Posted in eternity, God, heaven, prophecy, ten thousand year clock

Clock of the Long Now

A man is building a clock in the West Texas Mountains that will keep time for 10,000 years. It is a 10,000 year clock, and the foundation supporting this enterprise is called The Long Now.

It is written about the clock

Designed by Danny Hillis, the Clock is designed to run for ten millennia with minimal maintenance and interruption. The Clock is powered by mechanical energy harvested from sunlight as well as the people that visit it. The primary materials used in the Clock are marine grade 316 stainless steel, titanium and dry running ceramic ball bearings. The entire mechanism will be installed in an underground facility in west Texas.

Why is this man building a clock that will keep time for 10,000 years? Well, why does any man do anything? Why did they climb Everest? Why do they go down to the sea in ships? Why do they tramp the Arctic?

But this man, why is he building a long now clock?

I wanted a symbol of the future, in the same way that the pyramids are a symbol of the past. I wanted to build something that gave us that sense of connection. 

I’m Danny Hillis and I’m building a clock that will last for 10,000 years. ..One of the ways we keep the clock accurate is that we synchronize it to the sun… Exactly at solar noon the chimes begin to play. … They worked out a way of ringing ten bells in a different sequence each day, for ten thousand years. … We’re invested in generational thinking, and answering the question, ‘were we good ancestors?’ 

There’s a problem of people not believing in the future, a long-term clock challenges those short-term civilizational stories. I’m very optimistic about the future. I’m not optimistic because I think our problems are small. I’m optimistic because I think our capacities are great. 

Oh. I see. Like the Tower of Babel.

To see the Clock you need to start at dawn, like any pilgrimage. Once you arrive at its hidden entrance in an opening in the rock face, you will find a jade door rimmed in stainless steel, and then a second steel door beyond it. These act as a kind of crude airlock, keeping out dust and wild animals. You rotate its round handles to let yourself in, and then seal the doors behind you. It is totally black. You head into the darkness of a tunnel a few hundred feet long. At the end there’s the mildest hint of light on the floor. You look up. There is a tiny dot of light far away, at the top of top of a 500 foot long vertical tunnel about 12 feet in diameter. There is stuff hanging in the shaft.

And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. 4Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 9:3-4)

The first part of the Clock you encounter on the ascent up the spiral staircase is the counterweights of the Clock’s drive system. This is a huge stack of stone disks, about the size of a small car, and weighing 10,000 pounds. Depending on when the clock was last wound, you may have to climb 75 feet before you reach the weights. 

You keep climbing. For the next 70-80 feet of ascent you pass 20 huge horizontal gears (called Geneva wheels), 8 feet in diameter, each weighing 1,000 pounds. This is the mechanical computer that calculates the over 3.5 million different melodies that the chimes will ring inside the mountain over the centuries. 

And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. 6And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. 7Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” (Genesis 9:5-7)

This is what happens when man worships created things instead of the Creator. Man has an inherent notion of time. Man knows he is in a great slip-stream current of time, connected to those who have passed before us and linked to those yet to come. That is because God has put eternity into man’s heart. (Ecclesiastes 3:11).  Man seeks the great questions, desires to know the end of things, wants to achieve greatness under the sun- or on the plains of Shinar.

The 10,000 year clock’s design and these beginning moments of its construction are truly remarkable. That men could design such a thing does seem to indicate a nearly bottomless well of capacity for accomplishment. Yet man’s capacity is only as deep or as long as the Holy God allows it, as we know the end of the story of the Tower of Babel. What the 10,000 year clock really is, is a monument to man. What a shame to use all that money, time, skill, and labor for something that is really an ode to man.

What blessings he has given us to enter His courts and see the angelic beings with wheels within wheels, TRUE machinery that lasts ten thousand upon tens of thousands of years, eternities.  What greatness He has bestowed on us to hear the trumpet and harps and worship songs that are the chimes of heaven.

