The world has experienced great terror and tragedy over the past few months, and as we draw closer to September 11, the great evil pervading the Middle East comes more closely into focus. For those who do not remember or think about what happened on that day, two American journalists have recently been murdered as a reminder of what these terrorists groups stand for. Simply put, they want all the infidels killed, and infidels include anyone who is not a Muslim—you and me.
Before September 11, 2001, people did not recognize or understand the evil of Muslim terrorists; a people who would kill you simply for not believing the same thing they believe. The evil of suicide bombers and terrorists were a part of life in the Middle East, but they were so far from our comfortable lives, many people never thought twice about them.
I remember that day as if it was yesterday. I was at the gym in California, riding the bike, when the first plane hit the World Trade Center in New York. It was unreal, but not unbelievable. I had just been to Israel a few months earlier and waited in line at the airport for three hours while they searched every bag. Terrorism was very real to them, and it became very real to me.
As we saw the next plane hit, one of the trainers said, “I cannot believe this is happening.” I replied, “Did you really think it would not come to us? Israel is the little Satan, but we are the big Satan. They had to bring it to us eventually.”
As an American and a native of New York, it was heartbreaking, even though it was not surprising. Israel had been experiencing suicide bombers for many years. We heard about busses full of children being blown up and suicide bombers in open markets. Americans have always been friends with Israel, and that alone made us enemies of the radical Muslims.
People around the world watched in horror, as the third plane hit the Pentagon and a fourth went down in a field in Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania. Not long after, the World Trade Center’s twin towers collapsed. The four planes commandeered by the suicide bombers took the lives of almost 3000 people: men, women and children.
Watching the genocide happening today in Syria and Iraq, with little being done to stop the slaughter, it seems we have forgotten. Those in government think they can reason with unreasonable people. They think they can make people who do not value life and embrace death care about the lives of innocent people.
Those men and women who love Jesus Christ and are being persecuted in the Middle East know the truth. They know God’s Word and they know these people hate them because they love Him. Jesus said:
And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes (Matthew 10:22-23).
We can no longer live our lives thinking evil will not come to America. With technology and opportunity, the vast oceans no longer keep us safe from harm. We have to recognize we have a very real enemy. They do not seek to imprison us, but to destroy us. The only real hope we have is Jesus Christ and eternity with Him.
Paul the Apostle experienced great persecution, and because of it, he understood the hope of the resurrection. He told the church: For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21).
It is important for us to remember September 11, 2001 and 2011. Americans were killed in New York, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania and Benghazi. We remember those who died and the families they left behind, and we do whatever we can to ensure it does not happen again. In the face of a very real and present enemy, we have to know, like Paul, our hope is not in this life. Our only hope is in Christ and I know He has already won the battle; He has defeated sin and death. For me to live is Christ and to die is to gain eternity with Him.
— Staff WriterTweet