The events on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, brought tears to the eyes of many. \In the subsequent days, many of us felt fear, anger, grief, and shock. Many still have these feelings, and they are understandable. For the record, I grieve with those who lost family members and friends in the unprovoked attack on civilization by those who live in shadows, who apparently are not afraid to die, but are afraid to show their faces.
The question has been raised by many as to why God allowed this to happen. (See my other article in this website, Why Did God Do This?.) Some well-meaning Christian preachers and authors have made the supposition that God did this in order to judge our great nation. I am not so sure about that. Let's review some basic, known concepts about God and man and the relationship between us and our Creator.
1. God is a loving, just God who the Bible says is eager to forgive us of our sins and make us into new creations. "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). This verse, along with scores of others in both the Old and New Testaments, confirm the character of God, that He is ready, willing and able to forgive us of our sins, and that all that is required on our part is for us to confess our sins, and in so doing turn away from them. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9) "The LORD is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (1 Peter 3:9)
Does this sound like a God who would kill all those people in the aircraft, the twin World Trade Center towers, and the parts of the Pentagon that were destroyed? Not to me, it doesn't.
2. Man is a free moral agent; we are free to accept the love of God and live in His love, and we are also free to reject it and live outside a loving relationship with Him. Either way, we bear both the rewards and the consequences. God's gift of salvation through Jesus Christ is free, but again, you can choose to reject it, as those terrorists who hijacked those planes have. They are bearing the consequences of their sin, the murder of those innocent lives, right now as we speak, for God has judged them. And in His good timing, God will also ensure that those who masterminded the attack will bear the punishment for their sins. We can rest assured of that.
3. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, and ONLY through Him, we can have a right relationship with God. "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me." (John 14:6) "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (1 Timothy 2:5-6)
Let's put this in perspective here. Suppose I own a particular bank, and I put $10,000 in the bank for you, and I tell you about it. Then there are several things that must happen. First, you must believe that I exist; second, that I am able to put that money in the bank for you; and third, that I really would do that for you. But even if you believe all that, you still must go to the bank, and withdraw the money, if you want it. Just as the bank in this case is the "mediator" between you and I (the bank will see that you've met the condition of coming there, and requesting your money), so is Christ the Mediator between God and us. Going to a different religion would be like going to a different bank, in this limited instance: that bank would NOT be a mediator between you and I, because I only put $10,000 for you in the bank that I own.
Our response, then, must be this: Let's certainly seek those who masterminded this attack and bring them to justice, but otherwise, let's respond with the two weapons terrorists can't stop: love and the Word of God. They've tried to stop both for thousands of years, and it hasn't worked yet. And for those of you who have no relationship with God, why don't you ask Him right now to come into your life and forgive you of your sins? He'll do it. Email me when you do.