“Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. No One Knows the Day or Hour. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
In this Winter Discipleship Training Camp, there are 18 souls invited to the gospel class. I sincerely hope that our Lord may open up the hearts of these souls and let them receive the gospel. And when you pray, you should pray to God to save the souls of the attendants at the gospel class as well as your families and your acquaintances. Before you came to this camp, your ministers must have told you often that all the facilities in Injae Retreat Center would be in good condition. But it only took several hours to find out the reality. Didn’t the water pipes of the female restroom freeze up? I heard that water froze and it didn’t even come out. So, the staff members had a discussion and we promised ourselves to do better at least from this point on. I don’t know why it turns out to be so difficult for our staff members to gain favor in your sight. Now we should make flush toilets and new showering facilities in the female restroom. If God allows so, the facilities will become better this summer. As it is delightful to have a big place for worship, all the facilities in the Retreat Center will gradually become better. I hope you rest your exhausted minds and souls, and listen to the Scriptures to your hearts’ content.
This morning, I will tell you about the time when our Lord shall come. The Lord said in Matthew 24:32-39: “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
The Lord told us about the things that will happen when He comes. We should listen to His Word of teaching and admonition. So I am here to preach a sermon by stressing His teachings.
First, when does the Lord come? Let us look at the Scripture passage for this part. The Lord said to His disciples, “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!” This passage means that when Israel regains its power, that is to say, when Israel recovers its territory we should know that the time is near for the Lord to come. After crucifying Jesus Christ on the Cross, the Israelites had scattered all around the world. But as today’s Scripture passage says, Israel regained its nation in 1948. Israel has recovered its nation after nearly two thousand years. There is no case in human history, except for Israel, of recovering its nation after nearly two thousand years of loss.
When does the Lord come back? First, Jesus Christ said, “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.” Also, Jesus has taught us that “This generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.” We should pay attention to the fact that Israel recovered its land. The fact that Israel regained its nation in 1948 means that the Word of God, “When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves” has been realized. After Israel recovered its nation, it has become a firm nation by revival. Our Lord told us that He would come before the recovered nation vanishes from the earth. So we take notice of Israel. And we see that Israel has become an extremely powerful nation.
Secondly, when does the Lord come? Jesus said, “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” He continued, “For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:38-39). Jesus Christ is teaching us that the coming of the Lord will be as the days of Noah were.
What does “As the days of Noah were” mean? Noah, the servant of God, was the symbol of the time and day of the destruction. A long time ago when God judged the world by covering the entire earth with water, He had told Noah everything about the flood. God had mercy on Noah and his family that they have been saved by getting into the Ark. The Lord said that coming of the Lord would just be as the days when everyone but Noah’s family had been destroyed. The coming of the Lord is like the days of Noah.
Let us look at the Bible and see how it was in the days of Noah. It says, “For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away.” In the days of Noah, people only cared about their desires of the flesh, that is, the desires of eating and drinking. That is to say, like God’s judgment has been made when the people were following only their fleshly desires, He will come at a similar time in the future. My fellow believers, is there anyone who does not drink or eat? Everyone eats and drinks. Then why did the Lord speak like this in this Scripture passage? It means that our Lord will come at the time when people are not concerned about God but concerned about their fleshly desires and exhibit a behavior to satisfy them. My fellow believers, when we look at this world, we know that nowadays is just like the days in Noah when people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage. Just like the sin of Noah’s generation reached its full measure, so does the sin of this generation. Just like God has judged the world by water in ancient times; it will be the same at the time of His second coming.
Our Lord said that He would come when people are only caring about eating and drinking, and only seeking their desires of the flesh. If the people have faith in God’s Word and follow Him with reverence, give all their hearts in serving the gospel, and then eat and drink, eating can also be wonderful and beneficial. But it is said that our Lord will come for a second time when the people do not care about God and only focus on their earthly lives, do not have concern in spiritual matters but only have concern in their own fleshly desires, and eventually lose God and live just by themselves.
