Another anniversary of 9/11 will soon pass, and fade into our memories. As I think about 9/11, I believe it is important that we do not forget. It is right and needful that we remember the terrible events of 9/11/01, and 9/11/12. It is our duty as Americans to remember the tragedy, to call to mind the lives that were lost, the heroic sacrifices of those who sought to protect and preserve the lives of others on those days, as well as those who have since given their service and their lives for our country. The graphic images that are imprinted on our minds, the weight of grief, the anger of injustice, the outrage over the murder of innocents–all these need to be remembered.
However, I fear that the danger of our great nation is not that we might forget these events in our history, or the emotions we felt. The danger is that we have already forgotten the Giver of our history. We have forgotten God.
We are quick to speak His name in the midst of tragedy, whether it be to assign blame or ask for blessing. We may speak of Him in passing; but, as a nation, we have written Him out of our remembrance. We have failed to give Him credit or praise for our past successes, and we fail to look to Him as the solution to our present crises. We do not wish to be reminded of the demands of His righteousness, the certainty of His truth, the unchanging nature of His character, or the absolute morality of His laws. Far from being the “Christian nation” we once were, we now mock, sometimes prosecute, and dare I say, will soon persecute those who truly seek to proclaim the Gospel, and live the Bible.
As much as I love America, as thankful as I am for our great heritage, I fear for my land. Unless we turn our hearts to truth, we are bound to lose our liberty, for only the truth can make us free.
The solution to our problems is not found in political change, military strength, social engineering, or economic recovery. It is only found in Jesus Christ, and His Gospel – in true repentance for sin, in turning to God, and in trusting the finished work of Christ alone for forgiveness and transformation. Only light can dispel darkness, and Jesus Christ is the only True Light.
Until we are willing to humbly seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways, then no true hope is available for our nation. “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” (Ps. 9:17) “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Pro. 14:34)
Just as national issues eventually affect each of us personally, so our personal choices eventually affect our nation. A nation is no greater than its individual citizens. While I may not be able to change the course of my nation alone, I can choose to be certain that I am on the right course. I can choose to humble myself, to confess my sin, and to seek to be right with God. I can attempt to be a godly influence on my family, my friends, and my community. I can choose to share the Gospel. I can seek to be a good citizen, first of the kingdom of God, then of the United States of America.
I can choose not to forget.