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Never Forget - Shepherd of Hope

“I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.’”  – Isaiah 45:7

 

“For He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.” – Lamentations 3:33

 

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” – Romans 8:28

 

This is the twenty first anniversary of the tragic attack of 9/11/2001 on America at the Twin Towers in Lower Manhattan of New York City. That fateful day changed us forever. In the aftermath of the attack we vowed to “Never forget!” Have we honored that vow? Some have, some have not.

 

We need to remember first off, those who were lost on 9/11/2001:

  • 8 EMT/Paramedics
  • 60 Police Officers
  • 343 Firefighters
  • 2997 civilians

We should remember the details of that day:

8:46 am – The North Tower was struck

9:03 am – The South Tower was struck

9:37 am – The Pentagon was struck

9:59 am – The South Tower collapsed

10:07 am – Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania

10:28 am – The north Tower collapsed

 

These are hard memories, that produce sorrow and for many, nightmares. How can we deal with such things? How can we “Never Forget,” and yet come through stronger? Some have tried to deal with the memories of that fateful day by forgetting. Burying those memories is not always the best way to deal with them. A better way is to “Never Forget,” but remember in a way that gives us wisdom, understanding, and strength.

There were a lot of responses to the 9/11 attacks. That day began a time of national and local grieving for the lost. Family and lives were changed forever. Some enlisted in the military and went to war. Some of those died too. Some returned to join the ranks of those afflicted with PTSD. There are a lot of Post-Traumatic-Stress related memories associated with that terrible day twenty-one years ago.

Some used that tragedy to promote their own agenda. We can’t imagine such callousness and abuse, but its true. If we’re honest and observe what’s happened in our nation and throughout the world since that fateful day, we will have to admit it turned out to be a day of devilish opportunity.

 Folks, the problem is, we’ve forgotten a lot about 9/11. We’ve forgotten things that we should have remembered. There are things, images, we will never forget. But there are a lot of other things we let slip through our fingers as a result of 9/11.

What Have We Forgotten?

 Here’s a short list of things we’ve forgotten related to 9/11.

We’ve Forgotten About Individual Privacy – Motivated by wanting to protect ourselves against further attacks, we surrendered our privacy. We have less privacy, more government intrusions, and less freedom. We are moving at breakneck speed toward a technocracy managed by facial recognition, chips, and Artificial Intelligence.

We’ve Forgotten Government Exists to Serve God’s Good and the People – Government control in our country is at an all-time high. The words of Winston Churchill echoed by Rahm Emanuel have come true, “never let a good crisis go to waste.” Certainly powerbrokers and political soldiers have seized what they believe was an opportunity and used it to implement their offensive strategies. And they have learned to do the same with other crises since the original 9/11.

We Have Forgotten About Individual Freedoms – We have less freedom to do what we want when we want it than at any other time in our history. We are being ushered into a “Great Reset” where you will own nothing and be happy about it. Our lands are being bought up. Farmers are paid to not produce. Resources are being strangled. Globalism is on the rise. Nation states are waning.

We Have Forgotten Unity with Our Fellow Citizen – We are arguably just as divided today as we were during the American Revolution or the Civil War. It’s dangerous to wear a red Make America Great Again cap. Patriotism is scorned. The nation is divided.

We Have Forgotten About Freedom of Speech – We have Less of a Voice – We live in an increasingly “Cancel Culture” where those who resist the popular narrative or even question it, are shut down and shut out of the social conversation.

We Have Forgotten What It Was Like to Trust Government – Our elections are suspect. Our political “representatives” are getting richer while we get poorer.

We Have Forgotten Common Decency – We are more self-centered, more sexualized than at any point in our nation. We have become a sexualized society where even the youngest are subjected to the propaganda of gender confusion. We are a sinful society and nation, and many are proud of it.

We Have Forgotten the Value of Truth – Where is “truth”? We are more concerned with what people feel or what they “identify” with than what reality actually is. We are fed propaganda 24/7. Even the most detached has come to realize the media cannot be trusted.

We Have Forgotten What Peace is Like – We have become in many ways more like Nazi Germany and Communist Russia and China, and people are proud of it! There’s war in the Ukraine and serious saber rattling from China, Russia, and Iran. The Middle East is still a powder keg. The words, ‘World War Three,” have become more common.

We Have Forgotten What It Means to Have Faith – The covid “pandemic” ran us inside and there are people still traumatized and living in fear as a result. We are a people filled with fears and sorely lacking in faith. People are confused and lost in in this changed world. We are starting to hear more and more rumblings from the masses as fatalities connected to vaccine booster shots become more common.

When 9/11 first occurred, there was an initial glimmer of hope. People looked to God and His church for answers. There was a spirit of unity. We saw that nationally. Shortly after the terror attacks of September 11th, 2001, U.S. House Joint Resolution 71 was passed by a vote of 407 to 0 on October 25th, 2001. This resolution was an almost unprecedented show of unity and requested that the President designate September 11th of each year as Patriot’s Day. Remember that? President Bush signed this resolution into law on December 18th, 2001. The day had been originally referred to as The National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for the Victims of the Terrorist Attacks. Twenty years later all of what happened has been brought into question by conspiracists as well as those with legitimate concerns. They used to say, “You’ve come a long way baby.” Now it seems like we’re taking a long walk off a short pier. Watch out, the waters of this world are shark infested.

