The Last Days
It’s interesting to learn how much the world has changed to become so advance. But sad to say, the inhabitants are not. Instead, the sanity of people are still getting no where better, let alone getting sanctified. People of the world today are just no different from people of the past. If we would take a look all the way back to the great flood in Noah‘s time when God practically wiped clean the ‘Godlessness‘ of the human race, except for eight ‘Godly’ people whom God spared , it does not leave much of humanity to be desired.
Everyone knows that raining now and then is so important as it’s very much part of what humans need to survive. We need rain to give for things to grow and live so that we can have food to eat and water to drink. But, can you imagine what the world is going to look like after raining for forty days and forty nights? Maybe, that also explain why there’s so much of water than land on Earth until today. Apparently, what’s left now has become a remnant of the disaster to remind humanity of their disobedience. And what if history repeats itself? God had promised not to destroy us with such great flood again. But, anyway, it is kind of repeating itself except that this time around, it’s us humans who are the ones wiping out ourselves with floods that we brought on ourselves for failing to take care of mother nature, not God!
So here it goes again. No rain, no pain. We have already seen enough havoc lately in some parts of the world because of the weather that gone haywire. However, it’s only raining intermittently! Everyone knows the weather is so unpredictable due to the drastic climate change. Thus, anything “crazy” can happen with the weather because of us humans who were the culprits that wrought a big hole in the sky in the first place and hence, the greenhouse effect that culminated from carbon emission. We should go down on our knees and be thankful to the Almighty One every time we see a rainbow in the sky. Shouldn’t we? But if we want the rainbow, we must first learn to put up with the rain!!! Yet, humans will never learn and appreciate God’s promise and love for us, but would still continue as unrepentant and ignorant as it was during Noah’s time. What’s worse is, many are still clueless why, we as living human beings, are either dead or alive in the sight of God – come pouring or shine.
Whatever the case, this is a perilous time we are living in. It would seem like the last days that the Bible is talking about when Apostle Paul wrote in his epistle to Timothy at the time that he was staying in Ephesus. He was like, warning not only the Christians but everyone, saying, “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days”. He was talking about a “disaster” of another kind – the human kind, that is even more deadly than the natural disasters! He was not concern about when the world will end. He was only so much of concern about why humans keep bringing their “own-world” to an end prematurely with all the ungodliness, because he was lamenting that…..
People will be,
1. Lovers of themselves (Selfishness). It’s appalling. You can practically see this sin committed everywhere and anytime – on the road, at work, and at public. It’s getting so unbelievably bad that you could even have written a book yourself with what you have met and seen with your own eyes everyday the kind of havoc selfishness have caused to people. And not forgetting it’s also damaging the environment too. This, of course, would come under certain circumstances, perhaps like littering that is causing flash floods because of clogged rivers, drains and sea pollution. Or worse, open-burning of all sorts, from agricultural purposes to mass joss sticks burning during religious rites and festive seasons. The saddest part is, all are unknowingly entrapped in this sin and could only helplessly watch it tearing civilization apart by our very own devices and irrelevant beliefs. Nothing is further from the truth. We create and we destroy, but we can never fix, not even ourselves of sin.
2. Lovers of money (Greed). Everyone without a shadow of a doubt would at some point in their lives have committed this sin that more often than not would either left one high and dry. It would also likely to cause one to end up pretty much in disasters and not gain that would follow like a shadow. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small or big greed. It is still a sin in the eyes of us humans, let alone God. But if anything that comes from such a sinful nature especially through corruption, cheating, robbing, drugs smuggling etc, all of such ill-gotten gains are evils that would result in destroying the goodness of the heart and conscience forever.
Whether one who chose this path for glory and power is going to please God or not, one is able to tell easily if one is already dead or alive without being told bluntly. A person with ill-gotten gains may only enjoy life in this world for a short while, but will suffer death eternally and it’s the most expensive price to pay. Shouldn’t this be understood easily?
