Saturday, August 8, 2020

Difficulties In the Bible (1996 Edition) by R. A. Torrey, Book Review



Difficulties In the Bible (1996 Edition) by R. A. Torrey, Book Review

Reuben Archer Torrey (1856-1878) is one of the greatest evangelists of his time - probably, also of modern times. I love reading classic books by great minds such as Torrey. It seems like old Christian writers like him, C. S. Lewis, Charles Spurgeon, D. L. Moody, John Bunyan, etc. have greater depth and appreciation for simplicity than most popular authors today. This book, for example, although dealing with difficult issues (just read the title) never seems to be a problem for Torrey because he truly believes that, “The Bible contains nothing but the truth, and it contains more truth than all other books put together.” He didn’t write, “I know the answer to every question...” but acknowledge his own ignorance in some parts and never attempt to conceal the fact that there ARE difficulties exist in the Bible.

I’m a self-study student of the Bible. But the more I study it, the more questions I have (if you want to be a good student - value questions!). The more questions I ask, the more understanding I get. Very few times it creates doubt. Often, it increases my faith. Yes, I found difficulties in the Bible but in comparison with the many clarities I get, it reduces to non-essentials-for-salvation-and-growth for me.

How to deal with difficulties in the Bible? Torrey offers 7 bits of advice: 1) Expect difficulties. “When the infinite tries to understand the infinite, there is bound to be difficulty”; 2) Difficulties do not equal falsehood. “The whole difficulty arose, as almost all of those in the Bible arise, from man’s ignorance of some of the facts in the case”; 3) There are greater difficulties exist. “There are many more - much greater - difficulties in the doctrine that holds the Bible to be of human origin, and hence fallible, than there are in the doctrine that holds the Bible to be of divine origin, hence infallible.” For this point, Torrey gives examples of the unity of the Bible, the power to save men from sin a.k.a. changed lives, the peace, and hope and joy it brings, etc. 4) Solutions do not depend on us. “The fact that you cannot solve a difficulty does not prove it cannot be solved, and the fact that you cannot answer an objection does not prove that it cannot be answered”; 5) Difficulties are exceedingly insignificant in comparison with the many and marvelous excellencies of the Bible. This is just what I already explained; 6) Superficial reading vs. profound studying. “To the man who is reading [The Bible] through for the first or second time, there are many things that perplex and stagger”; 7) The role of careful study. “At first, they go by ones, then by twos, then by dozens, and then by scores. Is it not reasonable, then, to suppose that the difficulties that still remain will all disappear upon further study?”

Torrey also outlines 10 general classes of difficulties: imperfect manuscripts, inaccurate translations, false interpretations, wrong ideas about the Bible, the original language(s), our lack of knowledge, our ignorance of the background, our one-sidedness, our finite minds, and our dull spiritual perceptions. For each class, he explains briefly what he means. There are top 24 questions of difficulties that Torrey deals in the book, such as Is Genesis chapter one historical and scientific? Where did Cain get his wife? Does God of truth and love send us lying and evil spirits? Are there contradictions in Jesus ‘genealogies? Did Jesus go into the abode of the dead? And more.

Currently, I’m doing a podcast teaching series on The Gospel of Matthew (in Bahasa Malaysia #InjilMatius). Last week I was in Matthew chapter 12:40 where Jesus predicts that He will “be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” I was not sure about this passage and so I delayed the podcast so that I can study this verse further. At the same time, I just finished reading a book and thinking of what book next. And you know what? I chose (my will, God’s divine timing) this book. And guess which chapter I randomly read? On this topic - “Was Jesus really three days and nights in the heart of the earth?” Wow! What perfect timing! Praise be to God 😊🙏⚡ #1Book1Week #ServeToLead #LeadersAreReaders #LetsMakeReadingCoolAgain #DifficultiesInTheBible #Torrey

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Thursday, August 6, 2020

Menyediakan dan Meluruskan Jalan Untuk Yesus Kristus



Yohanes Pembaptis "menyediakan" dan "meluruskan jalan" bagi Yesus Kristus (Markus 1:3). Mereka yang belum mengenal Yesus memerlukan persediaan untuk bertemu dengan-Nya. Kita boleh menyediakan mereka dengan menerangkan tentang pengampunan dosa, menunjukkan ajaran Kristus melalui perkataan dan kehidupan kita, dan bersaksi tentang perubahan hidup yang dilakukan-Nya.

