The Remnant Which Would be Saved

(From the sermon entitled, “Ang mga Kapatid na Makakasama sa mga Nalabi upang Tumanggap ng Kaligtasan” for date September 28, 2014)

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Only a few will be saved.

Even with the ancient Israelites, the holy nation of God, it was mentioned that only those who came back to the Lord will receive salvation. The Bible says, ““Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved.” (Romans 9:27; Isaiah 10:22)

Not all of the sons of Israel will be saved. Majority of them were alienated from God and from His commandments. They were like children who rebeled against their parent. They did not acknowledge God despite of what God had shown them. They committed a lot of iniquities against God (Isaiah 1:2-4).

The Bible mentions about the story of the vineyard. Israelites are a chosen people of God, and as the story goes, they are chosen grapes, and God took care of them really well. However, when the vineyard gave its fruits, they are very sour like forest grapes. Israel did the same to God. They showed bitterness and sourness despites God’s show of mercy and love (Isaiah 5:1-7). They became foolish in the sight of the almighty God. They became wise in doing wickedness, however, foolish in terms of following the commandments of God (Jeremiah 4:22).

However, not all really turned away from God. There were some who are considered as remnant, which will receive salvation. There were some who remained faithful to God until the end of their lives. Some of them even became martyrs of faith (Hebrews 11:35-38). This is a proof that God did not really turned away from His chose people, the Israel (Romans 11:1-4).

In Isaiah 1:9, we can read, “Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.” This is a prophecy of what would become of His people. The remnant talks about the seed, which is Christ. Galatians 3:16 says, “Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ.”

And about Christ, what is the aforementioned number of those who will be saved?

Christ Himself says, only few will enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 7:13-14 says it all, ““Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

The gate or the door in other translation is His body, which is the church according to Colossians 1:24,18. Anyone who accepts Christ and became a member of His body or church will have a chance for salvation. However, it was said that only a few find it. This is the reason why Christ tells us, ““Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.” (Luke 13:24)

Many will look for the way of the truth, the way of salvation, the true church, unfortunately, only a few find it. There were some who are predestined long before who can come near Him, who has the chance to have a relationship with Him, who can serve Him (Ephesians 1:4) However, we can read in the Bible that those who were chosen are of no value and importance in this world, the foolishness of this world, the poor, for the reasons of making them rich in faith (1 Corinthians 1:26-29), and through this, arrogance in all people shall be removed and thus, we can prove that in all things, only the power and mercy of God reigns.

What are the traits of these people who are called and chosen to be saved?

Jesus says, “For many are, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14) This is a proof that not all who wanted to serve God shall be righteous for salvation. The Bible explains the traits of those who are worthy of God’s redemption. Many will be called, but only few will be chosen for salvation.

To assure us of victory or success, like soldiers and athletes, we need to show we are fighting our best fight. It is not enough that we serve God. It is not enough that we became members of His body. We need to serve God with all our heart, mind and soul. Apostle Paul says, “Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.” (2 Timothy 2:3-5)

Thus, we need lots of patience and perseverance to be able to make it. This is an important element to attain perfection and salvation.

Let us remember always that there is no victory without a battle. If we surrender we will not win and if we turn back, there will be no victory. If we really wanted to be be part of the kingdom of heaven and receive the eternal life, we need to stand firm until the end, fight a good fight, finish the race and keep the faith.

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Living a Self-Controlled Life, Righteous and Holy

(From the sermon entitled, “Marapat tayong Mabuhay na may Pagpipigil at Matuwid at Banal sa Panahong ito” for date September 25, 2014)

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No matter how expensive, fast and amazing a car is, if it doesn’t have brakes, it’s not worth using it. It’s a suicide attempt if we try it. The same goes with our character. A character without discipline and self control can only lead us to destruction. Self control is an important trait of a servant of God.

Having self control is a character that shows strength. In spiritual sense, our strength can be shown by our ability to control our urges and desires in order to fulfil God’s will. We can also show our strength if we can control our selves over the temptations that comes along.

God’s enemy, the Devil, who is also our enemy is like a roaring lion looking for its prey. Its main target are the faithful servant of God. If we are not alert and sober, the Devil will overcome us because its deceits and temptations are so powerful (1 Peter 5:8-9).

Thus, we need to guard ourselves because we can be defeated by the Devil’s deceits and temptations anytime.

