Significance of the Attack on the
World Trade Center and the Pentagon
by Tom Stewart
September 16, 2001
Only a few days after the infamous kamikaze assault upon the World
Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., the language
describing the Pearl Harbor event has escalated from "senseless" to an
act of "war". "O LORD, to us
belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because
we have sinned against Thee" (Daniel 9:8). President George W. Bush has vowed that no distinction will be made between
the terrorists and those who harbor the terrorists. "He
that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds"
(2John 11). As the days have gone by, disbelief and fear have
turned into increasing national rage against the perpetrators of this terrorist act;
and, virtually the whole world community has quickly aligned itself with the United
States in acting against the terrorists, e.g., NATO has pledged that an attack upon
one member is an attack upon all. "A sound
of battle is in the land, and of great destruction" (Jeremiah
50:22). As the carnage is gradually assessed in the media, and hope
to find survivors fades, the sense that President Bush must act with the military
might of the United States against the terrorists increases; and accordingly, Islamic
terrorist Osama bin Laden, has further sequestered himself into the mountains of
Afghanistan, bracing himself against retaliation for the the diabolical attacks.
"Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing [lies]: the LORD will abhor the bloody
and deceitful man" (Psalm 5:6).
But, what is the true significance of the September 11th 2001 attack? More than the early bewilderment and disbelief that seized upon the escaped occupants of the World Trade Center; more than the fear and anguish that has consumed the families of the missing victims; more than the weariness and fatigue of the rescuers, who want desperately to do more than clean up; and greater still than the understood vulnerability and anxiety of the ordinary American-- that God would take away the restraint and allow such a monumental breach of day-to-day life, is the true significance of this trumpet blast, that the Professed Church would awaken out of its slumber of sin. "For the time is come that Judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of God?" (1Peter 4:17). It is far too easy to self-righteously lay the blame merely upon the bloody terrorists. They are to be blamed, and they will be judged. "Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, saith the LORD" (Romans 12:19). To beat our chests and assert that God has allowed this catastrophe merely because the unconverted of America have tolerated abortion and homosexuality, also misses the point. Of course, God will certainly judge the murder that abortion is-- "in the secret places doth [the wicked] murder the innocent" (Psalm 10:8)-- and, He will deal with the perversion of homosexuality-- "men with men working that which is unseemly" (Romans 1:27)-- but, multitudes of Professed Christians defend these sins and perversions of the world, because they believe and practice it themselves! "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the LORD, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you" (2Corinthians 6:17).
Even further, we may applaud our unwillingness to tolerate perversion in the Church, but do we allow the Holy Spirit to fulfill His function in us to make us walk "holy and without blame before Him in love" (Ephesians 1:4)? After all, is it not the whole point of the New Testament-- which is the New Covenant-- that the Almighty would place His Spirit within His people to make us "to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13)? "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah" (Jeremiah 31:31). "26 A New Heart also will I give you, and a New Spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My Statutes, and ye shall keep My Judgments, and do them" (Ezekiel 36:26-27). Jesus came the First Time because His Atoning Blood was necessary to make it appropriate for God to forgive men that would repent and to make possible this New Economy of Perfect Loving Obedience in His Saints. "Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the New Testament in My Blood, which is shed for you" (Luke 22:20). "Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His Own blood, suffered without the gate" (Hebrews 13:12).
If we do not daily and continuously overcome the "sin which doth so easily beset us" (Hebrews 12:1), then we will crucify the "Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame" (6:6)-- which is an atrocity much worse than that committed by the terrorists in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania. "Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the Blood of the Covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of Grace?" (10:29). Remember, if we do victoriously live our profession of Christ, it is only because of the Spirit of Grace working in us. "Let us therefore come boldly unto the Throne of Grace, that we may obtain Mercy, and find Grace to help in time of need" (4:16). Professed Christian, if we ever do realize the lateness of the hour and the significance of the recent acts of terror, then let us awaken out of the slumber of sin, lay hold of the "Promise of the Spirit through faith" (Galatians 3:14), and arise that we may "be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18). Only then will we fulfill our purpose of walking in joyful, loving, faithful, holy, and perfect obedience to the God that created us and purchased us "with His Own Blood" (Acts 20:28).
Let us heed the Spirit's warning given to us by the Apostle Paul. "1 But of the times and the seasons, Brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the Day of the LORD so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, Brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the Children of Light, and the Children of the Day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the Day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of FAITH and LOVE; and for an helmet, the HOPE OF SALVATION. 9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain Salvation by our LORD Jesus Christ" (1Thessalonians 5:1-9).
Remember, the "LORD knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished" (2Peter 2:9). And, there is still the hope of the Pre-Tribulational Rapture for those who are ready. "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:36).
Christian Response to Terrorism ---New Window
by Tom Stewart
"The Koran teaches the Muslim faithful to kill idolatrous pagans, unless they repent and convert to Islam. 'When the sacred months are over, slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way. God is forgiving and merciful' (Sura 9:5). 'The tender mercies of the wicked are cruel' (Proverbs 12:10). Cruel is the word that best describes the Islamic application of such Koranic teachings, requiring the slaying of idolatrous pagans. 'An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger [Hebrew, malak, i.e., angel] shall be sent against him' (Proverbs 17:11). The very idea of converting by the sword horrifies every true teaching of Christ that demands fidelity to God with 'ALL thy heart... ALL thy soul, and ... ALL thy mind' (Matthew 22:37) as True Religion, '6 not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the Will of God from the heart; 7 with good will doing service, as to the LORD, and not to men' (Ephesians 6:6-7). The Christian Scriptures, as opposed to the Koran, emphasize the necessity of an uncoerced heart confession of Jesus Christ as Saviour and LORD, realizing that anything less is a false profession of Christ, i.e., 'And why call ye Me, LORD, LORD, and do not the things which I say?' (Luke 6:46). '9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the LORD Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be Saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto Righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto Salvation' (Romans 10:9-10)."
Subpoints of the article:
The Face of Terrorism (2001): Militant Islamic Fundamentalism
Terror: How Almighty God Uses Man's Wrath to Praise His Name
Faith in God: The Christian Response to Terrorism
Terror: The Beginning of God's Judgment
Question and Answer: On Terror
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