We should carefully listen to the teachings of our Lord. Looking at the signs of this age, we see that the time is ripe for His coming. Thus, we should take the lessons from His Word and believe that the age we are living in is that time. We should heed the warnings from His Word and take it into our hearts. We should inscribe this teaching in our hearts, knowing that the condition of this age is indicating the imminent coming of our Lord. We should accept the teachings of the Word of the Lord. These are the true Christians and the people who believe in God. Truly we should be like these people. We should not talk about the time of the Lord’s coming by simply looking at some signs of this world. We should listen carefully to what He said in the Bible: If the Word of God said this we should learn as it was said and if it has stipulated admonishment then we should accept and believe it as it is. When we look at this age we know that it is becoming just as the Word of God stated. Then we should know and believe in our hearts that the time of His coming is rapidly approaching. Therefore, receiving the teaching of His Word is very important to us.
It is written in Chapter 1 of Revelation that those who read and those who hear the Word of this prophecy and keep those things are blessed. Listening to this Word, you are blessed, and I am blessed, and the people who believe in the Word as it is and live by faith are also blessed. In the days of Noah, people didn’t realize God’s judgment until the flood came and took them all away while they were indulging themselves in eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage. This flood is the symbol of God’s judgment.
God has chosen the flood as the first judgment in the days of the Old Testament, and the world has been judged with the flood. Then the saying “They did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” means that the judgment in His second coming will be the same. It means that the people are concerned in eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage so that they do not actually realize they will really go to hell at the time of His second coming and His judgment. Thus, we should believe in this Scripture passage. We should learn from the Word, and take a close look at whether or not this world is becoming like today’s Scripture passage. We should closely examine whether or not the world is turning out as the Scriptures said.
When we looked at the world of today by His Word and His teachings, this world is really closely mirroring the days of His judgment. Also we can recognize, see by faith, and truly believe that it is time for His coming. We believe that it has become near the end times as the Lord said. I have told you that the time is near since about five years ago. And I am one of the men who are waiting for His coming, while looking at the situation of the world and contemplating the teachings of His words. When I look at this age, I see that this age has become like the teaching of today’s Scripture passage.
What do the people pursue in this age? I don’t know how much the people today pursue the desires of their flesh. Today there are few people seeking for God. A daily newspaper has done a survey asking “Do you believe in God?” and only 45% among the Korean people have responded that they do. This is quite comparable to the responses from the Americans that over 90% of them believe in the existence of God. Most Korean people have their own religions, but this means that the majority of them do not even believe in the existence of God as a reality. We know from this that a large number of Korean people choose a religion and believe in it as to solve their earthly problems but not to believe in God and have true faith in Him.
Do the people today believe in God? Do they seek God? No, they don’t. People today only seek the desires of the flesh, that is, the desires of eating and drinking. People today are only interested in the things of the flesh but not in believing in God. The people all around the world are madly pursuing eating and drinking. As the world goes to the end there is no future, so people add weight to eating and drinking to enjoy today’s lives. The last days are like this. It was also like this in the days of Noah before the judgment by the flood. When God judged the world by water, people were only interested in eating and drinking. At that time people were terrible and their wickedness was great.
People know this merely as a historical fact. People don’t know that this is a warning and teaching from God. However, the Lord teaches us about the time when He comes through the writings of Matthew. How are the people today when we look at this Scripture passage and look at the world through this passage? Both then and now the people really are not interested in God but only in eating and drinking. In their hearts, there are only thoughts of how can we eat, drink, and live well. The Lord is teaching us through today’s Scripture passage that the days are near for His coming.
Thirdly, when does the Lord come? The Lord says in verse 40, “Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left.” He said that when there are two men in the field, one will be taken and the other left behind. This field indicates both the people’s hearts and the world. There are two kinds of people leading religious lives in the world. And it means that between the two kinds one will go and one will be left behind. Aren’t we leading a religious life in Christianity? Don’t the Christians plow their fields of heart, eliminate the rocks from their hearts, and plant the teachings of the Word of God?