In Jesus we have the eternal questions answered. We know that we know we are in His slip-stream of time and in the current that is endless and infinite. We know we are good ancestors because He is our father, the root ancestor, having in us His greatness. Apart from Him we can do nothing, but in Him we can do whatever His will allows and sustains in us to do. From man’s perspective, the clock in the mountain in West Texas is a remarkable thing. It really is. Personally, I’m in awe of it and wonderstruck at the men who are creating it. From God’s perspective it is a mote on a gnat on a flea. My true awe is of the God who invented time. What a blessing He gave His children the eternal answers. We do not have the restlessness of clockmakers, but possess an eternal peace. In Him, in heaven, there is no time, and no need for clocks.

Posted in body, encouragement, eternity, glorified, victory

What will it be like to be glorified?

I’m 54 years old. When I was young I said I’d never prattle on about my ailments, like a great-aunt Jane or a Grandpa Joe.

But now the doctor said I have bad arthritis in my knees, my feet swell, my eyes get so dry, my digestion is ahem explosively sensitive, and I get these headaches…

Ack. And my bodily griefs are piddling compared to some who endure disease, chronic pain, and trauma by fire or accident. Anyway, I think so often about seeing Jesus. My daily prayer usually ends with asking, “Is this the day? Will today be the Day I see you?”

After the promise and excitement and joy of seeing Jesus, the next part I’m looking forward to is the new body.

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:52)

OK, that’s a great start. We shall be changed. Hmmm. Changed how?

When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Corinthians 15:53).

Ok, we will be immortal. That’s a fact that a lot of unsaved people do not know and a lot of saved people do not ponder enough. All peoples who have ever lived will be immortal. The unsaved dead will be raised for eternal punishment and the saved dead will be raised for eternal joy and communion with the Savior. In new bodies!

Matthew Henry Commentary says,

He assigns the reason of this change (v. 53): For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. How otherwise could the man be a fit inhabitant of the incorruptible regions, or be fitted to possess the eternal inheritance? How can that which is corruptible and mortal enjoy what is incorruptible, permanent, and immortal? This corruptible body must be made incorruptible, this mortal body must be changed into immortal, that the man may be capable of enjoying the happiness designed for him.

Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 2276). Peabody: Hendrickson.

Further, the verse says we will be imperishable. This means we will not only be eternal but we will not even have to worry about our bodies. They cannot perish. Imagine living without worrying about the end of our lives?! Take death off the table and just imagine how much of a relief it will be.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. (Revelation 21:4)

Our bodies and our hearts and our minds will no longer feel any kind of pain. Not even the memory of it.

In 2 Corinthians 5:8, Paul said, “We … would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” When we die, we’re home. Imagine a small boy who falls asleep in the back seat of the car. When the family gets home, his father picks him up and carries him into the house. When he wakes up, he’s home. That’s what will happen for God’s children.

Death is glory. It is paradise, as Jesus said. In Philippians 1:21, Paul wrote that “to die is gain.” When we die, we will gain imperishable, glorified, spiritual bodies (1 Cor 15:42–44) and be like Jesus in this way (1 Cor 15:49). We will know God and each other as we are known (1 Cor 13:12). And we will eat of the tree of life and live forever (Rev 22).

Barry, J. D., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Mangum, D., & Whitehead, M. M. (2012). Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Posted in discernment, elijah, encouragement, eternity, moses, personal revelation, transfiguration

Talking with Jesus

Not the ‘Mount of Transfiguration’. Source

And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. 3And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. (Matthew 17:1-3)

A spiritually awe-filled scene, as we mentally behold it and picture Jesus glorified and being fully God. However, today I am picturing Moses and Elijah, talking with Him.

Imagine, in the Millennium Kingdom and in Eternity, we will do the same! We will stand casually on a mountain and talk with Jesus! My mind veritably breaks apart just thinking of this. What will I say? What were Moses, Elijah and Jesus talking about? What could I possibly have to say to Jesus, except only “thank You!”

But we are His friend. We will talk with Jesus, and He will talk personally and directly to us.

The Graphics Fairy

For all of you who envy Beth Moore and her personal conversations with a different Jesus, and for all of you who covet the personal touch Sarah Young claims to have had with Jesus Calling her, I have this to say. Those women and all those like them are having the only talk with “Jesus” they will ever have, except at the Great White Throne Judgment when He says “Depart from Me, I never knew you.” Will they then wonder, were the five or ten or fifty chats they thought they’d had with ‘Jesus’ worth an eternity of missing the real Him, and never speaking to Him again?

