What is most important in life?

Today I got my Air Conditioning contractor in my house to install some heat pump units for summer and also for heating in winter, a much awaited time. While the contractor guys were moving the units into my house, talking with me the location to install etc., I took great note how they do it and where they do it. If I go any further I risk micromanaging them, which is not cool for me and for them!

I realized I needed to pull back and enjoy the fruits of the labor of this hired elite contractor for Fujitsu AC! I began to reflect on my own life, thinking in fact, what’s the point of having the coolest AC units system, and heating, if one gets sick and not able to maintain health? Or relationship brokenness? Then I begin to recoup and think through the bigger pictures of life. Then the more I think over it, the more I go deeper. But the physical health and human relationship definitely is more important than a good cooling and heating system at home, but there is something even more important!

Finally I come to that occlusion our eternal life in heaven is the most important in my life or anyone’s life. I begin to be reminded that’s all we want ultimately in life and for all our family members, friends, and in fact, for anyone! That’s why we do evangelism and outreach. Is there anything more important than that in life? No! Why? Because that’s the only thing that will last. It will be for eternity. Our good health, good air conditioning, good relationship etc., will not last more than 100 years at most! And eternity is a looooong time, far more than 100 years, more than a million years even! Far more than a billion years or zillion years, or…finally running out of breath to count it, it’s called infinity!

With that said in mind, the attention I gave to the AC contractor, should now be amplified like a thousand times and focus in evangelizing and sharing the good news of the gospel to all and wide. But the thing is, we tend to forget in life what’s the most important and get bogged down with far less important. Why? One reason is that’s not tangible. You cannot see the eternal life. You can’t see what’s like. You can see the beauty of comfort living in a nice cool 72F while outdoor soars in the 95F with high humidity, or outside at 7 F, and you are comfortably in a 68 F or 70F living room on the sofa. We are physically wired minded creatures. We tend to be short sighted. We tend to give so much attention to things that are far less important in life. We put in hours and hours and overtime to climb in career in a rat race in New York, or anywhere else, but we don’t put in even half of the time and effort in prayer, reading God’s word, evangelism, building relationship in life which is what really matters! That’s such a mistake in life. Anyone taking that route will deeply regret when gotten old, and looking back, time is gone. So the time to move with the right perspective in life is now as you read this article.

I was reading Psalm 40 this morning and it brings out a beautiful and powerful reminder to me as I was watching this contractor doing my AC works in my house this morning.

Psalms 40:16-17 (ESV) 16 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the Lord!” 17 As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me.

You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God! I am poor (spiritually & physically) and needy, You are my help!

Come to God and focus on him.

Amen.

Bangkitlah Ya Tuhan dan berjuanglah untuk Amerika

1 Jun 2020. New York Albert Ngu

Artikel hebat oleh @LigonDuncan mengenai ratapan mengaku mengaku berdoa dan mengasihi jiran-jiran sebagai orang Kristian sebagai tindak balas kita terhadap tragedi perkauman dan digunakan sebagai wahana keganasan dan penjarahan. Kekuatan gelap dilepaskan. Bangkitlah Ya Tuhan dan perjuangkan Amerika

Angkatan Kegelapan dilancarkan

-Melancarkan kekuatan kosmik kegelapan dan kekuatan rohani kejahatan di alam

surgaisme Racisme sangat tertanam di Amerika selama berabad-abad dari zaman perbudakan di selatan yang mendalam, dan bahkan Amerika hari ini masih gagah. dengan ketegangan antara polis dan orang kulit hitam sebagai banyak insiden yang telah menyebabkan penderitaan dan kemarahan yang mendalam di kalangan masyarakat Afrika Amerika, dan bukan sahaja mereka, tetapi juga banyak komuniti minoriti seperti orang Asia, terutama generasi milenial, dan juga orang kulit putih juga. Dalam satu perkataan, ini dapat diringkaskan sebagai ‘ketidakadilan’. Ketidakadilan telah dilakukan kepada masyarakat, dan ini adalah jaringan kewangan, keluarga tanpa bapa, dan masalah sosial yang kompleks. Tetapi baru-baru ini kekuatan yang telah menewaskan Amerika, pertama dan terpenting adalah Virus Corona yang telah membunuh 100,000 orang Amerika dalam jangka masa beberapa bulan. Skala kehancuran belum pernah terjadi sebelumnya, dan pekerjaan yang hilang menjadi jutaan orang, kematian yang ditanggung semuanya menambah kehancuran. Dan sekarang hanya pembunuhan George Floyd Amerika hitam di tangan polis putih dan video yang dirakam, baru saja membakar Amerika. Kemarahan yang mendalam terhadap perkauman, kebencian terhadap pasukan polis yang memperlakukan orang kulit hitam selama bertahun-tahun dalam beberapa insiden tertentu malangnya, semuanya telah meletus. Yang lebih teruk lagi, pasukan luar menambah rampasan dan keganasan yang menimpa bandar-bandar besar Amerika. Maksud saya adalah bahawa kita tidak boleh hanya mencuba semua ini dengan pemikiran manusia dan melupakan tangan di belakang pada tahap yang lebih tinggi adalah kekuatan kegelapan. Kekuatan kegelapan kosmik. Syaitan merosakkan kestabilan sosial masyarakat kita. Kekuatan kejahatan berarak melawan umat manusia. Ini adalah panggilan gereja untuk bangkit dan berdoa kepada Tuhan kita dan mendorong mereka kembali.