However, among the same Christians who are plowing their hearts, some will be taken while others will be left behind. Living in this world, we are all devoted in some religions in our own ways despite the fact we have different religions. Some are devoted in Christianity, some are in Buddhism, and some are in Islam. However they lead religious lives in their own ways, the born-again will be taken while those who are not born-again will be left at the ground. These things will happen in the days of His coming.
Thus, we should listen to the Word of the Lord and to His teachings. We ourselves should cultivate the fields of our hearts and receive perfect redemption of having no sins in our hearts. It will be decided whether you are taken or to be left behind by whether or not you have been born again by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Before the time of His coming, we should examine ourselves and see whether “I am born again or not.” Put differently, we should think about “Am I going to be taken or left in the days of His coming?” It doesn’t mean that you will experience Rapture just because you lead your life of faith somehow blindly. It doesn’t mean that you will experience Rapture in the days of His coming because you have hoed up and shoveled your field of heart recklessly. We should be taught by the Lord’s Word of Truth. We should plow up our field of heart by His Word of Truth. And in our hearts we should accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit, His Word that allows people to be born again. The seeds of His Word should fall in to our hearts, sprout in each of our hearts, and bear fruits. We should become men who have the seed of His Word, the Word of salvation that makes us to be born again of water and the Spirit, in our hearts.
Even though it is obvious that His coming is near, there are people who haven’t yet accepted the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and these people should hurry up and plant this faith within their hearts. If he doesn’t have the Word of God in his heart, he should buy it if it even costs him everything, and he should accept the Word of God hurriedly if it is given for free. If he doesn’t have the Word of salvation in his heart and hasn’t been born again, he will be left behind in the last days. Therefore, you should check with the gospel of the water and the Spirit to ensure that you have been born again before the days of His coming. You should not only wait for the days of His coming but each of you should examine your faith. Then, those without the seeds of faith in their hearts should accept His Word of salvation, and those people with the seeds of faith should wait for the Lord always saying, “Come, Lord Jesus.”
Not long ago there were odd groups in Korea. There were two groups, Dami Mission and Tiberias Mission, which asserted that the world will come to an end and Rapture will take place on October 28, 1992. The name of our mission is The New Life Mission. Already the name is different from those mission groups mentioned. We are the “mission organization that gives new life.” Dami Mission and Tiberias Mission created a commotion by saying that the world will end on October 28, 1992. By their false teaching, a great number of people believed that the Lord would come on October 28, 1992 and they brought on public criticisms. At that time I had fellowship with some of the staff members in those groups and I pulled several of them out.
“Pastors and Evangelists! Does the Lord come on October 28, 1992? Let us say it is true for the moment. Then are you sure that you were born again of water and the Spirit and that you will be lifted up to the Kingdom of Heaven whenever the Lord comes?”
“I am not sure.”
I asked again, “Then what should you do?”
“Then I should repent. Until His coming, I should clean the cloth of my spirit with soap of repentance and dress in fine linen, white and clean, and welcome the Lord, saying, ‘Oh my bridegroom, here is your bride.’”
I asked them again, “Until when should you prepare such a perfect white dress?” “I should prepare it until the Lord comes.”
“How can you prepare it?”
“I can prepare it with prayers of repentance.”
“Then how often should you give the prayers of repentance?”
“I should offer the prayers of repentance every day and night.”
There are those people. But even if the Lord had really come on October 28, 1992, those people couldn’t have been lifted up to the presence of the Lord. They will not be taken. Will the holy Lord take the bride stained by dirty excrements? Who would take the bride with a bad smell? Who would take the bride stained by a whole bunch of filthiness? It doesn’t make any sense.
“Let us say that He will come shortly as the Bible says. Yes, you believe in the true Word of God. Then are you prepared? Are you prepared to meet Jesus Christ? Are you truly born again?” Then, they say, “Yes, I am born again by the blood of Jesus.” Whenever the Bible says the blood of Jesus, it says so by premising that He took all the sins of the world through His baptism. But there are people who say that they believe in the blood of Jesus without knowing His baptism. Can there be any result when the cause is absent? Those are people who have not been born again yet. Those people are disgracing the face of Jesus and smearing the faces of Christians. I don’t know whether they are somewhere cultivating their spirituality by offering the prayers of repentance. However these meetings haven’t disappeared and still exist until now. Even now, there are lots of people believing like this.
“Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.” If one doesn’t accept the seeds of life in the field of his heart, all of his endeavor will be of no use. What is the use of a good field? What is the use of a good field if there is no seed to plant? “My field is rich but it grows only thistles and tares.” Then we cannot say that is a good field. My fellow believers, you are the people who have plowed all of your fields. But the important thing is whether or not the seeds are planted in the fields. When the Lord comes, only the born-again are taken while the people who are not born again of water and the Spirit are left. The Lord will certainly come someday yearning to take us from this world. Eventually you and I should have the seeds of life in our heart fields because He will come here to take only the born-again people.
Do you have faith that you have been born again of water and the Spirit? Do you have the seeds of Word as the born-again in your heart field? If you have the seeds of the Word as the born-again, it is okay for you to have some insufficiencies. However, if you have no seed of Word in your heart field it is in vain even though your field is plowed well and your heart is good. These have no meaning. In the days of His coming, there will be two men plowing the field; one shall be taken and the other shall be left. Thus we should listen carefully to the Word about being born again. And it is a great blessing that you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
However, we, the born again, immensely look down upon this genuine gospel often. Some of us are prone to regard this merely as the foundation of faith. Some people once asked me, “How did you write so many books with the same story and the same topic.” How are my sermons the same? Even the seed of life is the same, but there are various kinds of heart-fields. Depending on the different types of the fields, such as, sick fields, fields with many rocks, proper fields, filthy fields, malnourished fields, etc., we should cultivate them with different methods of sowing and plowing.
My fellow believers, the gospel of the water and the Spirit that has brought us salvation is the gospel of life. This is the only true gospel. It is the most precious gospel on earth. In our hearts we have the gospel of the water and the Spirit. As we have this gospel in our hearts we spread out the gospel. But do the people in the world accept the gospel well or not? They do not. It is because they don’t easily believe in God. People do not accept this gospel because in this last age people are only concerned about eating and drinking but not concerned about believing in God. I don’t know whether or not the souls in the gospel class will accept the gospel well in this Discipleship Training Camp. It will not be that easy. It is because that nowadays people are all focused on eating and drinking. Let us look at ourselves. How many people went to the center store yesterday after the night worship service? How much are the people focused on eating and drinking. Also, there are people among you who bring delicious foods and eat them with his or her family members. You don’t have to give it to me. I have a lot to eat.
You and I have this precious gospel of the water and the Spirit. I thank God for this. Whenever our Lord comes, we the born again, the people who have the Word of life, the gospel of the water and the Spirit, will be taken by Him. But the lives of the people who do not have the Word of life will turn out to be blanks. When you were young, you surely have tried a sugar-cake lottery? The storeowner would make the winning prizes of planes, trains, and boats, which are made from melted sugar and stick many lottery tickets in a can. In our youth, we just can’t pass by the lottery.
“Mister, how many tickets can I get for ten cents?”
“You can get three.”
“Only three? Come on, let me have four.”
“Alright, you can have four.” The truth is that you will all get blanks for all the tickets. It is of the owner’s mind to write down whatever he or she wants. So, if the storeowner writes down all blanks and sticks them in the can, there is no more than that. When you pick some lotteries, this is a blank, that is a blank, and once in a while you win a small jet plane or a rabbit but not a big plane. You can’t pull out a big sugar plane because the owner did not write it down. It will never happen nevertheless you rob your mom’s money and pull out all the lotteries frantically. When I got angry I gathered the money by any means and pulled out all the lottery tickets. Thinking that I will be profitable if I get two big prizes by doing that, I poured a lot of money and bought all the lottery tickets in the can. So I bought all the tickets and opened them just to find out there was no big plane anywhere. There was nothing at all. We call this a fraud.
