Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Jerusalem, North Korea, Iran, terrorism, and what are we to do with all of this?


I have been prompted to write this based upon some recent events in the news, and my hope is that it will be a word of encouragement to my brothers and sisters in Christ.  

A lot has been going on in the world.  If you look at or read the news it seems like we are under a constant threat of annihilation.  It could be a missile from North Korea.  It could be nuclear material from Iran.  It could be an act of terrorism.  Is the move of our embassy to Jerusalem going to spark off another holy war?  It seems that with every waking moment our society is more and more torn at the seams.  What are we to do with all this??

Well, the first thing we are NOT to do is fear.  Nor are we to act out of fear.  If you know me personally, than you know that my favorite author [outside Biblical ones] is C.S. Lewis.  I have read his theological material and believe him to be brilliant.  [I do not agree with all his conclusions, but I find his philosophy magnificent.] He wrote a little article entitled, "On Living In An Atomic Age."  Please remember that Lewis died in the 60's; therefore the threat that was getting people all worked up was the Nuclear threat.  He writes:

"In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. "How are we to live in  an atomic age?" I am tempted to reply: "Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenthcentury when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents."

"In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors - anaesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.

"This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things - praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts - not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds."

The first great point about all this is simple - what are we afraid of?  Death?  That was certainly going to happen regardless of any current event.  A great majority of us are going to die painful ones at that.  

The 2nd point made is that this is nothing new.  Are we so void of historical knowledge that we do not know that 25-60% of London was killed by the plague?  As Lewis aptly puts, "a microbe can do that..."  

Death is a reality.  Societal problems are a reality.  Terrible things happening are a reality.  Post Eden this has never, nor will it ever, [until the end of the age], change.  Sin is real. It has real effects.  And those effects are really bad.   

Yet, as Christians we are to be the ones with the most hope; but sadly so many of us have a, "the sky is falling!" mentality to life.  And that is the main point of Lewis' article that resonates so much with me.  We are allowing all the bad possibilities to, "dominate our minds."  And that which dominates our mind will dictate our actions.  If we are so afraid of our neighbors that we never engage them with love and the Gospel, than the devil has won.  If we are so absorbed by the possibilities of the end that we never actually live in love in the present than the enemy has won.  

What I am calling us to is a simple understanding.  

  • This world is sinful.  Bad stuff - really bad stuff - is going to happen.      
  • Because we are sinful, we will die.  No bomb shelter, amount of money, medicine,        etc...is going to change that. 
  • Jesus came to this world to save sinners. 
  • He died to pay for my sins and the sins of the whole world. 
  • If you believe in Him you are saved from hell, death, and the devil.  You are still here on this earth to be His ambassadors to this sinful, dying, world. 
  • If we are all caught up and afraid about the sin and dying, we suck as an ambassador to this sinful, dying world.  If we are worried about ourselves we are not that good at  helping others. 
  • Remember this - Jesus did not just die; He rose again.  What that means is that death  has lost its sting.  Yes, we will die.  But a much greater yes is this - we will rise again.    No matter what this world throws at us, it cannot defeat Jesus.  He already defeated it.  

So yes people, really bad stuff is going to happen.  Guaranteed.  We, as Christ's ambassadors, need to be doing the stuff He called us to do - being neighbors in the midst of this sinful, dying world.  When terror comes to us, which it will, let it find us boldly loving, not cowering in fear.  Let it find us laughing because we have already won.  Let it find us having a good time with friends, because we are looking forward to glory.  Of all people, in all places, at all times, the Christian should be confident.  

Your friend,



  1. What a clear, sweet breath of fresh air! We all come with an expiration date. We should be about the Lord's work while we are here.