Efesus 6

10 Akhirnya, menjadi kuat dalam Tuhan dan dalam kekuatan kekuatannya. 11 Pakailah seluruh baju besi Tuhan, agar kamu dapat bertahan melawan tipu daya syaitan. 12 Kerana kita tidak bergelut melawan daging dan darah, tetapi melawan penguasa, melawan penguasa, melawan kekuatan kosmik atas kegelapan sekarang ini, melawan kekuatan rohani kejahatan di tempat-tempat surgawi. 13 Oleh itu, angkatlah seluruh baju besi Tuhan, supaya kamu dapat bertahan dalam hari yang jahat, dan setelah melakukan semuanya, untuk berdiri teguh. 14 Oleh itu, berdirilah di tali kebenaran, dan memakai pelindung kebenaran, 15 dan, sebagai kasut untuk kakimu, memakai kesediaan yang diberikan oleh Injil kedamaian. 16 Dalam semua keadaan, ambil perisai iman, dengan mana kamu dapat memadamkan semua anak panah yang jahat; 17 dan ambil helmet keselamatan, dan pedang Roh, yang merupakan firman Tuhan, 18 berdoa setiap saat dalam Roh, dengan semua doa dan permohonan. Untuk itu, berjaga-jaga dengan ketekunan, memohon doa untuk semua orang kudus,

Bertaubat, Meratap, dan Berdoa; Mencintai satu sama lain; Sayangi Jiran Kita; Sampaikan Injil — semua ini sangat penting dan membentuk degup jantung firman Tuhan.

Perang Rohani Perang

yang kita lalui adalah perang kosmik. Tidak mungkin kita hanya menghadapinya pada tahap manusia. Ia harus ditingkatkan ke tahap kosmik yang lebih tinggi. Kami akan berdoa dan bergelut. Perkataan yang digunakan adalah gusti, bahkan tidak bertengkar. Gulat adalah perkataan yang tegang. Jacob bergumul dengan Tuhan. Yesus bergumul dengan godaan kegelapan di Taman Getsemani di mana dia menjatuhkan keringat darah dalam perjuangannya melawan godaan untuk melewati cawan penderitaan, penghinaan, dan akhirnya kematian. Itu adalah pertempuran kosmik tertinggi, dan terus terang bahawa pertempuran menentukan nasib manusia kita. Hasil gusti itu sangat besar sehingga seluruh kesejahteraan alam semesta bergantung padanya, atau kehancurannya sepenuhnya ke api neraka.

2 Tawarikh 20:17 Anda tidak perlu berperang dalam pertempuran ini. Berdiri teguh, peganglah kedudukanmu, dan lihatlah keselamatan TUHAN atas namamu, hai Yehuda dan Yerusalem. ‘ Jangan takut dan jangan kecewa. Esok keluar menentang mereka, dan Tuhan akan menyertai kamu. ” Pertempuran adalah Tuan.

Betapa kita berharap kita dapat mendengarnya dari Tuhan di Amerika hari ini, ketika kita mengalami tragedi demi satu. Bangsa hancur teruk, tetapi tekad kita lebih kuat. Tetapi anda melihat perkara baik tidak menjadi mudah. Biasanya memerlukan pertarungan, perjuangan yang kuat. Ia berharga. Ini mungkin memberi kesan panen dan kebangkitan semula yang dapat kita lihat di Amerika hari ini. Ia tidak akan mudah, tetapi tidak mustahil. Kerana Tuhan menghendaki kita kuat pada diri batin, tidak lemah untuk ditiup angin dengan mudah. Orang Kristian mesti berdiri dan bangkit untuk memanggil Tuhan untuk bangkit dan berperang untuk Amerika. Itu tidak akan jelas, tetapi anda memikirkannya, maksiat yang dilancarkan oleh bangsa ini tidak pernah terjadi sebelumnya dan menyakitkan untuk dibayangkan. Ini membicarakan kebobrokan manusia, dan untuk beberapa sebab, Amerika nampaknya melambangkan kegelapan dan cahaya juga. Kami berada di titik penting bagi kebangkitan hebat yang telah kita lihat. Kami rindu pada hari orang akan berkumpul untuk menyembah Tuhan pada siang dan malam dan tidak pergi. Ingatlah di selatan Amerika (saya akan mengetahuinya), sungguh mengagumkan bagaimana Tuhan membawa kebangkitan ke tanah Wales, kawasan tengah Amerika, dan beberapa bahagian di Asia, Korea dan lain-lain, dan ya, dia boleh dan akan melakukan ia sekali lagi. Kita harus terus berusaha dan menyedari bahawa ini adalah peperangan, dan jangan lupa bahawa kita mempunyai tugas dan panggilan untuk bangkit dan mencari Tuhan untuk menyembuhkan negeri ini dan melindungi Amerika dari kekuatan gelap seperti itu. Pertama sekali, kita mesti menerapkan mentaliti dan teologi alam ghaib. Sama seperti Alkitab.

Mazmur 10

12 Bangkitlah, ya Tuhan; Ya Tuhan, angkat tanganmu;

    jangan lupa yang menderita.

