dangerous times, 2 Tim. 3:2. We are in the last days. If we will be able to endure the trials and troubles that will befall our world in these days, we must sink our anchor deep into God and trust Him to sustain us by His power, Heb. 6:19.)

D. His Plan Is Perfect - Others may be left with a feeling that somehow God is no longer in control of the world and of what is going on. Some may be guilty of questioning God's plan for the ages. Let me just say that God is a sovereign God! That is, He is in absolute control of all things and we have no right to question His reasons for what He allows to happen. May we ever remember the following:

1. He Is In Control - Rom. 9:21; Nahum 1:3; Job 9:12; Dan. 4:35

2. He Brings Rulers To Power For Specific Times - Pro. 8:15; Dan. 2:21; Rom. 13:1. (Note: This was Mordecai's word to Esther - Esther 4:14.)

3. He Allows These Events To Accomplish His Own Purposes - 1 Sam. 2:6-9; Psalm 33:10; Psa. 127:1-2; Pro. 19:21; Rom. 8:28 (Note: These things may be the judgment of God on the sins of America! Don't forget that we, as a nation have sinned against Him. Instead of seeking revenge, maybe we should be seeking a place of repentance.)

4. This Did Not Catch God By Surprise - Isa. 42:9; Isa. 46:10; Heb. 4:13

E. His Salvation Is Available - The best comfort that can come from these events is that men may realize their own mortality and turn to God for salvation. If men will call on Him, He is faithful to save them by His grace! Rom. 10:13; Rev. 22:17; Rom. 10:9-10.

Conc: What lessons have you learned from these events? Have these things spoken to your heart? Maybe you came here today with questions relating to the why of these events. Those answers will be found in the Lord. Maybe you came here today knowing that if you had been there in one of those buildings or on one of those planes, you would be dead and in Hell this morning. If so, there is salvation in Jesus Christ. Perhaps you can see where you, as a Christian, haven't been living as close to the Lord as you should have, and that you have been wasting your time. If so, there is forgiveness and restoration in Jesus Christ. Maybe you can see where this thing is headed, and you want to seek God for our leaders, our troops and for the families of those who have lost loved ones in this tragedy. If so, there is a need for people to make intercession at the throne of grace. I am saying that there is a place for everyone in the altar this morning!




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