Give Your Soul a Rest — Forgive and Forget

11/28/2020 29 Comments

What does the Bible say about forgiving others

One of the things that many people find difficult to do is to forgive, especially, if the person who offended them does not manifest any sign of remorse or does not even bother to go out of his or her way to say “sorry” for the wrongdoing committed. 

For many, forgiveness may only be given to someone who acknowledges one’s sin and apologizes for it. But if that person does not apologize, then, there is no way that that person will be forgiven.

However, this should not be the attitude of a real Christian. A real Christian always grants forgiveness to a person who erred against him or her, even if that person did not say the magic word — “sorry”.

Usually, people get hurt if the offense is committed by their loved ones, or by those whom they highly esteem, like their spouses, children, grandchildren, siblings, relatives, and friends.

Hence, it is all the more very un-Christian if you continue to harbor ill feelings towards them simply because they do not approach you to ask for your forgiveness. If you truly love them, you do not have to wait for the time that they will fall on their knees and say “sorry” to you before you forgive them.

With or without the “sorry,” you should have a ready forgiveness for them because you love them. As a song says, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

Actually, even if the ones who did you wrong are just your ordinary acquaintances, like a neighbor, a classmate, or an officemate, you should always be ready to forgive. And having this attitude will surely work in your favor.

God commanded us to forgive those who sin against us. So, in forgiving our offenders, we are actually showing God our obedience to Him. All of us commit sins; we all err, wittingly or unwittingly — and we also want to be forgiven by those whom we have offended, or sinned against, including God.

The truth is, each time we ask God to forgive our trespasses, we are also obliged to forgive the trespasses that others committed unto us.

Matthew 6:12 (KJV) says,

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

In forgiving those who erred against you, you will also be forgiven by God from all your shortcomings and transgressions. Apparently, it is a must that you forgive for you to be forgiven.

As it is written in Matthew 6:14 (KJV),

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

If you readily forgive those who offended you, even without an apology coming from them, you will merit God’s forgiveness. This is aside from the emotional relief that you will experience. Because in forgiving others and in forgetting the offense that they have done unto you, you will be freeing your heart of a heavy load and you will have peace deep within you. Let’s face it, you do not feel good when you are at odds with another.

But if you will let your personal pride prevail, if you will refuse to forgive simply because the person who erred against you has not said “sorry” to you yet, you are, in effect, disobeying God’s commandment. And your disobedience to God has its inevitable consequences.

As it is written in Matthew 6:15 (KJV),

But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Plain and simple. The Father will forgive your trespasses if you forgive those who have hurt you or those who have done you wrong. But if you do not want to forgive them, then, the Father will not forgive you either.

I just hope that you realize the significance of meriting and not meriting the Father’s forgiveness. To merit the Father’s forgiveness means to merit eternal bliss in paradise; but to not be forgiven by the Father because you refused to forgive others means to be doomed in eternal punishment in hell. The choice is yours to make. But surely, real Christians will always choose to be forgiving.

May God bless us all!


Why Others Lose Their Trust in God

11/21/2020 23 Comments

Why People Lose Their Trust in God

If there is one Being in whom all of us should trust, it is no other than God — not our fellow man.

Jeremiah 17:5,7 (KJV) says,

5 Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. 
7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.

The Bible says, blessed is the man whose trust and hope are in the Lord, and cursed be the man whose trust is given to another man. Very clearly, it is more prudent to give our full trust in the Almighty God than in man. For one, you cannot always count on a fellow human being — even if that person happens to be very close to you or if that person happens to be your best friend — because just like you, your fellow man also has certain frailties and vulnerabilities. 

Sometimes, the very people whom you value and consider as trusted friends are also the ones who will betray you. Actually, the Lord Jesus Christ experienced treachery or betrayal from someone whom He considered a friend — Judas Iscariot. 

As it is written in Psalm 41:9 (KJV),

Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.

The Lord Jesus Christ was a loving and selfless friend, such that He even gave the piece of bread that was already meant for Him to Judas Iscariot. Despite that, Judas still betrayed the Lord.

This thing really happens as there is always the possibility that the person to whom you have given your trust will turn against you. But this will not happen with God — He will never betray those who put their trust in Him. That is why the Bible calls those who have trust in God “blessed” because He is trustworthy.

We can say that the people who do not trust God do not really know Him — they do not know His ways; they do not know His will; they do not know what Hewants them to do. If they do, they will surely trust Him and His words, and they will continue to hold onto His pronouncements and promises — for God is true to His words and He fulfills His every promise.

One of the admonitions that carries with it a very reassuring promise from God is written in Hebrews 13:5 (KJV) which says,

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 

Instead of complaining and coveting what others have, God wants us to be content with what we have. And when we obey what God wants us to do, we will experience the fulfillment of His promise: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” 

When God told us not to be covetous and to be content with what we have, He was, in effect, teaching us not to steal and not to cheat but to instead labor in order to earn honest money. This is exactly what I practice in my life. 

Even before I started in the ministry, I was already working to earn for my personal needs and for the needs of my loved ones. Until now that I am already leading an international religious organization, I am still working hard to earn in an honest and decent manner. Unlike other preachers, I never make the word of God a commodity, and I never make religion a kind of business. I do not covet the riches of other people, and I do not employ deceit in everything that I do. In other words, I live my life in accordance with the will of God. 

Now I am already 74 years old, yet, I do not remember any instance in my life wherein I lacked or hungered — proof that God really does not leave nor forsake those who abide by His teachings. 

The point that I am trying to drive at is this: It is our obedience to God that gives us the chance to experience Him in our lives — that He will not leave us nor forsake us. And as you experience this, the more that you will have trust in God. 