13 Mengapa orang jahat meninggalkan Tuhan

    dan berkata di dalam hatinya, “Kamu tidak akan meminta pertanggungjawaban”?

14 Tetapi kamu melihat, kerana kamu perhatikan kenakalan dan kegusaran,

    bahawa kamu boleh mengambilnya ke tanganmu;

kepada anda yang tidak berdaya melakukan dirinya;

    anda telah menjadi penolong orang yatim.

15 Pecahkan lengan orang fasik dan jahat;

    sebutlah kejahatannya sehingga anda tidak menjumpainya.

16 Tuhan adalah raja selama-lamanya;

    bangsa-bangsa binasa dari tanahnya.

17 Ya Tuhan, kamu mendengar keinginan orang yang menderita;

    anda akan menguatkan hati mereka; anda akan cenderung telinga anda

18 untuk melakukan keadilan kepada anak yatim dan orang yang teraniaya

    supaya lelaki yang di bumi menyerang keganasan tidak lebih.

Pecahkan lengan orang-orang yang fasik dan jahat. Ini adalah doa yang tegas. Ini adalah serangan dan bukan doa pasif.

Bangkitlah ya Tuhan, jangan lupakan kami…. ini mengingatkan Tuhan. Tom memindahkan kita ke alam sarang. Ini doa oleh iman. Orang kuat mesti melakukannya dengan paksa. Bukan solat yang lemah. Berdiri oleh Tuhan yang kuat, Tuhan yang kuat, kita memerlukan pejuang doa yang kuat, yang akan berdiri di celah dan memanggil Tuhan.

崛起上帝保佑并为美国而战

2020年6月1日纽约的艾伯特·

。@ LigonDuncan在哀叹中哀悼伍肯的伟大文章承认,祈祷并爱护基督徒基督徒是我们对种族主义悲剧的回应,并被用作暴力和抢劫的手段。黑暗力量被释放。升起上帝,为美国而战

黑暗力量释放了-

反对黑暗世界的宇宙力量和邪恶的精神力量,

深深地埋藏在美国的种族主义已经深陷奴隶制时代,特别是在深深的南方奴隶时代已有数个世纪之久,甚至今天的美国也陷入了混乱警察和黑人之间的紧张关系造成无数事件,这些事件在非裔美国人社区,不仅是他们,而且还打击了许多少数民族社区,例如亚洲人,尤其是千禧一代,以及白人。一言以蔽之,这可以概括为“不公正”。对社区的不公正现象已经发生,这是一个复杂的金融网络,没有父亲的家庭,还有其他与社会相关的问题。但是最近,席卷美国的力量首先是在几个月内杀死了10万美国人的电晕病毒。破坏的规模是史无前例的,损失了数百万的工作,所造成的死亡加重了破坏。而现在,在白人警察和录像带的杀害下,黑人黑人乔治·弗洛伊德(George Floyd)刚刚被美国激怒。多年来,人们对种族主义的根深蒂固的愤怒,对多年来在某些特定事件中对待黑人的警察的仇恨,都已爆发。更糟糕的是,外部力量加剧了掠夺和暴力袭击,席卷了美国大城市。我的观点是,我们不能仅仅依靠人类的推理来解决所有这些问题,而更高层次上的落后之手就是黑暗的力量。黑暗的宇宙力量。魔鬼正在破坏我们社会的社会稳定。邪恶势力反人类。这是教会的召唤,他们向我们的上帝祈祷并把他们推回去。

以弗所书6

10最后,要在耶和华和他的能力上坚强。 11穿上神的全副军装,使你有能力抵挡魔鬼的计划。 12因为我们不是与血肉搏斗,而是与统治者,当局,在当今黑暗中的宇宙力量,在天上邪恶的属灵力量搏斗。 13因此,要拿起上帝的全部铠甲,以便您可以在邪恶的日子中承受并且已经做了一切,以站稳。 14因此,站在那里,紧紧抓住真理的皮带,戴上公义的胸甲,15并作为脚上的鞋,穿上了和平福音所准备的。 16在任何情况下,都要戴上信仰的盾牌,用它可以扑灭恶人的所有飞镖。 17戴上救恩的头盔,戴上圣灵的宝剑,这是神的道,18随时在圣灵中祷告,祈求和祈求。为此,要全力以赴,对所有圣徒,保持恳求

悔改,哀叹和祈祷。彼此相爱;爱我们的邻居; 宣扬福音-所有这些都非常重要,并构成了上帝圣言的心跳。

精神战争

我们打的战争是宇宙战争。我们没有办法从人的角度处理它。它必须提升到更高的宇宙水平。我们将祈祷和搏斗。使用的单词是摔角,甚至不是战斗。摔角是一个紧张的词。雅各与上帝搏斗。耶稣在客西马尼园与黑暗的争战中挣扎,在那里他为与战胜苦难,屈辱和最终死亡的诱惑斗争而流血流血。那是终极最高的宇宙之战,坦率地说,这场战斗决定了我们人类的命运。摔跤的结果是如此之大,以至于整个宇宙的福祉都取决于它,或者完全破坏了它以至地狱之火。

历代志下20:17 你不需要在这个仗要打。站稳立场,站稳自己的位置,看看犹大和耶路撒冷代表你所得到的救赎。不要害怕,也不要惊may。明天出去对抗他们,主必与你们同在。”战斗是主的。

