Ang Katiwala ayon sa Paliwanag ng Biblia

(From the sermon of the same title, for November 9, 2014 service)

trustingNaranasan na ba nating magtiwala at mapagtiwalaan? Masarap sa pakiramdam na mapagtiwalaan. Sa panahong ito, napakahirap na iukol ang pagtitiwala lalo na sa kapuwa dahil maraming tao ang sumisira sa pagtitiwala na ibinibigay sa kanila.

Katiwala ang tawag sa isang taong pinaguukulan ng tiwala. Sa Biblia, mahalagang maunawa natin ang mga katangian ng isang taong dapat pagukulan ng tiwala. Sinabi ni Apostol Pablo, “kinakailangan sa mga katiwala, na ang bawa’t isa ay maging tapat.” (1 Corinto 4:2) Pinakamahalagang katangian ang pagiging tapat sa isang katiwala. Ang ibig sabihin ng tapat ay totoo hindi lamang sa ibang tao, kundi totoo sa kaniyang sarili. Ang taong tapat ay hindi mapagpanggap o sinungaling.

At kapag nasumpungan ang isang tao na tapat at totoo sa kaniyang sarili, sinabi ng Biblia na ang ganito ay sapat upang mapagtiwalaan maging sa mga maseselang bagay gaya nang sinabi ng Panginoong Hesus, “Sino nga baga ang aliping tapat at matalino, na pinagkatiwalaan ng kaniyang panginoon sa kaniyang sangbahayan.” (Mateo 24:45) Inilarawan sa talatang ito na ang tapat na katiwala ay pinagtitiwalaan maging sa tahanan ng kaniyang panginoon. Ang isang katiwala ay dapat manatiling tapat sapagkat magbibigay sulit siya sa kaniyang pagiging katiwala (Lukas 16:2).

Kung ang isang katiwala ay pinagtitiwalaan ng maseselang bagay ng kaniyang panginoon, ganito din ang mga lingkod na pinagtiwalaan mismo ng Dios. Ang pagkakatawag natin sa loob ng iglesia ng Dios ay pagtitiwala na nagbuhat sa Dios. At sapagkat ang bawat isa ay tinawag at pinagtiwalaan, inaasahan ng Dios na magiging tapat tayo sa sa katungkulang ibinigay sa atin bilang katiwala ng kaniyang mga biyayang espirituwal. Sinabi ni Apostol Pedro, “Na ayon sa kaloob na tinanggap ng bawa’t isa, ay ipaglingkod sa inyo- inyo rin, na gaya ng mabubuting katiwala ng masaganang biyaya ng Dios.” (1 Pedro 4:10)

Ang iglesia ang pinagtiwalaan ng Dios ng napakaselan na biyaya, samakatuwid ay ang mga kaalaman at mga karunungan Niya, bagay na hindi ipinagkaloob sa maraming mga tao kundi sa mga pinagtiwalaan lamang. Mababasa ito sa Efeso 3: 7, 9-10, “At maipakita sa lahat ng mga tao kung ano ang pagiging katiwala sa hiwaga na sa lahat ng panahon ay inilihim ng Dios na lumalang ng lahat ng mga bagay; Upang ngayo’y sa pamamagitan ng iglesia, ay maipakikilala sa mga pamunuan at sa mga kapangyarihan sa sangkalangitan ang kapuspusan ng karunungan ng Dios. Na dito’y ginawa akong ministro, ayon sa kaloob ng biyayang yaon ng Dios na sa akin ay ibinigay ayon sa paggawa ng kaniyang kapangyarihan.”

Upang lubos na patunayan ng Biblia na ang iglesia ang tunay na pinagkalooban ng tiwala sa mga katuwiran ng Dios, idinagdag pa ni Apostol Pablo, “Nagpapasalamat akong lagi sa aking Dios tungkol sa inyo, dahil sa biyaya ng Dios na ipinagkaloob sa inyo sa pamamagitan ni Cristo Jesus; Na kayo ay pinayaman sa kanya, sa lahat ng mga bagay sa lahat ng pananalita at sa lahat ng kaalaman; Gaya ng pinagtibay sa inyo ang patotoo ni Cristo.” (1 Corinto 1:4-6)

At lahat ng ito ay ibinigay sa iglesia ng Dios upang sinumang maanib dito ay sumagana sa mga kaalaman at karunungang ukol sa Dios. Nangangahulugan na ang naanib na ito ay tunay na pinagtitiwalaan ng Dios sa layuning siya ay gumaling sa pananampalataya, “Kung tunay na inyong narinig yaong pagiging katiwala sa biyaya ng Dios na sa akin ay ibinigay sa ikagagaling ninyo.” (Efeso 3:2)

Paano natin dapat suklian ang pagtitiwala na ibinigay sa atin ng ating Dakilang Dios?