Kita juga boleh meluruskan jalan untuk mereka berjumpa dengan Kristus dengan membetulkan salah anggap dan ajaran palsu tentang-Nya. Penyelamat ialah hanya Tuhan Yesus Kristus - bukan kita. Tetapi kita boleh menyediakan dan meluruskan jalan untuk mereka. Hari ini, apa yang boleh kamu lakukan kepada seorang yang belum mengenal-Nya? 😊⚡📖 #ServeToLead #RenunganInjilMarkus

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Seperti Yang Tersurat...



Dalam Perjanjian Lama, nabi Yesaya dan nabi Maleakhi sudah bernubuat tentang kedatangan Yohanes Pembaptis dan Yesus Kristus. Bagaimana mereka tahu? TUHAN telah berjanji kepada mereka bahawa Penyelamat akan datang dan seorang utusan akan mendahului-Nya (Maleakhi 3:1) dan menyediakan jalan untuk-Nya (Yesaya 40:3). Dari dulu lagi, orang sentiasa menantikan kedatangan Penyelamat atau Mesias itu. Dengan memetik dua ayat ini, Markus (1:2-3) ingin menyatakan kepada kita bahawa Yesus ialah Penyelamat yang telah dijanjikan itu!

Mengetahui dan mempercayai bahawa TUHAN sentiasa berpegang kepada janji-janji-Nya, kita sepatutnya tenang dan bergantung harap kepada-Nya. Semuanya akan terjadi "seperti yang tersurat" dalam Firman-Nya. Setiap kali kamu membaca atau mendengar tentang Yesus menurut Alkitab, kamu ingat ini: Janji-Nya bukan hanya pasti digenapi tetapi Dia juga datang untuk menggenapinya 😊⚡📖 #ServeToLead #RenunganInjilMarkus

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Yesus Kristus Mati Pada Hari Rabu? Khamis? Jumaat? (Matius 12:40)



Yesus Kristus berfirman tentang kematian dan kebangkitan-Nya dengan berkata: "Sebagaimana Yunus tinggal tiga hari tiga malam di dalam perut ikan besar, begitu jugalah Anak Manusia akan tinggal tiga hari tiga malam di dalam perut bumi" (Matius 12:40). 3 hari 3 malam.

Dengan memetik ayat ini, mendiang Ahmed Deedat, pendakwah Islam, cuba membuktikan bahawa Alkitab salah: kalau Yesus mati pada hari Jumaat (yang kita panggil 'Good Friday') dan bangkit semula pada hari Ahad ('Easter Day'), itu hanya 3 hari 2 malam. Make sense! Zakir Naik pula menggila, dia mengira dari Jumaat sampai Ahad, "2 nights and 1 day" (tonton YouTube). Matematik gagal!

Jadi, adakah Yesus mati pada hari Jumaat atau Khamis atau Rabu? Dan apakah pro dan kontranya? Apakah yang dimaksudkan dengan 3 hari 3 malam dan bagaimana kita harus mengiranya? Apa kata Firman TUHAN? 😊⚡📖 #ServeToLead #InjilMatius

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#1Book1Week July 2020



Here is my July #1Book1Week list. In Lit: A Christian Guide to Reading Book (I recommend this book!), Tony Reinke points out that “the immediate appeal of visual entertainment is at odds with the gradual unveiling of literary treasure. Entertainment is passive and easy; books require an active mind and diligence. Books typically get ignored." The fact that books get ignored is the best reason for you to be a book reader. Why? Nowadays, people are the same. Boring. Be different. Not weird (although sometimes people think you are), but intelligently different.