Anyhow you and I who have received the remission of sin are happy because now is the time He will come. “Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.” My fellow believers, we can distinguish the real faith from the fake one by examining them with the Word of God. There are people who shamefully shout that “The denomination I am in is the most famous one in the whole world and it follows Calvin doctrines.” However, this is no use even if these people are brothers and sisters of Calvin. They will be left in the end like the woman who was grinding at the mill.
There are two women grinding at the mill. They put a spoon of bean or rice in the grinding stone. And if you grind the grains with the stone mill any beans and rice are crushed. With a noise of “Drrr.. drr.. drr.. drr..” the contents in the stone mill are crushed and flow outside. Two women are ardently grinding the millstone and all of a sudden only one is left grinding the stone mill. While two women are grinding at the mill, one is taken, and the other is left. My fellow believers, only the ones with true faith, who have been born again of water and the Spirit, will be taken at the time of His coming. Do you believe in this? Amen.
There are lots of people in the world who make a boast of themselves saying, “Our denomination is such and such, and I am the President of our denomination.” I can’t stop laughing whenever I see such a person. The people who are not born again lay great emphasis on their outward appearances. And they lay stress on the history and tradition of their denominations. However, the born-again are not like that. The people who are not born again brag about the appearances as substance such as, how old their denominations are, or what tradition they have built, etc. But how are their faiths in substance? How does it look if we open and look at their hearts by shedding the light of God’s Word? Their hearts are totally rotten by sins.
We should know that it is so precious to have this gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is the Word of God. Even though we pound our hearts with the hammers and grind them in the millstone we are still the born-again people. No matter how much we plow our heart fields and turn them over and over, we remain as the born-gain people in whiteness. We are the born-again people who are tightly structured with innocence from inside to outside. This is for real. However Christians who are not born again are not like this. They are unsightly and funny. They desperately led their religious lives but will not be taken by the Lord. How does this happen? Even though he led a religious life from his mother’s womb, and went to the Sunday schools from his youth, middle school years, high school years, college years, young adult years, adult years, and has a colorful record of serving as a deacon, an elder, a pastor, and then the president of his denomination, he is only like General Naaman. Even though Naaman was a General, he was a leper to be hated. And no matter how colorful one’s career is, if he doesn’t have the Word of the water and the Spirit, the Lord leaves him behind instead of taking him. Thus, we know how precious the gospel within us is.
Every time we gather we talk about the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We talked about it last night and we do so this morning too. Do you have your hearts saying, “It is so boring. My ears are suffering. Don’t you have any other Word of God than this?” Truly is there anything else better than this? No, there isn’t. We should know the most valuable among the things you have. It is written, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you” (Acts 3:6). What is the most precious thing that you have? It is the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is the most precious thing and our important substance. This gospel of the water and the Spirit saves the spiritually crippled, the people without good lives of faith, and the dying sinners. Then, how precious is it? Truly the gospel of the water and the Spirit is so very precious.
Our Lord says, “Wouldn’t you be prepared if you know the time and hour of the end?” In other words, we should always be watchful because the Lord comes at the time like the days of Noah. He says, “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming” (Matthew 24:42). The Lord taught us to always be watchful. Especially, you and I who are living in the days of Noah should be watchful by faith and spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and live with faith believing that now is the time of His coming. We should know that He will come if we wait a little, listen to His teaching and receive it in our hearts, and carry out the works that he has given us with loyalty.
In Matthew chapter 25, we see the parable of the talents. Let us look from verse 14 to 30 of Matthew chapter 25.
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”
Our Lord is giving us a lesson from this parable. There is something that those who have received the remission of sin should extremely be careful of. Here in the parable of the talents, the Lord said that He gave the talents to all of those who had received the remission of sin. The Lord has given you and me the same talents. The Lord has given each of us some talent of knowledge, talent of playing the piano, talent of spreading out the gospel, talent of having faith, talent of making money, talent of praising the Lord, and serving the gospel. However someone who doesn’t use his talents to serve the Lord, or leaves the Church and lives only for his desires of flesh while eating and drinking, is the one who received one talent.
