Once again the anniversary of the 911 terror tragedy is upon us as we remember the many lives lost and hurt to our national ego. Beyond its use by the fictional film character, James Bond, referring to how he wished his martini drink made, Collins Dictionary states, “If you say that someone has been shaken but not stirred by an experience, you mean that they have been slightly disturbed or emotionally affected by it, but not deeply enough to change their behavior or way of thinking.”1 While there was a disruption in the national comfort zone Americans enjoy from the threat of foreign invasion, within a few weeks of 911 most were back to their regular routines--shaken, but not stirred!
Since 911, numerous school, other mass, gang and police shootings killing many have again and again shaken our citizenry, but not enough to stir folks en masse into adopting any new ways of thinking or behaving that would mitigate such violence. Sure, there is always the initial emotion in the face of the tragedies that causes marches calling for gun control and government hearings. Laws are passed as they were after the recent Uvalde, Texas school shooting, but as before, things quickly settle down and Americans return to their usual patterns. Few seem to consider that as the Bible declares the problem is ultimately the evil of the human heart (Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 7:20-23).
Mankind has a medical fix for most everything these days, but has none for the resident evil in the human heart. However, the God of the Bible does have the fix through the Gospel of His Son Jesus Christ! If a man will only confess and repent from the evil in his heart through sin and believe the Gospel that Christ died for his sin, was buried and rose again on the third day God will forgive him. He will also fill him with the Holy Spirit who is able to give him a new heart! However, since everyone claims to be good contrary to God’s assessment, many will not accept His fix (Romans 3:10-12, NKJV). So, our unsaved citizens especially are left being repeatedly shaken, but not stirred.
This is the case even in the face of seeing what God in His Word also foretells about “evil men” (with Christian impostors) growing “worse and worse” in these latter days (2 Timothy 3:13, NKJV). It is at this juncture that faithful Christians and students of the Bible2 should be fully understanding of the how in our Lord Jesus Christ’s prophecy of these times when He declares: ‘“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold,’” (Matthew 24:12, NKJV). Repeatedly being shaken by lawlessness to include violence and murder without being stirred, eventually leads to cold, dead hearts that are completely unfeeling and uncaring about it. May remembering the evil audacity of 911 today, at least stir us Christians in love to continue proclaiming the Gospel to our lost citizenry!
1 See the phrase definition on the Collins Dictionary Web Site.
2 Such ones include every aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Jesus Christ I write about in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. It is
available with the companion Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study and Great Woman Of God Women’s Group Study in the Strong Man Store, at your favorite internet
bookseller or brick and mortar bookstore.
As the Lord led me to warn in a December 2016 post, the window of opportunity for the unhindered preaching of the Gospel and witnessing of Christ in our nation is steadily closing as it increasingly becomes irreligious and hostile to biblical Christianity.1 Occurring simultaneously as I also spoke of in that post is the general hardening of hearts to the Gospel by especially our under fifty year-old fellow citizens. Apparently, many of these same folk along with disobedient professed Christians refusing to repent from biblically plain sin falsely believe God’s offer of forgiveness does not have an expiration date. The truth is, all any of us has is right now, to do as God wills!
God wills that no one should die before accepting His free offer of forgiveness through repentance from sin and faith in the Gospel of His Son, Jesus Christ! This is the message He has had faithful Christians proclaiming throughout the earth as He has waited in “longsuffering” for nearly 2,000 years (2 Peter 3:9, NKJV). That a time limit was attached to how long the Lord would wait in forbearance before ending it is evident in His whole Word, but also in the Gospel proclamation itself (Isaiah 57:16; Matthew 3:1-12; Mark 1:14-15; Acts 3:18-21, 17:30-31).2 Sinning, unfruitful professed Christians are also subject to the limits of God’s forbearance (Luke 13:6-9; Romans 1:18-2:11).
