Moving Mountains

Moving Mountains

By Steven Merten

Copyright 1990
All biblical quotes are from the New American Bible.
All bolding, color and underlining of scriptural quotes have been added.
Jesus' words are in red. Bible Abbreviations

Do you wonder how our America can consider itself human and somewhat Christian yet own enough nuclear warheads to destroy the world? Do you also wonder what would happen to the United States if we were to throw away our military strength? Keep in mind those who want military strength like ours to do evil in the world.

The knowledge of nuclear bombs is with us, and to bury our heads in the sand will not make it go away. It is like death, the bullet, fire, ice cream or the wheel. Whether we like knowing about them or not, we do know about them. Once we gain knowledge in powerful weapons there is no going back to a state of ignorance. We either have great respect for powerful weapons or a Hitler styled man will seek them out and destroy us with them.

Jesus did many incredible things with faith. Through faith, Jesus could turn five loaves of bread into five thousand loaves of bread. He could turn seven fish into seven thousand fish. He did these miracles through his faith and prayers to the Father.

NAB MAT 21:18-22 Jesus Curses a Fig Tree.

At dawn, as Jesus was returning to the city, he felt hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the roadside he went over to it, but found nothing there except leaves. He said to it, "Never again shall you produce fruit!"; and it withered up instantly. The disciples were dumbfounded when they saw this. They asked, "Why did the fig tree wither up so quickly?" Jesus said: "Believe me, if you trust and do not falter, not only will you do what I did to the fig tree, but if you say to this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' even that will happen. You will receive all that you pray for, provided you have faith."

NAB MAR 11:23

"Put your trust in God. I solemnly assure you, whoever says to this mountain 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' and has no inner doubts but believes that what he says will happen, shall have it done for him. I give you my word, if you are ready to believe that you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer, it shall be done for you."

NAB LUK 17:5

The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith," and he answered: "If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this sycamore, 'Be up-rooted and transplanted into the sea,' and it would obey you.

NAB MAT 17:20

"Because you have so little trust," he told them. "I assure you, if you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you would be able to say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible for you."
I am the type of dreamer who delights in the thought of telling a mountain to uproot itself and throw itself into the sea. Christ says that with faith only the size of a mustard seed, upon our command, a mountain will uproot itself and throw itself into the sea. It will happen purely due to faith. Well, the world nuclear situation is one such mountain, which needs to be uprooted. I prayed that I, a truck driver, would have enough faith to cause the mountainous nuclear threat on existence to go jump in the sea. I wished to stop the nuclear threat through my faith in God. The following is the path that I took in my ambitious goal to put an end to the nuclear threat. You will see the questions I asked God and my prayers. I do not feel that my prayers have gone unanswered. Follow along on my quest to STOP NUCLEAR EXTINCTION.

I decided to spend my whole life devoted to stopping a nuclear holocaust. I prayed and thought and prayed some more. I had plans to stop nuclear extinction by finding a solution, some piece of unknown knowledge, which would neutralize nuclear reaction and make nuclear bombs useless. I talked to God and during my prayers I asked Him for faith the size of a mustard seed that I may end the nuclear threat. Better even still, I asked God to grant me faith the size of a grapefruit. Then I would certainly be able to stop the nuclear threat.

As I prayed, I imagined the world without nuclear extinction. In my mind I imagined all the human life that would be saved if I were to come up with a way to disarm nuclear reaction. I started to add up all the human life I could save through faith in God strong enough to stop a nuclear holocaust. I was generous and used 200 years as the variable for when man would develop the next super weapon and wipe out the world. We have roughly 5 billion people on earth now and in 200 years I projected that we could have about 5 trillion people on earth. Averaging the two together and multiplying by 200 years gave me the number of years of human life I figured I could save. Saving 500,500,000,000,000 years of human life is the effect I felt disarming nuclear reaction would have on the world. Awesome! I was very thrilled with the idea of saving five or six hundred trillion years of human life. Some say that I was over zealous in exaggerated numbers of actual life saved by stopping nuclear destruction.

I began my plan to save the world from nuclear extinction. As I prayed to Jesus for faith to do such a deed, I began to reflect on the life of Jesus. Here was a man who could call upon his Father and save thousands of people from death. He could have made hundreds of baskets, which would, for infinite centuries, never run out of bread or fish. This would have eliminated famine throughout all time. If he could have done this, why didn't he? I asked myself. Christ could have performed a miracle that would cause any metal formed into a sword to immediately melt down into a plowshare, rendering it harmless. Christ could have caused all catapults, spears and arrows of war to throw themselves into the sea. No miracle is impossible for Jesus and the Father. Why Christ did not render the sword harmless while he walked the earth confused me.

