“THE IMMOVABLE”                                   By Pastor YAU

Psalm 19:7-14; 2 Corinthians 3:3                   New Year: January 7, 2007.

 

INTRODUCTION:

1)    The removable: We have heard from the news a number of reports about the efforts to remove monuments of the Ten Commandments from public places in this country. It is regrettable to see things like this happen because the Ten Commandments represents the righteous laws of God and “righteousness exalts a nation.” (Proverbs 14:34) I believe that the removing of these monuments is a reflection of a nation that is drifting further away from God and His law and the crumbling of moral foundation of our society.

2)    The immovable: But there is one enduring monument of the law of God that can never be removed: the truth of the Bible written by the Holy Spirit on the hearts of millions of faithful followers of Christ. (2 Corinthians 3:3) Those who have kept the words of God in their hearts, live their life by the truth and committed to spread that truth will never be removed by the hands of men. Monuments built and fell, come and gone; but the truth of the Bible written in our hearts will endure forever.

 

REASONS BEHIND THE REMOVAL: These are only samples.

1)      Separation of Church and State: The most cited reason for the removal of monuments of the Ten Commandments and other symbols of Christian faith is the theory on the “separation of church and state.” Most constitutional scholars agreed that there is NO mention of this phrase in the Constitution. The Constitution guarantees religious freedom of the church and independence of the government without the interference of the church as it was the case in the European Continent at the time of independence of this country. When this nation as founded, the reverence of God and His word as the foundation of liberty was evident in many documents and speeches of early presidents including President Lincoln. It was never the intent of our founding fathers to push God and His word from public places such as government buildings and courthouses.

2)      Protection of minority rights: This is the second most cited reason for the removal of monuments of the Ten Commandments. On December 9, 2006, the airport authority in Seattle removed all the Christmas trees from the airport because a Jewish Rabbi had asked to add a 6-foot tall Menorah to the display for the celebration of the Jewish holiday Hanukkah beginning on December 22. In order to be fair to all religions, the airport authority decided to remove the symbol of Christian celebration for the birth of Christ. While we all agree that minority rights deserves protection, but the rights of the majority also deserves protection as well. Since great majority of this nation are Christians, I don’t understand why can’t we see the airport authority protect our rights? (Later on when the Rabbi dropped the threat to sue the airport, all Christmas trees were restored early the following week.)

3)      Liberal activist judges: There are many liberal judges who do not believe that the foundation of the American judiciary system has its root from the Bible and the justice of God. These judges want to see a humanistic judiciary system based on human mind and circumstances. That’s why they ruled it unconstitutional to allow Bible study groups in schools but in favor of seminars on gay life style. Judges like these and other progressive secular activists love to see this nation become a completely humanistic, no-God nation.

4)      Anti-Christian culture war:  There has been an anti-Christian culture war in this country for many years but it has become more active and bolder in recent years. For some years, government offices, public places like libraries and parks, schools and stores had put up their decoration at Christmas time with words like: HAPPY HOLIDAY instead of the MERRY CHRISTMAS. Store managers had instructed their sales personnel not to greet customers with Merry Christmas. This is in direct contradiction with the faith of the majority. It definitely is not a good business practice to lure customers or the public. It is the pressure of the anti-Christian culture. Activists of gay rights and same sex marriage have long been the fierce opponents of Christian culture. Backed by the force of most liberal public media outlets, TV stations, news writers and editors of major news papers, the anti-Christian culture war is fierce and relentless. Removal of the monuments of the Ten Commandments is only the beginning.

 

WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT THIS?

1)      Keeping the hope: While I am writing this message, Dec. 13, the “Christmas in WASHINGTON” concert is going on with the guests of honor present: President and Mrs. George W. Bush and many dignitaries. Listening to the familiar Christmas carols and the mention of “Christ, the Lord,” tears were running down my face. There is hope for this land and this nation if we keep ourselves close to God and His words in our hearts. Even though monuments may be removed, our commitment to God and His word can never be removed. As it is written in Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And his name will be called: Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace.” And then in 9:7, “The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” Our hope rests on this child, the Son of the living God.

