Faith Chapel

Making Sense Out Of The Senseless

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Mike Leno


Series Code: FC

Program Code: FC000033

00:29 On September 11, 2001,
00:32 the liberty of all freedom loving people
00:34 in the world was attacked.
00:36 And the airline crashes into the World Trade Center
00:39 in New York, in the Pentagon in Washington D.C.
00:45 Seven thousand people were either dead or missing.
00:51 On September 11, more people died
00:52 in the attack than on any other occasion,
00:56 on an attack by a foreign power on U.S. soil.
00:59 We lost more people on that day than in Pearl Harbor.
01:04 In a picture of poetic tragedy the statue of Liberty
01:08 overlooked the scene of terror and devastation.
01:14 We struggle to make sense out of the senseless,
01:17 but that is the nature of evil.
01:20 If evil made sense it wouldn't evil.
01:23 But today even while we mourn this great tragedy,
01:28 we can find good news.
01:29 We can find what God is doing in this situation.
01:33 Now it would be easy to capitalize
01:35 on all the fear and the trauma.
01:38 After all this is the end time.
01:40 Bible believing Christians all over the world
01:42 see events like this as simply typical of what will happen
01:47 more and more towards the end of the world.
01:51 But if all we get out of this is fear.
01:54 Then we've missed the good news.
01:58 While fear can get our attention, it can't save us.
02:02 And so today we're going to examine two aspects
02:05 of dealing with this kind of trauma.
02:08 Number one, God did not cause
02:11 the terrorist attacks on our country,
02:13 nor did He want them to happen.
02:16 Number two, God can and will bring good out of this evil.
02:21 In fact, we see that happening already.
02:24 You see Satan is the terrorist of the universe.
02:26 God has been fighting a war against spiritual terrorism.
02:30 Unfortunately, you and I are in this world
02:33 and we're caught in the crossfire,
02:36 cause of spiritual liberty
02:37 is worth fighting for, it's worth dying for.
02:41 And Jesus demonstrated that on the cross.
02:43 Two days after the attack on the World Trade center.
02:46 Dateline NBC, ran a story on a man
02:49 by the name of Harold Lutdnick
02:50 CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald, a bond trading company
02:54 with about a thousand employees in the World Trade Center.
02:58 The company occupied floors 101 through 105 in the north tower.
03:05 As it happened Harold Ludtnick the CEO
03:07 was late getting to work that day.
03:09 So he drooped his son on his first day of kindergarten,
03:14 which made him late to work.
03:17 On that fateful day as he arrived to work,
03:20 he saw the towers coming down.
03:25 His interview with NBC was a gut wrenching interview.
03:30 He broke down several times but NBC noticed that
03:34 in spite of being a hugely successful man,
03:38 in spite of being a head of hugely successful company.
03:43 Harold Ludtnick was proud not just because of his companies
03:47 bottom-line but you see he considered his company a family.
03:51 He was proud of the kind of people he had to work with.
03:56 Ludtnick lost 700 of his employees that day.
04:00 None of his employees who were up in their offices
04:03 that day made it out alive.
04:05 There were few who perhaps arrived late as he did,
04:08 some of them made it to the lobby but every one,
04:13 who were already in their offices,
04:17 everyone died that day.
04:20 The average age of his employees
04:22 was about 30, Ludtnick said.
04:24 So he said, "We have a lot of people to take care of."
04:29 But that's what we want to do, he said.
04:33 It's interesting to notice the reactions to these attacks,
04:39 politicians, the pundits, public reactions.
04:43 We heard all kinds of reactions.
04:45 Some said, "Let's bomb them
04:47 and if there's collateral damage, so be it."
04:51 One person even said, "God have mercy
04:53 on you because we won't."
04:56 There were reactions from the religious world as well.
04:58 Some said, "It's a sign of the end."
04:59 Some said, "It's a fulfillment of prophecy."
05:01 Some said, "It's a judgment of God."
05:05 A couple of well known religious leaders
05:08 even went on television angered a lot of people with statements,
05:12 that God had allowed this to happen
05:14 because of activities of pagans, abortionists,
05:16 feminists, gays, lesbians and even the ALCU.
05:20 Understandably there was quite a backlash
05:22 to those kinds of statements
05:24 nd they since backed away from them.
05:25 But this often happens when we make get records
05:29 about making sense out of the senseless.
