For some of my longest known friends, and for many others, this image will no doubt resonate the truth which Major General William Tecumseh Sherman, leader of Union forces during the US Civil War, famously declared in an 1879 address to the Michigan Military Academy, when he said,
“War is Hell”.
There is hell in war and too often that hell remains in the soul long after the war is over. That hell is like “a river of toxic waste” flowing through one’s inner being and emotions. It seems to taint everything, even when it is against the will to do so. This is a reality many returning veterans face. It is also the reality that Jesus Christ has assumed in his humanity, taken down into death, and left behind in His resurrection. In His ascension and out pouring of the Holy Spirit, he is able to share with each one of us His Spirit; the Spirit of a man who has literally gone to Hell and back.
There is no depression so deep, no darkness so black that Jesus Christ cannot enter into it and there share with us the experience of His communion and love of His Father. He has been there and knows it as a man. Our personal experience of sharing in this eternal love and fellowship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is what we were all predestined to and what the bible calls our adoption as sons (Eph.1:3-14). When the light begins to dawn on us that God has not begrudgingly done this, but rather according to the pleasure of will, has from all eternity, determined to lavishly include us in Christ and thus in Himself, the “river of toxic waste” begins to flow clear. We find rest for our souls as living water wells up and overflows. May you know today that you are included, and respond with “Amen” to God’s eternal “Yes” to you in Jesus Christ. He’s had your back soldier…from all eternity.
Some of you may recognize the banner photo on this page as the New Mexico plateau on which the little town of Los Alamos is situated. It is known as the “Atomic City”, for it was here in the 1940’s that the first atomic bomb was designed and built. It is also known as home for me, (though I am no longer there) the third generation of my family to live in its spectacular beauty. The main street through Los Alamos is called Trinity Drive. “Trinity” was the secret code name that Robert Oppenheimer chose for the first atomic explosion test at 5:29 am on July 16, 1945. It’s ironic that the word Trinity, a descriptive word of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, would be used for something that was to unleash unimaginable power and destruction. Today it is estimated that there are 15,000 such weapons around the world, most of which are many times more powerful than the first atomic bombs, and enough to utterly destroy this planet many times over. We are living on a powder keg.
Perhaps more ironic is the fact that that the real Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit has told us clearly in 2 Peter chapter 3 that He will come again. This coming “Day of the Lord” looks very much like that powder keg going off. It is a day in which the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire and when the heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare; that day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. Interestingly, the Greek word used to describe the elements being destroyed is λυθήσεται, which means “to loose” or “untie” the elements. Loosing and untying the elements at the atomic level produces an atomic explosion of intense fire that melts everything in its heat, exactly as described in v-12.
God’s word asks: “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.” Why? Because “in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness”. We must also remember that “in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed”.
The great comfort we have is that Jesus Christ himself has promised to deliver all those who have placed their faith and life in his exclusive hands (1Thes. 4:15-18). Jesus Christ alone “saves us from the coming wrath” (1Thes. 1:10) for “God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him” (1Thes. 5:9-10).
Far better to have the power of the Trinity unleashed within you now, than to have the power of the Trinity unleashed upon you then.
This article appeared today in ABC News Australia, and reminds us that we are living in days very near the Rapture of true believers out of the earth and the commencement of the Great Tribulation. Jesus told us clearly that as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man (Matt. 24:36-39). As we explore Genesis 6:2-9, we see that the days of Noah were particularly identified with the corruption of humanity by the interference of fallen angels who spawned a corrupted race of beings called the Nephilim. These were the genetically hybrid off-spring of fallen angels with human beings; "transhumanists" as this ABC News article describes. 2 Peter 2:4-6 indicates the spread of this corrupted humanity was the trigger point for the Flood Judgement which wiped out all of humanity except for one man and his family. Noah and his family were at least one, if not the only ones, remaining who were “righteous”; that is who had found the grace of God to keep them from this particular form of evil in the wicked generation in which they lived. Finally, Jude 6 and 8 make it clear that such pollution of the body is to be bound for judgement in the future. Be warned: seeking to live forever by corrupting one's genetic makeup or linking this to “artificial intelligence” (AI) through bio-chip technology, all of which this news article indicates is happening today, is just like “the days of Noah”. Turn to Jesus Christ in faith, and like Noah, find the grace to live righteously in this wicked generation.
"When God piles up a hill of mercies, he himself shines behind them, and he casts on our spirits the shadow of prayer, so that we may rest certain, if we are much in prayer, our pleadings are the shadows of mercy. Prayer is thus connected with the blessing to show us the value of it. If we had the blessings without asking for them, we should think them common things; but prayer makes our mercies more precious than diamonds. The things we ask for are precious, but we do not realize their preciousness until we have sought for them earnestly."- Spurgeon -Feb. 19th Morning