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The Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.

The Solo by Mr. Griffith: "The National Anthem" by Francis Scott Key (1779-1843).

The Scripture Reading: Luke 13:1-5.


by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Morning, September 16, 2001

"Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish"
(Luke 13:5).

Christ spoke about two great public calamities of His day. He reminded the people of a group of Galilaeans who were slaughtered by the Roman governor, Pilate. We don't know what their crime was, but Christ said, "Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:2-3).

The second public calamity happened when the tower of Siloam fell and killed eighteen citizens of Jerusalem. Jesus said, "Think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:4-5).

So, following the example of Christ, I am speaking about the great tragedy of the destruction of the World Trade Center, on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, when Muslim terrorists flew two airplanes loaded with people into the buildings of the World Trade Center in New York, and then flew a third plane into the side of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Thousands of Americans were killed.

Over twice as many people were killed in this terrorist attack than died at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. President Franklin D. Roosevelt called Pearl Harbor "a day of infamy." Indeed, and it was. The Japanese attacked without warning early on Sunday morning, knowing that many would be easy targets in church, or sleeping in late.

But those who died at the World Trade Center were civilians - and there were over twice as many of them. It is easily the greatest act of aggression which has ever occurred on American soil.  I will ask three questions and attempt to give an answer to each one from a Biblical perspective.

 I. Who was responsible for this calamity?

President George W. Bush said:

The American people need to know that we're facing a different enemy than we have ever faced. This enemy hides in shadows and has no regard for human life (Los Angeles Daily News, September 13, 2001, pp. 1,8).

He was exactly right. Though he did not say so explicitly, the terrorists were all Muslims.

Are we wrong to blame the religion of Islam for this tragedy? I don't think so. I was driven to read almost all Thursday night, and most of Friday, about the Muslims, the Koran, and the religion of Islam.

Dr. Larry Spargimino recently gave these quotations from USA Today (6/26/01):

USA Today (6/26/01) featured a front page story on the secret world of suicide bombers. The headline stated: "Devotion, desire drive youths to 'martyrdom.'" My initial response was, "Devotion to what?"

My eye caught a heart-rending photo with the caption: "'Happy and Proud': Hassan Hotari holds a photo of his son, Saeed who killed 21 young Israelis and himself." The article went on to explain the kind of "devotion" that was involved. "Lured by promises of financial stability for their families, eternal martyrdom and unlimited sex in the afterlife, dozens of militant Palestinians like Hotari aspire to blow themselves up, Israeli and Palestinian officials say. Their goal: to kill or injure as many Jews as possible in the hope that Israel will withdraw from Gaza and the West Bank."

While flirting with one of the girls at the Dolphin Disco in Tel Aviv, Saeed Hotari, 22, set off the charge. The USA Today report indicates that the blast was so intense that Hotari and the girl were immediately vaporized. Many of the victims had their limbs torn from their bodies. Pieces of flesh were blown for a distance of six blocks. Hotari's father stated: "My prayer is that Saeed's brothers, friends and fellow Palestinians will sacrifice their lives, too…There is no better way to show (Allah) you love him."

Israeli officials believe that at any one time the terrorist organization Hamas has from 5 to 20 men, ages 18 to 23, awaiting orders to carry out suicide attacks. Hamas operates classes where young men are taught Islamic beliefs and how to wage a war of terrorism. At these classes, "recruits are reminded of Israel's 'illegal occupation' of the West Bank and Gaza, its 'barbaric treatment' of Palestinians and the Islamic prophet Mohammed's call for Muslims to wage war against infidels. 'Kill the idolaters wherever you find them,' Sheik Hasan Yosef, the senior Hamas leader in the West Bank city of Ramallah, counsels."

History amply demonstrates that professing Christians have, "in the name of God," engaged in their own "holy wars" and have used the sword to further what they considered God's cause. There are so-called "Christian" groups in America at the present hour who are anti-Semitic racists and would resort to violence to promote their agenda.

Yet those who wage a Christian "holy war" and preach against Jews and blacks and other ethnic groups are not doing so because of the intrinsic nature of the teachings of Jesus and His apostles. But is there something intrinsic to Islam that encourages the kind of fury mentioned above?