If you're not a reader today, perhaps because you haven't found life-changing books. I believe that once you're a reader, you will always be a reader. This is a good addiction. First, read the New Testament Bible from a modern translation (CEV or NLT) or paraphrase (The Message or The Living Bible), and then explore other books from various topics. Read deeply, widely and critically. Hey, #LetsMakeReadingCoolAgain #ServeToLead #LeadersAreReaders #GrowingLeader 😊⚡📖

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Markus 2:25-28 Apa Tiga Hal Yang Lebih Penting Daripada Hari Sabat? (#InjilMarkus S.1 E.20)



Konsep Hari Sabat mula diperkenalkan dalam Kejadian 2:2-3, itu hanya selepas penciptaan manusia. Dan hukum Hari Sabat diberi selepas orang Israel menjadi suatu bangsa Israel di Tanah Perjanjian. Oleh itu, padanlah firman Yesus Kristus, "Hari Sabat diwujudkan untuk manusia, bukannya manusia diwujudkan untuk hari Sabat" (Markus 2:27). Apakah tiga hal yang lebih penting daripada Hari Sabat? 😊⚡📖 #ServeToLead #InjilMarkus

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Ini Ialah Permulaan Tentang Injil



Setiap misi memerlukan usaha dan ada kos. Misi yang sukar selalunya melibatkan halangan, rintangan dan pengorbanan. Kenapa TUHAN rela melalui semua itu? Dia rela tetapi sebenarnya tidak perlu. Alkitab tidak pernah menyatakan bahawa TUHAN serba kekurangan atau memerlukan apa-apa daripada kita. TUHAN cukup.

Jawapan yang paling tepat ialah: Dia mahu. Ini ialah "Injil" atau "Berita Baik" bagi kita! Yesus ialah Anak Allah "melalui Dia segala sesuatu diciptakan... segala-galanya telah dicipta melalui-Nya dan untuk-Nya" (Kolose 1:16; Yohanes 1:3). Tetapi dalam segala kebesaran-Nya, satu sifat yang seringkali digunakan untuk Yesus ialah KASIH. "Allah itu kasih" (1 Yohanes 4:16). Itu sebabnya kenapa Yesus datang. Ini ialah Berita Baik! 😊⚡📖 #ServeToLead #RenunganInjilMarkus

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Yesus & Petanda Yunus (Matius 12:38-42)



Bermula dari Injil Matius bab 4 dan bab 8 sehingga bab 12, Yesus Kristus melakukan banyak mujizat: menyembuhkan pelbagai sakit, mengusir roh-roh iblis, membangkitkan orang mati, mengarahkan ribut dan ombak, dan sebagainya. Tetapi para ahli Taurat dan orang Farisi tetap juga mahu meminta mukjizat, “Guru," kata mereka kepada Yesus, "kami ingin melihat suatu tanda mukjizat daripada-Mu."

Jawab Yesus, “Manusia zaman yang durjana dan setia ini ingin melihat tanda mukjizat. Tetapi satu tanda pun tidak akan ditunjukkan kepadanya kecuali tanda nabi Yunus" (Matius 12:38-39). Wow! Apakah yang dimaksudkan dengan "tanda nabi Yunus"? Jom dengar episod ini 🤔😊🙏 #ServeToLead #InjilMatius

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Angels: God's Secret Agents (1975) by Billy Graham, Book Review



Angels: God's Secret Agents (1975) by Billy Graham

I read this book for the first time during our campus Christian Fellowship (CF) mission trip to Betong many years ago. When we encountered spiritual warfares, I was curious about what the Bible really said about angels - good and evil - Who are they? What is their purpose or mission? And why are they always appear in the Word and frequently in the world today? Late Billy Graham wrote a book on this topic when the people of his generations were getting more interested in the supernatural such as UFO, ESP, and demonic cults. With all the confusion, he wants to direct his readers to biblical truths about angels. He is faithful to the Scripture, very clear, non-speculative and his writing is easy to read.