1 John 5:14 (KJV) says, 

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 

We are confident that God will listen to us if we ask Him of things which are in accordance with His will. And He will listen to us if we are fulfilling His commandments, His counsels, and His teachings. So, if you hear people say that they have lost their trust in God because He does not listen to their prayers, it only means one thing: They are disobedient to God.  

Always remember, God does not forsake those who are obedient to Him, and He will not allow them to lose their trust in Him.


What Not to Love in the World to Gain the Love of God

11/14/2020 30 Comments

What should we not love in this world

1 John 2:15 (KJV) gives a specific admonition to Christians, one that is often misconstrued by those who take the verse literally. It says, 

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

They ask, “How could they possibly not love the world when they are in the world and all the people dear to them are also in the world?”

Apparently, that is not what the verse is referring to. Indeed, we have to love our parents and the other members of our families, our friends, our fellowmen, and even our enemies. But there are specific things in the world that we are prohibited from loving, and loving them would mean that the love of the Father is not in us. What are those?

1 John 2:16 (KJV) says,

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

John pointed out three things in the world that we should not love because they are not from the Father. They are the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.

In other words, we should not succumb to the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes, like watching pornographic videos, reading pornographic materials, peeping in holes and crevices of someone else’s bedroom and bathroom, indulging in sensuality and lasciviousness, and making sexual advances on someone who isn’t our spouse. These are among the things in the world that we should not love as they are not of the Father.

Like the lust of the flesh and lust of the eyes, the pride of life also did not come from the Father, and therefore, we should not love it either. However, today, we see lots of people who take pride of their lives, of their status in society, of their riches and power, and of their connections with influential people.

They talk of nothing but self-conceit and vainglory. They regard themselves as the best and the most superior of all, that is why, they do not accept suggestions and instructions from others anymore — no matter how good the suggestions are, especially so if they come from their rivals.

This is very common among politicians and government officials. Instead of being supportive of and cooperative with one another, we often see them bickering, if not objecting and questioning certain projects and decisions, not for their demerits, but simply because they come from somebody who belongs to a rival political party. No wonder why there is unrest and divisiveness in many nations nowadays.

If they did not come from the Father, from whom did these things in the world come?

James 3:16, 15 (KJV) says,

16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 
15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

They came from the devil. Actually, we can make a sweeping generalization that all the foolish things on earth — like the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, drugs, pornography, prostitution, greed of power — all of them come from the devil. That is why Christians are prohibited from loving them.

But never are we prohibited from loving our parents, siblings, children, friends, and fellowmen, even our enemies. In fact, Christians are commanded to love them. But of course, above all else, we should love God.


The Sad and Sorry Reason Why Some Believe Christ Isn't God

11/06/2020 31 Comments

Christ is God not human

Is there any truth to the claim of the Iglesia ni Cristo of Manalo (INCM) that the Lord Jesus Christ is no more than just a human being? First, let us consider what the Apostle John said about Him.

1 John 5:20-21 (KJV) says,

20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. 

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

This particular verse is one of the many verses being muddled by the ministers of the INCM to make their claim appear to be valid: that the Lord Jesus Christ is not a God, but only a man. They are trying to make it appear that the true God being mentioned in verse 20 is the Father.

However, if we are going to analyze it more deeply, the true God and eternal life being referred to is someone who came here on earth, someone who gave them — the apostles — understanding. These would not apply to the Father because He had not come here physically. Undoubtedly, it refers to His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is “the true God, and eternal life.”

Why give the admonition “keep yourselves from idols” in verse 21? It is because here on earth, there are many idols or false gods. But the One who came here, the One who had given them understanding, according to the apostles, is the true God and eternal life. And that was the Lord Jesus Christ. Take note that “true God” had been introduced by the definite article “the” — “the true God, and eternal life” — denoting specificity.

To further prove that the “eternal life” was the Lord Jesus Christ, 1 John 1:1-2 (KJV) says,

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 

2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

The “eternal life” was with the Father, and it was manifested unto the apostles because it came here. Very clearly, it refers to the Lord Jesus Christ. This is one biblical truth that the ministers of the INCM cannot erase nor remove from the Bible.

Now, when Christ came here on earth, this is what the Father told Him:

Hebrews 1:8 (KJV) says,

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

Again, this verse is also being twisted by the ministers of INCM. In their intention to reduce the Lord Jesus Christ to the status of an ordinary human, they changed “Thy throne, O God,” to “Thy throne, is God,” resulting in an idea that is very demeaning to God. They have brought God to a much, much lower status; they have made Him a throne that can be sat on. Isn’t that preposterous?

In the earlier cited verse, the Father was the one speaking, and He called His Son as God. Are you going to question the Father’s declaration? That is the truth. The Lord Jesus Christ is God because He is the Son of God. He came from the bosom of the Father; the Father begat Him. This truth is something that INCM ministers find hard to accept — that the Father brought forth the only begotten God. But their refusal would not change the truth: that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only begotten God. As inscribed in Greek manuscripts, He is monogenes theos.

Actually, even if there are many evidences that prove the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, even if the apostles themselves had testified that, “This is the true God, and eternal life,” and even if the Father, “...unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever,” I doubt if those INCM ministers would let go of their over-a-century-old belief that the Lord Jesus Christ is only a human being.

We cannot do anything about it. It is indeed inevitable that there are really people who would not acknowledge Christ’s divinity, not for any valid and biblical reason, but simply out of sheer stubbornness and obstinacy. But where will their stubbornness and obstinacy bring them? Where else but to perdition!