It is True and Everyone Ought to Know It (Buddhist)
Outline: Questions we may ask. God is the Creator. Very long Biblical account. Adam and Eve. Some of the Ten Commandments. Birth of Jesus. Jesus' life, miracles, death and resurrection. Prayer to receive Christ.
|Theme:||Creation; Peace with God; Life of Christ; Multiple themes; Nature, character of God; Saviour of Sinful Men; Prophecy, fulfillment of; Faith, trust, believe in Jesus; Satan (the devil)|
Scripts are basic guidelines for translation and recording into other languages. They should be adapted as necessary to make them understandable and relevant for each different culture and language. Some terms and concepts used may need more explanation or even be replaced or omitted completely.
Greetings to you, my friends. You do not know me but I want you to know that I am a friend who wants to talk to you as a true friend. I want to share some really good news with you. Please listen very carefully.
Perhaps you have sometimes asked yourselves questions like these:
? How did the world begin?
? Why am I here on earth?
? Why do people and animals die?
? Why is there evil and suffering in the world?
? I am told (or I believe) that there is a God, but does He care for me?
? How can I know Him?
? Who can tell me?
Well, my friends, I can tell you and what I am going to tell you is true. Please listen to this message right to the end. You may find true happiness for your life.
First, how did the world begin? Who made the sun, the moon, the stars in the sky? Who made the birds which fly, the fish or the water, plants, animals and all the people on the earth? What was there in the beginning?
Some people reply, "Nothing was there!" That can't be true, because nothing comes out of nothing.
Others say, "There was something, there was a little speck of dust, and bit by bit it turned into the world we are looking at now." That answer is not right either.
As we all know, a house cannot be built by itself. A house is built by someone who makes a plan and then carries it out until there is a house that people can live in.
In the same way the world was also made by Someone. He made a plan and carried it out until there was a world that we see around us. In the Holy Book we read:
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." God spoke and the world came into being. He said, "Let there be light: and there was light." Everything was created by the Word of God. (1) (2)
God exists! We cannot see Him, but we can see what He has created. God has always existed. He was always there, and He always will be there. He has no beginning and no end. He is eternal.
God is the living God! He is not like idols, like statues made from wood or stone, which are blind and deaf and dumb, without life. He is the only God. There is none else.
God is holy. He is separate from all evil and has no contact with sin. Only He is righteous.
God is love. He loves every person in the world equally. He loves each of us just as we are.
God is everywhere, even where you are right now.
God sees everything. He sees all people in every place.
God hears. He even hears what you say.
God speaks. He can speak to people. His words are written in the Bible. Because He is God, what He says is true.
God knows everything. He knows even everything about you.
God can do everything. Nothing is impossible to God. In the beginning, God made the first man and the first woman, Adam and Eve, and gave them life. In the Holy Bible, it is written: "God made man in His own image.(3) God is not a human being. It is not our faces and bodies that are like Him. But God is personal, and He made us persons. Because He is alive forever He has put inside our bodies something which will also live forever: it is called the soul. Just like God, we can think, speak, love, invent, and make things. What God can do and we cannot is to make something out of nothing. Only God can create like that. God has never made two people exactly alike. Nobody is quite like you. You are unique. God created you for Himself. He loves you and wants to bless you. He has a plan for you and wants you to know that there is a real purpose for your life.
Everything God does is always good. So everything He made in the beginning was good and beautiful. Adam and Eve were very happy in the beautiful garden, where God had put them. But one day, someone came to spoil God's perfect work. This was Satan who is also called the devil.
Before Satan became evil, he was magnificent, one of God's servants. But one day he wanted to be greater than God, and to rule over everything in God's place. He became filled with pride and rebelled against God, because he did not want to obey Him any more. In his rebellion against God, he influenced many other heavenly beings that God had created and won them over to his side. He also tried to enslave Adam and Eve, our first parents. And he succeeded.
In the beginning, God, Adam and Eve were friends. They used to fellowship together in love, joy and peace. God had said to Adam: "You can eat freely the fruit of every tree of the garden, except of the tree of knowledge of good and evil: for in the day that you will eat thereof, you shall surely die."(4)
But one day, Satan, who had become the enemy of God, came near to Eve in the form of a snake and said to her: "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?" And Eve answered him: "From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat from it or touch it, lest you die.'" Then the devil said to Eve: "You surely shall not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (5) (6) (7)
Eve saw that the fruit of the forbidden tree looked good and that it must taste delicious. Then she took one and ate it. She also gave one to her husband who ate it.
Thus Adam and Eve chose to disobey God. Evil came into their hearts. Because of their sin of disobedience, God had to punish them and had to send them far away from the beautiful garden, where He used to talk with them. Their sin separated them from the Holy God.