If we believe Bible prophecy, then what has happened is more understandable. We may not like it, but we understand it. There will be a global system of global government in the Last Days (Revelation 13). But that doesn’t mean we should throw our hands up in surrender. Our job as followers of Jesus is to witness to the truth like Jesus did (e.g. John 18:37; Romans 8:29; 1 Peter 2:21; 1 John 2:6). We are called to resist the darkness and expose it (Ephesians 5:11). The true Church, filled, guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit, is to serve God as a restraining force against the darkness (2 Thessalonians 2:7). At the heart of all we do should be the powerful gospel of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16). We serve God by promoting His good and truth in the sovereign nation He has placed us.

We Have Forgotten Hope – People are questioning more and more, and they can only be shut up and shut down for so long. There seems to be trouble and uncertainty in every direction. No, in the twenty-plus years since the original attacks, we haven’t changed that much. If anything, we’ve gotten progressively worse.

We Have Forgotten God in All of This – The reason for much of our problems in processing the tragedy of 9/11, the reason for our forgetfulness, is because we have forgotten where God fits in to all of this. He is the missing ingredient.

That in and of itself is a fateful barometer of how we have not only forgotten so many bedrock truths and principles of life, but it doesn’t seem as though we have learned anything from 9/11. In fact, in many ways, it’s as though we have purposely unlearned instead of returned to the things that would make us great again. To top it off, there is a great push toward socialism, a system of government that would be appalling to our Founding Fathers and historically has always ended in failure, more hardship and deeper-rooted self-indulgent corruption.

What Should We Never Forget?

As the years since 9/11/01 pass by, what can we learn? The Christian can glean good from all of this by taking a Biblical perspective. The events we see unfolding before us are a part of a historical maneuvering into position for God’s prophetic plan. One day the entire world will come to bow before Jesus. Then all will understand truly that No Jesus; No Peace – Know Jesus Know Peace. For many that awareness will come too late. They will come to know Jesus as Lord much the same as the demons do, as the Judge who will enforce their eternal damnable destiny (James 2:19). I pray they heed God’s gracious gospel offer and are saved from such a fate before it’s too late.

This date of the year always brings a sadness to my heart. It’s a date that brings a sadness to many people, to our nation, to the world. I still find myself fighting back the tears. I still remember the shock of seeing the Towers collapse and imagining the cries of those inside as the building came down. They still echo in my ears and in my heart. I still feel the anger as many in the Middle East and elsewhere danced in the streets because they felt finally America had got her comeuppance. I still remember the effects of evil. No politicking will ever erase that memory. There’s a lot I remember.

I still remember ministering in downtown Manhattan just days after the attack. I still remember the makeshift memorials in the City made with candles and surrounded with the photos of lost loved ones. I remember the melted wax of those candles. I still remember firemen’s funerals. I remember policemen’s, EMT, and Port Authority police funerals. I remember a lot of funerals. I remember giant flags draped over roadways for the funerals of the lost in our Long Island suburbs. I remember the days and months afterward of smoldering, incessant billowing smoldering smoke from Ground Zero. I remember going to my treasured prayer place on the southern shore beach of Long Island. It was some fifty miles away on the beach, and still I was able to see that sad, sad, smoldering.

I also remember sitting down and prayerfully asking the Lord to help me make sense of it all. Lord, give me a message to send out that will help the people who are hurting so badly. Lord give me a word; help me to apply Your word to this terrible event. The Lord did give me a teaching to send out. And I’m returning to it on the anniversary week of this fateful day. I pray it helps us all ask and answer the question What Does Tragedy Teach Us?

 Years ago, I was moved by God to introduce the first What Does Tragedy Teach Us? with the words:

On September 11th, 2001, the World Trade Center was destroyed with most of its occupants, by two hijacked jetliners (and their occupants), which cut through the concrete and steel of those buildings like a flaming arrow shot at the heart of this nation. The terrorist plane hijackings (4) and attack at the World Trade Center and Pentagon has shocked this nation. The NY Stock Exchange, the hub of the finance of this country, and really, the world’s finances, is shut down. Baseball games and Broadway plays are stopped. The Emmys have been cancelled. Airports across the nation have been shut down. TV programming has been tuned to newscasts covering the events surrounding this tragic terrorist attack. Many have likened it to Pearl Harbor. This is a day in history that will go down as a day of infamy.

But what can we learn from this tragedy? What does tragedy teach us? Well, besides the obvious need for greater national security, . . . there are personal lessons to be learned along with lessons for our nation.

Twenty-one years later I’d like to consider what we should Never Forget about tragedies like the one of 9/11.