Billy's wife, Ruth, who was born and raised in China, recalls that in her childhood days tigers lived in the mountains. One day a poor woman went up to the foothills to cut grass. To her back was tied a baby and a little child walked beside her. As she reached the top of a hill she heard a roar and then saw a mother tigress (hey, a female tiger is more frightful than a male tiger) springing at her. "This illiterate Chinese mother had never attended school or entered a church. She had never seen a Bible," writes Mr. Graham, "But a year or two earlier a missionary had told her about Jesus, 'who is able to help you when you are in trouble.' As the claws of the tigress tore her arm and shoulder, the woman cried out in frenzy, 'Oh Jesus, help me!' This ferocious beast, instead of attacking again to get an easy meal, suddenly turned and ran away." Had God sent an angel to help this poor woman?

I remember a few incidents in my life where I suspect God sent an angel(s) to protect me. A man who appeared out of nowhere helped me pulled my car out from the drain and then gone. I was so sure that a wild dog trying to bite and run very fast toward me (I mumbled some prayer, I think) but about 1 meter away, the dog suddenly stopped for no reason. During one of the mission trips, a witch doctor came to us and asked us who 'protecting' us from her spells.

I believe God when He promises us in Psalms 91:11, "He will give angels charge of you, to guard you in all your ways." Especially, when we do the works of ministry. [Good] angels are our allies. Do not worship them, but know that they - and us, in some parts - are servants of God. As Mr. Graham puts it: "While we do not place our faith directly in angels, we should place it in the God who rules the angels; then we can have peace" 😊🙏⚡ #1Book1Week #ServeToLead #LeadersAreReaders #LetsMakeReadingCoolAgain #Angels #BillyGraham

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Markus 2:23-24 Adakah Para Murid Yesus Melanggar Hukum Hari Sabat? (#InjilMarkus S.1 E.19)



Sudah tidak boleh menuduh Yesus Kristus, orang Farisi menuduh para murid-Nya pula. Kata mereka, "Lihatlah, mereka melakukan sesuatu yang dilarang pada hari Sabat!" (Markus 2:24). Betulkah mereka melanggar Hukum Taurat? Jika YA, maka, Yesus harus disalahkan kerana Dia ketua kepada para murid-Nya yang melanggar Firman Allah. Jika TIDAK, maka, orang Farisi bersalah atas tuduhan palsu... Salah seorang pihak mesti bersalah. Siapa? 🤔⚡📖 #ServeToLead #InjilMarkus

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Markus 2:18-22 Prinsip-Prinsip Berpuasa Dalam Perjanjian Baru? (#InjilMarkus S.1 E.18)



Ada beberapa orang datang kepada Yesus Kristus lalu bertanya, "Murid Yohanes Pembaptis dan murid orang Parisi sedang berpuasa, mengapa murid-murid-Mu tidak?" (Markus 2:18). Banyak tanggapan yang boleh kita perhatikan dalam soalan ini. Contohnya, mereka seakan-akan bertanya, "Kenapa Kamu tidak mengajar para murid-Mu berpuasa?"; "Kenapa Kamu melanggar tradisi kami?"; "Okay, kita sama saja, kenapa tidak ikut cara kami?" Apa jawab Yesus? 😉📖⚡ #InjilMarkus #ServeToLead

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Markus 2:15-17 Kenapa Orang Berdosa Tertarik Kepada Yesus? (#InjilMatius S.1 E.17)



Dalam Injil Markus, mesej Yesus Kristus sangat jelas: "Sudah genap masanya dan kerajaan Allah hampir tiba. Bertaubatlah dan percayalah akan Injil ini!" (1:15). Siapa yang perlu bertaubat? Orang berdosa! Bagaimana mereka tahu yang mereka berdosa? Menurut firman Yesus! Jadi, orang berdosa sepatutnya tersinggung dan menghindari Yesus, kan? Tetapi kamu baca, Yesus makan bersama "ramai pemungut cukai dan orang berdosa" (2:15). Kenapa? 😊⚡📖 #ServeToLead #InjilMarkus

