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The Scripture Reading: Matthew 24:3-14.
The Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
The Solo by Benjamin Kincaid Griffith: "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood (1984)/

"In Times Like These" by Ruth Caye Jones (1944).




BIN LADEN DECLARES 'HOLY WAR' ON AMERICA

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Morning, September 30, 2001


"And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet" (Matthew 24:6).

Osama bin Laden's terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington two weeks ago. They killed nearly seven thousand Americans. President Bush declared war on terrorism before a joint session of Congress last week. Last Sunday (9/23/01) Osama bin Laden issued a call to Muslims to join him in a "holy war" against America.

Dr. John F. Walvoord is the Chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Dr. Walvoord said this about the Middle East not long ago:

One of the important results of the (Middle Eastern) war in 1973 was to bring Arab nations together in a new unity that had never before been realized…For the first time in centuries, the Middle East became a major component in every international situation (Dr. John F. Walvoord, Armageddon, Oil and the Middle East Crisis, revised edition, Zondervan, 1990, pp. 53-54).

Today we are beginning to see some of the implications of the alignment of Muslim nations in that area. Pakistan is standing with the United States and Great Britain, but Afghanistan is clearly in a belligerent mood, and the Taliban government has rejected President Bush's ultimatum to hand over Osama bin Laden and his group of terrorists, a group responsible for destroying the World Trade Center and the Pentagon two weeks ago.

These events are bringing America into direct conflict and war with at least one Muslim nation, and possibly others in the next several weeks. Dr. Walvoord gives this comment:

Though many of the details of the struggle in the Middle East are not a direct fulfillment of prophecy, the statement of Christ concerning the place of war is being fulfilled precisely: "Ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet" (ibid., p. 51; Matthew 24:6).

The important factor that is new is the fact that wars in other parts of the world were not biblically important, but tensions in the Middle East seem to be an ominous development that may lead to the final great struggle, climaxing in Armageddon and the Second Coming of Christ (ibid.).

This war with bin Laden and Afghanistan could have tremendous consequences. It could change all of our lives forever. And I want to speak about this war in the context of Jesus' words from the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew.

I. The text of Bin Laden's declaration of "holy war."

The following statement from Osama bin Laden's declaration of war on America was printed on page A6 of the Tuesday, September 25, 2001 Los Angeles Times:

TEXT OF BIN LADEN STATEMENT URGING 
             'MARTYRS' TO JOIN JIHAD

From Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Here is the text of Osama bin Laden's statement as provided Monday by the Al Jazeera television news network, based in Qatar, and translated from Arabic by Associated Press:


In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Sunday, 6 Rajab 1422 [Sept. 23, 2001]
And for martyrs from their God
their reward and light


To our Muslim brothers in Pakistan.

Peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah and his blessings.

I received with great sorrow the news of the murder of some of our Muslim brothers in [the Pakistani city of] Karachi while they were expressing their opposition to the American crusade forces and their allies on the lands of Muslims in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

We ask Allah to accept them as martyrs and include them with prophets, their followers, martyrs, good doers and the like and ask that their families be gifted with patience and consolation, and bless their children and money, and reward well for their Islam.

Whoever of them left children behind, they are my children, and I am their caretaker, Allah willing.

It is no wonder that the Muslim nation in Pakistan would rush to defend its Islam, since it is considered the first line of defense for Islam in this area, just like Afghanistan was the first line of defense for itself and for Pakistan before the Russian invasion more than 20 years ago.

We hope that these brothers are among the first martyrs in Islam's battle in this era against the new Christian-Jewish crusade led by the big crusader Bush under the flag of the Cross; this battle is considered one of Islam's battles…[text illegible].

We incite our Muslim brothers in Pakistan to give everything they own and are capable of to push the American crusade forces from invading Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: Whoever didn't fight, or prepare a fighter, or take good care of a fighter's family, Allah will strike him with a catastrophe before Judgment Day.

I announce to you the good news my loved brothers that we are steadfast on the path of jihad for the sake of Allah, following the example of the Prophet, peace be upon him, with the heroic, faithful Afghan people, under the leadership of our fighter emir, who is proud of his religion, the prince of the faithful, Mullah Mohammed Omar.

We ask Allah to make him victorious over the forces of infidels and tyranny, and to crush the new Christian-Jewish crusade on the land of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

If Allah makes you victorious, none will defeat you and if he fails you, who after him will make you victorious and on Allah the faithful shall trust.

Your brother in Islam,

Osama bin Mohammed bin Laden



   (Los Angeles Times, from Associated Press,

      September 25, 2001, p. A6).