3. Boastful (Arrogant). It is so easy and so nice to boast. It makes one feel so good too. Does it not? As humans, who doesn’t boast even once in a while whether subtly, discreetly, openly or even sarcastically? If one is given any opportunities, it’s most likely that one would boast incessantly when one is getting plenty of attention – perhaps like in a public assembly of some kind? It is this little sin that may seem “harmless” at first, but would eventually bring more harm than good and even death in the likely event that one does not watch the tongue carefully.
You can refer to the Bible story about David and Goliath if you don’t know what I meant by that. The Philistines’ armies were so confident of winning a battle against Israel because of their giant Goliath that, inevitably, they had no qualms at insulting their opponents. But it took only a little stone from a wee little David, who later became King of Israel, to bring the giant come crashing down. The moral of the lesson is, any excessive boasting would make a person vulnerable to become distasteful in the eyes of the public…and God too! That’s because God is watching!
4. Proud (Egotist). If you take the advice from James, a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ who says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble”, then surely you can tell that such simple wisdom needs no rocket science. James went on to say, “what is there to be proud of? No one even knows what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are but a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “if it’s the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that”. Make sense? The Bible always does. It’s always proud humans who don’t!
5. Abusive (Poisoned Tongue). James also pointed out that the most dangerous part of a human being is the tongue! He said, “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check. When we put bits into the mouth of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue is also a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by men, but NO man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praising and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig-tree bear olives, or grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, not spiritual, and of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peace-makers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness”.
6. Disobedient (Rebellious). This is the first sin committed by Adam and Eve. Because of that, DEATH became the penalty for everyone who is born into this world. That means, it should bring us to an understanding that every “happy birthday” celebrated is bringing us closer to facing the penalty. That’s where atheists would cry foul over this issue. Since Adam and Eve were the ones who ate the fruit, shouldn’t they the ones held responsible for the penalty or so they protest? Therefore, it’s not fair the rest of the human race have to suffer the same fate. Honestly, no one has to suffer the same fate as Adam and Eve suffered – I mean, at least not eternally. No one should put the blame on them either. If you were in their shoes and as humans, you would have eaten the fruit all the same. Maybe, even all of it! So it makes no difference, isn’t it? No matter what, we would still be sinners whether we born this way or that way. But the good news is, Jesus had taken over our place by sacrificing himself for us. He died and is risen. He took the penalty of death for us. In so doing, he had CONQUERED death with the shedding of his blood. Because death comes from Adam, now through Christ Jesus, we are now brought back to life, so that we don’t have to die eternally, if we believe and accept him as Savior and Christ and be baptized in his name. We too, would have conquered death and be raised again to have eternal life. Had you not better obey and repent now? Or is it better to wait until it becomes an unforgivable sin?
7. Ungrateful (Heartless). Humans are really an ungrateful lot especially to God, and it’s all the way down from the beginning to the end. Why? If you study the Bible and the events unfolding one after another, then you would have no problem knowing why. Humans always have the tendency to take things for granted. One area of ungratefulness that is a cause for concern is when people have no qualms in wasting food and that is a sin too. People who are committing such acts have absolutely failed to realize that their ungratefulness would in many ways would be detrimental to others also. Because of their folly, soon enough the world will run out of food to eat and with the global warming situation not getting too close for comfort, it will be the case of everyone bites the dust! People who waste food unnecessarily should be taught a lesson of hunger and starvation. Only then will they know how to become grateful to God who bless us with abundant food. Not to worry though. That day will come in the not so far future from today when there will be acute shortage of food in the world. Then it will too late to show gratitude to God.