First, Never Forget God Allowed This to Happen – He Is in Control

 We might be tempted to think that life is out of control when such tragedies hit us. But this is not true. God is in control. The Bible says God is sovereign and in control even when tragedies occur. The prophet Daniel, greatly used by God during terrible times, was inspired to say this:

  • Daniel 2:20–23 (NKJV) – 20 Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, For wisdom and might are His. 21And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding. 22 He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, And light dwells with Him. 23“I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers; You have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of You, For You have made known to us the king’s demand.”

Never forget, God is in control, no matter what!

But if God is in control, wouldn’t He have stopped such a tragedy and loss of life? We might find this difficult to accept, but God allowed the attack and tragedy that happened at the World Trade Center. In the Old Testament book of Isaiah, it states the following:

  • Isaiah 45:5-7 – “I am the Lord, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me,6 That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other;7 I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.’” 

God is sovereign even in times of tragedy. We should remember, for instance, that Satan was not allowed to bring trials into Job’s life until he had secured permission from God to do so (Job 1-2). What happens, happens, because God allows it to happen. But why would God allow tragedy? The answer to that question is multifaceted.

Second, Never Forget God Hates Tragedy and Calamity

The Bible tells us that though God allows tragedy to happen, He hates it:

  • Lamentations 3:31-33 – “For the Lord will not cast off forever.32 Though He causes grief, Yet He will show compassion According to the multitude of His mercies.33 For He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.”

God takes no pleasure in allowing tragedy to occur. In fact, no One grieves over the pain and suffering caused by sin as much as God does. Sin is not bad because God forbids it. God forbids sin because it is bad. And sin is bad. It victimizes people. Sin destroys relationships. Sin separates us first from God (Isaiah 59:1-2) and then from each other. Sin pollutes our mind making us think incorrectly. Sin blinds us, binds us and grinds us down. Sin addicts us to self and that causes us to devalue others and break relational bonds. Sin in extreme destroys relationships by literally destroying people. It can do this through such acts as careless manslaughter, homicide and genocide. God hates sin. He knows that those with sin in them, those overtaken with sin, are capable of horrifically heartless sinful acts, like 9/11.

But why does God, if He is Almighty, allow such tragedy to happen? Why doesn’t He just step in and stop it all? Sometimes God does step in and prevent evil. The problem is that humanity takes such intervention for granted. Complacency leads to neglect of God and relating to Him. And the further we are from God, the less sensitive and resistant to sin we become. And when sin becomes no big deal to us, we indulge it, we practice it, we even get to a point where we promote it. Sin harms and hurts, it causes sorrow and death. Sin destroys. God is eternally opposed to sin. Therefore, if need be, He is willing to take drastic measures to deal with it. Those drastic measures sometimes include tragedy.

God chooses to hold back and permit this fallen world to continue in its fallen sinful state because He loves us. What? That sounds absurd. But it isn’t. God desires none to perish but all to come to repentance and a saving state of salvation in His Son Jesus Christ (e.g. 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). It’s true that the further we are from God, the easier it is for us to sin. But the alternative is also true. The closer we come to God, the clearer we see our sin and the truth about it and the reason we should resist it. And the closer we come to God, the more power we have to resist and fight against sin. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

But there’s another reason why God puts up with the present fallen tragic state of His creation. Sin separates us from God. God wants us close to Him for an eternity. In order for that to happen, in order to provide more time for more people to be saved from their sin, He waits. God allows things to continue in their fallen state to give people more time to turn from their sin to Him. He is willing to do that even if it risks the pains and turmoil caused by sin. God waits. All the while He is beckoning to the lost and seeking to draw them to Himself (John 6:44). He has a time set when He will finally intervene. But He is waiting for people, more and more people to come to eternal life through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

Don’t blame God for 9/11 or tragedy in general. This is a human made problem (cf. Genesis 3). God is not a sadist or tyrant who has a lust for power and indiscriminately shows it. God is not capricious. He has purpose in that which He does and in what He allows to happen. He is waiting for more people to turn to Him through faith in Jesus so that they can be forgiven their sins and spend eternity with Him.  Dealing with disease can be painful. Sin in this world is at epidemic proportions. We need spiritual surgery. We need to go to God for healing.

Third, Never Forget God Allows Tragedy to Get Our Attention, To Get Us to Search Our Ways

Sometimes a people become so hardened toward God that they need to be shaken to be awakened from their spiritual sleep. The psalmist tells us that God does orchestrate hardship at times with an aim to bring us to Himself:

  • Psalm 66:10-12 – “For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.11 You brought us into the net; You laid affliction on our backs.12 You have caused men to ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water; But You brought us out to rich fulfillment.”  (See also James 1:2f.)

God tested Israel with affliction and hardship, but His aim in doing so was, to bring them out to rich fulfillment. That is God’s aim and purpose, and He will do whatever it takes to bring us to that point. God wants us with Him in eternity. God’s ultimate purpose for us is to conform us to the likeness of His Son Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). God wants us glorified, not deified, but like Jesus, in an eternal life kind of way. But to become like Jesus is so often way down on our list of priorities, (if it is on our list or in our hearts and minds at all). We need to be awakened to our needs. We need to be awakened to God’s possibilities for us.

