The Stupa and Karma

The following words and photos are copied from an email I received from our missionary to Nepal, recently devastated by a 7.8 earthquake. The missionaries are fine, but I imagine their four children (ages 8 and under) were terrified.
This building is called the Bird Stupa. There are probably close to a hundred pigeons around this stupa. This is a massive building that no one goes inside. It is said to house a bone from Buddha himself. People walk around the Stupa every day clockwise spinning prayer wheels in hopes of earning enough good karma so that they will do well in the “next life”.

The eyes are “the all seeing eye of Buddha” The part where the eyes are is a square so there are 4 sets of eyes around showing that he sees in every direction.

Inside the dark rectangles are cutouts where the prayer wheels are.

These are just a few of the birds around the Stupa.
No doubt they believe it brings good karma to feed them.
My notes: We do not hate the Nepali people. They are kind, generous, full of compassion and grace. We also have compassion for them, for they have been deceived for centuries. But God, in His great mercy, has sent missionaries there to teach them about Him, about His great love for them, and their need of a Savior (“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God–Rom. 3:23). God loves them the same as He does all of humanity, every single person, regardless of race, background, economic status, etc. Through the efforts of many missionaries, many Nepali people have come to know Christ as Savior. It is our prayer that, through this recent tragedy, many more will know their need of a Savior and call out to the one true God.
Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” John 14:6 records these words spoken by Jesus himself: “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Ephesians 2:8, 9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Luke 16:19-31 tells the true account (Jesus never used people’s names in His parables) of a rich man who went to hell and a poor beggar named Lazarus who went to paradise (Abraham’s Bosom). When Jesus rose from the dead He took those who had been waiting for Him in Abraham’s Bosom with Him to heaven. When Jesus was on the cross He told the repentant thief “This day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” He was talking about Abraham’s Bosom, which was the location of all of the Old Testament saints who believed there would someday be a  Messiah, and looked forward to His coming.

Who Is Jesus?

Today is Sunday, the day the apostles and the early Christians met together to worship God. In our society today there seems to be much confusion over who Jesus is, or was. The Muslims say he was a good man and a great prophet. The Jews think he was a heretic. In Mark 8:27-29 Jesus was asking his disciples who people were saying he was. The answer was that some people were saying he was John the Baptist, Elijah, or one of the other prophets come back to life. Then Jesus asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said Peter answered correctly.

When Jesus was resurrected from the dead he appeared to the discipes in an upper room at least twice. One of those times the disciple Thomas was absent; another time Thomas was there. Thomas had doubted the report that Jesus had returned from the dead and said he would not believe unless he could put his finger in the nail prints in Jesus’s hands and thrust his hand in the wound made a sword in Jesus’s side. When Jesus appeared to Thomas he encouraged Thomas to do those things. When he did he answered with awe and wonder and proclaimed, “My Lord and my God.” 

Jesus did not rebuke Thomas for his words but received them gladly. If he had just been a good man or a prophet he would have rebuked Thomas. Because Jesus was fully God and fully man (don’t try to figure it out; our little finite minds can’t comprehend the mind of God) he accepted Thomas’s worship. Jesus was the only one qualified to pay our sin debt because he was the only perfect being to ever have lived. And the good news is–He is alive today. 

For those who choose to doubt and not believe, I’m praying for you. It is your choice to believe or not. But here’s the crux of the matter: If I’m wrong I have nothing to lose. I’m no worse off than as if I didn’t believe. However, those who choose not to believe have everything to lose: eternal life, peace with God, peace and blessings in this life, especially during difficult times. It is God who has kept my marriage together. It is God who calms my fears. It is God who changed me from a whining, self-centered, negative wretch to a happy, positive, outgoing, other-people-centered person.

Give God a chance. You’ll be glad you did.