“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation”(Hebrews 9:27-28).
“Incoming! Incoming! Incoming!Mortar attack in progress!”
I shook myself awake and had a decision to make;throw my pants and shoes on and make a mad dash to the bunker or just lay in my bunk as the incoming round rapidly closed in.
Depending on the time of flight, I had between 5 to15 seconds to act. As part of the team that had installed the rocket warning system, I was also well aware of the randomness of the enemy’s indirect fires. There was a very good chance I would not get hit.
On the other hand, I was also well aware being housed in a metal conex offered no real shelter from the rockets’ eighteen pounds of high explosives, which would easily make the conex, with me in it, look like Swiss-cheese.Stay or go?
Having been through this dozens of times before and with brisk winter weather outside; I opted to roll over, pray and count. One thousand four, one thousand five, one thousand six… THUWHUMP!
The report rumbled from close by letting me know the potentially deadly round had impacted close, but elsewhere. At least that “bullet” did not have my name on it. Thank you Lord God!
Being in a war zone…
In a war-zone where you routinely get shot at you gradually came to terms with certain things. One thing you learn is to accept the cold hard truth—death is random.Real life examples:
1. A group of soldiers were in a chow hall line, a rocket explodes—killing two of them.
2. A civilian setting at the laundry service desk, an inbound rocket, though a dud, failed to explode, yet hits the man’s chest, impaling him against his chair—killing him instantly.
3. A soldier in full body armor at the edge of a rocket’s blast radius, is still struck by a dime-sized piece of shrapnel which takes an improbable route through a helicopter’s bay finding him on the other side; then finding the very narrow gap between his neck collar armor and his helmet; severing his spinal column—killing him instantly.
You have heard about being in “the wrong place, at the wrong time.”In a combat zone, you are already in the wrong place. For these people (may God rest their souls) it was about the “time” and their “time” had come.A “bullet” had their name on it.
…Focuses you on the immediacy of life and death.
That is what we have in common with these departed souls; there is a bullet out there with my name and your name on it. That is a fact.
More likely than not, for you it will not be a incoming rocket but it may be a car wreck or a massive heart attack or a slip on the ice, or a drive-by shooting, cancer or simply a warn-out failing body.The plain, inescapable fact is that since Christ’s resurrection, a “bullet” in some form or fashion has eventually found its way 100 percent of mankind.None have escaped the black wall of death.
Until the Rapture occurs, that perfect 100 percent fatality percentage will continue. All of us will die. It is just a matter of time. For there is no bullet-proof vest out there which will stop the bullet that has your name on it.
Despite this fact many of us are in denial of death, and opt to roll over in our bunks and return to our slumber.It is as if by ignoring death, we can somehow make it go away.But our death is a bullet we cannot dodge on our own.
All too often we are like the rich man in Luke 12:16-20 who was caught up in life planning and storing up for himself things on top of more things, as if he had an endless stream of days before him.Jesus concludes this parable by saying, “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’”
Like the rich man we all will catch a “bullet” at some point, for our days are known and numbered by God. Be assured you will die on time, God’s time.
We Are All in a Combat Zone
Don’t kid yourself; there is an ongoing spiritual war going on around us for the souls of mankind.Whether we like it or not or know it or not, we all play our part in it.When your bullet strikes home, your earthly part in this struggle ends and there are but one of two biblical outcomes:
1.You will be absent from the body but present with the Lord for eternity as a believer sealed by the Holy Spirit through the grace of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8; Ephesians 1:13-14).
2.You will face judgment of your works at the Great White Throne, and spend an eternity in a place of torment called the lake of fire (Revelations 20:11-14).
If you are already a believer, Amen! God still has work for you to do!You need to sow the seeds for Christ’s kingdom while it is still light, for the darkness shall soon fall.
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10) .
If you are not a believer, the God of the Bible provides you no other post-bullet options for eternity than the two above.After your death other people’s prayers will have no bearing on your soul.
There is a single means of your salvation. This is a private decision for you alone:
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6).
And that is through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of mankind.
“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
And fence-sitting is a decision to reject the offer of Jesus Christ, Creator of heaven and earth.
“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:18 NIV).
The randomness of death is heightened in a war-zone, the fallen nature of this world and death which accompanies it is no less tangible in our everyday life.You only have to look at the Chattanooga shootings, or obituaries to see this reality.
However, unlike a war-zone we will not receive a prior warning signal alerting us that “the bullets with our names on it” is on the way.Death is as real as life.Our time is short, so use it well. Be prepared.Be in Christ.
God Bless.Come Lord Jesus, come!
P.S. Heading back over. Prayers are welcome.