Hindi lahat ng tao ay pinagtiwalaan ng Dios. Ito ay isang karangalan na tanging ibinigay lamang sa Kaniyang mga lingkod. Subalit kalakip ng pagtitiwalang ito ng Dios ay dapat namang suklian ito ng karapatdapat na pagtatapat. Anumang tungkulin o biyaya ang ibinigay sa atin ng Dios ay dapat nating pagtapatan at pahalagahan. Gaya nang sinabi ng Panginoong Hesus, “Ang mapagtapat sa kakaunti ay mapagtapat din naman sa marami:at ang di matuwid sa kakaunti ay di rin naman matuwid sa marami.” (Lukas 16:10)

Kaya nga, inaasahan ng Dios na tayo ay magtatapat sa Kaniya. Ipakita natin ang katapatan sa lahat ng aspeto ng ating pagkatao, sa materyal man o sa bahagi ng espirituwal. Ang susi upang magawa nating magtapat sa lahat ng bagay ay yaong matutunan nating masiyahan at makuntento sa mga bagay na ating tinatamasa. Gaya nang sinabi ni Apostol Pablo, “sapagka’t aking natutuhan ang masiyahan sa anomang kalagayang aking kinaroroonan.” (Filipos 4:11) Ang mga taong kadalasang nawawalan ng kasiyahan sa kanilang buhay ay nawawalan din ng pagtatapat sa kanilang sarili, sa ibang tao at higit sa lahat ay sa Dios.

Marami mang tukso ang dumating, lalo’t sa panig ng materyal na bagay, sikapin nating manatili sa pagtatapat sa ipinagkatiwala sa atin ng Dios. Gaya nang sinabi ni Apostol Pablo, “At sa pagkakatiwalang ito, ay aking nalalaman na ako’y mananatili, oo, at mananatili ako na kasama ninyong lahat, sa ikasusulong ninyo at ikagagalak sa pananampalataya.” (Filipos 1:25)

Tandaan nating kadalasan ang nagiging dahilan ng pagkawala ng pagtatapat ay ang pagkatukso sa mga bagay na maaaring magbigay sa atin ng ibang kasiyahan. Kung tayo’y tunay na lingkod ng Dios, ang kasiyahan natin ay ang Dios, ang paglingkuran Siya, ang Kaniyang mga salita at katuwiran. Hindi tayo papayag na matukso sa ibang kasiyahan, lalo na sa kasiyahan ng sanlibutang ito.

At higit sa lahat ipakita natin na samantalang pinagtitiwalaan tayo ng Dios ay suklian naman natin ito ng ibayong pagtitiwala sa Kaniya. Gaya nang sinabi, “Magpakaligaya ka naman sa Panginoon; at bibigyan ka niya ng nasa ng iyong puso. Ihabilin mo ang iyong lakad sa Panginoon; tumiwala ka rin naman sa kaniya, at kaniyang papangyayarihin.” (Awit 37:4-5)

Hanggang kailan natin ipakikita ang pagtitiwalang ito? Ipakita natin hanggang sa huling hininga ng ating buhay, gaya nang sinabi, “Hanggang sa ako’y mamatay ay hindi ko aalisin sa akin ang aking pagtatapat.” (Job 27:5) Kung magkagayon ay maging karapatdapat tayo sa pagtitiwala na ipinagkaloob Niya sa atin.

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How Death came to Us

(From the sermon entitled, “Ang Kamatayan at Kung Paano Ito Naitakda sa Tao”, for November 2, 2014 service)

Traci_hospital_hands

Why do people die?

Many people do not understand the concept of death. Why do we have to die? Why can’t we live forever? And because death is often misunderstood, many people cannot accept its painful effects. Others blame God or other people when death comes to their loveones.

Do we need to blame someone if death comes? What does the Bible say about death? Does the Bible explain its origin? Is death a curse from God? This topic will give us an overview of how death came to people.

Man is destined to die once (Hebrews 9:27). This means we live once and we die once. We cannot exceed our days since it is already known. The Bible says, “A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” (Job 14:5) Even if we wish to live longer, we cannot overcome the power of death. It is very powerful and no one can control when it comes.

