Today is September 11, 2008. Seven years ago today the United States was attacked by an organized group of terrorists. Nearly three thousand innocents lost their lives.
A look through this morning's papers shows very little mention of 9/11 (as it has come to be called). It appears we may be rapidly losing the sense of reality and urgency created by those attacks.
America had taken a holiday from history after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. As some historians described it, the world had become unipolar and America was the sole superpower. No other nation came close to matching its power projected through the world. When in 1991 America assembled and led a coalition against Saddam Hussein's forces in occupied Kuwait, the point was driven home.
The prosperity created by the expanding global economy during the 1990s lulled America into thinking the party would continue indefinitely. Gone was any sense of urgency. There were signs that should have alerted everyone to the dangers. The first effort to bring down the World Trade Center towers in 1993 showed there was an organized cell of zealots determined to bring America down. An attack on the warship USS Cole in October 2000 was another. But the warnings went unheeded.
But 9/11 changed everything. Suddenly it was crystal clear America had enemies who wished her dead. For a brief period this clarity galvanized the government into action. A war on terror was declared. The enemy was defined. Troops were sent into harm's way and a wall of security began to go up around the country. There have been no further attacks on the homeland in the last seven years, but the war is far from over and the enemy is not vanquished.
Today's headlines focus on the political campaign and the economic crisis. Who will win the White House this November, Republicans or Democrats? Will another major financial institution go bankrupt, signaling further weakness of the economy? I had to turn to page 13 of the Wall Street Journal this morning to find any mention of the 9/11 attacks. There are many urgent problems confronting today's world, but their size and complexity can lead us to punch the "ignore" button on the world.
But, my friends, we cannot, we must not, fall into that trap and tune out the momentous signs on the world horizon.
Christ's Olivet Prophecy in Matthew 24 shows just how fragile the world will be at the end of the age. "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be… Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect" (Matthew 24:36-39, 44).
No one knew the day or hour when terrorists would strike at the heart of America. Christ, the revelator, is telling us no one will know the exact time of His return. In fact, few will understand the meaning of world events leading to His second coming. They will be distracted by the busy cares of daily life in a world spiritually blinded to the reality of the true God and His purpose.
On this 9/11, are you alert to the dangers of this world? What have you learned during this period of world change? These are not just random events of world history. Your wallet is being impacted by what is happening in far-off places. Your future will be determined by events foretold by Jesus as He sat on the Mount of Olives. It is time to awaken to the serious realities of our age and understand God is working in these events to bring to pass His plan. God expects us to watch and understand our present world with an eye to being spiritually prepared for His coming Kingdom!
We are living in the period spoken of by Jesus Christ. It is a period of change unlike any in previous history. Do not be caught unaware. Stay informed by World News and Prophecy and above all…