< Galatians 4:1-11>
We Are Heirs to God�s Inheritance
The meaning of the passage, �Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ?(Galatians 4:7) is the following: Even if the whole world is destroyed and the Earth disappears right now, we will still live in a new kingdom, for God has given us new life. The Kingdom of God is His blessing bestowed on those of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
In these days, the international political situation is very unstable and extremely complicated. Such uncertainties are not temporary or limited, but they are now global in scale. It appears as if we are returning to the law of the jungle, where the strong prey upon the weak freely. On the other hand, there are increasing meteorological and ecological disasters due to the abnormal climate changes caused by the greenhouse effect. Serious famines are nearing as the ecosystem has been drastically degraded and the food chain is destroyed. Only disturbing and unsettling trends fill today�s news. It seems as though this world is completely hopeless.
However, those of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can still live in joy without being troubled by this world, trusting in the Word of our Lord. In the days of the Apostle Paul, the world was highly disordered. Just as the Apostle Paul said, �The heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave.?Before we received the remission of our sins, we lived as slaves in such a world. But once we believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we came to realize that we are heirs to God�s inheritance, and by our faith in the Word of God, we are now living as the servants of righteousness. Because we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit in this dark world, when the time comes for the Lord�s return, we will inherit all His preparations and live forever. Even if this God-made universe disappears in its entirety, we will live with God forever in His Kingdom. If we know this truth and place our hopes in God, we are blessed. Even though this world is filled with chaotic and disconcerting events, those who live by faith in God�s Word will live their lives of faith filled with hope, for faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).
This world is going in a disastrous direction. What you and I must realize clearly is that when the end of the world comes, this Earth will be destroyed by fire as it is written in the Bible. The Apostle Peter said to us, �Looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?(2 Peter 3:12). It does not matter if this Earth is burnt to ashes and the whole universe is destroyed, we will still live forever with the Lord. Do not forget that you and I, who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, will live forever with our Lord in His Kingdom.
There is no need for us to despair while looking at this world. Instead, we ought to live by faith, placing our hope in God�s Word. God has given us new life, so that we may live happily forever. We will live in a new Heaven and a new Earth. As such, thanks to the Lord, the believers in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit will have nothing to worry.
However, there is something indispensable that we must all do while on this Earth. It is to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit throughout the whole world. To do this mission faithfully, we must live by believing that God has given us new life. We will not perish along with the destruction of this world. Even though our flesh is affected by this world, because our souls have received the remission of our sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we will not perish with this world, but we will triumph with the Lord. This is because through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we, who have been dead, will be brought back to life by God for eternity. Moreover, we do not only live in this present world, but we will inherit God�s Kingdom and live forever. Now, as we carry on with our lives, our hearts ought to have faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and we should not be preoccupied by what our eyes can see at the present moment.
We Are Now Living Under God�s Guidance
The Bible says that God sent forth His Son, born of a woman and born under the Law �to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons?(Galatians 4:5). Indeed, Jesus Christ was born on this earth to save us, who were under the Law, from our sins and their condemnation. Born under the Law, our Lord also took upon the curses of the Law and all our sins through the baptism He received from John. He bore all the condemnation of sin, thereby saving those who believe in this Truth from sin. He has blessed us to become His sons; therefore, all those who believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit have become God�s sons.
Jesus Christ fulfilled the righteousness of God by when He was baptized by John and when He shed His blood on the Cross. And He has made us His sons, when we believe in this Truth. This is how we have come to call God as �Abba, Father.?Even though we live in this world, we are no longer servants of this world, but we have become God�s servants. Because of God, we have become His heirs, just as His own sons, here and in the next world to come. This is meant by the inheritance that the Apostle Paul is speaking of. Because God has saved us from the sins of the world, by faith we have become God�s children, and because of the Holy Spirit, we have come to call God as Abba, Father and we become His heirs.
During the age of imperialism, Spain, France, Britain, and Germany had dominated weaker countries. In those days, these great powers had enslaved the people of smaller and weaker nations, and such a world will arise one more time in the future. In some ways, the present day is the extension of the imperialism of the late 19th century. As it is written in the Bible, the entire world will surrender to the most powerful man of the most powerful country. You and I will see such a situation with our own eyes, and actually experience it ourselves.
Scientists in this world are warning that one-third of the world population may die from contagious diseases such as the bird flu. We experienced the disaster of SARS last year. Many people are trying hard to develop new kinds of genetically modified (GM) organisms. There have come countless GM foods already, and we are exposed to the terrible dangers that these foods may bring. Yet human beings are so brave that they continue to recklessly experiment and develop these new forms of life without paying any attention to the warning signs of nature. It is only logical that even more disasters will come in the future. There is no guarantee that mysterious diseases such as SARS will not spread as the Black Plague once spread.
