Be blessed by the eternal God is indeed AWESOME!
Of all the issues of a life, the ultimate issue is that we will be sad if we can not live forever.
The issue of death is the mother of all problems. Everyone will face this issue and need to resolve this in one's life. All mankind in history has to face to this issue. So are we.
A few reminders from the Bible...
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
So to a believer of Jesus Christ, this issue is already solved by Him for us. This is a huge blessing and the ultimate gift to us. We need to be grateful everyday in this eternal life.
Please think about what does it means to YOU to be grateful to God in every minute of your life.
所以作為耶穌基督的信徒，這個問題已經由主耶穌為我們解決了。 這是一個巨大的祝福，也是給我們的最美好禮物。 我們要每天都感謝這永恆的生命。
What we see in life are quite interesting. It appears that life is a process. It starts at one's birth and ends at one's death. What happened in between are the paths of lives in all history. In the human history, there are no lacks of attempts from all walks of life trying to understand and to solve this issue.
Where are we from
According to the Bible, God created the universe and everything things in it. God created man in His image because, according to Rev 21:3, God likes to fellowship with His people and per Gen1:26, God wanted men to be His agents in managing His created world. All the problems with mankind and this world are due to corruptions. And the corruptions came to this world, per Genesis Chapter 3, are due to the evil deeds of the devil who tricked Adam and Eve to sin against God and hence corruptions reign the world. So, we can say that Devil brought death to this world because he wants to reigh over the world by death.
Why all men die
It is indeed a big deal to know why we must die because it states in Roman 5:12, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned" (NASV)
Now, from chemistry experiments,we know that purification is a difficult process. To totally remove an impurity substance, the energy involved is absolutely astronomical because we would have to remove the impurity to the molecle/atom level. So you can imagine the wickedness of the devil and the sadness of God when all His creation was corrupted.
God's Salvation Provision
Of course, God can abandon the corrupted universe and recreates the world. But that option does not do us any good, because we are part of the corrupted world. So the salvation of God, which really warms our hearts by His love, consists of not only the creation of new heavens and new earth but also,more important to us, the provision to save us. It is this provision to save us, the corrupted sinners, which costed God without measure -- the death of His only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who was crucified at Calvery more than two thousand years ago to pay our sins.
Thus, our issue is not the death part of our lives which was already solved for us by our Lord Jesus Christ but more about how to live our current life in a corrupted world, particularly how to overcome our corrupted nature in our flesh. This is not an easy one but this is much easier than the impossible way of trying to solve the eternal life issue without Jesus Christ.
A few Bible verses as a reminder...
Because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy."
If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
從化學實驗我們知道，淨化是一個很困難的化學過程。要完全去除有雜質， 絕對是需要龐大的能量；因為我們必須從分子及原子中，將雜質除去。所以，你可以想像， 魔鬼敗壞這世界的行為是多麼的邪惡；同時我們也可体会上帝對他的創作被損壞時的悲傷。
Why do we need to know ourselves?
Life is a journey and like a captain of your ship you need to know the performance record of your ship.
Some people are so selfish and their self-centeredness shows up in the poor relationship with people. Some people have so short temper that their family members, particularly their children, suffer greatly because of this defect. When we want to know ourselves, we should know our bents as well. For example, some people have a tendency to lie. We should know ourselves pretty well because of our past experience and performance. Also, we should know our limitations due to our physical, spiritual, and culture background and upbringing. For example, if you were from a class divided culture, you will be influenced by the prejudice of that setting. Here are a few reminders from the Scripture:
* John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches;
he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit,
for apart from Me you can do nothing.
約 翰 福 音 15:5
我 是 葡 萄 樹 ， 你 們 是 枝 子 。 常 在 我 裡 面 的 ， 我 也 常 在 他 裡 面 ， 這 人 就 多 結 果 子 ；
因 為 離 了 我 ， 你 們 就 不 能 做 甚 麼 。
According to the Bible, Christians are called out from the world to be sanctified for the service of our Lord. We are in the world but are separated from the world. In other word, we do not belong to the world. Rather our citizenship is in the heavenly kingdom. Beneath all this is that the world is corrupted and the devil is its king. Before we get any further, we need to know that the world refers to the world system(s) which are corrupted and wicked.