Yet for the persevering and patient Christian who clings to Hebrews 11:1 and believes that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (and not heard), we will be talking with Him just as Moses and Elijah were.

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. (John 3:2)

We will join Moses and Elijah and be talking with our wonderful Savior, Friend, Shepherd, every ‘day’ throughout all eternity.

Hallelujah.

Posted in death, eternity, life, prophecy

Deathbed words. Do we die before our time?

Source: The Graphics Fairy

I read this on Facebook from No Compromise Radio

“Deathbed words: “I am dying before my time and my body is going to return to the earth.This is the fate of Napoleon the Great.”

The dead always think it’s too early to die. It is never too early to die. It’s always just right.

God numbers our days and they are determined from long before the foundation of the world. He has appointed each one of us to a time, and a nation and a place. He stretches out our days or years to the exact amount of time He wants us to walk the earth. He appoints some to His wrath and others to His joy.

For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, (1 Thessalonians 5:9)

The appointment of God’s grace is here mentioned as the efficient cause of our salvation; and the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Mediator through whom salvation is bestowed. (Pulpit Commentary)

If there are some appointed to salvation then that means there are some appointed to wrath. Gill’s Exposition says,

For God hath not appointed us to wrath,…. To destruction and ruin, the effect of wrath; though there are some that are vessels of wrath, fitted for destruction, of old ordained to condemnation, and who are reserved for the day of evil;

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:2)

I’d said at the start that the dead (unsaved people) always think that their death is too early. No one who is unsaved think their death comes too late. Or rarely do they think so. But we all have a number of days.

Man who is born of a woman
is few of days and full of trouble.
2He comes out like a flower and withers;
he flees like a shadow and continues not.
3And do you open your eyes on such a one
and bring me into judgment with you?

4Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?
There is not one.
5Since his days are determined,
and the number of his months is with you,
and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass,
6look away from him and leave him alone,
that he may enjoy, like a hired hand, his day. (Job 14:1-5)

Matthew Henry says of the Job passage, and eloquently too,

Job enlarges upon the condition of man, addressing himself also to God. Every man of Adam’s fallen race is short-lived. All his show of beauty, happiness, and splendour falls before the stroke of sickness or death, as the flower before the scythe; or passes away like the shadow.

Source: The Graphics Fairy

The dead have only a short life to cling to, but the living have Jesus, who is the Giver of Life and the Eternity in which we dwell. Since they know, and we know, our days on earth are short, how will we spend them?

I hope it is that we will share life. Share the Gospel today. For some, death will come early. At least, compared to eternity, it will feel very early.

No Compromise Radio also posted these deathbed words from a person who knew Jesus:

Live in Christ, die in Christ, and the flesh need not fear death.” ~John Knox

Posted in christmas hymns, eternity, salvation

Favorite Christmas Hymns: O Come All Ye Faithful

We all have our favorite religious Christmas hymns. I mean the ones about the true meaning of Christmas and not the ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’ kind.

I’ve always loved O Come All Ye Faithful. It moves me, and the words just seem to lift my spirit. Here is the first verse.

O come all ye faithful joyful and triumphant
Oh come ye O come ye to Bethlehem;
come and behold him born the King of angels;
O come let us adore him Christ the Lord.

When it would come on the radio, I’d sing with feeling and fervor. The song just gave me a good feeling and I would always perk up when that seasonal song came on.

Now for the funny part: I felt this before I was saved.

I wonder now, post-salvation, who I thought I was singing about, back then. Why the good feelings of joy and peace when singing it? I was a depraved enemy of God, apart from Him and unreconciled. Strange.

Here is the second verse.

O Sing, choirs of angels, Sing in exultation,
Sing all that hear in heaven God’s holy word.
Give to our Father glory in the Highest;
O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

How was I singing about the Lord? Why were they adoring Him so much? I didn’t know, but I sang it with feeling. Normally in everyday life if I came across someone who was talking about the Lord I’d become angry and shut down the conversation. I mocked the notion of a virgin birth. In everyday life I’d reject every aspect of Jesus and the whole Gospel, every element of it. Especially the part about me being a sinner.