8. Unholy (Devious). This is the most common sin of all. Who is holy? But anyone can tell who is unholy easily. Can you not? For example: If you spot someone speeding, cutting queues, or running red lights on the road, or perhaps smoking inconsiderately where people are eating, that’s definitely unholy because there’s a devil behind always making sure no one is holy or better still, getting somebody killed in road accidents or smoke-related diseases. How then can you tell one is holy? It’s as easy as ABC to spot one, but it’s a real toughie for any humans to live and persevere as one. So, if you happen to come across someone who have, (1) completely surrendered oneself to Jesus, (2) having faith in him as solid as rock, (3) value him above everything else, (4) doing the will of God, (5) and conducting oneself as a true follower of Jesus in words and deeds, then you would know that is the person destined to become holy and righteous in the sight of God. As for what else people would commit that is unholy, the list is as long as the great wall of China to cramp it into this post, so I’m leaving you with the homework.
9. Without love (Emptiness). Love is a many splendor thing as the saying goes. What is love? If you, or anyone who doesn’t have a clue what love is, it could be because either you don’t think love is real and more precious than gold, or there’s a chance you’re expose to much hatred around you. Little did you know. There are many ‘devil-in-disguise’ who are good at giving hatred speeches that surprisingly would be given standing ovation and not those who are spreading the good news of the love of Jesus but yet get oppressed and persecuted instead. Hence, if you do not know whose side are you and whether you are living in the light or darkness, you will definitely not be able to tell what love is because of the devil inside you that is eating your heart out. Only by accepting Jesus and inviting him to live in your heart with open arms would it then be easy for you to experience what real love is and to share it meaningfully with others.
10. Unforgiving (Narrow-minded). Humans are very strange creatures. Probably it’s because the devil is part and parcel in the lives of all. When a person is not insulted, it is so easy for the person to tell others to forgive others. But when that person is being insulted by somebody, it is not surprising then, that same person who “advocates” forgiveness would be unforgiving and perhaps even take legal action to get even. Why? The answer is simple. It’s the work of the devil. The devil will stop at nothing to make sure humans hate one another, fight one another, and better still, kill one another so that he can drag as many souls as possible to hell with him before his time is up. So sadly, we humans are so foolishly falling into the trap everyday and seem to enjoy partying with the devil.
11. Slanderous (Bad-mouthing). You can easily spot this sin rearing its ugly head especially in the world of politics and governments whose job will always be trying to wrestle power from one and another all because of fame and power and of course, good money at the expense of the common people.
12. Without self-control. The easiest way to make someone lose self-control is make the person angry. When anyone gets angry, there’s always the possibility that one would easily lose self-control. In some serious cases there could be some unfortunate souls having to bear the brunt of this sin and getting hurt. When a person is without self-control, it can leave a trail of destruction. For example: If you want to know how bush fires start, ask those “cool-looking” people who smokes what they do with their lighted cigarette butts. Then you will know how “cool” can it be to smoke after all when bush-fires can cause untold misery to the environment, government and people with just a spark from a cigarette butt.
13. Brutal (Inhumane). What makes people become brutal? I could be wrong but the reason that seems far more likely to make people become brutal might be because of “self-righteousness”. Such self-assertion for godliness and holiness is rampant and misguided. It is proving to become the most dangerous game that the devil is implicitly playing on unsuspecting and misinformed religious teachers who, as “men of God”, and believing they were “well-versed” with their religious laws, therefore assumed they are rightfully being given the “authority” to judge and to mete out punishment on others they deemed “blasphemous” as if God is incapable of taking criticisms or “protecting” Himself. Let’s see if we bring up a case study and find out whether it will substantiate such claim or not. This could also be one of the factors that is contributing to the rise of persecution of Christians especially in volatile and religious-conflict countries. One example is the “blasphemy” case of Asia Bibi that is still unresolved.
When people who are practicing religion that hinges strictly only on observing religious laws without faith, there’s always the underlying danger that they can easily become “self-righteous”. When this happens, they are dangerously being led to believe they have the absolute religious “autonomy” and thus, have the “rights” to pass judgment on others. So, in any case when punishments meted out according to their religious laws and standards, whatever actions they are undertaking to “protect” their religion and God, it would be deemed as “upright” and “justified”. Is that right? But what makes them so 100% sure it’s acceptable in the sight of the one and only Almighty God in the first place?
