So I'm with you, and I'm aware and I feel you and I understand so specifically the challenges before us, and it's just good forus to be together in the house of the Lord. I want to go to the word of God.I want to spend the time that I have with you in a very, very significantand essential way, sharing what I believe that the Holy Spirit has definedfor me to share with you today. I want you to go to the Gospel of St.Matthew, Chapter 13 , verses 3 through 39.
"Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of Heaven is likened to a man which sowed good seed in his field, but while men slept, his enemy came and sowedtares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up,and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants ofthe householder came and said unto him, sir, did you not sow good seed inthy field? From whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, an enemy hasdone this. The servants said unto him, shall we not go to gather them up?But he said, nay, lest while you gather the tares, you root up also thewheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the timeof harvest, I will say to the reapers, gather you together first the taresand bind them in bundles to burn them. But gather the wheat into my barn."
Can you say amen?
Remain standing. We're going to pray, but I'm going to be talking to youthis morning about the gathering of America, the gathering of America.Whether you realize it or not, there is something going on quite seriousbefore our eyes. I want to talk to you about it today. I want to use thistext merely as a backdrop, a canvas on which I will attempt to paint some ofthe contemporary issues and challenges that are facing our country today andput that in context with the text that we're sharing today and where we arein the scheme of God's purpose and will for our lives. I think it's verysignificant. It's certainly on my heart today, and I believe that I have a word from God, and I want to share it with the house today.
Amen. I want you to be praying with me.
Father, in the name of Jesus we thank you for your word. We know that thegrass withers and the flower fades, but the word of the Lord will standforever. Great God that you are, use the next few moments that we talktogether to inspire and challenge and transform us that we might be thepeople that you are calling for in this last day. I thank you for what youhave already done, but more specifically, I thank you for what you're goingto do. Great is our God and his people, and I praise you for being ourstrength, our shelter and our fortress. In Jesus' name, amen.
You may be seated in the presence of the Lord. I was somewhere in theMidwest of our country. I woke up in the morning and found myself wipingsleep out of my eyes. I had gotten in like one or two o'clock in themorning, very, very late, having ministered and shared in another part ofthe country, and slept in late that morning and woke up to the sound of aircraft crashing into the World Trade Center.
When I first looked at it, I would have thought that it was a movie producedin Hollywood. It was shocking to me how distinctly different it was from entertainment to recognize that something was happening in our country, and something that we have never seen before in this generation and certainly not in this way.
Originally in my mind, I thought that perhaps a pilot had had a heartattack, lost control of the aircraft and that some accident, some hideous,deplorable accident had occurred, and before I could digest that, the secondaircraft came in, and suddenly I knew that that could not be an accident,and all of a sudden, the horror, the utter horror of what had happened beganto sink into my mind and into my heart, and from that time unto this, it hasbeen in the forefront of my mind almost continuously, as I wrestled as apassenger and as a religious leader in this nation and in this world todigest and understand specifically what is going on in our country.
I hasten to tell you today that this is perhaps, I believe, the most seriousdays that I have ever witnessed in the 44 years of my life, and I hope that you don't take it lightly or merely think that it's just some tragedy, some unfortunate dilemma that has come against us that will be dismissed and replaced with other headlines.