The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 21 : The Gospel According to MARK

[Chapter 14-2] (Mark 14:3-9) Now Is the Time for Us To Serve God’s Gospel

(Mark 14:3-9)
“And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, ‘Why was this fragrant oil wasted? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.’ And they criticized her sharply. But Jesus said, ‘Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.’”
 
 
What Age Is This Present Age?
 
Today, I would like to share the Word with you regarding your material possessions. Perhaps some of you are thinking, “It has not seemed like Pastor Jong would ever talk about money, but now I see that he is finally bringing up the subject.” But don’t worry too much, as I am not about to ask you to offer your material possessions blindly.
This week, we took an extensive look at the proper discipleship of Jesus Christ. We have learned that self-sacrifice is necessary to follow the Lord completely, and that we must have faith in the Word of God in order to learn the true faith and become the Lord’s true disciples. Today also, I would like us to look at the Word of the Lord with this topic in mind.
Today’s Scripture passage is drawn from Mark 14:3-9, and here it is written that when Jesus was sitting at the table in the house of Simon the leper in Bethany, a woman came and poured on His head a flask of valuable oil worth more than 300 denarii, preparing Him for His burial. If you are a disciple of Jesus Christ, and if you really are one of His people, then you ought to be willing to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to spread the righteousness of God just like this woman. All of us gathered here must fear God at all times. Knowing that God is the Creator who made us, and at the same time He is the Savior who has delivered us from all the sins of the world, we should realize that He rules over not only our lives and deaths but also our everything including our happiness and curses. And with this realization we must honor the righteousness of God, love and fear Him, and worship and adore Him. Those who live as Jesus Christ’s disciples fear God in their lives like this.
Of course, such believers remember the ministry of salvation that the Lord has fulfilled to save them from their sins, but at the same time, they are also deeply interested in what God has said to them, and what Truth He is trying to teach them. Even though they cannot keep the Word of God completely, their disposition is ready to live by faith before God. That is the life of a true disciple of Jesus Christ. Like this, the disciples of Jesus Christ are those who love God and follow Him, obeying His commandments in their everyday lives.
As mentioned, today’s sermon is about your donation. Anyone who has read today’s Scripture passage can easily surmise that it’s about offering one’s material possessions to the Lord. But my point here is not to weigh your offerings, whether you offer a lot of or very little or even no offering at all. Of course, your material offerings are also important but even more important than your financial donations, is your heart’s attitude. In other words, I am asking you to examine your heart to see if the offerings that you make to the Lord are really reflective of your fear of God, and if they are indeed offered actually to God according to His requirements in order to serve Him and obey the Lord’s commandments. I would like to focus today’s sermon on this issue.
Our Lord said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). Those who truly honor and love God in fear offer their most valuable treasure to Him. This is because this is the least that they can do for God. Of course, they may do other things, but of all the acts of faith that are done to honor and exalt God, the best way to express their gratitude is offering their treasure to the Lord. That is why they want to offer their material possessions to God. In other words, those who fear God and live as Jesus Christ’s disciples want to offer their most precious and valuable treasure to the Lord. What’s important is not how much you offer to the Lord, but that you offer willingly and to the best of your God-given abilities, and this is the right way to honor and revere God.
The woman in today’s Scripture passage made such an offering to Jesus when He was at the table in the house of Simon the leper, offering a flask of fragrant oil worth more than 300 denarii, which was nearly equivalent to a laborer’s salary for the entire year in those days. The fragrant oil here expresses the sacrificial service of the woman. This woman had broken a flask of very expensive oil and poured it on Jesus’ head. As the fragrant oil was poured, the room was filled with fragrance. But when the people nearby saw this, they got indignant with this woman and said, “Why is this woman wasting such expensive fragrant oil like this?” What we need to ponder upon is whether it was really wasteful for the woman to pour this fragrant oil on Jesus’ head, or was the right thing to do.
 
 
What Do You Think about This Event?
 