Several years ago a sentence of death was pronounced against novelist Salman Rushdie by the now deceased Ayatollah Khomeini. Such a sentence is considered just in an Islamic society based on Islamic law because it is justified by the Koran. After quoting Sura 9:29ff of the Koran - one of the more militant Koranic passages - one author states: "There is no comparable passage in the New Testament. It would be impossible to find in the life of Jesus either precedent or approval of taking political hostages or assassination or any other barbarism. No normally intelligent spokesman for the Christian faith would try to justify such actions - certainly not with a New Testament in hand."

Such cannot be said about the Koran. There are passages in the Muslim holy book that can easily be used by the faithful to justify war and other similar acts. Sura 9:123 exhorts: "Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you." And we certainly do not find anything in the New Testament that threatens: "If you do not go to war, He will punish you sternly, and replace you by other men" (Sura 9:39). Yes, there are many peace-loving Muslims in the world today, but such is the case in spite of and not because of the primary document of their faith. In the words of Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias: "However one might wish to interpret it, the sword and warfare are an intrinsic part of the Islamic faith."

(Southwest Radio Ministries, Prophetic Observer,

    August 2001, vol. 8, no. 8, p. 1.)

These followers of Islam view Jews and Christians as "infidels." Those who refuse to support Islamic law are called "enemies of Allah" (the Muslim "god").

(1) Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy was murdered by a Muslim.

(2) Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was murdered by a Muslim.

(3) Pope John Paul II was shot and nearly killed by a Muslim.

A. Gosh writes, "When a Muslim murders a kafir (a non-Muslim infidel), in the eye of Islam no crime has been committed" (The Koran and the Kafir, chapter 16, page 1). He also says, "Arson is used frequently by Muslims in countries where they are in a minority. They often burn buses in the streets to show their displeasure with the infidel government of the majority community" (ibid., chapter 15, page 1). "Arson or burning of the property of the [infidels], their houses of worship, their seats of learning, universities and libraries, is advised by the Koran" (ibid.). Hundreds of Christian churches have recently been burned in Indonesia, the Sudan, Ethiopia, and other partially Muslim lands. When the Muslims take completely over, there are no more burnings, because there are no more Christian churches!

The Jewish people also know about Muslim murder and arson. The Muslims burn buses and public buildings on a regular basis in Israel. Both Jews and Christians are "infidels" according to the Koran.

I thought of this teaching of Islam as I watched the video of those planes plowing into the side of the World Trade Center. As the flames and smoke shot out, I thought of the cry of the Koran - "Burn the infidels!"

A couple of days ago someone told me, "All Muslims aren't like that. They are against the violence." He was right, of course, just as all Germans weren't behind Hitler. But enough of them backed Hitler to make Germany a formidable enemy in World War II, and enough Muslims back terrorism to do great damage throughout the world today!

 II. Why did God allow this calamity to happen?

There can be no question that God allowed the World Trade Center and the Pentagon to be attacked. The Bible teaches that God is sovereign, and that He allows things like this to happen. It couldn't have happened if God in His providence had not allowed it. The Bible says, "He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand" (Daniel 4:35). "The wrath of the Lord arose against his people…Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword" (II Chronicles 36:16-17).

God allowed these Muslim terrorists to attack us. They could never have succeeded if God had not "brought upon" us these attacks (cf. II Chronicles 36:17).

During World War II, Dr. John R. Rice said:

God has a hand in every war. For His own reasons He allows the suffering and death and ruin that come when wicked men bring on war…II Chronicles, chapter 36, tells how God sent Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon, against Jerusalem, a heathen king against His own Judah, because of the sins of kings, priests, and people…so God does send the heathen armies against the people who know about Him but go on in sin! (Dr. John R. Rice, "America Gets Back Her Scrap Iron," in When Skeletons Come Out of Their Closets , Sword of the Lord, 1943, pp. 48-49).

