I was substitute teaching at Cuyahoga Falls High School on September 11, 2001. During one of the morning classes, the Principal of the school announced over the loudspeaker that the World Trade Center was under attack. Within a few moments, the Principal put the school on lockdown. As the day wore on, I was able to catch a glimpse of the horrific situation developing in New York. The images of the planes hitting the trade center is fresh in my memory. On that day, 2996 people lost their lives and the nation was changed. We were no longer blind to the threat of terrorism. It was no longer isolated to the Middle East or other countries around the world. It hit us in our neighborhood, in our backyard. For the first time in a long time, Americans didn’t feel safe. As I watched the news coverage over the next several weeks, one question seemed to permeate: how could this happen? People in America experienced the wretched condition of humanity on a single day. However, the Bible addresses the question and provides a clear framework for the origin of wickedness.
Romans 3:23 declares, “All have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God.” That word sinned speaks of breaking the will and law of God. At its core, the meaning carries the idea of wrongdoing or conduct not in keeping with God’s character. The problem with mankind is not that he is intrinsically good; but rather that he is bent towards doing what is wrong. Unfortunately, this condition leaves room for all sorts of heinous and despicable acts like we witnessed on 911. However, this condition leaves mankind in a predicament before God. The Apostle Paul writes, “Among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind” (Ephesians 2:3). The lost are children of God’s wrath. Someday God will take vengeance on all who have turned aside from the truth of the gospel and have followed the wicked heart of Satan. But, there is hope! God can change hearts and lives at the foot of the Cross. God takes us where we are and through the life-changing blood of redemption, gives us a new heart and a new desire. A desire to obey God and love others. Turn your life to Christ and start your life over! As I close this letter, please remember to pray for all those who lost loved ones on that day. Pray that God will give them the strength to continue. Also, pray that the gospel will have an open door. Share it regularly with those who don’t know Christ and the power of His forgiveness.
In Christ, Pastor Mike

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