"Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.'
"'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'
"He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"
In Chinese Translation (路加福音 16)
There is nothing else I can say. The world today is exactly what Abraham answered to the rich man. Although Jesus had risen from the dead, "they will not be convinced". By contrast, they simply deny the truth.
They will see if they expect to watch. They will know if they want to learn. They will hear if they pay attention to listening.
But they do not.
Abraham told the truth. Blessed are the ones who follow the truth!
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
In Chinese Translation (约翰福音 14)
Many times we hate "only". Only is exclusive. Only means that deprivation of the freedom of choice. Why don't we have another way toward God?
To be with God one must have no sin. We have shared previously that one cannot do good to redeem his own mistakes. But can we just live without sin? There are a few other options.
1. Restart. If a previous generation becomes full of sin, how about we rip off it and totally restart freshly a new generation with pure spirit?
Actually, in the Book of Genesis, God did it with flood. All people except the family of Noah, a godly family, were buried by the flood. The rest of the story told us, however, that the children of the godly parents quickly left the way of their parents and were away from God.
So, God proved it to us that this first option did not work.
2. Education. Probably people commit sin because they do not know. If they know what is sin and what is not, if they can be educated, they will not commit sin again.
So, God chose a godly man and gave him a name Abraham, for him being the father of many nations. God taught Abraham and his children the law of God with the clear statements. Everybody then knew what were right and what were wrong. Everybody then knew how great the blessings for the righteousness and how big the curses for the sin. But what was the result? The Israelites jumped to the curses as fast as they could.
Again, God proved it to us that the second option did not work either.
3. Love with great patience. Maybe, God must allow us to learn the lessons slowly. Even though we were given the laws, it may take long time for us to really understand and then follow the laws.
So, God sent many prophets to the Israelites in several centuries of time. Every prophet told the Israelites one and only one message: turn back toward God and you live; otherwise you die. The result? Greater and greater the Israelites run away from God. They killed the prophets and laughed at God.
God proved it to us that the third option also did not work.
Is there another option for saving these people who run their best to die? Due to his mercy, yes, there is the last and the only way. God came to the world. HE died for our sin and let anyone who believes and accepts the redemption live with HIM. This is why Jesus Christ is the only way.
May you accept and follow this only way!
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
In Chinese Translation (诗篇 1)
The wicked do not know God. The sinners know God but do not treat God as their God. The mockers seemly respect God but in reality call HIM out in derision. These three types of people are not blessed. It is not that God does not want to bless them. The wicked do not believe God's blessing. The sinners do not look for God's blessing. The mockers treat God's blessing with contempt.
The blessed ones are different.
The blessed are bound to the law of Lord. They become truly happy under the law and because of the law. They think of the law day and night. The law of God declares the punishment to whom disobey but blesses whom obey it because Jesus Christ has paid debt of law for anyone who follows him. The punishment chapters in the law are abandoned. All of the remains are blessing.
The blessed are "like a tree planted by streams of water". In the original scripture, more precisely, it says that the blessed are like "a tree transplanted by irrigation channels". Some of us may be originally planted by God such as John the Baptist. Most of us, however, are transplanted by God because at the beginning we were born in desert where no living water flows. It is God who made the channels on dry land. Then HE also transplanted us close to the channels so that we are irrigated by the living water.
Every one of these trees is a tree of life. The fruit, which is always yielded in season, is a forever life. The leaves, each single of which never withers, are the demonstration of the evergreen living. To these people, whatever they do prospers! This is God's promise. I believe it. And wish you who read this message be blessed by this promise too!
Saturday, April 02, 2011
Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because "the righteous will live by faith."
In Chinese translation (加拉太书 3)
Often people claim themselves being a good man. If they are asked about the bad things they did, a regular answer is that they have also done a lot of good things, which number is much greater than the number of the bad things they have done. So they are good people.
I do not know why many people accept this excuse. May we redeem ourselves by doing good? When one did a bad thing (unnecessary a crime, only something that is not good), can he redeem the mistake by doing another 10 good things?
Only if one has extra he can then use it for redeeming the shortage. For example, by law one must work eight hours a day. Today John only worked 7 hours. So he may redeem his today's shortage by working one extra hour, i.e. totally 9 hours, tomorrow. On the other hand, if by law it is said that everyone must work 24 hours a day and John worked only 23 hours today. He will never have a chance to redeem that one-hour shortage no matter how hard he tries in the future. He will never get a chance of an "extra" hour for the redemption.
The same is to our sins. In this world, is there anything that is too good to be "extra good"? No. There is nothing in this world that is too good to be extra. It means that no matter what good one does, such a good makes no extra credit for redeeming any tiny mistake he made before. No one can solve a bad by doing good.
Then how can we deal with a mistake we made before? There are only two ways.
The first solution is taking the consequence. If one is fairly punished with respect to the mistake he made, the problem is solved. He shall have no further guilty at all for what he has done since he has already been fairly punished.
The second solution is being forgiven. John hit Mary. But Mary forgives John. Then John's problem is solved. He shall have no guilty of that bad behavior later.
There are no other solutions to our sins.
If the wages of sin is death, however, nobody can afford the first solution. Therefore, the forgiveness from God becomes the only path we can take for redeeming our sins. And this is why Jesus Christ is the only path and solution for anyone who really wants to be a good man.