REMNANT

The "Remnant" was a term used for the Jewish people that were taken to Babylon and seventy years later returned to rebuilt Jerusalem and the nation of Israel. The remnant remained the hope for a Jewish people after Rome dissolved their State. Do we have a similar remnant in the U.S.A. that can bring hope to this nation? Many of us are quick in pointing to Evangelical Christians as a possible remnant. This is doubtful because Evangelicals have not been involved enough in the survival of this nation. They have been too "other-worldly" to be taken elsewhere and then be brought back to rebuild this nation.

JESUS’ CLAIM

Most religious founders and leaders, except Jesus, heard voices, saw visions and had dreams. Abraham believed he saw angels and Moses was convinced that God had carved the Ten Commandments on stone tablets. The prophets believed that they were mouthpieces of God. The judges, kings and public leaders saw themselves as instruments of God's Spirit. Jesus did not fit any of these claims. How did He differ from all the other religious personalities? What did he say about himself? We do have his answer in John 5: 31-40.

DISCLOSURE

We have a tendency to identify and single out people, particularly our leaders. In most instances, we are merely groping and guessing because we do not know what is in their hearts. With regard to politicians, it is even more difficult to determine who they are because of what they said will not be what they do. President Obama is especially skillful in camouflaging his intentions from his actions. It should not surprise us that Christians believe he is one of them and so do Muslims. In politics, Obama is a convenient mixture of many concepts. How then can we arrive at who he is?

DISPARITY

Legal disparity is gripping our country and tearing it apart. People in power administer the law as they please. Like in the days before our founders wrote the Constitution, the law was subject to kings, bishops and powerful individuals. The idea that we are somewhat unique is a misconception. From the beginning of time, men have tried to bring parity to justice. Hammurabi (1780 BC) claimed that heaven gave him 282 articles to guide his Babylonian empire. Several centuries later, Moses introduced the Hebrew-Levitical law and the Ten Commandments. Two thousand years later Muhammad claimed that Allah revealed Shari'a law to him. There are other Codes but these three have affinities in Abraham, father of many nations (Gen.17: 5). These old laws were harsh on transgressions like adultery, blasphemy, apostasy, homosexuality and thievery. All of these systems lacked mercy, justice and faithfulness (Mt.23: 23). John, the beloved disciple had it right: "For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ," (Jn.1: 17). Jesus added the missing ingredient to the law (Mt.9: 13; 12:7).

MIRAGE

It is an optical illusion created by light bouncing off hot air. Thirst makes us see an oasis that never exists. For a dying person it is hope that there will be water. Isaiah had the illusion that the wolf and the lamb, the leopard and the goat, the lion and the yearling, the bear and the cow and the cobra and the child would feed and live together. He also believed that such a time could only come when the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as water covers the see (11: 6-9). Are we living in such a time? By the way, the people that lived with that illusion vanished from the earth.

OMISSION

The sin of omission is when we know we ought to do what is right and do not do it (Ja.4: 17). To me, it means what Jesus demanded, "Let your light shine, do not hide it (Mt.5: 14-16)." Instead, we are in the world but not of it (Jn.15: 19). The misunderstanding of our role in the world has been detrimental.

BROAD ROAD

Jesus spoke of a broad road that leads to destruction and many are on it (Mt.7: 14). Recently our pastor braved tradition and listed five human efforts that can keep us out of heaven. These were good works, traditions, religion, nationality and heritage. These were troublesome then and still are today. I was puzzled by the inclusion of good works when even a cup of cold water to a thirsty person shall not go un-rewarded (Mt.10: 42). Jesus did expect something from his followers. Here are fourteen reasons that require a bit of doing that is if we want to spent eternity with him.

COLLECTIVISM

The first Christians tried the collective way. Things went well as long as their savings carried them. Then the wealthy converts sold their properties and sustained the movement for a short time. It all ended in failure and the Good Lord used Herod the king to disperse the group (Ac.4: 32-35). In our time, the Soviet Union began taking from the wealthy and then from everybody until it died on the vine. Others like China has learned to encourage her people to plant new vine so that the supply shall continue. It is a form of semi-capitalism. However, the state still owes and manages most of it.