According to human rights activist around the world, let alone God, it is by no means that a person can arbitrarily be thrown into jail or be sentenced to death just for speaking out the truth of one’s faith. When did bearing witness of one’s faith become a “crime” that is worthy of death? How can you put someone to death even without a probable cause or valid reason? Is that not brutal already? Don’t you think all hell will break loose if everyone in the world becomes fanatically “self-righteous” because of religion?
Jesus was also a victim of brutality even though he had done nothing wrong. And that’s where the problem was. He got himself killed for being so perfect. Isn’t that great? Because his perpetrators could not find any fault in him for speaking the truth, and because they wouldn’t want their own “self-righteousness” seen as unrighteousness by others, so it became clear why it’s all the more agitating them to become brutal and wanted Jesus crucified. Apparently, they did it to save their face as they (the Pharisees) were high priests and somewhat “respectable”. They denied Jesus even the fundamental human rights and freedom of a free man. Instead they rather had a murderer be released and it’s all because of their own “self-righteousness” that have blinded them to think they were doing God a favor, but they were not. They were only fooling themselves. Surprisingly, later when some of them learned of their foolishness from Apostle Peter who delivered an explosive message about Christ that cut to their hearts, many of them, Jews and even priests, repented and became obedient to the faith as written by Luke in Acts 6:7.
14. Not lovers of the good (Evil). As human beings, everyone wants to find favor in the sight of everyone to make oneself look “good and righteous”. For example: In the world of politics, all politicians will say all the good things about how they can transform the country to greater heights just to get the favor of voters to give them the mandate. But then again, are there politicians that you know of, who would prove to the voters that they are lovers-of-the- good by admitting any of their mistakes or wrongdoings first? None? Yes, there will be NO lovers of the good in this world unless and until all people are born of God through Christ Jesus and do not continue to sin because the whole world is under the control of the evil one (1 John 5:19). That means, you, I and everyone else are fighting a battle with the unseen forces of darkness in what is now known as the “Holy Jihad” (Holy War) that got Osama Bin Laden pretty much confused what he was fighting and ended up losing his life because he was fighting a wrong cause. Are you not fighting something too? Are you losing or winning? One thing that is for sure is this. You are definitely not winning the war against the devil if you do not have the power of the Holy Spirit that MUST, 1st come from redeeming yourself by repenting, and confessing of your sins, and be baptized in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. There is NO other way by which you could be saved and to have the power of the Holy Spirit to fight against the devil (Acts 4:12). That’s because, what you can’t see is even more real than what you can see!
15. Treacherous (Betrayal). This sin is the most powerful trademark of Lucifer, the Satan that first caused him to fall from the grace of God in the heavens and was cast down to Earth as punishment. It is also a well-known fact that Judas Iscariot, a disciple of Jesus became treacherous when Satan entered his heart and used him to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver coins. After he came to his senses, he realized it was not only Jesus that he betrayed but much worse was, he was also betraying himself as a result of having committed this sin. Because he couldn’t get over his guilty conscience, he committed suicide by hanging himself. But today, what’s even far worse than Judas is when people are consciously having the intentions to become treacherous and even after having committed such sin, would not be seized by remorse. Do not be surprised that they would even be proud of what they had done. This could be seen in cases of mismanagement of public funds that more often than not, would easily slip through the loopholes of the laws right in the noses of the law-makers. This is, undoubtedly, the greatest man-made disaster of the human-kind. It is also a powerful man-made disease that the devil would like everyone to contract It is evidently contagious as it has happened year in and year out even in countries claiming loudly to practice democracy.
