Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Fear and Faithlessness

Fear and Faithlessness In Defense of the Faith

Monday, September 17, 2007
Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter Editor

The United States has confirmed that the event reported by Syria last Thursday was more than merely an Israeli incursion into Syrian airspace, as was first believed.The problem is, Syria is such a target-rich environment, nobody is quite sure what the mission really was, and Israel's not talking. Everybody else, is, however.
According to CNN, the target was Iranian military supplies bound for Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The London Telegraph is suggesting that the raid was carried out with Washington's blessing, in part as a test of the new Russian-made Pantsyr air defense missile systems recently purchased from Moscow by Damascus.
Since Iran is also equipping itself with the Pantsyr air defense system, the Telegraph speculated that the US was extremely interested in seeing a live-fire demonstration.
Still a third source speculated to the New York Times that the real reason for the raid was to get intelligence on a number of suspected nuclear facilities Israel believes have been sponsored by North Korea.
"The Israelis think North Korea is selling to Iran and Syria what little they have left," the official told the Times, adding that the alleged strike had not necessarily provided evidence to confirm the intelligence.
However, it is noteworthy that the loudest voice of protest came from Pyongyang, who called the air strike a "dangerous provocation" aimed at breaching Syria's sovereignty and upsetting peace and security in the region.
"This is a very dangerous provocation little short of wantonly violating the sovereignty of Syria and seriously harassing the regional peace and security," a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
"The Democratic People's Republic of Korea strongly denounces the above-said intrusion and extends full support and solidarity to the Syrian people in their just cause to defend the national security and the regional peace," he continued.
And the Kuwaiti daily, al-Jareeda is reporting today that Israel's target were unnamed Syrian missile batteries. According to that report, Israel targeted long-range missile batteries that were brought to Syria from Iran.
About the only point of common agreement was that the IAF used five fighters to carry out the attack and none were lost, despite Syria's alleged possession of the Russian Pantsyr system.
U.S. government and military sources said they were "happy to have Israel convey to both Syria and Iran the message that they can get in and out and strike when necessary," Haaretz reported.
While Israel probes Syria's defenses, Bill Gertz' subscription intelligence website, "Geostrategy-Direct" is reporting that its military sources in the Pentagon have completed preparations for what the Pentagon has dubbed a "prompt global strike" plan against Iran.
The preparations include the conversion of B-2 bombers to permit them to carry up to 80 500-pound Joint Direct Attack Munitions, (or JDAMs); and the recent conversion of four Trident nuclear missile submarines into conventionally-armed cruise missile shooters, each carrying 150 submarine-launched cruise missiles.
The submarines alone provide commanders with enough firepower to attack 600 aim points or targets with multiple missile salvos.
Aegis cruisers have been upgraded and the first F-22 advanced fighter bombers have been deployed. The F-22’s electronics make possible sophisticated information operations capabilities.
The military also have fielded a new 15-ton deep penetrating bomb that is designed to attacks deeply buried targets, like Iran’s nuclear facilities, many of which have been built in hardened bunkers. The B-2 can carry two of the new bombs and B-52 also can be outfitted with the penetrator.
Gertz, The Washington Times' top military investigative reporter, quoted one top US military officer who said the window of opportunity to take out Iran’s nuclear facilities is closing fast and that after the fall of 2007 Iran’s capability to retaliate will increase as the 2008 presidential election season begins by the start of next year.
“Many underestimate the modernization programs undertaken in the last several years related to U.S. global strike capabilities,” the officer said. “We have near quadrupled the number aim points we can strike with the same platforms we had prior to 9/11.”
That's good to know, since we've near quadrupled the number of potential targets since 9/11, as well.
Of all the various scenarios being presented for the backdrop for last week's air raid against Syria, the most frightening is the one that has the IAF carrying out a strike against North Korean-supplied nukes.
If Pyongyang is selling off its nukes to Damascus and Iran, then war is not only inevitable, it is imminent. And while there remains the "if" factor, Pyongyang's history doesn't give any hint that Kim Jong il would hesitate to do so, if the price was right.
The North Koreans have already agreed to abandon their nuclear program in exchange for huge bribes and concessions from the West. Again, with a big "if" -- IF Pyongyang really DOES intend to dump its nukes, then this would be a doubly-profitable way to do so.
So, while all the various scenarios are scary, the North Korean angle is the scariest. And I don't mind admitting that this scares me.
I would imagine that some of you are scared, too, and don't want to admit it to yourselves or anybody else, because you think it indicates a lack of faith.
Oh, I try not to let it scare me, too. I spend hours and hours every single day of the week sifting through evidence that tells me that all these things must come to pass. I know that as each new puzzle piece falls into place, it means the Rapture grows that much closer.
I am certain that the Bible is true, that the promises of Scripture will be fulfilled to the letter, that those prophetic promises are proof positive that God remains on the Throne, that Jesus is making preparations for His return, and that no matter what happens here, I will spend eternity in heaven.
But, knowing all that, I still get scared sometimes reading breaking news and intelligence reports, even though they serve to confirm to me all that I believe to be true about Bible prophecy and the generation in which we live.
I am not afraid of being dead -- it's the getting there that gives me pause for reflection. I know that I will spend eternity in heaven, but I've never seen eternity -- and to be brutally honest, I confess I am fairly comfortable with the here and now.
And even the most pious among us will admit that they are no more eager to get to heaven than I am. It's been rightly said that "everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die."
The Bible predicts the Rapture will take place before the antichrist takes the reins of government, (2nd Thessalonians 2:7-8) but nowhere can I find where the Rapture takes place before anything bad happens. Just that it happens before one, specific bad event takes place.
I know that the Bible predicts Israel will survive any war with Damascus or Tehran, (although Isaiah 17:1 says Damascus will not). I also know that Tehran will survive any war with the United States, since Ezekiel places Iran at the top of the list of the Gog-Magog Alliance.
But there is no reference to any nation resembling the United States during the Tribulation Period. That's pretty scary, given the probabilities facing us in the near future.
Fear is a natural, God-given emotion, and is one of mankind's most basic survival tools. Pain hurts, so that we fear it, and therefore, we are careful not to damage ourselves.
It is the fear of pain that makes us run from danger, preserving our lives. Without fear, few of us would survive to adulthood.
The Bible doesn't tell us not to fear so much as it teaches us how to redirect our fear. Jesus said to fear not those who can destroy the body, but rather to fear Him Who can destroy the soul.
The Psalmist wrote; "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me." (Psalms 23:4)
"Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea . . ." (Psalms 46:2)
"In God I will praise His word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me." (Psalms 56:4)
So, if scary news scares us, does that mean that we are faithless Christians? No.
There is a difference between being scared from time to time and living in fear.
I recall one time when I narrowly averted what could have been a catastrophic traffic accident.
I managed to dodge the threat, but in the process, spun around and did a couple of doughnuts, before sliding harmlessly into the median between the two lanes of traffic.
I was saved. I knew where I'd spend eternity. But it still scared the pants off me. I sat there for at least ten minutes before my right leg stopped shaking enough for me to push my foot down on the gas pedal. I was scared.
But after my leg stopped shaking, I pulled back out into traffic and completed the trip. Just because I was scared didn't mean I'd lost faith in my brakes, my driving ability, or my vehicle. I didn't sell the car when I got home.
It is all but impossible to see the signs of the times and not get scared once in awhile. It doesn't mean you've lost your faith in God. "Sudden fear" comes upon us all, saved and unsaved alike.
Don't let it worry you. It's part of our existence in this world. We all get scared. We may not be of this world, but we are in it.
"Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken." Proverbs 3:35-26)
"For when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.." (Luke 21:28)