Life is But a Vapor

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This entails the gist of the story of the last day of Pompeii during the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D., and its subtle relevance with today's generation.

Submitted: January 11, 2012

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Submitted: January 11, 2012



Fourteen years ago, I happened to read a story from an academic magazine when I was a first grader. I remember being fascinated and moved by that certain true story entitled, (I can roughly recall) "The Dog of Pompeii". I can't remember the exact events but what I clearly recall is that it was about a dog and its master, a blind young boy, who lived in Pompeii, a city in Italy. That dog was very intelligent and loyal to its master that every morning that he woke up, food was already served in front of him. The climax of the story was when Mount Vesuvius, an active volcano at that time in 79 A.D. erupted, killing both the protagonists in the story.

These details came up to me again (after 14 years, yes) when I accidentally saw one of the yahoo news entitled "Incredible photos show inside of world’s ‘most dangerous’ volcano" that is in Congo. I looked into it and was subsequently led to youtube and suddenly saw that "familiar" place again- Pompeii.


casts of a family who died together in the disaster

Different pictures stirred up my memory as I stumbled upon the gallery of photos that show the ancient bodies of victims of the Mt. Vesuvius catastrophic eruption in 79 A.D.They are preserved using plaster of Paris that the archaeologists filled up in the air holes that occupied the dead bodies under the 25 feet mounds of earth and rock after the eruption. These plastered forms of bodies are currently displayed and serve as memorabilia of history.

As I continued checking into the photos and after some ample time of contemplation, I came upon an excellent documentary by the BBC in youtube entitled, "Pompeii: The Last Day", that shows the details of one of the dramatic, tragic, and disastrous wrath of nature ever recorded in history.

One thing that made me hooked on that six-part film: All of the people at that time had no any idea that an apocalyptic eruption was about to occur (In fact people of Pompeii had not seen anything like it before then.). They didn't even know a volcano. On a lighter note, some even enjoyed watching the forming clouds of super-heated rocks and gas, as if they were having a sightseeing experience.

And so they continued living their normal lives. As I watched it, I discovered the unusual practices of the ancient Romans. Of course, the master-slave manifesto dominated Rome. The slaves were coerced to wash the master's clothes in fulleries using urine, as the acidity removed the stains. Women slaves were also enforced to sleep with their masters. Authorities and Roman gladiators abused their positions. Money and gold were very much important to them. Anyone can conclude that they lived the lives of immorality and corruption. They all ignored what was happening until...


Mt. Vesuvius spewing out superheated gas that subsequently darkenedthe sky over Pompeii

Hours passed and the conflict unfolded. It was daytime and plethora of pebbles rained down the city and the thick, dense clouds of gas covered the whole sky which created darkness. The day became night. Earthquake shook the whole city and even larger rocks fell from the raging volcano.

Those who ran into the coast were chased by the searing heat and instantaneous death came to pass. As the narrator describes it, "The people on the beach did not just burn, they turned to charcoal."

"The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken." Matthew 24:29

Some of the people stayed and prayed to their god, Jupiter, and offered foods and sacrifices in the midst of the disaster. But as they prayed to their gods, foundations of their houses were ruined.

"Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." John 17:3

They even committed suicide by drinking poisons coz for them, "it is quick and painless". To the ancient Romans, committing suicide was acceptable when the situation became so critical.

Thousands of people died in those tragic days of August 24 and 25, 79 A.D. The remains of a dog was even found during the discovery of the buried city of Pompeii and the excavation of bodies in the 1600s- the same dog that is in the story that I read when I was six years old.


It still has its collars indicating that it died while being tied to a post and couldn't escape.

So what's the purpose of me writing this and sharing this to you? Simple- that this same event in the past is possible to happen anytime in our generation. It may or may not be caused by a volcanic eruption, though (But who knows?).

"Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." James 4:14

This entails us that we should be wakeful and mindful enough to interpret the signs of the times. Open your eyes. I believe that I happened to watch those documentaries in order for God to reveal something to us. This is not a threat, nor a made-up story, and not a baloney. This is theTRUTHthat is contained in the Bible.

Like the people of Pompeii thousands of years ago, they had no any idea that an ordinary day would actually be an apocalyptic day. They even ignored it and were complacent. They continued living their Godless lives... until everyone was wiped out over the face of the earth.

"The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape." 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3

"As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man." Matthew 24:37-39

Just observe everything that happens in the world right now. Endless incidence of crimes, wars, sexual immoralities, corruption of minds, everything has its foundation fromsin. No wonder that disasters strike us- typhoons, earthquakes, killer tsunami and nuclear disaster, the chaotic situation stirring up in the Middle East, and the destructive wars in the different parts of the world. Let me remind you: God is never the author of disasters. We are the ones who open the gates for the devil to sow destruction and killings.God is merciful. All we need is to humble down ourselves and ask for His forgiveness for our sins. No, you cannot escape; you cannot hide yourself from the Truth. Everyone is a sinner and the only way to be saved is to believe in Him, surrender to Him for no one can ever save himself except through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let's not be like the ancient Pompeiians, who were ignorant of the saving power of Jesus. It is only through Him that we may be spared from the works of the devil.

"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Matthew 24:36

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