The answer is clear: What the woman did was the right thing to do, something that was done to serve the Lord. Indeed, it was an admirable thing to do. Our Lord said, “For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always” (Mark 14:7). He then continued on to say, “Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her” (Mark 14:9). This woman can be described as someone who served the righteousness of the Lord completely.
Those who do not serve the Lord in their everyday lives should remember this woman. Those who do not offer their material possessions to the Lord to serve His gospel even after being born again, and those who do not offer their most precious treasure to the Lord to serve Him in any way possible, whether with their bodies or hours, do not really love the gospel of the water and the Spirit even though they have been saved. Such people, in other words, do not love the righteousness of God.
Our Lord has prepared something special for those who serve Him by offering Him their most precious treasure. It is none other than His promise that He will protect them from the hour of tribulation. When we turn to Revelations 3:10, we see God saying to the Church of Philadelphia, “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” The Lord clearly promised here that He would keep us from the hour of trial. The hour of trial will come to everyone living in this world, but when this hour comes, the Lord will protect those who have kept His Word to persevere, and He will keep them from this hour of trial.
The hour of trial here refers to the Great Tribulation described in Revelation 13:9-15, when the Antichrist appears and everyone who does not receive the mark of the Beast on his forehead or right hand is put to death.
Let’s take a moment to see what the Lord is saying about this hour of tribulation and trial. It’s written in Revelation 17:12-14: “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”
As you can see here, when the age of ten horns and ten kings arrives; Satan will give authority to a certain man, and the people belonging to him will stand against Christ. But what does the Bible say will be the result of this? It says that Jesus Christ, the King of kings, will overcome them all. It then continues on to say something very important: Those who are with the Lord are called, the chosen, and the faithful, and they will overcome their trials. The faithful here refer to those who fear God and serve the Lord diligently in their everyday lives. They refer to those who honor God sincerely from the depth of their hearts, have no other gods before Him, love Him the most, and follow Him faithfully. God said here that those who fear Him truthfully like this will fight against His enemies and overcome them in the end together with the Lord. Those who fear God will triumph in the end times by faith.
The victory here does not necessarily mean that the saints will not die, but it means that they will overcome all their tribulations by faith, even if this entails martyrdom. In other words, far from being defeated by their enemies, they will enjoy everlasting life by faith. Those who triumph by faith are those who fear God in their everyday lives and serve the Lord with their most precious treasure. It’s in their everyday lives that they serve and love God’s gospel; it’s not something that they do in time or all of a sudden when the hour of tribulation comes.
In contrast, those who do not fear God in their everyday lives are characterized by their lack of respect and love towards God, even though they have been saved by God. They do not think that God is honorable or exalted. So they take everything that’s good for their flesh and for themselves. They do not offer their treasure to the Lord, for they do not know how to serve Him.
It’s written in today’s Scripture passage that a woman brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil to Jesus, broke the flask, and poured the oil on Jesus’ head. This woman’s heart revered Jesus Christ, loved Him, and feared Him. That’s why she could offer her most precious treasure to the Lord. In contrast, those who have no fear of the Lord in their hearts are not grateful to Him, even though they may have received the same remission of sins as every other saint. Although such people are happy that they have received the remission of sins, they do not know how to serve God properly.
Such people who do not serve God in their everyday lives also think this: “When the hour of tribulation comes, I am sure that I will come to revere God, fear Him, and love Him.” But this is a delusion. Far from it, such people who don’t love God’s gospel of the water and the Spirit now in their everyday lives will get even more confused when that hour of trial comes. It’s nothing more than your own wishful thinking to expect that you will somehow come to fear God with your heart when the world is in an upheaval. Therefore, all of us must fear God in our everyday lives. Even though we are lacking, we must follow the righteousness of the Lord by faith, sacrifice ourselves for Him, and offer our precious treasure to Him. Only when we serve the Lord faithfully like this can we overcome the hour of tribulation. Those who fail to do so will not be able to overcome this hour of tribulation. I can already foresee this clearly. Think about it. The hour of tribulation is so terrible that just hearing about it is enough to make us afraid. But our God said that He will allow the faithful who have served the Lord diligently in their everyday lives to be kept from this hour of trial and overcome it.
Even when the hour of tribulation comes, those who have feared God always in their everyday lives will be able to fight and overcome the Antichrist by faith on account of this fear of God. Without even being prodded by anyone, they will make their stand and refuse to surrender to the Antichrist, saying to him boldly, “Are you standing against God? Then I will not obey your words!”
But what would happen to those who have neither feared God nor revered Him in their everyday lives, and who have had little love or respect for God? When the hour of trial comes, they will not only be afraid, but whatever little faith they have will all be broken. That the faithful will overcome is another way of saying that the unfaithful will lose. Depending on how faithfully we serve God and fear Him in our everyday lives, God will keep some of us from the hour of trial and grant this hour to others.
Therefore, for us to live our lives as the disciples of Jesus Christ, we should not just follow Him in motions, but we should rather offer our precious treasure to the Lord as His saints. In other words, we ought to revere God and love Him in our everyday lives, and we ought to believe in Him with all our hearts. We must learn to do this in our everyday lives—that is, we must learn how to fear God and how to serve the Lord faithfully in this peaceful time. Someone who is not mindful of such things in his everyday life will not know what to do when the hour of tribulation suddenly comes. Far from having faith, such people will be gripped by fear. For those who do not love God, their faith is not firmly planted, and therefore when the wind blows and the waves come crashing down, their hearts will be tossed around everywhere. Eventually, they will end up going astray in complete confusion.
 