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Setiap Orang Harus Mempertanggungjawabkan Setiap Katanya (Matius 12:33-37)



Yesus Kristus berfirman: "Aku berkata kepadamu: Pada hari penghakiman, setiap orang harus mempertanggungjawabkan setiap katanya yang tidak sewajarnya dituturkan. Kata-katamu sendiri akan dijadikan ukuran sama ada kamu bersalah atau tidak, dan dengan kata-katamu sendiri pula kamu dihukum" (Matius 12:36-37). Wah! Semua kita harus mempertanggungjawabkan setiap kata kita. Setiap orang... Setiap kata... SEMUA!

Ini BERITA BURUK bagi saya. Sebelum ini saya banyak berbohong. Saya pernah menggunakan nama TUHAN untuk menghujat orang lain. Saya mengufuri Tuhan dengan lirik-lirik lagu yang memuja Iblis. Saya berkata bodoh kepada ibubapa saya. Saya mengucapkan kata benci kepada saudara-saudari seiman. Setiap kata akan digunakan untuk menghakimi saya. Tetapi ada BERITA BAIK untuk SEMUA... 🙏⚡📖 #ServeToLead #InjilMatius

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Markus 2:13-14 Apakah Maksudnya Mengikuti Yesus? (#InjilMarkus S.1 E.16)



Ketika Yesus Kristus berjalan, Dia terpandang seorang pemungut cukai bernama Lewi anak Alfeus sedang duduk di tempat memungut cukai. "Ikutlah Aku," kata Yesus kepada Lewi a.k.a. Matius (Markus 2:13-14). Apakah maksudnya menjadi pengikut Yesus? 😊📖⚡ #ServeToLead #InjilMarkus

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Markus 2:5-12 Siapa Boleh Mengampun Dosa Kecuali Allah? (#InjilMarkus S.1 E.15)



Apabila kita membaca tentang ahli-ahli Taurat dan orang Farisi dalam Perjanjian Baru, kita selalu berfikir bahawa niat mereka salah dan kata-kata mereka palsu. Ya, selalunya begitu. Tetapi dalam Markus 2:7, mereka berkata benar: "Tiada siapa boleh mengampunkan dosa kecuali Allah!” Jika Yesus tidak boleh mengampuni dosa, Dia mengufuri Allah; jika Dia boleh maka, mereka yang mengufuri Anak Allah 😊📖⚡ #InjilMarkus #ServeToLead

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Dosa Yang Tidak Dapat Diampuni (Matius 12:30-32)



Yesus Kristus berfirman sesuatu yang banyak menjadi persoalan bagi orang sehingga ke hari ini: "Orang yang berbuat dosa dan mengucapkan kata-kata kufur akan diampuni, tetapi mereka yang mengkufuri Roh Kudus tidak akan diampuni. Orang yang menentang Anak Manusia dengan kata-katanya dapat diampuni, tetapi mereka yang menghina Roh Kudus tidak dapat diampuni, baik di dunia mahupun di akhirat.” Ini ialah dosa yang TIDAK boleh diampuni.

Apakah konteks firman ini? Bukankah SEMUA dosa kita boleh atau akan diampuni sekiranya kita bertaubat dengan nama Yesus? Apakah yang dimaksudkan oleh Yesus ini? 🤔📖🙏 #ServeToLead #InjilMatius

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Markus 2:1-4 Kenapa Sahabat Seiman Sangat Mustahak? (#InjilMarkus S.1 E.14)



Ada "empat orang mengusung seorang yang lumpuh" (Markus 2:3) kepada Yesus Kristus ketika Dia sedang mengajar. Siapa mereka 4 ini? Adakah mereka ahli keluarga? Atau adakah mereka para sahabat kepada orang yang lumpuh ini? Kita tidak pasti. Tetapi bayangkan mereka ialah para sahabatnya, apakah yang kita boleh belajar tentang kepentingan sahabat seiman dalam cerita ini? 😊⚡📖 #ServeToLead #InjilMarkus

