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Life Worth Living ~ September 11, 2001

Revelation 18:1-8

"After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority …. 2 And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, "Babylon the great is fallen, …and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! 3 the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury." 4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. 5 "For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. 6 "Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. 7 "In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ 8 "Therefore her plagues will come in one day--death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her."

I was in the backyard of one of our former homes. I had been working intermittently for weeks on a path of scavenged brick for our grandchildren to ride and play on. The day was a gorgeous precursor of the coming autumn; my favorite season.

Then I heard my wife calling from the backdoor. “You need to come in here. I think you need to see this!” When I came into the den the TV was on. A live newscast was describing what had just happened in New York. Unbelievably a commercial airliner had crashed into one of the Twin Towers of The World Trade Center. I was spellbound. As my horror at the scene continued to tighten its grip on my heart another jet crashed into the other tower. It was a surreal moment as I thought one such accident might possibly be explained; but not two. What I was witnessing was not a catastrophe of bazaar accidents. We were under attack by a malicious foreign enemy! They had managed to do something most of us felt could not happen in our lifetime. Thousands of lives representing our country and many others had violently been snuffed out on our soil by a foreign agent.

I don’t believe 9/11 was a fulfillment of Revelation 18. In my eschatology the passage cited above belongs to a description of a literal Babylon that will be built on the site of ancient Babylon as part of the “last things of the last things.” You don’t have to believe that. But I think most of us could agree that 9/11was a seismic object lesson on what happens to a nation which mocks and turns its back on God. We have a lot of enemies who are poised to be God’s instrument of destruction on what has been a wonderful nation.

But why should God stay His hand from a nation that has adopted an agenda to obliterate His name and His Word from virtually every public institution, takes the innocent lives of thousands of babies annually and calls it “family planning” instead of “infanticide,” some of whose highest office holders have been known to turn the nation’s facilities symbolizing liberty and security into a place for sexual immorality. And they escape accountability by lying about it. What about a nation which has to vote at a national presidential convention whether or not to keep God in the platform (as if you could actually vote God out of anything!), and brazenly promotes and accepts an agenda to redefine marriage and the home contrary to God’s clearly written Word. I could go on but I would recommend that you obtain and read a copy of the The Harbinger by Jonathan Chan who does a sobering Biblical analysis of present day USA.

I deeply love my country. In the case of Sodom and Gomorrah there would have been a reprieve of the judgment God intended for them if even a small percentage of their population could be found righteous. Most of you know the outcome. I’m praying and believing that there is a righteous remnant in our country. I pray that this remnant will stay God’s hand for at least a little longer for the sake of at least one more revival. May I encourage you to be part of that remnant? American churches and Christians have to a large extent patterned themselves after the American Dream rather than insisting that the American Dream be redefined according to the pattern of faithful teaching of God’s Word in faithful churches calling for conformity of human lives to the image of Christ. (See David Platt’s, Radical, Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream).

Read the entirety of Revelation 18 and let us not forget the cataclysmic object lesson of 9/11/01. Live on “One nation under God!”

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