16. Rash (Impulsive). This sin of acting without due consideration is dangerous and fatal especially in a court of law where sometimes innocent people are wrongfully sentenced to death, but the real perpetrators set free instead. One bad example that happened was the case of our Lord Jesus Christ. When he got arrested and brought before Pilate the Roman governor to face charges, he was found not guilty of sin, yet because of the angry mob which consisted largely of religious scholars and high priests who were earlier offended by Jesus whom they accused of committing blasphemy against God, they became irrational, unwise and so were rashly in tandem with the devil’s plot to annihilate Jesus. When an action or a decision that means life or death is made rashly, there is always blind justice taking precedence that would result in someone wrongfully accused and facing execution.
17. Conceited (Self-Colored). To be conceit to become self-colored. This is easily seen or identified as there’s always a black sheep in a family or organization that would do nothing but bring shame to the family or organization because of the sin of being conceited. When a person is falling head on and don’t even know one is causing destruction to oneself in situation that is inconceivable like when one is blowing one’s own trumpet over having “accomplished” something that is not even wrought by one’s own blood, sweat and tears, others can at once see clearly the true color of that person who would be drowning in one’s own conceit. And yet the true color of conceit is when a person become blinded by one’s own miserable color and does not see the many wonderful colors of others in the right perspective!
18. Lovers of pleasure than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power. What does that means? Let’s take Christmas as an example. It is getting so commercialized these days that every Tom, Dick, or Harry wants a part of the celebration that would obviously make them become more like lovers of pleasure than lovers of God. This evidently shows that many are celebrating Christmas, whether believers or non-believers alike, even though there are some who don’t see eye-to-eye with Jesus or would be ashamed of associating with him at other times of the year, but would celebrate with others anyway. They are suddenly in the mood to celebrate Christmas without knowing if there’s any meaning behind it. Shouldn’t people be sure of what they are celebrating and not just to celebrate for the sake of celebrating?
According to the Bible which is the Word of God, it’s not the birth of Christ that would save you, me or anyone, but rather it is his death and resurrection. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life…” Because he rose from the dead, now there is hope of redemption and eternal life for those who believe. When Jesus comes back again, it will be a different scenario. He will not suffer at the hands of humans again, but humans who still don’t believe him will suffer eternally. This time around, he will come back as King to reign on Earth. Honestly, I would rather celebrate and rejoice even if there is just one soul, sensible enough to go down on the knees to repent and ask Jesus for forgiveness of sin and be alive again now, than dead in the sight of God. That’s when the power of believing in Jesus will manifest and lives changed for good.
If any one who claims oneself as a man of God and a true follower of Jesus, one should not deviate from the teachings of Jesus. He told his disciples to remember his death, not his birth, when they were participating in the last supper as Jesus knew he would be handed over to the children of the devil to face death. Jesus knew his death and resurrection would play a significant role in fulfilling his Father’s will, because his death would mean eternal life for those who believe him.
There was on one occasion when Jesus told the Jews that if anyone believed in him and hold on to his teachings, the person shall be free. He was immediately questioned how he could set anyone free when they were of Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. Then Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it for ever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. When the Jews failed to understand what Jesus was referring to when he talked about Abraham’s obedience to God and that they should listen to him just as Abraham did. Jesus knowing that they failed to comprehend the truth that he was the One then said, “Why is my language not clear to you?” Yes, why is the good news of Jesus’ death and his resurrection is still not clear to many?
Even Apostle Paul who was once a non-believer of Jesus and a brutal persecutor of Jesus’ disciples, had a hard time trying to tell the early Christians who, unbelievably, made a u-turn and went back to practicing the religious laws and tradition of the Jews on righteousness and holiness. One subject that caused a furor was circumcision as it seemed so “important” to the Jews that they must circumcise and seen as righteous and holy. But Apostle Paul told them otherwise when he said, “Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. If those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirement, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a law-breaker. A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. NO! A man is a Jew if he is one inwardly and circumcision is circumcision of the HEART, by the SPIRIT, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from man, but from God”.