When the lord came to settle accounts with them, the servants came and said. He who had received five talents made another five by trading and came to the lord saying, “Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.” Then, his Lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things.” And he who had received two talents came and said, “Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.” Then, his lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things.”
Then he who had received the one talent ran in swiftly and said, “Lord, I knew you to be a hard man and an evil master, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. I dug up everything and bring them all without fail. Look, you gave me one, and there you have what is yours.” But his lord answered and said to him, “Cast the wicked and lazy servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” He cast him to the outer darkness.
My fellow believers, there is something that we the born-again should be careful about. It is that you should not live only for yourself after you have been born again. God has given the born-again people the talents to serve the Lord in His Church. Whatever the talents are, He has given the talents to all of us. Some people follow the servants of God and meticulously satisfy their needs, which is a talent. Also there are brothers and sisters who make a lot of money and serve the Lord by supporting the flower of the gospel to blossom. God has given various talents to each of those who were born-again.
But there are people who use the talents not to serve the Lord, but only to serve themselves. These people say, “Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground.” Among the born-again there are people who leave the Church saying, “Oh, I have this technique. I have this talent. This is so precious to use only for the Lord. I want to use this only for myself.” Those people eventually leave the Church saying, “I had this hidden talent of making money. I never knew this before in the old days. But now I know that I am so talented in this field and I will live a colorful life in this world.” Those people leave the Church and live only for themselves.
However, what will happen to the person who uses the talents given by God for himself only and makes money by using them in order to satisfy only his belly? In the days of the Lord’s coming, he who had received one talent will dig up his talent from the ground and say, “Here, you have your one talent. I didn’t even cut out 0.1%. Here you have the one talent in full. Here you go, here it is. Are you satisfied? As I received salvation, I am going to the Kingdom of Heaven, my Lord.”
Then the Lord says, “Wait! Now what are you talking about?” Then his heart is toughened by his own righteousness, and he rather says that he has done nothing wrong and the Lord is the one who is unrighteous, saying, “Haven’t you come to settle the accounts with me? Didn’t you come back to take back what you gave me? You gave me nothing more than one talent, haven’t you? You mean that you want two out of one? Are you a thief? I heard that there are lots of vicious lords these days, and who knows that you are one of them? Where can you find such a vicious lord who demands two out of one? Even I don’t do that.” As such, being filled with his own righteousness, he says that he did nothing wrong to the Lord and that the Lord is rather unrighteous. Then the Lord cast him into the outer darkness saying, “If you would have deposited my money at the bankers, you would have had the addition of interests. You didn’t even do that and had the whole talent dug in the ground.”
Having the talent dug and hidden under the ground means that he has used his talents only for his flesh while drinking and eating. My fellow believers, is it so, or is it not so? It is so. And we call this kind of a person the son of a thief. Such a person is so intolerable. If I see the servants of God and the saints who left the Church after having received the remission of sin and only use their talents for eating and drinking, I curse them at that very instant. I call such a person a son of a bitch. With the heart of the Lord I feel disgusted with such a person.
Those people will have an ugly end in the last days. The Bible has a lot of these messages. There are lots of messages on this topic. There are people who only use the talents for themselves. Those people leave the Church saying, “As I am born again I don’t need the Church anymore. I am clearly born again. I have the firm belief of being born-again. So don’t tell me to do this and to do that. Have you ever given me a bowl of rice, why are you telling me to do this and that? Why are you looking down on my personalities? Why are you poking your nose into my business? I am not the kind of person to serve you. I am a noble man. I also have been born again. You are not the only one who has been born again; so don’t tell me to do this and that. I will take care of myself.”