Then I came to an understanding. Although Christ performed many human life-extending miracles while he was on earth, the miracles were not an end in themselves. The miracles were a sign from God so men would believe in Jesus and follow him. Jesus' true mission was to teach men how to love God and bring eternal salvation to those who love God. Jesus Christ's goal was not to see how many years of added physical life he could give a man's flesh through miracles. Christ's goal was to use his miracles to teach people to love God.

I began to relate Christ's lack of action in not stopping sword warfare to my ambitious goal to stop nuclear warfare. I thought of my goal to save the flesh of the world for the next 200 years. Christ could have destroyed the threat of all sword warfare, bullet warfare, and nuclear warfare for all time. Instead he had little interest in stopping the warring which was going on in his own time. Jesus went on no sit-in protests nor did he make bold statements against his warring leaders in Rome. In fact, Jesus paid taxes of which a portion went to support Caesar's armies with weapons of war (MAT 22:15-22). Soldiers asked John the Baptist what they should do to enter the kingdom of God. He told them "Don't bully anyone. Denounce no one falsely. Be content with your pay" (LUKE 3:14). Unlike Church leaders of today, Jesus did not focus on Caesar's arsenals or Caesar's war plans, Jesus set his priorities on turning individual's hearts from hatred to love.

Christ humbled himself to allow the Father's will to be done through him. Never was the Father's goal to find a way to render the sword harmless. I also now left behind my goal of rendering the nuclear bomb harmless. I wished to do work of infinitely greater importance than helping the world evade extinction from nuclear war. Now, more important than saving the world from nuclear extinction is my desire to love God and teach others to love God.

Rather than stopping nuclear extinction, I wished to do more significant work such as stopping men's tongues from the hatred of blaspheming God and Jesus' name. Rather than saving 500 trillion years of human life, I wished to help convert a woman's hatred of abortion into a choice of love and let live. Rather than stopping nuclear radiation from destroying the earth's soil for ten thousand years I wished to start love in the heart of a rich man so he will choose to feed the starving. Jesus priorities show us that the addition of love in the world greatly outweighs the reduction of death.

It is the conversion of men's hearts rather than conversion of their arsenals that has significance. What a grand thing if I too were able to assist men in learning to love God. In Noah's time no one but Noah had faith and love for God. Because all had lost faith in God, there was no one to teach the children how to love God. Because men had no love for God nor teachers of love, the whole world was unfruitful and ended. Jesus tells us of the importance for Christians to keep the fire of love and faith for God burning among brethren.

NAB MAT 5:19

"That is why whoever breaks the least significant of these commands and teaches others to do so shall be called least in the kingdom of God. Whoever fulfills and teaches these commands shall be great in the kingdom of God. "
By assisting men to love God, we serve God. Suppose, because one man chooses to teach Christianity, another man learns how to love God. Imagine the man on judgment day who can trace his choice of love for God and eternal life back to the instruction of a teacher of Christianity. What a glorious thing that has happened through the Father, Savior, teacher and student in this spread of Christian love. There was no one to love God in Noah's time and no one to teach men how to love God in Noah's time. Jesus teaches that a representative of Christ loving God and then teaching men how to love God is the most glorious thing in God's Kingdom. To bring wisdom of Christ and his precepts to men as a Christian teacher is the greatest human to human gift in heaven or on earth.

If you had to choose between teaching one man to love God or saving the entire world from nuclear destruction, which would you choose? Even if your life were able to come up with a solution to resolve nuclear extinction, would not your life be even a greater contribution if you taught individuals how to love God? Suppose that someone begins to love God because you chose to teach God's word instead of stopping a nuclear holocaust. Even if you knew you could absolutely stop a nuclear holocaust, it would be far more advantageous to teach God's wills to this one individual.

It is the choices of the heart, which determine an individual's salvation through Jesus. God has set before man life and death and we are free to choose either one for ourselves. If one Christian student's increased fruit of love allows God to grant him salvation through Jesus, more is accomplished than saving the entire world from nuclear destruction.

NAB REV 22:12

Remember, I am coming soon! I bring with me the reward that will be given to each man as his conduct deserves.