05:33 Actually I like what Elder Don Schneider had to say.
05:36 Don Schneider is the President
05:38 of the North American division of Seventh-day Adventist.
05:42 The day after the attack, he gave worship talk
05:45 to the employees in his office. And this is what he said.
05:48 He said, "It's incredible to think
05:51 that the tragic killings of yesterday
05:53 would be attributed as an act of God."
05:56 He went on to say that,
05:58 "When we help people hurt by the attack,
05:59 so when we get together to pray for the victims
06:02 of the tragedies those are acts of God."
06:07 How do we make sense out of all of this?
06:10 Is there something we need to learn?
06:13 What does God had to do with this tragedy?
06:17 The answers are this.
06:20 God does not cause evil
06:23 but God will bring good out of it.
06:27 God did not cause this evil, in fact He did not even allow it
06:32 in order to teach us some thing.
06:36 In what sense does God teach us things?
06:39 Does God wish bad things to happen to us
06:43 in order to teach to us a lesson?
06:45 Does God need the devil in order to teach us something?
06:48 The Book of Job pictures the context
06:51 between good and evil.
06:53 In the first chapter of Job, it pictures
06:55 all the representatives of the world coming before God
06:59 and Satan accusing God of giving
07:02 inordinate protection to Job.
07:04 Of course he will serve you, said Satan.
07:07 You've put head around him, You have protected him.
07:10 God said okay, "Take the hedge down.
07:12 I know my servant Job, he will serve me
07:14 even if you threaten him and even hurt him."
07:20 You see innocent people suffer and die.
07:22 For this short life span that we're here
07:25 God must allow evil to reveal itself.
07:28 There's more at stake here than just us.
07:30 The eternal security of the universe is at stake.
07:34 The universe needs people
07:36 who will live righteous unselfish lives,
07:38 even when it's inconvenient or even painful.
07:42 Being good must be its own reward.
07:45 God modeled that sought of character,
07:48 when Jesus came here and lived and died for us.
07:52 Whenever you're tempted to wonder
07:54 if God is using bad things to teach us something,
07:57 go read and reread the story of Job.
08:01 Did the attack on New York and Washington reveal
08:04 a judgment on people who were especially evil.
08:06 Many people think that this was a judgment of God.
08:09 Now I have no doubt, that there's a lot of wickedness
08:12 in New York and Washington,
08:14 and all of the other major cities of the world.
08:18 But the terrorist attacks did not happen
08:20 because people in New York and Washington
08:22 were especially evil. They happened
08:24 because the terrorist were especially evil.
08:28 Remember it was the well meaning
08:31 but mislead friends of Job who said,
08:35 "That evil happens because God
08:37 is punishing you for something."
08:42 Well if God does not cause evil to teach us something.
08:47 How does He bring good out of it?
08:49 I wanna show you some pictures from around the world,
08:52 after the World Trade Center disaster
08:54 and after the attack on Pentagon.
08:55 People around the world joined in kind of a common
09:00 outpouring of sympathy and prayer.
09:06 For example Palestinians in east Jerusalem,
09:10 the American Consulate in St. Petersburg,
09:13 the American Embassy in Moscow,
09:16 the American Embassy in Beijing, Pristina Kosovo.
09:22 And Russian players in a football game
09:25 in Germany were unwilling to compete
09:28 when they heard of the tragedy,
09:30 but officials told them to play anyway
09:32 and they played defiantly
09:34 but spiritlessly and uncompetitively.
09:39 Yes, things like this should be a wake up call.
09:43 It should wake us up to realize that we need the gospel
09:48 and we need to share the gospel.
09:51 We need to turn to Matthew 24 and see
09:55 what Jesus had to say about the bad things
09:58 that would happen in the end of time.
10:01 I'm turning to Matthew 24:6 to 8.
10:04 Jesus words, "You will hear of wars and rumors of wars,
10:07 but see to it that you are not alarmed.
10:10 Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.
10:13 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
10:16 There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
10:19 All these are the beginning of birth pains."
10:24 Many people have said,
10:26 that when bad things like this happen,
10:27 it means the end is here and I have no doubt that if--
10:33 if I had been standing there in the shadow
10:35 of the twin towers, I would have been convinced
10:39 that the end was happening right there.
10:43 But you know bad things are not the sign of the end.
