The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 10 : The Revelation (Commentaries on the Revelation)

[Chapter 20-2] (Revelation 20:1-15) How Can We Pass from Death to Life?

(Revelation 20:1-15)
 
God tells us that when He makes this world disappear and gives us the New Heaven and Earth instead, He would resurrect every sinner who had lived on this earth before and had been asleep in his/her tomb. Verse 13 here says, “The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them.” The body of a man who drowns in water would most likely be eaten by fish, while that of a man who burns to death would leave virtually no form to be recognized anymore. Yet the Bible tells us here that when the end times come, God would resurrect all back to life and judge them to send to either Heaven or hell, regardless of whether they were swallowed up by Satan, killed by Hades, or burnt to death.
Before God lies the Book of Life, in which the names of those who would enter the eternal Kingdom of Heaven are written. There also are the Books of Deeds, which record the names and sins of all those who would be cast into hell. In these Books of Deeds are written all the sins that one had committed while living on this earth. All these things have been determined by God in His providence. 
 
 
The Lord Has Two Kinds of Books
 
God has already classified people into two mutually exclusive categories according to His own just criterion. It has been determined by God that all the dead would be resurrected, and then stand before His two books and be judged. In the Book of Life are written only the names of those who have believed in Jesus while on this earth, received the remission of their sins, and thus are determined to enter into Heaven. God’s final judgment would therefore depend on in which of the two books one’s name is written. God has already set, in other words, who would enter Heaven and who would be cast into hell.
God will therefore raise all the dead to live again, open His Books, and see in which of the two books their names are written. He will then send those whose names are written in the Book of Life to Heaven, but those whose names are not found in this Book of Life, in contrast, will instead be thrown into hell. We must make sure to know and believe in these established facts determined by God.
To decide who would be sent to Heaven and who would be sent to hell, God will resurrect all the dead and judge them. It has been decided by God that He would judge them according to whether their names are written in the Book of Life or the Books of Deeds (the Books of Judgment).
There are two places God has already established for all who would stand before Him. They are none other than Heaven and hell. Hell is the lake of fire where flames and brimstones are burning. God has determined that those whose names are not written in the Book of Life would be thrown into the lake of fire, while those whose names are written in this Book of Life would be welcomed into Heaven.
In Heaven, the Tree of Life stands by the river of water of life, bearing twelve different fruits according to each season. In this beautiful Heaven, the saints would have neither disease nor pain, but live happily forever with God. We must believe in the fact that God has decided to give this Heaven to the saints.
Those who do not believe in Jesus, on the other hand, have their names written in the Books of Deeds. Because all the deeds that the sinners had done while on this earth are recorded in these Books, God tells us that He would throw them all into the lake of fire, to punish them for their sins recorded in this Books, and for their sin of not believing in Jesus. What is of critical importance here is in which Book your and my names are written.
While living in this world, we must realize that life on this earth is not all that there is. As Psalm 90:10 tells us, “The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” Even if we were to live on this earth for 70 or even 80 years, sooner or later we will all stand before God. And when we thus stand before our Lord finally, all that matters is in which Book our names are written, whether in the Book of Life or the Books of Deeds (the Books of Judgment), for this will determine whether we are welcomed to Heaven or cast into the lake of fire. We must come to the recognition that life on this earth is not everything. 
 
