(This Week: Wise Men Still Seek Him.)
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Dear Readers: Thanks for ordering "Portals to Heaven." I appreciate it so much. There's still time to get it for a holiday gift!
The literal portal to heaven of The Star of Bethlehem attracted seekers from The East. While we don’t know how far east, it is interesting that while many in Israel slept, the star awakened dreamers from afar.
It’s like today in two ironic ways.
First, there is a growing interest in all sorts of eastern mysticism now. It’s hard not to find friends or acquaintances who are seeking Buddhist disciplines, Asian practices or Islamic or Hindu philosophies.
There is an outright rejection of Christianity - especially in the intellectual centers of western culture. You can witness this on bulletin boards of local health food stores, book shops, supermarkets and surprise of surprises, churches!
It could be said that today’s west is looking for a star from the east - the very teachings that didn’t satisfy the wise men.
The second sign of the times is that the fastest growing group of Christians in the history of the world are to be found in China. The irony is that some of the fruit of the underground church in Asia is that they are sending missionaries toward the west rather than vice versa.
This “Back to Jerusalem” movement (China-to-Israel or the “10-40 Window”) has been going on since the 1920’s and has been birthed out of prayer, persecution and martyrdom.
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Albeit it slow and deliberate, there is a steady march of Chinese missionaries bringing the gospel to the unreached people groups in this corridor.
While western sleepers are dreaming of eastern mysticism, eastern “awakers" are still following The Star of Bethlehem.
PORTAL TO HEAVEN: It’s easy for a formerly-devout nation to be lulled asleep. Israel was snoring when God sent his only “Star.” Many didn’t even wake up when the Star Of Heaven walked among them. What’s our part in getting sleepers to look up during Christmas and throughout the year?
But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty...
1 Corinthians 1:27 (NKJV)