10:46 Wars and rumors of wars are not the sign of the end.
10:49 Even famines and earthquakes are not the sign of the end.
10:51 The Bible says, those are just the beginning of birth pains.
10:56 We need to read on later in the chapter Matthew 24:14,
11:00 where Jesus says, "And this gospel of the kingdom
11:03 will be preached in the whole world
11:05 as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."
11:13 Tragedy can be a wake up call.
11:15 In the case of the terrorist attacks
11:17 on New York and Washington, it should be a big wake up call.
11:21 But bad news is not the gospel.
11:24 The gospel is good news.
11:30 Sometimes it's easy for a preacher
11:32 to take advantage of tragedy.
11:35 You can get a lot of, amen's.
11:38 You can get a lot of people flocking
11:40 to churches in the wake of a disaster like this.
11:44 But fear although it can get our attention,cannot save us.
11:49 The gospel is good news, not bad news.
11:51 I ask you, what will we do when things
11:53 get back to normal, whatever normal is?
11:57 When the dead are buried, the mess is cleaned up,
12:00 the buildings rebuilt, the stock market recovers,
12:03 people feel safe to fly again, what happens then?
12:10 Fear of the end can go only go so far.
12:12 If fear is your motivation to turn to God,
12:15 what will you do when you feel safe again?
12:17 Will you turn away from God?
12:19 That's why the real sign of the end
12:20 is not the bad news in the world,
12:22 the real sign of the end is the success of the gospel.
12:27 Now some of us need a wake up call.
12:29 We need to say, "If I'm heading the way,
12:31 I'm headed, I'm not going to be in the kingdom.
12:34 And a tragedy can be that kind of wake up call.
12:37 But there is no eternal security in this world.
12:42 We're all doomed to destruction eventually
12:44 unless we have good news.
12:49 Once you wake up you have to have
12:52 something positive to believe in.
12:55 Do you know the God, who loves you?
12:57 And do you know what He really wants from you?
13:02 One of the first victims that was brought
13:05 into the Trade Center was a young woman,
13:09 who appeared to be in her late twenties.
13:12 She was terribly mangled up.
13:15 From what they had heard about what happened,
13:18 from those who had rescued her
13:22 and loaded her into the ambulance
13:25 and taken her into the hospital.
13:26 From what they could gather from eyewitness.
13:30 She had been struck by falling debris,
13:32 it may even have been a piece of a landing gear
13:35 from one of the airplanes and as she was running
13:39 terrified away from one of the Trade Center buildings
13:44 where she had worked.
13:46 A piece of debris and probably
13:48 this landing gear stuck her from behind.
13:51 They said, if it had just been a couple of inches higher
13:55 it probably would've hit her head
13:57 and would've killed her instantly.
13:59 But it plowed into her back side
14:01 and when she arrived in the hospital.
14:03 Of course she was unconscious,
14:05 they didn't know who she was
14:07 and her life hung by a thread.
14:12 They called her Jane Doe number 1.
14:16 She was the first victim to arrive at that hospital
14:19 and since she was unnamed,
14:21 she was called Jane Doe number 1
14:24 Well they put intravenous fluids into her,
14:29 they kept her alive and they prepared to amputate her legs.
14:34 One of the traum a surgeons there
14:35 who was very well trained and expert in his field,
14:39 took one look at her and said, we got to amputate her legs,
14:42 its necessary to save her life.
14:46 But there was also a foot specialist there
14:49 and as he looked at the damage
14:52 he wondered who she was.
14:54 He saw her long dark hair, he thought,
14:59 "I wish I could save her feet and her legs."
15:02 And so he begged for little bit more time.
15:04 "I think I can save them" he said.
15:07 And so they gave him a little bit more time
15:10 and in a very arduous surgery
15:12 they reconstructed her whole back side,
15:15 her lower torso, and her legs and her feet.
15:21 At the end of the surgery,
15:25 she was still alive, she survived.
15:31 Eight hours later, in spite of tube down her throat,
15:36 she was able to wake up and whisper
15:41 a phone number and her name.
15:44 it turns out she was Debbie Martinfeld from Manhattan.
15:50 They called the phone number
15:52 and the voice on the other end of the phone
15:56 turned out to belong to her fiancé.
15:59 She was engaged to be married
16:00 in about a year from that time.