Jesus says, ““Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41) Prayers and belief are a perfect match to overcome the enemy and its deceits. The flesh maybe weak, but through faith we can overcome anything.

However, who are those that have no ability to control their selves?

The Bible tells us that the foolish and weak in faith are those that have no ability to control their selves. The book of Proverbs speaks about man’s foolishness, “By his foolish behaviour a man’s ways are turned upside down, and his heart is bitter against the Lord.” (Proverbs 19:3) A foolish man always do things that are against God. Their hearts are always fighting against the will of God. So, we do not expect them to have the control at anything that God wants us to control.

Instead of controlling one’s self, especially against temptations and deceits, they can get easily persuaded and overcome. Instead of perfecting the faith, they are always inclined in doing things more of the flesh. Apostle Paul mentions this, “Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?” (Galatians 3:3)

Like a car without a break, a foolish man has no control of himself, and eventually will crash.

The end of a foolish man is a great crash. Jesus says, “But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:26-27)

And so, we need to follow the instructions of the Scriptures, “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self- controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:11-12)

The present world is wicked, chaotic and already won by the enemy of God. We should not allow it to overcome us and be controlled by its deceits. Faith (Hebrews 10:38), is a strong weapon to overcome everything, especially if we live by the words of God.

In order to be succesful, we need three things: (1) Desire – the desire to attain the eternal life should be greater than anything in our lives, greater than anything that can hinder us. (2) Belief – the belief that no matter what happens in our lives while serving God, we will still remain in Him and we can overcome anything. (3) Actions – we need to act according to His will, live a self-controlled life, righteous and godly, worthy of the gospel of Christ.

If we can do these things, we can be assured of salvation.

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Ang mga Nalabi upang Tumanggap ng Kaligtasan

(From the sermon entitled, “Ang mga Kapatid na Makakasama sa mga Nalabi upang Tumanggap ng Kaligtasan” for date September 28, 2014)

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Kaunti lamang ang maliligtas.

Sa lahi man ng Israel, na siyang unang bayan ng Dios ay ipinahayag na ang mga nanumbalik lamang sa Dios ang magtatamo ng kaligtasan. Gaya nang pahayag, “Kung ang bilang man ng mga anak ng Israel ay maging tulad sa buhangin sa dagat, ay ang nalalabi lamang ang maliligtas.” (Roma 9:27; Isaias 10:22)

Hindi lahat ng mga anak ni Israel ay magtatamo ng kaligtasan. Higit na nakararami sa kanila ang nangalayo sa Dios at sa Kaniyang mga palatuntunan. Sila’y gaya nang mga bata na naghimagsik nang lumaki. Sila ay hindi kumilala sa Dios sa kabila ng Kaniyang kagandahang loob at pagibig. Sila’y nagsigawa ng kalikuan at kasamaan sa paningin ng Dios. (Isaias 1:2-4)

Inilarawan ito ng Biblia na gaya ng pagaalaga ng ubasan. Ang Israel ay piling ubas, na inaruga nang lubos. Subalit sa halip na magbunga ng matamis na bunga ay ubas gubat o maasim ang naging bunga nito. Ganito ang uri ng paglilingkod na isinukli ng Israel sa ating dakilang Dios (Isaias 5:1-7). Sila’y naging hangal sa paningin ng Dios, pantas sa paggawa ng kasamaan ngunit mangmang sa pagtupad ng Kaniyang mga kalooban (Jeremias 4:22).

Ngunit hindi lahat ay tumalikod sa Dios. Mayroong ilang nalabi na magtatamo ng kaligtasan. Mayroong ilan sa kanila na hanggang wakas ay nanatili sa pagtatapat sa Dios. Ang ilan sa kanila’y ibinigay ang buhay dahil sa paglilingkod (Hebreo 11:35-38), na naging bayani ng pananampalataya. At ito ang kahayagan na hindi tuwirang itinakuwil ng Dios ang Kaniyang bayan, sapagkat mayroong sa Kaniya ay nagbalikloob (Roma 11:1-4).

Gaya nang hinula sa Isaias 1:9, nagiwan ang Dios ng nalabi sa Kaniyang binhi (Isaias 1:9). Ang binhing ito ay ang sa Panginoong Hesus, “Ngayon kay Abraham nga sinabi ang mga pangako, at sa kaniyang binhi. Hindi sinasabi ng Dios, At sa mga binhi, na gaya baga sa marami; kundi gaya sa iisa lamang, At sa iyong binhi, na si Cristo.” (Galacia 3:16)

Tungkol sa Panginoong Hesus, ano ang tinitiyak sa atin ng bilang na maliligtas?

