THE GREATEST MESSAGE
ON DIFFERENT OCCASIONS in our life, our birthdays for instance, we normally receive gifts from people who care for us. We usually appreciate the gifts given us especially when they benefit us so much. In return, we thank our well-meaning friends and relatives and treasure their gifts for quite a long time, because we perceive them as an expression of their love.
However, there is a gift given to man that is priceless, yet many have failed to realize and regard it the way it should be. This is the greatest gift of God to mankind—none other than our Lord Jesus Christ. Apostle John explicitly states: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life” (John 3:16, Today’s English Version).
The abovementioned statement of John raises three important points we must reflect on: First, God’s love for us is immeasurable. Not only did He create us but also provided us a suitable place, a good habitat to live including the things we need to sustain life. Far above these material graces, God gave His only Son manifesting the greatness of His love for us.
Second, God’s love for the world is indeed great that He sent His only Son (I John 4:9), our Lord Jesus Christ for the purpose of giving us an understanding to know the One who sent Him. Apostle John articulates this: “We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” (I John 5:20, New International Version). Christ was sent to make us understand an extremely important message that we should know the true God, and that this has something to do with our salvation and attainment of eternal life. Otherwise, we will not be saved. Apostle Paul declares: “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (II Thess. 1:8-9, Ibid).
And third, the greatest message of God which Christ has taught to mankind through the Holy Scriptures is to know who the only true God is. Christ emphasized this, for He Himself was fully aware of the fact that many believed in other gods other than the One who sent Him. As a matter of fact, the vast influence of Greek and Roman culture, particularly the Greek’s and Roman's religious practices, had crept deeply into the lives of the people living within the Roman empire. Apostle Paul who was sent to the Gentiles to preach the message of salvation articulated the most important teaching of Christ: “So then, about eating the food offered to idols: we know that an idol stands for something that does not really exist; we know that there is only the one God. Even if there are so-called ‘gods,’ whether in heaven or in earth, and even though there are many of these ‘gods’ and ‘lords,’ yet there is for us only one God, the Father, who is the Creator of all things and for whom we live; and there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things were created and through whom we live. But not everyone knows this truth. Some people have been so used idols that to this day when they eat such food they still think of it as that belongs to an idol; their conscience is weak, and they feel they are defiled by the food” (I Cor. 8:4-7, TEV).
Christ also explicitly stated that eternal life is only for those who do believe in the message he taught—the Father is the only true God (John 17:3, 1, Contemporary English Version). The belief that there is God the Son and that the Holy Spirit is also God is against the teaching of Christ. God Himself said: “Consult together, argue your case, and state your proofs that idol worships pays. Who made these things known long ago? What idol ever told you they would happen? Was it not I, the LORD? For there is no other God but me—a just God and a Savior—no, not one! Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other” (Isa. 45:21-22, New Living Translation).
WHO DOES RECOGNIZE THE ONLY TRUE GOD?
Christ not only has made the only true God known, but also of great importance, has taught the greatest commandment. Matthew recorded: “ “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matt. 22:36-38, NIV). Knowing and recognizing the only true God is one very important thing. But loving Him, certainly, is another thing, in fact the greatest commandment.
In view of this commandment, Apostle John who was among the apostles Christ called to preach the gospel (Mark 16:15-16), taught: “If we obey God’s commands, then we are sure that we know him” (I John 2:3, TEV). Emphatically, he also said: “In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.” (I John 5:3, NIV).
The Church of Christ that emerged in the Philippines in these last days as prophesied in the Holy Scriptures has taken this task of spreading the message about the only true God as its primary mission. As this mission was started by the last messenger, Brother Felix Y. Manalo, the Church through its administration continuously sends ministers and evangelical workers to many places to preach the message for man’s salvation.
The Church members all throughout the world will never get tired of employing all possible means to help in sharing with the peoples the most important message of God, so that they too will be able to fulfill the purpose for which He created man.
The Church fervently prays that more and more people find God’s mercy that when His message reaches them, they will appreciate the efforts of its members. And eventually, they will value His teachings through which they will also attain the promise eternal life. *
Based on the article written
By CELERINO G. BACLAAN
PASUGO GODS MESSAGE