Archive for January 2012

An unbiased presentation of Christianity – that’s what our youths need!   2 comments

Young-christians

Young-christians

Young people, I’m writing to you because you have won the battle over the evil one. ” 1 John 2:13

Like a good soldier of Christ Jesus, share in the hard times with us. A soldier does not take part in things that don’t have anything to do with the army. He wants to please his commanding officer. In the same way, anyone who takes part in a sport doesn’t receive the winner’s crown unless he plays by the rules.” 2 Tim 2

Unfortunately, we see our soldiers occupied by things which do not have anything to do with the army.

Pious young people have such power and zeal. But there’re few of them for many reasons.

From my observation, here are the main reasons:

1) Parents did not take their responsibilities of educating their children in the faith.
(This is most probably because the parents themselves do not really know Jesus and that’s why they can’t teach about Him)
2) The church does not encourage them, pray for them and meet their needs.
3) The young persons prefer the “evil desires of youth” instead of remaining in Christ.
Run away from the evil things that young people long for. Try hard to do what is right. Have faith, love and peace. Do these things together with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” 2 Tim 2:22.

I’m currently meditating on the roles youths had in evangelism in Paul’s time (e.g. Titus, Timothy, Stephen). David, Samuel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego are some youths which God used to do mighty things in the OT. God has always been using young people for His glory.

Where are these youths who are supposed to have Christ in them? Where are these temples of the Spirit?

Young people have such vitality, power, vision, energy, they like challenges, they are bold and they have such an important role to play in the body of Christ.

I read many blogs of bible teachers who say over and over again that parents play an important role in the child’s decision in following Christ. This is biblical.

Train a child in the way he should go. When he is old, he will not turn away from it.” Prov 22:6

Parents don’t want their children to go to hell, they want their children to live wisely, honor them, be full of love, respect people, be happy and succeed. Jesus can do all this. Why not doing like Hannah, the mother of Samuel? Entrust your daughter and son to Jesus.

My parents went to church but were not good examples of Christians. The only thing that made me follow Christ is the teachings I saw in the bible. My father bought a bible for me in 2001 and it was the greatest gift he gave me without realising it. I could not rely on the church to help me know Christ and put me on the right track.

I was alone to choose the path to take. No counselors, no examples to follow. By God’s grace, by His patience in teaching me, I’m a follower of Jesus-Christ. Calamities came, but I remained in Christ because I know in whom I have believed. People who know all the troubles my family went through consider me a miracle. They wonder how I’m still a Christian.

I met with Christ, I know what He did for me. I do not have the slightest doubt that He is God and that He’ll come to earth to judge and reign.

In my opinion, the only thing which can make someone take a radical decision in following Christ is meeting Him personally. Like Paul on the road to Damascus, He saw the Light. He has never been the same since.

Simple as it is, we need to be vessels to show Christ to them. Stop feeding them every sundays with boring sermons(as they consider it), teach them how to read the bible. Teach them to prepare a sharing. Make them think. Let them question Christianity. Don’t be afraid of doing that because Jesus claimed to be the Way, the Life and the Truth. I questioned Jesus and Christianity for years. Jesus never failed to show me that He is what He claimed to be. Let not these youths think that you’re tricking and brainwashing them every Sundays. Encourage them to question what you believe. Only then can they personally have their own opinion and know in whom they are told to believe. A man who has his own opinion about something is definitely stronger than someone who does not know what he believes in. I do not believe in Jesus because of my pastor or my parents. The church can close its doors, my parents can abandon me, I will keep on following Christ. Many people who go to church think they are Christians but they are not. It’s a tragedy. They never met with the Christ of the bible. They worship a fictitious Christ. This should not be the case for this new generation. Stop interpreting a verse for them. Let them think, let them reason. Pious Christians don’t follow God with the heart only, but with their mind also.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind.” Mat 22:37

They need to be convinced intellectually that Jesus is the truth. They need to be given an unbiased presentation of Christianity. Only then their faith will be on the Solid Rock.

I’m not saying that we should intellectualize the Gospel, far from it! There’re many honest Bereans(Acts 17) out there who examine what they are taught. Could you imagine what would have happened if the Bereans found some flaws in Paul’s teachings? But no, it’s because they examined that they were personally convinced. The Samaritans said to the Samaritan woman : “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.” John 4

Many people believe blindly in a religion because it’s the religion or their parents or country. They were born a hindu/muslim/buddhist/catholic. It should not be so with Christianity and it cannot be so because no one is born a Christian. To become a Christian one has to understand what it’s about and personally commit his/her life to Christ. If we force someone to love someone else, this is not genuine love. We cannot force/brainwash someone to become a Christian. If it has been so, this person is simply not a Christian. A Christian knows in whom he/she believes.