 
You and I Must Have the Fear of God in Our Everyday Lives
 
We are the Disciples of Christ and followers of the Lord. As such we must know how to serve the Lord from the depth of our hearts. What the Lord is demanding from us in particular is our sincere hearts. He is demanding your most precious treasure. Moreover, even if God were not making such a demand, we ought to be able to express our love for the Lord by offering Him our most precious treasure without even being asked. Depending on this, this precious treasure can be our hearts, our faith, our bodies, or our material possessions.
Your material possessions can be described as the barometer of your heart’s devotion and faith. Of course, we can’t measure someone’s heart based on just his material possessions, but even so, the heart follows the money, and your heart is where your treasure is. The woman in today’s Scripture passage broke an alabaster flask of the most precious fragrant oil and poured it on Jesus’ head because she was so grateful to the Lord that He had forsaken the throne of Heaven and come to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, received baptism to accept her sins, and was about to be crucified to death to save her. It was out of her gratitude for her salvation that she had anointed Jesus’ body for His burial beforehand. As the servants of the Lord, all of us must emulate her example.
Jesus said, “For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always.” Indeed, we don’t always have the opportunity to serve the Lord. Do you think that you will always have another opportunity to serve the Lord? No, this is not the case. Moreover, we are living in such an uncertain age that we do not know for how many more years we will be able to serve the Lord. It is not true that we have unlimited hours to serve the Lord.
 
 
I Am Serving the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit Together with All Our Ministers and Saints
 
