Friday, March 7, 2014

"Children" Of God


Whether we are aware or not, our elements (our bodies) came from stars that form the universe that was "created" by a Divine power or "energy" and that is God. We are "Children of God".

       Now at my age of 61 and undergoing hemo-dialysis, I started to be aware that my outlook in life has changed. Not that I have reached my sunset year of my life but let us say that I have been more enlightened and mature. I may not write again an article like this in the future, so let me take this opportunity to share with you my thoughts and beliefs.  

     When I am alone and in moments of reflection, I cannot avoid thinking of what has happened to my life. Have I fulfilled my purpose of existence in this world? Reminiscent of the past, sometimes I picture myself being born. I can imagine how happy my parents are at that time. Cute, innocent and bundle of joy are the regular adjectives for a baby. I wonder now if those definitions are really accurate for an “innocent” baby is capable of expressing various emotions, and can manipulate his mother through his simple wants and needs. However, his existence is  limited to the world of survival and his capacity to think is not yet significantly developed and they say that his spirit is still “dead”. 

     As the years go by, he will grow physically and mentally even spiritually until he is capable to know what is right and wrong. In my younger years, society and school had taught me how to behave “normally” but it came to a point that I want to think for myself and explore my world on my own. I   became curious and adventurous even a pleasure seeker. Later in life, I found it strange but all these social activities and worldly exploits seem to bore me. In sober moments I am thinking that there has got to be a much higher ideal than all these trivial things around me. I started asking questions such as: Is there really a God who is all powerful that he created man according to his likeness? Why is it then that suffering and pain continue to wreak havoc in the lives of decent men and women? Does man really have a soul or spirit? Why is it then that wars and bloody upheavals continue to devastate mankind? Is heaven and hell for real?  Then why are criminals seemingly not afraid to be burned in the eternal fire? Is there salvation for sinners like me? I am not saying that I doubt the beliefs that my religion has taught me; but after being taught in school of the scientific method of thinking, I cannot help but satisfy myself to look for clues and evidences.

       Regrettably wherever I look for scientific studies that will answer my questions, I come across some theories like: man evolved from the ape through many years of evolution as in Darwin’s Theory and the universe was formed through the Big Bang Theory. This has aggravated my feelings of incompleteness and emptiness in me that dragged for years as I tried to look for possible answers to my queries. Eventually, I searched for and read articles about the dogmas and beliefs of other religions. Then suddenly it came to my mind that practically all religions have something in common: the good trying to overcome the forces of evil by guiding man how to be good. 

     In trying to relate this concept of good and bad with my everyday activity, I was reminded of the different laws that govern not only people but the entire world and the universe. One example is the law or principle of love and hate. There are definite consequences if you follow either of the two. In physical science, there is the law of attraction and repulsion, gravity and more. Lately, scientists have been studying the law involving light and dark energy. It is like a tug of war between two opposing forces which can either contribute to the development or destruction of mankind.

       With the advent of modern technology and the launching of satellites with powerful telescopes science have shown how vast the universe is with limitless number of galaxies, stars and planets. On the micro side, quantum physicists have encountered how weird a particle is behaving in its observed state.  These findings indicate that someone is behind this grandiose design -- an unseen being or energy, a creator or God. I now realize that there are still many things that are not yet seen or discovered and how miniscule our capability as humans compared to the power of God. I also realized some things maybe are so complex or so "evil" for a human being and are not meant to be discovered or seen as in the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden or the Pandora’s Box. 

     In order to rectify my belief in God, I need to have a strong faith anchored in God inspired and historical evidences and I found them all in the Holy Bible. From the beginning, God has given man free will because of His unconditional love for us. Free will is the freedom to choose between right and wrong or between two choices and this resulted to our original sin (Romans 5:12-21). Man become susceptible to death (physical and spiritual) (Gen 2:17; Ecc 12:7) and must toil the earth in order to live. And yet God continue to love us by sending his beloved son Jesus Christ (John 3:16) who died in the cross to save mankind from sins. Despite of the death of Jesus, man continued to sin and defy again and again the will of God which is love and mercy (1 Jn 4:8; 1 Jn 4:16; Eph 3:18; Lk 11:5-13; Matt 18: 32-33). The issue of salvation arises. Who can be saved? How can a person be saved?