So what do we, as believers of Jesus Christ, need to know about this world?
Here are a few reminders from the Bible…
God is the creator of the universe and hence He is outside the four dimensional time and space continum. The humankind is part of the creation and hence we are within the space and time domain. It is therefore quite clear that we have no way of knowing God unless God chooses to reveal Himself. Indeed, this loving God did reveal Himself through His prophets and in the last days through His only begotten Son Jesus Christ our Lord as recorded in the Holy Scripture.
This has been a major question since the beginning of human curiosity. And there is no lack of ideas and speculations throughout the human history. Issues such as being, existence, and perceptibility have been studied and restudied by many philosophers. With all of those speculations, don't you think that we should at least ask the Creator first? It is fair to say that without the revelation by our Creator, it would be much harder for human kind to arrive at things that are objective and independently verifiable.
Someone may say that the reality consists of all that we can see, feel, or touch. But we know today that there are many things existed beyond our sensory ranges. For example, we cannot see, feel, or touch x-rays and yet we know that x-rays exist. Similarly, atoms exist and are invisible to our eyes. Thus, it is quite clear that the reality is much bigger than that can be sensed by our physical senses. Just because things that we cannot see do not mean that they are not important for us. What we have just discussed is the physical world. However, things beyond the physical world may exist even we cannot see them...
It is important to know that God created time and space and all that in the universe. The Bible reminds us the following in the first day of God's creation…
Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. (Gen 1:2)
Because light is so important for everything, God created light right after He created the heavens and the earth. Now humanly speaking, without light we cannot see a thing, let alone perform all our activities. Thus, 'be able to see' may shape our limited understanding of many things including the environment and the reality. But we should always remember that just because we do not see them should not allow our arrogance in ignoring the importance of them.
A. Man was created with body, soul, and spirit
The Bible told us that…
And the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man become a living being.(Gen 2:7)
Because of God's breath, man was created with a physical body, soul, and spirit. This can be seen from many Bible verses such as 2 Tim 4:22, I Thes 5:23, and 1 Cor 15:44-49. More importantly, our Lord Jesus Christ taught us that…
God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth. (John 4:24)
B. Total reality includes visible physical and invisible spiritual worlds
So it is clear to know that the reality includes both physical world and spiritual realm. Since God is spirit who created the physical world, it would mean that the reality of the spiritual world will be a much essential part of the total reality. Please read how the Bible reminds us on this…
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Cor 4:18)
Now you may ask why so many people spend all their time on pursuing the things that are on earth. This is indeed a great question. Please keep thinking about it and your thinking process will benefit you indeed, once you know what the total reality is.
C. Invisible Spiritual Light
Perhaps you have a better question. How do we know the invisible spiritual world? We know that in the physical world, we need physical light to see things. For those things in the physical world that we cannot see, we need to rely on a right instrument to "see" them. In other word, to see spiritual things we need spiritual light. Why? Because not all spirits are good. We may ask, then, what is the spiritual light. Let us see what the Bible tells us.
According to the gospel of Luke concerning the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, from the mouth of Zacharias,
"Because of the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Sunrise from on high shall visit us,
To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace" (Luke 1:78-79)
If you do not see that our Lord Jesus Christ is our Light, the Bible also remind us the following about our Lord Jesus in the gospel of John…
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God
He was in the beginning with God
All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men
And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." (John 1:1-5)
This is very clear that if anyone wants to lead a spiritual life, one needs to come to Jesus Christ our Savior. Now, if you want more enlightenment, the Bible further reminds us the following…
For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness,"
is the One who has shone in our hearts
to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ (2 Cor 4:6)
D. Jesus Christ is the Light of Life
Finally, our Lord revealed Himself as follows…
Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying "I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12).
