Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 - our response

There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’ And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”
(Luke 13:1-9, ESV)

On September 11, 2001, a horrific act was committed against the United States. What should be our response? Jesus is saying that people die in tragic circumstances, both from atrocities committed by man and from natural disasters, all of the time. What Jesus wants His listeners to think about is what their response to these circumstances should be. He tells them what their response should be at the end of verse  5: "...unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." Again, in verse 9 He says: "Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.

Our response in light of such events as 9/11 should be ... "repentance".

“I will not put God on trial. I am on trial. Only because of Christ will the waves that one day carry me away bring me safely to his side. Come. Repentance is a good place to be.” ~ John Piper

The parable of the fig tree points to God's patience. However, we should not presume upon God's patience. God is very patient, but we do not know when His patience will run out.

If God were to examine my life, He would find enough ungodliness and unrighteousness to be inclined to pick me up, use His sickle to cut me from the earth, and throw me into the winepress of His wrath. That would be completely consistent with His perfection, His holiness, and His glory. But thanks be to God that He has given us a way of salvation by which we can escape His fury. ~ R.C. Sproul 

Therefore, repent and trust Christ. Today.

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