       One afternoon while I was watching TV, I noticed that someone is standing at our door. My wife let our visitor in and he began introducing himself as: a customer of our pet shop, a friend of our friend and he is a pastor of a Christian church here in Tagbilaran City.  He told me that part of his dedication to his church is to give Bible study to those who are willing to listen to the word of God and in time effect healing of sickness through prayers and strong faith. He asked our permission and we said yes for the sake of courtesy. As we go on with our conversation, he told us that it is not religion per se that can save us but our faith in the Holy Trinity and Jesus must be our lord and savior. I thought that there is no conflict with that since our Apostle’s Creed reaffirms our belief in the Triune God (Acts 17:29; Rom 1:20; Colossians 2:2) and Jesus is the son of God who saved us from our sins; and I have no plans in changing my religion. Man as the Holy Bible says is part body and part spirit or soul (Jn 3:5-6; Jn 4:24; 1 Cor 2:11; Matt 10:28). When we are born, we are born of the body but not yet of the spirit (John 3:1-7; Eph 2:1-2).

      There will come a time in our life that we will grow in spirit when we start to firmly believe in God and our lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 3:16; Rom 8:9). It is stated in the Holy Bible that whoever believes in God the Father, the son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit and recognizes Jesus Christ as his lord and savior will be saved (Revelation 22:17; Matthew 19:25-26; 1 Peter 1:3-9; Romans 10:9-10; 2 Timothy 3:15; John 3:16). He cited an instance when he was giving a bible study where he asked the person listening: “When you die where will your spirit go, to heaven or hell?” He said that it took some time for the person to answer and he was not sure. Then it struck me that in order to be a strong believer, we must always reassure ourselves of our faith that we will be saved and we should be able to answer quickly that we will go to heaven of course.
      Later on we studied about the common expressions, modern song lyrics (Lady Gaga and Madonna song lyrics which allegedly indicate devil worship), and lines in the movies or shows that are forms of sacrilege to God (Exo 20:7). It is very easy for some people to mention words like: Oh My God! Jesus Christ! He quoted verses in the Bible about forgiveness (Col 3:13; Matt 18:21-22; Luke 6:37; Matt 6:14-16; Mark 11:25). The Bible says that we should forgive those who wronged us before the sun sets (Eph 4:26). He said that forgiveness is not about forgetting about the consequence or punishment for anyone that committed fault or injustice to you. That forgiveness can be given by the grace of the Holy Spirit through Christian believers because of their strong faith. If you forgive someone, you must not dwell on the past anymore. What is important is the moment you are in when you choose to start all over again as friends or brothers and sisters. He then talked about avoiding temptations (Eph 6:10-18; 1 Cor 10-13; Matt 26:41; James 4:7; James 5:16) by the grace of the Holy Spirit again and because of our strong faith, we are considered by God as His precious children (John 1:12-13; Rom 8:16; Gal 4:4-5; Luke 18:16-17). 

     Consequently on our next meeting, he discussed about dedication (Matt 28:19,20; Acts 1:8; John 14:12; John 16:14) which means that as Christians, we have the task to spread our Lord Jesus Christ’s words and teachings as written in the Holy Bible and reap its fruits(Gal 5:22) and avoid the sins against the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:19-21).

            Honestly I admire the zeal of such persons who can spend their time spreading the Good News not with the motive to defend their religion and to force us to be converted to their religion but to show concern to people who want or needed to be saved and healed. Most of the people today are living their lives by satisfying the cravings of their senses; and whether they are conscious or not they are committing sins constantly and letting the evil one control their minds and bodies. 

     Now, I am trying to pass on to my family those valuable teachings I obtained and how I wish I could also conduct such Bible Study Module to my employee, friends or neighbors. It would be to our advantage if our church could carry out basic Theology classes and preferred Bible study modules to selected and dedicated Laymen who when certified can then disseminate what they have learned to their fellow Christians not to debate needlessly the differing views, translations and beliefs but to make clear the importance of salvation and what to do to earn that salvation. Above all, to demonstrate and practice what really is the will of God which is love and mercy so that we can be rightfully called God’s children and definitely not blind followers of wickedness.

1 comment:

  1. Whether we are aware or not, our elements (our bodies) came from stars that form the universe that was "created" by a Divine power or "energy" and that is God. We are "Children of God".