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THE ROOTS OF TERRORISM

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Evening, November 4, 2001


"The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs" (Deuteronomy 32:25).

Time magazine currently has a news article on bioterrorism (November 5, 2001). It is titled, "What's Next?"

It could be smallpox, botulism or other deadly biological agents. Anthrax is the current focus of the nation's post-September 11 trauma, but it's just one of many potential weapons in bioterrorism's terrible arsenal.

This news article deals with bioterrorism through salmonella, drug resistant tuberculosis, and "flesh eating" bacteria. The article says:

Even without high-tech delivery systems, a single suicidal terrorist spraying a few drops of smallpox virus - or a liquid solution of Ebola or even plague - in a crowded mall or into the ventilation system of a large building could cause untold harm…Or a terrorist might use…botulism [or] a few drops of cholera bacteria, for example, [to] poison the water tank of an apartment house…Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said last week what worries him most is the safety of the nation's food supply, especially of imports...[and] an attack on Americans, if traced back to a state sponsor, could trigger nuclear retaliation.

(Time, November 5, 2001, pp. 44-45).

In other words, terrorism could easily spark World War III - with nuclear bombs going off - here in Los Angeles, the water supply and the food supply poisoned, and thousands infected with smallpox, incurable tuberculosis, or the Black Plague. This is a frightening time to be alive! That's why you need to get back here to church next Sunday - and become a real Christian!

We now know that several Arab nations have biological weapons and nuclear devices of terrorism that could destroy America within a few hours - at any time.

I believe that time is desperately short. I believe that what is happening in the world today should drive you to repent of sin, turn to Christ, and come into this church! I am convinced that this is the only way to preserve your life!

President Bush has said that we must be prepared. And Time magazine says that even the president is in trouble, "Fighting elusive foes at home and abroad, Bush and his team are feeling the heat" (November 5, 2001, cover). Will America survive? Will our way of life continue? I don't know. But I do know that Isaac Watts was right when he said,

Under the shadow of [God's] throne Still may we dwell secure,
Sufficient is [His] arm alone, And our defense is sure.

O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come,
Be Thou our guide while life shall last, and our eternal home.

("O God, Our Help in Ages Past" by Isaac Watts, 1674-1748).

Now, why did these acts of terrorism suddenly begin to happen? Just a few weeks ago no one was even thinking about terrorism. Why are we very quickly and unexpectedly traumatized by terrorism? I believe there are several roots of terrorism, several reasons that these acts of terror have occurred. And I will speak tonight on the roots of terrorism.

I. The first root of terrorism is in the nature of God.

The Bible teaches that God loves us. But the Bible also teaches that God will not condone sin. God will only put up with sin for so long - and then judgment falls.

God has a special love for Israel and the Jewish people - even today. But God said that He would judge His beloved nation if they "forsook God which made [them]" (Deuteronomy 32:15). There is a principle here that applies to America - because the Bible says, "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people" (Proverbs 14:34). And America, as a nation, has forsaken the God that made us. We have stopped attending church. We have stopped reading the Bible. And the same judgments that fell on ancient Israel are now falling on us! God said:

"I will heap mischiefs [disasters] upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them. They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction: I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust. The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs" (Deuteronomy 32:23-25).

And that's what's happening to America right now! It doesn't matter what some liberal minister, or some weak-kneed evangelical or neo-fundamentalist says - that is what's happening to America right now! And for the same reason - our people have forsaken God. You may say you believe in God, but you miss church to serve and worship your real god. You work on Sunday because money is your true god. You miss church to go to a party or a family affair - because your true god is pleasure. When any little thing comes up, you miss church - because "any little thing" is your true god - and you do not make the God of the Bible your Lord. Jesus said:

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment" (Matthew 22:37-38).

And every time you miss church you break the greatest commandment that God ever gave!

Preachers are afraid to say that. This is the part of my sermon they will leave out, if they preach it from the Internet. They will blame the drug addicts, the ACLU, or the homosexuals for God's judgment. But they are afraid to tell the truth - that the main reason for God's judgment is because so-called Christians are not faithful to their local church. Killing babies by abortion and missing church are the two biggest national sins of America.  I believe that half of the reason that God is judging us is that no-account "Christians" refuse to get into church Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night.  If they did that, the churches would be such a mighty force that abortion would end in six months to a year.  I blame the evangelicals for God's judgment on this nation.

More than one-half of all Southern Baptists attended their church less than one time last year! Think of it! Less than one time! And most of the others only came on Sunday morning. Hardly any of them go on Sunday night. And only a tiny number attend prayer meeting - if the church even has one! And independent Baptists aren't much better! I believe these so-called Baptists are the ones who have brought the judgment of God on America! Tell somebody I said that - and leave it on the Internet!

These so-called "Christians" are rebellious, covetous, lost, and going to Hell. And God says:

"A fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell…and set on fire the foundations of the mountains"

(Deuteronomy 32:22).

