“Dec. 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”—Franklin D. Roosevelt
Seventy-five years ago, Fleet Admiral and Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy, Isoroku Yamamoto, by the sovereignty of God, forced America into a war she had refused to become a part of. Bill Federer states, “Historians reasoned that if America had postponed entering the war, all the other Allies would have been defeated and America would be left alone fighting the enemy.” In that event, history would certainly have been written differently. This world and liberty—our nation—would probably look much different than it does now.
Three quarters of a century ago, American mothers had their sons taken from them and forced into a war that Franklin D. Roosevelt had long promised not to participate in. On December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor was attacked and over 2,000 men unexpectedly stepped from a “day of infamy” into eternity. Over 2,000 souls would find themselves standing at the seat of judgment. During the following four years, an estimated 60 million souls would join them. Embattled men and civilian casualties, these were the bloody price required for the defeat of the Axis Powers. For each of these, the spiritual battle was drawn to a close as they exhaled their last breath in the midst of that physical war. As they were then, they forever would be.
Since that sorrowful day, we’ve seen many more “days of infamy,” and witnessed many souls step from infamy to eternity. Remember with solemnity such contemporary days of infamy, like 9-11; Nice, France; San Bernardino; Orlando; each with their own set of souls moving from that particular “day of infamy” to eternity. Even as FDR also stated, “it (a communication from Japan)contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack,” so indeed, most souls that will be moving into eternity find no threat or hint of attack until it is too late. Our real enemy—the devil—is ever roaming, seeking whom he may devour. He is stealthy and cunning, even as those Japanese planes went unnoticed until they dropped their deadly cargo upon an unsuspecting Pearl Harbor.
There are an estimated 620,000 World War II veterans still alive and we owe a great debt of gratitude to them for their bravery, courage, and service. Although our liberty has been given to us by God, these men—and later veterans as well as those now in service—have taken upon themselves the responsibility of protecting (successfully by the grace of God) our freedoms. They’ve given their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor for the very things which are being trampled underfoot and discarded without thought of the price paid.
President Obama apologized for Hiroshima, better he had apologized to the veterans and to the families of those who died, for treating their sacrifice as though it were nothing, by the policies he institutes and the executive orders he writes, which stand in stark opposition of what these brave men fought for.
Over the past year I’ve become better acquainted with one of these 620,000 WWII vets; he’s a very special 92 year old man. He was in both Europe and Asia. His group was responsible for making sure that ammunition, tanks, and other supplies were where they needed to be and in working order. They were also responsible for sending situation reports every night, to General Eisenhower in London. This man was involved in five battles, including Normandy (D-Day), the Bulge, Central Europe, Northern France, and Rhineland. His mind is sharp, his health good, and his trust is in Jesus. His name is Max Jordan and he IS STILL a soldier—in the army of the Lord.
He not only shares about war-time experiences and how he and a group of Christian brothers spent time together around the globe, he also tells of how most of them are gone, how he continues to read through the Bible every year using the Gideon plan, and whenever he speaks, he consistently gives glory to God. The only time his voice cracked and tears began to well in his eyes is when he was asked if he was a Christian during his wartime experience. He replied, “I professed Christ as my Lord and Saviour before I left for the war.”
Although there are yet 620,000 veterans of WWII from “the greatest generation,” an estimated 372 of them will die every day. That means, each week over 2,000 souls, which saw the “day of infamy” will step into eternity.
Near the end of his speech, Roosevelt said, “…with the unbounding determination of our people—we will gain the inevitable triumph-so help us God.” Not all of these veterans have a strong faith; I’m so grateful my friend does. Is there a better way to show gratitude for what they’ve done than to share the gospel message with them? Give them some time, give a word of thanks or buy a meal for them, sit and listen to their history, and don’t forget to share the saving love of Jesus Christ with them. Let us with unbounding determination for our veterans, share the gospel, that by the grace of God, they will gain the inevitable triumph as they step into eternity. May we do these things for all our veterans—so help us God!
Update: As if in confirmation of the fact that 372 of our WWII veterans will daily step into eternity, we mourn—with America—the loss of yet another WWII American hero and icon, John Glenn. Please pray for the family of this former WWII vet, US Senator, and astronaut.
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