Ang Panginoong Hesus mismo ang nagsabi, kaunti lamang ang papasok sa kaharian ng langit, “Kayo’y magsipasok sa makipot na pintuan:sapagka’t maluwang ang pintuan, at malapad ang daang patungo sa pagkapahamak, at marami ang doo’y nagsisipasok. Sapagka’t makipot ang pintuan, at makitid ang daang patungo sa buhay, at kakaunti ang nangakakasumpong noon.” (Mateo 7:13-14)

Ang pintuan na Kaniyang tinutukoy dito ay ang Kaniyang sariling katawan, samakatuwid ay ang iglesia (Colosas 1:24, 18). Sinumang tatanggap sa Kaniya, at magiging bahagi ng Kaniyang katawan o iglesia ay magkakaroon ng pagkakataon sa kaligtasan. Subalit hindi lahat ay makakasumpong ng daang ito. Kaya sinabi ng Panginoong Hesus, “Magpilit kayong magsipasok sa pintuang makipot:sapagka’t sinasabi ko sa inyo na marami ang mangagsisikap na pumasok, at hindi mangyayari.” (Lukas 13:24)

Kaya hindi madami ang makakasumpong ng daan ng katotohanan, ng daan ng kaligtasan, ng tunay na iglesia. Mayroon talagang mga itinalaga na pinili ng Dios noon pa upang makalapit sa Kaniya at magkaroon ng pagkakataong maglingkod (Efeso 1:4). Ngunit ang mga pinili ng Dios ay ang mga walang kabuluhan, ang mga kamangmangan, ang mga dukha sa sanlibutan, at ang layunin ay upang ang mga tinawag na ito ay maging mayayaman sa pananampalataya (1 Corinto 1:26-29), at sa ganito ay maalis sa mga tao ang pagmamapuri sa kanilang sarili, kundi mapatunayan na tanging ang Dios lamang ang makapagpapasiya sa lahat ng mga bagay.

Anu-ano ang katangian ng mga taong tinawag upang magtamo ng kaligtasan?

Sinabi ni Hesus, “Sapagka’t marami ang mga tinawag, datapuwa’t kakaunti ang mga nahirang.” (Mateo 22:14) Ito ang nagpapatunay na mayroong katangian ang mga taong tunay na magtatamo ng kaligtasan. Marami ang tatawagin sa paglilingkod, subalit hindi lahat ng mga ito ay magtatagumpay upang tamuhin ang kaligtasan. Mayroon lamang mga hihirangin upang maging karapatdapat sa buhay na walang hanggan.

Upang matiyak ang tagumpay, gaya ng mga kawal at manlalaro, kailangan ng mga lingkod na makipaglabang masikap at matuwid. Hindi sapat na makipaglaban lamang tayo, ibig sabihin, hindi sapat na tayo ay maanib lamang sa iglesia at maglingkod, kailangang pagbutihin natin ang ating paglilingkod. Gaya nang sinabi, “Makipagtiis ka sa akin ng mga kahirapan, na gaya ng mabuting kawal ni Cristo Jesus. Sinomang kawal na nasa pagkakawal ay hindi nahalubilo sa mga bagay ng buhay na ito; upang siya’y kalugdan niyaong nagtala sa pagkakawal. At kung ang sinoman ay makikipaglaban naman sa mga laro, ay hindi pinuputungan maliban na kung makipaglabang matuwid.” (2 Timoteo 2:3-5)

Kaya’t nangangailangan nang lubos na pagtitiis upang matamo ang kaligtasan. Ito’y mahalagang sangkap upang matamo ang ikababanal at ikapagigindapat sa Dios.

Tandaan nating, kung walang pakikipaglaban ay walang pagtatagumpay. Ang sumusuko ay hindi nagwawagi at ang umaayaw ay hindi nagtatagumpay. Kung ibig nating maging karapatdapat sa buhay na walang hanggan, kailangan nating manatili sa pagtitiis, at makipagbaka ng mabuting pakikipagbaka.