Slaves To Sin
Almost everyone going about their “business-as-usual” day in and day out everywhere in the world is in for a surprise. Does everyone actually know what went wrong with their lives even though everything seems fine on the outside, even those circumcised? Does anyone have any clues why it’s always the bad things happening more than the good? You know, bad things like when tragedy strikes on any normal days for any unfortunate souls around that would result in DEATH? As usual, when something so serious like that happens, one would so ignorantly and quickly brush it off as something that is part and parcel of life or that it’s God’s will. So nothing could be done to prevent it. Is that so? The worse thing that ever happened is that nobody would bother to stop, think or ask why, let alone do something about it.
If you would ask anyone why DEATH is imminent for anybody whether young or old, healthy or otherwise, it’s almost certain everyone can tell what’s the answer but not the explanation. Everyone dies, that’s what everyone knows and can tell you. But do you know why? Have you ever had anyone asking you why all humans have to face the terrifying ordeal of DEATH that will happen inevitably one fine day? And after DEATH, then what? Will there really be another DEATH to follow – the unseen one? One thing that everyone knows for sure is, everyone is dying each passing day. But does anybody know what is causing everyone to die? The answer is simple. SIN. Yes, it is sin that is causing our mortal body to rot each time we sin because we are not punished for our sin but by it. Each time we committed a sin, we are unaware that our mortal body is a step closer to death as sin and death are woven to work in harmony with one another. The only way out of this nightmare is to destroy both – Sin and Death or it destroys us. It’s a price everyone has to pay. And here is the most daunting truth that people would be terrified or pissed, if told to accept! That’s the reason Jesus came into the picture – to rescue us. That’s the reason Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.” That’s the reason his death on the cross and shedding of his blood is an exchange for our sins to become whitewashed, so that we can live eternally because of his sacrifice.
If we really do not do something about it, we will die eternally together with our sins. We ought to get down on our knees and repent, now that we know what is the truth. We are ‘dead’ because of sin. We can only become ‘alive’ again by accepting Jesus as Christ and Savior. Jesus is our one and ONLY hope. Isn’t that good news? Can you now, still afford to become terrified every time you look in the mirror and can’t shake off the horrible feelings of being a slave to sin that only mean eternal death? Do you not want to get rid of that horrible feelings of who you are and where you’d be heading? Would you be rather dead or alive? It’s a choice that you have to make whether you like it or not, and believe it or not!
This is because Jesus had warned that the devil also have the power to disguise himself as a false prophet to mislead us to fall into his evil trap. Anyone can claim to have been “sent” by God as a messenger or prophet. Don’t forget. The devil was once an angel. Therefore, it’s no problem to disguise himself as an “angel of God” to fool us. Even Jesus claimed he was sent by God. But, in what way can it be substantiated? If you’d check it out with Jesus since he’s the one who issued the warning, you will find out what he had to say in Matthew 7: 15-23. Then, you will know who is speaking the truth and who is not.
Now that you’ve checked it out, have you therefore, found out who you’re believing and embracing now is the true Light? If not, shouldn’t you be working out your salvation with fear and trembling? Why? Because if it’s not the true Light that is shining in you from the inside out – that means only one thing. You have been seriously deceived by the Deceiver and enslaved to serve an evil master and not God. So how to figure out if a person is on the wrong side of the divide? It’s really simple. Jesus said in Matthew 7:20, “wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them”. That simply means, you can easily tell by their deeds and words.
