“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path”(Psalm 119:105).
What is life? Why was man created? Why was man brought into this world? Where did he come from and where is he going? Which road must he choose? Why is this road of life so difficult, unclear and contradicting? These puzzling questions often confuse us. Why is it so? It is because the road of life is uncertain, difficult, and empty. Back in the olden days of Israel there lived a wise king named Solomon who lived his life in luxury and experienced all kinds of worldly happiness. He wrote “Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless. What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever”(Ecclesiastes 1:2-4). James in the New Testament said, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes”(James 4:13-14). These two Bible verses tell us that life is uncertain and empty.
Despite all the worldly pleasures and all the wealth, King Solomon had felt emptiness and wondered how much more pain and suffering would the poor and sick people have to bear. Every man rich or poor cries when he is brought into the world, grows old and gets sick. This seems to be the inevitable destiny of every human being.
If this is so what can fill up the emptiness of a man’s life?
Science may bring a man to the moon but it cannot fill the emptiness inside nor can it stop death that is each person’s fate. Only a supreme being can solve our problems and bring religion into the world.
Religion is the act in which man seeks a supreme being, God for true happiness. In Chinese, the word religion is translated as the top of teachings or the original instructions. Thus religion is an answer to our questions and a guide or a set of instructions on what a man must do. Man cannot live without religion. Man has always had religion from the beginning. A French psychologist once said, “Man is a religious animal” which means a man is the only mammal that can have faith. A man gets hungry, has lust and has a will to exist. At the same time man has faith by instinct and is by nature religious. Even an Atheist seeks help from God when he is in trouble and is in desperate need of help. The Creator has given us the gift to communicate, the privilege to understand Him, the privilege to serve Him and the privilege to interact with Him.
In our world there are many different kinds of religion and religious sects. Are we allowed to believe in any kind of religion we choose to? People say that even though the road of each religion may be different, their final goals are common. Others say that religion is just a means for social evangelism and that heaven and everlasting life is just a fairy tale.
If this were true, then religion would not be religion and it would miss the true meaning of evangelism. If a religion cannot provide hope and a road to everlasting life then it is not a true religion. The wise King Solomon once said “There is a way that seems right to man, but in the end leads to death”(Proverbs 14:12). Every religion is claimed to be true but if it cannot provide a way to eternal life, it will lead to death. This is why man must search for the religion that can lead him to eternal life. The prophet in the Old Testament wrote“And the Lord said, Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, and you will find rest for your souls”(Jeremiah 6:16) The ancient path to eternal life (focus on the ancient road), the way that makes a man righteous, the road of hope, which gives you peace and security, is the true religion.
Religion can be divided into two kinds. The first is a religion that serves nature, “the natural religion” and the worshiping of idols. Second, there is the “revelational religion” which is a religion created through a revelation from God. Religion can also be classified according to which God they serve: Pantheism, polytheism, and monotheism. Through the size of the religion it also can be divided into racial religion, national religion, and a universal. A universal religion is recognized to be superior to racial religion. The religion that serves only God who created the heavens and the earth is superior to those religions that serve many different gods. Christianity can be recognized to be the religion that fulfills these requirements and is considered to be superior, the true and authoritative religion.
Our life is like walking on a dark path without a lamp, not knowing where we are going each day. As we walk this dark road we stumble on a stone or fall in a ditch and feel pain and despair. To prevent this we must carry a lamp to see the road ahead of us. What is this lamp? Long ago in Israel a poet sang “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path”(Psalm 119:105). This Word is the Bible, the Bible of Christ that is the light for my path.
President Woodrow Wilson once said, “When you read the Bible you will know it is the Word of God because it holds the key to your mind, happiness, and duty. Also, as the President of the United States I think the problems I face can be solved by how diligently I read the Bible.” J. Edgar Hoover also said “The Bible is the guide to a perfect life. It is the nutrition to our soul. It is the inspiration to a righteous life.” As mentioned above, great men who lived before us recognized the value of the Bible through experience. We also can live a life of security and happiness if we value the Bible and seek for its truth. Let us carefully study what the Bible is and what it has to offer.