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Ang Pamumuhay na may Pagpipigil at Matuwid at Banal

(From the sermon entitled, “Marapat tayong Mabuhay na may Pagpipigil at Matuwid at Banal sa Panahong ito” for date September 25, 2014)

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Gaano man kaganda ang isang sasakyan, kung wala itong preno, mapapahamak tayo kung ito ay ating gagamitin. Ganito din sa ating pagkatao. Ang pagkataong walang pagpipigil ay hahantong lamang sa kapahamakan, lalo pa nga kung tayo ay mga lingkod ng Dios. Ang pagpipigil ay mahalagang katangian na dapat nating taglayin bilang mananampalataya.

Ang pagpipigil ay isang katangian na nagpapakilala ng lakas. Sa pananampalataya, ang lakas natin ay dapat ipakita sa kakayahang magpigil sa sariling kagustuhan, maganap lamang ang kalooban ng Dios. Ipinakikita din natin ang kakayahang magpigil laban sa mga tukso at kaway ng sanlibutan.

Matatandaan nating ang kalaban ng Dios, ang Diablo, ay gaya ng leong umuungal, gumagala at humahanap nang masisila. Ang kalaban ng Dios ay puntirya ang mga lingkod. Ang kaniyang mga pandaraya at tukso ay makapangyarihan, kung kaya’t kailangan nating maging mapagpigil at mapagpuyat (1 Pedro 5:8-9).

Kailangan nating bantayan ang ating sarili sapagkat anumang sandali ay maaaring madaig tayo ng tukso at kaway ng Diablo.

Noon pa’y sinabi na ng Panginoong Hesus, “Kayo’y mangagpuyat at magsipanalangin, upang huwag kayong magsipasok sa tukso: ang espiritu sa katotohanan ay may ibig, datapuwa’t mahina ang laman.” (Mateo 26:41 TLAB)

Sa pamamagitan ng pananampalataya, at ng panalangin ay magagawa nating daigin ang anumang tukso na lalapit sa atin. May kahinaan ang laman, subalit sa pamamagitan ng pananampalataya ay magagawa nating magtagumpay.

Kapag dumating ang tukso, walang pinakamabisang gawin kundi ang lumayo dito. Si Jose na anak ni Jacob, nang siya ay ampunin ni Potiphar ay naging tagapangasiwa sa maraming bagay sa tahanan nito. Kalaunan ay nagustuhan siya ng asawa ni Potiphar at inakit siya nito, subalit dahil sa respeto ni Jose sa kaniyang panginoon at sa tindi ng pagpipigil ni Jose, tumakas siya dito.

Ngunit sino yaong hindi magagawang magpigil sa kanilang sarili?

Sa Biblia, ang mga mangmang at mahina ang pananampalataya ay walang kakayahang pigilin ang kanilang sarili. Sinabi ng Biblia, ang kamangmangan ng tao ay sumisira ng kaniyang lakad at ang kaniyang puso ay nagagalit laban sa Dios (Kawikaan 19:3), kaya’t huwag tayong umasa na ang isang mangmang ay may sapat na kakayahan upang pasakop sa kalooban ng Dios.

Sa halip na magpigil ang mangmang laban sa tukso at kaway ng kalaban ng Dios, ang mga lalang nito ang kanilang nagagawa. Sa halip na magpakasakdal sa pananampalataya at espiritu, sa laman nagpapakasakdal ang mga mangmang. Gaya nang pahayag ni Apostol Pablo, “Napakamangmang na baga kayo? kayong nagpasimula sa Espiritu, ngayo’y nangagpapakasakdal kayo sa laman.” (Galacia 3:3)

Gaya nang sasakyang nawalan ng preno o pamigil, ang isang taong mangmang na walang kakayahang pigilin ang sarili laban sa tukso at kaway ng kasamaan, ay tiyak na mapapahamak.

Sinumang mangmang, gaya nang pahayag ng Panginoong Hesus ay magiging kakilakilabot ang wakas nito, “At ang bawa’t dumirinig ng aking mga salitang ito at hindi ginaganap, ay matutulad sa isang taong mangmang, na itinayo ang kaniyang bahay sa buhanginan: At lumagpak ang ulan, at bumaha, at humihip ang mga hangin, at hinampas ang bahay na yaon; at nabagsak:at kakilakilabot ang kaniyang pagkabagsak.” (Mateo 7:26-27)

Kaya nga dapat nating sundin ang payo ng Biblia, “Sapagka’t napakita ang biyaya ng Dios, na may dalang kaligtasan sa lahat ng mga tao, Na nagtuturo sa atin, upang, pagtanggi natin sa kalikuan at sa mga kahalayan ng sanglibutan, ay marapat mabuhay tayong may pagpipigil at matuwid at banal sa panahong kasalukuyan ng sanglibutang ito.” (Tito 2:11, 12 TLAB)

Ang sanlibutang ito ay magulo, masalimuot at napagtagumpayan ng kasamaan. Huwag nating pahintulutan na tayong mga lingkod ng Dios ay kasamang magapi ng sanlibutang ito.