II. The answer of a Christian pastor.

Bin Laden expresses sorrow over "the news of the murder of some of our Muslim brothers [in Pakistan]." This was hardly murder! Four men were killed by police for rioting! Notice that he has no sorrow at all for the nearly 7,000 people he killed at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon! He only has sorrow for those four Muslims who were killed by the police for rioting. Never mind the widows and children by the thousands in New York and Washington. After all, they were only Jews and Christians, and Jews and Christians don't count in his eyes!  But they count in the eyes of God!

Then bin Laden said:

"…these brothers are among the first martyrs in Islam's battle in this era against the new Christian-Jewish crusade led by the big crusader Bush under the flag of the Cross; this battle is considered one of Islam's battles…We incite our Muslim brothers in Pakistan to give everything they own and are capable of to push the American crusade forces from invading Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: 'Whoever didn't fight, or prepare a fighter, or take good care of a fighter's family, Allah will strike him with a catastrophe before Judgment Day.'

We ask Allah to make him [Mullah Mohammed Omar] victorious over the forces of infidels and tyranny, and to crush the new Christian-Jewish crusade on the land of Pakistan and Afghanistan" (ibid., Los Angeles Times, 9/25/01).

Bin Laden clearly and plainly tells us that he considers this to be a "holy war," or "Jihad," against Christians and Jews of the West.

OUR CIVILIZATION IS SUPERIOR --
SAYS ITALY'S PRIME MINISTER


BERLIN - The Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, in a briefing to journalists on Wednesday, praised Western civilization as superior to that of the Islamic world and urged Europe to "reconstitute itself on the basis of its Christian roots."

Mr. Berlusconi, in Berlin for a surprise meeting to discuss international cooperation against terrorism with the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, and the German chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, gave vent to views likely to outrage Turkey and other Islamic allies of the West and infuriate antiglobalization protesters.

As it designs a strategy against terrorism, Mr. Berlusconi said, the West should trust in the supremacy of its values.

"We should be confident of the superiority of our civilization, which consists of a value system that has given people widespread prosperity in those countries that embrace it, and guarantees respect for human rights and religion," Mr. Berlusconi said. "This respect certainly does not exist in Islamic countries."

The West "is bound to occidentalize and conquer new people," he said. "It has done it with the Communist world and part of the Islamic world, but unfortunately, a part of the Islamic world is 1,400 years behind. From this point of view, we must be conscious of the strength and force of our civilization."

( New York Times, September 27, 2001, section A, p. 8).

I am in basic agreement with Prime Minister Berlusconi. But remember that he said the West must " reconstitute itself on the basis of its Christian roots." Such a "reconstitution" would mean a "revival" of Christianity.  Such a "reconstitution" would have to include church attendance every Sunday and the banning of "convenience" abortions, which make up over 98% of all abortions. Abortion is destroying the West by killing off our youth. But the Italian Prime Minister is right - the values of the Western world are superior to all others, because our roots come from Christianity.

But without a Christian revival, the West really has nothing to offer to the world.  We can only offer them Michael Jackson, Madonna, or a trip to Las Vegas.  The world does not need that.  We must have a revival of Christianity or we have nothing to offer of value.  We need to pray for God to give our churches revival one more time!

I am reminded of the words of English Prime Minister Winston Churchill when he spoke to a joint session of both houses of the American Congress shortly after we were attacked at Pearl Harbor, at the beginning of World War II. London was being bombed by the Nazis. America had just been bombed by the Japanese fanatics. Churchill spoke to that hushed gathering at the joint session of Congress in Washington. He said, "What kind of people do they think we are?"

And that is my question to Mr. Bin Laden this morning: "What kind of people do you think we are?" Do you think we will stand idly by and do nothing, when you have killed seven thousand of our civilian people at their work places in New York and Washington? We will not stand silently and let you do this to us! We will defend our homeland and our people. We will defend America, and England, and Israel! And we will stop your so-called "holy war" against us and against the Jewish people across the world, and in Israel! Away with your Allah! He has been unmasked as the Satan he is! He is not the God of our Bible! And he will be stopped in this war by the forces of the Western world! God save the Queen! God bless America! God protect Israel!

"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee" (Psalm 122:6).

GOD BLESS AMERICA BY IRVING BERLIN, 1938

"God Bless America" was composed by Irving Berlin, an immigrant who left his home in Siberia for America when he was only 5 years old. The original version of "God Bless America" was written by Berlin (1888-1989) during the summer of 1918 for his Ziegfeld-style revue "Yip, Yip, Yaphank." The original lyric declared: "Make her victorious on land and foam, God Bless America…"

However, Berlin eventually decided that the solemn tone of "God Bless America" didn't fit with the more comedic elements of the show, and the song was shelved. In the fall of 1938, as war was again threatening Europe, Berlin decided to write a "peace" song. Then he recalled his "God Bless America." He made some alterations to reflect the different state of the world, and the current version of the song was born. Singer Kate Smith introduced the revised "God Bless America" during her radio program on Armistice Day 1938. The song was an immediate sensation, and its sheet music was in great demand. As a result, Berlin soon established the God Bless America fund, dedicating the royalties to the Boy and Girl Scouts of America.