Throughout the history of mankind, experts have searched on how to sustain life. They tried to look for ways on how they can extend the life span of humans. As time goes by, the life span continues to drop. They have failed to stop death. The wealth and power of the strongest people of this world can’t withstand the power of death. There is no power on earth that can prevent death. Its power is beyond our control. The Bible says, “As no one has power over the wind to contain it, so no one has power over the time of their death.” (Ecclesiastes 8:8)

What is destined to man will always prevail. Man will return to dust, – “since from it you were taken” (Genesis 3:19).

Why do our lives need to end? Is this the original plan of God when He created man?

The truth is, the original design of man is to live an eternal life. It only changed when death came to us. How did death come to mankind?

Because of man’s sins, death has come to everyone. Apostle Paul writes, “just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned —(Romans 5:12)”

God warned both Adam and Eve not to eat the forbidden fruit – but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die (Genesis 2:17) Man was cut off from God because he has committed a transgression against God. Did death come to the both of them when they disobeyed God? The answer is yes. Many Bible readers do not understand the meaning of death here. They are saying that God is not telling the truth because they did not die when they ate the forbidden fruit. Yes they did not die, at least not immediately. But do they live forever? The Bible says they both die.

The most important thing we need to learn here is that death came to mankind because of disobedience. Death should have been no power over us if only Adam and Eve did not disobey God and ate the forbidden fruit. Death came to us as a curse from God because of man’s defiance. Along with death, mankind will experience sufferings and hardships, (Genesis 3:16-19), however the ultimate curse is the end of life here on earth.

The power to know the time of death was not given to mankind. Death became a puzzle to us. Experts like doctors may predict the extent of one’s life based on obeservations, however, there is no way that we can know the actual time of death. This is an absolute power and only God has it. God gives the life, and He decides the extent of it, He decides the end of it (Job 14:5).

Why does the time of death become unknown to mankind?

The reason why the time of death was made unknown to us is because God wants us to fear Him. The Bible says, “Put them in fear, O Lord: that the nations may know themselves to be but men.” (Psalms 9:20) We are only mortals, limited beings and we need to understand that this life should only be used according to the purpose of God.

They say that it is easy to live, but it is hard to live right. We only live once, but once is enough if we live it right.

Aside from this, we need to understand that it is not the death of our physical being that we should be afraid of. It is the one that has the power over death that we should be afraid of, and who else has the power over death but God. God is the life giver, but He also has the power to put anyone to eternal damnation. The Bible says, “But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.” (Luke 12:5)

The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. True wisdom comes from knowing the will of God, through His words. If we accept His words, it will help and guide us to live a proper and righteous life. The original plan of God is that mankind will have to live a life without end. However, life without end on earth became impossible but it is possible in the kingdom of heaven. Only those who do His will are righteous to live eternally in heaven.

Thus, before this life ends, we should prepare for it. How can we prepare for it? Preparing for death doesn’t involve only about funerals and arranging wealth and heirs. Living a purposeful life is the best way to prepare for death. If we live according to the purpose of God, then we are assured that we would live an eternal life after.

Remember the words of the Bible, “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:57-58)

 

 

 

 

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Jesus will Bring those who have Fallen asleep in Him

(From the sermon entitled, “Ang mga Natutulog na Dadalhin ng Dios na Kasama Niya sa Kaniyang Muling Pagparito,” for October 30, 2014 service)

He is Risen

The Bible defines the word “sleep” in many ways. The typical sleep that we know is the ordinary sleep, which we do everyday at night. However, the Bible says “death” is also a form of sleep. All dead people are only sleeping in the eyes of God (Psalms 13:3), the Bible calls it “the sleep of death.”

Since we shall all die at an appointed time (Hebrews 9:27), therefore we shall all experience the sleep of death. Apostle Paul explains, “For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him” (1 Thessalonians 4:14). It is very clear here that when the Lord Jesus comes again, He will bring those who are asleep (dead). They will be resurrected (awaken from sleep).

Remember the story of Jesus’s dead friend Lazarus? He was awakened from his sleep. After three days, Jesus rose again from the dead. These events are a preview of what will take place when Jesus comes again. Jesus said once, “a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.” (John 5:25) It is indeed an amazing sight to see and it will happen when Christ came. The dead will come back to life when they hear the voice of the almighty God.

However, are all dead will come back when Christ comes again?

