God's Wake-Up Call
"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?"1
Lest we forget. Today we are graphically reminded how, on September 11, 2001, the world was shocked beyond belief when Muslim fanatical terrorists attacked the U.S.A. bringing down the two World Trade Towers and crashing into the Pentagon—and some 3,000 innocent victims were killed by these fanatical religious terrorists.
Then we recall how on April 20, 1999, one of the teenage killers at the Columbine High School massacre in Littleton, Colorado, pointed his gun at Cassie Bernall and asked her his life-or-death question: "Do you believe in God?"
She paused. The gun was still there. "Yes, I believe in God," she said. Those were the last words that this 17-year-old Christian teenager would ever speak. The gunman asked her "Why?" She had no time to answer before she was shot to death. Terribly difficult to understand. Two youths, in cold blood, murdered twelve students and one teacher.
But has the violence in our society abated since these and many other senseless killings and inhumane acts of terrorism? Sadly no. Nightly on the news we are fed a continuous diet of violence; gang shootings and murders; sexual predators abusing and raping children, women being raped, etc., etc.—right here in the U.S.A.
Sadly no. "On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza, 20, fatally shot twenty children and six adult staff members in a mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the village of Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut. Before driving to the school, Lanza had shot and killed his mother, Nancy, at their Newtown home. As first responders arrived, he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head."2
For a short while after September 11, 2001, it appeared this might trigger a spiritual awakening at least here in the U.S.A. But sadly, no, it didn't. It wasn't long before we were back to business as usual.
And will the ever-increasing violent acts of terrorism around the world trigger a wake-up call, first, among us, who claim to be Christians? Would we, like Cassie, still name the name of Jesus with a gun pointed at our head? This is happening today in other parts of the world where numerous Christians are being raped and murdered. It could happen in Western countries, too, if radical Islam continues to spread and take hold as it is doing throughout other lands. Fanatical Muslims are on the attack in various parts of the world in the name of Allah! They hate Jews, Christians, and the West and do not hesitate to kill us on our own soil.
Think of 9-11 for example! And with the president of Iran very likely to acquire nuclear weapon capability with the determination to wipe Israel off the map, the world could be heading for a holocaust far greater than that of Hitler's Germany. Or could it be Armageddon we're speeding towards?
Here in the U.S. an anti-God and anti-Christian sentiment has permeated at least the public arena, and when we exclude God from our sphere of influence, we create a spiritual and moral vacuum; and what rushes in to fill it? Godlessness and evil—with an acceleration of violence and moral decline. It is no surprise that more and more we are accepting and approving of the homosexual lifestyle and gay marriage, and continuing to allow abortion for almost any reason, not to mention the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion which is murder. Period. Can you imagine how God must feel about what our society is allowing and doing? Have we forgotten that "blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD?"3
We Christians at least need to hear God's "wake-up call" and unite to create a spiritual force throughout our society, because without a spiritual awakening society is not likely to hear God's wake-up call.
Spiritual awakenings don't come from governments, political leaders, universities, or scientists. They start at a grass roots level when God's people get honest with themselves, each other and with God, and when they get serious about their spiritual commitment. One of the great hindrances to a spiritual awakening at least in the West is that we haven't suffered enough. Yet. We can pretty much get along quite well without God—or so we think.
As God said to the ancient Israelites when they turned from Him, "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."4
Suggested Prayer: "Dear God, in light of the ever-increasing moral decline and the accelerating terrorism around the world, please help us Christians, leaders, and the nation as a whole to hear your wake-up call and turn our hearts back to the God whom so many of us have forgotten in our everyday living and actions. Please send a revival and start your work in me. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV).
2. Wikipedia, http://tinyurl.com/school-tragedy.
3. Psalm 33:12.
4. 2 Chronicles 7:13-15 (NIV).