God Bless America. Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam,
God Bless America,
My home sweet home.

( The Los Angeles Daily News,

September 25, 2001, "LA Life," p. 5).

III. The sign of wars and rumours of wars.

The Disciples asked Jesus this question:

"Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Matthew 24:3).

Jesus answered them by giving them a number of signs. He said:

"And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake" (Matthew 24:6-9).

Jesus Christ said that there would be wars like this, "but the end is not yet." This war against Islamic forces will not be the end of the world, according to Christ. This war is part of the "beginning of sorrows," the "birth pangs" of the Second Coming of Christ to establish peace throughout the world - when He returns in the clouds of glory!

Those who are true Christians have nothing to fear. As President Roosevelt said during the Great Depression, and World War II, "You have nothing to fear, but fear itself."

If you are a real Christian, that is true of you - you have nothing to fear, but fear itself!

How can you overcome fear in your heart at this time - when war has come to America? I will tell you exactly how to overcome the fears you have:

1. Number one - get into this local church, or one like it. Attend every service in this church. Don't let anything keep you from coming. Be here in church at every service. Be here every Sunday morning and every Sunday night. You will find great peace and freedom from fear by being with God's people at every service.

2. Number two - get right with God. Don't put it off any longer. Get right with God, and do it now. "Prepare to meet thy God" (Amos 4:12). You cannot have freedom from fear unless you turn away from your sins, and have peace with God in your heart.

3. Number three - convert to Jesus Christ. "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (I Timothy 2:5). "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). You can only find peace with God by coming to the mediator, Jesus, the Second Person of the Godhead. He died in your place, to pay for your sins, on the Cross.

The Muslim fanatics hate the Cross of Christ. Bin Laden calls on all Muslims to fight in "this era against the new Jewish-Christian crusade led by the big crusader Bush under the flag of the Cross." He hates the Cross of Christ. But the Bible says:

"The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God"

(I Corinthians 1:18).

"And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself" (Colossians 1:20).

As the old hymn puts it:

In the Cross of Christ I glory, Towering o'er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story Gathering round its head sublime,
Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure, By the Cross are sanctified,
Peace is there that knows no measure, Joys that through all time abide.

("In the Cross of Christ" by Sir John Bowring, 1792-1872).

And as the great English Puritan hymn writer Dr. Isaac Watts wrote:

When I survey the wondrous Cross,
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

See, from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

("When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" by Isaac Watts, 1674-1748).

Jesus Christ shed His precious Blood on that Cross to wash away your sins. Come to Christ. Throw yourself on the mercy of Christ. Be washed clean from your sins by Christ. He is not on the Cross now. He is not here! He has risen from the dead! He is alive in Heaven, at the right hand of God! You can come to Jesus, and He will forgive all your sins and wash them away by the Blood He shed on that Cross! That is our ancient message - the message of good news - the message of the gospel!

Come, every soul by sin oppressed,
There's mercy with the Lord,
And He will surely give you rest,
By trusting in His Word.
Only trust Him, only trust Him,
Only trust Him now.
He will save you, He will save you,
He will save you now.

("Only Trust Him" by John S. Stockton, 1813-1877).

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidd'st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

("Just As I Am" by Charlotte Elliott, 1789-1871).

As we sing that song, I want you to come and stand here in front of this pulpit. You may be a member of the church, or you may not be a member of any church, but you come and stand here right now while the rest of us sing. You may be a Catholic, or a Protestant, or Jewish, or a Muslim. You may be a Buddhist, or have some other religious background. But you haven't been satisfied. You want something more. You say, "I want Jesus Christ to forgive my sins. I want to be washed clean from sin by Christ's Blood." Then you come. We will take you to my office for just a few minutes. We will give you a piece of literature that will help you understand how to be saved and become a real Christian. We won't keep you long. Then we'll go upstairs and have lunch.  But I want you to get out of your seat and come right now while we sing.

(END OF SERMON)


The Scripture Read Before Sermon: Matthew 24:3-14.
The Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
The Solo by Benjamin Kincaid Griffith: "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood (1984)/

"In Times Like These" by Ruth Caye Jones (1944).

You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.rlhymersjr.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."




THE OUTLINE OF

BIN LADEN DECLARES 'HOLY WAR' ON AMERICA

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

"And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet" (Matthew 24:6).

I.   The text of bin Laden's declaration of 'holy war'

II.  The answer of a Christian pastor, Psalm 122:6.

III. The sign of wars and rumours of wars, Matthew 24:3;
Matthew 24:6-9; Amos 4:12; I Timothy 2:5; Romans 5:1;
I Corinthians 1:18; Colossians 1:20.