Does he serve the Lord if he snaps like this and leaves the Church? My fellow believers, you and I can serve the gospel only while we are staying in God’s Church. If one leaves the Church he can only live for his flesh. Those people who are living like that are unworthy ones. Even though he is a born-again man, he is a very unworthy man. As we are humans, we ourselves are unworthy without the Lord. If we don’t do the works of the Lord we are useless beings. When we use the given talents to do such things as to serve the Lord and make a profit by trading with them to serve the gospel, then we are fruitful and valuable, and we can maintain these values. If we are not like this, we become very useless people. Those people have no use. Are those people worthy? What worth does the man who only uses his money for himself and who uses all his money for eating and drinking at a nice place have?
I never rode a tour bus, but I saw the bus joggle. “Well, that bus is strange. Why is it joggling?” When I looked inside, I saw women dancing with the music. “What are they doing? Are they all crazy?” I don’t know how rigorously the people were dancing in the aisle of less than 60 cm or two feet. How narrow is the aisle in the bus? In that small aisle people dance, sing, and drink until they arrive at the destination. When the bus stops at the rest area people go to the restroom and come back to play like this. There are lots of people like this.
Of course, you and I all have excitements. When I asked some of our staff members to dance the other day, they were so good at dancing. Some staff member showed a robot dance. This really looks like a dance. Have you ever seen the dance of the dancing girls along with the saxophone music? I only saw those dances in the movies, but I figured our brother workers could do it too. I made exclamations saying, “You have a flexible body even though you are fat. How is your body so flexible?” Everybody has such a kind of excitement. It is good to have one. How great is it to dance in joy, get rid of stress, and go on a diet. It is okay to do so, but the problem is in that some people don’t serve the gospel and only pursue their carnal pleasure.
Everyone who doesn’t serve the Lord and live for the gospel is a thief, a son of a bitch, and a child of scorn. It is okay for all of you to be excited and have fun, and to eat delicious foods. But you have to keep it in your mind that if you had fun and ate a lot, you should serve the Lord too. Isn’t it a problem that you don’t serve the Lord when you have to do so? Isn’t it a problem that you leave the Church without serving the Lord? My fellow believers, we shouldn’t be such people. The Lord teaches us not to become such people. My fellow believers, we should accept this teaching. You should accept this teaching in each of your heart.
However, nevertheless this Word of God, some people leave the Church saying, “It is your words. Do you think that I will go to hell even though I received salvation? Don’t worry. I have all the faith to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I can live my own life and take care of myself even though you don’t worry for me. Though I leave the Church I will serve the gospel after making money. Just see when I have some time. Just see when I make some money. I can’t hold my lips from saying the gospel when I get the opportunity. My personality is like that by nature. So I will serve the gospel well and spread it out well. Don’t worry. My religious life is better by myself. I think you are making it worse. So don’t worry. See you. I am leaving.” How could such a person live out his faith?
My fellow believers, we shouldn’t become the wicked. Who are really the wicked in God’s Church? We often say, “You are so wicked and carnal” to each other, however, the real evil men are the ones who leave the Church. It is evil itself to think to lead a life of faith by oneself. The people who act on such thought are more evil. There is a place for us to meet with each other across the Jordan River, but unfortunately there are people who we can’t meet with at that place. At that time at you will see all the friends who have stayed in the Church, the bright place, while there will be someone whom you can’t find. No matter how many times you call his name, there will be no answer. And when you looked in the darkness on the off chance, he is crying in there. My fellow believers, this can happen. This is the Word of God.
The Lord has saved us and left us in the world to serve the gospel. Therefore, if we don’t serve the gospel, the Lord looks at us as the worst of evil. The Lord looks at those as bad people who are trying to return their salvations. There are lots of times when you feel yourself so insufficient and tiresome, saying, “It is much better for me to vanish from the Church. How well will the other brothers and sisters serve the Lord if I vanish? It is better for me to disappear.” Even though there are times that I too think like this, the reason that I can’t leave the Church is because of the Word of God, which calls me wicked and will put me into darkness if I do so. The reason why I can’t live at a cabin in a mountain and live quietly without serving the gospel is because of His Word. Because of His Word, I can’t bear to do that. So even if I am insufficient I serve the Lord staying in the Church.