God uses trials to get our attention. Tribulation wakes us up. We see an example of this on a national scale in the history of Israel. The book of Lamentations is a funeral-like dirge inspired by God through the prophet Jeremiah. In chapter one of Lamentations God through Jeremiah points out that her captivity and affliction is the result of her persistent sinfulness:

  • Lamentations 1:5, 8, 9 – “Her adversaries have become the master, her enemies prosper; For the Lord has afflicted her Because of the multitude of her transgressions. Her children have gone into captivity before the enemy. . . 8 Jerusalem has sinned gravely, therefore she has become vile. All who honored her despise her Because they have seen her nakedness; Yes, she sighs and turns away. . . .9 Her uncleanness is in her skirts; She did not consider her destiny; therefore her collapse was awesome; She had no comforter. “O Lord, behold my affliction, For the enemy is exalted!”

While tragedy is not always the result of personal sin, it always serves to wake people up.  There are objective planetary sins that take the form of natural disaster and disease. Sin causes creation to groan (Romans 8:22). There are personal sins of our choosing that have consequences. Whatever type of sin, planetary or personal, the cause of our pain and suffering, our tragedy, it usually serves to wake us up.

What about the United States? Was the tragedy of 9/11 a shot across the bow from God for our nation? I think that’ s a distinct possibility. God’s judgment and wrath sometimes fall suddenly as with Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18-19). God disciplined His own people by allowing them to be defeated and taken into captivity because of their persistent spiritual depravity and rebellion (e.g.2 Kings 25; 2 Chronicles 36:15-21; Psalm 78). But at other times, God in His mercy, withdraws His hand of protection giving up a nation gradually.

Israel is an example of this. Israel presumed that because God hadn’t immediately addressed their waywardness and sin, that God either didn’t care, or that God condoned their sin. Nothing could be further from the truth. God is merciful and longsuffering. God will wait graciously for the sinner to repent, whether an individual or a nation. But God never forgets sin or sinners and their sin. The prophet Amos was sent by God to convey this very thought. Amos proclaimed:

Amos 8 (NKJV)

Thus the Lord God showed me: Behold, a basket of summer fruit. And He said, “Amos, what do you see?”

So I said, “A basket of summer fruit.”

Then the Lord said to me:

“The end has come upon My people Israel;

I will not pass by them anymore.

3     And the songs of the temple

Shall be wailing in that day,”

Says the Lord God—

“Many dead bodies everywhere,

They shall be thrown out in silence.”

4     Hear this, you who swallow up the needy,

And make the poor of the land fail,

Saying:

“When will the New Moon be past,

That we may sell grain?

And the Sabbath,

That we may trade wheat?

Making the ephah small and the shekel large,

Falsifying the scales by deceit,

6     That we may buy the poor for silver,

And the needy for a pair of sandals—

Even sell the bad wheat?”

7     The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob:

“Surely I will never forget any of their works.

8     Shall the land not tremble for this,

And everyone mourn who dwells in it?

All of it shall swell like the River,

Heave and subside

Like the River of Egypt.

9     “And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Lord God,

“That I will make the sun go down at noon,

And I will darken the earth in broad daylight;

10   I will turn your feasts into mourning,

And all your songs into lamentation;

I will bring sackcloth on every waist,

And baldness on every head;

I will make it like mourning for an only son,

And its end like a bitter day.

11   “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God,

“That I will send a famine on the land,

Not a famine of bread,

Nor a thirst for water,

But of hearing the words of the Lord.

12   They shall wander from sea to sea,

And from north to east;

They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord,

But shall not find it.

13   “In that day the fair virgins

And strong young men

Shall faint from thirst.

14   Those who swear by the sin of Samaria,

Who say,

‘As your god lives, O Dan!’

And, ‘As the way of Beersheba lives!’

They shall fall and never rise again.”

 

Notice the judgment began with a famine of the word of God. Isn’t that what we see in our country today? Churches that once depended on and taught the word of God are moving away from that and instead relying on trends in society and what they believe are seeker sensitive issues. The outcome for such a deviation from God and His word, according to scripture, is destruction.

In Romans 1 a description is given of how God made Himself known to the Gentile world but because they disregarded His revelation, He gradually “gave them up” to a downward spiral of worse and worse sin. It states:

  • Romans 1:18–32 (NKJV) – 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

 

24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

When we look at the description of those who have been given up by God and compare it to the direction of our own nation, it’s stunning. It’s time for our nation to turn back to God. the stark truth is that if we don’t, we will go the route of other nations like Babylon, Greece, Persia, Rome. Skeptics deny such a connection to God. God’s final judgment will prove them wrong. It’s time to wake up!

