September 11, 2001

Dear Friend,
I was on an American Airlines flight this morning from Boston to Washington,
DC as events we are all familiar with unfolded elsewhere on the ground and
in the air.  My 6:15 am Delta flight from Boston was cancelled this morning
and all of the passengers were re-booked onto a later American Airlines
flight to Reagan National Airport.  We flew past New York City in the
morning’s light and the view was beautiful and peaceful from 27,000 ft.  We
landed in Washington, DC on schedule and then I drove past the Pentagon.
When I arrived at my company’s office in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia the news
was on the radio and someone had a TV playing.  When I got to our 10th floor
offices I could see smoke from the Pentagon where I had just driven a few
minutes before.
As I looked through the smoke from the Pentagon fire this morning I recalled
how God has been merciful to me so many times in the past.  Most notably, in
1974 I was struck by lightening while on a sailboat in Florida and was not
hurt permanently.  By all accounts I should have died – but I didn’t.  I
don’t claim to know why one person lives and another dies.  But I do know
that there is a sovereign, holy, creator that rules the Universe and in Him
there is no unrighteousness.  In spite of the disasters and near-misses we
might experience in our own lives and in the face of the disasters that
strike others I believe as Job believed after he lost all of his possessions
and every one of his sons and daughters were killed at once in a tragedy –
“…the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the
LORD.”  (Job 1:21)
If you travel a lot like I do maybe you have thought:  “What if I were in a
plane crash or a car accident?  What if I died – what happens then?”  These
types of questions are normal at a time like this.  What would happen?  What
if you died and stood before God to give Him an account for your life?  What
answer would you give if He asked you this piercing question – “Why should I
let you into Heaven?”  If you are like most people you might try to list the
good things you have done in your life and hope that the good balanced
against the bad and it would all turn out OK in the end.  Or you might think
that God would overlook the bad parts of your life and make an exception for
you.  The fact is that God is holy and cannot allow sinners such as you or
I into Heaven.  His judgment is that “all have sinned, and come short of the
glory of God.”  (Romans 3:23)  And, “the wages of sin is death.”  (Romans
6:23)  There is nothing good enough in ourselves that will earn His
righteous favor.  But the Good News is this “…God commendeth his love
toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  (Romans
5:8)  God loves us but He hates our sin and must judge the sin.  So He made
it possible for us to go to Heaven in spite of our sin by sending His Son to
die in our place – our substitute – to pay for the sin Himself that we
should have paid for throughout eternity.  (John 3:16)  We can benefit from
this Good News by simply taking God at His word.  We can be SURE of going to
Heaven when we die because His Son paid the infinite penalty for us
individually and for the whole world. (I John 2:2)  He hasn’t asked us to
do some great thing to earn our way into Heaven, for we could never do
enough to do that.  Instead, He has told us to do one thing – “believe on
the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” (Acts 16:31).
Times like these give us pause to think about profound and lasting things.
What could be more profound or lasting than knowing where you will spend
eternity?  My hope is that you will be prompted to consider your destiny
NOW.  As the events of today have shown us all – that plane crash, car
pileup, random shooting, or household accident can be irreversibly fatal.  I
hope you will have your answer ready for when (not if) that eternal question
is asked of you.  Will you ask God to save you now and believe that when His
Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross 2,000 years ago it did so for YOU
personally?  He has promised that, “… whosoever shall call upon the name
of the Lord shall be saved.”  (Romans 10:13)
Please take today’s events as a sobering reminder of the brevity of life and
do something about it now if you are not sure of what lies ahead of you for
eternity.  Believe on Christ and be saved today
Mike Vetter