Leading Seniors to Christ

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Last Sunday we received an urgent call from a former church member C. (name changed), asking whether we could visit her parents before her mom goes for surgery next week. They are in their mid to late 70’s, with health issues.

The mom had been a staunch Taoist, even pledging herself to be a disciple of Zhang Daoling, the first Celestial Master (張天師) in second century BC. However, when she had a near fatal illness nearly 10 years ago, she professed faith in Christ, but hesitatingly, as her husband was not a believer. He had been a businessman in Hong Kong (HK), but does not believe in any religion. Both retired and emigrated to Canada to live with their daughter in 1997, when HK was repatriated to China.

Two weeks earlier the church caring team had visited them to share the gospel, inviting them to trust in Christ alone for their salvation. The mom said she already believed in Jesus, but will follow her husband’s decision as head of the household, as many older Chinese wives are accustomed to do. The dad said he also believes in Jesus, otherwise why would he follow his daughter to church every Sunday? But he cannot trust in Jesus alone, since previously he followed Master Zhang and could not be disloyal. The team explained that Christianity is exclusive and that he could not put his faith in both, but he wouldn’t budge, as disloyalty is a grave sin with dire consequences. That’s when someone suggested C. contact us.

Prior to our appointment the team explained to us how their meeting went, so we were aware of the impasse. What the team said was correct, but there is a better way to present the truth to avoid the deadlock. After inquiring about their health to establish rapport, we transitioned to the gospel. We agreed with him that loyalty is important. Just as in a marriage the partners need to be faithful to each other and not leave room for a third-party, so in matters of faith one should commit wholeheartedly and not have divided loyalties. However, important as that is, there is an even more important issue to be resolved first. And that most important thing is to determine who the one true God is, and commit to Him alone and no one else.

We explained to him that in time past many Chinese did not know any better as they had not heard the gospel. They followed blindly the beliefs of ancestors without questioning, and were conned by demonic deception such as healing from a sickness or winning a fortune. Little did they realize that these are like sugar-coated poison, because the cost is to forfeit their soul (Mt 16:26; Mk 8:36; Lk 9:25). So the priority is to find out who the true God is, and then commit to follow Him only. He was a businessman and understood right away Satan’s tricks to lure people to follow him, so we invited them to settle their commitment once for all, which they accepted. After further clarification questions we asked them to pray to tell Jesus their commitment to trust Him alone. All were glad as we welcome them into God’s family. Hallelujah!

The gospel never changes, but how you present it can vary with the need. Always be ready to share with anyone, any place, anywhere. You’ll be glad you did, just as there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents (Lk 15:10).

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What does the Bible say about Aliens?

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Q. What does the Bible say about aliens?

A. The Bible says a lot about aliens, but not the extraterrestrials most people are referring to when they talk about aliens. In my NASB, the word “alien” occurs 48 times and “aliens” another 23 times, but all referring to “stranger, sojourner, or foreigner”.

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The Bible said when God created the heavens and the earth i.e. the universe (Gen 1:1), He created:
• vegetation on Day 3 (Gen 1:11-13),
• water creatures (fish and other) and birds on Day 5 (Gen 1:20-23),
• earth creatures (animals, insects) and man on Day 6 (Gen 1:24-31).

God also created angels, presumably before the earth:
Job 38:4, 7 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding, … When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Both morning stars and sons of God refer poetically to angels. They were watching as God laid the earth’s foundation.

Besides these life forms, the Bible is silent when it comes to extraterrestrials. While there are many theories based on UFO sightings, alien abductions etc., the Bible simply does not mention whether God created other beings to populate other planets or galaxies.

Some object that the Bible is an ancient book which did not know better, and that we should trust science which gave us numerous video recordings as evidence. It is true that the Bible is an old book, but it is the word of God and proven trustworthy over the last two thousand years. Furthermore, there are alternative explanations to the available data, including false flag operations designed to deceive the public, conspiracies fabricating evidence to get government funding, or demonic deception.

For example, some UFO footage show impossible maneuvers such as turning 90 degree angles at high speed or even reversing direction instantaneously, as if there is no inertia, or disappearing suddenly into thin air, like jumping into hyper-space in sci-fi movies. Some believe alien technology to be light-years ahead of earth, but before you make too many assumptions, a simpler explanation is demonic impersonation, and Occam’s razor is still the best policy.

So there is no direct scriptural evidence supporting the existence of extraterrestrials. What about indirect? They are not supportive either:

Rom 8:19-22 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
• 2 Pet 3:10, 12-13 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. … looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

Now, if God had created highly intelligent aliens in other parts of the universe, far more advanced than humans in orders of magnitude, who had not sinned according to any biblical record, and therefore do not need redemption similar to human beings, why would God, who is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving-kindness and truth (Ex 34:6), subject them to futility? Why would He destroy their abode (the heavens) by burning? This is totally out of character with the God of the Bible, unless He hadn’t created any at all.

So, for the lack of explicit biblical evidence, and implicit theological considerations, I prefer the demonic deception explanation more.