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Today we remember the heroes of September 11, 2001 — all the policemen, the firemen, the medics, the military, all the first responders, and those on board the flight that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Thank you so much to all of you for your courage and sacrifice. I also am grateful for President Bush and all those in the federal government who managed the crisis, shut down the skies over the U.S. so quickly, and then began the hunt for the terrorists and the measures to protect our nation from further attacks.
Eleven years later, it is right for us to ask several questions: 1) Was it a wake up call for America?; and 2) How has the nation responded? How have you responded?
Let’s be clear: God didn’t cause the horrific events of 9/11 to happen. Fanatics devoted to the false teachings of Radical Islam caused 9/11 to happen. But I have no doubt that the True and Living God – the God of the Bible – let it happen to shake America. To get our attention. To wake us up. Were we listening? And where do we go from here?
Tonight, the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) TV network will re-air a special event that Anne Graham Lotz and I spoke at last year, “A Wake Up For God’s People.” The event is a call to the Church to turn to fasting, prayer and repentance, to a deeper walk with Christ, more hunger for His Word, and boldness in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Hebrew Prophet Joel wrote: “Wake up and weep!” Why? “For the Day of the Lord is coming; surely it is near.” (Joel 1:5, 2:1) Today, I am deeply concerned that most Americans have not truly woken up and that we are facing economic and cultural implosion. We urgently need a Third Great Awakening, a series of sweeping, transformative spiritual revivals that change hearts by the millions.
This is the text of the message that I delivered: “Four Reasons Why God Is Shaking America & The World: Text of ‘Wake Up’ Call Sermon.”
At the same time, one of the lessons of 9/11 is this: To misunderstand the nature and threat of evil is to risk being blindsided by it. We didn’t understand the threat posed by Imperial Japan in 1941 and we were blindsided by the attacks on Pearl Harbor. We didn’t understand the threat posed by al Qaeda and Radical Islam in 2001 and we were blindsided by these four coordinated hijackings and homicide plane attacks. Today, new threats are rising. Iran, for example, is feverishly seeking to build nuclear weapons. It has vowed to annihilate the U.S. and Israel. Will our President take decisive action to neutralize the Iranian nuclear threat before we are blindsided by an attack? If he doesn’t, will Israel take decisive action? This war is not yet over, and these are some of the issues we will examine as the 2012 Epicenter Conference begins on Wednesday night. I hope you will join us as we consider the lessons of 9/11, and the rising threats in the Middle East, and ask how Christians should not simply remember tragedies in the past but prepare for and respond to coming wars.
Excerpts from an NRB Network release: “‘God’s people need revival,’ says evangelist Anne Graham Lotz on ‘A Wake Up Call For God’s People,’ a two-hour 9/11 special featuring Lotz, the daughter of Billy Graham, and best-selling author Joel Rosenberg. The program, which includes music from the four-time Dove-award winning worship team Selah, airs Tues., Sept. 11, at 8 pm and midnight ET. While America ‘woke up to evil’ on 9/11, ‘we, as God’s people, need to wake up in our relationship with God,’ says Lotz on the special which originally simulcast on the ten-year anniversary of 9/11. Rosenberg, the author of multiple New York Times bestsellers, including The Last Jihad and Epicenter, discusses biblical prophecy and current events that point, he believes, to the soon return of Jesus Christ. Lotz issues a stirring challenge, urging the church to ready itself for the return of Jesus by repenting of sin and recommitting to the proclamation of the Gospel.”
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