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Jangan Mengkufuri Roh Kudus (Matius 12:22-29)



Dengan memetik nubuat nabi Yesaya tentang Yesus Kristus, TUHAN berfirman, "Aku akan menaruh Roh-Ku ke atas-Nya" (Matius 12:18), apa yang Matius ingin sampaikan ialah: segala perkerjaan Yesus di dunia dilakukan dengan kuasa "Roh Allah" (12:28) atau Roh Kudus. Tetapi bagi orang Farisi - yang ada kesombongan rohani dan buta rohani - mereka menuduh bahawa Yesus melakukan semua hal itu kerana "diberi kuasa oleh Beelzebul, ketua roh jahat" (12:24). Apa respon Yesus? Apa bukti Yesus? Kenapa Yesus melakukan semua ini? 😊⚡📖 #InjilMatius #ServeToLead

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Markus 1:40-45 Bagaimana Dengan Hukun Taurat? (#InjilMarkus S.1 E.13)



Ramai orang Kristian melihat Hukum Taurat atau Hukum Musa sebagai sesuatu yang tidak baik dan tidak perlu. Kita harus tahu bahawa Hukum ialah baik, benar dan suci (baca Roma 7). Bagi orang percaya, memang kita tidak lagi hidup di bawah Hukum, tetapi di bawah kasih kurnia, ini tidak bermaksud Hukum tidak berguna. Berdasarkan Matius 1:40-45, saya ingin menunjukkan fungsi-fungsi Hukum dalam aplikasi Yesus 😊📖⚡ #ServeToLead #InjilMarkus

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Yesus Kristus Ialah Anak-Hamba Yahweh (Matius 12:15-21)



Yesus Kristus ialah "Hamba-Ku yang telah Kupilih, Yang Kukasihi dan Kuredai" (Matius 12:18; Yesaya 42:1). Kata nama 'pais' selalunya diterjemahkan sebagai 'hamba' dan juga sebagai 'anak.' Semasa pembaptisan Yesus, suara Bapa berkata, "Inilah Anak-Ku yang Kukasihi dan dengan-Nya Aku berkenan" (3:17). Apabila Yesus dimuliakan di atas gunung, suara itu sekali lagi berkata, "Inilah Anak-Ku yang Kukasihi dan dengan-Nya Aku berkenan. Dengarlah kata-kata-Nya!" (17:5). Kupilih. Kukasihi. Kuredai. Kuberkenan.

Jadi, Yesus ialah Hamba Yahweh (untuk membezakan istilah hamba Allah dalam Al-Quran [19:30] yang TIDAK sama dalam Al-Alkitab. 'Isa' dan 'Yesus' TIDAK sama) yang bukan hanya sekadar hamba biasa-biasa tetapi "dalam Nama-Nya [Yesus], bangsa-bangsa asing akan bersandar harap kepada-Nya" (Matius 12:21). Kepada siapa? 🤔 Jom dengar episod ini! 😊📖🙏 #ServeToLead #InjilMatius

Untuk mendengar, KLIK DI SINI > https://bit.ly/LegasiMatius95 ATAU Spotify > http://bit.ly/LegasiSpotify

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Markus 1:35-39 Kenapa Berdoa Itu Penting? (#InjilMarkus S.1 E.12)


[Video pendek 9:45 minit] Lihat disiplin Yesus Kristus dalam berdoa: "Keesokannya, pada waktu subuh, Yesus bangun lalu pergi ke luar kota ke suatu tempat yang sunyi untuk berdoa" (Markus 1:35-39). Lihat betapa pentingnya berdoa dalam hubungan, kehidupan dan pelayanan Yesus. Kenapa kita juga harus berdoa? 🙏😊📖 #ServeToLead #InjilMarkus

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Bila Sabat Beristirahat Menjadi Sabat Berbeban Berat (Matius 12:9-14)



Manusia ada satu tabiat dimana kita suka mengubah perkara mudah menjadi rumit, lebih-lebih lagi tentang hal keagamaan. Contohnya, tentang berdoa. Ia sangat mudah dan tidak perlu PhD atau pergi khusus untuk melakukannya. Tetapi manusia berkata, "Kamu kena ucap kata-kata ini"; "Kamu mesti dalam posisi ini"; "Kamu harus buat (X) kali"; "Kamu perlu menghadap ke sini"; "Kamu guna formula atau kaedah ini." Diakhirnya, doa menjadi beban bukan lagi suatu kesukaan.

