"IS THERE AN ANSWER"
In the morning of September 11, 2001, God gave America a wake-up call! Four jumbo-jet airplanes were high-jacked. Two headed for New York City and two for Washington, D.C. The first headed straight for and collided with one of the twin World Trade Center towers in New York City. Minutes later the second hit the other twin tower. Both were shaken to their foundations. Within hours they crumbled to the ground. Then in Washington, D.C. another jet hit The Pentagon. As a result of these terrorist attacks thousands of people were injured and thousands died.
Many naturally have considered the physical, material, and political aspect of this tragedy but have ignored the spiritual aspect. They have blamed the laxity of security of America and have tightened security rigidly.
A Series Of Disasters
In the recent past America has been stricken with earthquakes and hit with fierce windstorms, hurricanes, and tornados in various locations, also flooding that has wiped out homes and businesses, and mud slides that wiped out communities. In addition, blazing fires destroyed countless acres of forest as well as homes. All this has caused the loss of many lives and countless millions of dollars of damage. Now, last of all, this terrorist disaster! An all-out effort has been made to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice. But little is said to deal with the spiritual aspect which underlies all of these catastrophic disasters. Our hearts go out to those who suffered the loss of loved ones, lives, and property.
Is there an Answer?
The question has been asked, Why did God permit, if He did not send, these disasters? Surely The only True and Mighty God has the power, ability, and loving care to prevent such events! But He didn't! Why? Is there an answer? Indeed there is! But it can only be found in the perfect record of God's communication to humans, known as The Holy Bible. There are numerous passages which address this question. Kindly permit me to cite just a few to answer this serious question. Wise Elihu, when rebuking ancient, patient Job, said, For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not'' (Job 33:14). God uses disasters to speak, to warn of impending judgment, and to judge because of wickedness.
Examples of How God Uses Disasters
|Nineveh-- avoided God's wrath and destroying power the first time|
by complete repentance and abandonment of their sins at God's wake up call by Jonah (Jonah 3:4-10). But about 125 years after that revival, the people of Nineveh had reverted to their wickedness. The Hebrew prophet, Nahum wrote to warn them a second time,|
The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: The LORD hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, . . . The mountains quake at Him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at His presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before His indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by Him. . . . But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof (Nahum 1:3-8).|
Nineveh was destroyed by an unusual flood of the Tigris River just as God warned through Nahum.|
|Jerusalem -- Most people are prone to think only of God's love|
and mercy. Yet God loved His people Israel and extended his mercy upon them till they wearied Him. In His love, God sent the prophets to rebuke and warn of impending judgment, unless they repent of and abandon their wickedness and walk in His ways, obedient to His Word.
The Hebrew prophet, Isaiah warned the capital of the Jewish religion, calling her Ariel (Lion of God), and pronounced woe because of her wickedness. He wrote,
|Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of Hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire. . . . Forasmuch as this people draw near Me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor Me, but have removed their heart far from Me (Isa. 29:6,13).|
When Hezekiah began his reign, he instigated revival in Judah. Fourteen years later, Assyria threatened to overthrow Jerusalem. But King Hezekiah turned to the Lord and depended totally upon Him for defense. As a result Judah and Jerusalem were saved.|
Just before the complete destruction and burning of Jerusalem to ground zero'' by Babylon's armies, God gave a wake-up call through His prophet Jeremiah,
If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the LORD, return unto Me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of My sight, then shalt thou not remove. . . . O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved! How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee? |
. . . For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate . . . It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin (Jeremiah 4:1,14,27; 36:3).
Tower of Siloam--The Lord Jesus Christ indicated that its collapse was
a wake-up call to repent.
Israel could have avoided the utter destruction of Jerusalem if they had only repented of their sins, lawlessness, and iniquities. But they did not heed the wake-up call and Jerusalem was torn down to ground zero'', destroyed, and burned, and her people were carried off to captivity in Babylon.|
Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, you suppose that these became greater sinners (debtors) than all humans who are residing in Jerusalem, do you not? I say to you, By no means, but unless you repent, you shall all perish in like manner (Luke 13:4,5).|
The Underlying Answer
Most people disregard or overlook the spiritual and moral condition of the whole country and the righteous indignation of The Only One True and Holy God which a great many Americans claim to worship and Whose blessing they invoke for America with "God Bless America". Surely God, as well as also our own hearts, is grieved at the wide-spread sexual immorality, adultery, violence, murder, rape, child abuse, and indecency in our nation both among the people and on television, as well as the poor spiritual condition, lethargy (callous indifference), and complacency of the church and of those who profess to be God's people.
