Month: February 2015

Foundation For Living

The gospel at its heart is an invitation to live life and not escape from it. That’s a conviction that has grown in my heart the last two weeks as I’ve preached on the issue of joy and peace. This morning, I wonder what that means in the grid of life broken by sin and enslaved by deception.

“Imagine standing at the height of all the earth and seeing the depth of human poverty.

Journey with me to the middle of the Himalayan mountains, where not long ago I met men and women striving for survival. Half the children in these particular villages die before their eighth birthday. Many don’t make it to their first. Meet Radha, a mom who would have fourteen kids if twelve of them hadn’t died before adulthood. Meet Kunsing, a disabled child who spent the first twelve years of his life chained in a barn because his family thought he was cursed. Meet Chimie, a toddler whose brother and sister died when he was two months old, leading his mom to commit suicide and his dad to pass him around desperately to any woman in the village who could provide nourishment. Just as shocking as those you meet are those you don’t. Some of the villages in these mountains are virtually devoid of young girls between the ages of five and fifteen. Their parents were persuaded by the promises of a better life for their daughters, so they sent them off with men who turned out to be traffickers. Most of these girls live to see their eighth birthday, but by their sixteenth birthday they are forced to have sex with thousands of customers. They will never see their families again.

When we meet people, hear stories, and see faces of injustice like this around the world, it is altogether right for us to respond with compassion, conviction, and courage. Compassion overwhelms us because we care deeply for children, parents, and families whose lives are filled with pain and suffering. Conviction overtakes us, for every one of us knows instinctively that stories like these should not be so. It is not right for half the children in these Himalayan villages to die before their eighth birthday. It is not fair for children born with disabilities to be chained in barns for their entire lives. It is unjust for pimps to deceive parents into selling their precious daughters as sex slaves. Ultimately, such compassion and conviction fuel courage  —courage to do something, anything, for the sake of Radha, Kunsing, Chimie, these girls, their parents, their villages, and countless other children, women, and men like them around the world.”

A Compassionate Call To Counter Culture, David Platt

Live life! The gospel invitation is to live life, a life experiencing the joy of God and the peace of God; and when this joy is constant (“rejoice always” Phil 4:4) and this peace surpasses understanding (Phil 4:7), then the recipients of these graces are more equipped to live life than anyone. Gospel changed people have the wonderful privilege to de-root themselves from self-centeredness and self-preoccupation and to open their eyes wide open, perhaps for the first time, to the plight of others. The call to live life in joy and peace is not the call to have an enhanced me, but it is the foundation to be compassionate, to have conviction, and to act courageously.

Mars and End Times

“The first launch of human beings won’t happen until 2024. That means we’re in chapter one of a very long story. No one knows how this story will end. The mission might be scrapped due to technical feasibility issues. The funding might not come together. They might have a hard time finding the right candidates. There are millions of things that have to happen for this to be a success, and there are plenty of things that can and will go wrong along the way. But Mars is humanity’s inevitable destination, and Mars One has accepted the challenge to take that next great leap. Now it’s up to us to live up to the adventure.” – Sonia Van Meter, 1 of 100 finalists for a one way ticket to Mars.

Go to Mars, stay on Mars, die on Mars. Say bye to husband, family, friends. She’s ready for it. Interesting article about this ladies desire to be the volunteer for the Mars One Project.

So reading this article (“Why I’m Volunteering To Die On Mars“) got me wondering about Sonia’s comment – “Mars is humanity’s inevitable destination.” Here’s how my wondering went:

A) Will we ever put people on Mars? We seem to have a hard enough time getting people back to the moon, but it’s feasible I guess.

B) How many people will eventually end up on Mars? Last summer in Alaska, I met so many people that had left the lower 48 and came to Alaska for a new start. What would the numbers be like if  you can get a new start on a new planet?

C) How will this new frontier be governed? History (and perhaps a bit of historical revision) always seems to look back on new-frontier-settlements with a bit of regret for the sins committed during the settlement. Will this be any different? New place, new opportunities, new planet, but same human nature of sin.

And all of that led to this question (abstract for a Saturday morning) – If we get to the point that there will be humans on Mars, how does that shape, or reshape, our interpretation of the end time events in the New Testament? What does Daniel and Matthew 24 and Revelation look like when there’s a colony on Mars?

OK, one final thought in this strange post: Humans can do some pretty amazing things. God affirmed this at the tower of babel. God also stopped the tower of babel. So if humans on Mars is missing from the eschatalogical world of the bible, maybe, maybe, that’s because God has no intention for it and He prevents it from happening.