DID ANYTHING GOOD come out of the September 11 attacks? Yes! Consider the miracle of these many good things...
So Many People Spared
While we grieve for each lost person, we marvel that so many escaped. Of potentially 50,000 workers in the World Trade Center towers, the number of dead is under 3,000. The towers collapsed straight down rather than falling over thus sparing many people on the ground. The portion of the Pentagon that was hit was not fully occupied. The number saved from other thwarted attacks may never be known.
So Few Christians Perished
It appears that fewer Christians than would be expected perished on September 11. A pastor from Queens found that in many New York City congregations, over 90% of Christians who should have been in the World Trade Center that day were either off work, late for work or at an appointment when the planes hit.
So Quickly to Heaven
Those who knew Christ went speedily into His presence without prolonged sickness or suffering. As II Cor. 5:8 says, "...absent from the body...present with the Lord." A friend of mine said, "As I watched the towers go down, I envisioned the many saved souls going quickly up through the smoke to Heaven."
So Precise a Time to Get Ready
Facing imminent death focuses one's thoughts on eternity. Many unbelievers knew they were going to die and would have had time to make a decision for Jesus Christ and pray the sinner's prayer, "God, be merciful to me a sinner.""(Luke 18:13)
So Heroic the Deaths
On the ground and in the air, many took part in feverish efforts to rescue others. Rescue personnel rushed to the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and into the burning buildings. On Flight 93, those who knew from cell phone calls of the terrorists' plans heroically attempted to take over the plane. They died in the process, but spared countless others on the ground.
So Fervent Our Prayers
Even political halls became prayer chapels as the president, New York City mayor and leaders who are otherwise spiritually cautious or indifferent urged the country to pray. While some registered discomfort at the possible mingling of church and state, such reticence, for the most part, gave way to a universal beseeching of God's healing, guidance and protection.
So Unified Our Nation
American flags were sold out, and even red, white and blue ribbon was impossible to find. Stupendous bipartisan support for the president pushed his approval rating to record highs within days of the attack. Not since World War II was there such total support for a war effort. And in legislative halls, at sporting events, on municipal property and in churches, God Bless America has been sung with tears and prayers.
So Defeated the ACLU
For a few blessed days, the carping of the ACLU about separation of church and state was silenced. America returned to its religious roots in a mighty outpouring of religious fervor.
So Absurd the Astrologers
Mass catastrophes are a total contradiction of astrology, which assigns varying fates and fortunes according to the twelve astrological signs. On September 11, a vast multitudeborn under all twelve signsall suffered the identical fate. No one predicted the multiple attacks. The horoscopes for that date were ludicrous and even cruel in light of the tragedy.
So Few the Divorces
In Texas alone, 400 couples withdrew their divorce petitions noting that their problems seemed so very small in relation to the catastrophes suffered by the victims of the terrorism and their families.
So Many the Marriages
Military bases reported an upsurge in marriages among personnel being shipped overseas. It is likely that many couples living in less than moral relationships made them legal.
So Widespread the International Sympathy
Other countries sang our national anthem, flew our flag and pledged moral and military support in the war on terrorism. Even countries who usually criticize or even demean us, sympathized with the United States.
So Respected Our Firefighters and Police
In contrast to a time when they were called "pigs" or charged with widespread brutality, police officers along with under-appreciated firefighters and EMTs became the most honored and courageous men and women in our society.
So Gracious the Volunteers
Volunteers came to New York City from all over the country to help in the rescue effort. Food, supplies, blood and countless other items were donated, an indication of helpfulness not usually seen in larger cities such as New York. By donating blood, some people who would not otherwise have been tested found out they had hepatitis or HIV.
So Courteous the Usually Indifferent
Even in New York City, not noted for its courteous behavior and warm-heartedness, people were kind and helpful to one another. Indifferent associations gave way to sympathy and compassion.
So Chastised the Entertainment Industry
Movies, TV shows, video games and music featuring violence and moral mockery were quickly cancelled, delayed or revised. A notable example was the pulling of a hip-hop music group's CD cover featuring the Trade Towers being blown up. Future TV and movie themes were re-thought. The Emmy Awards were postponed twice.
So Distracted From Halloween
Reports indicated a decrease in gruesome displays of skulls, skeletons and gore in 2001 and high sales of Statue of Liberty and police and firefighter costumes.
So Effective Our Political Prayers
Christians had prayed diligently during the 2000 election for God's will to be done. Despite a trying election and post-election judicial conflict, George W. Bush became president and put into place a very able and militarily experienced cabinet and staff.
So Clearly Defined the Enemy
The enemies of western civilization and the Gospel of Christ have been clearly identified for who and what they are. A sleepy America is at long last aware of the brutal and unprincipled "holy war" threat that had smoldered underground until September 11.
So Clear Our Prophetic Truth
The somber facts of prophetic Scriptures are clearer. "Evil men...deceiving and being deceived" (II Tim. 3:13) made trash of our finest buildings. A Muslim horde from the north can now be seen as fulfilling Ezekiel 38. The swift global economic collapse of Revelation 18 and the sudden destruction when all seems "peace and safety" (I Thess. 5:1 & 2) are clearer possibilities. "Wars and rumors of wars" (Matt. 24:6) rumble around the globe. Fear of biological terrorism, described in Matt. 24:7 as "pestilences," stalk the land.
So Sensitive the Lost
Proud materialism gave way to humble soul-searching. Everywhere, troubled people sought spiritual answers. Sixty percent of all Americans attended some type of memorial service. Churches across America were packed the Sunday after the attacks. One New York City pastor reported 200 coming to Christ in his church; another saw 100 souls saved. Only eternity will reveal the total number of conversions.
So Opportune Our Outreach
Bible sales increased 27%. Churches were open for prayer. Christian broadcasters altered programs to meet the need. New tracts were printed. Nearly everyone was willing to listen to those who had comfort and hope and answers from the Word of God. Ongoing outreach took place at Ground Zero. Lisa Beamer's book was #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Christian witnesses were surely meant "for such a time as this." (Esther 4:14)
Joseph's comfort to his trembling brothers is appropriate for this present distress. "But as for you, you thought evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive." (Gen. 50:20)
Just days after the attacks, a faithful ministry supporter enclosed a tract with her contribution. On the back of the tract was the following poem. Though written many years ago, its truth is timeless.
They cannot shell His temple,
Nor dynamite His throne;
They cannot bomb His city,
Nor rob Him of His own.
They cannot take Him captive,
Nor strike Him deaf and blind.
Nor starve Him to surrender,
Nor make Him change His mind.
They cannot cause Him panic;
Nor cut off His supplies;
They cannot take His kingdom,
Nor hurt Him with their lies.
Though all the world be shattered,
His truth remains the same,
His righteous laws still potent
And "Father" still His name.
Though we face war and struggle
And feel their goad and rod,
We know above confusion
There always will be God.
- Author unknown
None of us knows what a day will bring. If you are not sure where you would spend eternity if you were to die today, please contact us. We would be happy to share with you how to have eternal life! Scripture quotations are from the New King James Bible. Poem is used by permission of Gospel Tract Society, Inc.