Biyernes, Mayo 1, 2015




WHY ARE PEOPLE HESITANT and even adamant to seek the true Church Of Christ?  Why are many already contented and are thus complacently comfortable in the church they are in?
     “What for?” says a successful businessman and father of five who are equally successful in their respective careers.  “We’re living the good life!” he continues.

     “Mine is a worry-free existence.  I’ve been in this church for so long.  A member of good standing at that.  Moreover, I’ve received so much blessings here.  What do you make of it?  Surely, I cannot but be of God,” another quips.
     Indeed, today a lot of people associate having much in life (in terms of material holdings) to being of God and enjoying His providence, hence, not seeing the need of finding out if they are in the true church or not.  They find it superfluous, thus unnecessary, to change their religious affiliations.  And many even quote the Bible for what they think as pertinent verses to support their contention.

“God does not discriminate!”  And before an argument could ensue, they would cite our Lord Jesus Christ, thus:  “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?(Matt. 6:26, New International Version)
     “Didn’t our Lord Jesus Christ generally show the value of a human life, irrespective of a person’s religious affiliation?” they’d ask.   And to bolster their belief, they would continue appropriating for themselves our Lord Jesus Christ’s pronouncement, thus:  “If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? (Matt. 6:30, Ibid.).

What this people did not realize is that Christ’s statement in Matthew 5:45 is a carryover from verses 43 and 44 where He mentioned about enemies and persecutors, thus giving His disciples specific instructions as to how they ought to deal with them.  Moreover, in Matthew 6:26 and 30, Christ was rebuking those who are of little faith, hence, making a distinction among His disciples regarding faith.  Had they been careful, they would have realized that Christ was pointing out the kind of faith some of His disciples have, hence, “… you of little faith,” He says.
     Another thing that people who regard material bounty as proof of being of God is that Christ Himself said that God “causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous” (Matt. 5:45).

But is there really no difference?  In II Peter 3:7, this is stated, thus:  “But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.(New King James Version).  Sadly, regarding Judgment Day, there are those who take it for granted.  Engrossed with one’s daily life, many barely, if ever, think about it.  Moreover, the wicked continue to flourish on earth making many skeptical but this should not come as a surprise because King David even then observed, thus:  I have seen the wicked in great power,
And spreading himself like a native green tree.(Ps. 37:35, Ibid.).  They failed to notice though what the psalmist said earlier, thus:  “Don’t be worried on account of the wicked; don’t be jealous of those who do wrong.  They will soon disappear like grass that dries up; they will die like plants that wither” (Ps. 37:1-2, Today’s English Version).  This should be a fair warning to people wallowing in wickedness and a signal to those who are envious of others, who despite their doing evil, continue to thrive.  For King David said:  “… but sinners are completely destroyed, and their descendants are wiped out” (Ps. 37:38, Ibid.).
     On the other hand, to the righteous, King David instructs, thus:  “Seek your happiness in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desire.  Give yourself to the LORD; trust in him, and he will help you” (Ps. 37:4-5, Ibid.).  He also said:  “Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is future for the man of peace” (Ps. 37:37, NIV).

Certainly, the man of peace is he who has found the peace of God.  And the learned Apostle Paul taught where we find him, thus:  “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful” (Col. 3:15, NKJV).  Those who have found real peace—the peace of God—are in one body or Church whose head is Christ (Col. 1:18, Ibid.)  Hence, they are in the Church Of Christ (Rom. 16:16, Ibid.).
     One may reason out though:  “But I have not done anything wrong to anybody, nor have I even thought badly of others!  Should I still join the Church Of Christ?”  Apostle Paul says:  “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church?  … God will judge those outside. ‘Expel the wicked man from among you’” (I Cor. 5:12-13, NIV).  God will judge those outside the Church.  And only one church existed then:  Church Of Christ (Acts 20:28,  Lamsa Translation).

Others say that by virtue of creation, they have received God’s loving kindness, hence living a prosperous life.  Truth is, none compares to the love that members of the Church Of Christ receive from God, the love that renders them confident on the day of Judgment, thus:  “In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment …” (I John 4:17, NIV).  One may have all the riches in the world, but if he is not saved on Judgment Day, then he is the most pitied.  His wealth shall become useless as Christ forewarns (Luke 9:25, Ibid.).  What is the proof that God’s complete love pertains to man’s attaining salvation?  In Psalms 91:14-16, this is stated, thus:  “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
 and show him my salvation.’” (Ibid.).

Wealth, per se, is not evil, but it should not cause man to forget God and His commandments, one of which is to join the Church Of Christ.  Our Lord Jesus Christ who spoke what the Father told Him to (John 12:50, Ibid.) commands men to enter the fold or flock (John 10:9, Revised English Bible), or the Church Of Christ (Acts 20:28, Lamsa Translation).
     Must one then hesitate to join the Church Of Christ?  Must one have second thoughts and put to naught the God-given privilege of receiving from Him a blessing far greater than material wealth that people in this world are so concerned about?  Before it is too late, should one not think about it?  *