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Smoke from the World Trade Center fills lower Manhattan Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, shortly after the second tower collapsed. The photo is taken across the Hudson River from Hoboken, N.J. (AP Photo/Daily Record, Mike Buscher)

It is almost hard to fathom the fact that two decades have crumbled into the abyss of history since two buildings crumbled into the abyss of jihad. No one old enough to remember that day will likely ever forget where they were or what they were doing when 19 Islamist al-Qaeda terrorists from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon hijacked four commercial jetliners and slammed them into the World Trade Center as well as the Pentagon, and likely in the fourth instance had designs on the U.S. Capitol Building.

Nearly 3,000 innocent people lost their lives that day at the hands of bloodthirsty devils, people who had simply gotten up to go to work and make a living for their families.

I watched people jump out of burning buildings that day, people who chose that death rather than the death of burning alive. And it would not be until May 2, 2011, nearly 10 years later, that the mastermind of the attack, Osama bin Laden, was summarily sent to hell courtesy of the fine gentlemen of Seal Team Six.

Sixty years before the attack on 9/11, on Dec. 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor without warning even though the United States was officially a neutral country. In that attack, 353 Imperial aircraft sank four U.S. Navy battleships, killed 2,403 Americans and wounded 1,178 others. Both of these attacks were designed to cripple America — and both failed spectacularly.

I am not minimizing the devastation of either attack, especially 9/11, which was wreaked on civilians. That was savagery of the lowest order and deserves eternal, universal, unequivocal condemnation. We should always remember what happened that day, we should always lift up a prayer for those still grieving the loss of loved ones, and we should always be vigilant against the next attack.

But 20 years later, America is still standing. We have not missed an election or an Olympics or even a college football championship, and the economy, which was really the target of the attack, has gone through the roof since then. The Dow Jones right after 9/11 fell to 9,605.51, and it is now 35,369.09.

Attack from without did not bring America down. With a nation this strong, it likely never will. That, therefore, is not what I fear for our land.

Nearly 2,500 years ago, the dominant world power was Babylonia. Under Nebuchadnezzar, they were the head of gold in the image of Gentile world powers. Their walls were impenetrable. The capital city was roughly the size of Houston, Texas, and the Euphrates river flowed under the wall, through the city and out the other side, with a metal grate in the water to keep anyone from simply swimming through. There were 30 square miles of fertile cropland in between the double walls. The army was spectacular. And yet, in 539 B.C., that great city and empire fell to a coalition of the Medes and the Persians.

But it was not the attacking army from without that was the problem; the rot from within was the problem. Had there not been a drunken monarch on the throne and a general dissolution of the character of the people, no people on Earth could have taken Babylon. The Book of Daniel describes that boozy night and the fall that followed.

Daniel 5:23 shows aged Daniel confronting the king and telling him, "But [thou] hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou and thy lords, thy wives and thy concubines have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver and gold, of brass, iron, wood and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified." Verse 30 then says, "In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain."

Babylon fell from within. If America falls, it will almost assuredly be the same.

If America falls, it will be at the hands of hammer-and-sickle flag-waving college communists who have no real clue what horror they are advocating for. If America falls, it will be at the hands of critical race theory hustlers who fully intend on dividing people along racial lines rather than unifying them. If America falls, it will be at the hands of academics who view their lectern as a pulpit from which to preach their view that America is a reprobate land that does not deserve to exist. If America falls, it will be at the hands of takers who want to be given a good life rather than earn it by the sweat of their brow. If America falls, it will be at the hands of pandering politicians who print money to keep their constituents sucking at the public nipple regardless of the apocalypse their financial mismanagement is brewing.

But mostly, if America falls, it will be at the hands of pulpits that no longer flame with righteousness and parishioners who can no longer be bothered with things like faithful church attendance, evangelism, missions and holy living. As John Adams wrote to the Massachusetts Militia on Oct. 11, 1798, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

We all play a part in the future of our land. We all contribute either to its strength or its decay.

Bo Wagner is pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, North Carolina, a widely traveled evangelist and the author of several books available on Amazon and at www.wordofhismouth.com. Email him at 2knowhim@cbc-web.org.

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Pastor Bo Wagner
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