The light of life is Jesus Christ as also revealed in 1 Cor 15:45 as follows…
So also it is written, "The first man, Adam became a living soul," The last Adam became a life-giving spirit"
Therefore, we can draw the following conviction: To fulfill our life in total reality, we need the light of life, our Lord Jesus Christ. May He be our upmost treasure and may He be praised through the exercise of our faith and obedience in Him in our lives.
Our Lord Jesus Christ knows man very well because He created mankind and knows what in man. Two thousand years ago, our Lord came to this earth which was also created by Him and for Him. He came to His own, but His own people did not receive Him.
This was indeed the saddest thing that could happen to His people. You may wonder what kind of blessings that His people may receive from Him. We may legitimately ask Jews at that time, if we could, what seek ye? What else could you folks do in the world that your Creator cannot bless you over a million more times better than what you try to get yourselves.
Actually, there was another story told by the Holy Scripture as well concerning what seek ye. This time, it was recorded in the Gospel of John 1:35-39. Two of John the Baptist's disciples followed Jesus after they heard their teacher John the Baptist pointing out that Jesus is the Lamb of God. And the Scripture tells us in John 1:38...
"And Jesus turned, and beheld them following, and said to them, "What do you seek?" And they said to Him, "Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are you staying?"
First of all, if we are lucky enough that Jesus asks us "What do you seek?" I wonder what will be our answers. We can say that we seek wealth? or we seek health? or pleasure or revenge, or justice, peace, joy; from our personal wishes to God's glory; and thousands of other possible answers. What is your answer?
Come to think of it. This Jesus' question can apply to all of us. What you seek in this life and what you seek in this world are the key questions in your life. The answer to the question "What seek ye" will drive many of your effort in your life indeed.
Interesting enough, the two John's disciples answered this way. The Bible indicates that they seek after Jesus. Ths is indeed worthy of our soul searching effort. What is your answer would be!
And Jesus said to them "Come and you will see" They came therefore and saw where He was staying; and they stayed with Him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. Now the tenth hour is 4 p.m. by Jewish time.
Now, what is the results of their staying with Him that day. "We have found the Messiah which translated means Christ." (John 1:41)
"What seek ye"-- We need to answer this question indeed.
The following are a few reminders from the Holy Scripture on this topic;
31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But [a]seek first [b]His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be [c]added to you.
63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
If you ever be a teacher, you know that you are expected to give a correct answer when your student ask you a question. So if you ask your students a question and they answer and ask you another question, you shall be expected to know the answer as well. If we use this principle, then you know very well only the Creator can ask this question "What seek ye" because only Jesus can answer any question that any human being can ask because He is almighty and omniscient. Indeed, He is our Creator and our Lord.
25 耶穌對她說：「復活在我，生命也在我。信我的人，雖然死了，也必復活； 26 凡活著信我的人必永遠不死。你信這話嗎？」
Topic H--What Christians seek?
After posting the “what ye seek” article in the web site, perhaps it is fair to ask the question of “what Christians seek”. It is interesting to point out that people seek different things based upon their needs and their life views. For example, many children love candies and many college students seek the completion of their degrees. In answering an important question like this, we are not looking into what my view or your view on this. Rather, we need to go back to the Bible to see what it says on the subject matter.
What is a Christian
A Christian is a Jesus Christ follower and believes in Him as his/her Lord and Savior. Someone may ask what do you means by believing in Him? We as Christian believe in His Name. That is, a Christian believes in Who Jesus Christ is and What is His Office as revealed in the Holy Scripture. In other words, a Christian believes in what the Bible reveals about His Person and His Work.
For the purpose of answering the question at hand, the Bible reminds us the following concerning what Christians are;
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Simply put, Christians are those who live in this world but do not belong to this world. We do not pursue the glories of men of the world because we are united with Jesus Christ and pursue Him as our utmost treasure. Given this life view on this corrupt world, we seek His kingdom and His Righteousness.
What We Seek
Being a Christian, one is seeking Jesus Christ and grows to conform to the image of God’s only begotten son just as the Bible reminds us;
This means to have the same attitude as our Lord as indicated in the following verse.