Yet every 12th month, Christmas would come around and I’d sing “O come let us adore Him” with the best of them.

I always thought that strange.

After a person is saved, if they look back over the landscape of their lives, they can see little markers of salvation future. Bread crumbs in the dark evil forest showing the way. I remember being fascinated when a long-lost aunt told me about the rapture when I was ten years old. I didn’t see her again much but the one time I stayed there she took advantage and told me. I remember bursting into tears when reading “Footprints in the sand” a sappy poem about Jesus carrying a person during their times of trouble. I wondered, even through my tears, why I’d been moved so much when I didn’t even believe in Jesus.

Romans 1:18-32 describes the fact that all humans have knowledge of God, no matter when they lived and no matter where they lived. Romans 1:19-20 explains,

“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”

Then the verses go on to say what happens. Though His eternal attributes can plainly be seen in in creation, they deliberately suppress this truth (Romans 1:18) and they choose not to honor Him (Romans 1:21). The rest of the verses show what happens to a person the longer they deliberately suppress the truth.

I am an example of salvation by this method. Though I was raised in an atheist home, I traveled a lot and plainly saw the complexity and beauty of the earth, the precision of the tides, the movement of the planets and the change of seasons. It was all so orderly, eventually I decided there must be a God. It seemed pretty clear.

Salvation does not come until one repents and believed the Gospel, but the key here is that I did not deliberately suppress the truth, I saw plainly that through creation God existed. Also, I felt deeply that there must be an eternity (Ecc 3:11) and since there is an eternity, someone must run it. The door was kept open in my mind, I never suppressed nor rejected, and at the right time the Spirit worked on my soul and then I claimed the name of Jesus and was saved.

Though I don’t like to write about myself, I share this to offer any person reading this…hope. Don’t give up! I spent years in the wilderness, yet the eternity set in every person’s heart, in my heart, flickered weakly. The conscience, the creation, the Spirit, all working on me until the moment of salvation. Your brother, sister, friend, mother, child may also be feeling these perplexing spiritual feelings and not know why. By God’s grace, someday, they will.

Posted in death, eternity, hell, jesus

When it is your turn to die

When it is your turn to die

You notice that the second before the plane crashed, the Dayton Ohio air show announcer said as wing walker Jane Wicker positioned herself on the upside down wing: “Jane Wicker, on top of the world!” One second later, she was dead.

I often speak of the soon return of Jesus. Today is one day closer to His return than yesterday was. Paul used to speak of His soon return often. As a matter of fact, every New Testament book except Philemon speaks of Christ’s coming. You need to be ready.

However, we are not guaranteed a tomorrow. Yes, Jesus could come, but death could come also.

James 4:14 says “yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”

I often wondered what Ms Wicker was thinking as she sat on the upside down wing. Nothing indicated that one second later she wold be dead. Did she think she had loads of time left to ponder the deep mysteries of faith and salvation? Had she put it off until tomorrow, but tomorrow never came?

I hope she was saved by grace of Jesus.

If you are not saved, then do not put off to tomorrow what should be done today. God has appointed you to a limited number of days in this lifetime. You do not know what that number is.

“Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.” (Psalm 39:4-5)

Taking care of business means coming to grips with a few things. First, this life is not all there is. We are given a limited number of days to dwell upon the earth, but this body and this life is only phase 1. After death, there is a phase 2. If you have repented of your sins and believed on the resurrected Jesus as Lord and Savior, you will go to heaven and be with Him. You will be given a glorified body that is impervious to death or sickness, has no sin nature, and can withstand the full blast of His glory and Holiness. (1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 50; Philippians 3:21).

If you rejected Jesus in this life- and you don’t have to actively reject Him but passively fail to accept him (doing nothing is the same as rejecting) then you will go to hell after you die. This is a place of eternal separation from God and you will be given a body that can withstand the full blasts of the punishment that will be inflicted on you as eternal payment for your sins and crimes against Him. (Revelation 14:11, 2 Thessalonians 1:5-9)

It is a lie that you will be annihilated, that there is nothing else after death. It is a lie that hell is only temporary. It is surely eternal, as your sins are eternal and as Jesus is eternal. (Matthew 25:46). That is why Christians can dwell with Him forever, (Matthew 28:20; John 14:3) because He is eternal and He paid the price for our sins eternally when He took God’s punishment on the cross. (Romans 3:23-24).