Fortunately for us humans, God still loved us. And because God knew (don’t we by now?) that the devil is always capable of mischief to confuse human beings easily, therefore the only way to prevent human beings from falling into the devil’s vicious and deadly trap, God circumvented the plot of the devil and made a sacrifice. Hence, He has provided us with a yardstick that will help us to decide whether we are pledging our allegiance to the rightful one and only Almighty God – one who is loving and gracious, of course. And that yardstick we can count on which served as a spiritual gauge, is no other than Jesus, the Son of God! The ever good thing that happened with the one and only most important yardstick was, Jesus had proven it through his death and resurrection that NO one else on earth can. According to God’s word which is the Holy Bible, Jesus had, after his resurrection, appeared to as many as over 500 people in a period of 40 days, even eating and chatting with some of his disciples on one occasion. Isn’t using this proof as a yardstick will put those who don’t accept Jesus as Christ and Savior in fear and trembling? Only the devils will fear Jesus and never accept him as Savior and Christ! Had you not better get yourself on the right side of the divide now? If you do, the devil will flee from you. That’s when you’re set free!
Who is the liar?
As it is and has been all these while, we usually failed in our capacity as human beings to tell the difference between the author of life and the author of death even until now. If one looks on both side of the coin, the good and the evil, God and the Devil, it can easily be seen and proven right from the beginning of this world that what’s true and right would be manipulated or whitewashed by turning a lie into a false “truth” and a wrong that becomes “right”. One fine example was the first case that happened at the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve, the first two human beings on earth told by God not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. But they became victims of manipulation when they were told by “author of death” in the form of a serpent, to eat it. They fell for the false truth because the Deceiver twisted the truth that God told them. That’s why, death comes to all human beings because we are always inclined to obey the “author of death”, who is always good at churning out deadly deceit, than to repent and be reconciled with God.
From then on, human beings became so easily manipulated to fall into the same trap as “your eyes shall be opened and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5). This really sad episode of human’s tragedy has happened until today so much so that even people today who are mostly ignorant would be misled and manipulated to think that by practicing their religious laws and rituals everyday they will find “favor” in the sight of God, but unfortunately, are still blinded to walk into the same trap of the “author of death” as Adam and Eve did.
Jesus was also a prophet. How then, can one tell if he’s not a false prophet? You or anyone would question.
Jesus, when he was alive had already faced questioning like this from his own people when he started telling them that he was sent by God. Jesus always have troubles trying to make them understand that the kingdom he was going to set up as a Messiah was not of this world. His mission to deliver his people as a Messiah was to set them free from the evil clutches of the Satan. It was about repentance, reconciliation and relationship with God through him. But they refused to believe him all because Jesus was born in a barn and brought up as a carpenter, and not “somebody” they had expected as their Messiah. It was perhaps God’s purpose to test the faith of his chosen people, and evidently, they failed to pass the test with flying colors.
In 2 Timothy 4:1-4, Paul was charging the Christians to get on their toes and not stray from the teachings of Jesus, lest they find themselves back to where they started or worse, maybe becoming religious fanatics that would make Lucifer jumping for joy. He was saying that, to live as Christians, it was not about following a set of religious laws and rituals that would make one righteous and holy in the sight of God. God knows the heart of humans. We can’t fool God by thinking that we will find favor in His sight with what we act and do that presumably are even “righteous” according to our standards. Apostle Paul was saying, Christianity is not a religion that is about, “doing this or not doing that, touching this or not touching that, eating this or not eating that.” It is about how we put ourselves right with God through FAITH. It is something that is NOT merely justified by the works of the law but by the faith of Christ who took upon all our sins and iniquities by making himself as a sacrificial lamb on the cross. Most importantly, it was by the graciousness of the Almighty God that we might be saved. Apostle Paul had made it very clear in Galatians chapter 3 when he rebuked the Christians in Galatia for going back to practicing the Jewish traditional laws and rituals. Apostle Paul has pointed out that“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles (non-Jews) through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. In other words, Apostle Paul was saying, when one has already been redeemed from the curse, why go back to the curse again?
It’s time to let the true Light shines in us so that we know we don’t have to live in the shadow of sin that is making us the “living” dead. Only Jesus is the true Light that can help us to conquer the darkness in us, as men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. Only then, will we see the true meaning of what the Light is and can do for the good of the human race – if indeed we would embrace the true Light and let it shines in us
“Wake up, O sleeper rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”