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
Thus, in addition to seek vertical fellowship with God, Christians also seek peace with our neighbors horizontally. As a matter of fact, our Lord commissioned us to spread the Gospel entreating people to be reconciled with God through His Son Jesus Christ so that they may have eternal lives.
18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in
heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Eternal versus Temporal
Christians seek things in this world that are ever lasting. You may ask what are they? Before we mention the eternal things, it may be worthwhile to say what are not of eternal values. The Bible teaches us that at the end God will do away with this corrupt world and the contaminated earth. The Bible reminds us the following;
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”
But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and
joy in the Holy Spirit.
89 Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven.
17 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their
hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. 18 Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.
“因為凡世界上的事，就像肉體的情慾、眼目的情慾並今生的驕傲，都不是從父來的，乃是從世界來的。 17 這世界和其上的情慾都要過去，唯獨遵行神旨意的，是永遠常存。”（約翰一書2:16-17）
Long time ago in learning the high school mathematics, infinity was defined indirectly as where two parallel lines intersect. What does that means, nobody knows. How can two parallel lines intersect? It is impossible because it contradicts the common understanding of the parallel lines. So what is infinity?
It seems that a better way of understanding infinity is that it is beyond finiteness. So many things which are impossible in a finite situation may be possible in an infinite setting. Another way of expressing infinity mathematically is a number divided by zero. For example, it is called infinity if 1.0 is divided by zero. But what does it mean? Certainly, it is good to know that infinity may be beyond a finite being’s comprehension.
This is indeed very relevant in understanding our own finiteness and hence shall humble ourselves in our ignorance and empty boastings. Let us give an example, an ant tries to understand a man’s thought. Just ask yourself, how would an ant understand what are in your mind. Now if an ant says that men do not exist because men cannot be seen by the eyes of an ant clearly. What do you think?
We know by revelations in the Bible that God is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. We have no experience as to what omnipresent, or omniscient, or omnipotent means. However, based upon our understanding of God's creation, we can get a certain sense of the vastness and greatness of God's divine attributes and power. For example, the distance between stars is measured by light years, and we know that the observable universe is measured by hundreds of billions of light years. Although we can not fully comprehend what the sizes of galaxies in our day to day experience, we can understand that the universe is too big to comprehend and the One created such a vastness of space and stars are even harder to comprehend or should we say it is indeed beyond our comprehension.
Since our thought and understanding are shaped by our experience in a finite life, we are often deceived by thinking God as one of us. We are finite and God is infinite. For example, God is eternal and we are temporal. God is everywhere at all the time and we are at one place at a time only. God can see past, present, and future all in just one look. You may ask how could that be possible? Actually, we can understand a bit of this by looking into the geometry.
An one dimensional time line represents thousands upon thousands of the past, present and future events in one dimensional space-time. Now for one dimensional beings, they can only experience one point in that line at a time. So they cannot see their future because it has not yet arrived. Now for us living in a higher dimensional space-time, we can see the one-dimensional line of past, present, and future at one look.
So why talk about infinite versus finite? Because it help us understand our limitations and bring us onto obedience to the Scripture teaching. Just list a few limitations for those who are diehards for human glory.