You say, “God is loving, He would never send people to hell for punishment.” Really? It pleased Him to crush His Son! (Isaiah 53:10). Jesus absorbed all of God’s punishment while He was on the cross. Is God loving who would do that? Yes, He was making a way for YOU, whom He also loves. Jesus did that voluntarily, because He loves you. If you reject Jesus though, you reject the way to heaven. (John 14:6).

Eternity is real and it is permanent. You do not know what today will bring. Ms Wicker didn’t. The pilot in the first video, I hope his brush with death made him think of the afterlife, too. I hope these few words from my heart makes you think of the afterlife. For the Christian, it is a joy to ponder the time we will be with Jesus. For the unsaved, there is dread and fear of the unknown. But you can know, your eternity could be secure- if you repent. (Mark 1:15).

———————-

Further reading:

Repentance

What is repentance?

The resurrection body

Is hell eternal?

Posted in edmund fitzgerald, eternity, tribulation, wrath

Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

“Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours?”

What an evocative lyric. It is from Gordon Lightfoot’s song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” It is a haunting ballad of a ship that went down in a November storm on Lake Superior in 1975. The last thing that they heard from the ship was a radio communication from the captain, who said, “We are holding our own.” Minutes later she sank suddenly. Twenty-nine men lost their lives on that fateful day. A record cargo worth 24 million was lost too. The nightly newscaster Harry Reasoner reported, “All that’s been found is an oil slick and some debris.”

Though over 240 ships have been lost on the rough sailing lake, it is the Edmund Fitzgerald that most captures the imagination.

Why would that be? Of all the wrecks of all time, other than the Titanic, so many have gone unremembered. The SS Central America’s loss off the coast of the Carolinas in 1857 was greater in loss of cargo worth and greater in lives lost. More than 550 passengers and crew died and 30,000 pounds of gold sank with them, contributing to the Panic of 1857.

The SS General Slocum caught fire and sank in New York’s East River on 15 June 1904. More than 1,000 people died in the accident, making it New York City’s worst loss-of-life incident until the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Perhaps we are so touched by the loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald because of the Lightfoot song. It is vivid to be sure. Perhaps because of the lack of consensus on how the great ship sank. To this day there are competing theories, but after good video was taken from a submersible in 1994, the only thing that became more evident is that the ship broke up on the surface and the trip to the bottom tortured it. The twisted metal between the two halves spoke of the power of the seas when it chooses to claim a ship. A body was discovered laying beside the bow, still in his life jacket. The power of the seas claims lives too, and the torture of such a loss is just as great and greater. Perhaps because it is impossible to truly understand how time telescopes when you are in such an environment. The minutes do turn to hours.

If you are a mariner you know when you’re in a storm your two hour watch seems like days, and you look at your watch and only one minute has passed. It is disorienting to be in the dark, with waves crashing over you. You never know where the next wave will come from, always on the lookout for the rogue. Where is the lighthouse? Bleary eyes keep searching for that saving light, but all you see is more waves, and more dark, and fear. You feel helpless, powerless, in the dark, crying out to God for desperate help.

The Fitzgerald, or any other ship in distress, is a microcosm. It will be like that in the Tribulation, for example. Helpless, fearful, in the dark, navigating blindly, rogue waves washing over you, piteously crying out to God, wondering, where is the love of God in all this? Will this ever end? And just as suddenly as it began, it is over. Your tortured trip to the deeps is the last journey of your mortal body, while your soul flies to hell, where it will stay forever. Until the judgment that is, when your resurrected body will be reunited with your soul and the agony will really begin.

Suddenly when the trumpet call of the rapture sounds and Christians fly away, your storm will begin. The world’s storm will begin, there will be no safe harbor. There is no Whitefish Bay to aim for, no place that will offer you a good anchorage.

The storms will be relentless; earthquakes, tornadoes, diseases, violence, war. One after the other will crash over you relentlessly and yet you will never know where the next will come from. you will look for relief but will not be able to find it. And that is before the demons arrive. Their bite will be agony and you will want to die, try to die, but death will flee from you. (Revelation 9:6).
 