God waited many years for men to repent in the days of Noah while he constructed the ark of deliverance from the global flood of His wrath which came after it was finished (Genesis 6:5-7:12; 1 Peter 3:18-22). God also waited until Lot and his family were escorted out of Sodom by angels before destroying it with Gomorrah after many years of forbearance (Genesis 13:7-13, 18:16-33, 19:15-29; 2 Peter 2:6-8). God waited too, in two major judgments of Israel nearly 700 years apart. First, in 609 B.C. after almost 400 years of waiting He sent a remnant of Judah out of the land in three waves before in His wrath, Babylon destroyed Jerusalem in 586 B.C. (2 Chronicles 36:5-21).
Second, in 70 A.D. the Romans destroyed Jerusalem too, and the people were scattered after a generation of divine waiting as the Lord Jesus Christ foretold before His death, burial, resurrection and ascension (Luke 21:20-24). Faithful Christians who took Christ’s warning to heart no doubt escaped from Jerusalem before its destruction as is traditionally held. All of the foregoing instances of God’s longsuffering forbearance have in common among them that there were hardened hearts to repentance among those who perished in His eventual judgment that fell! We are seeing evidence of hardening hearts toward God and His call to repentance from sin in our nation at this hour.
So many men I share the Gospel with are hostile toward the message as avowed secular atheists, humanists and those who formerly grew up in and attended churches. With hardened hearts they do not want to hear it. The under fifty year-old group (Millennials and Generation Z) that have grown up with and been indoctrinated through public education and the media in the rebellion against God’s moral instruction, want nothing to do with Him if it means reversing what they have been taught and come to believe is the more equitable politically correct and tolerant standards of the world.3 Statistics bear out the decline of interest in God, biblical Christianity and church attendance.4
The danger of the unsaved willfully hardening their hearts against the sovereign God and the Gospel in unbelief is Him in perfect righteousness ending His merciful forbearance toward and permanently giving them over to the foolish choice of their darkened hearts so, if they would choose to believe thereafter, they cannot. This is as He did with Pharaoh when he would not let Israel go; has done with the guilty of Israel and among the Gentiles since the first century who have steadfastly refused in hardness of heart to believe the Gospel (Exodus 4:21, 7:8-13, 9:8-16; Matthew 13:10-17; John 12:37-41; Romans 9:14-29, 10:14-16, 11:8). Sinning professed Christians face peril too.
Contrary to popular theological opinion, God’s Word as it is written is clear that professed Christians with “an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God” can “be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” The writer of Hebrews raises this issue as he exhorts Christians in the image of Christ to be faithful and warns of the divine imposed fatal consequence of their unbelief fed disobedience (Hebrews 3:5-19, NKJV). Whoever worships and takes the mark of the Antichrist whose time draws near will be instantly hardened for eternal destruction (Revelation 14:9-13)! Thus, let unhardened hearts hear and receive the Gospel and witness of Christ’s faithful now; let the faithful with resolute urgency proclaim the Gospel and witness Christ (2 Corinthians 6:1-2; Jude 20-25)!5
(I will be taking Sunday, September 4th off as my Labor Day rest with thanksgiving to God. He willing, my next post will appear on September 11th. Enjoy your Labor Day.)
1 Read the December 4, 2016 post, Now Is The Day Of Salvation, under the category, Call To Repent.
2 See the February 6, 2022 post, The Divine Delay, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
3 Despite this formidable obstacle, the Lord has led this Ministry to reach 13-29 year-olds with the Gospel through our most recent Strong Man Of God Online Rally themed,
Reconciled To God. Invite someone you care about from this age range to view the thirty minute rally at https://youtu.be/pP3X4gtpaq8 where besides worship and music
geared to their appreciation, they will receive a witness of the faith by one of their peers and proclamation of the biblical Gospel!
4 Read the 2019 Pew Research Center article, In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace. Also, see how lack of a biblical worldview is widespread in profes-
sing American Christianity and among its leaders in a recent study by the Cultural Research Center directed by Dr. George Barna at Arizona Christian University.
5 As I write in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, the faithful include all aspiring to be strong men and great women of God in the image of Christ! The book
is available with the companion Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study and Great Woman Of God Women’s Group Study in the Strong Man Store, at your favorite inter-
net bookseller or brick and mortar bookstore.
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