Pastor George C. Bruns
On September 11, 2001 two hijacked planes deliberately crashed into the World Trade Center's Twin Towers causing them to come crashing to the ground killing thousands of people. How could God allow such a thing to happen? Doesn't the Bible teach that, "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good" (Proverbs 15:3)? Doesn't the Bible also teach, "For with God nothing shall be impossible" (Luke 1:37) and, "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure" (Isaiah 46:10)? If God is all knowing then He knew this tragedy was going to happen. If He is all powerful then He could have prevented it. Therefore, either there is no God (the Bible says that "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God..." Psalms 14:1) or God allowed this awful thing to happen. If God exists, and He does, then why did He allow this?
In the Gospel of Luke Jesus was confronted by this same question when the tower of Siloam collapsed killing eighteen people. And what was Jesus' reply? Jesus said, "Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower of Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men...I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." (Luke 13:4, 5) Jesus was trying to warn the people that they had moved away from God. Just like today the men and women of Jesus' time were going about their daily lives paying little attention to God. They were committing adultery, eating and drinking excessively, cheating one another in business, lying, stealing, gossiping, etc. Many, just like today, were going to their religious services, paying tithes, and praying, but their hearts were far from God. Their hearts were filled with their own desires. They did not want to hear what God had to say to them through His holy prophets or in His written Word. But, God declared through the prophet Isaiah "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" (Isaiah 5:20)
Americans cannot keep doing whatever they please like the Israelites did, not obeying God, and then turn around and ask God to bless America. God cannot tolerate sin. God is loving, merciful, and longsuffering, but He is also righteous, and holy. He must execute His judgement upon sinful behavior, "Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty;..." (Exodus 34:7a)
This would not be the first time that God allowed wicked men from foreign lands to punish those who have sinned against Him. At different times throughout history God permitted the Egyptians, Philistines, Assyrians, Babylonians, etc. to chasten His people Israel when they went astray. So what makes you think He would not do the same to us? Are we any better? The Apostle Paul writing to the church at Rome said, "What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God."...For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:9-11, 23) And what is the penalty for sin? Paul continues, "For the wages of sin is death...." (Romans 6:23a)
The death that Paul is speaking of is the second death that the Apostle John told of in the Book of Revelation, "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:14, 15)
But there is hope. God told Israel this truth and surely the same would hold true for us, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14)
To "repent" means to be genuinely sorry for your sinful behavior, "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death." (2 Corinthians 7:10) So sorry , in fact, that in response you turn from your old behavior because you now realize that it displeases God.
Oh, there's one more thing. All that sin that you have already committed - it has to be paid for. Now, you could pay for it yourself, but that would put you right back into the lake of fire on Judgement Day. Or, you could let someone else pay for it for you. You see, God made possible a way for you to be totally forgiven of your sin and not be held accountable for it "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) That's right, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, voluntarily gave His life a ransom for you and me. He paid the price for all our sin on that old wooden cross. His blood was the purchase price for our release. The Apostle Peter wrote, "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation recieved by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was reordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God." (1 Peter 1:18-21)
Now, if you are willing to receive Christ as your Savior that doesn't mean that the terrorism will stop, or accidents won't still happen, it would require the repentance of a lot of people for that to happen, but at least you'll be assured of this "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." (1 John 5:13)
Other than your own foolish pride, what is keeping you from repenting of your sin and receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior right now? Why not ask God right now to forgive you and save you from your sin and from a certain and sure everlasting punishment. "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is the word of faith, which we preach; 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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:8-13)