Not all dead people will come back to life when Christ comes. Only those who died serving God, those who remained faithful until death will be resurrected. The Bible says, “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16)

The Bible also tells us that Christ will take those who will still be alive when he comes. They will be caught up to meet the Lord up in the air, along with the risen faithful and be with Christ forever. (1 Thessalonians 4:17)

Blessed are those who will be resurrected from the dead when Christ comes. The resurrected and those who be left alive at that time will be taken by Christ to fulfill His promise in John 14:2-3, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Aside from those who are literally sleeping (dead), there are those who are dead in the sight of God because of their sins – “one who lives for pleasure is dead even a while she lives.” (1 Timothy 5:6) They will surely not enter the kingdom of heaven including those who did not attain victory in serving the Lord.

Servants who are lazy and wicked – Matthew 25:26, will surely not receive the promised eternal life. Servants who did not yield fruit but instead lived according to the wickedness of this world will all be damned.

There are two things that we need to understand in this topic: (1) to warn us of the coming destruction and punishment if we will not be triumphant (2) to give us inspiration of the prize of salvation, which is the eternal life.

Remember Christ’s advise on us. We need to be watchful and be prepared for His coming. Be cautious of not to fall asleep especially when He comes (Mark 13:35-37). The Bible says, “Wake up!” and be raised and do the things that He expects us to do when He comes. Apostle Paul says, “The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here.” (Romans 13:12-13)


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Ang Kamatayan at Kung Paano ito Naitakda sa Tao

(From the sermon of the same title, for November 2, 2014 service)

Grace Before Dying

Bakit nga ba ang tao ay namamatay?

Maraming mga tao ang hindi nauunawaan ang dahilan ng kamatayan. At ang hindi pagkaunawa ang kadalasang nagiging dahilan ng ibayong kalungkutan kapag sumasapit ito. Kadalasan, hindi matanggap ng tao ang kamatayan. Ang iba’y sinisisi ang Dios kapag ito’y dumadating sa kanilang mga mahal sa buhay.

Lahat ng taong nabubuhay ay tinakdaan ng Dios ng hangganan (Hebreo 9:27). Sinuman ay hindi maaaring makalampas sa katakdaang ito (Job 14:5). Makapangyarihan ang kamatayan, kapag ito ay sumapit, hindi maaaring hindi ito magaganap.

Marami ang nagsasaliksik kung paano mapapanatili ang buhay. Pilit nilang dinudugtungan ang buhay na may hangganan at hinahanap ang paraan upang mabuhay nang walang hanggan. Subalit ang tao ay nabigo. Ang kayamanan at karangalan ng tao ay walang kabuluhan at walang kapangyarihan sa kamatayan. Walang kapangyarihan na narito sa lupa upang pigilin ang kamatayan sapagkat ang kapangyarihang nagtakda nito ay mula sa langit (Eclesiastes 8:8).

Ang nakatakda ay naitakda na. Babalik ang tao sa alabok kung saan siya kinuha (Genesis 3:19).

Bakit nang likhain ng Dios ang tao ay tinakdaan ito ng hangganan? Ito ba ang orihinal na plano ng Dios nang likhain Niya ang tao?

Sa katotohanan, ang orihinal na plano ng Dios ay mabuhay ang tao nang walang hanggan. Nabago lamang ito nang pumasok ang kamatayan sa tao. Paano nakapasok ang kamatayan sa tao? Paano naitakda sa tao ang kamatayan?

Dahil sa pagkakasala na nagawa ni Eva, na siya ding naging kasalanan ni Adan, ang kamatayan ay naitakda sa buhay ng tao. Sinabi ni Apostol Pablo, “kung paano na sa pamamagitan ng isang tao ay pumasok ang kasalanan sa sanglibutan, at ang kamataya’y sa pamamagitan ng kasalanan; at sa ganito’y ang kamatayan ay naranasan ng lahat ng mga tao, sapagka’t ang lahat ay nangagkasala.” (Roma 5:12)

Pansinin natin ang ipinagpauna ng Dios sa mag-asawang Adam at Eve sa hardin ng Eden (Genesis 2:17), sinabi ng Dios, na huwag kainin ang bunga ng punong kahoy ng pagkakilala ng mabuti at masama, – sapagka’t sa araw na ikaw ay kumain niyaon ay walang pagsalang mamamatay ka. Ang kamatayan ay sasapit sa tao sa sandaling suwayin Niya ang kautusang ito ng Dios.