What about the Church? As we draw closer to the return of Jesus, the Bible states the temperature of much of the church and its members would be “lukewarm” (Revelation 3:14-22). Jesus wrote a letter to the church of the Last Days saying:

  • Revelation 3:14–22 (NKJV) – 14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’ ”

This is a church that has a take-it-or-leave-it attitude toward Jesus and ministry. This is a church caught up in worldly wealth. This is a church that avoids faith like “gold refined in the fire” of affliction and opposition to the gospel. This is a church that is spiritually naked and that has no spiritual depth of vision to realize it. This is a church where Jesus is on the outside knocking to get in. Those that step away from such a church and seek to be overcomers in Christ will be welcomed by Jesus. Jesus says listen to what the Spirit is saying in these words.

The Bible also states that the Church of the Latter Days will depart from the true faith. As a result, they will be vulnerable to being lured into following the “son of perdition,” or Antichrist:

  • 2 Thessalonians 2:3–4 (NKJV) – Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

 What should we do? Remember, and never forget, we are not called by God to speak watered down truth. We are called by God to speak all His truth and speak it in His love (Ephesians 4:15). You may say, “Pastor, I read those previous paragraphs and they don’t’ sound loving.” I would say, when a house is on fire, even if its early in the morning and people would dislike being disturbed from their slumber, I’ll risk their anger to tell them truth that will save them. I’m willing to shout the truth that there is a “Fire!” And “You better get out! You must get out!” I’ll even enter the house to save them and wake them up, to shake them up. Wouldn’t you? There is a much hotter, a much more damaging fire in eternity that we want no one to experience. Yes, this is part of the truth of the gospel. It’s something that must be shared.

That is why Jesus came, to speak truth, to witness to the truth (John 18:37). God’s purpose for us is to be conformed to His likeness (Romans 8:29). Therefore, that means we too, like Him, are to testify to God’s truth. Our calling is to follow in His steps and walk as He walked (1 Peter 2:21; 1 John 2:6).  That means, we must love people enough to share the truth with them. It’s not loving to ignore sin and condone it. Sin leads to pain and suffering. True love speaks truth that brings salvation from sin, freedom from sin, healing.

The truth, the undiluted truth here is that the aim of God in allowing tragedy is to get us to search out our ways and return to Him. In Lamentations it states:

  • Lamentations 3:40-41 – “Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the Lord;41 Let us lift our hearts and hands To God in heaven.”

This is the greatest aim and lesson of tragedy; to turn to God in the midst of them.

Fourth, Never Forget God Allows Tragedy to Cause Us to Call Out to Him and Repent of Our Sin

Jeremiah goes on to say:

  • Lamentations 3:55-58 – “I called on Your name, O Lord, From the lowest pit.56 You have heard my voice: “Do not hide Your ear From my sighing, from my cry for help.”57 You drew near on the day I called on You, And said, “Do not fear!”58 O Lord, You have pleaded the case for my soul; You have redeemed my life.”

As we turn to God, we find a loving God of hope willing and waiting to heal us and have us personally relate to Him in an eternal relationship of love. He is able to fix that which is broken. He is able to right that which is wrong. He is able to solve that which we’ve found unsolvable. Jeremiah was inspired to write of this by saying:

  • Lamentations 3:21-26 – “This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.23 They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!”25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.26 It is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the Lord.”

In the New Testament Jesus speaks of a tragedy similar to that of the World Trade Center collapse. He says the important thing is not whether or not the tragedy happened because of the sin of the victims. God is not vindictive or cruel.  The important point to get, according to Jesus, was that the tragedy should cause us, the survivors, to repent and turn to Him:

  • Luke 13:1-5 – “There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things?3 “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.4 “Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem?5 “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”

Notice in these verses, Jesus does not concern Himself with assessing blame. Jesus focuses on the fragile condition of life. He focuses on the need to repent and get right with God. We are not guaranteed our next breath. Those who went to work at the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11th, 2001, had no idea of what the day would hold for them. And we too likely gave no thought to our eternal destiny until grim reality slapped us in the face.

Tragedy confronts us with the fragile nature of life. Life is a vapor. “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14b). Death is a certainty. “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Death is caused by sin. The curse of sin is death (Galatians 3:10). But Jesus is the cure for that curse. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse” (Galatians 3:13). “The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:56-57). And because of that we can stand strong in the storms of life. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Many, if not most people of these United States of America, live as though there is no God. And we in the Church have shown a tendency to procrastinate in and neglect our walk with God. Ask yourself a question, and answer it truthfully, when are you more inclined to pray, in hard times or easy times? In good times or bad times? When the skies are blue, or when they are black with the smoke of a terrorist attack? When tragedy strikes it shakes us up from our lethargy and drops us to our knees before God. It is sad that that is what it takes to get us on our knees, but if that is what it takes, God will allow it.

Fifth, Never Forget God Allows Tragedy to Show Us We Need to Be Right with Him, NOW!

Read some of the following verses which talk to us about our need to be ready and right before God, now:

  • Matthew 7:24-27 – “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:25 “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:27 “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

“Ánd great was its fall.” The fall of the Twin Towers in New York City pale in comparison to the crash this country will suffer at the hands of her enemies and other things unless we repent. God allowed us to experience a wake-up call on 9/11. There are signs of life in our nation. There seems to be a “Great Awakening” in some quarters and to some degree. But the wake-up calls of God, if neglected, will likely get more severe. We have seen school shootings, 9/11, and other mass shootings. We have seen natural disasters like massive hurricanes and flooding. I believe God loves this nation. But “. . . have you forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” (Hebrews 12:5-6). This is nothing new. God disciplines us, “for our profit, that we may be partakers of holiness” (Hebrews 12:10). Consider this.  

