Three days after those attacks, my father and I were invited to Washington. My father addressed the nation from the National Cathedral, while I served as a commentator outside with Judy Woodruff of CNN.
I still remember the message of God’s comfort and hope my father spoke to a wounded and grieved nation: “The cross tells us that God understands … for He took upon Himself in the person of Jesus Christ our sins and our suffering. And from the cross, God declares: I love you. I know the heartaches and the sorrows and the pains that you feel, but I love you.”
This day is not only a significant date in American history, but it has affected all of us in a very deep and personal way, my family included. My son in the army has had five deployments and has already received a purple heart. Soldiers under his command have been killed defending our freedom. Friends that he went to school with have been severely wounded.
When we look at the price these young men and women in uniform are paying for our freedom, we quickly realize the debt we owe them.
Nothing, however, compares to the debt each and every person owes to the Lord Jesus Christ for dying for our sins. As the Apostle Paul said, “We are debtors” (Romans 8:12, ESV). We will never be able to repay what He did for us on Calvary’s cross. But the glorious good news of the Gospel is that God has forgiven our debt of sin against Him.
Jesus Christ paid the price for us through His sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection. Our Lord has “forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:13–14).
The Bible teaches clearly that our Savior who was crucified for our sins and raised from the dead will come back again. As we look at the chaos around the world today, we certainly see some of the signs He told us would accompany His second coming. Everywhere I go, people ask me if I believe His return is close. I do. How near, I don’t know, but I believe time is short.
We need to tell as many people as we can how they can be saved before it is eternally too late. The best investment today is not in the stock market or putting money in the bank but investing in winning souls. The Bible says, “He who is wise wins souls” (Proverbs 11:30, NASB).
The 9/11 anniversary also serves as a reminder of the tremendous opportunity for ministry God has given to our Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. As a result of the terrorist attacks, we developed the Rapid Response Team to recruit qualified volunteers from all over the country, train them in how to care for emotional and spiritual hurt, and deploy them to major catastrophes as crisis chaplains.
Since then, over 4,500 men and women have joined the Rapid Response Team to represent the One who “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3). Chaplains have comforted, encouraged, and prayed one-on-one with over 160,000 people at more than 100 disaster sites in the U.S. and a dozen internationally. Nearly 12,000 people have made a life-changing commitment to Jesus Christ as a result of this ministry.
God is at work, drawing people to Himself, healing hurts, and changing lives. Yet eternity is at stake for so many who still need to hear. Now is not the time to slow down. If God enables you to help us financially, a gift this month will be an investment in lives changed for today and forever.
May God bless you,