16:05 One of the nurses who took care of her
16:08 said that she-- she had looked at her
16:11 and wondered who she was
16:14 and then once they found out who she was
16:16 and found out she was engaged to be married.
16:19 She looked at her and she thought,
16:24 "This person, who is so badly mangled,
16:28 whose life was almost taken, who almost lost her legs
16:31 and her feet is going to use those legs
16:35 and those feet at her own wedding."
16:42 She had 30 units of blood.
16:45 She had a tube between her vocal cords
16:47 and she could hardly whisper.
16:51 But when she looked up at the doctor
16:54 and the nurse and opened her eyes.
16:58 The nurse and the doctor both started crying
17:02 and they thought, she is going to live
17:04 and we are going to her wedding.
17:08 You see the end of time, the end of this world
17:15 is not meant to be something
17:18 that scares the wits out of everyone.
17:21 Yes there are bad things that happened,
17:22 they've been bad things they've been happening
17:24 all through earth's history.
17:27 And sometimes we as Christians are tempted
17:29 to capitalize on the bad news.
17:33 And we look at the bad news as the message.
17:40 Bad news is not the message.
17:42 The gospel is good news.
17:45 You see just like Jane Doe number 1, Debbi.
17:50 We are helpless, lost in sin.
17:53 We have been damaged by sin.
17:56 When God comes to this earth to save His people,
18:01 it will not be in order to destroy His people,
18:07 it will be a rescue mission.
18:10 And unlike Debbi, you and I
18:14 are never John Doe's and Jane Doe's.
18:18 God knows us, He knows every hair of our heads.
18:23 And He will reconstruct us too
18:24 just like those surgeons who meticulously
18:27 operated on poor Debbi's feet and legs and lower torso.
18:32 Our heavenly Father, He is our creator.
18:35 He can create us better than we ever were before.
18:39 The second coming is a rescue mission.
18:43 It will rescue us from the terrorism of sin
18:48 and the evil conditions of this world.
18:53 Jesus calls us to be His bride.
18:56 Just like Debbi, Jane Doe number 1,
19:01 she was destined to be a bride.
19:03 You and I are destined to be the bride of Christ.
19:07 That is the kind of symbolism
19:09 that the Bible uses to picture the redeemed.
19:13 When that New Jerusalem comes down
19:14 out of heaven according to the Book of Revelation.
19:18 It will be adorned as a bride,
19:21 beautifully dressed for her husband.
19:26 God will reconstruct His people.
19:29 He will create them new.
19:31 He will bring them to Himself
19:34 as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
19:37 And no longer we'll be subject to the terrorists of the world.
19:41 No longer we'll we be subject to the terrorist
19:44 of this unnerves, Satan.
19:48 No longer will evil wreck havoc on our lives.
19:55 It would be tempting to motivate people
20:01 to serve God out of fear.
20:04 Many a times fear has more immediate
20:08 motivational power than good news.
20:10 And that's the unfortunate-- that's the unfortunate case
20:15 for many of us human beings.
20:17 We are more immediately motivated
20:20 by fear and by tragedy.
20:23 How many of us have ever suddenly decided,
20:26 well it's time to fasten our seatbelts
20:28 when we know of somebody,
20:30 who was killed in a car accident.
20:32 How many of us have suddenly realized
20:33 that may be it's time to slow down
20:36 when we see a bad accident on the highway.
20:40 Yes, God can use bad news
20:44 and He has all the way through history.
20:47 When Jesus sat down on the Mount of Olives
20:50 and gave that famous sermon about the end of time.
20:55 He was very honest, blunt even about the fact
20:59 that there were going to be a lot of bad things happen.
21:01 In fact, He even, He even said,
21:03 not only will there be wars and rumors of wars,
21:06 but you will be handed over to people, bad people.
21:09 You will be handed over to people
21:11 and persecuted for my sake. He was very honest about that.
21:15 But such things are not the motivation to serve God.
21:21 They are necessary, unfortunately
21:24 they revealed the character of evil.
21:27 But we should never mistake it
21:28 for God's wishes, or worse His will.
21:34 Although nothing ever happens outside the will of God.
21:36 We can be sure that God never wants anything evil
21:40 to ever happen to His children
21:42 or to anybody for that matter.
21:45 So at the end of time,
21:48 the character of evil will be revealed.