There seems to be a stirring in the hearts of people, a coming to truth about things and in certain ways. There seems to be a sense that all is not right in our nation. The political realm is part of the problem and will be part of the solution, but it is not the answer. We need to go beyond politics. If we settle for something less than a revival involving true repentance, what will happen next? Will a city be lost, a county, a state, a region? Will terror planes turn into terror chemical warfare, or nuclear terror? Will an earthquake split our nation in two? Will it take an asteroid from outer space to get our attention? What is it going to take to wake up this nation? What will it take to wake you up?

You may say, “Wait a minute, those verses were written thousands of years ago, they don’t apply to me.” But the Bible says as we get closer to the End of time things will get “worse and worse” (1 Timothy 3:13). The world is not going to get better, but worse, (until Jesus returns). Today is the day. Today we need to awaken to our perilous plight.

Scripture is replete with calls to wake up, be alert, to recognize the times in which we live. Read some of these verses:

  • Luke 21:34-36 – “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.35 “For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.36 “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
  • Romans 13:11-14 – “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”
  • 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 – “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.14 Let all that you do be done with love.”

Now is the time to get right with God (Hebrews 4). God wants us to wake up now. He says, “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand.” Get into God’s word and let it get into you. Get right with God through faith alone in Christ alone. I’m talking about something far more than religious ritual or ceremony. I’m talking about spiritual birth, a second birth, spiritual life (e.g. John 3). Ask God to fill you and overflow you with the Holy Spirit. Be burdened for the lost and empowered by the Spirit to do something about it. Get ready, because the tragedy of the World Trade Center is not likely to be the last nation shaking tragedy this nation will face.

Many today fail to remember, but in 1993 the Twin Towers were nearly destroyed. For a time, we were vigilant and took precautions toward potential terrorism. But over time we became lax and negligent as 9/11/01 attests. It’s very similar to today. The same is true of us spiritually. We draw close to God when a hard time comes. But as soon as He gets us over the hump, we slip back into our easy chair and settle for coasting in our faith and being a Christian couch potato. My friend, this should not be.

Sixth, Never Forget God Allows Tragedy to Teach Us to Pray

If we look at the book of Daniel, we see a great man of God was moved to pray for his captive people (Daniel 9:3-19). Daniel confessed and prayed to God for himself and his people. His heart was broken before the LORD. That is the effect tragedy should have upon all of us. Did you pray on 9/11/01? Have you prayed since? Are you praying now? Did you stop praying? Please pray. Pray through to the Promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14.

Lastly, Never Forget God Allows Tragedy to Teach Us God Can Bring Good Even from Tragedy

What good can possibly come from a tragedy such as the terrorist attacks on September 11th?  One of God’s most incredible promises in His word is:

  • Romans 8:28 (NKJV) – 28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His

We read such a verse in light of 9/11 and other horrific tragedies in the world, and it seems impossible. For those caught up in tragedy, such words may even seem offensive. We only begin to see and understand the possible good God can bring from tragedy, when we see it from God’s perspective and His purpose. God’s perspective is eternal. His perspective is from eternity and is in light of eternity. He wants us to spend eternity with Him. What He allows and uses in this life, though it may involve pain and suffering, is acceptable to Him if it means it will have an eternal value for us. Everything in this world is temporary. Our life is a vapor (James 4:14). For us to be raised to eternal life with our loving heavenly Father, there are times when tragedy becomes part of His plan.

God is not the Author of evil. But the reality of His creation with beings that have the capacity to make choices, is that some of these choices are sinful and produce evil. God can bring much good even from these circumstances. To sinful humanity God says, “What you meant for evil, I have used for good” (e.g. Genesis 50:20). That is what we have been seeing in this study. God can take the horror and pain and loss and suffering of a 9/11, and He can bring good even from that. That is miraculous. That is something only God can do.

Some Practical Suggestions to overcome Evil with Good

How does God bring good from evil?

First, overcome evil with good. The Bible states:

  • Romans 12:9–21 (NKJV) – Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;

If he is thirsty, give him a drink;

For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

 

There are a lot of sorrowing people on this fateful 9/11 day of remembrance. Weep with them. Listen to them. Love them. And if you happen to run into enemies or evil, overcome that evil with good.

Second, share the hope that comes through faith in Jesus. Of Jesus it was prophesied, “A bruised reed He will not break, a smoldering wick He will not snuff out” (Matthew 12:20; Isaiah 42:1-4). If this tragedy has nearly broken you like a bruised reed, if your spirit is about to go out like a flickering wick, understand that Jesus is there for you and offers you eternal life. Jesus calls us to Himself:

  • Matthew 11:28-30 – “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
  • Revelation 3:20 – “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

Jesus says, “Come to Me.” He says, “Open the door for Me and let Me in.” Jesus said, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3). The word “know” here is translated from the Greek term ginosko. The idea of this word “know” in the original language means to become aware, perceive (as in “seeing is believing”), to understand, to be conscious of, to see something or someone as it/they truly are (not merely opinion or speculation).

