“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).
FLASHBACK – Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Winter 2010
“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 that 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 by, 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 learned to accept was the cold hard truth – death is random. Real life examples:
–A group of soldiers are in a chow-hall line, a rocket explodes – killing two of them.
–A civilian sits at the laundry service desk; an inbound rocket, though a dud, fails to explode, yet hits the man’s chest full-on, impaling him against his chair – killing him instantly.
–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 open 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.
There is nothing like being in a combat zone to focus 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 our name on it. That is a fact.
More likely than not, for you, it will not be an incoming rocket but it may be a car wreck, a massive heart attack, a slip on the ice, a drive-by shooting, cancer, or simply a worn-out, failing body. The plain, inescapable fact is that since Christ’s resurrection, a “bullet” in some form or fashion has eventually found 100% of Mankind. None have escaped the black wall of death.
FLASH-FORWARD – Pandemic Zone, Anywhere in the World, April 2020
When I wrote those words in 2015, no one predicted or prophesied the COVID-19 pandemic would be wreaking havoc upon the health and lives of Mankind globally.
Presently, it is not a bullet that has people’s names on it but a virus.
Much of Mankind is now face-to-face with death; and many people’s reality has been suddenly altered and shaken. We are all becoming brutally aware of the grimmer aspects of human existence, and the thinner line that now exists between life and death.
However, despite COVID-19, the basic fact remains unchanged that until the Rapture occurs, the perfect 100% fatality percentage of Mankind will continue. All of us will die. It is just a matter of timing. For there is no bulletproof vest out there which will stop the bullet, perhaps this virus, that has your name on it.
Ignoring this fact, many of us are still in denial of death, and opt to roll over in our bunks and return to our slumber. But with COVID-19 at all of our doors and broadcast into our homes, it is much harder to ignore death in this media-driven age. The transfixed news media provides a continuous flow of updates on the rising contagion and death toll. Constantly before our eyes, death is not quite so easy to ignore, as if we could somehow not think about this nightmare and just make it go away. Our death waits; it 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, perhaps a virus, or something else to end the life of our flesh, for our days are known and numbered by God. Be assured you will die on time, God’s time.
We Are ALL NOW in a Global COVID-19 Combat Zone
Don’t kid yourself; there is an ongoing spiritual war going on around us for the souls of man. 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; there remains but one of two Biblical outcomes:
1) You will be absent from the body but your soul and new, incorruptible body will be present with the Lord for eternity as a Believer sealed by the Holy Spirit through the grace of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8 and Ephesians 1:13-14), or
2) Your flesh will die but your eternal soul will face the judgment of your works at the Great White Throne, and then face potential eternity in a place of torment called the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15).
If you are already a Believer, Amen! The Rapture is imminent; God still has work for you to do! Therefore, sow the seeds for Christ’s Kingdom while it is still light, for the darkness shall soon fall upon us when no one can work. “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 options for eternity than the two listed above. After the death of your body, other people’s prayers will have no bearing on your soul. This is a private decision for you alone.
There is a single means by which you can receive salvation. “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 COVID-19’s sheer randomness of death is now evident before all Mankind to witness. The fallen nature of this world and death which accompanies it is now tangible in our everyday life. You only have to look at the news which reports 24 x 7 the hundreds upon hundreds of dying souls departing the earth each day into the next life…be they great or small, rich or poor of all peoples, kindreds, tongues, and nations. The randomness of death is the great equalizer, and cannot be bargained with, or bought off.
However, unlike a war zone, we will not receive a prior warning signal alerting us that “a virus with our name 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!
J&J Ranch Ministries – “But as for me and my <ranch>, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).
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