A Weekly Meditation of Pastor Chang
<Witnesses of Life After Death> (65)
Praise the Lord! By God’s grace, He has allowed me to spend the last 64 Sundays to share with you the topic of “Life after Death.” The writer of the Hebrews in seeing so many witnesses from the ancient days until now says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith,…” (ESV Heb. 12: 1, 2)
What is “every weight” and “sin” from this passage of the Scripture? “Every weight” refers to past, present and future burdens, worries, pressures and other kind of related issues that bind or pull us off from moving on towards the right way; and “the sin” may mean: our doubts, unbelief, pride, stubbornness in doing evils, stickiness in seeking fame and money, unreasonable rationalism, and all kinds of sins that we allow the evil to block the gospel to spread out, or even deny the life after death, and deny the existence of heaven and hell. These bad things can cling to us so closely that we will miss the salvation of God through Jesus Christ.
The Bible constantly teaches us: after we were created by God, a human spirit/soul is given by God and put inside of each individual physical body. The human spirit/soul is the master of the body which directs, instructs and manages the thinking and actions. But unfortunately, the physical body started to decay after Adam’s sin was committed. It is just like a brand new car when it just came out from the factory, was new, shining, and vigorous. But after 10 some years later, it turns to be old, rugged and corrupted.
The human spirit/soul belongs to God and is incorruptible. When the physical body is old and bad enough and unable to contain the human spirit/soul, it will automatically depart from the body and go to the designed place forever. It is like a broken car which will not keep the driver to stay inside of it and continue to drive anymore. But the issue is: “Where will be the final destiny of the human spirit/soul?” It is a very serious question that we should ask. But unfortunately, most of the people never like to think or care about it. Can you image: if a person who is about to travel a necessary journey and he does not care when, how and where is he going? That would be terrible.
If this world is created in such a beautiful and wonderful way; for instance, our physical body which is so incredibly created even more marvelously delicate than any modern cars or aircrafts. Such a great Creator, are we not interesting in knowing Him?
Today, only three major world religions: Judaism, Christianity and Moslem claim that there is a Creator who creates everything who is God. Actually these three religions share the same origin. The beginning of these three religions is all from the descents of Abraham. But unfortunately, the Judaism is still waiting for the coming of the Savior who is the promised Messiah of God; and the teachings of Moslems are influenced by Mohammed who claimed himself as the last prophet. But in his teachings, God is as a tyrant emperor and there is no mercy but the law. Even anyone who believes in him is still not sure can be saved.
Fortunately, we have Christianity that in Christ we understand and have both creation and redemption. Both are from this person: Jesus Christ, who is the God with human form, died on the Cross to complete the work of salvation. Only by this way of atonement that we human being can be saved.
In other word, in the Scripture of Judaism (which is our Old Testament) and the Koran of the Moslems, they always emphasize on “the Law.” Of course, inside of the Law also mentions “grace and forgiveness.” But they are not perfect and complete, because inside of the books contain no actual redemptive work of God Himself. Only in Christian faith and the New Testament we find the completion of God’s redemptive work through His own Son, Jesus Christ who died on the Cross to fulfill the Law. Therefore, John the Gospel says, “For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1: 17)
It is true that Moses is the giver of the Law from God, it was not completed yet; but Mohamed was even worse, he only could pick up some passages from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible and gave terribly wrong interpretations. And because of that he created a lot of false teachings. By God’s grace, Christ comes and He manifests Himself as the Word of God in flesh. He proclaims the message, the truth, and the perfect will of God. He even is the Redeemer for all human beings. And because of Him, our spirit/soul no matter now or future is anchored. Praise the Lord! (To be continued…)