Once the fire of God's judgment is unloosed, it knows no limits in its power. It reaches even to those in Hell! This shows God's eternal judgment of those who oppose Him - especially by lightly missing church on Sunday!

How is it that a few rag-tag terrorists have this whole nation terrorized, sitting in front of their TVs, biting their fingernails? How could a few nincompoop Arabs hold the greatest nation on earth in the grip of terror? The only explanation is that God is judging America for sin - especially the sin of missing church on Sunday. And the preachers are too frightened and money-grubbing to say a word! How could a few crazy Arabs have the greatest nation on earth in their grip if God was not judging us?

"How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock [God] had sold them, and the Lord had shut them up?" (Deuteronomy 32:30).

And the only way to escape the judgment of God is to flee to Christ, the Son of God. Run to Christ as quickly as you can! "Escape for thy life; look not behind thee" (Genesis 19:17). Get into this church every single Sunday morning and evening. There is nothing important enough to make you miss. And then make sure you are converted. Jesus said, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). Make certain that you are converted, that you have literally come to Jesus Christ, Himself. Make certain beyond the shadow of a doubt that your sin has been cleansed by the Blood of Christ.

So, the first root of terrorism is in the very nature of God. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Galatians 6:7). God will not let us get away with sin without sending punishment - this time, the punishment of terrorism. But God has provided a way to escape judgment - and that way is through Jesus Christ.

II. But the second root of terrorism is in the nature of man.

I have just received a fax of a Reuters British-released news story, saying that California governor Gray Davis indicated that he had received "credible" information that the Golden Gate Bridge, or one of the other major California bridges, may be blown up during rush hour between November 2 and November 7. The report went on to say, "Davis said it would be up to commuters to decide whether or not they wanted to cross the bridges during the period in question."  At first, the FBI did not confirm this report, but now they say that Governor Davis was correct.  The terrorists have the American people desperately frightened.

I said to my wife and boys a month ago, "I'll bet they blow up the Golden Gate Bridge." And I wouldn't be too anxious to go to the Rose Parade on New Year's Day either!

What is behind these acts? Why have they come upon us suddenly? I believe that the first reason is that God has removed His hand of protection from America because of our national sins - primarily abortion and missing church - and other sins.

But the second root of terrorism lies in the very nature of humanity.  The passage of Scripture we have been reading, in Deuteronomy thirty-two, tells us:  

"For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them." (Deuteronomy 32:28)

 

This shows that the whole nation was depraved and lost.  And the Bible teaches that this was not only true of that nation but of all nations.  The Bible says, "there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God"  (Romans 3:11).  Without the grace of God not a single person would ever be converted.

There is something evil in man's nature that causes him to fight and war, and terrorize. The Bible says:

"From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? [that wage war within you]" (James 4:1).

There is something deep inside the human soul that is evil. Theologians call it "total depravity." Psychiatrists have called it "the id." Philosophers have named it "the problem of evil." Whatever name it is given - you have it! It isn't just the terrorists who are depraved. The Bible teaches that you, too, are depraved, lost in sin, "by nature the children of wrath" (Ephesians 2:3).

You see, the Bible teaches that your very heart is corrupted and hopelessly sinful.

"Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart" (Ephesians 4:18).

You often miss church on Sunday. Although this makes you a wicked idolater, you laugh and make a joke about it. Your very heart is corrupted and opposed to God.

If you become awakened at all to your sinful condition, you will see how twisted you are inside. You will see how horrible your own heart is. You will see how impossible it is for you to do anything to save yourself in the sight of God.

Only a person who sees that he is impossibly lost has any chance of being saved by Jesus.

"For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).

If you do not realize that you are hopelessly lost, Jesus Christ, the Son of man, has nothing to offer you.

The Blood of Christ is only there to wash filthy sinners. The death of Christ is only for those who have no other way for their sins to be atoned. The resurrection of Christ is only for those who realize that they are "dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1).

Do you think that you need Christ? Or will you go on living in these days of terrorism without Him? Will you come back next Sunday? Or will you go on living without the protection of God in these evil days?

(END OF SERMON)



Scripture Read Before the Sermon: Deuteronomy 32:15-30.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Benjamin Kincaid Griffith: 
   "Lord of Our Life, and God of our Salvation" by Matthaus von Lowenstern (1594-1649)/
   "Acres of Diamonds"

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




THE OUTLINE OF

THE ROOTS OF TERRORISM

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

"The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs" (Deuteronomy 32:25).

I.   The root of terrorism in the nature of God, Deuteronomy 32:15;
Proverbs 14:34; Deuteronomy 32:23-25; Matthew 22:37-38;
Deuteronomy 32:22; Deuteronomy 32:30; Genesis 19:17;
John 3:5; Galatians 6:7.

II.  The root of terrorism in the nature of man, Deuteronomy 32:28; Romans 3:11; James 4:1; Ephesians 2:3; Ephesians 4:18; Luke 19:10; Ephesians 2:1.