It is interesting to know that if God is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent; then from the implications of infinity, there is only one God. How can it be otherwise! Funny things are that humans like to boast, but the human race cannot even eliminate a simple cold and need to rely on our created immune system to fight it off. Enough are said. Here are a few reminders from the Holy Scripture:
Romans 1:19-21 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
羅馬書1:19-21 神的事情人所能知道的，原顯明在人心裡，因為神已經給他們顯明。 自從造天地以來，神的永能和神性是明明可知的，雖是眼不能見，但藉著所造之物就可以曉得，叫人無可推諉。 因為他們雖然知道神，卻不當做神榮耀他，也不感謝他，他們的思念變為虛妄，無知的心就昏暗了。
1 Corinthians 1:20-21 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
哥林多前書1:20-21 智慧人在哪裡？文士在哪裡？這世上的辯士在哪裡？神豈不是叫這世上的智慧變成愚拙嗎？ 世人憑自己的智慧既不認識神，神就樂意用人所當做愚拙的道理，拯救那些信的人，這就是神的智慧了。
Isaiah 45:20-23 “Gather yourselves and come;Draw near together, you fugitives of the nations;They have no knowledge,Who carry about their wooden idolAnd pray to a god who cannot save. “Declare and set forth your case;Indeed, let them consult together.Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it?Is it not I, the Lord? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior;There is none except Me. “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other. “I have sworn by Myself,The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back,That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
以 賽 亞 書 45:20-23 你 們 從 列 國 逃 脫 的 人 ， 要 一 同 聚 集 前 來 。 那 些 抬 著 雕 刻 木 偶 、 禱 告 不 能 救 人 之 神 的 ， 毫 無 知 識 。 你 們 要 述 說 陳 明 你 們 的 理 ， 讓 他 們 彼 此 商 議 。 誰 從 古 時 指 明 ， 誰 從 上 古 述 說 ？ 不 是 我 ─ 耶 和 華 麼 ？ 除 了 我 以 外 ， 再 沒 有 神 ； 我 是 公 義 的 神 ， 又 是 救 主 ； 除 了 我 以 外 ， 再 沒 有 別 神 。 地 極 的 人 都 當 仰 望 我 ， 就 必 得 救 ； 因 為 我 是 神 ， 再 沒 有 別 神 。 我 指 著 自 己 起 誓 ， 我 口 所 出 的 話 是 憑 公 義 ， 並 不 反 回 ： 萬 膝 必 向 我 跪 拜 ； 萬 口 必 憑 我 起 誓 。
申 命 記 6:4-5 以 色 列 阿 ， 你 要 聽 ！ 耶 和 華 ─ 我 們 神 是 獨 一 的 主 。 你 要 盡 心 、 盡 性 、 盡 力 愛 耶 和 華 ─ 你 的 神 。的 主 。
Romans 11:33-36 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
羅馬書11:33-36 深哉，神豐富的智慧和知識！他的判斷何其難測，他的蹤跡何其難尋！ 「誰知道主的心，誰做過他的謀士呢？ 誰是先給了他，使他後來償還呢？」 因為萬有都是本於他，倚靠他，歸於他。願榮耀歸給他，直到永遠！阿們。
It is indeed quite amazing that God, who is eternal, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, and infinite, would ever seek people. Since we are finite, corrupt, and temporal, it is impossible for us to comprehend infinite, let alone infinite living forever God. The only way that we can know God is for God to give revelations about His divine attributes and power to us. It is indeed awesome to receive His teaching as revealed in the Holy Scripture due to His Love and Grace onto the human race.
The Bible revealed that God created the heavens and the earth and every plants and creatures in it including humans. When He created Adam and Eve, our ancestors, He created them in His image. Per Genesis2:7, “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being”. That is, Adam has a spirit that can fellowship with God. You may ask what does it mean that we were created in His image. Genesis 1:26 gives us more light on this. “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness………”.
Furthermore, Ephesians 4: 24 reminds us that we were created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. It is indeed a great consolation to us that we can share with the divine natures after we were cleansed from our corruptions by our precious Lord Jesus Christ who died and shed His blood to cleanse us from our sins.
Why God created man
Rev 21: 3-5 reminds us that God likes to dwell among man
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”
But more relevantly, God loves His only begotten Son and wants to give Him a Bride—The church which was redeemed by His Son our Lord’s precious blood.
“ Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” (Rev 19:7-8)
What kind of persons are saved to become His children
The Holy Scripture reminds us that not many of us who were saved are wise, mighty, and noble because God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things that are strong. As a matter of fact, the angel did not announce the great tiding of the birth of Christ to the powerful high priest of the Jewish religious establishment, nor to the elite class of Pharisees; Rather to the poor shepherds who take care of their sheep at night in the field.
The Scripture tells us that, regardless of your blood line, your talents, your position, your power, and your resources, and your deeds, whosoever believes in the Lord Jesus Christ is born of God and is a child of God. According to John 3:16-18, the Bible reminds us the following:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Many people like to blame on God on many things. But in all cases, God is righteous and every one, who comes to Jesus Christ and receives Him, will be saved because the Bible promises so.