Ang pananampalataya (Hebreo 10:38), ay mabisang sandata upang tayo ay makapagtagumpay, lalo pa nga kung isasakabuhayan natin ang mga salita na ating patuloy na tinatanggap mula sa ating dakilang Dios.

Upang makapagtagumpay, kailangan natin ang tatlong bagay: (1) Paghahangad – paghahangad na makamit ang buhay na walang hanggan. Kung gusto talaga nating maligtas sa araw ng pagliligtas, kailangang makita sa atin na higit ang ating paghahangad na makamit ito kaysa sa anumang bagay na maaaring makapigil sa atin para makamit ito. (2) Pananampalataya – pananalig na anuman ang maganap sa ating buhay ay magtatagumpay tayo. (3) Paggawa – kailangan nating kumilos nang naaayon sa kalooban ng Dios, mabuhay tayong matuwid at banal, sikaping maging karapatdapat sa Ebanghelyo na ating tinanggap mula sa Kaniya.

Kung magawa natin ang lahat ng ito ay makatitiyak tayo ng dakilang kaligtasan.

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One of the Things that we can See in the House of the Lord

(from the sermon entitled, “Ang Isa sa Tiyak na Makikita sa Loob ng Bahay ng Dios,” for dates September 18 and 21, 2014)

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The Temple of Solomon is the house of the Lord during ancient Israel times. This temple was originally planned by his father, king David. But, God has other plans. David was not allowed to build it because he had shed many blood and fought many wars.

The temple was a place for worship and services for the ancient Israelites. In this place, they pray and worship God and offer their burnt offerings, which are all pleasurable to God.

The Temple of Solomon is about 1000 X 1000 feet. The tabernacle of God can be found here, which was always carried everywhere they go. It was placed in the most holiest place of the temple, which was measured as 44 feet higher than any other structure of the temple. This highest place is said to be almost the same as a 4 story building.

And because it is the house of the Lord, God can be found there.

Historically, the temple of Solomon or temple of Jerusalem was many times destroyed and built again. Israel was captured by many empires. The last was the Roman empire. Right now, the only remains of the temple is the western wall, which is also called Kotel by the Jews, a place where the Jews and other pilgrims offer prayers.

When Jesus was twelve years old, He was left unintentionally by His parents in Jerusalem. They went back and looked for Him and found Him after three days sitting in the temple in the middle of the teachers. All of them were amazed with His wisdom and answers. When Mary and Joseph found Him, He said, ““Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house.” (Luke 2:49)

Jesus was referring to the physical structure as the house of God. However, later He taught of a different house of God. It is not a physical structure or edifice. However, it is also where people can worship and serve the Lord. The house of God is what He had built, the church of God (Matthew 16:18).

Jesus is the head of this house, and is compose of members who were called by God (Hebrews 3:6).

Therefore, there are two kinds of house of God introduced by the Scriptures. However, both have the same attribute. The Lord dwells in both houses. In both houses, we can found God’s grace. The Bible says, “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” (Psalms 27:4)

What assurance can we get that we can find God’s grace in His house?

When Jesus was manifested in the flesh, the Bible says that He came to call for sinners (Matthew 9:12-13). And through His church, which is the house of God (1 Timothy 3:15), and His body (Colossians 1:24,18), anyone who was called will experience His love, mercy and forgiveness.

The house of God therefore, is where we can find the sinners who were called and forgiven by God. However, these sinners repented and came back to God. From a wicked way of life, they are now living according to the teachings of the Scriptures. They found God’s mercy and forgiveness inside the house of God.

And so, each member of the church is a proof of God’s mercy and love. And since each member only experience the mercy of God, no one has the right to judge others’ mistakes and errors. Jesus says, ““Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye.” (Matthew 7:1-3)

Instead of judging others, we are expected to accept each other’s faults (Romans 15:7). However, that doesn’t mean that we rejoice on each other’s faults. If we can advise others for the sake of corrections, then we do it in order and in love.

