Is America being chastised by God? 

Part 8:  Did God allow innocent people to be killed?

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The terrorists:

Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts [are] thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction [are] in their paths. The way of peace they know not; and [there is] no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace. 
Isaiah 59:7-8

All of mankind, including the 9/11 victims:

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Romans 3:10-12
(These verses in Romans are describing our spiritual state prior to accepting Jesus as our savior. Click here for a commentary on these Romans verses)

One comment I heard on a Fox news program was how unfair it seemed that God could allow so many innocent people to be killed.  It is important when discussing spiritual matters that concern God and the Bible to make sure you're taking a Biblical approach.  None of the commentators I heard criticizing Rev. Falwell did this.  They were all shooting from the hip and basically trying to play junior theologian.  I suspect that few if any of them have ever researched these issues in the scriptures well enough to be making the kind of forceful statements they were making about it. 

In this case, the issue centers around the definition of the word "innocent".  Most people including me would readily agree that those who died did not do anything against Afghanistan, the Taliban or Osama Bin Laden to deserve what happened to them.  The terrorists were 100% at fault for the wickedness they perpetrated. From that secular perspective, they were indeed "innocent" and we have a right as a nation to be very upset about that, and to seek justice.

However, none of us are "innocent" when it comes to offending God with our rebelliousness and sins.  Some are far more wicked than others.  We are all deserving of eternal damnation without exception, and that's where we'd all end up were it not for the sacrifices that Jesus made for us.  

Let me be clear that I'm not suggesting that those who died were so wicked that they deserved to be singled out for the kind of deaths they experienced.  Neither am I suggesting that the heinous sins committed by the terrorists were in any way justified.  The terrorists will answer to the God of the Bible for what they did, and they're in for an ugly surprise when they meet Him face-to-face on Judgment Day.  My point is that when we're discussing spiritual matters, nobody is "innocent" in God's eyes until they have repented of their sins and accepted Jesus Christ's free gift of salvation.  

It is also not my intention to suggest that God chastised only on those who died.  It should be obvious to anyone from the news reports that the whole nation is suffering in various ways from what happened, and from what may lie ahead in the months and years to come.  That's the whole point of chastising a nation.  The discipline needs to touch us all, Christian and non-Christian because in most cases, we're all guilty of contributing to the problem either through our actions, or our inactions.

So why would God allow His own adopted children (Christians) to die in some of the larger scale incidents?  We don't know all the reasons because God's thinking is so far beyond ours.  But we have one good possibility to consider.  While our secular society tends to view death as a horrible thing, God sees the death of His saints in a much different light.  Consider these Bible verses:

Precious in the sight of the LORD [is] the death of his saints.
Psalms 116:15

And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed [are] the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. 
Revelation 14:13

Upon death, His saints are with Him for all of eternity.  They are now free from pain and suffering forever.  They now know a happiness that is far beyond anything imaginable in this life.  That is precisely how I viewed my own father's death in 1997.  I was very sad to see him pass away, but found great comfort in this Bible verse:

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Thessalonians 4:13-14

I also have hope that we will be together again for all of eternity in the next life.  If Heaven is real to you, if you have a close personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you truly can find comfort in knowing that if your loved ones were also sincere Christians when they died, that they are in a far better place regardless of what circumstances put them there.  

Pastors are doing this nation no favors by staying quiet about this issue.  I was very glad to hear my own pastor address this issue head-on the Sunday after the attacks occurred.  Like Rev. Falwell, he also felt that this could be chastisement of our nation by God.  

It is a pastor's job to speak the truth, regardless of how much the rebellious society who hears it hates the message and the messenger.  God's truths often anger and offend men because of their foolish prides.  Additionally, this problem can't be fixed until we first recognize that the problem is there.  The commentators who attacked Rev. Falwell are doing this nation a great disservice by trying to distract attention away from our nation's wickedness by attacking the messenger of this unpleasant, but true message.  I applaud Rev. Falwell (and Rev. Pat Robertson) for having the courage to speak the truth.  In my humble opinion, he should only have apologized for failing to include the sins of Christians in with the other groups he mentioned.   In the end, he may have done this nation a real service by getting out into the open what millions of Christians were already thinking themselves, and have been talking about for years.


Part (Click on the links below)
1 Introduction
2 America is still the most Godly nation on Earth
3 America's sins against God
4 God's Chastisement of Nations
5 God's suffering
6 God alone chooses who, how and when He punishes 
Prev 7 Was Rev. Falwell being insensitive?
==> 8 Did God allow innocent people to be killed?
Next 9 Conclusion
Related links 
America Attacked book by Dr. D. James Kennedy 

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