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Terror is not the Ruler

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Terror is not the Ruler

The terrorist attacks in New York City and in Washington, D.C. this week have left many of us with more questions than answers. Pastors, teachers, counselors attempt to help others while still processing the news themselves. There is no reasonable explanation; no magic words to make everything disappear.

Individual believers have been responding to the terrorist attacks in a number of different ways. Like most everyone else, we are shocked, stricken with grief, angry, and confused. However, Christians are particularly prone to offer explanations, and most of those explanations do more harm than good.

Some call it the “Apocalypse”..

Some may see the horrific evil at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and regard it as a sign of the imminent return of Christ…

·        Rather than seeing this event as a sign of Christ’s return, it is better to regard it as a reminder of His absence. We wait for the return of Christ, who will establish justice on that day, but this is not the day of justice.

This is the day injustice reminds us that justice is yet future. In His absence we are called to persevere, by the Spirit, in a world filled with tribulation…

John 16:33 NASB95

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

·        Severe trials have always caused believers to cry out for the return of Christ. However, it would be a mistake to regard such trials as meaningful signs of a day we simply cannot predict. Instead, we are reminded of what we do not know...

Some say it is the beginning of America’s “Judgment”

(For example, some have suggested that this might be God’s judgment upon America for the sin of abortion.)

·        It is true that God exercises judgment upon nations and uses both righteous and unrighteous agents to do so. However, it is always a mistake to presume we know His intentions in allowing or ordaining particular events...

That was the mistake made by Job’s friends, who assumed his suffering to be an expression of judgment.

It was also the mistake made by Saul (later Paul) and many of his peers, who saw the cross as a sign of divine judgment upon one who must have been a criminal…

Those who regard this as a sign of God’s judgment upon American wickedness are essentially agreeing with the terrorist. They see this as a sign of God’s judgment, and typically have specific sins in mind (e.g., abortion, homosexuality)—but usually they fail to see their own sins or those of the church they attend

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