We treat each member as a valuable and integral part of the house of God, because God will not place anyone here if they are not important. Each member is cleansed and forgiven by God (1 Corinthians 6:11,19).

Aside from this, like what we have learned, we should show that we really learned from the teachings of Christ. We prove it by showing great changes in our life’s ways. It should be according to the teachings of the Lord (Ephesians 4:23-24). Therefore, we shall leave our former ways (Ephesians 4:22).

We should show that we are not living according to our own ways of thinking, but instead, according to the will of God. It is not enough that we became members of His church. We need to attain the perfection of our faith.

How can we attain perfection?

The Bible says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)

If we are living similarly to the ways of this world, then we can never attain the perfection of faith and thus, we can never have the eternal life. The only way to become righteous in the sight of God is to change our ways and follow what the will of the Lord is. The Bible says the righteous shall live in faith (Hebrews 10:38) and according to the Gospel of Christ (Philippians 1:27).

This topic reminds us about the following:

First, it reminds us that our membership in His chruch is a proof of God’s mercy and love.
Second, we are expected to change our ways. It should be according to the will of God.
Third, it reminds us that we need to attain the perfection of our faith.
Fourth, it reminds us that not all who were called became righteous to God. There were some who displeased Him.

The Bible talks about Christ’s parable on a wedding invitation. Some attended the said wedding but were not properly suited (Matthew 22:11-14). They were punished for not dressing inappropriately. From there, we learned that the said clothes are not material clothes. In the book of Revelations, chapter 19, verse 8, fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people. The people were punished not because of their clothes but because they behave unrighteously in the sight of God.

Let us remember that the eternal life can be attained if we became victorious in our duties and if we attain the perfection of our faith. We can do this by living a life worthy in the sight of God. We need to bear in mind that anything that is abominable shall not enter the kingdom of heaven (Revelations 21:27). We should therefore remove anything that can hinder us from being righteous in the sight of our almighty God.

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Ang Isa sa Tiyak na Makikita sa Loob ng Bahay ng Dios

(From the sermon of the same title, for dates September 18 and 21, 2014)

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Ang bahay ng Dios ay ang Templo na ipinatayo ni Haring Solomon sa kaniyang panahon. Ang templong ito ay panukala ng kaniyang ama na si Haring David. Hinangad ni David na maitayo ito sa kaniyang panahon subalit hindi nagkaroon ng katuparan sapagkat ang kaniyang mga kamay ay nagbubo ng dugo.

Ang templong ito ang dako na itinalaga upang maging dako ng paglilingkod ng mga Israelita. Sa dakong ito nila isasagawa ang kanilang mga panalangin at pagsamba sa Dios, gaya nang paghahandog ng mga alay na sinusunog na kinalulugdan ng Dios.

Sinasabing ang templo ni Solomon ay mayroong sukat na 1000 X 1000 feet. Dito matatagpuan ang tabernakulo na noong araw ay kanila lamang pinapasan kung saan-saang dako sila pumaparoon. Matatagpuan ito sa dakong kabanalbanalan, na kung saan ay mas mataas ng 44 feet sa pinakabase ng templo. Tinatayang ang pinakamataas na dakong ito ng templo ay umaabot ng halos 4 na palapag ng gusali.

At dahil ito ay bahay ng Dios, ang Dios ay masusumpungan doon.

Sa kasaysayan, ang templong ito ay makailang beses na bumagsak bunga ng pagsakop sa kanila ng mga emperyo. Ang kahulihulihang emperyo na sumakop sa Israel ay ang Roma. Sa ngayon, tanging ang mga nalabi sa templong ito ay ang pader na tinatawag sa ngayon na Western wall, tinatawag ding Kotel ng mga Jews, at naging dako ng panalangin ng mga Hudyo at ng mga nagsisipaglakbay dito.

Sa templong ito pumaroon si Hesus nang Siya ay labindalawang taong gulang pa lamang. Naiwan si Hesus sa Herusalem at siya’y hinanap ng kaniyang mga magulang. Pagkatapos ng tatlong araw ay natagpuan Siya sa templo na nakaupo sa gitna ng mga guro, lahat sila’y pawang nagsisipanggilalas sa Kaniyang katalinuhan at sa Kaniyang mga sagot. Nang matagpuan siya nina Maria at Jose, sinabi Niya, “Bakit ninyo ako hinahanap? di baga talastas ninyo na dapat akong maglumagak sa bahay ng aking Ama.” (Lukas 2:49)

Ang tinukoy Niyang bahay ng Kaniyang Ama ay pisikal na edipisyo. Subalit, kalaunan ay itinuro ng Panginoong Hesus ang bahay ng Dios ay hindi na yaong templo na pinagsasagawaan nila ng gawaing paglilingkod. Ang bahay ng Dios na Kaniyang ipinangaral ay ang iglesia ng Dios na Kaniyang itinayo (Mateo 16:18).