When this word is used in the sense of knowing someone it means:

  • To know someone personally
  • To be personally acquainted with someone
  • To trust someone
  • To have a friendship with someone
  • To have an intimate personal relationship with someone

It is possible to know personally the only true God and His Son Jesus Christ. He is the One who can get you through any and every tragedy. Because of Him we need not fear death. Because of Him we have hope no matter the darkness that threatens to engulf us. In light of this the question arises, do you know Jesus?

The Good News is that we can have a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. Entering into such a relationship is as simple as ABC: Admit/Ask, Believe/Receive, and Confess/Call.

Admit your sin and ask God’s forgiveness. Our sins separate us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). And we all have sinned and fall short of what it takes to enter heaven (Romans 3). We need to admit this truth before God. Once we admit our sin before God, we need to ask God’s forgiveness for our sins. This implies turning from our sins to God (i.e. repentance). This is humbling but necessary. We come to Him on His terms not our terms. We come humbly before God who is Awesome and Holy.

Believe in Jesus and His atoning work. Jesus and Jesus atoning work on the cross alone, not our efforts or works, is the basis for God’s forgiveness of our sins. The wages or consequences of our sin is death. Jesus died on the cross in our place, paying our punishment and penalty for sin. God offers us salvation from our sins freely as a gift of His grace through Jesus’ death on the cross (Romans 6:23). We are saved from our sins because of His work not our work. To believe, trust, or put our faith in Jesus as Savior is not a “work,” it is God’s grace working in us (Ephesians 2:8-9). Once we believe in Jesus and His atoning work, we believe and receive forgiveness for our sins based on Jesus and His work. God has a just basis to forgive our sins because of Jesus justifying work on the cross on our behalf. Jesus paid our death penalty on the cross for us. He’s the only One qualified to do that. Jesus took our sins on Himself on the cross and when we trust in Him and His work, He offers us His righteousness to be put to our account (cf. Isaiah 53; 2 Corinthians 5:21). God did this for us in Christ because He loves us. God is Love with a capitol “L” (e.g. John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:8 and 16).

Confess and call. We confess our sins to God and receive His forgiveness (1 John 1:9). But we also confess Jesus to those around us. We tell others about Jesus. We call others to follow Jesus too. These are not a works that lead to salvation. This is a fruit or evidence that salvation has genuinely taken place in us. The Bible states, “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10). Look up these verses and pray over them. “So, then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

Don’t let this tragedy have its effect compounded for evil by driving you away from God. Turn to Jesus and find rest for your souls and a saving relationship that will last an eternity. That is good.

Third, share His grace. Those who face tragedy in the Lord, see the reality of His sustaining grace. If we turn to God, we will find a strong faith that will get us through anything. And that is true of our nation as well as for the individual. God’s grace is sufficient for whatever our need might be. He says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). His grace is most clearly seen in our times of weakness. We realize the reality and power of God’s grace when we need it most, in times of tragedy. God can bring good even from tragedy if the tragedy causes people to repent and turn to Him through faith in Christ and salvation to experience His saving sustaining grace.

The Apostle Paul testified, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10). Tragedies reveal the strength of God in the believer. Tragedies provide opportunities to be more than a conqueror through Him who loved us. Wouldn’t you rather be more than a conqueror who cannot be separated from God’s love by anything or anyone, not even the most horrific and brutal terrorist attack in history? That’s where I want to be, close to God, in His love, depending on Him, forgiven. That is good and that comes from the dark contrast of tragedy (cf. Romans 8:28-39).

Fourth, understand this world is not our home. The events of September 11th were filled with the darkness of smoke. But there is light here too. The dark tragedy and evil that we have seen serves as a contrast to the light of the blessedness of Jesus for the believer. Jesus is our blessed hope, and we look forward all the more today, after this tragedy, eighteen years later, for His glorious appearing (Titus 2:13). This tragedy and all the other tragedies have made this world a little less, (maybe a lot less) palatable to us. Maybe through tragedy we will come to realize our citizenship is not in this world but in heaven (Philippians 3:20). That is good and that can come as the result of tragedy.

Fifth, never forget God’s word. The psalmist gives us good advice for such times. He is inspired to write:

Psalm 119:89–96 (NKJV)

ל Lamed

89   Forever, O Lord,

Your word is settled in heaven.

90   Your faithfulness endures to all generations;

You established the earth, and it abides.

91   They continue this day according to Your ordinances,

For all are Your servants.

92   Unless Your law had been my delight,

I would then have perished in my affliction.

93   I will never forget Your precepts,

For by them You have given me life.

94   I am Yours, save me;

For I have sought Your precepts.

95   The wicked wait for me to destroy me,

But I will consider Your testimonies.

