Imagine setting up a row of thirty dominoes or small rectangular tiles. You stand each tile up on its end and position it close behind the tile in front of it. When you’re done, it looks like there are thirty tiles waiting in line for something to happen. Now if you’ve placed the tiles close enough together, then by flicking the first tile forward, you’ll send it crashing into the tile in front of it. That second tile will then crash into the third, and on and on it will go until all of the tiles have fallen over in a dramatic chain reaction. Only one tile had problems—only one tile got shoved onto the ground by you, the row creator. But because of the way you placed all of the tiles, you fixed it so that one small shove from you would result in a catastrophe for all of the dominoes. Instead of one tile falling on its own, one tile’s troubles spread to all of the other tiles. That first tile managed to take all of the other tiles down with it thanks to the way you set things up. If you had spaced the tiles further apart from each other, this chain reaction wouldn’t have happened. But you didn’t, so it did. Continue reading
The plant world is vast, variable, and an astounding testimony to God’s boundless creativity. Compared to animals, plants feel pretty safe and nonthreatening to us humans. Sure, there are some rather vicious specimens out there which can prick or poison us to fatal degrees. And we hear stories of some nasty characters that will actually launch aerial stingers at passersby. But plants don’t rip up their roots and start chasing us down the street. Plants don’t come slinking into our bedrooms at night and wrap their tendrils around our throats. While we can observe plants warring against each other in slow motion as they hoard resources and drive each other into extinction, we don’t have fears of waking up one morning to find plants trying to murder us in our homes. This will change during the end times. Continue reading
Here’s a situation that you might find yourself in during the end times. You’re living in a small apartment in an old high rise building that’s located in a large, busy city. It’s nighttime. You’re by yourself. Suddenly the power goes off. No big deal, right? You reach for your cell phone to get some light, but it’s dead. There’s some rotten timing. Oh, well. You know you have a flashlight around somewhere, but you can’t remember where you put it. Just how widespread is this power outage, anyway? You grope and stumble your way over to your window to see signs of light from the other high rises around you, but everything is pitch black—even street lights that you thought were solar powered. Continue reading
Suppose you decide that you like fish and that you’d like to have some as pets. You set up a large aquarium in your house and you drop a bunch of fish into it. You call them your pets, but those fish are also your prisoners who now depend on you for their quality of life. Fish are rather fragile creatures who need many things to go just right in order for them to feel good. The kind of fish you’ve chosen, for example, can only do well in liquid that has specific chemical properties and is kept at a certain temperature. Should you slack in monitoring the pH of the water, or should you turn off the filter that is constantly working to keep the tank clean, or should you let the afternoon sun beat onto the aquarium and raise its internal temperature too high, your aquatic dependents would quickly find themselves in a desperate situation. Continue reading
Two men in business suits are having lunch together in a small restaurant. One of them makes a disrespectful crack about Jesus and the other man snickers in amusement. Suddenly the first man feels an invisible force seize hold of his right hand and ram it into his mouth and halfway down his throat. Of course the man’s throat is too narrow for his fist to fit into, which is why blood is now spewing from his mouth as he collapses dead on the ground. The same gory fate has happened to the man’s lunch partner, and both men are now lying on the floor with visible bulges in their throats and their arms protruding from their mouths. Continue reading
Since humans know deep down that they can’t defend themselves from God, they like to find created beings and elements to blame their problems on. If we blame human terrorists for setting off the bomb that destroyed property and lives, then we feel we have a chance to effectively protect ourselves from future attacks. We can hunt down the terrorists and neutralize them, thus bringing us the illusion of safety. In times of crisis, humans work very hard to pretend that God is not the true Source of their problems. If they acknowledge Him at all, then the classic Christian copout of pretending that God is horrified by what has occurred is a far more comfortable option than acknowledging reality. Continue reading
In this world, we are used to human beings having certain consistent physical properties. So if we tell you to imagine what a frozen man would look like, you’ll probably pull up a picture of a rather pale looking fellow with ice crystals stuck to his body. But in your imagination, the man would still have a body, which means that if he were to be thawed out, there would be a corpse with the hair, skin, bone, and muscle elements that we’ve all come to expect with humans.
But now suppose you’re walking down a city street and all of a sudden, the fellow passing you on your right instantly freezes. Only this time, it’s not just a case of his body turning ice cold. This time the man literally transforms into a statue of ice. Suddenly he’s not a man at all, but a very detailed sculpture of frozen water which is intricately carved to resemble the man it replaced. The frozen face has lines of expression, the clothing has fold marks and the right hand is still clutching the handle of a leather briefcase. Only there is no skin on the face, no hair on the head, no fabric to the clothes, and no leather on the case. Everything that was the man and everything that was attached to him—his briefcase, clothes, cell phone, and keys—have all been transformed into ice. The man, his clothes, and his things are now nothing more than frozen water, and that water is starting to melt. Continue reading