On September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked four airliners. Two of the planes were deliberately flown into the two towers of the World Trade Center, causing them to collapse. One was crashed into the Pentagon. The passengers on the fourth plane managed to overpower the hijackers and prevent them from carrying out their intended mission but the plane crashed, killing everyone on board. The total death toll from these events was almost 3,000.

People asked a lot of questions as a result of the attack. Many wanted to know who was responsible and what needed to be done to protect against future attacks. But the question in the minds of a lot of people was “Why did God allow these people to die?”

Jesus was once faced with a similar question.

There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
(Luke 13:1 ESV)
All we know about this incident is what is recorded here. Pilate ordered the murder of some Galileans while they were offering sacrifices. The soldiers who carried out the order would have had to enter the temple since that was the only place sacrifices could be offered. Many Jews would have regarded the defilement of the temple as a worse crime than the murder.

And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.

Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
Luke 13:2-5

Jesus didn’t say the people who died weren’t sinners; he only said they any weren’t any worse than anyone else. In fact all of us are sinners and that is why we will all eventually die.
Sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.
Romans 5:12

The second thing Jesus said was, “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Why do we need to repent?

Death involves more than just the death of the body.

It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.
Hebrews 9:27
God is holy and can’t tolerate sin. We have all sinned. Therefore the judgment we will face after we die must lead to our condemnation. That is, it would inevitably lead to condemnation except for the fact that God has made a way for our sins to be forgiven.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead to atone for our sins. Anyone who repents of his sin and puts his faith in him will be forgiven and not need to fear the judgment that lies ahead of him.

Every death we hear about should be a reminder to us that we need to be prepared for God’s judgment because we will also die. We have become so accustomed to people dying that we generally don’t think about this. God brings about disasters such as the 9/11 attack and Pilate’s massacre of the Galileans to get our attention and make us think seriously about the subject.

God didn’t kill the 9/11 victims simply for the purpose of warning others. They were destined to die anyway just as all of us are. He simply caused their deaths to come about in a way that others would notice.

If you want to know how to be ready for your own death you can find helpful information at this site:


Posted on August 20, 2014, in Miscellaneous and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thanks Clyde, those comments from Jesus are so true, and important to apply to all of us.


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