96   I have seen the consummation of all perfection,

But Your commandment is exceedingly broad.

 

“I will never forget Your precepts,” the psalmist writes. All that we have discussed and that we said should never be forgotten, at the top of the list is the remembrance of God’s word. Why is that? Because “by them You have given me life.” The answer to how we can survive such sorrowful and tragic times is, go to God’s word and the God of that word. Build your life on the words of Jesus (Matthew 7:21-24). Make it a holy habit to memorize and know God’s word so that in such times you will have comfort and assurance from the Author in heaven.

Lastly, pray for repentance, revival and restoration. The tragedy of the destruction of the World Trade Center, attack on the Pentagon, hijacked and crashed planes and the murder of thousands is a reality. This tragedy has come upon us. Now we need to turn to God. This tragedy is the result of God’s hedge of protection being lowered by Him to allow a wake-up call in the form of tragedy. Read the words of the psalmist and consider:

  • Psalm 80:12-19 – “Why have You broken down her hedges, so that all who pass by the way pluck her fruit?13 The boar out of the woods uproots it, and the wild beast of the field devours it.14 Return, we beseech You, O God of hosts; look down from heaven and see, and visit this vine15 and the vineyard which Your right hand has planted, and the branch that You made strong for Yourself.16 It is burned with fire, it is cut down; they perish at the rebuke of Your countenance. 17 Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand, upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself.18 Then we will not turn back from You; revive us, and we will call upon Your name.19 Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; cause Your face to shine, and we shall be saved!”

Notice the sequence and priority here. First repentance, then revival, then restoration. That is the pattern of recovery. We need to understand that if we do not repent, then this tragedy, which has taken our breath away, is only the beginning. If we do not genuinely repent, it may be the beginning of the end.

We need to repent as a nation and as individual people. We need to pray for the victims, their families, friends, for the firemen and policemen and EMT workers, the doctors and nurses, the governmental leaders, our President and our nation. We cannot afford to let this tragedy pass us by without affecting us. Read again the words of promise for those who go to their knees:

  • 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 – “When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people,14 “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

May God help us. May God revive us. May God bless America.

Are You Going to Heaven?

The Bible states you can know for sure whether or not you are going to heaven?

  • 1 John 5:13 – “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”

How can you know for sure?

 Realize eternal life involves personally knowing God –

  • John 17:3 – “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

Realize sin separates people from Holy God –

 Psalm 66:18 – “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear”

    • Isaiah 59:2 – “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you”
    • Habakkuk 1:13 – “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness”

 Realize you are a sinner –

  • Exodus 20:1-17 – Examine and assess yourself by the Ten Commandments
  • 2 Corinthians 13:5 – “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?”
  • Romans 3:10 – “As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no, not one”
  • Romans 3:23 – “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
  • Galatians 3:10 – “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”
  • James 2:10 – “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.”

 Realize there is a penalty for sin –

  • Romans 6:23a – “For the wages of sin is death,”

Realize you need to be saved from your sins –

  • Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  • Ephesians 2:8–9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
  • Titus 3:5not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

Realize Jesus paid the penalty for you –

  • Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
  • 2 Corinthians 5:21 – “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Realize your salvation is a free gift from God that requires only a repentant heart faith decision from you to receive it – To “repent” means to confess to God and forsake your sin. To “believe” or have “faith” unto salvation means Forsaking All (others or other means of salvation) I Trust Him.

  • Acts 3:19-20 – “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you”
  • Acts 16:31 – “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved”
  • John 1:12 – “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name”

Realize salvation is a matter of the heart –

    • Acts 8:36–38 – Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” 37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
  • Romans 10:10 – “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Realize now is the time to call on God to be saved from your sins –

  • Romans 10:13 – For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
  • 2 Corinthians 6:2 – “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

A SALVATION PRAYER:

If you believe the above Gospel and are willing to trust in Jesus with all your heart as Savior, if you want the forgiveness of sins and eternal life God in this Gospel freely offers to you, with all your heart, pray this prayer:

“Dear God, I have sinned and disobeyed Your Laws.  I admit I deserve eternal punishment. But I repent; I confess my sins to You and forsake them. I ask that You please forgive me, not because of any good works I have done, but because I believe Jesus paid the just penalty for my sins by dying for me on the cross. I believe He rose from the dead. I believe that with all my heart. I receive it by faith, as a gift of Your grace. Help me to live for You.  Please Holy Spirit fill me, give me spiritual life, eternal life. Please help me to know you Father, Son Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit. Help me grow in a relationship with You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Now, begin praying and reading your Bible daily, regularly. Find a church that believes in and teaches the Bible as the word of God. Find a church where the Gospel is preached, and people believe in being born again. Find such a church and become a part of your new eternal family. And tell someone else about what God has done for you. Don’t go by feelings, live by faith in Jesus. He is faithful. He will help you. Remember this:

2 Corinthians 5:1717 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

1 Corinthians 10:1313 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

2 Timothy 2:1515 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 3:16–1716 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

 

 

 

 

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