 
The Ones Whose Names Are Written in the Book of Life
 
Let’s take a look at Luke 16:19-26: “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’”
With this passage, Jesus teaches us that Heaven and hell actually exist. Like the rich man in this passage, so many people do not believe in the existence of Heaven and hell. Abraham is the father of faith. When it says here that the beggar Lazarus was carried to Abraham’s bosom, it means that, just as Abraham believed in the Word of God, Lazarus also believed in Jesus as his Savior, received the remission of his sins, and thereby went to Heaven. Living in this world, we all need to contemplate and ponder upon the fates of Lazarus and the rich man.
God tells us that for everyone in this world, life on this earth is not everything at all. No matter with how much labor one lives on this earth, not only would he/she be able to live for just 70-80 years at most, but all that would remain of him/her at the end is only labor and sorrow.
In living our lives, therefore, we must all prepare for our afterlife. And we must also hand down our faith to our children, so that they, too, may be able to go to the good place. How tragic would it be that a man, having lived on this earth, would finally stand before God only to be judged by Him and cast into the lake of fire?
No man can change what has been decided by God, that all those whose names are written in the Books of Deeds would be thrown into the lake of fire. There is then only one way for us to avoid the lake of fire, and this is to make sure that our names are written in the Book of Life. To escape from the lake of fire, there is no other way but to have our names written in the Book of Life.
How, then, can our names be written in this Book of Life? Just as Lazarus was carried to Abraham’s bosom, so must we receive the remission of our sins by knowing and believing in God’s righteous act (Romans 5:18) through His Word. Only then can we enter Heaven. To have our names written in the Book of Life, we must believe in Jesus. Jesus is God Himself and our Messiah. Messiah means the One who saves those who fell in sin. Only Jesus can save us, who, because of our sins, are otherwise bound to be judged by God and cast into the lake of fire.
Who on this earth can ever not commit any sin before God, and who among us is 100 percent holy in deeds? No one! We must realize that because we are all full of shortcoming, we cannot help but fall into sin, and for these sins of ours we are all bound to be thrown into the lake of fire.
But God sent Jesus to this earth to save us, who cannot but be cast into the lake of fire for our sins. The name ‘Jesus’ means ‘the One who will save His people from their sins’ (Matthew 1:21). Therefore, we can enter Heaven only when we believe in the truth that Jesus came to this earth and saved us from all our sins with His righteous act.
 
 
Who Will Then Be Cast into the Lake of Fire?
 
Revelation 21:8 tells us who would be cast into the lake of fire: “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
First of all, whom does the Bible refer by the word “cowardly?” This refers to those nominal Christians who have failed to receive the remission of all their sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and therefore they are scared before God even though they believe in Jesus somehow. God has decided that such people would be thrown into the lake of fire. God has also determined that those who are unbelievers, abominable, murders, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and liars would all be cast into hell.
Traditionally, there have been many idolaters in Korea. Even now, it is not uncommon to see people bowing before the images of God’s own creation and offering prayers to them. People do so because they are ignorant and foolish. God hates it when people worship lifeless images as if they were divine.
God created man in His own image (Genesis 1:27). The mankind is also the master of all creation. This is why we must believe in God. Because we take after God’s own image, we exist forever, just as God Himself exists forever. There is eternal world for us after our death. This is why God has told us to worship Him, the only eternal God. What, then, would happen when we bow before what are merely God’s own creation? We would be committing a great sin against God, for we would be practicing what God hates the most: idolatry. The mankind can be so foolish and so stupid. God has decided, we must realize, that those who have this kind of misplaced faith would all be thrown into the lake of fire.
People who are cast into hell will die twice. This is what God Himself has determined. The first death comes at the end of their troubled lives on this earth, after walking in this weary world. It is often said that the ones who live on four feet at first, then on two feet, then lastly on three feet, only to die in the end, are none other than the mankind itself.
After dying once in this way, when people stand before God as sinners, they would all face their judgment, and it is at this time when the second death, one that would never end but last forever, would visit them, in the form of being casting into the lake of fire. Were they to just die in this lake of fire, they would at least be freed from its suffering. But in this place, though they earnestly desire to die, death will flee from them.
Everyone has a wish to live forever, never to face death. The mankind’s existence, in fact, is actually eternal, just as people wish for. This is why the Bible, when one dies, does not describe it as dying, but as falling asleep. We must therefore all escape from the second death that would throw us into the lake of fire. We must all realize just what it is that we have to do in order to get our names written into the Book of Life. And to get our names into the Book of Life, we must believe in Jesus correctly.
People often think and say that Jesus, Buddha, Confucius, and Mohammad are all just men, that it is okay to just live as a good person. That’s why they cannot understand why we insist that they should believe in only Jesus. But these are all mistaken thoughts. You and I, as well as everything else in this world, are nothing but mere creation and human beings before God. But when we look at Jesus’ birth and what He had accomplished while on this earth, we can all realize that He is not just a man like the rest of the four Sages. He is God Himself who, to save the mankind, came to this earth in the form of a man, took all our sin through His baptism, received all the punishment of our sins in our place, and thus completed His work of delivering the mankind from sin.
Christ’ birth was different from the ordinary people’s birth. Babies are born by the union of a man and a woman. This is how everyone is born into this world. But Jesus was born of a virgin who did not know man. To save us the human beings, and in fulfillment of the Word of prophecy foretold over 700 years ago through the Prophet Isaiah, Jesus, who is God Himself, was born unto this earth in the flesh of a man, through the body of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14). And while on this earth not only did He raise the dead and heal the sick and the disabled, but He also made all the sins of the world disappear.
God, the Lord of creation who made the whole universe, came to this earth and became a man Himself for a while, all to save the mankind from its sins. The reason why we must believe in Jesus is, first all, because He is God Himself. Secondly, because He took away all our sins, so that our names would be written in the Book of Life, and made us God’s sinless children. Once born unto this earth, we must all die once, and after our death we must all be judged.
But Jesus came to this earth, took upon all our sins with His baptism received from John, was judged on the Cross in our place, and thereby enabled those of us who believe in Him to live with Him forever in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. To deliver us from our judgment of sin, in other words, God Himself cleansed us of all our sins. This is why we must all believe in Jesus, the One who has become the Savior.
Jesus is not just a man. Because God promised the mankind that He would save it, and because to fulfill this promise He came to this earth in the flesh of a man through the body of a virgin, and because He did indeed save all from their sins, we must all believe in Jesus, who is God Himself. When we believe in Jesus correctly, our names are written into the Book of Life. God told us that only by being born again of the water and the Spirit could a man see and enter the Kingdom of Heaven. We must all believe in Jesus. 
 
