Our country and the world was rocked and shocked on 9-11-01 when evil terrorists attacked our country, killing almost 3,000 precious souls. We must never forget. We must reflect and learn. We must learn from the past. We must become better and not bitter.
What are some of the most important lessons to learn from 9-11?
1. Evil and sin are real.
So many today dismiss the reality of sin and evil. Too many think that man is basically good. No, we aren’t. The Bible says we are all born with a sin nature, and therefore we are all capable of terrible things, apart from the grace and power of God. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We have no problem calling Hitler evil, so why is it so hard to call this evil?
2. This event was rooted in an evil ideology.
That ideology is radical Islamic pride, racism and a desire to take over the world. The secular media does not like to talk about this for fear of being called Islamophobic. But these terrorists were Muslims. They really believe it is right to kill the infidels. They hate our country and what is stands for. They believe women are inferior. They believe they will be rewarded with 70 virgins in heaven one day. They follow a man of war: Mohammad. Are all Muslims like this? Of course not, but the root of the terrorist’s radicalism is in the Islamic faith. Be not deceived, this is the same group that now controls Afghanistan. I hope I am wrong, but it would not surprise me if another 9-11 occurs in our lifetime.
3. America is worth defending… for the sake of the world.
America certainly has some very serious sins of her own – past and present (e.g., slavery, pride, racism, materialism, abortion, drug and alcohol abuse, idolatry, etc.). However, let us be careful about the rewriting of our history and thinking that what we have in this country is not worth defending. America was founded on Christian and biblical truths such as the “right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, capitalism, biblical laws, democracy, giving everyone a chance, freedom of worship and speech, the value of life from the womb to the tomb, etc. Because of this, so much good has come into and from this country. Without the United States in WW2, it is likely we would all be speaking German today, and the evil of Nazism would not have been defeated. Without the U.S. responding the way we did to 9-11, Osama Bin Laden would have killed many more people. By the way, many thanks to all who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan and other places after 9-11. Why do I bring this up? Because what made this country great is dwindling before our very eyes. We need to stand up for the good in America, and seek to restore America to the principles I mentioned above. We also need to maintain a strong military presence in this country, because evil is only increasing around the world.
4. The ultimate solution is in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). The only solution for the problem of sin and evil is the death and resurrection and shed blood of Jesus Christ. We have a virus far more deadly than COVID, and that is sin. There is a 100% effective vaccine for this virus, and it is the blood of Jesus! “God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
5. Christians need to be more active in personal evangelism.
The method Jesus gave us to change the world is to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:18). “And you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be My witnesses, in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The world is reached one heart at a time. We will not change the world by better laws and winning wars, as much as that can help. Instead, we change the world by helping to change hearts by introducing them to the love and transforming Gospel of Jesus. When hearts are changed, behavior is changed.
6. Our ultimate battle is not against flesh and blood.
The biblical and Christian worldview is one that includes 3 realms: God, man, and Satan/demons/angels. So many are ignorant of this 3rd dimension, that of Satan, demons and angels. “Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). The ultimate source of sin and evil is Satan. All who are not followers of Jesus are under the influence of demonic spirits. We are in a spiritual battle, and that battle is getting more intense by the day. The only way to defeat Satan and demons is through the power of the Name and blood of Jesus. Christians, we fight spiritual forces with spiritual weapons.
7. Prayer is still a powerful weapon of war.
After talking about the spiritual battle in Ephesians 6:10-17, the Apostle Paul says, “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication” (v. 18). Prayer is how we stay in close fellowship with God. Prayer is where we keep our heart pure. Prayer is how we hear God’s voice. Prayer is where we intercede for others. Prayer is how we “pull down strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Prayer is how we “bind and loose” (Matthew 18:18). Prayer is where we give thanks, caste our cares on Him, and maintain our peace (Philippians 4:6-7).
In conclusion, am I concerned? Yes. Am I heavy hearted at times? Most certainly. Are things getting worse? For sure. But I am hopeful because of Jesus. I am confident that God ultimately wins. I am motivated to stand strong. I will not give up. I will cling more tightly to the Word. I need God’s Holy Spirit more than ever. I want to be used by God to help change the world. I believe the Word of God more than ever before. I believe we are seeing many signs of the End Times fulfilled (see Matthew 24).
Let us not back down. Let us live holy lives. Let us submit to God, resist the devil, and watch him flee (James 4:7). Let us join together as the body of Christ. Let us pray. Let us believe God’s promises. Let us help build strong and healthy churches. Let us support one another. Let us share the Good News of Jesus. Let us anticipate the return of Christ. Let us live with an eternal perspective!