Since that time, evil has passed on into everybody's heart. Fear, sadness, wickedness, quarrels, hatred, wars, death (*) have all come into the world. We don't need to go to school to learn how to be angry, or lie, or be disobedient, cruel, lazy or selfish, because evil has already been in us since the day we were born. All of us are the descendants of Adam and Eve and therefore we are separated from God because of sin.
God had to punish Adam and Eve because HE is holy and cannot allow sin in His presence. However, He still loved them and before sending them away from Him, He gave them, and all the people who were to be born in future, a wonderful promise: one day, He will send Jesus Christ from Heaven Who will accept to be punished in our place and will give His life for us, so that we may be forgiven of our sins (**) and be able to come back to God to be His friends again.
Until Jesus Christ, the Saviour, would come, God told that people could draw near to Him by sacrificing an animal without blemish. The guilty one had to be punished or had to find a substitute who would be punished in his place. By putting his hand on the head of a well-chosen animal which was sacrificed, he thus could be forgiven. The animal was his substitute and died in his place. Blood had to be shed because it represents life. However, the blood of animals could not really purge (take) away sin. It was only a figure (picture, symbol) of the perfect sacrifice which Jesus Christ was going to accomplish later on. God only accepted the sacrifice of animals for the forgiveness of sin because of Jesus Christ Who was to come.
God prepared the coming of Jesus Christ for many years. First, He gave us ten main laws which are for all the people of the world. These are called the Ten Commandments.
Here are some of them:
"You shall have no other gods before me." "Honour your father and your mother." "You shall not kill." "You shall not commit adultery." "You shall not steal." "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (You shall not lie.) "You shall not covet anything that is your neighbor's" (8)
These laws are good but our hearts are not good. Although we try we will never be able to always do what God wants. Therefore we need help and only Jesus Christ can give us the help we need.
God also sent prophets: men to whom He spoke by His Spirit and who then told the people what He had told them. For instance, the prophet Isaiah announced that the birth of Jesus Christ will be a miracle: "Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel" (9) (the name "Emmanuel" means God with us.) Isaiah also announced that Jesus Christ would suffer a great deal because of our sins. By letting Himself be punished in our place, He would become our Saviour and help us to make peace with God. But when will He come? About 2,000 years ago, God sent an angel to a young lady living in Palestine. She was called Mary and was engaged to a carpenter named Joseph. And the angel said to her: "Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus" (l0) (The name Jesus means Saviour.)
Since Mary had not lived with Joseph yet, as she was not yet married to him, she asked of course how this was going to happen, because every baby has a mother and a father. But the angel said that this birth was going to be different from all the others, because the baby will have no human father. In order to be born, a miracle must take place in Mary's body. The Holy Spirit will do this miracle. The angel said to her:
"The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God." (l1)
Mary accepted this humbly, though she did not understand. She knew that nothing was impossible for God to do and answered: "Behold the bondslave of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word." (12)
In the Holy Book Jesus is also called the "Word of God." While the title "Son of God" expresses His closeness to God the Father and His oneness with God the Father, the title "Word of God" tells us that it is through Jesus Christ that God speaks to man. It is thus written:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men...And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."
This passage means that God, Who had previously revealed Himself through prophets and their books, finally revealed Himself perfectly in a perfect person. That person is much greater than a prophet, and is truly one with God. This passage from the Holy Book tells us that that person is the Word of God, and is the Son of God. He was from the beginning one with God, and through Him all things were created. Then, at the appointed time, the Eternal Word of God put on the garments of humanity in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and became Jesus Christ. When Jesus was born in the little town of Bethlehem, an angel appeared to some shepherds who were guarding their sheep at night in the fields near by. He said to them: "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Saviour, Who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger." (16)
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of angels from heaven praising God, and saying: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased." (17) And it came about when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds began saying to one another, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us. (18) And they hastened to go there and found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby Jesus lying in a manger."
Like all other children, Jesus grew up, He ate, He slept, He played and He learned. He helped His mother and His father. But Jesus never committed any sin. He is sinless. He is the Son of God Who came from heaven to live on this earth as a man.
When Jesus was twelve years old, His parents took Him to the temple in Jerusalem for the great feast of the Passover that was attended by all the boys of His age. There, He listened with great interest to readings from the law of God and He heard what His prophets had said.
After the feast, Mary and Joseph started to travel back home along with many friends, but on the way they realized that Jesus was not with any of them. So they hurried back to Jerusalem and found Jesus in the Temple in the middle of a discussion with the religious teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. When Jesus saw how astonished His mother and Joseph were, He reminded them that His Father in heaven had given Him a big task to do on earth. He said to them: "Did you not know that I must be about my Father's business?" (19)
After that, Jesus returned home with His parents and was submitted to them. He grew and progressed in every way, and God was pleased. So was everybody who knew Him.