“He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, ” (John 1:10-12)
What kind of servants and maids God is looking for to serve Him
It is very clear in the Bible that God does not use the world’s corrupt standards in selecting His servants and maids. It is indeed very interesting to note our Lord’s statement in John 14:30-31, our Lord acted according to His Father’s commends not according to the world’s standards of inheritance, power, beauty, riches, talents, and positions, etc.
“ I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.”
So what kind of people our Lord calls to be His servants and maids; those who trust Him; those who are humble before Him; those who are loyal to Him; and those who loves Him.(See for example, 1 Cor 4:1-2)
What God seeks for His worshipers
It is our Lord’s revelation that Father seeks the following people to worship Him;
“ But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers” (John 4:23)
Our Lord further explains why it is so.
“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24)
" It is written, ' YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND SERVE HIM ONLY.' " (see Luke 4:8)
TOPIC J 神尋求什麼樣的崇拜者
3 我聽見有大聲音從寶座出來說：「看哪，神的帳幕在人間！他要與人同住，他們要做他的子民，神要親自與他們同在，做他們的神。4 神要擦去他們一切的眼淚，不再有死亡，也不再有悲哀、哭號、疼痛，因為以前的事都過去了。」5 坐寶座的說：「看哪，我將一切都更新了！」又說：「你要寫上，因這些話是可信的，是真實的。」(啟示錄 21:3-5)
7 「我們要歡喜快樂，將榮耀歸給他，因為羔羊婚娶的時候到了，新婦也自己預備好了， 8 就蒙恩得穿光明潔白的細麻衣。」這細麻衣就是聖徒所行的義。(啟示錄 19:7-8)
16 「神愛世人，甚至將他的獨生子賜給他們，叫一切信他的不致滅亡，反得永生。 17 因為神差他的兒子降世，不是要定世人的罪[a]，乃是要叫世人因他得救。 18 信他的人不被定罪，不信的人罪已經定了，因為他不信神獨生子的名」。(約翰福音 3:16-18)
“23 時候將到，如今就是了，那真正拜父的，要用心靈和誠實拜他，因為父要這樣的人拜他。” （約翰福音4:23）
耶 穌 說 ： 經 上 記 著 說 ： 當 拜 主 ─ 你 的 神 ， 單 要 事 奉 他 。(路 加 福 音 4:8)
Do you ever wonder why only a few remnants are saved by God. We know by the revelation of God in the Holy Scripture that God is merciful and almighty and capable of saving the entire human race. But why only a few were saved.
Perhaps by looking around this world, we can get a sense of why this happens even in our days. Only remnants are saved becaust many people are deceived by the world and can not see the true light. You may ask why? I believe that instead of giving various reasons or speculations of ours, a better way is to look for what the Bible tells us.
In the first chapter of the Gospel of John, the Bible tells us the following with regarding to the first coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:4-5)
The First Reason
So we may say that first reason that only remnants are saved is due to ignorance in living in the darkness of this world. We may further ask why people do not like light and rather like darkness. Actually, our Lord provided us with the answer as indicated in John 3:19-21 :
“And this is the judgement, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, less his deeds should be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God”
So it is clear that many people did not get saved because they love the darkness. But this is very sad indeed. To be saved means that a person will receive an eternal life and will no longer have anything to do with death at all in eternal life. The Bible clearly teaches us that the death reigns in this world because of sin. This is where the ignorance kills and the pride damns a person. We know that everyone tries so hard to see a doctor or a surgeon to get a cure from one’s dreadful diseases. We do not have to convince anyone to be cured from a dreadful disease, do we? Why? It is indeed so because we assume all along in each day of our lives that we are going to live forever. Of course, you would quickly comment that this assumption is not rational and not according to human experience. Yet, still so many people hold on to this ignorance and pursue things such as materials, power, fame, riches, lust, and pride as if their lives have no end in sight. But the Bible also says that he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.
There is a very vivid demonstration of this love of the darkness in the Bible story of Lot’s wife as recorded in Genesis chapter 19.