Si Hesus ang puno sa bahay na ito, at ang bawat naanib ay sama-samang sangkap ng bahay (Hebreo 3:6).

Samakatuwid, dalawang magkaibang bahay ng Dios ang ipinakikilala ng Biblia. Gayunpaman, magkaiba man ang mga ito, iisa ang tinitiyak ng Biblia, na masusumpungan kapuwa dito ang kagandahang loob ng Panginoon. Gaya nang pahayag, “Isang bagay ang hiningi ko sa Panginoon, na aking hahanapin; na ako’y makatahan sa bahay ng Panginoon, lahat ng mga kaarawan ng aking buhay, upang malasin ang kagandahan ng Panginoon, at magusisa sa kaniyang templo.” (Awit 27:4)
Paano tiniyak na sa bahay ng Dios, na siyang iglesia ng Dios ay masusumpungan ang kagandahang loob ng Panginoon?
Nang magkatawang tao ang Panginoong Hesus, ipinahayag ng Biblia na Siya ay naparito upang tumawag ng mga makasalanan (Mateo 9:12-13). At sa pamamagitan ng iglesia na Kaniyang katawan, sinumang magiging sangkap nito ay magtatamo ng habag, awa at kapatawaran sa kanilang mga kasalanan.

Kaya’t ang bahay ng Dios ay kanlungan ng mga makasalanang kinahabagan ng Dios. Ang mga ito ay nagsipagsisi at nagsipanumbalik sa Dios. Mula sa masamang paraan ng kanilang pamumuhay ay tumalikod sila sa mga ito at lumapit sa panawagan ng Panginoong Hesus, na sa pamamagitan ng paglapit sa Kaniya at pagdinig sa Kaniyang mga Evanghelyo ay magtamo sila ng habag at awa.

Kaya nga, ang bawat kaanib sa iglesia ng Dios ay katunayan ng pagpapakita ng dakilang habag at awa ng Dios. Sapagkat ang bawat isa ay kinahabagan lamang, walang karapatan ang sinuman na humatol sa kamalian ng bawat isa. Gaya nang sinabi ng Panginoong Hesus, “Huwag kayong magsihatol, upang huwag kayong hatulan. Sapagka’t sa hatol na inyong ihahatol, ay hahatulan kayo:at sa panukat na inyong isusukat, ay susukatin kayo. At bakit mo tinitingnan ang puwing na nasa mata ng inyong kapatid, nguni’t hindi mo pinapansin ang tahilan na nasa iyong sariling mata.” (Mateo 7:1-3)

Sa halip na maghatulan, ay inaasahan na ang bawat isa ay tatanggapin ang bawat kapintasan (Roma 15:7). Subalit, hindi naman ibig sabihin nito na kunsintihin na natin ang bawat kamalian o kapintasan. Kung magagawang payuhan ang kapatid ay gawin natin sa ikatutuwid. Subalit kailangang gawin ang lahat ng ito sa pagibig.

Dapat lamang na ariin na ang bawat isang sangkap ay mahalaga sapagkat ang bawat isa ay hinugasan o nilinis ng ating dakilang Dios. (1 Corinto 6:11, 19).

Bukod dito, gaya nang itinuro sa atin, dapat lamang na ipakita nating tayo ay tunay na mga nangatuto sa mga aral ng Panginoong Hesus. Ipakita nating tayo ay tunay na nagbago at nabubuhay nang ayon sa mga aral at katuwiran ng ating Panginoong Dios (Efeso 4:23-24). Kaya’t iiwan natin ang dati nating pagkatao na lumalakad nang hindi ayon sa kalooban ng Dios (Efeso 4:22).

Sama-samang ipapakita nating tayo ay lumalakad na hindi na ayon sa ating mga sariling kaisipan at kapasiyahan kundi nang naaayon sa Kaniyang kalooban, hanggang sa sama-sama nating marating ang kasakdalan ng pananampalataya. Hindi sapat na maanib lamang at maglingkod sa Dios upang tamuhin ang buhay na walang hanggan. Kailangang marating ang kasakdalan.