At nangyari nga na sinuway nila ang utos ng Dios. Sila’y kapuwa nagkasala at dahil doon, ang kamatayan ay naitakda sa tao. Maraming nagbabasa ng Biblia ang hindi naunawaan ang kahulugan ng kamatayan na sinasabi dito. Hindi naman daw namatay agad si Eva nang kinain ang ipinagbawal ng Dios. Hindi naman sinasabing mamamatay agad sila sa sandaling kanin nila ang ipinagbawal ng Dios.

Ang mahalagang maunawaan natin dito ay ang pagkakaroon ng katakdaan ng kamatayan, na dapat sanang wala ito, subalit nagpasimula nang ang tao ay sumuway sa kautusan ng Dios.

Kaya’t ang naging sumpa sa tao bunga ng pagsuway sa kautusan ng Dios ay ang pagkakaroon ng kamatayan. Karagdagan lamang ang mga hirap at sakit na mararanasan ng tao, subalit ang pinaka-ultimong sumpa na mararanasan niya ay ang katapusan ng kaniyang pamamalagi sa sanlibutang ito (Genesis 3:16-19).

Subalit ang pagtatakda ng kamatayan ay hindi ibinigay sa kapangyarihan ng sinuman. Ang kapangyarihang ito ay solomenteng nasa kamay ng Dios. Siya ang nagbigay ng buhay, at Siya din ang magpapasiya kung kailan matatapos ito (Job 14:5).

Bukod dito, hindi ipinaalam sa ating mga tao ang panahon ng pagsapit nito. Isang malaking palaisipan sa maraming tao ang panahon ng kamatayan. Bagaman may mga dalubhasa na nagagawang bigyan ng taning ang buhay ng kanilang mga pasyente, wala pa ding katiyakan ito, sapagkat tanging ang Dios lamang ang nakaalam kung kailan ang tao ay mamamatay.

Bakit hindi ipinaalam sa tao ang kamatayan?

Ang layunin ng Dios ay upang maturuan tayong mga tao na magkaroon ng ibayong takot sa Dios, gaya nang sinasabi, “Ilagay mo sila sa katakutan Oh, Panginoon: ipakilala mo sa mga bansa na sila’y mga tao lamang.” (Awit 9:20)

Mga tao lamang tayo na nilikha ng Dios, tinakdaan ng hangganan. At dahil mayroon tayong hangganan, kailangang itanim natin sa ating puso’t isipan na ang buhay na ito ay marapat nating gamitin ng tama at matuwid alinsunod sa kalooban ng Dios na lumikha sa atin.

Madali ang mabuhay, subalit ang mahirap ay ang mabuhay nang tama. Minsan lamang tayo mabubuhay sa sanlibutang ito, subalit ang minsan ay sapat na lalo pa nga kung ginamit natin sa tamang paraan ng pamumuhay.

Bukod dito, dapat nating maunawaan na hindi ang kamatayan ng laman o ang hangganan ng buhay ang dapat nating lubos na katakutan. Kung mayroon man tayong dapat katakutan ay walang iba kundi ang Dios, na mayroong kakayahang ibulid tayo sa apoy ng impiyerno gaya nang sinasabi, “ipinagpapauna ko sa inyo kung sino ang inyong katatakutan: Katakutan ninyo yaong pagkatapos na pumatay, ay may kapangyarihang magbulid sa impierno.” (Lukas 12:5)

Ang pagkatakot sa Dios ay pasimula ng karunungan. Ang karunungang ito ay ang pagkaunawa sa mga kalooban ng Dios, na kung ating lubos na tatanggapin ay siyang magtutulak at gagabay sa atin upang ganapin ang layunin ng pagkakalikha Niya sa atin. Ang orihinal na plano ng Dios ay magtamo tayo ng buhay na walang hanggan. Hindi dito sa lupa matatagpuan ang walang hanggang buhay, ito ay masusumpungan sa kaharian ng Dios, sa langit. At ang mga nagsisiganap ng kalooban ng Ama na nasa langit ang tanging makakapasok doon.

Kaya nga, bago man lang sumapit sa atin ang kamatayan, sikapin natin na ito ay ating napaghandaan. Sa paanong paraan? Hindi lamang ang paglilibing at ang mga iiwan natin ang dapat nating ihanda. Ang nakalulugod sa Dios na pamumuhay ang pinakamabisang paraan ng paghahanda na dapat nating isagawa. Kung magkagayon ay makamit natin ang buhay na kaylanman ay hindi matatapos.