我们多么希望我们今天能听到来自主的消息,因为我们接连遭受了悲剧。这个国家动摇得很厉害,但是我们的决心更加坚定。但是,您会发现好事并不容易。通常,它需要一场强大的战斗,斗争。这是有代价的。这可能只是我们今天在美国看到的丰收和复兴。这并非易事,但并非不可能。因为上帝要我们在内在人中坚强,而不是在力量的吹拂下轻易地软弱。基督徒必须站立起来,呼召主起来为美国而战。这不会很明显,但是您要考虑一下,这个国家释放的不道德行为是前所未有的,令人难以想象。这说明了人类的堕落,出于某种原因,美国似乎也代表了黑暗与光明。我们正处在我们看到的伟大复兴的关键时刻。我们渴望有一天,人们将昼夜不停地朝拜上帝。请记住,在美国南部(我将对此进行挖掘),令人惊奇的是上帝如何将复兴带到了威尔士,美国心脏地带以及亚洲,韩国的部分地区等地,是的,他可以而且会做再来一次。我们必须加紧努力,意识到这是一场战争,不要忘记我们有我们的职责,并呼吁崛起并寻求主医治这片土地,并保护美国免受这种黑暗势力的侵害。首先,我们必须拥抱超自然的思想和神学。就像圣经一样。

诗篇10

12 耶和华啊,起来。上帝啊,举手!

    忘记没有受苦的人。

13 邪恶的人为什么要放弃上帝

    而在他心中说:“你不会要求交代”?

14 但是你确实看到,当你注意到恶作剧和烦恼时

    ,你可以把它掌握在手中。

无助的人向你承诺;

    你一直是无父之辈的帮手。

15 砍坏恶人的膀臂。

    称他的罪恶为己任,直到找不到为止。

16 耶和华是永远的王。

    列国从他的土地灭亡。

17 耶和华阿,你听到苦难者的渴望。

    你会增强他们的心力;你会倾斜你的耳朵

18 为无父之辈和被压迫者伸张正义,使世上的

    人不再惊恐。

折断邪恶和恶行的手臂。这是一个坚定的祈祷。这是攻击而不是被动的祈祷。

上帝啊,不要忘记我们。这是在提醒上帝。汤姆把我们带到了巢穴。这是出于信仰的祈祷。坚强的人应该用武力。这不是一个微弱的祈祷。站在一个强大的上帝,一个强大的上帝的立场上,我们需要强大的祷告战士,他们将站在空白中,并呼唤主。

El temor del Señor es el comienzo de la sabiduría y el conocimiento.

By Albert Ngu, New York    May 22, 2020

Proverbios 1: 7 El temor del Señor: el comienzo del conocimiento;

la sabiduría y la instrucción los necios desprecian.

¿Por qué? El temor al Señor es el comienzo de la sabiduría y el conocimiento porque la vida moral comienza con reverencia y humildad ante el Hacedor y el Redentor. [1]

El fracaso de nuestra vida moral.

La vida moral no comienza con nuestra disciplina humana, resolución de año nuevo, porque nuestros instintos son imperfectos y pecaminosos. Nuestro defecto es inclinarse hacia la parte pecaminosa. No importa cómo decidamos ser morales, nuestro corazón no es eso, y tarde o temprano, se mostrará y se romperá. Por eso un hombre es prisionero de sí mismo. Simplemente no hay salida. Puedes ver cómo las estadísticas te dicen que no importa cuánto espere lograr la reforma de la cárcel, vemos crímenes y males constantemente cometidos por las noticias que leemos a diario. De hecho, quedó peor. La mentira, el engaño, el engaño, la codicia, el encubrimiento, la manipulación, la lujuria, las burlas, la matanza, etc., son todos nuestro idioma nativo. Eso fue lo que les sucedió a los primeros niños globales del mundo, los niños de Adán se mataron unos a otros, bastante increíble, pero esa es la verdad de cómo los seres humanos han caído de Dios desde el pecado original de Adán y Eva en el jardín del Edén. Por supuesto, también hay muchas buenas obras realizadas por la raza humana, los instintos naturales que Dios creó allí en la creación no se han erosionado por completo. Esto se llama la gracia común. Sin embargo, la depravación de la humanidad es abrumadora. Incluso esa bondad de la humanidades no sostenible. La única forma de recurrir a nuestro creador que es el gran Dios, la bondad, la justicia, la santidad, la bondad y el amor de Dios.

¿Cómo obtenemos verdadera sabiduría y conocimiento?

Reverencia y humildad

La sabiduría es sobre cómo aplicar el conocimiento. El conocimiento es genial, pero por sí solo, puede ser un arma de doble filo, bueno y demonio. Necesitamos sabiduría sobre cómo usar el conocimiento.

Como se describió anteriormente, el hombre ha caído y siempre nos alejaremos de los caminos de la sabiduría si nos dejamos a nuestro paso. Pero la forma de obtener vida moral es reverencia y humildad ante Dios y nuestro Redentor. La reverencia es un respeto profundo, asombrado por Dios. Una profunda admiración de quién es Dios. No tiene sentido acumular y reunir toneladas de conocimiento, pero no tiene temor ni reverencia hacia Aquel de quien proviene toda la sabiduría y el conocimiento.

