Thinker or Believer?

By Ps Alby Yip

Today, 5 May, is also the birthday of the great philosopher Karl Marx. Marx was a thinker and prolific writer who wrote many books, articles and publications. His two most known books Das Kapital and The Communist Manifesto formed the basis of the later formed movement Marxism which itself is the basis of Communism. He was one of the rare movers and shakers of the world influencing countries and millions of lives and their worldviews.

But Marx died in 1883 at 64 years old, a stateless person. Though he was hugely popular, only a few attended his funeral because his death was not announced until two days later and he was buried by then. A friend wrote: “On the 14th of March, at a quarter to three in the afternoon, the greatest living thinker ceased to think. He had been left alone for scarcely two minutes, and when we came back we found him in his armchair, peacefully gone to sleep – but forever.”[1]

Compared to Marx, our Lord Jesus had hardly influenced any cities, much less countries or millions of people. He had even fewer people at His funeral. He wrote no books, not even a note that can be read and reread that people may remember Him by. But in a few days, on 9 May, we will be commemorating Ascension Day. Our Lord Jesus died, resurrected, and on that day He ascended into heaven in the sight of His disciples.

Only one book, the Bible, is written of His life and mission. It became the best seller since it was written (copies sold estimated to be billions) and reputedly topped the list every year since official rankings started. Thereafter, countless books were written of Him arising from that One book. Both Marx and Jesus sought to make the world a better place. But the contrast and disparity between the two is obvious. Why so?

Because one is a thinker, the other is the Saviour. The thinker sows philosophies and thoughts into the minds of his readers. The Saviour gave His life for His followers. As we prepare to commemorate Ascension Day, it is apt to re-ask ourselves the angels’ question, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11)

The angels were saying, “Don’t just stand there and wait for His return. Go ‘be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.’ (Acts 1:8). Follow what Jesus did as evidence of your being His follower.” Don’t just be a thinker. Be a believer. As we will hear in today’s sermon on the crowning passage in Revelation, Christianity when put most simply, is like a coin. On the one side is Worship. On the other is Witness.

[1] Wikipedia, Karl Marx

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