In a crooked and perverse generation, there are people who can argue on anything and on everything as if their lives have no ends to them. And there are many people who reject willfully God’s mercies to save them and always blame God for why God does not save them. The funny thing is that they do not like eternal life and yet keep going to doctors to cure their diseases.
The Bible also tells us another side of the sad fact that only remnants were saved. According to chapter 1 in Romans, Apostle Paul told us the following;
19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
The Second Reason
So the second reason that only remnants are saved because the "eyes" of the hearts of many people are blocked by the Devil through the deceptions of this world and thus their minds are darkened. Of course, a darkened heart always produce fruitless arguments which go nowhere. In other words, their eyes are blinded by the deceptions of the Devil so they cannot see the true light of the gospel of Jesus Christ to save them. This is indeed very sad. They think that they can be gods through their rationalism or deeds or secret means. But the real reason is that their foolish hearts were darkened and so they bought into the Devil’s deceptive systems and lost in the process as well
So why only the remnants were saved? Please listen carefully to what our Lord teaches us in the Bible;
13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Let those who have ears listen to what the Holy Spirit tells the Church. And if you are a truth seeker and seeking eternal life, please look into what the Bible teaches on the truth that will enlighten your heart to see the light of Jesus Christ to guide you onto the narrow gate of the eternal life.
Actually, seeking eternal life is not that hard with Jesus Christ. If you seek eternal life, you need to come to the Lord of eternal life Jesus Christ who can bless you with eternal life through your faith in Him. It is not that hard just your trust in Him. Amen.
Topic K -- 為什麼只有餘數被救贖?
You might wonder why we talk about this topic. Actually, this issue is so important that it may affect our eternal lives. We are living in a highly technological modern era of the 21th century. You may wonder why talk about flesh and spirit. Before we talk about this topic. Let examine a few facts about status of the technology and history of our civilization:
1. With so much advancement of the medical science, we still can not eliminate common colds, let alone curing cancers or immortal life extension.
2. With thousands of experts in spinning the truth by numerous rationalization schemes, our world is still so chaotic and hopeless in conflicts. After two world wars and numerous regional conflicts in last 100 years, the theory of evolution that we are evolving into better species and more advanced civilization is indeed a joke.
3. There are millions of people died in the processes of various social experiments of various political ideologies in human history. We can still see this tragedy happening today in this world.
4. After a modern liberal giant Nietzsche’s declaration that God was dead, it is certain that the world is not better off due to Nietzsche’s theory. On the contrary, it is certain that Nietzsche was dead and returned to dust, but God is still busy in redeeming His people
Given these sad facts of human rationalism, we need to go back to the Holy Scripture to find an answer about the truth of our life in this world.
In the Bible, there is an interesting story concerning a Jewish teacher Nicodemus who went to visit Jesus Christ recorded in John 3:1-13 quoted below:
The New Birth
3 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”
10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? 11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.
3有一個法利賽人，名叫尼哥迪慕，是猶太人的官。2這人夜裡來見耶穌，說：「拉比，我們知道你是由神那裡來做師傅的，因為你所行的神蹟，若沒有神同在，無人能行。」3耶穌回答說：「我實實在在地告訴你：人若不重生，就不能見神的國。」 4尼哥迪慕說：「人已經老了，如何能重生呢？豈能再進母腹生出來嗎？」5耶穌說：「我實實在在地告訴你：人若不是從水和聖靈生的，就不能進神的國。6從肉身生的就是肉身，從靈生的就是靈。7我說你們必須重生，你不要以為稀奇。8風隨著意思吹，你聽見風的響聲，卻不曉得從哪裡來，往哪裡去。凡從聖靈生的，也是如此。」 9尼哥迪慕問他說：「怎能有這事呢？」 10耶穌回答說：「你是以色列人的先生，還不明白這事嗎？11我實實在在地告訴你：我們所說的是我們知道的，我們所見證的是我們見過的，你們卻不領受我們的見證。12我對你們說地上的事，你們尚且不信，若說天上的事，如何能信呢？13除了從天降下仍舊在天的人子，沒有人升過天。
We have at least several observations on these verses.