Es el asombro de Dios lo que pincha nuestros corazones cuando cometemos errores. Verás, cuando David pecó, clamó: “A ti, oh Señor, he pecado”.

David, después de cometer adulterio con Betsabé, al ser confrontado por Nathan el Profeta, se derrumbó y lloró ante el Señor, reconociendo que había pecado contra el Señor. Él pecó contra Betsabé y su esposo, pero dijo contra el Señor que solo él pecó, lo que quiere decir es que el abrumador pecador contra el que pecó. Esto es cuánto asombro, reverencia y humildad hacia el Señor. Eso es lo que Dios está buscando.

Salmo 5 1Ten piedad de mí, oh Dios,

    según tu amor inagotable;

según tu gran compasión,

    borra mis transgresiones.

2 Lava toda mi iniquidad

    y límpiame de mi pecado.

3 Porque yo sé mis transgresiones,

    y mi pecado siempre está delante de mí.

4 Contra ti, solo tú, he pecado

    e hecho lo que es malo ante tus ojos;

entonces tiene razón en su veredicto

    y está justificado cuando juzga.

No se trata de cuán legalmente te mantienes moral, como los fariseos, sino de cuánto lleva tu corazón esa reverencia y humildad hacia Dios. Calvino dice que sin piedad, nadie podrá acercarse a Dios. La piedad es la devoción a Dios.

¿Cómo cultivamos un sentido de asombro, reverencia y humildad hacia Dios?

La adoración es la mejor manera. Expresa tu corazón a Dios y canta tus corazones a él en adoración, adoración.

Medita en salmos y proverbios, un libro poderoso. Agregará todo esto a tu vida.

La oración es un absoluto. No solo por pedir tings. Butyl, un tiempo de arrepentimiento, confesión y derramar su corazón a él todos los días, y rezar los salmos y proverbios de regreso a Dios. Esto te cambiará.


[1] ESV Crossway Comentario Proverbios 1

Why many evangelical pastors especially Charismatics ignore theology? (Let My People Think)

I started with this topic: Why many Christians especially Pentecostals or Charismatics ignore theology? But after reading Ravi Zachariah’s news today, he started a broadcast called “Let My People Think”, I thought it’s a great way to put it!

Coming from a Pentecostal background myself as a pastor for decades planted numerous churches in Asia and now in America, I would say that the assumption is that theology is left to the pastors, but the glaring fact is that pastors themselves are not theologically trained either, that’s the most shocking and saddest thing. All we needed is passion and zeal to spread the word, and we will just do on the job training, and be sent out to evangelize and make disciples.

The sad truth today most Christians have no desire or hunger to embrace the learning of theology from the bible, because they feel comfortable in their Christian lifestyle which pretty much sees no need of any in depth study of scriptures. Though on the other hands, you would see churches teach practical teachings week in and out and the flock follows suit. This shows me that folks are desiring to learn, but no direction towards theology.

When I say theology, I say primarily the study of God, or theism. We can learn the study of man & woman or anthropology, New testament books, psalms etc., but the most important one is theism, the study of God theology in the world that motivates, captures our imagination. The last one is my favorite. I remember hearing Tim Keller’s sermons over the last like 7 years, numerous times, his teachings, thoughts and theology captured my imaginations, and my longings for the Lord. I thought that he came up with all those cool theology and ethos, but now I am in the seminary doing my own MABS or MDiv, I realize that many of those he said are actually not new, but been there in the church fathers, especially the reformed world for centuries, quoting folks like Augustine, Calvin, and the like.

I am speaking to church planters, pastors, and in fact many Church members especially leaders. The church has suffered so much ignorance, left behind of all those trailing blazing thinkers like Calvin, Augustine, Barth, Bavinck etc.  


1. They want the applications only

Because of our background, most evangelical churches apart from some Presbyterian and Baptist churches, we are pretty much getting used to the fast straight shooter to applications kind of sermons. Having preached over a decade now in a charismatic background, I can tell you that we are lucky to be even preaching expositional sermons let alone clean cut exegetical expositional sermons. The reasons is that we want applications. Part of the reason is that preachers have not really experienced good expositional sermons themselves, and hence a far reach of theology, thinking theology is irrelevant.


2. They think theology is dry and not for the commoners or even pastors

Theology is dry. This causes them to read book not of theological type or reformed type, but to , again, applications type, and experiential type. I would say that folks with college education or equal or even high school, level, can and should read up of good theology books, or listen to some good teachings MP3. I would say if pastors don’t start learning theology, he would have little left to feed the flock after a while, no matter how good the heart is.


3. They think theology is mostly apologetics and we don’t need them

That’s the sad part. But this has nothing to do with the pastor learning theology. Theology is FAR bigger than apologetics. Apologetics is basically defending your faith, theology starts from the immutability of God, to the brokenness of mankind, and everything in between and beyond. Missing theology because of a small fragment is sad.


4.  They want signs and wonders and not more reading and studying

People in the developing world, especially, love the signs and wonders ministry, and I love them too. However, we can’t just stay in the mode of signs and wonders, because we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 1). We need the power of the Spirit and  the power of the Word, who is the Lord Jesus himself (John 1). By the way, I think the developed West has the opposite problem, jettisoning the signs and winders by naturalizing everything. Different world, different culture. The biggest threat in the West is liberalism, naturalizing everything, and removing the supernatural. (FYI)


5. Pentecostals don’t believe in theology calling it head knowledge

They want power and straight application for folks to go home with. But the applications come from proper hermeneutics and exegesis skill, commentary, books to read up, theology to learn. This sounds like pastors looking for a short cut, and guess who suffers? The church!

