For “Scripture Sunday”:
Looking Back on 9/11; Looking Forward to Christ’s Return
by Mike Bennett - September 11, 2019
“Sometimes we must look back on the traumas of the past. But this reflection should propel us forward. We can celebrate a promise of good news ahead!
Looking back on 9/11: A New York City fireman calls for 10 more rescue workers to make their way into the rubble of the World Trade Center (U.S. Navy photo; Wikimedia Commons).
As the anniversary of the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, rolls around, many of us can’t help but think about what we were doing and how we heard about the planes crashing into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.
The terrifying televised images of that day seem seared into our minds, though the passing of the years has blurred the edges for some of us.
Since then, there have been many more terror attacks around the world: Bali, Istanbul, London, Madrid, Mumbai, Paris, Brussels, Sri Lanka—and the list goes on.
There have also been a few wins in the war on terror, such as the elimination of Osama bin Laden. Al-Qaeda’s leadership ranks were thinned and that group may have been driven further underground, but there seems to be no lack of new, willing recruits for suicide bombings and other acts of terror.
God’s warnings of evil end-time attitudes
God warns that the last days would be filled with violent and destructive attitudes. The apostle Paul writes that people would be proud, unloving, unforgiving, without self-control, brutal, traitors, headstrong and haughty (2 Timothy 3:1-4).
But terrorists and violent attitudes are not the only things God warns about. In this same passage He describes other attitudes that are also displeasing to Him. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, despisers of good and lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.
He also warns of hypocrisy, as people have an outward show of religion, but deny God’s power and secretly or openly live lives of sin—disobedience to God’s good and beneficial law.
Many times in the Bible God warns that terror would come upon sinful nations and wicked people, leading up to a time of trouble worse than the world has ever known (Deuteronomy 32:25; Psalm 73:19; Jeremiah 15:8; Matthew 24:21). This time of Great Tribulation is also known as the time of Jacob’s trouble because it affects the descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel (Jeremiah 30:7).
Anniversaries of some terrible events are long remembered, such as the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the attack on Pearl Harbor. We remember out of respect. Sometimes we are encouraged to remember to be on guard lest such things happen again.
Sometimes terrible events wake people up to want to examine their lives. Seeing how fleeting our physical lives are can spark an interest in the eternal. Too often this spiritual awakening is short-lived, though anniversaries can bring these thoughts to the fore again.
There are many good reasons to look back, especially if remembering will help us change and then move forward on the path God wants us to take.
There are many good reasons to look back, especially if remembering will help us change and then move forward on the path God wants us to take. Because God’s way is not just about looking back. The gospel message—the good news God wants us to believe and live by—is also about looking forward.
In the cosmic scale of things, the Great Tribulation and the wrath of God that follows (called the Day of the Lord throughout the Bible) will soon be over. The unprecedented time of trouble will bring humanity to the very brink of mutually assured destruction, but Jesus Christ promises: “And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened” (Matthew 24:22).
Christ’s faithful followers yearn for the soon-coming day described in Revelation when the seventh of seven trumpets sounds. Then a proclamation will be made in heaven: “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).
Jesus Christ will return to the earth and stop the annihilation of the human race! He will end the downward slide into evil—and the suffering and misery it produces.
“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9).
His government—the Kingdom of God—will begin a whole new age of peace, joy and fulfillment.
He will restore the earth to an Eden-like paradise and will heal those who suffer: “The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. … Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing” (Isaiah 35:1, 5-6).
The return of Jesus Christ and the restoration of the Kingdom of God on earth is the best news ever!” From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/prophecy/blog/looking-back-on-9-11/?
A Penny A Day
“Wise seniors told their grandchildren that if they do not respect the penny, then they do not deserve the dollar.
The real poverty humans experience is that of the heart. That is often irreparable. That is the bank account to which we need to continually add a little each day to maintain a good balance.
They also said a penny saved is a penny earned and there were many more words of wisdom given to the young. This world seems bent on gaining wealth by any means. Greed is rampant, but happiness and contentment are seriously missing from life. A lack of wealth is something we can repair through hard work and thrifty living. However, no matter how hard we try, there are ups and downs in this world.
The real poverty humans experience is that of the heart. That is often irreparable. That is the bank account to which we need to continually add a little each day to maintain a good balance. Jesus told us to lay up for ourselves treasure in heaven where moth, rust and thieves cannot destroy it (Matthew 6:19-20). When our heavenly bank account is healthy, our earthly bank account will not be as important because our priorities will be right and our frame of mind positive.” From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/blogs/this-is-the-way/a-penny-a-day
1 Timothy 2:4
… who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
In the preceding verses, the apostle Paul encourages us to pray and thank God for everyone, including leaders in authority over us. We can pray that the leaders will allow us to lead peaceful lives, and also that they would allow God’s Church to preach the good news of God’s Kingdom. God’s ultimate plan is to reach everyone with that message of hope and truth—that message that tells us how we can be saved from the death penalty of sin and be given the opportunity for eternal life (John 3:16).
However, the Scriptures and experience show that not everyone has been reached with that message today or at any time in history. But that does not mean God has failed. He has the power to resurrect and plans to bring everyone back from the dead. The wonderful biblical truth of the second resurrection is the real answer to how God’s desire will be fulfilled. See our article “Resurrections: What Are They?”
This article also explains that God will not force anyone to be saved. It seems a few will reject God’s loving desire and offer and will choose eternal death instead. But we believe that the majority will learn the truth, see God’s desire and great love, and choose salvation—choose eternal life in the Kingdom of God.” From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/blog/gods-desire-
Another great week here in the little city of Navasota, TX, except for a trip to Hempstead to renew my expired drivers license. My granddaughter, Michelle had been to a seminar in nearby College Station, so when she came to visit me she also took me to Hempstead.
We had to wait quite a long time outside the office in a long queue, in the heat. At least they had provided a shady awning for us to wait under. Being young she was getting impatient, but after an hour or so it was finally my turn to go inside. The building’s capacity was only 30, and after another wait, I was finally seen, thumb-printed and photo taken. Then for some reason my new green card wouldn’t “confirm”, whatever that is. So I have to wait five days for it to be confirmed and then go back. I understand that everyone has to get a new license with a gold star on it now.
Here at the apartments this week we had Bible Study, bingo, and a Wellness Program (about nutrition). I usually go to any functions to try to meet my neighbors. All that I have met are so sweet. But a big HUD inspection is coming up and everything else is being postponed until that is over. Our maintenance man for these 48 apartments was fired because he just couldn’t focus, and they have had to pull other maintenance men from other apartments to try to catch up on the list of over 100 things that needed to be repaired. I had a list of several things that didn’t work properly when I moved in a month ago, and gradually they are getting fixed.
My neighbor and I studied in her apartment on Friday morning again to prepare for this week’s Bible lesson that we would be having at church. The service had the week’s quote from Ezra 8:22. “The gracious hand of or God is on everyone who looks to him”. The Teaching was “What is Your Vocation?”. How everyone has a skill that can be put to use to praise and witness.
For the Sabbath potluck I made meatless spaghetti with a Field Roast that I ground up to look like ground meat, but it is made of grains and veggies. https://fieldroast.com/product/celebration-roast/ It was popular and I was told it was tasty, so that made my day.