This Sunday in our worship service, we will observe the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. As worship leaders, we've put a great deal of prayer and discussion into what this service needs to accomplish. We will sing some great songs of our nation, but it won't be a July 4-style service. We will pray for our nation, leaders and troops, but we won't talk about how the war should be fought, or what our nation's leaders should do next. It will be, first and foremost, a service of worship for our Almighty God, as every worship service in our sanctuary should be. Primarily, the focus will be on the way God wants us--His people--to live in days surrounded by so much fear.
Did you know where the term terrorism comes from? It’s actually a French word. It comes from the time of the French Revolution, when the Jacobins instituted their “Reign of Terror” over the nation. They took the term from a Latin word, terrere, which means “to frighten.” A terrorist uses fear as a weapon to bring down a nation or an army that he could never beat in a fair fight. So terrorism doesn’t have to kill all of its enemies in order to win, it just needs to intimidate them into giving up. In many ways, Satan is the first terrorist. He uses fear to enslave us, to turn us away from the one who can save us forever. We don't have to worship him in order to be defeated; we just have to miss the plan God has for us.
Jesus once said an unusual thing: I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. (Luke 12:4-5) He could say that because He knew He would someday destroy the one who held the power of death itself, the one who enslaved all of mankind. That truth is found in our text for Sunday, Hebrews 2:14-15. I'll be preaching a message entitled, "The Day Fear Died." How did Jesus set us free from all fear? What does that mean for the way we should live? Come find out this Sunday.