Twin Towers Evacuation

An Analogy

Many of us were doubly horrified to find out extra details surrounding the evacuations of the towers hit by the terrorists on September 11, 2001.

This is from my morning newspaper: "When the first jet struck the World Trade Center at 8:48 a.m. on Tuesday the people in 2 World Trade Center with a view of the instant inferno across the divide had the clearest sense of what they, too, must do: Get out fast.

...But others up and down the 110 floors, many without clear views of the damage across the way and thus unclear about what was happening, were not so sure. And the 18 minutes before the next plane would hit were ticking off.

...Friends and colleagues debated the wisdom of leaving. Amid the uncertainty about what was the best thing to do, formal announcements inside the south tower instructed people to stay put, reassuring them that the building was sound and the threat was limited to the other tower.

...Some left, others stayed. Some began the climb down and when met with more announcements and other cautions to stop or return, went back up. The decisions made in those instants proved momentous, because many who opted to stay were doomed when the second jet crashed into the south tower, killing many and stranding many more in the floors above where the jet hit.

...Nat Alcamo of Morgan Stanley had been on the phone with his fiancée, who told him to flee his 60th floor office, and as he made his way down he ignored the official with the bullhorn on the 44th floor who said he was just as safe there as outside.

...Richard Jacobs of Fuji Bank left the 79th floor with all of his colleagues, but on the 48th floor they heard the announcement that the situation was under control. Several [of his colleagues] got in the elevators and went back up, two minutes or so before the plane smashed into their floor. "I just don’t know what happened to them," Jacobs said.

...The picture of what took place inside the two towers from the moment the first plane hit until the awful collapse of the south tower is continuing to emerge. It is clear that roughly an hour elapsed, and that some of the decisions people made during those 60 minutes helped determine if they perished or lived" (Sept. 13, 2001, The Press Enterprise).

As I thought upon this story, suddenly the Holy Spirit applied it to my heart in a spiritual/Biblical analogy.

God IS faithful. His Word says that God is "...longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2Peter 3:9).

After the plane struck the first tower and the news spread of what had happened, every individual had a choice. First were those who ignored the news and stayed in their offices in the tower. Secondly were those who knew there was a problem, thought about it, but then chose to stay where they were at. The third and fourth groups made the decision to leave immediately and ran to the stairs or elevator.

The first two groups are analogous, spiritually, to many people who are on the verge of destruction (Matt. 7:13-14) and yet who have been warned and told of a way of deliverance (Matt. 3:7). Many, many people have heard the Word of God through faithful witnesses in their families, neighborhood, on the radio and even at work. They may have a Bible in their home that they were given by a concerned friend or family member. Maybe they have even gone to church with others and heard the message of salvation through Christ. These same people may have been very diligent to procure for themselves life insurance, home insurance, health insurance, car insurance and every other precaution to provide for the things in this life, but have NOT considered eternity and have not protected themselves from the peril of everlasting destruction (2 Thess. 1:8-9).

The first group I mentioned did not even give the serious situation in their tower a moment’s thought. The second group were "aware" of the situation but still chose to not move. I am reminded of a parable the Lord Jesus spoke in the Gospel of Luke (12:16-20): "And he spoke a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou has provided?" He prepared only for this life and did nothing to prepare for when his life was suddenly interrupted by death’s call.

The third and fourth groups both ran for the elevator or stairs. They RECOGNIZED THE DANGER and moved. Then an announcement sounded that things were "all right" and that they should go back to their desks.

The third group turned around and headed back. It seemed that this announcement was "enough" for them to no longer heed the warnings they had heard from their co-workers and friends/family on cell phones. Some had even seen the fireball through the windows at the other tower and yet they still turned around and went back to their desks, thinking they were safe (a false sense of security).

Many have had the Word of God unfolded to them—the plan of salvation and even the prophetic events that are outlined by God Himself, events that will shortly take place. They have realized that their souls are in "danger" and the Holy Spirit has been faithful to impress upon them the URGENCY of the need of salvation.

"I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation" (2 Cor. 6:2). The time to flee from the wrath to come is now. To delay can be disastrous.

We do not know how or when we will die, another moment is not promised to any one of us, and yet we go on oblivious to the great need of our souls. Those who provide only for this life to the neglect of eternity are wise for a second but fools forever.

The fourth group of people did not turn back. Others told them that there was "no danger." Others also turned back right in front of them, but STILL they were NOT DETERRED. These ones lost many of their friends and co-workers in the process of making their decision and are mourning for them with great sadness. After they were out of the towers and safe they could look back at the complete and utter destruction of their ‘world’ as they knew it. They watched as the towers collapsed and all were destroyed within. They had barely escaped. They saw the great danger that they were in and they took the necessary action.

People are deceived and blinded to the destruction awaiting them. They feel safe and secure and comfortable, enjoying all kinds of creature comforts. They are trusting money and material things. They make every effort to be rich and accumulate all they can. Such material things often blind people to the danger that faces them. They see no need for Christ and the great deliverance He offers. "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world (Satan) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (2 Cor.4:3-4).

Satan uses the things of this world to blind people to their present lost condition, and to the good news which would set them free. They are oblivious to the facts stated so clearly in God’s Word, the Bible: 1. All have sinned (Romans 3:23) 2. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) 3. The only way to escape so-great a death is to flee to God’s only Saviour (Acts 4:12).

Have you faced these facts, or have you fallen for Satan’s trap? Are you holding onto some "thing" which is making you either ignore or forget these solemn facts? Remember that these facts are revealed and made plain in the Bible, the Holy Book through which God sounds forth His solemn warnings. Many laugh at the Bible today and make fun of those who believe what it says, but this does not change the truth that it contains. "For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar" (Rom.3:3-4).

The good news is that God has provided a Savior for you. This Savior is God’s own beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. By His death on Calvary’s cross you may now be set free from the bondage of sin. Jesus said: "He that heareth my Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation but is passed from death unto life" (John 5:24).

Gladly receive what God says and simply believe in that One who died for you upon the Cross. Repent, seeing yourself as lost sinner on the way to judgment and hell. Then "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).


—Adapted from a piece by Wendy McPhail

The Middletown Bible Church
349 East Street
Middletown, CT 06457
(860) 346-0907