No doubt the disasters of September 11, 2001 is a wake-up call to America first, and then to the whole world. God speaks through His action, Wake up America! Wake up World! In the words of Isaiah the prophet, God speaks to you and to me today,
Wake up from your lethargy and tolerance to violence and wickedness and sexual immorality! Repent and turn from your sins, your iniquities, your wickedness! The Greek word for forgive' means to abandon.' If you want God to forgive (abandon judgment upon your sins), you must abandon your sins and commit trust to Christ! Repent and abandon your sins and commit trust totally and only to The Lord Jesus Christ now for salvation, regeneration, sanctification, and holiness! Don't put it off!
Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it. For the indignation of The LORD is upon all nations, and His fury upon all their armies . . . thou hast made Me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied Me with thine iniquities. . . . Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto The LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon (Isaiah 34:1,2; 43:24b; 55:7).|
To the church today, Heed the exhortation by the apostle Paul to the
church at Colosse.
To those outside of Christ and all who have never done so, take these
five steps now to begin to prepare for His soon, second coming.
|Therefore put to death the members of yours, namely the ones upon the Earth: sexual immorality, uncleanness, inordinate passion, evil lust, and covetousness, whichever is idolatry! Because of which things the anger of The God is coming upon the sons of the disobedience (Colossians 3:5,6).|
|(1) Repent and turn to God from sin and disobedience! Change |
|your mind about and abandon your sinful ways so as to change your direction--go God's way (Isaiah 53:6; Acts 17: 30; Luke 13:3,5; 1 Thessalonians 1:9,10), and|
|(2) Confess (admit to God) your guilt as a sinner, asking for|
|God's mercy! (Luke 18:13), and|
|(3) Unreservedly commit your trust to the Lord Jesus Christ!|
|Believe He died as your substitute, endured God's wrath that was due to you, shed His Blood to wash your sins away, was buried and rose again to give you His New Life, and ascended into Heaven to apply His blood on the Mercy Seat to clear you from all guilt. Believe He wants to save you now (Romans 10:9; Hebrews 9:14,24-28), and|
|(4) Receive Him into your heart to become your Savior and|
|Lord of your life! Exchange your old life for His New Life (John 1:12; Colossians 2:6; Mark 8:37). Then|
|(5) Publicly and openly confess (declare that you agree with God) |
Take these five steps now! Humbly cry for mercy and for The Lord Jesus Christ to save you! If you really want this gift now, then sincerely and humbly pray the only prayer God will hear from a sinner.
|to be in The Lord Jesus Christ! Tell other humans how he saved you! (Romans 10:9,10; Matthew 10:32,33).|
|I am a lost guilty sinner and deserve eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire, But I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross to be punished for me. God, be merciful to me a sinner! I am tired of going my own way and I want to go Your way, but I cannot in my own strength. Lord Jesus Christ, come into my heart and save me from sin. I exchange my life for Your life and make You the Lord of my life. Thank You for saving me from sin. Thank You for washing my sins away in Your precious blood. Thank You for enduring the wrath of God. Thank You for giving to me eternal life. Now cause me to grow in Christ and to honor You in all my ways. In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I pray, Amen.|
Now log on to our web page at www.happyheralds.org for additional help. Or E-mail us at email@example.com and tell us of your decision and we'll send you helpful information as to how you can abundantly enjoy this new life in Christ and how you can continue to prepare for the soon second coming of our precious Savior, The Lord Jesus Christ. Begin now to regularly to attend a Bible-believing, Bible- teaching church. And log on to our web-broadcasts for further instructions on Knowing The Savior and Understanding The Bible. Also get into the habit of daily reading God's Word. Benefit also from our Read The Bible web-casts. May The Lord Keep you walking with Him in these "last days.
Dr. Fred Wittman
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