In such an age, as the born-again, we must place our hope in the Lord, for He has given new life to you and me. Through your faith in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, you have received new life. Have you really become God�s children by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and by receiving the remission of your sins? Also, do you have the faith that even if this world disappears, you and I would never die but live forever with God enjoying everlasting life?
You and I, who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, have been accepted into the Kingdom of new life to live forever. We are the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and we will indeed live forever in the sinless Kingdom. Thanks to this belief that we are to live forever, we can live in this world without stumbling. Our faith in this eternal life enables us to do righteous work even as we live in this dark world. We are not meant to drift down in this hopeless and dark world, but we find new by faith, spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit throughout the whole world.
In this age and time, there are people all over the world who are so hopeless that many of them are committing suicide, and in the future, there will be countless more people who will give up their own lives. However, you and I now have the belief that we are to live forever. We are therefore not carried away with them, nor are we depressed with them.
We are the heirs of God who will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven and live forever, for we have faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I want you to have such faith. Because we have received the forgiveness of sins from our Lord, and at the same time, we have also received new, everlasting life, we will also take pleasure in what the Lord enjoys.
Therefore, we have no desire to live in this world for our own flesh. Since we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and look for new heavens and a new earth (2 Peter 3:13), the more difficult this world becomes, the less we are attached to our flesh. Since we have faith that we are to live forever, we are far more interested in spiritual affairs than our own carnal desires. As we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we are of those who have new life and will never die. For our bodies may die, but the Lord will resurrect us when He comes to this earth, and because our souls are already alive, we have new, everlasting lives. Such faith enables us to live for the righteousness of God.
Those who have really received the remission of their sins have no particularly grandiose desires, but I know that they still have desires. By putting behind even these small desires, they put God�s Kingdom first and allow for the fulfillment of his will on this earth. We must spread the gospel throughout the whole world in the near future. When this is accomplished, He who is to come to us will indeed come. When the Lord comes to this world, a new earth and a new heaven will open.
However, when the time of famine comes to this world, it will take us one-day�s wages just to buy three quarts of barley (Revelation 6:6). When such difficult times come, we will not have any desire to live. I myself would prefer to die after serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit faithfully before such an age arrives. I just want to complete the mission that God has entrusted to me before leaving. The Bible says in Revelation, �Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on?(Revelation 14:13). When these times of tribulation come, the Antichrist will arise and slaughter the saints, and that�s why those who died before seeing this are blessed. In other words, the Bible tells us that in the end of days, the dead are more blessed than the living. This is why I am saying that those who struggle in the end times of tribulation will be living cursed lives.
So I have no desire to live for that long in this world. I don�t even believe that this world will continue to exist for long. Many scientists have said that in just 10 years, the whole planet will be in trouble with water shortages and population explosion. They have warned that when the global population reaches a certain point, water shortages will lead to conflict and war is likely to break out. Such warnings have recently begun to materialize into reality. That�s why every country is so busy building dams. Countries that own a river jointly strive to be the first in to build dams. While they are still discharging water from the dams, the neighboring countries can get along fine. But, what would happen if they were visited by famine and they didn�t have enough water for themselves? They would hold the water in the dams and never release it. If the countries located in the upstream of a river dam use the river just for their own benefit, what would happen then? A war fought for water would immediately follow. After all, how could any country survive without water? When draughts come, war will ensue over a mere river stream between nations that rely on that water source for their drinking water.
Would this world then last long? Of course not. I don�t think that this world itself will last that long. I believe that the Lord will return in the not too distant future. Both the believers and unbelievers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are saying that this world will not last long. However, we have the belief that we will live forever with the Lord. This planet and this universe may disappear, but we believe that God will give us a new heaven and a new earth, and He will allow us to live on this new earth forever.
In this age and time, while it is precious to have the belief that we have received the remission of our sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, it is also precious to believe that we will never die, and will live forever with the Lord. Although our bodies will die once and be resurrected, our souls will live forever. We are of those who have been saved from all the sins of the world and from destruction as well. You and I are the ones who will live forever with the Lord. This is why even as we live in this darkening world, we can still continue to do righteous work, rather than falling into despair. We will keep on living in hope.
Since we have faith that we will never perish, we do not lose hope in our lives in this world, but always live righteously. Right now, you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, but if you look toward only the things of the earth and not toward the Lord, you will fall into despair and perish. However, we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and it is in this gospel that we will live our new lives. Because we have received new and everlasting life from the Lord, we will live forever. This blessing is bestowed on only those who have received the remission of sin. In other words, it is a blessing that is reserved only for the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Since it�s a blessing that God bestows only on the righteous, it can only be described as a majestic blessing.