6. Which seminary and the costs?

I know this is a huge driving force. I have wanted to attend seminary like 20 over years ago but to no avail, because I didn’t know better where to start. I am glad I am in Reformed theological seminary, a great reformed thinking, and I recommend all to go with reformed teachings.

Costs? I think after the whole church gets the attitude of theology treasuring; we will see more churches sending people to seminaries.

Conclusion

Missing Out the Rich Tradition of the Early church Fathers

I would say, not knowing theology and our rich theology developed from early fathers like Athanasius, Augustine, Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, Martin Luther to today, mentioning only some of the bigger names, we will miss out so much what God has already done in their lives, thinking’s, churches etc. To remove them from the thinking world of our flock, is a self-destructive mode.

Let My People Think!

Exhort one another every day that you may not be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin

(Hebrews 3:7-15)

The question of exhorting one another should be commonly practiced everywhere we are in this world as Christians. Merriam-Webster defines: Exhortation is defined as the act or process of making a strong urging or appeal. An example of an exhortation is an emotional speech that inspires people to act.

So its strong. Urging someone. Appealing to someone. Emotional speech to inspire. That’s “exhort”. 12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

The Reason of Exhortation

Because of the fear of falling away due to unbelieving hearts. Now it says “Take care, brothers…..less you fall..” (v12). This refers to believers, as brothers. So there is a possibility for believers born again Christians to fall away because of an evil unbelieving heart developed, obviously from believing heart in the first place. I guess this is backsliding to the scale of de-conversion like well written by Dr Michael Krueger on de-conversion. This should make us to be even more all out to exhort one another, because there is such a thing of de-conversion, the antithesis or opposite of conversion. It’s very sad, and there are few big names in America who have sided into that.

I know Westminster confession says, just like Calvin has said:

The Westminster Confession of Faith (19.1) states, “They whom God hath accepted in his Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.”

This is called the Doctrine of perseverance of the Saints. “The doctrine described says that the elect are not only redeemed by Christ and renewed by the Spirit, but that they are kept in faith by the almighty power of God.”[1] That’s a very important phrase right there, “kept in faith” by the almighty power of God. We are not only saved redeemed by Christ and renewed by the Spirit, but KEPT in faith by God’s power. That means there is always a tug of war trying to pull us away from God by the forces in this world and the forces of devil.

Curtis Thomas puts it well, “This doctrine of the perseverance of the saints does not maintain that all who profess the Christian faith are certain of heaven. It is saints, those who are set apart by the Spirit, who persevere to the end. It is believers, those who are given true, living faith in Christ, who are secure and safe in Him. Many who profess to believe fall away, but they do not fall from grace, for they were never in grace. True believers do fall into temptation, and they do commit sins, but these sins do not cause them to lose their salvation nor do they separate them from Christ.”[2]

The question is many who profess faith in Jesus also fall away, why? Because they were never in grace, therefore they can’t fall away from grace. But they so called profess their faith.

Where are the NT promises for that?

When we come to the New Testament (the new covenant) we find one promise after another that God will preserve His people. Jesus says, “it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish” (Matt. 18:14). In John chapter 6, Jesus promises, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. … And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day” (John 6:37–39). Speaking of the Good Shepherd and the sheep, Jesus very clearly teaches the doctrine of the security of the believer: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one” (John 10:27–30).[3]

Jesus said it “I shall lose nothing of all..”(v14).The “no one is able to snatch them out of the Fathers hand”. So those who fallen away, are those who were never in the grace.

Dr. Curt Daniel has done valuable work in explaining and setting these verses in their proper context in The History and Theology of Calvinism, Dallas: Scholarly Reprints, pp. 420–425. I conclude with his words: “The Reformed doctrine of perseverance is that a regenerate soul will certainly persevere through the trials of life and continue to believe and repent. He will slip and fall, develop bad habits, wrestle with doubts, but through it all he will keep on going even as he began. … all believers slip and fall into sin. But the truth of the matter is that no believer stays down. Just as God gave him faith and repentance unto initial conversion, so He supplies him with faith and repentance all along the way to heaven” (p. 415 ).[4]

But the most important thing is “Do not harden your hearts…” for 40 years Israel tested God and saw the miracles of God for 40 years and yet there were a number of them who rebelled against God, fallen totally away. Imagine that? After seeing some of the phenomenal miracles that will pale anything we have seen today? So if they could fall away even after seeing greatest miracles one earth, watch out in your own lives. Don’t take things for granted. There must a continual fear of God, deep reverence of God and a sense of piety and love for him.

Hebrews 3:7-9 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness,9 where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years.

Feeling God’s Anger & Frustration

10 Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.’11 As I swore in my wrath,‘They shall not enter my rest.’”

Sometimes people forget that God has emotions too. He gets angry, and his holy anger rises and shown many times especially in the OT. He has deep passion for his people Israel in the OT, and in the NT and now, he has deep feelings for his church, who was purchased by his own blood. We are his. He is our God. Amen.