I serve the works that God has entrusted me with by all the talents He has given me. The Lord is telling us by the parable of the talents of how we should live at the time of His impending coming. Though you and I are insufficient, we should stay within the Church. When we live like that, the Lord will give us all the powers and talents to serve Him even though we are insufficient. The Lord gives us the talents to serve Him. If you want to serve the Lord by material, He will give you the talents to do so. We can serve the Lord when He gives us the talents like that. We cannot give the things that we haven’t got. It is not the Lord’s will to bring the things that we don’t have. Therefore at the time of His impending coming, like the days of Noah, we should accept the teaching of His coming by faith, and serve the God’s works with faith. We should do His works with the talents that He has given us whether someone appreciates it or not, whether it is fruitful or not. We should carry out the given work whether it is big or small with diligence, faith, and loyalty.
And in our hearts we might have worries of this life on earth thinking, “This is all I have. How can I live if I offer all of the talents that I have to the Lord. Then what will I have left?” My fellow believers, however, there is nothing of which to worry. If you have the heart to serve the Lord, He will provide you with more talents. The word that the Lord will provide you with the talents means that He will give you the ability to serve. It is easy to serve the Lord with what you have got, but when you have nothing left you will become anxious. At that time He will fill your needs if you have faith and pray to God. And there are talents in you that the Lord has already given you. There are talents that the Lord has already given you, but you just can’t use them because you haven’t yet discovered and developed them within faith. In case you don’t even have the already given talents, the Lord will give you new talents. There are times when the Lord asks you to try this kind of work and that kind of work. Among those works there will be things that you never have tried so far. And there will be things that don’t fit to your aptitude. But when you try these works from the Church, you will experience that the Lord is giving you the talents to do them.
My fellow believers, we are living in the days of His impending coming. That is the reason why the Lord told us to be watchful. We should really be watchful. We should stay within the Church in all circumstances; we should sincerely carry out the jobs with the talents given to us, and believe in the words of God. Like Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you” (Acts 3:6), we should believe that the Lord has given you and me the most precious gift of all, that is, the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and we should trade with this gospel with faith. You and I should believe that we have received the most precious gospel of the water and the Spirit from the Lord and that the Lord has given us the talents to serve Him. With that faith, until His coming, we should spread out this genuine gospel to the people who don’t know this gospel in order for them to prepare for His second coming.
This mission, this commandment of God was given to you and me. Thus you and I should live by faith, quietly accepting the teaching of God in our hearts. Though all the people are interested only in eating and drinking, and together we eat and drink, we should accept the teachings of the Lord. And we should believe. And we should live within that faith. We have to do so. The world is more and more yearning the sinful features of the days of Noah. The world is becoming more and more like the days of Noah. Who would say that this age is not like the days of Noah? Even though I don’t explain how this age is like the days of Noah with specific examples, you will know the reality well through the newspapers, magazines, and televisions. That’s why I do not talk more on this.
Now is the time of His impending coming. I hope you accept this teaching. My fellow believers, do you have faith in this teaching? Yes. I hope you truly have faith in this admonition. And I hope you accept this Word of God’s admonition, and live with this faith not leaving the Church until the days of His coming.
Only those who are born-again believe that this age is the time of His impending coming. The people in the world are making a fuss in marrying and giving in marriages, and building houses. It is because that they don’t believe that the days of His coming are at hand. They make vain efforts because they don’t believe that the world will end. But we the righteous shouldn’t make such vain efforts. I want to do whatever works if they are certainly needed for the Lord. If there is any work for the Lord and the gospel, I will do it unyieldingly.
However I don’t want us to make money or to build houses only for our carnal desires. It is not for the wealth and prosperity on earth that we the born-again make money, trade, and purchase daily necessaries. All our activities are for the Lord. I hope you make money diligently. Whatever you do, eating or drinking, I just hope you live for the Lord and live within the Church even you are insufficient. I hope you use your talents that the Lord has given you and live with faith though you are insufficient. Have you got it? I sincerely hope you to live with faith. I believe in our Lord. I thank God. Amen.