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Posted January 23, 2012 by Cedric in Thought-provoking

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Epistle to the Hebrews 2:5-9   Leave a comment

Epistle to the Hebrews

Epistle to the Hebrews

God has not put angels in charge of the world that is going to come. We are talking about that world. There is a place where someone has given witness to it. He said,”What is a human being that you think about him? What is the son of man that you take care of him? You made him a little lower than the angels. You placed on him a crown of glory and honor. You have put everything under his control.” So God has put everything under him. Everything is under his control.
We do not now see everything under his control. But we do see Jesus already given a crown of glory and honor. He was made a little lower than the angels. He suffered death. By the grace of God, he tasted death for everyone. That is why he was given his crown

The author uses Psalm 8:4-6 to talk about man’s position before the fall.

Man was given authority by God to rule over all creatures.

what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor.You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority” Ps. 8:4
Then God said, Let us make man in our likeness. Let them rule over the fish in the waters and the birds of the air. Let them rule over the livestock and over the whole earth. Let them rule over all of the creatures that move along the ground.” Gen 1:26

Man had almost the same honor as an angel and everything was under his control. Why is God so mindful of man? Why giving man all these? But since the fall, man lost its ruling power. Man just did not care to preserve this position. This attitude was seen in Esau, he did not care about the privilege he had as a firstborn and sold it to his brother. God sent His Son to die to allow man to reconcile to Him. Why did he care about us? Could not He send all of us to hell like He did with the fallen angels who wanted to take His seat?

In the new heaven and new earth that will come, those who love God will reign with Him (Revelation 20-21). Why is God so mindful of man? Another chance will be given to man. Let’s just hope man will not do the same mistake again!

Man fear lions and dangerous predators. This just shows that “we do not now see everything under his control“.

But there’s a man, Jesus, who now has this crown of glory and honor. The firstborn of this new creation rules! He was also made a little lower than angels when He took a body. He was persecuted, insulted and crucified. Why is the author talking about things all Jews/Christians knew? Is the author of this Epistle wasting ink and paper? Just to introduce some reasons here’s a clip:

Jesus called his disciples friends in John 15:15.
Here is my command. Love each other, just as I have loved you. No one has greater love than the one who gives his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. “I do not call you servants anymore. Servants do not know their master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends. I have told you everything I learned from my Father.

He also calls us brothers and sisters as we’ll see soon…

Passivity, lukewarmness and negligence   2 comments

boil-the-frog

boil-the-frog

We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” Hebrews 2:1

The Greek word used to describe “more careful attention” is perissoterōs which means “more superabundantly”. While studying the Epistle to the Hebrews, I started to realise that Christians drift away because they are not disciplined, take things for granted and neglect their salvation.

Why such a great warning from the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews?

These Jews have heard and saw so many things. We heard hundreds of sermons, read thousands of verses is not it? But many Christians do not take seriously the teachings they received. They are like the Hebrews in the wilderness who forgot all the miracles God did in Egypt and murmured against God. Their hearts became hardened and they are bored with sermons, they start to criticise and the devil gave them logical arguments to stop going to church.

The devil will not tell a christian to leave the church, that would unveil his strategy. What he does is to send little by little his venom in the heart of Christians until the Spirit is no longer the Master.

A frog will jump out of boiling water but will remain in if the water’s temperature is increased little by little. Without realizing it, this frog is being cooked and it will be too late.

This is what James 1 says:

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it they will be blessed in what they do.

Merely listening to Word is to deceive oneself. Merely listening to the Word is this: You listen to the same sermon a second time and realise that you have to take an action. Why did not you take action the first time you heard it? So consider it a grace that God reminds again. Lukewarmness is when you read these verses in James 1 and it does not really mean something to you.

Israel forgot what God said. This remembers me the thousands of verses where God blamed Israel for being unfaithful, disobeying Him and turning to other gods. It’s so easy to look back and point a finger to these Jews. If a book was to be added in the bible, I’m quite certain that the Christian’s story would be similar to them. Rebellion, disobedience, unfaithfulness would be common characteristics.

Why do many want to be blessed in what they do without doing what God wants? James says: “But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it they will be blessed in what they do.”

What James said is so clear.

The verse that made me want to share about all these things above is :

The people of Israel say,”What should we bring with us when we go to worship the Lord? What should we offer the God of heaven when we bow down to him? Should we take burnt offerings to him? Should we sacrifice calves that are a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams? Will he take delight in 10,000 rivers of olive oil? Should we offer our oldest sons for the wrong things we’ve done? Should we sacrifice our own children to pay for our sins?” The Lord has shown you what is good.He has told you what he requires of you. You must treat people fairly.You must love others faithfully.And you must be very careful to live the way your God wants you to. ” Micah 6:6-8

What does God expect of you? What can you offer Him? How to serve Him? He has already told you what He wants in His Word. He wants you to love people, be fair with people, do what you know is good, be humble…

Micah

Micah