September 11, 2001

Where Was

IN THE AFTERMATH of the World Trade
  Center attacks, many people turned to God in
  prayer.   People often do that when confronted
with events beyond their control.
   And yet, no doubt some of these same people
wondered why God apparently wasn't in control
to begin with.

Couldn't God have prevented
the tragedy from even
happening?   The short answer
is yes.
   The Bible clearly teaches
that God is all-powerful,
easily capable of preventing
the worst any terrorist could
produce.   And yet, the question
remains, why didn't He?
Where was He on Tuesday,
September 11, 2001?

An answer often heard is that "God works in
mysterious ways."
  Clergymen will often say that
God is not to be questioned: "It is not for us to
know why."
  But answers like that accomplish
nothing, often casting doubt as to whether God
even exists.

Fortunately, we don't have to depend on the mere
speculation of a clergyman; we have God's Word,
the Bible.   God did not leave mankind in the dark.
   The Bible states: "For whatsoever things
were written aforetime were written for
our learning
, that we through patience
and comfort of the scriptures might have
  Romans 15:4

To understand where God was, we must
understand who God is.   He is a righteous God
who expects no less of His creation.   We find an
example of this truth in the Book of Isaiah the

prophet, where we find God judging Israel.   The
year is somewhere between 740 and 680 B.C.   As
a nation, Israel had sinned.   They had rejected God.
They had done many things contrary to the will of
God.   So God looked down and said:

"Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity
[SIN], a seed of evildoers, children that are
   corrupters: they have
   forsaken the LORD,
   they have provoked the Holy
   One of Israel unto anger, they
   are gone away backward."

       Isaiah 1:4

   Israel had forsaken God
   through her sinful ways.   Even
   worse, the Israelites were so far
   away from God, that they didn't
even realize where they truly stood.

They thought they were still in God's favor, and
assumed they could appease God through their
religious acts.   But that's all they were--ACTS.

Israel would even pray to God, but He wasn't
listening.   He told them: "And when ye spread
forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from
you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will
not hear
: your hands are full of blood."

   Isaiah 1:15

God's reference to "bloody hands" speaks of their
guilt before Him.   Among other things, they were
lying, cheating, fornicating, and practicing hatred.

God went on to say, "For your hands are defiled
with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your
lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath
muttered perverseness."
  Isaiah 59:3

Where was God?
Right where
many people want
Him to be . . .

KEEP IN MIND that sin doesn't need an
    outward manifestation; sin is not solely
    defined by the act itself.   By God's
    definition, sin begins and takes place in
the heart.   That is why Jesus Christ said, "But I
say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a
woman to lust after her hath committed
adultery with her already in his heart."

Matthew 5:28

It didn't occur to Israel, as a
nation, that God wasn't
looking for religious acts.
He was looking for a
humble and repentant
attitude, a HEART-FELT
ATTITUDE of obedience
toward Him.

God told Israel, "For the
vile person will speak villany, and his heart
will work iniquity, to practise
  Isaiah 32:6.

It is important to note the hypocrisy Israel was
guilty of.   They were praying to God collectively,
but individually resisting His Lordship over their
personal lives.
   God called them hypocrites because they needed
to hear the truth; they needed to know why God
wasn't truly listening to their prayers.

No doubt, there were times when
Israel wondered where God was, but
their personal sin was preventing
God's protection.

And yet, God still loved them.   He hated their sin,
but still loved Israel.   In fact, God's love for them
was so great that He even offered to cleanse them
of the sin that kept them apart.

God offered forgiveness if they would just repent.
He held out His hand and said, "Come now, and
let us reason together, saith the LORD: though

your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as
snow; though they be red like crimson, they
shall be as wool."
  Isaiah 1:18

What about us?
You may be wondering what Israel's status before
God thousands of years ago has to do with us and
the horrible terrorist attack of September 11.   But
the fact is, God's attitude toward sin and hypocrisy
   has not changed.

   Israel could not deny their
   sinful ways and expect God
   to bless them at the same
   time-- NEITHER CAN WE.

   Like Israel of old, God tells
   us today, "Behold, the
   LORD'S hand is not
   shortened, that it cannot
save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
But your iniquities have
separated between you and your
, and your sins have hid his face from
you, that he will not hear."
  Isaiah 59:1-2

My friend, you may not acknowledge the sinful
state of our country.   You may feel that collectively
we are not that bad.   But the truth is, a country is
only as strong as its people.

Nations are made up of individuals.   And if we
don't want God in our personal lives, don't expect
Him to be interceding on our behalf as a nation.