When Jesus was 30 years old, He started to show openly that He was no ordinary man, but the Son of God Who came to earth. He healed sick people. He made blind people see and deaf people hear. He made paralyzed people walk. He healed lepers. Everybody tried to touch Him because power was going out from Him and was healing them all. They said, "Everything He does is wonderful." (20)
In the town of Capernaum lived a man who could not walk. Four of his friends took hold of the mat on which he lay and carried him to a house. A large crowd had gathered to listen to Jesus. The four friends couldn't get through to Jesus because of all the people, so they climbed up onto the flat roof. They then made an opening in the roof, tied ropes to the mat, and lowered the sick man down before Jesus. When Jesus saw how much faith they had, He exclaimed, "My friend, your sins are forgiven!"(21)
Jesus knew that sin in a person's heart is much more serious than sickness in his body. Some of the people thought to themselves, "Why does this man talk like that? Who but God can forgive sins?" They did not want to believe that Jesus was God.
In order to prove His power to forgive sins, Jesus commanded the paralyzed man, "Rise, take up your bed and go home." At once the man got up, rolled up his mat, and went home. Can't you see him jumping for joy? He was given two wonderful presents: Forgiveness of his sins, and healing of his legs. His heart was filled with love and thankfulness to Jesus.
One day Jesus climbed into a boat with His disciples to cross Lake Galilee. He was tired and fell asleep on a cushion in the stern. Suddenly a violent wind blew up. The waves were high and water poured into the boat, threatening to sink it. The disciples were terrified. They wakened Jesus roughly and cried, "Teacher, don't You care that we are about to drown?" (23)
Jesus stood up. He spoke sharply to the wind and water: "Peace! Be still!" (24)
At once the storm stopped and the lake was smooth as glass. Amazed, the disciples asked, "Who is this man, that even the winds and the waves obey Him?" (25)
This man, as we know, is the Son of God and the Word of God. So why be surprised? It was natural for Jesus to be Master of the things He made - the wind, the sea, and all of nature.
Sometimes it seems there are storms going on in our hearts. We have confusion and suffering. We have desires that cannot be satisfied. Where can we find the peace that we long for? This same Jesus Who calmed the stormy sea can bring peace to our hearts and minds if we come to Him.
On another day a man possessed by an evil spirit came to Jesus. This man would wander in the hills and cry out and cut himself with stones. No one could subdue him. He came to Jesus and kneeled before Him and cried out, "What do you want with me, Jesus Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won't torture me." Of course Jesus did not torture him, but commanded the evil spirits to leave the man. Later the people saw the man who had been possessed by the evil spirit now dressed and in his right mind and they were afraid. What amazing power Jesus had! The man who was delivered went back to his family and friends and told them what Jesus had done for him. All the people were amazed at Jesus' power.
Jesus did many other wonderful things. He even conquered death. One day, Jairus, a religious leader, threw himself down at the feet of Jesus, saying, "My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so she may be made well. (26) Jairus' daughter was only twelve years old. Jesus agreed to go with Jairus, but on the way something happened. A woman who had been sick for twelve years and whom the doctors could not help came up behind Jesus and touched the edge of His garment. Immediately she was healed and Jesus stopped and talked to her.
During this time the young girl had been getting worse, and messengers brought bad news to her father. They said, "Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?" (27) But Jesus said to Jairus: "Don't be afraid, only believe." (28) When they arrived at Jairus' house, Jesus went into his daughter's room and took with Him the father and mother of the little girl, and three of His disciples. He took the little girl, who was already dead, by the hand, and said, "Little girl, get up!" (29) Immediately life returned to the body of the girl and she got up and started to walk. Jesus had made her live again!
While He was on earth, Jesus brought several people back to life. He said, "I am the resurrection and the life!" (30) In this way He announced that His death will be followed by His resurrection. He also announced that some day all people will be raised to life. Those who have believed on Him - and only those - will be with Him forever. Those who refused to believe on Him during their life on earth, will be separated from Him forever. It will be hell for them. Jesus said: "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives His life for His sheep." (3l) The time came when Jesus put these words into practice. He knew that God had sent Him to this earth to accomplish a painful task. By accepting to leave the Glory He had in Heaven, and by accepting to become like us, He accepted to take upon Himself the sin which separates all men, all women, and all children from God. He knew that there was no other solution for us to escape from the judgment of God and the eternal condemnation which we deserved because of our sins. Because He loved us and wanted to bring us back to God like a Good Shepherd, He knew that He had to give His life for us. Though Jesus only did good deeds and never committed sin, even once, one of His friends betrayed Him and sold Him for money to men who would not accept His holy and righteous teachings, because these were sinful men and did not want to repent from their evil ways. So He was condemned to death. His hands and His feet were nailed to a wooden cross. How He was suffering! But as always, He thought of others first. He began by praying for His enemies, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (32)
At mid-day, (noon) suddenly the sun was darkened. There was darkness all over the earth. This was the most terrible moment for Jesus: HE, the Just Son of God, was punished for all the unjust. By accepting to take our sins upon HIM, He accepted to be punished by God in our place. Thus Jesus became the Saviour Whom God the Father had promised to Adam and Eve and to all their descendants. Of course, being God, Jesus could have come down from the cross, but He didn't. If He had, He would not have been able to become our Saviour. According to the law of God, a perfect man without sin had to die in the place of imperfect and sinful men (and women, and children! Only Jesus, the Son of God, was that perfect Man. Therefore He remained on the cross. By His sacrifice on the cross, no one - no man, no woman, no child - needs to draw near to God through the blood of an animal any more. By dying on the cross, Jesus shed His blood once for all. *He became the Lamb of God Who accepted to be sacrificed for the forgiveness of our sins. His sacrifice was perfect and God accepted it. What about you, dear friend, won't you accept it too?