 
Jesus Who Became the Way to Heaven
 
We must, then, know just how exactly Jesus have made all our sins disappear. Coming to this earth, Jesus was baptized by John at the Jordan River (Matthew 3:13-17). He receive His baptism from John so that He could take upon all the sins of the mankind (including all yours and mine). Through the hands of John the Baptist, the representative of all mankind, every sin of the entire mankind was passed onto Jesus. After thus taking all the sins of the world onto Himself through John, Jesus then shed His blood on the Cross and died on it. He then rose from the dead in three days.
Our Lord has promised that whoever believes in Him will receive eternal life. God has determined that whoever believes in the truth that Jesus took upon all his/her sins on Himself and received all the punishment of these sins on the Cross would not be cast into the lake of fire, but would instead have his/her name written into the Book of Life.
Jesus says in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” The mankind must believe in Jesus who has become the way to Heaven. Jesus is our Savior. Jesus is our God. Jesus is the one and only real truth in this world. And Jesus is the Lord of life. To make sure that our names are written in the Book of Life and that we would thus be welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven, we must all believe in Jesus.
Because Jesus actually took upon all our sins on Himself by receiving His baptism from John the Baptist at the Jordan River, we must believe in Him, the One who has become the Savior of atonement. And it is because Jesus completed all our salvation by being crucified and shedding His blood on the Cross as the punishment of our sins that you and I can now enter Heaven.
Jesus has decided who would be cast into the lake of fire. Those who do not believe and who are cowardly will all be thrown into the lake of fire. Not only will they themselves be cast into the lake of fire because of their unbelief, but so would their children and descendants to come. To reach one’s own spiritual and physical well-being, everyone must indeed and absolutely believe in Jesus.
 
 
What If Jesus Had Not Received His Baptism?
 
God is the only One who gives His blessings or curses to every human being. This is why we must believe in Him. Do you know why many people’s lives are so miserable, why nations of this earth fall? It is because God said that He would curse those who hate Him and worship idols for three, four generations to come. But He also said that He would bless for a thousand generations to come those who serve and love God and keep His commandments (Exodus 20:5-6).
This does not mean that if one believes in Jesus somehow, he/she would be blessed unconditionally. One must believe in Jesus with the correct knowledge of Him. If people believe, in other words, that Jesus is God Himself who came to this earth, that He cleansed away all their sins by taking these sins upon Himself with His baptism, and that He has become their true Savior by being crucified in their place—if they believe, in short, that Jesus is their own God and their own Savior—God said that He would then bless those who believe so for a thousand generations to come.
But at the same time, God has also promised us that He would curse for three, four generations to come those who do not believe in Jesus. This is why everyone, no matter who he/she may be, must believe in Jesus, and why everyone must know and believe in the truth of being born again of the water and the Spirit. Those who have such faith will be forgiven of all their sins, receive eternal life, enter into Heaven, as well as receive, while on this earth, all the blessings that God had given to Abraham before.
We must all dwell on this Word that God has decided for us, and our faith must absolutely be in accordance to the Word as is written. We must realize and believe in the fact that those who do not believe in God would be thrown into the lake of fire, but that those who believe, in contrast, would have their names written into the Book of Life and be welcomed into the New Heaven and Earth. And we must also believe that those of us who believe will live again. That we are born again is made possible only by the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
As no one can live without water, the gospel of the water is, along with the gospel of the blood, critically important for our salvation. When Jesus was baptized, He took all our sins upon Himself. And He was submerged into the water and then emerged from the water. This meant His death on the Cross and His resurrection. Our Lord, in other words, was judged for all our sins in our place. And the Lord’s coming out of water signifies His resurrection. This also means our own resurrection, of those of us who believe.
We believe thoroughly that Jesus took upon our sins with His baptism. Had Jesus not received His baptism, what would have happened to us? There would be no way for us to escape from the lake of fire. Just as without rain no one can live in this world, the planet earth exists because of water. Likewise, this is how important Jesus’ baptism is for us. Also, His death on the Cross is equally important, for this meant that He was judged for our sins in our stead. If we want to be delivered from God’s curse and judgment, we must believe in Jesus absolutely. And if we want to be cleansed of our sins, we must believe that all our sins were passed onto Jesus when He was baptized.
Christian faith is never the kind of religion that makes people tremble in fear. Everyone must believe in Jesus. The born-again must come into the born-again Church and hear the Word to be nourished in faith.
Some people claim that one must believe in Jesus and do good deeds to be saved and to receive blessings, but all this is just a fraudulent claim of liars. Of course, we must live as virtuous Christians doing good deeds, but as far as the fundamental problem of our salvation is concerned, our nature is so evil that none of us can ever live our lives of the flesh in 100 percent perfection. This is why those who claim that one must be saved through good deeds are all liars who are ignorant of the gospel of the water and the Spirit and who deceive people.
When we recognize ourselves that we are fundamentally bound to commit sin, when we contemplate on the baptism that Jesus Christ received and the Cross that He carried for us from the written Word of God, and when we accept all these things, only then can we become the righteous, whose hearts are sinless, and be qualified to enter Heaven. Before the Holy Spirit dwells in us and guides us, none of us can ever be good, no matter how hard we might try.
God saved us by making all our sins disappear. Instead of throwing us into the lake of fire burning forever, He has written our names into the Book of Life, given us the New Heaven and Earth, and, as the brides have adorned themselves for the Bridegroom, He, too, has given us the cleanest and the most beautiful houses, gardens, and flowers. And He would also take away all disease from us, and would live with us forever in His Kingdom. We must believe in Jesus for the sake of our afterlife, but we must also believe in Him for our present lives. For the sake of our children, too, we must believe.
Do you want to be welcomed into Heaven, or do you want to be cast into the lake of fire? What kind of inheritance will you pass onto your own children? Even if you face some trouble and suffering for your faith in Jesus, you must still believe in Him, for doing so will bring great blessings to both you and your children.
My beloved saints, through His Word, God has told us the reason why we must preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and the reason why our families must also be saved. I give my thanks to God.