The agony of pain and tribulation will be unceasing. The trapped feeling, that this will never end, that there is no way out will pervade your mind and make you mad with despair. The knowledge that death is going to come but the agony of not knowing when will pierce your demented soul.

But God is love, you say. Isn’t this just too depressing? Yes it is depressing. I cry when I think of the  countless millions who will be lost. Maybe you are one of those. The Tribulation will be a time of wrath. God is love, but He will pour out His wrath on men.

Carm.org defines His wrath:

“Biblically, wrath is the divine judgment upon sin and sinners. It does not merely mean that it is a casual response by God to ungodliness, but carries the meaning of hatred, revulsion, and indignation. God is by nature love (1 John 4:16), however, in His justice He must punish sin. The punishment is called the wrath of God. It will occur on the final Day of Judgment when those who are unsaved will incur the wrath of God. It is, though, presently being released upon the ungodly (Rom. 1:18-32) in the hardening of their hearts. Wrath is described as God’s anger (Num. 32:10-13), as stored up (Rom. 2:5-8), and as great (Zech. 7:12). The believer’s deliverance from God’s wrath is through the atonement (Rom. 5:8-10). “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,” (1 Thess. 5:9).”

The Tribulation is a near-future seven-year period of time when God is prophesied to finish His discipline of Israel and to finish His judgment of the unbelieving world. So yes, He is love but He is wrath too. “Love is an attribute of God. Love is a core aspect of God’s character, His Person. God’s love is in no sense in conflict with His holiness, righteousness, justice, or even His wrath. All of God’s attributes are in perfect harmony. Everything God does is loving, just as everything He does is just and right. God is the perfect example of true love.” (source)

He sent His son to take the wrath we deserve. If you believe on the name of the resurrected Jesus, you will escape the wrath and live an eternity of love with God. But if you refuse His love gift of Jesus it means you accept the wrath. Believe on Jesus today. Repent of your sins and believe that Jesus is Lord, having lived a perfect life and taken the punishment for your sins unto Himself. God was pleased to substitute His son for your penalty and resurrected Him as proof of that acceptance. If you repent and believe you will not have to endure the Tribulation’s wrath. It will be a time when the waves of trouble turn the minutes to hours. You will beg to die, but if you die apart from Jesus, those waves of agony turning minutes to hours will never end.

You will have a chance to believe in Jesus after the rapture, the bible shows us that there are martyrs who are killed for their faith, a faith they came to after we were taken out of the time of Jacob’s Trouble. But you may die before then. You may die during the first moment of the Tribulation. You may come under the delusion and believe the antichrist. It is too risky. This is the Age of Grace. Now is the time.

“All that’s been found is an oil slick and some debris.” That will be YOU.

You will be a smudge on the great timeline of history. You think you are holding your own, but destruction is moments away from you. You, debris, blotted out from the Lamb’s book of life and entered in the book of death. A name, a person forgotten and dispersed as an oil slick eventually dissipating to something of no consequence, like a vapor. An enemy of God howling in agony in hell while the rest of blessed eternity continues joyfully apace.

JESUS IS THE LIGHT. Come home to safe harbor.

Posted in creation, eternity, starry night, van gogh

A starry night breaks into eternal day

I run this blog at direction of the Holy Spirit. It is aimed at lukewarm Christians to examine themselves in the context of the times, and repent so they will not be left behind. It also examines the signs so that a non-believer wandering by might be moved by the many proofs that God is active in the world and is winding down the clock. Sometimes the emotions evoked by the times, the signs, and the reality of judgment is pretty brutal. But brutality and reality is not the only thing the Lord shows me.

Do you have an idea of how fiercely I love Him? Of glorying in the opportunity to plumb His umplumbable depths? Of the mystery and majesty of the relationship of man to Savior through His blood? Of how I am in eternal gratitude to the work and grace of the Holy Spirit?

