Sunday, June 10, 2012

His visible return as King of Kings. Jesus Christ - there's no one like Him!

All  Christian linguists, whether missionaries or not, wanted Hindus to be delivered from idols, myths, superstitions, and social evils such as the caste system. These myths and evils have corrupted Indian character and enslaved our minds. To convert means to turn from sin and falsehood and seek truth and righteousness. Language is the software that enables us to think, learn, and communicate. The Bible says that when we come to God, we must take with us offering of words – words of repentance for our sin as well as praise for God’s goodness: “Take words with you and return to the LORD. Say to him: ‘Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips [i.e. praise].’” (Hosea 14:2)

Hindu-Buddhist traditions have emphasized meditation and silence. Christianity has been interested in language because the Triune God has revealed Himself as personal: He communicates. He made us in His image so that we may know and love him. Love includes communication. Words are important because they express our hearts: and our hearts need to seek truth, including truth about our own moral corruption and our need of redemption and a spiritual rebirth.. 

However, contrary to what the suppressors of history tell us, missionaries empowered our mother-tongue because they wanted us to think. They wanted us to study Brahmanical Scriptures along with secular and sacred literature that had turned tiny islands such as England into mighty nations.  These scholar-reformers developed our mother-tongues because they knew that to “convert” does not mean to shift one’s loyalty from one’s community or mother tongue to another.  

Unlike our corrupt elites, who are obsessed with power, Christian reformers were concerned about helping us grow into a freedom with justice and morality. [1]

Ramakrishna (1833-86), was a Bengali Hindu sage. Although theoretically a high-caste Brahamin by birth, he came from a poor, low-caste village and had little or no education. He did not know a word of Sanskrit and his knowledge of the Vedas, Puranas, and Hindu Epics was obtained orally (in the Bengali language). In spite of this, he managed to convey in his aphorisms the essence of the Hindu religion. Ramakrishna also worshipped with Muslims and Christians, and propounded a simple approach to religious tolerance: "Creeds and sects matter nothing. Let every one perform with faith the devotions and practices of his creed. Faith is the only clue to get to God."

 Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (RKP) had the Bible read to him by one of his devotees. At the end of 1873 he started the practice of Christianity, when his devotee Shambu Charan Mallik read the Bible to him. Ramakrishna said that for several days he was filled with Christian thoughts and no longer thought of going to the Kali temple. One day when Ramakrishna saw the picture of Madonna and Child Jesus, he felt that the figures became alive and had a vision in which Jesus merged with his body. In his own room amongst other divine pictures was one of Christ, and he burnt incense before it morning and evening. There was also a picture showing Jesus Christ saving St.Peter from drowning in the water.

Shambhu may have been the "trigger" for the Master's liaison with Christianity. Liberal in his religious outlook, Shambhu used to read from the Bible to Sri Ramakrishna in his parlour. The Master became fascinated with the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. This sentiment invoked in him a desire to realize God through the Christian path.

Surviving a physical wilderness takes more than the skills to build a shelter, start a fire, and purify water. It requires a certain psychology, a mindset, a will to live that overcomes the fear and stress associated with crisis. In fact, some people who possessed the skill still died when stranded in a physical wilderness because they lacked the will. And others who lacked the skill but had the will, found a way to survive.

Seeing in advance how the Lord will work evil or hurt for our benefit is very difficult, if not impossible. My limited human perspective doesn’t allow me to grasp His greater plan. However, I can confirm the truth of this biblical promise because the Father’s good handiwork appears all through my pain, hardship, and loss. I have experienced Him turn mourning into gladness and have seen Him reap bountiful blessings and benefits from my darkest hours.
As believers, we must accept that God won’t always make sense to us. Isaiah teaches that His ways and thoughts are higher than our own (Isa. 55:9). He sees the beautifully completed big picture. We can rely on the fact that God is in control, no matter how wildly off-kilter our world seems to spin.

Upon entering a spiritual wilderness, our tendency is often to let our imagination run wild. "Will I ever make it out?" "Why is this happening to me?" "I don't feel ready for this." "Does God not realize what I'm going through?" "Is He angry with me?" "Is He judging me?" "Is He even real?" Though it's natural to ask questions like these, obsessing over them depletes our resolve to believe God. And since these questions relate to the very nature of God, their responses must be biblically sound. That's why our study begins here. In the wilderness, perspective is everything.

So if you find yourself in a wilderness: don't panic. Take a deep breath. Take a moment to remind yourself who God is, who you are in Christ, and what the Bible says about His faithfulness during troubled times. Fear makes you susceptible to lies from the enemy. He will lie about God's faithfulness and love for you. He'll even lie about God's existence, or about how valuable you are to Him. Such lies are meant to sap you of spiritual stamina. But that's just when the "will to live" must rise  the will to live in the Spirit while you pass through desert regions.

For God's children in the wilderness, the "will to live" does not merely refer to a desire to survive. It refers rather to an earnest determination to believe God. During spiritual drought, you must determine “ sometimes against all circumstances, emotions, and even the advice of friends “ that God is real. He is good. He is faithful, and you will make it through to the other side with Him. Don't let the enemy or circumstances define who God is for you. Refuse to allow yourself to believe anything but God's Word. Resolve as David did during a spiritual desert: "My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast!" (Psa 57:7).

God tests His children to know what is in their hearts. God's desire for each of His children is to walk in relationship with Him, to uphold His righteousness and integrity. It is a high calling that we will fail to achieve without complete dependence on Him.

 Travel the road of life through faith in Jesus Christ. He is the One who brings light to our darkness, hope strong enough to shatter our greatest fears, and peace deep enough to calm our anxious hearts. Billy Graham said: 'The Bible is concerned only incidentally with the history of Israel or a system of ethics. It's concerned primarily with the story of redemption as it is in Jesus Christ. If you read the Scriptures and miss the story of salvation, you have missed its message and meaning. There have been those who have gone through the Bible and traced the story of Jesus: In Genesis He is the seed of the woman. In Exodus He is the Passover Lamb. In Leviticus He is the Atoning Sacrifice. In Numbers He is the Smitten Rock. In Deuteronomy He is the Greatest Prophet. In Joshua He is the Captain of the Lord's Host. In Judges He is the Deliverer. In Kings He is the Promised King. In Nehemiah He is the Restorer of the Nation. In Esther He is the Advocate. In Job He is my Redeemer. In Psalms He is my Shepherd. In Proverbs He is my Pattern. In Ecclesiastes He is my Goal. In the Song of Solomon He is my Satisfier. In the Books of the Prophets He is my Coming Prince of Peace. In the Gospels He is the One who came to seek and to save us. In Acts He is our Risen Lord. In the Epistles He is our Representative at the Father's right hand. In Revelation He is our Returning Lord.'

In an age of pop psychology and eclectic theology, the bedrock of our faith is still Christ's virgin birth, His sinless life, His atoning death, His victorious resurrection, His work of mediation and His visible return as King of Kings. Christ - there's no one like Him!


[1] Vishal Mangalwadi, June 2012 ‘How Protestantism Built Modern India'


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