Begitu juga, kebanyakkan para ahli Taurat dan orang Farisi pada zaman Yesus Kristus menjadikan hukum hari Sabat rumit. Mereka sangat taksub dengan tradisi nenek moyang sehinggakan melakukan mukjizat penyembuhan dan berbuat baik dilihat mereka sebagai melanggar hukum! (baca Matius 12:9-14). Adakah kita juga begitu dengan menjadikan Firman Allah beban dan bukannya kesukaan untuk mentaatinya? 😊⚡📖 #ServeToLead #InjilMatius

Untuk mendengar episod Podcast ini, KLIK DI SINI > http://bit.ly/LegasiMatius94 ATAU Spotify > http://bit.ly/LegasiSpotify

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Markus 1:32-34 Kenapa Yesus Memerintah Roh-Roh Iblis Untuk Diam? (#InjilMarkus S.1 E.11)



[Video pendek: 9:53 minit] Apabila roh-roh jahat melihat Yesus Kristus, ketua mereka berkata, "Apa yang hendak Kaubuat kepada kami, hai Yesus orang Nazaret? Adakah Engkau hendak membinasakan kami? Aku tahu siapa Engkau ini. Engkau Yang Suci daripada Allah!" (Markus 1:24). Ini pengakuan yang sangat besar - dan benar. Jadi, kenapa Yesus "memerintah mereka diam" (1:34)? Bukankah lebih baik orang tahu siapa Dia? 🤔⚡📖 #ServeToLead #InjilMarkus

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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Muslim: What You Need To Know About The World's Fastest-Growing Religion (2017) by Hank Hanegraaff, Book Review


I love this book! If you’re writing a novel, you don’t have to explain where you get your points - just use your imaginations. But if you want to write an important, fact-based and controversial book (yes, controversial. Our society is aggressive when talking about other religion, but when it come to theirs, they become too sensitive) like this, you have to show your references as much and accurate as possible. Hank dedicated 73 pages of notes and references. Why is this very important? Well, people like Zakir Naik may be very skillful in rhetoric but when it comes to facts, his points can be easily disapproved. Wordplay and imagination are for a novel, not intellectual discussion. But having said that, we have to admit that a book like this (or any books, as a matter of fact) is not free from personal biases. And so, you must be a little bit skeptical.

Many Muslims are peaceful and tolerant,” says Hank, who is the hosts of Bible Answer Man broadcast and the Hank Unplugged podcast, “however, the history of Islam demonstrates conclusively that it is not a peaceful and tolerant religion.” This is not an attack against individual believers but the religion itself. Perhaps for Islam, these two are inseparable, but we really need to make that distinction (for example, good Christians doesn’t mean that Christianity is true). By using acronym M.U.S.L.I.M. Hanks outlines six chapters of this book:

Chapter 1 - Muhammad: From Rags to Riches to Radicalization. Hanks chronicled briefly by quoting Al-Qur'an and early Muslim writings about Muhammad from his birth to prophethood to the conquests and wars and to the nature of his death. I want to give more details but since I’m aware of the examples of threats and intimidation in Malaysia, it is sufficient for me to say that based on these sources, it is not as it seems from popular media today. I would like to suggest you watch any of Robert Spencer’s YouTube videos on Muhammad (again, be aware of biases).

Chapter 2 - Unreliable Revelations: The Emperor Has No Clothes. When I investigated the validity of the Bible many years ago, I read lots of books, researches, and educational videos online from various sources and scholarly backgrounds. The Bible has gone through many criticisms, comparisons, and condemnations. And yet, it is still enduring and stands tall! The Qur'an, however, never been truly tested as such. There are lots of ‘amazing’ claims… but… the emperor has no clothes.