Tandaan natin ang pahayag ng Biblia, “Datapuwa’t salamat sa Dios, na nagbibigay sa atin ng pagtatagumpay sa pamamagitan ng ating Panginoong Jesucristo. Kaya nga, mga kapatid kong minamahal, kayo’y magsitatag, huwag makilos, na laging sumasagana sa gawa ng Panginoon, yamang nalalaman ninyo na hindi walang kabuluhan ang inyong gawa sa Panginoon.” (1 Corinto 15:57-58)

 

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Ang mga Natutulog na Dadalhin ng Dios na Kasama Niya sa Kaniyang Muling Pagparito

(From the sermon of the same title, for October 30, 2014 service)

easter

Hindi lahat ng natutulog ay nangangahulugan ng karaniwang pagtulog. Sa Biblia, ang kamatayan ay inilarawan gaya ng pagtulog. Sinumang nasa kalagayang patay ay natutulog lamang sa paningin ng Dios (Awit 13:3), tinatawag itong “tulog ng kamatayan.”

At palibhasa itinakda sa ating mga tao ang kamatayan (Hebreo 9:27), hindi malayo na tayo ay makaranas ng tulog ng kamatayan. Sa paliwanag ni Apostol Pablo, sinabi niya, “kung tayo’y nagsisisampalatayang si Jesus ay namatay at nabuhay na maguli, ay gayon din naman ang nangatutulog kay Jesus ay dadalhin ng Dios na kasama niya.” (1 Tesalonica 4:14) Samakatuwid, mayroong mga nasa kalagayang patay (natutulog) na pagparito ng ating Panginoong Hesus ay muling bubuhayin (gigisingin).

Bilang katunayan nito, ang naganap kay Lazaro at maging ang pagkabuhay na maguli ng ating Panginoong Hesus ay isang pagpapauna ng mangyayari sa hinaharap. Sinabi ni Hesus, “Dumarating ang panahon, at ngayon nga, na maririnig ng mga patay ang tinig ng Anak ng Dios; at ang mangakarinig ay mangabubuhay.” (Juan 5:25). Ito’y isang kagilagilalas na pangyayari na magaganap sa muling pagbabalik ng ating Panginoong Hesus. Ang mga patay ay muling mabubuhay sa pamamagitan ng makapangyarihang tinig ng Dios.

Subalit, lahat ba ng patay ay mabubuhay?

Hindi lahat ng patay ay mabubuhay. Ang mga nangamatay lamang kay Kristo ang bubuhayin, silang mga nagtapat at naglingkod, sumampalataya sa ating dakilang Dios, gaya nang sinabi, “at ang nangamatay kay Cristo ay unang mangabubuhay na maguli.” (1 Tesalonica 4:16)

Sinasabi din ng Biblia na mayroong mga dadatnang buhay pagparito ng ating Panginoong Hesus. Ang mga lingkod Niya, kasama ng mga unang nabuhay na maguli, ay Kaniyang dadalhin sa Kaniyang kaharian, doon sa langit gaya nang pahayag, “tayong nangabubuhay, na nangatitira, ay aagawing kasama nila sa mga alapaap, upang salubungin ang Panginoon sa hangin:at sa ganito’y sasa Panginoon tayo magpakailan man.” (1 Tesalonica 4:17)

Kaya’t kung pumarito ang Panginoong Hesus at tayo ay mapasama sa mga patay na muling bubuhayin o ‘di naman kaya ay mga dadatnang buhay, tunay na mapalad tayo, sapagkat ang patutunguhan natin ay doon sa Kaniyang ipinangakong tahanan, sa buhay na walang hanggan gaya nang Kaniyang sinabi, “ako’y paroroon upang ipaghanda ko kayo ng dakong kalalagyan. At kung ako’y pumaroon at kayo’y maipaghanda ng kalalagyan, ay muling paririto ako, at kayo’y tatanggapin ko sa aking sarili; upang kung saan ako naroroon, kayo naman ay dumoon.” (Juan 14:2-3)

Bukod sa mga literal na natutulog (patay), mayroong mga natutulog na tinutukoy ang Biblia na bagama’t buhay ay patay sa paningin ng Dios dahil sa kanilang mga kasalanan – “Datapuwa’t ang nangagpapakabuyo sa mga kalayawan, bagama’t buhay ay patay” (1 Timoteo 5:6) Ang mga ito ay kaylanman hindi makararating sa ipinangakong langit. Kaya’t lahat ng hindi nagtagumpay bagama’t naglingkod sa Dios ay hindi makakapasok sa kaharian ng langit.