NAB DEU 30:19

"I call heaven and earth today to witness against you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God, heeding his voice, and holding fast to him."

NAB MAT 7:12-14

" . . . treat others the way you would have them treat you: this sums up the law and the prophets. Enter through the narrow gate. The gate that leads to damnation is wide, the road is clear, and many choose to travel it. But how narrow is the gate that leads to life, how rough the road, and how few there are who find it!"

NAB EZE 18:30-32

Therefore I will judge you, house of Israel, each one according to his ways, says the LORD GOD. Turn and be converted from all your crimes, that they may be no cause of guilt for you. Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. Why should you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies, says the LORD GOD. Return and live!

NAB MAT 10:28

"Do not fear those who deprive the body of life but cannot destroy the soul. Rather, fear him who can destroy both body and soul in Gehenna."

By stopping nuclear extinction for 200 years, I had estimated that I would save five hundred trillion years of life. Now I decided to trade the stopping of world extinction for 200 years for teaching individuals how to love God. If I can teach even one man and he then chooses life in fulfilling the wills of God, then this will be a far greater thing that I have done. One obedient faithful student will live far beyond five hundred trillion years of physical life. In fact, he will live five hundred trillion times more years than the combined human life lost from all sword, bullet and nuclear bomb death for all time. One man's gift of love to God is of far greater value than stopping the destruction of the world, minus one man's love.

Now, if you can comprehend it, imagine what if two students came to love God because of the assistance of Christian teachers. Or imagine if maybe three, four, ten, or maybe even twenty students came to love God. Christianity and love for God could be on the roll. Christianity and love for God multiplies through us. Teaching, learning and practicing love for God is what God desires to grow out of a Christian community. Human Christian teachers, blessed with the Holy Spirit, have brought Christianity to its present-day level. Learn, practice and teach how to love God all the days of your life.

In my twenties I was rejected from entering a number of Catholic seminaries for reasons that I do not know. I sat down and searched for another way to serve God. It is at that time that I came up with the concept of using faith to eliminate nuclear weapons. I thought that saving the world from nuclear destruction would be a far greater thing to do than to become a priest. I was wrong. A good priest teaching people to love and obey God, in union with the authority of St. Peter, is far greater work than even saving the whole world from nuclear destruction.

Let me clarify right now that it is not Christians who save men's souls. It is Christ who saves men's souls through his death and resurrection. However, Jesus, through the Holy Spirit within Christians, teaches men of the eternal life-saving value of love for God. It is through our choices to teach and minister that the Holy Spirit and Christianity grow within the world.

Well, I was relieved and delighted to get my priorities straight. Still I was sad to have no answer for those who I know will not accept God's work and love for God as more important than stopping the nuclear threat. It would have brought my heart great joy to have come up with a way to nullify nuclear weapons. I do not have time to sit behind physics books all my life looking for the answer to stop nuclear extinction. I must get out and teach men about loving God. It will take a more worldly concerned person than I to find the answer to stop world nuclear disaster.

But wait! ---- wait! wait! wait!

Maybe my insight is not as far off as I think. What could be a better defense than to have the most Omnipotent Being in the universe to defend our planet from nuclear extinction? As God's people return to Him, will not God help His people and deliver them from their perils? When the Israelites strayed from God, God would discipline them by sword, starvation and disease for their own good. As the Israelites wandered away from God, He would allow their enemies to defeat them so as to instruct them to return to Him. As a mother physically reprimands her child when the child does something life threatening, so also does God. When all men through free will choose death and damnation, as in Noah's time, He will destroy the earth rather than let death and damnation reign. However, when God's people return to the ways of God He delivers them out of their troubles. Will not God also deliver His people out of their troubles today if we return to His ways and love Him?

The world was destroyed once before; Not with nuclear bombs but with water. Had Noah found a way for all men to breath under water, the world would have still been destroyed. Had Noah been able to get God's Church to love and obey God, then God would not have destroyed the world. Our present Church leaders devote much of their time trying to save the world from destruction by war. If Church leaders would turn and devote their time to getting billions of Christians to love and obey God, and if they succeed, then God Himself will protect the world from destruction by war.

