||September 11, 2001
"On September the 11th, enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country. Great harm has been done to us. We have suffered great loss. And in our grief and anger we have found our mission and our moment. Freedom and fear are at war. The advance of human freedom - the great achievement of our time, and the great hope of every time - now depends on us. Our nation - this generation - will lift a dark threat of violence from our people and our future. We will rally the world to this cause, by our efforts and by our courage.
We will not tire,
we will not falter,
and we will not fail."
(President George W. Bush - Excerpt from his Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People September 20, 2001)
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"Where were you on September 11, 2001?"
Words fail to describe the unbelievable tragedy--the devastation--of that fateful day. At 8:45 a.m., a plane hijacked by terrorists crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. Minutes later, another plane hurtled into the south tower. Massive explosions ripped through multiple floors of both office buildings. As terrified employees on the lower floors scrambled to evacuate, miles away a third plane slammed into the Pentagon building in Washington, D.C. Before it could reach its intended target, a fourth plane nose-dived into a field in Pennsylvania, killing everyone aboard. Back in New York, onlookers watched in horror as one after another, the 110-story twin towers collapsed on the heads of rescue workers, firemen, and police officers.
In just a matter of moments--before anyone really understood what was going on--thousands of lives had been lost.
America was stunned. Nothing like this had ever happened in the history of the country, or even of the world. Politicians and pundits struggled to put the disaster in perspective, comparing it to such catastrophic events as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Oklahoma City Bombing. Others insisted that this was "the Pearl Harbor of the 21st century," a "new Day of Infamy." President Bush called the terrorist attacks "acts of war." An entire generation would now be asking each other, "Where were you on September 11?"
For thousands of people at the World Trade Center and in the Pentagon, the answer would have been simple: "At work." It had begun like any other ordinary day. Men and women, parents and grandparents, office workers, visitors and tourists--they were all simply going about their everyday lives. Riding in the elevators, sitting at their desks, chatting across the hallway to a coworker, or talking on the phone. Never in their wildest dreams could they have imagined that a commercial jet would come crashing through their office windows, obliterating everything in its path. They had no idea that their very next breath would be their last, that in an instant they would be ushered into eternity.
Few of us do. Somehow, in spite of the reality of death, we all feel invincible. We think that the things we see in the news couldnít possibly happen to us. We get caught up in the dailiness of living--work to do, bills to pay, errands to run--scarcely giving eternity a thought. Few--if any of us--wake up in the morning thinking, Today may be my last day on this earth.
But sooner or later, one way or another, it happens to all of us. The Bible says weíre all "destined to die once, and after that to face judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). The truth is that every one of us will one day die. None of us knows for sure just how and when our time will come. For most of us, it will be a complete surprise. And then we will face judgment. We will be called to account for every one of our sins and failures. We will have to pay the penalty--unless we have put our faith in Jesus Christ. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life" (Romans 6:23).
Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for us. If we believe in Him and receive His forgiveness, then our sins have already been paid for and we can face the judgment without fear. Jesus explained, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die" (John 11:25-26).
If we put our faith in Jesus the Messiah, we donít have to live in fear of death. We can rejoice, knowing that God has prepared a heavenly home for us and that one day we will live there with Him forever. We can rest in the assurance that we are ready for whatever comes our way.
On September 11, 2001, thousands of people entered eternity in a heartbeat. Some of them were ready; some of them were not. What about you? Are you ready today?
If you havenít already received Jesus as your Savior, donít put it off another day! Take time right now to invite Him into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life.
You might pray something like this:
Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.
Feel free to email me if you prayed this prayer or if you have any questions. God bless you as you search for Him with all your heart. He's there, waiting to come in the door of your heart. Won't you invite Him today?
Remember also our fellow sufferers of Terrorism in Israel each and every day. May God have mercy on them, and may they cry out to Him for help!
"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem;
May they prosper who love you."