New York. Big City. The City of Sky Scrappers. The Twin Towers of the World Trade Centres it’s pride and joy. 110 stories high. 414 metres tall. September 11, 2001, said the calender. Two aircraft ram into these strapping structures. The buildings sway like a boat in a rough sea. They come down crumbling. For thousands it was all over. In a flash it all happens. Australian Ace Swimmer Ian Thorpe was almost there at the top of the observation tower of these buildings when the airliners banged in. He wasn’t. Reason? He had gone back to take his camera, which he had forgotten, in his hotel room. 55 believers in the Korean Church in New York did not report for work on that Terrible Tuesday. Great Escape! Why does God give us such narrow escapes?
1. TO GIVE US TIME TO REPENT
Rewind two thousand years. The town – Jerusalem. In the country of the Israel. Another tower crashes. 18 people get killed as a result. The tower had a name – the tower of Siloam. Some escape by the skin of their teeth. Narrowly. There was no newspapers then. No The Times of India. No Hindustan Times . By word of mouth the news reaches this man. Who? Jesus. He told the crowd around him something which made their ears tingle: “Those 18 in Jerusalem the other day, the ones crushed and killed when the Tower of Siloam collapsed and fell on them, do you think they were worse sinners than all other Jerusalemites? No not at all. Unless you repent, you too will die!” (Luke 13: 3-5, Peterson Version).
Third World War clouds loomed large over the entire globe. Bush vowed to ‘smoke the hidden enemy out’. The Arab and Muslim nations remain defiant. Did not Jesus predict that just before he would come back top the earth as a judge there will be ‘wars and rumors of war’ (Math 24:6,7)? Then why is the coming of the Lord delayed? Just to give us time to repent (II Pet 3:9). Prophet Amos likened Sodom to a full-burned stick. Israel had escaped God’s fire judgment upon them for many hundreds of years – narrowly. They were like a half-burned stick. Amos in-effect thundered: “Before you Israel turn into a full burnt stick like Sodom, repent! Turn to the Lord!” ( 4:11 ) God gives us narrow escapes to give us time to repent!
This article is a warning from heaven’s book – the Bible – for all of us. There will no escape if we ignore the warning from heaven and still stay stubborn without repenting and turning fully to Christ! (Heb 12:25). If we slight the call to repent, we slight the call to come to Christ for salvation. Reason? The foundational step to salvation is repentance. The Bible asks a solemn question: “What makes us think that we can escape if we indifferent to this great salvation that was announced by the Lord Jesus himself!” (Heb 2:3 NLT).
2. TO GIVE US TIME TO REPRODUCE
The Scriptures tell us that Noah escaped the flood waters – narrowly – as he and his family got into the boat (Gen 7:7). Why did God spare Noah? To make sure he multiplied biologically the human race after the big deluge. To give him an opportunity to continue to be ‘a preacher of righteousness’ (II Pet 2:5). You know what? God gives us close brushes with death to give us more time to reproduce spiritually, win souls, and witness to the lost. In season and out of season we have to be about the task of witnessing (II Tim4:2). Jesus warned us that we cannot do the kingdom work, after the ‘night’ has set in (Jn 9:4). The Psalmist asks, “Can those in the grave declare your unfailing love?” (Psa 88:11). Certainly not! Let us therefore be reminded that we must make use of every chance we get to others about his Calvary’s Love, when we stare at the face of the Grave and escape!
3. TO ROLL-OUT HIS FULL PLAN FOR OUR LIFE
King David kissed death on the face when the spear from the green Saul just narrowly missed him (I Sam 19:10). God had a great plan for David which he revealed to him through the Prophet Samuel when he was shepherding his earthly father’s sheep: he would shepherd his Heavenly Father’s Lost sheep – Israel. Till then any spear of envy hurled by Saul could get pretty close to his chest but never close him! God gave David a great escape to fulfill the great plan he had for his Life – to be the king of Israel. Till then ‘no weapon forged’ against him would never ever prevail (Isa 54:17). God’s plans for our lives are never thwarted (Job 42:2). No danger can destroy us, until and unless God has fulfilled his Plan in our life! Jesus winked at death three times before he went to the cross, right from the time villainous Herod tired to kill him as a babe. Certainly he could not die before his time has fully come and his plan was executed. God has a great plan for each of us (Jer 29:11). When God goes about orchestrating that plan of His for our life no devilish danger can snatch us away from the world, as long as we are faithful and yielded fully to him! What a reassurance! This is not to say believers can never die young! When a significant group escaped death on Terrible Tuesday, some believers lost their lives too. Peter had a miraculous escape from the jail while the still-young James was executed, though they both served the same God (Acts 12:2,9). Glamour and gloom, long life and short life is the result of the same godly faith ( Read Heb. 11 fully). None of us can ask God what He – the Divine Potter – is doing with our lives, though we can be totally assured that whatever he does is for our good and the glory of His Name (Dan 4:35; Isa 29:16).
There were quite a few who escaped certain death when the World Trade Center Towers toppled. But on the day of judgment, the Scriptures declare there will no escape for one group of people: those who played religious games in the church without a foundation on the Jesus the Rock and hoped that they would get a entry into heaven. Jesus asked the religious leaders of his time who played religion card to impress all and sundry without the love of God in their hearts, a stunningly straight question: “You snakes! You brood of vipers how will escape being condemned to hell!” (Math 23:33). No escape for pious pretenders on the day of judgment – one can be cocksure!
The horrendous World Trade Center buildings collapse can be seen a call to for each of us to get back to God. They are a bugle to get the believer back to the priorities of His Kingdom Work! The Building came down giving us a clarion bellow that our spiritual lives and standards should go further up!