People worry about the wrong things. For example: people worry about running out of oil. Take a look at our sun. It is hundreds of thousands of times larger than our earth. Imagine what it takes to build and create a sun. Yet our Father made not one but billions of such suns. Does this not tell man of the immense creating power of our God? Now if God's loving children need a little oil do you not think He will take some time to create some oil for those whom He loves; those whom He loved enough to create all the universe for as a home; those for whom He loves enough to sacrifice, in death, His only begotten Son? Creating a little oil is child's play compared to creating even one sun.

The Indians of America collected berries, followed buffalo and collected ten or fifteen bushels of corn per acre. If you told the Indians that billions of people would have to eat off the yield of this country, population would cause them immense worry. Today, by the grace of God, America can produce at 150, 200, and even 300 bushels to the acre. Many displaced farmers curse the fruitfulness and abundance of this great nation God made for us. Let God make enough food in the world and let us disperse it out of love for Him. God has made whole stars thousands of times greater than our earth. If He made a bushel of corn for every star, where would we put it all? And God will, for a people who love Him.

God is all about us. God cares for us and He loves us, however, God does things for us that will fulfill our greatest needs and not necessarily our desires. Selfish people blaspheme God as evil when He does not fulfill their desires and what they selfishly see as their needs. If these people were not blinded by their own selfishness they would see what their needs truly are, as God sees what their needs truly are. Lack of nuclear bombs and more abundant oil are not what man needs, man needs to love God.

It is good to do what you can to correct the world's physical problems. Yet to make it through, the world must put less faith in itself and more faith in God. The worries of today far surpass the capabilities of man. It is time that we turn from our self-assistance and begin again, as a people, to put our trust in God. In order to do this we must begin to worry about the things that God worries about rather than our self-worries. It is construction of a Kingdom of love that is the Father's concern.

Hatred is what God worries about. God worries about adultery through divorce, abortion, suppression of the meek, disrespect in the use of his Son's name in casual conversation, lack of people keeping the Sabbath holy. All of these things are simple humble things that we are capable of working on and changing. God's concerns are the important things to concern yourself with. Prostrate your selfish worries and concern yourself with God's worries.

It is man alone who can and must choose between love and hate for God. Because of the gift of free will, which is necessary in order to allow man to choose to love God, God's word has no physical effect on man's actions. It is man who must change his free-willed evil choices to free-willed choices of goodness and love. Man has the power to correct what God cannot. God cannot create love in hearts, which are free from the power of His command. Let us choose to love God and our fellow man, because we can accomplish this through free will. Let God do the easy things like diverting nuclear capabilities, creating enough food to feed the world and seeing there is ample room in the world or, with warp drive star ships, room in the universe for HIS people.

God can wipe the threat of nuclear war from the earth with the power of His word. However, because of free will His word fails with even the simplest of God's commands, "Thou Shalt Not Use Thy LORD God's Name In Vain." By God's powerful word He could give to His people a pile of grain a mile high, stretching out over the entire continent of Asia. Yet His words "Thou Shalt Love Thy Neighbor As Thy Self" do not even cause the millionaire to share his wealth with starving children. God could give to the world a tank full of oil the size of our sun with even a whisper of His voice. Yet God's scream "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery", falls on deaf ears when speaking to His children. The deaf ears of His children the judges, people and religions who allow divorce into the norms of society and hearts of men.

Had someone invented a way to save the entire world from death at the time of Noah, what good would it have done? Had someone been able to turn the people's hearts from hatred and disobedience to love and obedience in the time of Noah or in the day of Sodom it is that which would have made all the difference.

NAB MAT 11:21

"It will go ill with you, Chorazin! And just as ill with you, Bethsaida! If the miracles worked in you had taken place in Tyre and Sidon, they would have reformed in sackcloth and ashes long ago. I assure you, it will go easier for Tyre and Sidon than for you on the day of judgment. As for you, Capernaum, 'Are you to be exalted to the skies? You shall go down to the realm of death! If the miracles worked in you had taken place in Sodom, it would be standing today. I assure you, it will go easier for Sodom than for you on the day of judgment."
Use your free will to build the loving Kingdom of God which will keep men and God warm with love for all eternity. If we love God, He will protect us. God will not allow fire to destroy the crop while the crop is still producing. The way to stop man's nuclear extinction or extinction period is clear. Moses gave us the remedy four thousand years ago. First, love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul with all your mind and with all your strength. Second, love your neighbors as yourself. This action, if accomplished, will positively stop a nuclear holocaust.

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The Kingdom of God is At Hand

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author Steven Merten