Conclusion

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.


[1] Curtis Thomas , Safe and Secure,  https://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/safe-and-secure/

[2]Ibid

[3] Ibid

[4] Ibid

Bringing many sons to glory

Hebrews 2:10-12 (ESV) 10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, 12 saying, “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.”

It’s just so beautiful to see that Jesus is bringing many sons to glory. That’s to say that to enter the heaven of eternal bliss, He will bring many sons to glory, not just into heaven. So what’s glory? Romans 8:30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. Paul spells it out here clear with those God called, justified, and finally he gloried them. Why would God glorify those saved? Justified I can understand, but glorify? But when I read “bringing many sons to glory”, I can understand better. When one is justified, it means he is cleansed, he is already glorified. Jesus is glorified, he is returned to heaven to his old glory that he had before the foundation of the world. Glory is part of God’s characteristics, no one can see the Lord without holiness, for example. But when someone is purified by the blood of Jesus, we are qualified to enter to see him in his return, and we shall also be glorified. People who are not glorified, cannot see the Lord, because he is so full of glory, blazing fire (Revelations).

But what touches me most is the phrase “bringing many sons to glory”. It’s like he’s hold our hands bringing us into glory. What a beautiful picture of our shepherd, savior, bringing many of us entering into glory. He didn’t just send a thousand angels and have us line up and huge lines (can you imagine billions of us?) and even take a number? No, but he brings us in himself. Once we are in, we are glorified.

The next one is he sanctified us, or purifies us. There can be no sin in heaven. Now v11 says he is not ashamed to call them brothers! Wow, this is really endearing. He is not ashamed of us in front of angels and the Father in heaven. He’s saying “Hey, these are my brothers.” Remember he’s brought us from our background utter darkness, brokenness, godless, rebellious, sinful full of self, and now into the presence of the holiness in heaven, he validates us, he affirms us, he says “they are mine, they are my brothers & sisters.” Oh, how beautiful and moving. Intimate, more than friends, but brothers. This is immediately entering into familyhood, and we are also adopted in God’s family through Jesus, and we call him Abba Father! Amen! All because of the Lord Jesus. The amazing awesome Savior, our spokesman, our mediator, our advocate. He represents us in front of the Father.

Not only that, v12 “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.”

He will tell of our names to his brothers on the midst of congregation, he will praise us. It is amazing how warm and endearing Jesus is. He is no aloof dude, king, who wants to control us only.

Conclusion is who wouldn’t want to join the family of Jesus? Who wouldn’t want to leave this world and join him for eternity?

I hope this will encourage you to see the intimacy of Christ with us, and how personal he is with us? He calls us brothers (or sisters) in front of angels and his Father. He will say “Welcome to my family” when we eventually get there! Hallelujah!

Eschatological Desire Motivates you for Self-Denial & Asceticism

Let me just say that self-denial and asceticism is not part of our delights in life. But Jesus commanded it.  

Matt 16 24  Jesus says “let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me”.

Taking up the cross, means crucification. Crucify our flesh to the Lord. If you ask someone to do that, he will probably rebel. Let me say briefly that self-denial and taking upon the cross, actually debunk us from the tight reign of this material world upon us, upon our lives, desire, imagination. To be really genuine Christian, there must be a sense of heavenliness in our lives, and we can’t just talk like someone who’s so earthly material bounded, i.e. earthly pleasures etc.

Let me define: Asceticism: the practice of strict self-denial as a measure of personal and especially spiritual discipline the condition, practice, or mode of life of an ascetic rigorous abstention from self-indulgence

Abstention from self-indulgence. The kind of conversation we have as Christians have to reflect that heavenliness. Not so self-indulgence on earthly pleasures only.

Colossians  If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 

Col 3 days set your mind on things above…..because you have been raised with Christ. Seek the things that are above. What’s all this? This is all heavenly desiring language. The only way we can be such heavenly minded, is based on what Calvin writes as below:

First, it’s by means of greater eschatological desire. What’s eschatological? a belief concerning death, the end of the world, or the ultimate destiny of humankind specifically any of various Christian doctrines concerning the Second Coming, the resurrection of the dead, or the Last Judgment

Eschatology is about the second coming of Christ.  It’s about the end of the world, about the ultimate destiny of humankind.

John Calvin writes: Motivation to self-denial and any ascetic discipline must always by means of greater eschatological desire, for “the only way to make right progress in the Gospel is to be attracted by the sweet fragrance of Christ so that we desire him enough to bid the enticements of the world farewell.” [1]

So what’s eschatological desire? It’s the desire that comes with the second coming of Christ, at the end of the world, when Jesus will take all his elect into his eternal bliss (joy) with him in the heavenly kingdom for all eternity. All eternity, its more than a million years! (Just to get perspective) while our lives in this world is only up to like 100 years only. That will completely transform our worldview in life. When you realize that there is a trillion years and more coming, and if you really believe that, you will drop everything to seriously examine that! So that’s what Jesus says in a parable, a man who fund riches treasures under a field, went and sold everything he has, and bought that field. That’s it!

So contrast that with the worldly pleasures, traveling to see nations, cities, eating good food, traveling and sight-seeing, all these are mundane worldly pleasures. It’s fleeting. We can have some of them sometimes, or not at all. We must not be bound by them.

