A Christian response to the terrorist attacks in New York & Washington
Lamentations 1:1"How lonely sits the city that was full of people! How like a widow is she, who was great among the nations! The princess among the provinces has become a slave!"
A. What is the Christian response/perspective to the devastation and horror of the terrorist attacks on our nation?
1. Should we go to war? If the U.S. does, should we support it?
2. Should we hold Islamic faith accountable?
3. How should we react to Arabic people?
4. What lessons are there to be learned in this?
B. God does not leave us without direction in days of uncertainty like this:
1. God s word speaks of this very type of ordeal -Lamentations 1:1
2. Give description of Jerusalem and the desolation that occurred.
Jerusalem, the capital of ancient Israel, was a most beautiful city. It was set in the southern part of the land, surrounded by mountain ranges on every side but the south east. If you stood in that city and looked around, you would see these mountain ranges all around. And if you then turned to the south-east, you would see a gap in the mountains where you could look out over the wilderness towards the far distant mountains of Moab.
It was as if Jerusalem, surrounded by these beautiful mountains, was being protected by the Lord's love. The Psalms speak of this protection: "As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds His people from this time forth and forever."
C. There are principles in God s word which will guide us in godly response.
2. Several lessons the scriptures teach about times like these:
A. God is in control, even when it doesn t seem like it, and good will eventually triumph. -Romans 8:28
1. America was divided in every way we could be divided
a. Race, gender, age, religion, socially, economically, politically
(1) We voted almost 50-50 in the last presidential election
b. Matthew 12:25 A house divided against itself will not stand
2. Today, we are united as a people against a common foe.
3. God is not chiefly concerned with political events:
a. We, as Christians, face a common foe, Satan, and we are all targets of his campaign of terror, sin, destruction and death.
b. This is the chief concern of God.
4. James 1:1-3 We are commanded to rejoice in times like these.
5. Worry & fear are sinful and counter-productive.
a. They betray a fundamental weakness of faith toward God.
(1) We must have the But if not faith Gerald spoke about
(a) Shadrack, Meshack, & Abednigo
b. You must turn to God with your concerns, and heartfelt agony.
c. Philippians 4:4-9 Contains God s answer to worry.
6. These times remind us that
B. Life is fundamentally uncertain, and death is sure, we just don t know when.
1. We are insulated from death in so much of our lives
a. Those in Afghanistan lose 1 of 4 children before age 5
b. Charlene, next door, age 46; Leslie Monk, age 11; all who died in the towers.
2. Romans 6:23 The wages of sin is death and as all have sinned, so all die.
3. James 4:13-16 God says boasting of your life in the future is EVIL.
4. As Christians, we must pin our hopes on the next life, not on this one.
5. And we must hold our Christian faith closer than ever
C. This act was the result of hatred and evil, not of religious devotion
1. The terrorist s operated on false assumptions
a. There is nothing inherently noble in willing death
b. 1 Cor.13:3 Give body to be burned & have not love
2. It is wrong to Judge Islamic (or any other) people by those who distort, and yet claim their message.
a. David Koresh in Waco is an example of one who distorted the Christian message, as were many in the Holy Wars etc.
3. We have learned again that
D. There are many good people in this world, just as there are many evil people.
1. Wickedness is not nearly as consuming as it was in the days of Noah Genesis 6:5
2. And we must remember that
E. God loves all people, even those who are not faithful children of His
1. John 14:6 I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the father except by me.
a. TRUTH: Everyone who is not a faithful Christian, will be eternally lost in the flames of Hell, including all:
(1) Jews, Muslims, Pagans, New Agers, Hindu s, etc.
b. John 3:16 God loved them all enough that he sent his only son to die for them, so that they could be saved.
(1) Not so that they could persist in their evil ways.
c. So should we love all people, Muslims, Jews, and Pagans & everyone.
2. Matthew 5:43,48 We are required to love our enemies. By praying for them, speaking good of/to them, and doing good to them. (personally).
3. Have you prayed for Osama Bin Laden s soul?
4. Does that mean that we (as a nation) should just turn the other cheek and overlook the murder of over 5000 Americans? No
F. It is the job of the government to punish evil, even when that involves the taking of life in revenge.
1. Romans 13:1-6
2. We must never lose our faith that
G. God will have the last word, and it will be final
A. We have learned that:
1. God is in control
2. Life is fundamentally uncertain
3. This was an act of hatred, not religion
4. There are many good people in the world
5. God loves all people & so should we
6. It is the Government s job to punish evil
B. There is hope, even in Lamentations:
When Jeremiah saw his beloved city in ruins, he did not give up hope. Despite all the sadness, all the tragedy, recorded in the Book of Lamentations, Jeremiah still speaks of hope: "'The LORD is my portion,' says my soul, 'Therefore I hope in Him!' The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD." And indeed there was reason to hope. The Lord had not forgotten Jerusalem. About fifty years later the city would start to be rebuilt and the Jews would start returning home from Babylon.