1. Unless one is born again, one cannot discern any spiritual things.
2. Unless we believe in Jesus Christ, we cannot see the kingdom of God, let alone entering into the kingdom of Jesus Christ our Lord.
3. That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Before we comment on the topic of this article, we would like to discuss a few background information for those who are not familiar with the Bible.
A. When God created Adam and Eve in Genesis, mankind was created with flesh and spirit.
7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
It is noted here that breathing of life into Adam, he became a person with spirit and hence a living being.
In John 6:63, our Lord Jesus Christ teaches us that life is given by the Holy Spirit.
63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
B. Since the fall of Adam and Eve, sin entered the world. Adam and Eve died a spiritual death when they sinned. Their descendants who are we, are of flesh only because our spiritual being is dead unless we are born again by the Spirit.
By Grace Through Faith
2 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
Now back to our topic ”flesh versus spirit”, a few observations are worthy of our meditation:
(1). Flesh begets flesh. This reflects what is this world about. The Bible describes the situation of this world very accurately.
1 John 2:16
16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.
(2). Works of the flesh
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
(3) That which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
If we are born again, we are Christians. In a sense, the Holy Spirit created us again in the following sense as told by the Scripture.
20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
(4) Fruit of the Spirit: It should be noted that the fruit of the Spirit is worked out in us by the in-dwelling Spirit. It is not due to our effort so we should not boast if we exhibit such fruit.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
(5) What happened in our Sanctification?
17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
Why we have this struggle? Because our body is not yet redeemed as indicated in Romans 8:22-24.
22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?
That is why in Romans Chapter 8, the Bible shows us the path of life to be in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 8:1-2 Free from Indwelling Sin
8 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
(6) That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God
; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
(7) The Holy Spirit dwells in believers and sanctifies us believers:
In our daily pilgrimage, the Holy Spirit will lead us in our Sanctification process.
9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Flesh begets flesh. That born of the Spirit is spirit. What a priceless blessing that God the Holy Spirit dwells in us to lead us in our sanctification process to guarantee our salvation. The Bible clearly says this in Romans 8:28-30.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
Praises be to our Lord Jesus Christ for His priceless promise in the Upper Room discourse (during His last evening in this world before going to the cross to complete His redemption work) of sending another Comforter-the Holy Spirit to each of of us in the church age.
16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
One of the purpose of indwelling Holy Spirit within us is to sanctify us to be equipped to worship our great God and to serve our Lord Jesus Christ to continue His earthly ministry through His church empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Listen to what the Bible teaches in Romans 12:1-2.
Romans 12:1-2 Living Sacrifices to God
12 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Furthermore, follow our Lord’s encouragement:
7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
If you are not yet a Christian, May our Lord Jesus Christ’s light shinning in your heart today so that you will be able to hear His call and follow Him,
Take Up the Cross and Follow Him
23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.
If you are a Christian, may you dedicate yourself again to know Him and to serve Him with all your heart, your mind, and your strength.
Prayer for Spiritual Wisdom
15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.
May we deeply love our Lord Jesus Christ, may we listen to Holy Spirit in pursuing the holiness of our God , and may we give honor and praises to our Father in heaven. We pray this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.
讓我們聽聖經在羅馬書 12：1-2 的教導
以色列阿，你要聽！耶和華 ─ 我們神是獨一的主。
萬物都是藉著他有的, 我們也是藉著他有的。(歌林多前書 8:6)
Supremacy of Jesus Christ our Lord - Phil 2:9-11; Col 1:15-20
主耶穌的絕對優越性—無不口稱耶穌為主 (西 1:15-20)
Inerrancy of Holy Scripture - Psalm 19:7-9, Matt 5:18
Glorious Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ which demonstrates the love of God - John 3:16-18
Obedience to God is much better than offering sacrifices - Hos 6:6
For I delight in loyalty
rather than sacrifice.
And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
The righteous shall live by faith alone - Habbakuk 2:4
Self-denial and be patient in enduring afflictions are the God's ways for us in following Jesus Christ our Lord - Matthew 16:24