After Jesus died on the cross, He was buried.
Three days later, four women came very early to the place where Jesus was buried. What a surprise they got! Jesus was not there! The tomb was EMPTY!
An angel of the Lord, dressed in white clothes, said to the women, "Don't be frightened! I know you are looking for Jesus Who was crucified, but He isn't here! For He has come back to life again, just as He said He would... Go quickly and tell His disciples"(33)
Filled with joy, the women ran to share this marvelous news! That same day all the disciples except one called Thomas met together in a room in Jerusalem and Jesus appeared to them, saying: "Peace be unto you." (34) Afterward when Thomas heard their report he said, "Unless I shall see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of nails...I will not believe." (35)
A week later, Jesus appeared again to His disciples and Thomas was with them. He said to Thomas, "Reach here your finger, and see my hands..." Then Thomas said, "My Lord and my God." (36)
Jesus showed Himself to many people. His body is now different from the one He had before His death. For instance, He can enter a room when the doors and windows are closed. He has a new body, a body that cannot die any more.
All the religious leaders whom men have followed over the years, are dead. Jesus is the only One Who can say: "I was dead, and behold, I AM ALIVE FOREVERMORE." (37)
Forty days after He came out alive of the tomb, Jesus went back to Heaven, where God has highly exalted Him and given Him a name above all other names, "That at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW...and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (38)
Some day, Jesus is coming back again, to take His own people - all those who have accepted Him as their personal Saviour - to be with Him in heaven forever. When He is coming, "every eye will see Him." (39) And all those who do not belong to Him will be judged and condemned because they did not accept Him as the only Saviour Whom God had promised to reconcile them with Him.
Jesus came to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. Our good deeds will never be able to save us, but Jesus has made the way of salvation for us. He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (40)
Don't wait until Jesus Christ comes back as your Judge. Come to HIM now and He will receive you. He said, "Him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out." (41)
There are other wonderful promises that Jesus has given to those who believe in Him. He said, "I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. " (42) He also said, "I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly." (43) Jesus came to die for you and through Him God offers you life and peace.
If you decide to come to Jesus Christ now and accept Him as your Saviour, you can pray to Him in this way, "Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for dying for me and shedding your blood for the cleansing of my sins. I acknowledge my sins and repent from them. I turn away from them and ask you to please forgive me. I want you to be my Saviour. Please cleanse me and create in me a new heart. I want to follow you and obey you all the days of my life. Amen".
If you pray this prayer, Jesus will hear you and when you die, He will take you to Heaven to be with Him always. You will fear no more death, judgment or condemnation.
Jesus said, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest," (44) *and made the way of peace with God.
(1) Genesis 1:1
(2) Genesis 1:3
(3) Genesis 1:27a
(4) Genesis 2:16,17
(5) Genesis 3:1b
(6) Genesis 3:2,3
(7) Genesis 4:4b,5
(8) Exodus 20:3b,12-17
(9) Isaiah 7:14
(10) Luke 1:31
(11) Luke 1:35
(12) Luke 1:38
(13) John 1:1-4,14
(14) John 8:12
(15) John 14:9
(16) Luke 2:10-12
(17) Luke 13,14
(18) Luke 2:15
(19) Luke 2:49
(20) Mark 7:37
(21) Mark 2:5b
(22) Mark 2:11
(23) Matt 8:25b
(24) Matt 8:26b
(25) Matt 8:27
(26) Mark 5:33
(27) Mark 5:35b
(28) Mark 5:36b
(29) Mark 5:41b
(30) John 11:35
(31) John 10:11
(32) Luke 23:34
(33) Mark 16:6
(34) John 20:19b
(35) John 20:25
(36) John 20:27
(37) Rev 1:18
(38) Phil 2:10-11
(39) Rev 1:7
(40) John 14:6
(41) John 6:37
(42) John 8:12
(43) John 10:10
(44) Matt 11:28