Silang mga aliping masama at tamad – Mateo 25:26, ay hindi magmamana ng pangako. Silang mga hindi nagsipagbunga at sa halip ay naging bahagi ng gawa ng sanlibutang ito ay mapapahamak.

Kaya nga, ang aralin na ito ay may layuning (1) bigyang babala tayo sa maaaring kapahamakang naghihintay sa atin kung tayo’y hindi magtatagumpay sa ating paglilingkod, (2) bigyang inspirasyon tayo sa gantimpalang buhay na walang hanggan kung tayo naman ay manatili sa pagtatapat.

Pakatandaan natin ang tagubilin ng Panginoong Hesus, na kailangan nating magpuyat at maging handa sa Kaniyang pagbabalik. Magingat tayo baka tayo ay madatnan Niya na natutulog (Marcos 13:35-37). Gumising tayo at magbangon upang maratnan Niya na ginagawa natin ang inaasahan Niya sa bawat isa sa atin. Gaya nang sinabi ni Apostol Pablo, “ngayo’y kapanahunan nang magsigising kayo sa pagkakatulog:sapagka’t ngayon ay lalong malapit na sa atin ang kaligtasan kay sa nang tayo’y magsisampalataya nang una. Ang gabi ay totoong malalim, at ang araw ay malapit na.” (Roma 13:12-13)

 

 

 


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The World Today and the World to Come

(From the sermon entitled, “Ang Sanlibutan Ngayon at ang Sanlibutang Darating” for October 26, 2014 service)

world2

Where is the direction of the present world going?

Why is there so much wickedness, problems, confusions and tragedies? Is there hope in escaping the present sufferings of this world? What lies ahead?

The answer here is yes, there is! If we rely on the present world, then we failed already. This topic focuses on a world that will come, a world not the same as the present, something exciting and inviting.

We should not wonder why. The history of this world tells us why there are billions of people living now without hope. The present world is like a condemned building, dirty, abandoned, full of wickedness and chaotic. The reason is because this earth was already given to the hands of the wicked (Job 9:24).

The world now is decaying and continuing to self-destruct because the foundation is wicked. Like a physical structure, if its foundations are poorly built, then all we have to do is wait for the perfect time to see its destructions. Even if people try to save it, they don’t have the power and the ability to do it.

The world now is about to crash. It is already written. Like a condemned building, it will only do further damage if not destroyed. Almost all things in this earth are ruled by government of men, and since the very beginning, “we have seen the history of men, it has been stained and tangled mess, full of famine, horror and war and disease. We must have thought we had it better because man had improved. But man doesn’t really ‘improve,’ does he? Man is man. Human nature is human nature; the impulse to destroy coexists with the desire to build and create and make better.” – Peggy Noonan, historian and columnist

The world to come is a different one. The government will not be led by men, but of God. The world today is corrupt, wicked, confused and greedy to material wealth. The world to come will be founded on God’s love, mercy, happiness, peace and abundance, things which are only a dream today but not impossible to have.

Unknown to many people, one of God’s plans is to create a new world, a new earth and a new heaven (Revelations 21:1-2), a world that is founded on a perfect and holy foundation.

Almost third parts of the Bible are prophecies, history that are written in advance. Majority of these prophecies written in the Bible are leading to the world to come, and this world to come is something different from the present one. The Bible explains its details in vivid colors, truly beautiful, amazing, splendor and something to dream about.

Almost all the things in this present world can be considered as wrong. However, come to think of it, even if we have plenty of experts, scientists, and religious people, only a few are trying to find answers on what is the cause of all the sufferings and problems of this present world.

If we try to examine the present world, it is filled with problems, and they are only growing worse and greater in number, compounding with the passing of time. The headlines of today’s news will give proof to that. Consider the events that we encountered in the last years, like the wars in the Middle Easts, the bacteria that plagued the different parts of the world like Ebola and HIV, tragedies that are both human caused and natural, missing planes, exploding ships and planes, climate change, the continues problem of pollutions, and the rise of criminalities and immoralities.

All of these in fact are a long list of the bad effects of lack of solutions to the root or the cause of the problems. And since men have not found the answer to these problems, it continuously destroying the present world as time goes by. Like a disease failing to cure the cause, it will continue to give suffering and eventually lead to death.

