Temple Baptist Church - 9-11-2011
A. Today marks the 10th Anniversary of the attack by Muslim extremists upon the Twin Towers of New York. “Flash Bulb” memory probably takes each of us to a time and place when we either saw or heard the news.
1. I was out on visitation when my wife called and watched the news on one of our member’s TV.
2. I distinctly remember the day that President Kennedy was shot. I was sitting in Mrs. Fuller’s class at Earlington High School when a couple of the older girls came in and made the announcement.
3. These are marks created in our lives that will not be removed. Some things need to stick! Some things need to cause us to remember and, unfortunately, tragedies have a tendency to do just that.
B. As we reflect upon 9/11 this week, we need to remember just how great a country that America is: “Land that I love!” May I sing with joy in my heart, “God bless America!”
1. My heart is saddened by these events and yet saddened even more by the changes that have transpired during the times between.
2. I remember well the America of the 50’s and 60’s in which President John F. Kennedy lived and died. They were better days in our country when people loved this land, stood for right, had some old fashioned “scruples,” and life was so much simpler.
3. 9/11 transpired in a different America! The 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and years since Y2K brought great change in our country and the changes were, for the most part, not good ones. Truly our children will never know the America that we once knew.
C. As it did in the post-Kennedy years, our country continued its downward spiral after 9/11.
1. During and for a while after 9/11, there was a “spiritual awakening” of sorts as prayer and compassion reigned in wake of the disaster. Since that time, our country has continued “business as usual” as Iraq, Afghanistan, and financial debt continue to take their toll.
2. Today, our country is in a crisis created by those who live here.
a) Financially, the crisis is almost catastrophic! We have dug a monetary hole that we may well never climb out of. Because of ignorant financial decisions, pocketbooks have become depleted causing fear and distrust
b) Morally, sin has become both popular and accepted. Our nation is losing its moral foundation and sin is now acceptable and “alternate lifestyles” politically enforced! God has been “kicked” out of the schools and our prisons are overflowing with repeat offenders.
c) Spiritually, the churches have become increasingly forsaken by those who once attended faithfully. People who once were laboring for the Lord have stopped and those who were once faithful to the services are no longer faithful. Tithing is sporadic and missions programs are “paying a price” for it.
D. Our country needs some “landmarks!” The “Twin Towers” were national Landmarks! They were an important part of the New York’s Manhattan skyline.
1. Landmarks are boundaries that define areas of importance;
2. Landmarks are points of reference by which other things are measured. When we bought our home, I found one corner stake, took the plat of the land in hand and measured distances from that point.
3. What will reverse the downward trends of the past 50+ years since the Kennedy Assassination will not be just changes in government, as we have had both Democrat and Republican in offices during that time, but a return to our spiritual heritage and faith in God.
E. Our text verse says, “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.” The landmarks were given to us at birth and by our new birth.
1. The Command of the Landmark – “remove not” (If these landmarks get either moved or removed, it will be done by us, not the world.)
2. The Antiquity of the Landmark – “ancient” (“New” may be good in some things, but not in the spiritual realm. We are to seek and walk in the “Old Paths” wherein is the good way.)
3. The Fixture of the Landmark – “landmark” (We need to make sure that these landmarks not only are left for our children but also that they do not “move!”)
4. The Setters of the Landmark – “fathers” (These landmarks come from our spiritual forefathers who loved God, loved God’s Word, loved God’s church, and loved God’s people!)
5. The Permanence of the Landmark – “set” (If these landmarks are right (and they are) then they need to be driven so deep in our hearts and lives that they can never be either moved or removed!)
F. LAND'MARK, n. [land and mark.] 1828 Webster's Dictionary: A mark to designate the boundary of land; any mark or fixed object; as a marked tree, a stone, a ditch, or a heap of stones, by which the limits of a farm, a town or other portion of territory may be known and preserved.
G. The Bible has much to say concerning “landmarks.”
1. These landmarks were given by God - Deuteronomy 19:14 Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour’s landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it.
2. The Lord curses those who remove them - Deuteronomy 27:17 Cursed be he that removeth his neighbour’s landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen.
3. These landmarks belong to others also - Proverbs 23:10 Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless:
4. There is an ulterior motive for removing them - Job 24:2 Some remove the landmarks; they violently take away flocks, and feed thereof.
H. The longer we hold to the “Old Paths” or “Ancient Landmarks,” the farther away from this rapidly advancing, present evil world we get!
1. W become the spiritual “stick in the mud” or “narrow minded” fundamentalists! Our theology becomes less and less acceptable in both the world and the religious community.
2. The farther we get from the world (it is the world that is moving away from God, not us moving away from the world) the more of as oddity and threat we become. We will become more maligned and persecuted for an unbending faith in both Christ and the Bible.
3. The world will hate us because it hated Christ but the danger is this:
a) If we move or remove the ancient landmarks, we will think about them less and be more apt to “get used to the dark” of sinfulness.
b) If we move or remove the ancient landmarks, our children will never know them! They will only know the pseudo-spirituality of the Antichrist and his one world religion of the end-time.
2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.