God kept arms length from the nation of Israel
because that is where most Israelites, in their
hearts, wanted Him to be.   As individuals, they
didn't want God telling them how to run their
   The same can be said of us today.   There is no
sense wondering where God's hedge of protection
was on Terror Tuesday.   God was right where
many of us wanted Him to be-- out of our lives.

Where was God
during Columbine?
Right where people
wanted Him:
out of the classroom

Double Mindedness . . .
In the aftermath of Terror Tuesday, many
Americans prayed to God, but no doubt God
looked upon many of those praying lips and said:
"this people draw near me with their mouth,
and with their lips do honour me, but have
removed their heart far from me

Isaiah 29:13

As a nation, we may honor God with our lips
during a national day of prayer, but it won't do any
good if our hearts are far from Him.   As we've
already seen, God considers it hypocritical.   There
is another term He uses as well-- being double-
   Notice what He says: "Draw nigh to
, and he will draw nigh to you.   Cleanse
your hands, ye sinners; and purify your
hearts, ye double minded

As a nation, we want God's blessing.   We want
Him to look over us, and protect us from the likes
of terrorists.   But as individuals we don't want Him
as the Lord of our lives.
   That's being double minded.   We can't expect
God's guidance upon our nation if we are not
willing to submit to that same guidance in our
own personal lives.
acknowledge our personal accountability to God.
We must submit to Him, making Him our
personal Lord if we expect Him to be Lord over
our country.

We must "Draw nigh [near] to God,"
individually, before we can expect Him to draw
nigh to us collectively.
   Prior to the first plane that hit, how many of us
had gone days, weeks, and months without
thinking once about God?
  And we wonder where
He was when the terrorist attack unfolded?   Why
should God intercede where there is no heart-felt
desire for Him?   Is God so shallow as to respond to

those who, under normal circumstances, would not
give Him the time of day?   How many of us rarely,
if ever, thanked God for our great country, only to
turn around and wonder why He let terrorists
snatch a little part of our freedom away?
"purify your hearts, ye double
  James 4:8

Assess your own heart . . .
How do you personally stand with God?   Is He
the Lord of your life?   Have you ever seen yourself
the way God sees you?
  According to Him,
"There is none righteous, no, not
(Rom. 3:10).

This includes all of us.   We have all sinned against
God, and to not admit it is a sin in itself.   "For
all have sinned, and come short of the
glory of God;"
Rom. 3:23.

Furthermore, all the righteous acts in the world
won't make us right before God.   None of us can
cleanse ourselves of our own sin; we need God
to do it for us.
   "Not by works of righteousness
which we have done, but according to his
mercy he saved us"
Titus 3:5.

That is why He sent His Son to die on the cross in
our place: "For God so loved the world, that he
gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have
everlasting life."
  John 3:16

Once we, as individuals, admit our hypocrisy and
double-mindedness, and see ourselves as the hell-
deserving sinners we truly are, we can call upon
God to save us.   As a saved individual, God takes
up residence in your heart; you will never have to
wonder again "Where was God?"

To learn more about God's saving grace,
please read the back [below].   Send for our free
Bible study course.

IF you were to die today, are you 100% SURE
you would go to Heaven?
  The Bible says
YOU CAN BE SURE (1 John 5:13).

BUT FIRST, you must realize that what keeps you
from going to Heaven are your sins, because:
"...your iniquities [sins] have separated
between you and your God,"
Isaiah 59:2.
In fact, in God's eyes YOU ARE A SINNER: "For
all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God;"
Romans 3:23.

SECONDLY, you must realize that there is
NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn
Heaven: "For by grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is
the gift of God: Not of works, lest any
man should boast."
  (Eph. 2:8-9)   Baptism, good
deeds, church membership, self-righteousness are
all examples of good works that cannot save you,
because: "Not by works of
which we have done, but
according to his mercy he
[Christ] saved
Titus 3:5.

THE ONLY WAY you can get saved is through
Jesus Christ.   He said: "I am the way, the
truth, and the life: no man cometh unto
the Father, but by me."
  (John 14:6)   THAT'S
: "...while we were yet sinners, Christ
died for us
  Romans 5:8-9

THEREFORE: You must REPENT (change your
); admit that you are a Hell deserving sinner
and can't save yourself.   And call upon Christ, and
Him alone, to save you.   "if thou shalt confess
with thy mouth the Lord Jesus
[REPENT], and
shalt believe in thine heart
[TRUST] that God
hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be
  Romans 10:9

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