21:51 In one of the most important speeches ever made,
21:55 the Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani
21:57 stood before the United Nations,
22:03 and recounted what had happened to his city,
22:07 New York during the terrorist attack.
22:11 And he recounted how lives have been lost,
22:16 and what a horrible tragedy this had been.
22:20 And then he looked at his audience
22:22 and he said something that was probably more blunt
22:28 than any United States statesman
22:33 had ever said to the United Nations.
22:37 He said, we are right, and they are wrong.
22:42 What was he referring to?
22:44 He was referring to the principles of freedom
22:47 upon which our democracy is based,
22:53 the principles of freedom that people
22:55 all over the world believe in,
22:57 the principles of freedom to worship
23:00 according to your conscience, the freedom to work
23:03 for a living, the freedom to believe
23:08 as your conscience tells you to believe.
23:11 And he says, these principles are what has made us great.
23:15 This attack on us was an attack
23:20 on our liberty and our freedoms.
23:24 Because of this horrible tragedy that had happened
23:28 in New York and Washington D.C.
23:31 Rudy Giuliani could stand before the United Nations
23:33 representatives from all over the world,
23:36 and he could say something
23:37 that couldn't have been said before with such force.
23:40 He could say we are right, and they are wrong.
23:45 There is going to come a time when God is going to stand up.
23:50 There is going to come a time
23:51 when evil will have revealed itself
23:53 so completely to the entire universe
23:56 that God is going to be able to stand up
23:57 and he is going to be able to say
24:00 something with such bluntness and finality,
24:03 that the end will have to come.
24:06 And he will be able to stand up
24:07 and before the whole universe say,
24:10 my way is right, my law of love,
24:14 The way I govern in the universe is right.
24:16 It is the spiritual terrorist, it is Satan,
24:19 the terrorist of the universe that is wrong.
24:22 And why will he be able to say that,
24:24 because it will have been demonstrated
24:27 to the entire universe already.
24:31 You see folks, we live
24:34 in the middle of the war and war hurts.
24:40 It may be a spiritual war,
24:42 but it still has devastating results.
24:45 And the fact that it's a spiritual war
24:47 means that it not only has results in this life,
24:50 but results for eternity.
24:54 When evil will have revealed itself.
24:59 Good will also have revealed itself.
25:03 When Jesus Christ went to the cross,
25:06 He showed to the universe
25:08 what kind of person He really was.
25:11 He was the kind of person who would rather die
25:14 a miserable death than be without you and I for eternity.
25:18 He was the kind of person who would rather be strung up
25:21 and nailed to a cross than violate His own law of love.
25:27 He was the kind of person who would go through this.
25:30 In the Garden of Gethsemane
25:32 drinking that cup as He called it.
25:34 In other words, the suffering
25:36 that He was going to go through.
25:38 According to the will of His Father,
25:40 rather than give up on this world.
25:44 And so when God stands up at the end of time.
25:50 After all the wars and rumors of wars
25:52 have run their course and they have been done with.
25:57 When people from all over the world rather than
26:01 fighting each other will now have to see
26:04 Jesus Christ come back a second time.
26:08 They will realize why He is right
26:11 and why He has the right to take His people home.
26:18 John 14:1 to 3 is the message from Jesus to us.
26:26 "Let not your heart be troubled,
26:28 ye believe in God, believe also in me.
26:33 In my Father's house are many mansions,
26:38 if it were not so, I would have told you.
26:41 I go to prepare a place for you.
26:45 And if I go and prepare a place for you,
26:48 I will come again, and receive you unto myself,
26:52 that where I am, there ye may be also."
26:58 My friends, that promise is for you and me.
27:04 You may be afraid of many things in your life,
27:10 and you may wonder what am I suppose to learn
27:13 from this tragedy, be it a national tragedy,
27:15 an international tragedy, or may be
27:17 just a personal tragedy in your own family.
27:21 What you have to learn is that there is good news.
27:25 God is not causing this evil to happen.
27:27 God does not want this evil to happen.
27:29 He has never ever caused evil to happen,
27:35 even to teach us something.
27:37 But the genius of God is that
27:38 He can bring good out of that evil.
27:41 He can use it as a wake up call if that's what you need.
27:45 You can turn to your Savior.
27:48 You can turn now to your Savior.
27:50 There is no better time than right now.
27:54 You can be right with God, you can know you are saved.


Revised 2014-12-17