2)      Passing the torch: When we toured Europe last year, we had visited many beautiful churches and cathedrals: St. Mark and St. Mary in Italy, St. Catherine in Cologne, Germany, cathedrals in Lausanne, Switzerland, the most famous Notre Dame in Paris and other famous churches in London including the one where kings and queens were crowned and Princess Dianna was married to the Prince of Wales. Most of these churches had glorious history in the past and magnificent architectural beauty but are now tourist hot spots instead of houses of worship. We were in downtown Lausanne Sunday morning on July 10, 2005. We heard the nearby church bell rang and went inside to say a prayer. That gigantic cathedral has the capacity of at least 2,000 but had only about 100 worshippers there and they were all with grey hair. Later I asked the tour guide, a young British lady in her 20s, why was there no young people going to church. She said young people in Europe are different from that in the US. They were not taught about God and the importance of faith in God when they were young therefore they don’t see the needs of worship God after they have grown up. If we want to keep Christian faith vibrant and growing, we need to teach our children about God and the importance of faith now. We need to past on the torch of faith to our next generation when they are still teachable. I am so proud of our teachers of Youth and Children departments in Sunday School and the AWANA program and we have hope on our young people to continue carrying the torch of faith to their children.

3)      Spreading the good news: The fact Europe is almost spiritually dead is because they have abandoned their zeal of evangelizing their people and the world. We all know that modern world mission movement began in Europe with mission organizations such as London Missionary Society, the Jesuits and other. People like William Carey and John Wesley were pioneers of missions. It is because of the zeal of missions by Christians in Europe, we see churches all around the world today. Mission is the heart beat of the Christian faith. We exist for that purpose. When we forget our share to spread the message of salvation, stop bringing people to know God, just enjoy the luxury of a nice church and self-serving programs, we will begin to die because there is no reason to exist.

4)      Upholding the Bible: Everything in this world is changing: from values to customs, from cultures to politics. No one is sure what is right from wrong any more. Everything is permissible as long as it is protected by the Constitution. Some people believe that there is no such thing as the standard by which we measure moral or ethics. But we Christians are to uphold the Bible as the supreme authority for our life and faith. We need to devote time and energy in studying the Bible to know God and His will in our life, in things we do, in direction we choose and in values we build our family and society. Never allow the secular world and its philosophy to dilute our belief or alter our direction of pursue. Whenever you have a doubt, always go to God’s word to find out what He wants you to do or where to go.

 

WHY IS THE BIBLE SO GOOD? (Psalms 19:7-14) Because …….

1)     The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. When your soul is confused and not knowing right from wrong, go to the Bible.

2)     The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making the simple wise. If you can’t trust anyone to make a good decision, go to the Bible.

3)     The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. If you are sad in your heart, go to the Bible.

4)     The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. If you can’t see what your future may hold, go to the Bible.

5)     The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. If your mind is clouded with impure thoughts, go to the Bible

6)     The ordinances of the Lord are sure, and all together righteous. If you don’t know which way is right, go to the Bible.

7)     They are more precious than gold, no riches in this world may give you eternal life but the Bible can.

8)     They are sweeter than honey, the word in the Bible will sooth your soul if you taste its flavor every morning with devotion time.

9)     The Bible keeps you from doing wrong, so you will receive rewards from God when you see Him.

10)  The Bible will keep your thoughts and actions upright so you will stand tall before man and be acceptable before God.

 

CONCLUSION: God’s command to Joshua 1:8, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it.”

1)    Your New Year resolution: I am sure we all make resolutions at the turn of the New Year. Have you made that to read the Bible more regularly in depth and taste how sweet the words of God are to your spiritual life? I want to encourage you to make a commitment: make it your personal goal for the New Year to have a time daily for Bible reading and prayer. If you have never tried it before, today is the day to begin.

2)    Keeping the fire burning: The fire of truth in the Bible can only be burning bright if we are fervent in reaching the unsaved, teaching our children to know God, keep our faith strong in good time and bad time. Just like Paul, we need to do our share faithfully.

3)    Best guide you need: If you feel the need of having a guide to help you go through life more effective, meaningful and productive, you have one: the Bible. Seek God’s guidance and make a commitment to follow through and you will be in good hands, the hands of the Almighty God.