Categories
Second Coming

Evel Knievel At Snake River Canyon

Neal Pollard

Today I took a picture of a famous pile of dirt.  It was the “launch site” for an infamous jump made by an infamous figure of the ’60s, ’70’s, and ’80s.  On September 8, 1974, almost 40 years ago, Evel Knievel used a rocket-powered cycle known as the Skycycle X-2 to jump the Snake River Canyon in Twin Falls, Idaho.  Having now seen this foreboding span between the north and south rim with my own two eyes, I can only wonder why he would have even attempted it. If you aren’t familiar with how it turned out, it was a dud.  His chute deployed at the beginning of the jump and he fell to the canyon floor narrowly missing the river in what would have been a certain drowning due to a malfunctioning harness. Tim Woodward, a now retired columnist for Boise’s Idaho Statesman newspaper, was there covering the event.  He describes the atmosphere, saying, “It was, in the terminology of the day, a ‘happening.’ Spectators and groupies came by the thousands from all over the country, bringing drugs, alcohol and nudity in profusion. It was Woodstock without the music. Or the peace and love” (Woodward, Idaho Statesman, 12/1/07). A local member of the church says that the event cost the city untold money, due to vandalism, theft, and other destructive acts.  He also says the common belief is that the daredevil lost his nerve and panicked, triggering the parachute himself.  Whether that was the case or not, it was a much-anticipated event at which many raucous spectators gathered only to be disappointed.

As I heard and read these details, it made me think of an event that will be far different from this one.  It will involve a figure who has been the center of far greater controversy than any other—one who some love but many more hate.  It will involve a promised event infinitely more spectacular than anything man has devised.  It will include the largest crowd ever assembled to witness any other event, and it will include raucous rabble-rousers as well as righteous religious people.  But it will be neither a dud nor a flop.  Its magnificence defies adequate words of description.  The second coming of Christ will be no mere “publicity stunt.” It will be at the center of the ending of time and the ushering in of eternity.  It will draw every person from every nation for all time.  It will bring everyone to our knees.  God has foretold us of this day and we cannot afford to take it lightly (cf. John 5:28-29; 2 Pe. 3:10).  We must be prepared for it (Mat. 24:44).  We have never seen anything like it, but we can be ready for it!

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Categories
Current Events Second Coming

Unprepared For The Conditions

Neal Pollard

As one who was born in Mississippi and raised in south Georgia, I am very proud of my southern roots.  Frankly, I could not hide them even if I was inclined.  It is a heritage that includes the Bible Belt, sweet tea, BBQ, lemon icebox pie, peanut butter, gnats, humidity, pecan trees, Georgia mud cats, the Georgia Bulldogs, and the Atlanta Braves (including the bad years).  But, one thing we rarely needed to be ready for was treating the roads for snow and ice.  Therefore, even a light or moderate amount of snow means impassable roads and gridlock in traffic.  The historic snowstorm that has hit the deep south has come with power outages, massive traffic jams, stranded motorists, numerous wrecks, and seven states of emergency.  Typically, southern cities do not have chemicals for road treatment, a bevy of snow plows, or organized plans because these events are so rare.

 

I am not criticizing these locales and governments because of this lack of preparation.  Of course, I was not trying to get home from work or school in those conditions. If you were, you likely feel differently.

 

Yet, there is a general state of unpreparedness for something that is 100% likely to occur at some point in the future.  Every single person could potentially make completely ready for it.  It has been forecast with the greatest of certainty.  It has been described in clear enough detail.  The preparation is outlined in clear and simple detail.  There are even a number of people who have been employed and enlisted to aid in warning and educating the general public.  Those tasked with being prepared and preparing others will be held accountable for whether or not they were involved in enacting that plan.  Every single person who is unprepared will nonetheless be accountable and liable for the consequences of their not being ready (Mat. 25:1-13).  There is absolutely no reason why anyone should be unprepared for the Judgment Day.  May each of us do our part to help prepare as many as possible for it!

 

Categories
Current Events faithfulness

Is Your Life “Award Winning”?

Neal Pollard

CBS News reports on 19-year-old Chris Strickland, a very ordinary young man who seems unaware of how heroic his split-second action was. In his first job, Chris, working at a Home Depot in Anchorage, Alaska, happened to turn around and face a shopping cart at the moment an unattended baby fell out of a baby seat sitting atop it.  Store surveillance video captures the whole thing, as Strickland rushes over and reaches out to catch the falling infant.  For this simple, profoundly important act, Strickland will receive the Home Depot Angel Award, “reserved for those who perform exceptional acts of heroism” (via http://www.cbsnews.com/news/quick-thinking-home-depot-employee-saves-falling-baby/).

If all goes well, some day that baby will grow up, maybe get married and have children, and, optimists might say, do some great thing—become president, save an entire burning building full of people, or, better yet, become a faithful Christian responsible for scores of folks getting to heaven.  No matter what happens with the child, it will not diminish the heroism of this young man who, at the right place and right time, chose to save another human being and one literally helpless.

In 2 Timothy 4:8, Paul speaks of Christ giving an unequaled reward on the Judgment Day.  It will be for those heros and heroines who loved His coming and appearance, who fought, finished, and kept the faith (7).  In a parable about the Judgment, Jesus speaks of the award winning “sheep” who will enter heaven.  What did they do?  Cared for those who had needs.  James 1:12 speaks of a reward Christ will personally give to those who persevere under trial.

You didn’t consider yourself a “hero,” did you?  Passages like those above speak of how ordinary folks like us can receive the highest honor of all time and eternity.  How?  By faithful endurance, service, and response to Jesus, the Lord!  Congratulations!