Chapter 3 - Sharia Is State, and State Is Sharia. This chapter is my favorite. Hanks writes, “Sharia or divine Islamic law embodies the will of God [Allah] for every aspect of society. As such, there is no real distinction between sharia and state.” There are lots of explanations about what is Sharia, one that I like in particular is from Dr. Yasir Qadhi, a Muslim preacher. Regardless of what’s good things they say about Sharia, we need to look at the glimpse of its implementation in Brunei, our neighbor. I let you make your own conclusion. A sale man can say anything about the product but the true measure of its effectiveness or not is when you apply it.

Chapter 4 - Levant: Crossroads of World History. Actually, in the beginning, I don’t know what does “Levant” even means! According to Wikipedia, the Levant is “a term in geography that refers to an area in the Middle East which includes the historic areas of Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, and Syria.” In the book, Hank discusses at length what is the significance of the Levant to Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Obviously, if you know about the Israel-Palestine conflict, you already taste the significance of the Levant to the Jews and (Arab) Muslims. Or think about the claim to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount today. For Christians, Hanks explains, “the Levant continues to have historical and archaeological significance but no longer fuels an eschatological mandate.”

Chapter 5 - Islamic State: Return of the Caliphate. This chapter is very scary. Islamic State (IS) is real and it has a mission to expand its caliphate. “Enduring and expanding.” Unlike previous Islamic Jihadist networks such as the Muslim Brotherhood or al-Qaeda, the IS is not solely dependent on wealthy donors (such as from Saudi Arabia, hello!) but from many other illicit sources. The message of IS is clear and consistent writes Hank, “We will return Islam to its glory days under the caliphate and rightly guided caliphs.” Most Muslims who are involved in the discussion in social media say terrorist groups such as ISI, ISIS, and ISIL are the product of FBI and CIA (maybe); and some say they are “not Islam” (maybe). But what if it is?

Chapter 6 - Major Muslim Misapprehensions. I’m most passionate about this chapter. Knowing or proving Islam is wrong doesn't mean Christianity is right. But by showing what our major differences are we can avoid the false assumption that ALL religions are the same. If we really want or aim to live in harmony, it is not enough for us to accept our differences, we must first know our differences. Hanks highlights that the teachings of Islam are either compromise or confuse or contradict these essential Christian D.O.C.T.R.I.N.E., namely, the Deity of Christ, the Original Sin, the divine Canon (a.k.a. The Bible), the concept of Trinity, the Resurrection of Christ, the Incarnation of Christ, the offer of New Creation in Christ, and the doctrine of Eschatology.  

Although I’m very pessimistic about Islam, I have to admit (together with Hank) that it is the world’s fastest-growing religion and soon - some say by 2070 - it will be the world’s largest religion. The most obvious reasons are the birth rate and migration. I think it is little to do with conversion. In fact, more Muslims are turning to Jesus all over the world. I love Muslim people and I long for them to come back Home to Abba Father, to be my brothers and sisters in Christ. Hey, we have the solution! The Gospel of Jesus Christ! Or as Os Guinness puts it (quote by Hank), “The power of the Gospel however dark the times.” Amen.

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I would like to suggest a series of powerful teachings by Jay Smith on Islam. CLICK LINKS below to watch the YouTube videos:

1) An Introduction to Islam in the West https://youtu.be/jlP12Msk8k8 
2) The Crisis of ISIS and Islamic Radicalism https://youtu.be/mpV697CzwwA 
3) Muhammad: A Historical Critique P.1 https://youtu.be/T2rh8BFs-mc 
4) Muhammad: A Historical Critique P.2 https://youtu.be/UUsk39rrONE 
5) The Qur'an: A Historical Critique https://youtu.be/cQ611NSxfCk 
6) Yahweh vs Allah and The Insider Movement https://youtu.be/Jc_eBW7T3To 



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