Ngunit paano mararating ang kasakdalang inaasahan sa atin ng Dios?

Gaya nang sinabi, “At huwag kayong magsiayon sa sanglibutang ito:kundi magiba kayo sa pamamagitan ng pagbabago ng inyong pagiisip, upang mapatunayan ninyo kung alin ang mabuti at kaayaaya at lubos na kalooban ng Dios.” (Roma 12:2)

Kung ang paraan ng ating pamumuhay ay kapareho ng pamumuhay ng sanlibutang ito, kaylanman ay hindi natin mararating ang kasakdalan ng pananampalataya, hindi natin mararating ang buhay na walang hanggan. Ang tanging paraan upang tayo ay lubos na maging karapatdapat sa Dios ay ganapin ang Kaniyang mga kalooban at ibahin natin ang ating mga lakad.

Kaya’t ang bawat isa ay mabubuhay nang ayon sa pananampalataya lamang (Hebreo 10:38) at karapatdapat sa evanghelyo ng ating Panginoong Hesus (Filipos 1:27).

Ang paksang ito ay paalala sa ating lahat tungkol sa mga sumusunod:

Una, ang bawat isa ay kinahabagan lamang ng Dios na maanib at mapabilang sa Kaniyang bahay.
Ikalawa, inaasahan sa atin ang pagbabago at pamumuhay na nararapat sa evanghelyo ng ating Panginoong Hesus.
Ikatlo, kailangan nating marating ang kasakdalan ng pananampalataya.
Ikaapat, ipinapaalala sa atin na hindi lahat ng tinawag ay naging karapatdapat sa Dios. Mayroong ilan na hindi naging kalugodlugod sa Kaniya.

Sinabi ng Biblia, mayroong ilan na inanyayahan sa kasalan, ngunit sa kanilang pagdalo ay hindi nila suot ang nararapat na damit sa kasalan (Mateo 22:11-14). Ang mga ito ay pinarusahan sapagkat hindi sila naging karapatdapat sa Dios.

Ang damit na nararapat sa kasalan ay yaong mga mabubuting gawa na lubos na inaasahang makita sa bawat isa (Apocalipsis 19:8). Pakatandaan nating ang buhay na walang hanggan ay mararating natin kung magtatagumpay tayo sa ating mga katungkulan at kung mararating natin ang kasakdalan ng ating mga pananampalataya.

Higit sa lahat ay sikapin nating humarap na malinis sa harap ng Dios, sapagkat anumang karumaldumal na bagay ay kinamumuhian ng Dios, at walang sinumang papasok sa kaharian ng langit na marumi (Apocalipsis 21:27). Alisin natin ang anumang bagay na maaaring maging hadlang upang hindi tayo maging karapatdapat sa ating dakilang Dios.

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The People who will Never See Death

(From the sermon of the same title for September 14, 2014)

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The Bible teaches that there are two kinds of death.

The first is the death of the flesh. It is often referred to as the physical death. The Bible explains that each person is destined to face death once and after that, he shall face judgment (Hebrews 9:27). This physical death is unavoidable, and cannot be stopped. Once a person reaches his appointed time, he shall soon face it.

Death is powerful as love is.

The second death is even more frightening. The Bible teaches us that the second death is the eternal punishment in hell. It is originally prepared for the devil and his companions. Later, all who do not believe in God and all who turned their ways against Him will be punished here. (Revelations 20:10)

However, the Bible explains that there are people who will never see death. There are people whom the Bible said that the second death has no power over them. These people are those who shall be included in the first resurrection as mentioned in the book of Revelations (20:6).

Who shall share the first resurrection according to the Bible?

Jesus says, “Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.” (John 8:51) People who obeyed the words of the almighty God shall never see death. This death is not the physical one but the eternal death. These people are those who remained faithful until death. And when they will be resurrected, they will be resurrected to receive the eternal life.

And when they will be resurrected, they shall see under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. (Revelations 6:9) They shall see the saints who have died as martyrs because of righteousness. They will be resurrected to receive the eternal life.

They shall see the new Jerusalem coming down from heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a casper, clear as crystal. (Revelations 21:10-11)

They shall see the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

The shall never experience any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. (Revelations 22: 1-7)

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