As the guest speakers of the Taipei retreat “Facing Jerusalem”, world-renown Chinese missionary Bian Yunbo declared a challenge of faith to those in the crowd at Taipei Hsin-Yi Friendship Presbyterian Church on Sept. 27.
While Christians place their final hope in the new heavens and new earth as recorded in Revelations, many Christians today still crave for this world, said Bian, who is in his eighties. Since he is not sure whether he can come to Taiwan again, he hopes to say directly what he has in mind and he hopes that they can be mutually encouraged.
Bian said that ‘The lust for this world and the above will all pass away, but only obedience to God’s will is everlasting’ seems easy to understand, but how many people, including believers, today fall away because of getting caught by the temptation of Satan, lusting for this temporary and empty world?
Using the example of fishing, Bian said that Satan is using the lust of the flesh as fishing bait to catch the fellow believers, where they have lost the eternal hope for the Holy City of Jerusalem.
Moreover, the experienced evangelist accused some Christians with having the irresponsible faith, where they say as long as they can enter the door of heaven it doesn’t matter to them whether they will have rewards.
A Sunday school teacher once told him a joke. After telling the story of Rich man and Lazarus, the teacher asked his students who they want to be. A kid immediately raised his hands and said that he wants to be the rich man while he is alive and Lazarus after he is dead.
Bian said that this is a wishful thinking for you to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Addressing this attitude, Bian boldly asked the audience if they have ever thought about how God thinks when they say they don’t need the rewards from God. If you have a baby that did not grow even after three years, wouldn’t you be sad?
Did the Lord bought us with his precious blood so that we can just stand at the beginning stage of Christian faith? The evangelist warned the crowd to stop being a baby in drinking milk, but to put in effort to reach the point of completion.
Leading the crowd to Romans 12, where apostle Paul urged to dedicate their bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship, Bian said that we don’t do it because of any conditions, price, accomplishments, or promise to fulfill our prayer topics.
Although not everyone devote their lives to missions, everyone can glorify the name of God and live out the Lord’s life through their professions, he said.
With the heart for Chinese world missions, Bian said that towards the end of gospel of Matthew, Jesus said to go. The Chinese has gone into the world just by looking at the number of workers and studying overseas. However, he hopes that the Chinese can not only go into the world, but can also guide and make many people to be the disciples of Jesus Christ.
Furthermore, he hopes that the spirit of God that has touched the missionaries of the previous generations can also touch them, allowing them to have this heart of love for the Lord and to go facing Jerusalem.
After the end of the gathering, Bian Yunbo gave a prayer of blessings for those who have raised their hands in deciding to commit their lives for the Lord.
[Editor's note: reporter Ian Hwang from Taiwan contributed to this report.]