About 4,500 people were killed by the terrorist attacks last week. People said that it was the greatest tragedy in U.S. history - but they were wrong. America has exterminated 40 million innocent babies since abortion was legalized in 1973. The Bible teaches blood-for-blood retribution. Christ told the Pharisees that they had killed the prophets He sent to them, and as a result, their own blood would be required in judgment:

"That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation" (Matthew 23:35-36).

Yes, the Bible teaches blood-for-blood retribution. In the Book of Genesis, God said:

"Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed" (Genesis 9:6).

This was part of the Noahic Covenant, a law which has never been repealed.

Abraham Lincoln believed that this law of God applied to the carnage of the Civil War, that God was requiring blood for blood. Lincoln said:

Yet if God wills [the Civil War] shall continue until the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn by the lash [from the backs of slaves] shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, "The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether"

(Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address).

I believe that those four thousand five hundred people who died in the terrorist attack last week were part of God's judgment on our nation for murdering 40 million children through abortion.

The Bible says:

"Ye shall not afflict any…fatherless child. If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry; And my wrath shall wax [grow] hot, and I will kill you with the sword" (Exodus 22:22-24).

America - you can't get away with killing 40 million babies! God is punishing you!

America has lived by false standards and has forgotten God. One Muslim said, "The Americans have forgotten that God exists" ( Yahoo News , 9/13/01, page 1). Exactly right! And we can't make up for that by a couple of minutes of prayer or by waving an American flag!

Americans have filled their minds with pornography, have literally lived for sex, have murdered their babies by abortion, have missed church Sunday after Sunday, have run off to Las Vegas, or some casino, instead of going to prayer meeting, have taken liquor and drugs instead of the Lord's Supper, have entertained themselves on an average of seven hours every night in front of a TV, but have had no time for regular church attendance. And God is fed up with your sinful way of life! Judgment has fallen on a godless America!

Do not listen to the false prophets! They will say that this sermon is too harsh. But they are wrong. This is exactly what you need to hear! Judgment is coming to the sinful American way of life. Run away from TV and dope and porno! Run away from liquor and sinful sex and gambling. Run for your life!

"Escape for thy life; look not behind thee…lest thou be consumed" (Genesis 19:17).

 III. What does this calamity show us?

First, it does not show us that there was anything especially sinful about the people who died at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. They were no more sinful than you are. Jesus said that the Galilaeans who were slaughtered by Pilate and the 18 people who died when the tower of Siloam fell were no worse than other people. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).

Second, the calamity does show that you, too, must repent. After speaking of people who died in those two great calamities in His time, Jesus said, "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:5).

Yes, they died in a fiery holocaust. But so will you! A poll was taken by the Los Angeles Daily News the day after the calamity. The newspaper asked this question, "Should the U.S. blow the terrorists to hell?" They asked people to phone the newspaper with a "yes" or "no." Ninety-eight percent of those polled said, "yes." "The U.S. should blow the terrorists to hell." Think of it! 98 percent said "yes"!

But Jesus said, "Except you repent, you shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:5). Unless you repent, you are going to be "blown to hell," you are going to a place where the fire burns even worse than it did at the World Trade Center or the Pentagon!

Now, what does it mean to "repent"? The English word "repent" is a translation of the Greek word "metanoia." It means "to have a new mind," a new way of looking at sin and Christ. To change your mind, you must hate sin and love Christ. You must hate the world and come into the local church - at every service. And you must come directly to Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He died on the Cross to pay for your sins. His Blood can wash your sins away! He rose physically from the dead and ascended into Heaven. He is at the right side of God in Heaven. Come to Jesus Christ. Trust in Him. Be cleansed from your sins by His Blood. Be prepared to go to Heaven when you die!



The Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.

The Solo by Mr. Griffith: "The National Anthem" by Francis Scott Key (1779-1843).

The Scripture Reading: Luke 13:1-5.

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



by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

"Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish"
(Luke 13:5).

I.   Who was responsible for this calamity?

II.  Why did God allow this calamity to happen? Daniel 4:35;
II Chronicles 36:16-17; Matthew 23:35-36; Genesis 9:6;
Exodus 22:22-24; Genesis 19:17.

III. What does this calamity show us? Romans 3:23; Luke 13:5.