I’ve been on a run lately. I have been listening to John MacArthur’s series on Creation, as well as reading some books on it, discussing it with friends, and defending it in public. The Spirit also gives me a lot of science interests to study up on. Given the way I came to the Lord, through rationality and science, I see God in science more often than not. I got interested in quantum physics a few weeks ago. Also nanotechnology. I wrote about a quantum leap and its relation to the Rapture an also the dissolution of the universe as prophesied in 2 Peter 3, just a few weeks ago, here. Lately I’ve been studying about Richard P. Feynman, the Nobel winner for quantum electrodynamics, and also the father of nanotechnology.

In the Genesis sermons, we were up to Creation Day 6. The testimony of God in the book of Genesis 1 is incredible and humbling, and…words fail me in thinking about the creation. But the more I study it, the more it makes my heart beat in love for our Creator. The sermons for Day 6 were split into part one and part two, because the text is so rich. MacArthur was preaching on the trinity, the “Executive Divine Council” as he calls it, and the reasons for the creation of the earth and humankind in the first place. We learned about the Personhood of the LORD, and about His relational capacities, and man’s place within them. The creation series of sermons build, and build and build toward this one singular moment where God personally made man. God did not say in the passive tense “Let there be”, as He had in the previous Days, He said “Let Us make…”. MacArthur used a LOT of science in his lessons, which is one reason why I like Him. The crescendo of the weeks of listening and study were bearing down on this moment.

You know how you feel when you are inside a crescendo…a symphony or a lecture or a book or a cooking lesson…something you are doing that is reaching its denouement. As I was listening and pondering, a sudden flash of insight came around the corner of my brain. Like a comet streaking into view, I call these flashes “incoming!” and revel in what they have to reveal.

As I was immersed in science and theology, listening to the words tumble out of the laptop speakers art came to mind, clearly and with force. Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” came to my eyes. It is a piece of Post-Impressionism I had never gravitated to nor examined very much. The very painting has itself seemed to achieve a cliche and in so achieving, is more easily dismissed. Which I had done.

I am not a huge fan of the Impressionists nor the Port-Impressionists, preferring the structured scientific styles of the early Renaissance painters and sculptors. But all of a sudden as I was listening to the purpose of the creation the answer came to me in Starry Night. It is a picture of eternity, of the relational communications between and among the Holy Spirit, Jesus and God. It is a picture of active and moving atoms in the unrolling of creation and man’s place within it. I can’t bring you into the thought any further because it was more of an insight in the comet’s vaporous tail than solidly examinable as the ball of ice that is its head. It just seemed suddenly to me that the painting was a study in matter, and molecules, and eternity, and creation, and relationship of the Divine and man’s smallness in all that context, but of his uniqueness, too.

Of course, I was intrigued and studied the painting and its origins further. I found Professor Albert Boime of UCLA, lecturing in the Social History of Modern Art. In his paper, “A History of Matter and a Matter of History” (can be read in .pdf, here) the following phrases in his famous paper discussing “Starry Night” seemed to me to capture the essence of what Van Gogh was showing us and was consistent with the insight given to me in the flash:

“apocalyptic exaltation”
“the celestial pageant as a source of moral energy”
“astronomical metaphors for religious experiences”
“work under the great starlit vault of heaven a something -which after all one can only call God and eternity- and its place above the world”
As Van Gogh said, “I was thinking of eternity the other night…”
“threshold of eternity”

The son of a pastor and deeply religious but as we know, troubled, Vincent Van Gogh showed us a glimpse of eternity in that painting, an insight into the mind of God. I wonder what it was like for the thinking population at that time. Evolutionary theory with all its pointlessness and Godlessness was beginning to permeate society. Evolution versus new advances in astronomy that showed the parade of celestial bodies in their courses. At the same time scientific advances with the telescope and photography of the heavens was making astronomy more interesting than ever. Jules Verne was writing books about trips to the moon and spiritism was coming into play to fill the religious vacuum caused by evolution. At the time when scientists were looking within and looking up, there was a disconnect with what evolution was telling them and what the heavens were telling them (Romans 1:18-22).

The truth of Romans 1:18-20 must have created a cognitive dissonance unlike at any other time in history.

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

In the painter’s own words, he said of Starry Night, “…A kind of painting giving greater consolation.” It does give greater consolation. It does. Van Gogh was seeking a “divinity manifested in everyday life” we are told, and in Starry Night, I believe he found it.
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