“PRE-DAWN RAID” . . . That’s a pretty ominous sounding term, isn’t it? Santa Claus reportedly performs pre-dawn invasions of private residences, but it’s different. He’s accused of gobbling up cookies, hot chocolate, fruit cake, and leftovers that might be sitting around in plain sight–well, maybe not that stale eggplant casserole you left out last year–but he doesn’t go plundering through all your personal belongings. Plus, you at least get advance notice of his plans. “Pre-dawn raid” sounds like something we’d hear in a report about a Black Ops mission to nab a terrorist leader.
A Shocking Application ~
Hearing the term used to describe an action conducted against a personal attorney for the President of the United States is shocking. Whether you’re a Trump supporter or not and whether you see Robert Mueller as hero or villain, the action is troubling in many ways, and the full impact of the intrusive power of government agencies with unlimited prosecutorial power remains to be seen. But debating that issue is not my intention here. Instead, there’s a personal perspective worth consideration. After all, prominent national figures aren’t the only ones subject to suddenly being thrown into life-altering circumstances at a point when it’s too late to do anything about it. A couple of recent events underscored that reality for me.
I was saddened to hear another story about someone who went to the doctor to check out some minor symptom and discovered something awful. What was believed to be an inconsequential inconvenience instead presented a terminal prognosis. The disease had already progressed beyond the scope of effective treatment options, and again, by the time anyone knew there was a problem, it was already too late.
A traffic accident that made our local news underscored another example of unannounced intrusions from a different perspective. There was no spectacular dash cam video and no intriguing backstory — just another tragic highway fatality. But again, by the time any of the people involved knew there was a problem, everything was out of control, and there were no corrective measures left.
A Personal Perspective ~
How would it feel to experience what happened to Michael Cohen? Maybe a disquieting sense of deep concern, if not dread, would creep in as we picture ourselves in that situation. How would it feel to discover that FBI agents had suddenly, and without warning, swarmed into every private, supposedly protected, place we have? How would we react to the knowledge that every piece of personal information, every scrap of paper, every digital file, every email, text, and idle click in the electronic history of our life had been seized. What if all of it was being scrutinized by highly trained prosecutors searching for any shred of evidence that anything about us, our activities, contacts, or interactions might be construed as a violation of some kind of legal statute? I’m not aware of anything criminal in my life, but I’m pretty sure I’d be freaking out. If you feel that way, too, I have some news for you — some that’s not so good, but some that is priceless.
The bad news is that we’ve been targeted. There’s a raid coming, and it doesn’t involve Santa Claus. The raid is individual, personal, and comprehensive, and the jurisdiction of the prosecuting authority is inescapable. The objective is to sweep up everything our life represents, and it will include not only actions but motivation and intent. It will even unveil all the things we secretly longed for, lusted over, and dreamed about that we never got to do. Every word ever spoken will be captured, every action ever taken, every document ever generated, every activity ever experienced, every feeling ever felt, and every image ever viewed.
The “raid” we face will be much more thorough and intimidating than anything the FBI could accomplish, but unlike the President’s attorney, we have been given advance warning. God has chosen a time when He is going to invade our lives and gather up every scrap of evidence indicating who we are, what we’ve done or failed to do, every infraction of every ordinance He established, every experience we ever had, and even our idle thoughts. We aren’t given details about the specific procedures involved, and He didn’t release the date and time, but His arrival at our door is inevitable and inescapable. Jesus said it this way:
Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Matthew 24:44 (NKJV)
Another Scenario ~
Let me introduce an intriguing scenario. Suppose Mr. Cohen had been able to secure an advance deal with the authorities that in the event that he was ever subjected to the kind of raid that took place last week, anything and everything that even remotely suggested any questionable legal implications would be completely and eternally redacted and rendered inadmissible in any judicial proceeding. Suppose this agreement absolved him from any form of penalty and negative consequence from any and all previous and future infractions. What do you think a deal like that might be worth to him at this point?
Jesus offered this observation:
… If the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Matthew 24:43 (NKJV)
That’s a “no-brainer” isn’t it? Knowledge that an invasion is coming could sound like really bad news, but an advance warning could change everything. What if that warning also included a way to disarm any possibility of damage or loss? That would make the good news even better.
The Best Good News ~
Jesus presents us with two pieces of news directly from the highest judicial authority in the universe–advance notice that a kind of “pre-dawn raid” has been approved targeting us personally, and the incredible offer of a plea deal with the prosecution before it happens. If we express remorse and plead guilty to every charge, there is One who offers Himself as a substitute and who will absorb the just consequences of even the smallest infraction and ensure that they’ll be removed forever.
Last night’s response to Syria’s recent chemical weapons attack adds yet another illustration of a devastating “pre-dawn raid” and reminds us that life-altering, or life-ending, invasions can happen any day. The problem is that once God’s “pre-dawn raid” begins, His plea deal expires. I’d advise taking the offer “now.”
Ron’s new book, “Right Side Up Thinking in an Upside Down World ~ Looking at the World through the Lens of Biblical Truth” has been released!
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