US Vice President Mike Pence is in South Korea this morning, where he issued a warning that North Korea “would do well not to test the resolve or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region.” This after North Korea staged another missile test Saturday. Though it failed, their military currently has about ten nuclear weapons with enough material to make one hundred more. Intelligence agencies estimate that North Korea’s missiles could reach South Korea or Japan now and the continental US by 2026.
If you’re looking for protection from World War III, a global pandemic, or an asteroid, and you have a spare billion dollars, a “billionaire bunker” may be for you.
Developers are converting Cold War-era missile silos and military bunkers built by the US and the USSR, equipping them with water purification systems, air filtration, and food supplies for a year or more. One compound will have a community theater, classrooms, hydroponic gardens, a medical clinic, a spa, and a gym.
A development in the Czech Republic includes an above-ground estate and a 77,000-square-foot underground component. One company’s sales have grown 700 percent compared to 2015.
On the same theme, “longevity scientists” are making news these days. The New Yorkertells the story of researchers who are searching for ways to extend physical life. One doctor claims that “we can end aging forever.” Many are taking these claims seriously; one company raised $116 million from such investors as Jeff Bezos and Peter Thiel.
Humans are motivated to defeat death because we fear what we do not know, and death is the greatest unknown of all. But if we know that death leads to life and the worst that could happen leads to the best that could happen, we turn fear into faith. We claim Jesus’ promise, “Everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die” (John 11:26). And we testify with Paul, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).
Such faith leads to another, less obvious consequence. Our Father wants his children to be with him in paradise so much that he sent his Son to a tortured death so we could be forgiven and restored to relationship with him. He knows that our last moment here will be our first moment with him. He knows all the joys that are waiting for us the instant we enter into heaven with him. That’s why Scripture testifies, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15).
As a result, we can know that our lives on this fallen planet must have an eternal purpose or we wouldn’t be here. The moment we have finished God’s work for us, we will be united with him in glory. Every day before that day is another day for us to be “always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Give today to your Father, asking his Spirit to lead and empower you as you redeem this day for his glory. Embrace triumphant faith, knowing that you are immortal and that your life leads to eternal life.
And know this: the true survival bunker is an empty tomb.
NOTE: On this day after Easter, I’d like to suggest a way every day can be Easter. Craig Denison writes First15, a devotional that leads to a daily, transforming encounter with the risen Lord. Each day includes a worship video, devotional essay, guided prayer time, and practical next step. I read First15 every day and encourage you to join me. To read today’s First15, click here. To learn more or to subscribe, click here.
Jim Denison, Ph.D., speaks and writes on cultural and contemporary issues. He produces a daily column which is distributed to more than 113,000 subscribers in 203 countries. He also writes for The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Post, Common Call, and other publications.