We may be dreaming of a perfect world filled with peace, abundance and love. Is it impossible to have? The truth is, it is not! The world to come has all the answers but not yet.

The reality of all these dreams can be found only at the hands of the Almighty God. If only people search for God and seek Him, then they will find the way to attain it. People will find answers to their questions.

Many times, the Bible tells us not to love the present world (1 John 2:15), because this world was taken by the devil as his instrument to turn people away from God and from the truth. This world will continue to decay and be destroyed no matter how people protect and save it. It is already prepared unto fire on the day of Judgment (2 Peter 3:7, 10).

We can escape the current world and its sufferings, including its disastrous fate. Jesus, in all the places He has been, preached about the world to come, the kingdom of God. He will return after He had prepared a place for all his servants (John 14:1-3, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”)

Not all people will see the glory of this promise. Only those who remain faithful, who persevered until the end and those who became triumphant will inherit the coming world. The Bible says, “The one who conquers will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But to the cowards, unbelievers, detestable persons, murderers, the sexually immoral, and those who practice magic spells, idol worshipers, and all those who lie, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. That is the second death.” (Revelations 21:7-8)

In God’s kingdom, all our sufferings and painful experiences in the present world will be gone. God made sure that we would not remember all of it. The Bible says, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth:for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain:for the former things are passed away.” (Revelations 21:1-4)

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The Limitations of Men’s Trust

(From the sermon entitled, “Kung Saan Humahangga ang Pagtitiwala sa Sarili” for October 23, 2014 service)

heaven

Self-trust is important.

Without it, successful people would not have been successful. The absence or lack of self-trust defines a person’s fate. Billionaires became billionaires because they have so much belief in what they can do.

However, when it comes to spiritual matters, trust is used differently. In matters of faith, trusting one’s self or other people more than the trust we give to God is unacceptable. The reason is simple; it is foolish to trust to anyone because we are a limited being. We were created with limitations and these often result to life’s failures.

The Bible talks about this in many instances. In one of the stories in the New Testament, those who put trust in their own strength and wealth became self-righteous and hypocrites. This happened to the Pharisee who came to pray on the temple. Instead of praising God, he praised himself for the things he had done. This also led him to belittle the other character of the story, the tax collector.

The story can be read in Luke 18:9-14, “To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed:‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner. ’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

In the succeeding verses, we can read a certain rich man who trusted his wealth more than God. He cannot afford to sell his properties and give it to the poor people. This happened when he was invited to leave them and follow Christ. (Luke 18:22-23)

Many people are similar to these characters. They put their trust in what their eyes can see and what their hands can hold, more than that, to the material things that are only temporary.

The Bible explains that men’s trust has limitations. There is a limitation because our end is already set. The Bible says, “but then they trust in their righteousness and do evil, none of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered; they will die for the evil they have done.” (Ezekiel 33:13)

We all have powers and ability to do the things we want and desire while we live. At the time of death, all of these things, including our trust will be gone.

This is the reason why it is a huge mistake to put our trust to anyone, including ourselves. Jesus says, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in menʼs eyes, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly prized among men is utterly detestable in Godʼs sight.” (Luke 16:15)

For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted (Luke 18:14). What happened to Lucifer should be a lesson to everyone. Self-righteousness or over self-trust led him to rebel against God and resulted to his downfall (Isaiah 14:11-15). Anyone who possesses the same attribute will suffer the same fate.

The Bible tells us to do the opposite. We need to show humility in all aspects of our lives. We are only servants of God. We have no value. We became valuable because we have been chosen and accepted by God to be His children.

If we ever found ourselves doing good deeds and fulfilling our religious duties, all we have to do is to make sure that we maintain the humility as personified in Christ, and do not let arrogance goes on our way, instead, lets all think that what we are doing are all part of our holy obligations before God (Luke 17:10).

We are only humans, created with limited capabilities. If we don’t trust God, our limitations will fail us. It is in God whom we should place our full trust and faith. We are blessed if we possess it. The Bible says, “How blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord and does not seek help from the proud or from liars.” (Psalms 40:4)

The reason why we are blessed if we trust God more than anything or anyone in this life, is because of His promise that He will never abandon nor neglect His faithful. The Bible emphasizes, “An evil person suffers much pain, but the Lord ʼs faithfulness overwhelms the one who trusts in him.” (Psalms 32:10)

 

 

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