Who are we, the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? We are the ones who, while living as slaves in our childhood, will live forever when the day of our Lord�s return comes. We are the heirs of God who will inherit His everything. We will live forever inheriting all God�s splendor, glory, and everlasting life. Such blessed people are none other than we, whose hearts have now been washed from our sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, rather than only looking toward earthly things, we should now live by our faith in the Lord�s promise.
When we serve the gospel by trusting in the Lord, we will also receive earthly blessings. If we serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit while living on this earth, would our lives be poorer or richer? We would be richer. That�s because it is not with our own possessions that we are serving the Lord�s gospel of the water and the Spirit. No matter how stingy we might be in serving the gospel, we become poorer, and no matter how much we keep sharing to serve the gospel, we become richer�this is the principle applied in the realm of faith as it is written in the Bible:
�There is one who scatters, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty?(Proverbs 11:24).
We believe that all our belongings are of God and from Him. Therefore, we give our possessions, time, and effort unsparingly to the spreading of the true gospel. Strictly speaking, it is always with the Lord�s belongings that we are spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God then blesses abundantly. When we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and preach it, God will be pleased by us and bless us even more. Since you and I believe in the Word of God and serve it, we can live in His wonderful blessings. In contrast, if we do not serve the gospel in our lives, we will be more miserable.
When I watch the news on TV from time to time, I feel very frustrated, because the world is darkening day by day. Even so, I am still happy, for I believe that though the world may be hopeless, we the righteous are to live forever. So I am very grateful to God.
Now, then, will you and I surely live forever? Certainly! Our God has given us this faith of everlasting life. My fellow believers, we have faith that the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit will live forever. That�s why we do not look at what is on this earth, but we look at what is above. You and I are seeking those things that are above, just as Paul said, �Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth?(Colossians 3:2). As we spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit while living on this earth, it is my hope and prayer that this gospel will soon be preached to all nations. Although it is not easy to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and sometimes we struggle as a result, the joy we will receive is still far greater than any hardship. And we should realize that we cannot serve the gospel unless we face some difficult challenges. Therefore, we want to accomplish the Great Commission of proclaiming the gospel throughout the whole world, rather than satisfying the lust of our flesh.
It�s a joy for me that God is making us spread the gospel through His Church. Everything we do is a part of God�s work, and our main purpose is to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is why God blesses us. All that we have to do is pray to God and move forth by faith. I would also like all of you to live by this faith, so that you may live forever, really look toward the Lord instead of the world, and follow God�s plan and be a part of the Church.
By any chance, are your hearts still attached to the things of this world? Remember that the righteous can gain nothing if their lives are too tangled in this world.
It is February as I write this book, and the spring is supposed to be just around the corner, but it is still so cold. It should warm up at the end of this month, and the spring will come without fail. Just as all creatures stretch back to life when the spring comes, we, too, can stretch our backs, both in body and spirit. Our once frozen hearts will thaw, and our high spirits will soar. I believe that just as new sprouts spring up from the dry earth, our faith will once again grow in our hearts. So I am only too happy and full of energy.
My fellow believers, are there those among you who are struggling, looking at only the present circumstances? There is no need to struggle. Just as the morning is followed by the evening, and the evening is followed by another morning, circumstances and situations are constantly changing. For our lives of faith also, there are times when we are down, times when we are happy, times when we are peaceful, and times when we are trained harshly. Once we go through these processes, we can realize that it was for our own good. What we need is the readiness to actively confront whatever lies ahead of us by our faith in God and with thanksgiving. Our hardships will then actually be beneficial to us, and we will also be able to move forward two steps.
However, if we habitually complain about everything, then everything will indeed bother us and we will become extremely narrow-minded. Where a broad view is necessary, you ought to take a look at your life widely and broadly from God�s perspective, and when you do so, you will find the way to overcome your struggles. I believe that it is extremely beneficial for you to set aside a certain period of time and be trained. I also believe that through this crucial training, you will gain much help and benefit for your faith to grow.
You and I, and all the saints of God throughout the world, must truly live by the faith in God. We should look toward the Lord, rather than the things of the earth. If we think, �How can I make a lot of money and become rich?? this is all in vain. My fellow believers, you ought to instead think, �How can I serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit more??
When we work with our hearts
united with God, He will bless us in all
things. It is my hope and prayer that
you will all live by this kind of faith,
that you would seek those things that
are above rather than the things of this
earth, and that you would keep the everlasting
life that the Lord has given to us by
believing in the gospel of the water and