But how do we get out? By the end of the world (eschatology) desires of that bliss coming by Jesus. That’s what turn our eyes from the earthly to the heavenly. In fact he says with that we can say farewell to worldly enticements farewell.

We are organic beings. We must have something to look forward to , for us to make the sacrifice of self-denial, and ascetic. We can’t be told to do it, because we don’t like to. But if we see the joy ahead of us, that eschatological desire and hope, we are then willing to do it. Just like Jesus endured the cross for the sake of the joy set ahead of him. Heb 2: looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Let me end with this:

Psalm 37Trust in the Lord, and do good;
    dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
    and your justice as the noonday.


[1] John Calvin, The Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians and the Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon.  (Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1964)

Why good decent law-abiding non-believers won’t enter heaven?

I am most amazed with what John Calvin wrote about non-Christians who lead virtuous life, kind compassionate, generous, and helping the poor and needy, but not accepting Christ as personal Savior and Lord. He said their accomplishments in the world is considered as garbage in the sight of God because their good deeds were done without a worship unto the Lord who created them on the first place. All this boils down to ‘worship’. Truly without worship, awe and acknowledgement of the Almighty God who birthed you into the world, all the good deeds and virtues in the world will get you nowhere because you have not acknowledged and honored the God who has given you everything including your ability to do good deeds to others.

I am so blessed to better understand why good non-Christians won’t go to heaven. I am struck with that important, in fact, the most important facet of life, is about worship of the living God, not about how good a person you are. In all honesty and truth, it’s not about you, it’s about God. Nothing of the fragile weak fallen broken human and would get you anywhere in the holiness and sight of the transcendent God.

So doing good deeds just as a nice person, law abiding person, good heart on its own, though appealing, is not what will make the difference. What matters is doing good deeds, kind and law abiding as a worship unto the Lord. That’s the difference. You have to first put your faith in Christ as your Savior and Lord and then any good works will be as a result of that as a living sacrifice unto the Lord. Romans 1 explains the emptiness of people who refuse to honor the creator God, no matter how good they are as a person.

Romans 1:20-23 (ESV) 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

We all know that Christians fail God and even society as well. And the fact is it’s even more complicated by the fact that just because a person goes to church, it does not make him to be a real born-again Christian. The doctrine of teaching on ecclesiology is that only the elect will be saved into the Kingdom of God. And the odd thing is not everyone in the church are part of the elect. Theology calls it the visible church and the non-visible church. Non visible church consist of the elect.  Who are the elect?[1]

The invisible church consists of only the elect. The visible church consists of elect + non elect, and you will never really know until the end time. And that’s why, you would so much hypocrisy and some even apostacy in the churches today, because not all of them really belong to Christ.

The main point carrying forward is: Worship.

Good deeds ————(not equal) —-Worship


[1] John Calvin, Of the Eternal Election, Institutes of the Christian Religion Unconditional election (also known as unconditional grace) is a Reformed doctrine relating to predestination that describes the actions and motives of God prior to his creation of the world, when he predestined some people to receive salvation, the elect, and the rest he left to continue in their sins and receive the just punishment, eternal damnation, for their transgressions of God’s law as outlined in the old and new Testaments of the Bible. God made these choices according to his own purposes apart from any conditions or qualities related to those persons.

Psalm 27-King David’s Anchor View towards Life

I was stunned that David, while fleeing from his enemies, and being hunted by the power against him, and in the midst of crying out to God for help, he inserted an anchor verse that explained his meta-thinking of his life philosophy. I can see why the Lord loves David, favors him. Look at v2-3

Psalms 27: 2 When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.

Evil doers assailed him to eat up his flesh, what a gross graphic of description in David’s words, and its canonized in the Psalms! (Talking about politically correct?)

Then he said that its they (his adversaries) who stumble and fall. I am not sure if this is spoken or written before or after the fact, if before, that shows his confidence in the Lord, or after, his celebration and thanksgiving.

Then v3-gives the theoretical upcoming threats and forces against him. Look at that:

3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.

Where does his confidence come from? It’s a relationship he has with God that’s amazing. He knows his God. He pours out his heart to God. Like Augustine poured out his heart in The Confession book, I say that we need to bare our souls with the Lord every now and then. Read psalms and you will find how David gets it done, and beautifully.

Now, it comes to my key point of this blog. He actually not just asks the Lord to deliver him from his troubles, enemies who wanted to kill him, but above all, he says there is “One thing” that he has asked of the Lord, that he will seek after, that he may well in the house of the Lord all the days of his life.

4 One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after:that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.

The house of the Lord is obviously the temple in his days or church gathering today, but he also above all, means the presence of God. He means he wants above all, to dwell in the presence of God, or in more contemporary words, to live in the presence of God.

That’s what I love about David. He is not asking for power, wealth, beautiful women, which he has them all, but above all he asked for the presence of God in his life. Not just in troubles.

What really intrigues me is that fact that, in the midst of all his struggles and faith in the Lord for protecting him and delivering from evil forces, he wants God’s presence. In other words, he loves the Lord and taking a cue from Tim Keller, he doesn’t just wants God’s blessings, but above all he wants the Lord.

That’s what makes David such a man after God’s heart, and how much God was with him in all he does.

The result is always amazing:

5 For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. 6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy;