The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 13 : The Gospel According to MATTHEW

[Chapter 21-6] (Matthew 21:44) One’s Own Thinking Which Opposes God

(Matthew 21:44)
“And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”
 
 
Today, we will share about one’s own thought that opposes God through the passage from Matthew chapter 21 verse 44. The Lord said, “Whoever falls on this stone will be broken.” Jesus said those words to the Pharisees and the chief priests. But even in this day and age, there are many people who oppose God with their own thinking. In other words, it is the human thought that opposes the Truth of God. 
What would happen to a person who challenges God with his or her own thinking? Dear fellow believers, what would happen if a boulder were to fall on top of one’s head? His or her head would break. Jesus said a person challenging God with his or her own thinking will be broken, as it is written, “If one were to fall on this stone, the person will be broken.” If one were to stand against the gospel of the water and the Spirit of God with his or her own thinking, the person will completely break into pieces. 
The passage, “On whomever this stone falls, it will grind him to powder,” is such a simple Truth. If one were to oppose God, the result will be his or her death. On the day of the last judgment, Jesus will pass judgment on people for their sins. He said that He would cast sinners into the fiery furnace of hell and make sure that they would never be able to get out from that place.
Today, with what do many people oppose God? What is it that makes Christians commit the sin of opposing the Truth of God? It is none other than human thinking. People oppose the Truth of God with their own thinking. Human thinking is what opposes the Truth of God. Why do those who believe in God continually oppose the Truth of God? Is it really possible for believers to stand against God? Yes, it is possible; and what is worse is that almost all Christians today oppose God unconsciously. In the past, the chief priests and the Pharisees had opposed God. They had opposed Jesus, as it is written, “Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, ‘By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?’” (Matthew 21:23) 
Just then, Jesus said, “I also will ask you one thing. Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?” Because the leaders of the Jews opposed the Word of Jesus and asked Him, “By what authority are You doing these things?” that is why Jesus asked them, “I also will ask you one thing. Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?” Jesus said to them, “If you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things.” 
 
 
The Parable the Lord Spoke of 
 
They treated Jesus like a stone rejected by the builders of this world. Jesus was the Savior of all human beings, yet the chief priests and the elders of Judaism had rejected Jesus. “Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the Scriptures: 
‘The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
This was the LORD’s doing,
And it is marvelous in our eyes’?
‘Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it’” (Matthew 21:42-43). Jesus said this to the chief priests and to the Jewish leaders. Today, so many Christian denominations are doing the same thing.
 
 
What Is It That Opposes God? 
 
What opposes God? Human thinking is what opposes God. Consequently, people who profess to believe in and follow Jesus challenge God unknowingly. They oppose God with their own thinking. How do they oppose Him? They oppose God with their own thinking, saying, “Jesus took away our sins, but not all of them. Jesus took away sins completely, but we still have sins.” If we look carefully at people who believe in Jesus, but opposing God, we can see that they are all opposing God with their own thinking. 
Current Christian denominations are like that. As the Scripture passage points out that “the chief priests and the elders of the people” opposed the Lord Jesus, there are many such people today, who say they are following God with faithfulness even now in Christian communities. Yet, are they? They oppose God. How do they oppose God? They oppose God by saying, “How can one say that human beings can be without sin?” The fact of the matter is that it is the thinking of human beings that opposes God. 
Sometimes we, the born-again, often oppose God with our thinking. Although the Bible speaks the Truth, there are many occasions when we follow our own thinking, adding ‘buts’ to the Word of God. If the Word of God fits our standards, then it fits. But if not, we are prone to discard the Word and oppose God. While saying, “Just because the Word is written like that, must we believe according to that Word? Also, how can everything turn out only according to the Word of God?” This kind of thinking opposes the Word of God. People in their own way of thinking, say, “We are so lacking, yet how can we be called the righteous,” and say, “We commit sins everyday, yet how can we become sinless?” This is precisely what human thinking is, and this is what opposes God. 
With what things do people oppose God? Human thinking opposes God. We must realize how evil human thinking is and how different it is from the Truth of God. 
Do you know why people cannot believe in Jesus Christ? Do you know why most Christians remain sinners despite having faith in Jesus? The reason for that is people go on opposing the Word of God with their thinking. Even the born-again, on many occasions, oppose God with his or her own thinking. 
Why does current Christianity, which is said to be of good faith, oppose the righteousness of God? Why do today’s Christians call themselves sinners despite having said Jesus has taken away all their sins? It is because they are stuck inside their own thinking. Having pondered in deep thought, they say, “Human beings are so weak, they commit sins very often, and have many trespasses, yet how can we say, before God and before people, that we are righteous?” This is precisely what comes out from human thinking. 
Seeing this, it is amazing how you and I were able to receive the remission of sins and how we who possess the ability to think were able to receive the remission of sins. It is the same, even after having received the remission of sins. With our own thinking, we who are the born-again sometimes ponder and say, “I am wretched like this, yet how can I enter Heaven?” “How am I a righteous person?” But, the fact of the matter is that all these are merely human thoughts which oppose God.
Most of the main stream Christians who think themselves to be good believers are actually opposing Jesus. They say, “How is it that God has made us the righteous? Yes, we are sinners despite having faith in Jesus, so how can we be perfectly righteous? To say we are the righteous is being too arrogant. It is correct that we are sinners who lack, so how can we say we are perfectly righteous?” 
Even now, so many people with their own human thinking, say, “I am a sinner who lacks,” and exceedingly deny the Word of Jesus Christ. The fact is that Jesus Christ has become our Savior, and the fact is that human sins have disappeared through John the Baptist giving the baptism to Jesus. Those who oppose God like that are the modern version of the chief priests and the scribes. The chief priests, the elders, and the scribes are all same sort of people. How did they oppose God? They opposed God with their own thinking. Human thinking has been opposing God.
What happens to people who oppose God with their own thinking? Their heads will be broken. The Lord said that a person who thinks, “According to my thinking, it can never be, even though the Word says so” and challenges God will have his or her head broken. In spite of all the warnings, people make challenges against God. Just because we have received salvation, we mustn’t think that we have anything to do with it. As the saying goes, “Know not only your enemy but also yourself to be victorious.” 
We need to understand why such a great number of people all over the world do not accept this gospel. Once we understand this, then we must spread this Truth to them. They are unwilling to accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit because this Truth cannot enter their hearts because they are imprisoned in their own thinking. Because these people speak at the human level and try to know and follow the Lord at their limited level, they end up knowing nothing and their faith weakens. 
 
 
A Faith Hardened by One’s Own Thinking Opposes God
 
Those people who speak about God at the human level are the ones who oppose God. We must find out the reason as to why they oppose God. It is not nothing else other than they think of themselves to be quite righteous and virtuous. Even when people hear the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they say, “To my thinking, these Words do not make sense at all. To my thinking, no one can be righteous, whoever he or she may be.” This is exactly what human thinking is, and this is what opposes God. 
Your family members, your friends, and many other people that you know are opposing God with thinking that comes out from their fist-sized brain. We must teach them that their thinking that opposes God. It’s amazing to think that they are opposing God who is so great, with their tiny head. The stone in today’s Scripture passage refers to Jesus Christ. What are human heads? Human heads are pumpkins. They are rotten pumpkins. What do you think will happen when a pumpkin collides with a stone? Naturally, when a pumpkin collides with a stone, the pumpkin will break instantly. 
How can a person stand against God with such a tiny human brain? The chief priests opposed Jesus with their own thinking, saying, “How is it that You are the Savior? How is it that You are God? How can one receive salvation by believing in You? Just because You have received the baptism from John the Baptist, how can You possibly say that You have taken on the sins of all people?” But, the Bible says, “John came to you in the way of righteousness.” John the Baptist came to us in the way of righteousness, and that is what makes people righteous. This Truth isn’t something that came from earth, but from God above.
You must realize just how much people challenge God with their own thinking. You must realize just how much your family members, your friends, and you yourself are opposing God. People opposing God will be broken. Vainly, people try to arrive at the Truth through their own thinking. No matter how much they try to seek the way with their thinking, and no matter how well they believe in and follow Jesus, can never be the truly righteous. We are able to be righteous only by accepting the fact that God has made us the righteous. No matter how fervently a person offers prayers of repentance, and no matter how arduously a person leads a life of holiness and purity, human beings can never become righteous in this way. No matter how much effort a person exerts, he cannot arrive at the Truth on his own. Humans can never reach the Truth with their own thinking. 
It is important for us to understand clearly that it is human thinking that opposes God. If you are still caught up in this, your spirits must be awakened. Even after having been born again, are you still calculating things according to your own frame of thought? You cannot reach the Truth by relying on your thinking. It can be accomplished only according to what the Word of the Truth says. If God has made us righteous, then we become the righteous by faith. If Jesus has sent us to Heaven, then we enter Heaven by faith. If God has made us His children, then we become the children of God by faith also. Just how much effort a person puts in has absolutely nothing to do with it. 
Even among born-again Christians, there are many people who oppose God, held back by their own human thinking. These people firmly believe that their hardened thinking is right, and not trying to know what the Truth of God is all about. So, with their own human thinking, they oppose the Word of God, God’s Church and God Himself. I pray that you will see clearly that the one who judges the work is the one who opposes God. When a person opposes God the head will break against the stone. It’s important for you to realize that. We should not try to judge everything with our own thinking. People who haven’t experienced the change, even after having been born again, miss out because they continue to go on with their thinking. These people judge the work that God performs inside the Church by saying, “I think this is wrong.” 
You must realize that the thinking of human beings opposes God. Even in leading a life of faith, you must break away from your own thinking. Only when you break free from your thinking, does your life of faith turn out well. If you are held back by your own thoughts, you will only reveal your own righteousness as a human being inside the Church, and you will not be able to follow the Lord the way He planned. What did the Lord say? He said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24). For a person to deny oneself means to deny one’s own thinking. If you hold to your own thinking, then you will start to oppose God, and you would be at a loss. The born-again, as well as well as those who are not born-again, must all follow God by throwing away your own thinking. 
Jesus promised us that if we pray, He would answer us. He also said that He would make us the righteous if we believe in Him. He said He alone would cleanse even those sins that are like scarlet (Isaiah 1:18). But, what is it like according to human thinking? According to human thinking, we tend to think that only the original sin was cleansed by God when we believed in Jesus, and that the personal sins which we commit afterwards get cleansed only by offering prayers of repentance. But the Lord has told us that He had cleansed all the sins once and for all.
In the Old Testament, it is said, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD” (Isaiah 55:7). You and I must throw away our human thinking. If we follow God with our thinking, we will be ruined. When there was no Word of God with the people of Israel, the Bible says, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6). Who is the King of Israel? It is God, the King of kings. However, that story isn’t just simply about the people of Israel. Regardless of whom it was written about, the Word is also spoken to you and me. 
You and I must throw away our own thoughts. Perhaps, just because you have been born-again, do you think that you don’t have think on your own? You and I who have been born again still do have our own thinking. Of course there is a difference because those who haven’t been born again possess 100% of their own thinking. But because we also have thoughts of the flesh, there are times when we do oppose God. Whenever that happens, you and I must throw away our own thinking and turn to God. 
The Lord said, “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). If you don’t receive the baptism together with Jesus Christ, if one does not receive salvation through baptism, and if one is not approved as being righteous by the Holy Spirit, that person cannot enter the Kingdom of God. There are no exceptions to this rule. So, if you wish to receive the remission of sins, regardless of who you are, that person must throw away his or her own thinking. Only when people do this can they receive remission of sins. 
But, those who cannot throw away their thinking can never become righteous, because such thinking blocks the Word of God. No matter how hard a human being might try, one cannot become a righteous person by human thinking. But, if one were to believe in the Word of Truth, that person becomes righteous. If a person does know the Truth, then that person does become the righteous, but if that person does not know the Truth, then he or she becomes someone who opposes God. You cannot imagine just how much human thinking opposes God. As I meet people and preach the gospel, I see many times that the Word of God does not get inside of them because their hearts are completely filled with their own thoughts from start to finish.
A certain sister who has been born again preached the gospel to a person who had no faith. She preached, “We are the righteous because all our sins have been passed onto Jesus by John the Baptist giving Him the baptism, and because Jesus has blotted out all our sins by dying on the Cross and then resurrecting. We become righteous by faith.” But the person replied at once, “If that is so, then I can commit sins at will. Then, even if I commit murder, it is not a sin?” What she said was “Jesus took away all the sins.” Who ever said, “Committing murder is not a sin”? The gospel isn’t saying, “Even if you commit a sin, it’s not a sin.” If a person commits a sin, then it is a sin. Furthermore, ‘the gospel’ is ‘the good news,’ and in Hellenic, it’s euaggelion. And, this gospel has the power to blot out the sins of those who believe once and for all. The gospel has the power of dynamite. Because dynamite has such tremendous explosive power, it can blow away a building without a trace with just a small amount. 
The power of the gospel is the same. When we believe in Jesus Christ, who perfected all the righteousness by taking on our sins the moment He had received the baptism, received the judgment on our behalf, died by getting hanged on the Cross, and was resurrected on the third day and now sits at the right-hand of the throne of God. Each and every sin inside our hearts, our spirits and our lives will go away completely without a single strand of sin left behind. 
This is what the gospel is. But people say, “Then, I guess it is all right to commit murder, isn’t it?” What can this be? It is human thinking. They get caught up in their own way of thinking, “Since there is no sin, I guess I can commit sins whenever and however I wish.” This is precisely what human thinking is. 
In today’s Scripture passage, we read, “Whoever falls on this stone will be broken.” To be broken means to be destroyed. Even though Jesus had blotted out the sins of the world, human beings go on saying, “If so, I guess I can commit sins as I wish.” Human thoughts are not so virtuous and human beings struggle to live more holy than God. Because people do not throw away this type of thinking, they oppose God. Nobody ever said that sins committed after having received remission of sins do not become sins. Even though no one ever said this, people think that way by themselves. They also say that even if one were to commit sin, it does not become a sin. They say this because they are afraid of the fact that Jesus has taken away all the sins. Believing in that in itself becomes fearful. From a human standpoint, people fall into the thought, “Jesus has taken away all our sins. If I believe in this, I guess even if I do commit sin, it does not become a sin.” This keeps people from accepting the gospel. 
It’s important for us to realize that our thinking opposes God. Between God and a human, who is more virtuous? According to human thinking, people think that Jesus took away the original sin, but as for the personal sins, they think that people will commit less and less sins only when God takes them away as they offer prayers of repentance every day. They think that if people were to believe that God has already taken away all the sins once and for all, they would be committing sins recklessly. This earth will become a place of confusion, and full of wickedness. According to them, they are wiser than God, more virtuous than God, and more righteous than God. They will go to hell because they think they are so virtuous, so smart and so well off. Such people are the ones who are standing against God. 
Our God, knowing that we, being human, cannot help but commit sins until we die, because we are fundamentally weak. Knowing this, He took away the sins of the world in one single stroke. Let’s just assume that you had received the remission of sins at the age of twenty. If Jesus has blotted out only those sins that you committed up until the age of twenty, and if He has told you not to commit sins again, then the Bible would have said that Jesus was the Lamb of God who had taken away only the sins of the past and present. But because Jesus is wiser than us and knows everything about us, He is says to us, “I took away the sins of the world because you can receive salvation only if I take away all the sins of the world.” 
But human beings, in their arrogance, tend to think, “Are you saying that Jesus took away all the sins? No, that is not the case. If it is the case, why do we commit sins then? The born-again people are misinterpreting the Bible. If in fact Jesus did take away all the sins, then what happens when I sin again?” That Jesus has taken away all the sins becomes something that people agonize over. According to human thinking, people say, “If Jesus did take away all the sins at once, then wouldn’t it be possible that we will commit sins recklessly? If that happens, it is a great tragedy. If that is true, then there will be no need to make any effort not to commit sins, or to offer worship, and to offer prayers of repentance?” As I preach the gospel, I see people unable to accept the gospel, because they have all fallen into this mindset.
They oppose the Truth by saying, “So, there is no need for repentance and worship, and I guess we don’t have live according to God’s will.” But dear fellow believers, people who have received the remission of sins listen to the Word of God, and they eat from the pasture of the Word in order to have others receive the remission of sins, in order for themselves to obey and follow the righteousness of God, and in order to serve the Lord. And they offer worship to God in order to live out their faith according to God’s will. 
Only those who are without sin can offer thanks and praise that is acceptable to God. God accepts worship from only righteous people, that is, the born-again saints. Also, those who have been born again by the water and the Spirit must live according to the will of God in order to do the works of God while living on this earth. They must follow God. According to human thinking, once a person receives the remission of sins, it may be possible that he or she will say, “Now, it’s finished. I have nothing to do with Jesus anymore.” But from the very moment that person receives the remission of sins, a true life of faith begins.
The human heart is like that of a thief. Human thinking is like that too. Human thinking opposes God. Human thinking cannot escape from its own weakness. In order for a human being to genuinely become righteous, he or she has to accept the Word of God, and the work that God has done. Only then, can a human being escape from their weakness. If you want to live as a person of faith, you must depart from your own thinking and your weakness. 
Human thinking makes people harbor enmity against God. Judging from their own way of thinking, if they were to receive the remission of sins once and for all, there would be nothing to repent afterwards. When that happens, they are afraid they might lead a self-indulgent life. Then they are afraid that something truly bad will happen. Because they think that way, people are reluctant to accept the gospel. This is referred to as the righteousness of man. People think that they are more virtuous and kind than God. They think they have so much good that they just aren’t able to accept the work that God has done. This causes people to become at hostile with God. 
Right now, so many people are following God with their own thinking. That is why they are in disagreement with God. They refute the Truth by saying, “You say Jesus has taken away all the sins? Oh my, how did He take them all away? He did take away our sins, but He took away only the original sin. So, we must repent of our personal sins to receive His remission. If Jesus did take away all those sins that we will be committing in the future, then isn’t it true that from now on, we don’t have to repent?” Why wouldn’t the born-again repent? There isn’t anyone who comes back to God better than the born-again.
We commit sins even after being born again, but in that moment, we must first hold on and believe in the Word which has taken away our sins and transgressions. Secondly, we must revert back from the wrongful things. We must realize that those sins are against the will of God, and we must be pricked in conscience and revert back from those mistaken sins. This is what true repentance is. Instead of ending things by saying, only with one’s lips in repentance, “Oh Lord, please forgive me. I will never commit such sins again. Oh Lord, I believe. Amen,” sincerely accepting what that is wrongful and actually reverting back from it is what true repentance is.
 
 
We Must Throw Away Wrongful Religious Faith
 
If we stand against God with human thinking, we become enemies of God. But, there are many people who have become enemies against God on their own. Almost all people end up becoming enemies of God. They do so just like the chief priests and the elders of Jesus’ day. In fact, people who fervently believe in Jesus without having been born again are trampling Jesus Christ. It is no exaggeration to say that Christians all over the world now have discarded Jesus Christ. Among them, there are those who believe that Jesus Christ has taken away the sins once and for all, but even so, most of them say that a person becomes sanctified by repenting of sins every day.
It is like discarding the Truth of God. They have discarded the Truth that Jesus Christ, by coming down to this earth once, has taken away all our sins once and for all. By doing this, they have become an enemy against God. Therefore, when we preach the gospel to them, we must untie the knot of those who have tied the hostilities against God. We must tell people, “Sir, your thoughts may be so now, but they are merely the thinking of a human. It is written so in the Bible, and our Lord has done so for us. Will you accept this, or will you refuse this? If you refuse, you will become an enemy of God, but if you accept this gospel, you will become a child of God.” 
What sort of people opposed the Lord? The chief priests and the elders opposed Him. Christians who are said to believe in God now oppose God. Do you think there are particular people who oppose God? Christian denominations all over this world are opposing God. People who have made their names famous in the world of Christianity and are said to believe in and follow God well are the ones who are opposing God. People who are full of their own righteousness saying, “I am an elder,” “I am a pastor,” or “I have studied so and so world renowned theology,” and those who think of themselves to be scholars are prone to become enemies of God. These people do not accept the work Jesus Christ has done. 
At the time of Jesus, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders did not accept Jesus. Those who did not have the righteousness of their own, like tax collectors and harlots, accepted the fact that Jesus was their Savior. The chief priests and the elders were great figures of the world. They were leaders. For people like this, Jesus told us the following parable: There were two sons, the first and the second, who received an order from their father. The first son said, “Yes,” but he did not obey. The second son, at first went against, but later, he followed the will of his father and obeyed according to the father’s will. Because the first son, the Jews, did not accept Jesus Christ as the Savior, it is the case that we the gentiles have now come to receive the salvation by accepting Jesus Christ. 
There are two types of churches in this world; God’s Church and the synagogue of Satan (Revelation 3:9). To put it differently, there are churches that belong to mainstream Christianity accepted by this world, and there is the Church that has received the acceptance of God despite suffering persecution from the world. The Lord said, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26). Because those who are accepted by the world have discarded Jesus Christ, we who are like harlots and tax collectors have come to receive salvation by way of accepting Jesus Christ. 
Is the Christianity of the world perfect Christianity? Are they similar in regards to what we believe? They are completely different from us. They believe in and follow God with their own thinking. People who believe and follow God according to the Word and those who believe in and follow God with their own thinking are completely different. Currently, many people profess to believe in God even though they oppose God with their thinking because they do not believe in what is written in the Scriptures and instead distort the Word with their thinking. The religion that they believe in isn’t true Christianity. 
The Bible says that our salvation has already been perfected. It is written in the past perfect tense, which means that the work of Jesus Christ saving mankind has already been completed. However, even now people are in the process of making their own salvation. Do people have to make their own salvation by themselves? Didn’t Jesus Christ save us perfectly? Do you know that the passage written in the Bible, “Work out your own salvation” (Philippians 2:12), means that? Just as the elders and the high priests have opposed God, the older generations of the world, the denominations that are great in the world, and the great leaders of today’s Christianity and the major denominations that are recognized by the world are opposing Jesus Christ, under the name of orthodox Christianity. They are consistently opposing God. We must realize this in order to spread the gospel. 
When we are preaching the gospel to them, it is useless to teach them the Scripture passages. Only when we break their thinking and have them deny their preconception does the gospel get to enter inside their hearts. If we were to tell them only about the Bible, they would say, “I also believe like that.” They disobey the Word of God with their carnal mind. So, it’s useless to teach them the Bible, no matter what. When we preach the gospel, we must break their thinking. We must correct their wrongful thinking.
People who still profess that they are sinners despite having faith in Jesus, and that one can only be sanctified by offering prayers of repentance every day are those who oppose God. Were you able to be sanctified by offering such prayers every day? Long ago, there was a certain elder, and it is said that he had built a chapel by using up all his wealth. It is said that it had rained a lot during the construction of the chapel. So, afraid that the chapel would get washed away, the elder put sand into sandbags which he fortified a ditch and made a frantic effort to protect the building. 
It is said that he had worked shedding blood and sweat in constructing the building. Then it became time for the elder who had worked so hard to pass away. However, because sin remained intact in his heart, he didn’t have the confidence to stand dignified before God. And so, after a deep thinking, he called the senior pastor of his church and said to him, “Dear pastor, when I die, please donate my corpse to a certain university hospital for the studies of anatomy.” Then, it is said that he died afterwards.
This person died putting forth his own righteousness; his righteousness as a human being until the end. How much do you think a human being could be beneficial to other human beings? That elder had put forth his righteousness before God until his death, until his life was dwindled to nothing. He had put forth his virtues and his boastful things. But, his last journey was toward hell. Upon our deathbed, we should be able to thank and praise God, saying, “Jesus has saved me. Jesus has guided me. Dear Jesus has saved me.” 
But because that elder didn’t know about Jesus Christ having saved him perfectly, he spoke the last dying words, “I will donate my corpse to the anatomy department of a university hospital,” and by doing good deeds until death, he tried to go to Heaven. He had done so thinking that perhaps Jesus would recognize him if he were to say to the Lord after his death, “Dear Lord, I love people, for I have given up even my flesh for the benefit of humankind even in my death.” However, even the pastor had lauded the meritorious deed of this elder by saying, “This elder, in order to benefit people, gave up his body for anatomy,” but in fact, he wasn’t able to receive the recognition of God. As I see things like this, I think, “It must be that the hardened thinking of a human makes the person become an enemy of God.”
For such people, the Apostle Paul says, “Though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3). What is love stated here? The subject of love is Jesus. “God is Love.” Love is hell if there is no love of the Truth of God inside the heart. People who do not know the love of God shown through the gospel of the water and the Spirit are the ones who show off their deeds and their virtues to the end and do the same ignorant things even at death. The pastor of that church boasted that the elder from his church was the one who had done so. You don’t know how much pity I had felt for the members of that church. Without the conviction of going to Heaven, shouldn’t they be doing virtuous deeds and be carrying out services until death? This is what we refer to as slavery. 
We thank and praise the Lord because He has saved us. If we have to perform virtuous deeds until death in order to receive the salvation, how will is that possible? Probably, we will fall off half way through. People who boast before God about their own righteousness are those who are said to believe in Jesus the best and are said to follow Jesus the best. They encourage people to continue to carry out works by citing the Scripture passage, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13), but those Words were meant for the Jews during the last days of the tribulation.
 
 
How Did Jesus Christ Save Us from the Sin of the World? 
 
What has Christ done for us? Hasn’t Jesus become the chief cornerstone of salvation for us? Jesus did the work of reconciliation between God and us. Jesus has made us righteous before God. When we were in enmity with God, Jesus came to this earth, and through the baptism of John the Baptist, He took on all the sins of us human beings. In doing so, He blotted out all our sins. So, He became the Savior for those who believe in Him. He became the Redeemer for the faithful. He has made us the children of God. We can now call God “Father,” and become His children. The keystone of a building is called the cornerstone. Jesus has truly become the cornerstone of salvation for us.
People of the world do not believe in Jesus, and defy Him to the end. With their virtuous deeds, crying, and praying a lot, they try to receive salvation before God. This is what human thinking is, and they hold fast to such human thinking until death. People must know and believe properly in order to receive salvation. Even though one might regard himself or herself to be of good faith, if they believe in the Word of God wrongfully, the result will be hell, and not salvation. 
People dig up ground in search of gold. Sometimes they dig up mountains after having prayed. Experts, when they discover a gold vein, know whether or not this vein has lots of gold just by digging down a little. So, the experts, after having hidden away all the gold they had dug up, near the point where there is no more gold, swindle people who aren’t knowledgeable. They tell them, “I have an urgent problem, so I will sell this gold mine to you.” Then they say, “If you buy this gold mine, you will get rich. Will you buy it?” Then, because people can see the gold at the moment, those who do not know the gold mine well will buy it. Clearly at first, when they dig for gold, it will come out. But, when they dig a little bit more, gold will be gone. Like this, experts deceive those who aren’t very knowledgeable.
Dear fellow believers, do you know how many things look like gold just by their outer appearance? Long ago, I once lived on an island. When I was there, I had split a boulder trying to dig up a fountain, but there was something yellow shining from the boulder. I had thought I had found a gold vein. My eyes widened in an instant. When I crushed the boulder with a hammer, there truly was a yellow light shining between the cracks. So, I had dug a bit more. Though the boulder was just rock, there was something yellow stuck in the middle. I thought to myself, “Wow, yes, this is what a gold vein is,” I covered the boulder so that no one would see it. 
I thought that I should bring a piece of the rock and show it to an expert. I had asked those around me, and all of them had told me that it was a gold vein. With a restless heart, I ran to an expert in an instant and showed him the rock. With a single look, the expert told me that it wasn’t gold. He said, “Sir, it might seem to like gold, but there are rocks that look like gold.” This person told me that even though it might seem like gold, it was of no value. Thinking that the person might be lying to me, I went to another expert and asked. But, that person also told me that it wasn’t gold. He had told me that there are very many rocks like that. Clearly, to the eyes of the flesh, the rock was shiny. But, to an expert, it was no gold at all. Perhaps that is why the proverb, “All that glitters is not gold,” came about. 
Let us think for a moment that amateurs like me who don’t know a thing about gold had bought the mountain and started digging. What do you think would have happened? Belief in Jesus is like that. People believe that if they believe in Jesus, they will be saved. People believe to the very end professing, “I believe.” But they had believed in Jesus based on the wrong information. As previously mentioned, the elder died a sinner, even though he had believed if he were to offer prayers of repentance every day, he would be sanctified and become righteous later on. Having died as a sinner, when he stands before God, for there are sins in his heart, God says to him, “I never knew you; depart from Me.” 
“Dear Lord, How is it that you never knew me? Have I not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons, and done many wonders?” 
“I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” The Lord has told those who follow Him without properly knowing to depart from His presence. If people, despite having faith in Jesus, were to suffer such scorn before the Lord, what would that amount to? So many people believe in Jesus and follow Jesus until the end with their own thinking. Among those who believe like that, are there those who are allowed to enter Heaven? No. There are those who say, “How do you know if you are going to Heaven or to hell? Only God knows.” But how can we not know? People don’t know because they go on thinking through the eyes of the flesh. We are able to know if we discern the matter through the Word of God. How can I preach the Word without knowing that? Can you preach to others without even knowing whether or not you yourself have been saved? 
Human thinking becomes enmity against God; it opposes God. Human thinking can never reach the Truth. When human beings unite together and oppose God, human beings will be broken. “Whoever falls on this stone will be broken.” The chief priests and the elders opposed Jesus Christ by uniting together. That is why Jesus has said, “Whoever falls on this stone will be broken” (Matthew 21:44). It can be said that the chief priests and the elders at the time went to hell. Their heads were all broken, and they all fell into hell. 
In this current day and age, some Christian denominations oppose the gospel of the water and the Spirit by uniting with each other. They oppose the gospel by saying, “How is it that Jesus has taken away all the sins when He was receiving the baptism?” But, by the Word, they will all be broken. In verse 32, Jesus said, “For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.” Jesus clearly bears witness to the fact that John came in the way of righteousness. 
 
 
God Says That His Thought Is Different from Human Thinking
 
It is written in Isaiah, “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, 
Nor are your ways My ways,’ says the LORD. 
‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, 
So are My ways higher than your ways, 
And My thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isaiah 55:8-9). God’s thoughts are different from human thinking. God had decided to resolve all the problems of sin by passing on the sins once and for all to Jesus through John the Baptist. Yet, human beings do not believe this. They are questioning, “Why did God blot out sins once and for all?” People tend to think that it’s more proper for God to blot out sins every day. It might seem that way according to human thinking, for God to blot out sins whenever they beg His pardon by offering prayers of repentance. 
But God has that John the Baptist came in the way of righteousness. God is saying that John the Baptist came to this earth as a servant and a messenger of God to fulfill all the righteousness by passing on the sins of all humankind by the baptism he gave to Jesus. But people do not like it. People are prone to believe on their level of thinking. Inside people’s hearts is the habit of believing well if the Word of God suits their standard; but not accepting the Word if it doesn’t suit their standard. 
Why do people not accept the Word, “John came to you in the way of righteousness”? If Jesus Christ and John the Baptist perfected the gospel of righteousness that makes all people righteous, then all that people have to do is to just accept it. But people make a fuss, saying that God mustn’t save people in such a simple way. These people are saying that they are not satisfied in their hearts with Jesus. They are also saying that they are not satisfied in their hearts with John the Baptist. It’s not satisfactory. They are saying they cannot believe in the way of righteousness that Jesus has fulfilled along with John the Baptist. They ask, “Why did it have to be that way, of all things? 
Instead of a method that fits our level, why did it have to be that way?” They cannot believe because the method isn’t satisfactory in their minds, and to the very end, they put forth their righteousness before God. Just as the chief priests and the elders had done, many Christians in this day and age also say, “Of all the ways, why does God pass on the sins to Jesus through John the Baptist once and for all?” To their thinking, the method by which Jesus has saved them doesn’t suit their taste. It’s as if they are displeased with the true gospel, so they say they will believe in their own way.
What is their way? It is none other than the Christian doctrine fabricated by Calvin. Instead of believing in the Word of God as it is, they believe in accordance with the Five Points of Calvinism. In other words, those Christians believe, “Jesus took away the original sin, but people must receive the remission of their personal sins by repenting every day. Thus, we human beings will gradually become sanctified and later become righteous. Then, we are allowed to enter Heaven.” People have been holding fast to this method of going before God by believing in Jesus and achieving sanctification like that. 
However, what is the God-given way of salvation like? God’s way was to have us become His children by making us righteous in a single stroke by having Jesus Christ take on the sins once and for all through John the Baptist. God tells us that salvation is something that we receive by faith, not by a method of reaching sanctification through human efforts. However, people wish to become righteous by exerting ever more effort, by sharpening and cultivating one’s character as if in Buddhist training, or by carrying out virtuous deeds. Even though a person may be a grave sinner, the will of God is to bring that person to His Kingdom by clothing that person in an instant with fine linen, white and absolutely perfect; but only if the person believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. But people aren’t able to believe this because they don’t care about the will of God and are not satisfied in their hearts with the work that God has done. Just as the Devil is dissatisfied, human beings are also dissatisfied with the work that God has done. 
Dear fellow believers, just because we human beings are dissatisfied with the work that God has done, must God do things according to a human way? Is it right for God to change His way, or is it right for us to change our way of thinking? Of course, it is right for us to change our way. People can to come peace with each other by compromising. But between God and us, there is no compromise. It is absolutely necessary for us to change our thinking before the will of God. We must throw away our thinking before God.
Today’s Christians are completely enveloped with their own thinking. People say, “When I read the Bible, it seems that way, but I will believe according to my own thinking” and do not alter their thinking at all. But, they have to discard their own thinking. For many thousands of years, Christians have been opposing God by not throwing away their thinking. If it continues, present day Christianity will be broken. During the middle ages, the Catholic Church believed according to their own way of thinking. They had tried to become saints through mortification of the flesh, and penance, not knowing the God-given way of righteousness. 
In order to become saints, they had to take off their clothes to those in need of clothes, and they had to give their food to the beggars. Such human ideology had been passed down for 1,000 years. For 1,000 years, people had been opposing God. After that, Martin Luther appeared and he spoke out that one can become a righteous person by faith. Then, Calvin came out and claimed the so-called Seven Steps to Sanctification.
John Calvin was French. This man saw Protestants getting persecuted in Geneva, Switzerland, and wrote a manuscript to the king, demonstrating that their protestant faith was not wrong. This was the book known as “Institutes of the Christian Religion.” Calvin presented this book to the king in an attempt to defend Christians. In the content of the book presented to the king at the time, there was the Calvin’s Doctrine of Seven Steps to Sanctification. It is recorded in the book that Jesus has taken away the original sin and as for the rest, people get to enter the Kingdom of God by having their sins cleansed like white snow through their prayers of repentance. With John Calvin coming out and advocating this doctrine, the faith of believing in the Word of God within Christianity declined, and human thinking became more strongly emphasized. From that time on, the authority of John Calvin rose higher than that of the Bible.
In the Bible, it is said so many times that John the Baptist came in the way of righteousness. But people did not accept it. Even though God had sent John the Baptist to make people righteous, human beings did not believe this Word, and even now, go on opposing God and they will continue to oppose God. Will human beings believe according to the Word of God? If not, will they believe in God according to their own thinking? We must choose between the two: Will you go to hell with the head broken, having opposed God with human thinking until the very end; or will you go to Heaven by believing according to the Word of God? Instead of opposing God alone, will you oppose God to the very end by uniting with others, like the chief priests and the elders and then receive the judgment of a boulder fall you, grinding you into powder? Or will you receive the remission of sins by knowing about the Word clearly and believing in it?
Even if people know all the history of the world and know the future completely, they go to hell if they do not know the Truth. Due to our inability to help ourselves, we have received salvation by accepting Jesus Christ. We have received the remission of sins by purely accepting the Word of the Truth spoken by Jesus. How have received the remission of sins? There are so many famous people, smart people, the modern version of chief priests and elders in this world, who continue to oppose God. It is amazing to think how we have come to faith in this gospel. By chance you have met the Church by believing in the Lord and have received the remission of sins by meeting some of God’s servants. 
I hope you will give thanks to God for having entered the ranks of the born-again and not the ranks of those who oppose God. With just a small slip, you could have received the guidance of the modern version of chief priests and gone to hell after having opposed God all your life inside a large denomination of this world. Had you still been in there, you could have opposed God every day, saying, “Jesus wasn’t able to blot out all sins. We must offer prayers of repentance every day. There is none righteous, no, not one.” And later on, as the scripture says, your head could have gotten crushed. God throws such people into the fire of hell, but I am thankful that we are not a part of them. You and I have truly been born again by the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
There are many people who oppose the Church with their own thinking and leave after having received the remission of sins. When I see people like this, on one hand I feel pity, but on the other hand, I feel like shouting at them. “Isn’t such a big diamond so very precious? And yet you throw it away, not knowing its value! It is your loss. When you leave the Church, would there be anything other than the destruction of your spirit and flesh?” Dear fellow believers, we must be truly thankful to the Lord. There might be those who say, “Why does Pastor Paul C. Jong only preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit whenever he opens his mouth?” If you had a lump of gold in your house, would look at it only once and then put it inside a drawer, never looking at it again? If you had something precious, wouldn’t you open up the drawer and look at it day after day; in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the evening, as often as you can? You also look at precious things over and over, don’t you? That is why I continue to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit again and again.
Because so many people still do not know about this precious gospel, I speak about it everyday in order to show them this Truth. But even if I show people this precious thing, they just say, “Is that all? Why is that precious?” It is because they didn’t open the treasure box. Once people open it, they will realize how precious it is. 
When you take off the roof of the Tabernacle, do you know what is inside? Inside the Tabernacle is a house of pure gold. The Tabernacle looks like the tent of Kedar from the outside. But inside, there is a house of pure gold. It is said that in order to make a house of pure gold, you must have eight tons of gold. This is why the Tabernacle is also called the house of pure gold. But, when a pig sees a lump of gold, it stomps on it and throws it away, saying, “What is this yellow thing? When I chew it, my teeth don’t sink in. Darn it, what a useless thing.” Like this, a pig does not recognize its value, and it kicks it into dirty water and sinks it.
The so-called orthodox Christians hear the truly genuine gospel, but they say, “Is that all?” And, they chew it, spit it out, put it on the ground, and stomp on it with their feet. They do not know that if they eat it they will gain everlasting life and enter the Kingdom of God by having become righteous. Do you realize just how many human beings, who try to throw away the gospel of the water and the Spirit like a pig, are on this earth?
How can we become honorable before God? By accepting Jesus Christ who has saved us perfectly, we have become the honorable. If there had not been Jesus Christ for us, how could we have become honorable? Yet, so many people on this earth refuse this precious gospel. As well as your family members, relatives, and friends, so many people are refusing this Truth. 
Do you know how precious the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit is? Do you think just anyone can come and be in the Church? Do you think just anyone can serve the Lord? I hope you realize that it is a great blessing in itself for you to be inside this Church after having received the remission of sins, and to be able to listen to the Word and believe in it. I hope you realize that God has given you blessings.
We, the born-again, must now think about what is the proper way to live before God and thank Him for having saved us from among those many people who oppose God. We, who have truly been born-again, must be thankful because the Lord has saved us and be thankful for allowing us to serve the Him inside this Church. We must put all our hearts into the spreading this precious gospel. We must teach those who do not believe in this gospel what human thinking, which opposes God, is like. And we must break their thinking before we deliver the gospel to them. We must live out our faith for the rest of our life giving thanks.
God has truly given us the opportunity to serve Him and the gospel. All your toils before the Lord will not fall to the ground, but rather, they all will be reported before God. And God will surely reward you. If you hadn’t been born again, do you think these things could be possible? Even if you were to offer God lumps of gold, it wouldn’t make any difference if you haven’t been born again. 
“Whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.” This is the very Word that God speaks to those who oppose the gospel of God claiming that the doctrines of their denomination are correct without ever having been born again. They will be done according to this passage. They will suffer the judgment of God, and there will come a day when their heads will be broken and ground to powder. I believe they will surely suffer like that. 
Therefore, we must pity those who oppose the gospel of God with their thinking and preach them the Truth of God. We, the born-again, must also live out our faith by throwing away our own thinking every day as the Apostle Paul declared, “I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31).
Halleluiah!