Together with you, I am serving the gospel now because unless we do this now at this present age, we will not have another opportunity. That is why I look into the future by faith and serve the Lord to the best of my abilities, even though the end times are not right before my eyes. But as I carry on with my ministry, sometimes I get weary and even disappointed with some saints. From time to time, I see some of them with lukewarm faith, but this is not true for everyone. I get very frustrated whenever I see such saints. It’s not as though we can serve the Lord anytime. Far from it now is the precious hour when we can actually serve the Lord. Moreover, the world might end at anytime, and there are already many signs indicating this. Yet despite all of this, some saints are so foolish that they are not concerned at all. And I sometimes stumble because of such saints, frustrated by their lack of concern. I have been preaching the gospel with much devotion, yet some of our saints have no concern at all, and so sometimes I am not sure who is normal. It’s very easy for you to succumb to self-complacency like this unless you rely on the Word of God and faithfully fulfill your God-given calling before His presence.
What is all too clear is that we can hear the Lord approaching us nearer and nearer. Step for step, we can hear His approaching footsteps. As we hear this sound so clearly, we cannot ignore it. That’s why we must serve the Lord now when we still can. If we put it off and miss this present opportunity, we will regret it forever. What can we ever do when the hour of tribulation is upon us? Would we be able to publish our gospel books even if we had all the money? Would we be able to go abroad and preach the gospel? No, we won’t be able to do anything. We will have no other choice but to be confined in our neighborhoods and sit around in our homes, doing nothing but eating and drinking. So if we ever plan to offer our material possessions to the Lord, we must do so now. If we ever want to serve the Lord, we must serve Him now!
We must indeed preach the Lord’s gospel of the water and the Spirit throughout the whole wide world before the Lord returns to this earth. How God will work in the end times should be left to Him; meanwhile, we must do what we can right now. Let me make it clear to you: If you want to serve the Lord, serve Him right now. Do not think that you can put it off for several years and then start serving the Lord. By then all the money you would offer would be completely useless. This is not what God is asking you to do. Rather, He is asking you to serve Him right now. There is a proper time for everything, even when it comes to farming. There is a time to sow, a time to water, and a time to give fertilizers. The same is true for living out your faith. If you want to serve the Lord, then serve Him now.
If you really fear God and want the Lord’s gospel to be spread all over the world, then begin this work now at this very moment. You must work for the Lord now, offer your material possessions to Him now, and live your life now for the Lord. Who knows what will happen to us in the future? No one knows what will happen tomorrow. That is why all of us must do God’s bidding now at this present moment. Fearing God is all about being mindful of His work right at this very moment, faithfully carrying out every work God has entrusted to us, and revering God and loving Him in this way. This is what it means to have faith and to fear God. When the woman in today’s Scripture passage offered Jesus her valuable treasure, what did the Lord say to His disciples? He said, “You have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always” (Mark 14:7). This passage means that there is an appropriate time even when it comes to matters of faith. And you must remember deep in your heart that now is the time to live out your faith.
We have been publishing our gospel books to share with people all over the world, and I plan to complete this ministry soon. The gospel of the water and the Spirit will be spread all over the world in a short while. If we just endure our labor a bit more, we will be able to preach the gospel of the Lord completely to reach every corner of the world. I know that some of you are wondering how this is possible. But I am not working by myself. Because we have coworkers laboring with us, although their number is not large, together with them we are more than able to preach the gospel across the whole wide world. Having many laborers is not always ideal.
I would like to say to you and myself the following: Let’s serve the Lord now when we can. Do not try to conserve your energy to serve the Lord later; instead, if you really want to serve the Lord then serve Him right now. The Lord said that the faithful who fear God will overcome the end times. Although we don’t know exactly how God will keep us from the hour of trial, all of us will find out in time.
Those of you who have feared God in your everyday lives would know very well what I am talking about. All of us must serve the Lord faithfully in our everyday lives. It’s nothing more than an excuse to say that you will serve the Lord next year or the year after. No other time but now is when you must serve the Lord. I am not asking you to serve the Lord just by offering your materials possessions. Rather, I am asking you to serve God with your heart out of reverence. In other words, you must love God, honor Him, exalt Him, and willingly offer Him your treasures.
All of us must have faith to fear God. Only then can we overcome the world on account of this faith to revere God, no matter what happens to this world. But what will happen if we neither fear God nor serve the Lord in our everyday lives? We will drift away from the Lord and fall away from our faith. We will end up saying goodbye to the Lord. It is every disciple’s duty to follow his teacher. But as those who have become the Lord’s disciples, where will we go in the end if we were not to follow the Lord in our lives? Do you think that you can just go to your Church when the end times come? But when the last hour of tribulation is upon us, there won’t be anyone righteous in any church buildings where the born-again saints used to gather.
It’s my expectation that about two-thirds of you sitting here will be martyred. Those who do not partake in this martyrdom do not know how to fear and serve God. Such people have made up their minds and say, “Well, now that I have been saved, I will just do the bare minimum.” These people lead their lives of faith out of obligation, for their hearts have no fear of God at all. They think, “Don’t ask me for too much. I am grateful that Jesus has saved me, but I would feel overburdened if too much is demanded from me. Don’t make me upset by asking me too much, as I will then just stop doing anything at all, and so wait for me quietly. I will work more diligently in ten or twenty year’s time. So wait until then.” This, my fellow believers, is insulting the Lord.
This kind of faith is not the faith that truly fears God. Do you think that God’s Church is some kind of company? The Church is not a company, where you can punch in a time clock and idle around the whole day, taking a long lunch break and still getting paid for doing as little as possible. That’s not the way we serve the Lord. Rather, we serve the Lord because we are so grateful that the Lord has saved us from the sins of the world through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It’s all because we love the Lord that we offer our most precious treasure to Him and serve other souls.
If you don’t fear God now, then prepare yourself to leave the Church sooner or later. You may then think, “I will never leave the Church. Why should I?” But no one leaves the Church because he wants to. Rather, one leaves the Church because he has to, even if he does not want to. Does anyone drift around in a distant sea because he wants to? No, one drifts around in the sea because there is some serious problem with his boat. Perhaps the engine died, or the rope tying the boat to the dock came off and the boat was pushed out by the current. Either way, when the boat hits the reef and gets shipwrecked, it will sink in the end.
The moral of the story is this: Unless we fear God in our hearts, it is inevitable for us to depart from the Lord even though we have been saved. Admit wholeheartedly that Jesus is actually God, respect Him, love Him, fear Him and thank Him. Unless you do this, you are bound to be carried away by the currents of this world and drift far away from the Lord. If you just believe in your salvation without fearing God in your heart, then you will be forced by your own circumstances or seized by your weaknesses to ultimately drift away from the Church. In short, you will not be able to overcome the world.
In our hearts we must have the fear of God. All of us must have God in the center of our hearts, and we must believe that He is our Lord who made us, saved us from all our sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, gave us Heaven and rules over our everything. Like this, we must thank the living God from the depth of our hearts, respect Him and exalt Him, and pray to Him and seek His grace. You must have such a heart and such faith to serve the Lord as your God. Only then can you live out your faith properly and follow the Lord until He returns. And only then can you live your life as someone who has become a disciple of the Lord.
Although you are weak, you must realize that the Lord is exalted, and only then can you receive the Lord’s affection, thank Him, and serve Him. If you otherwise think nothing of the Lord, you cannot do anything. You will achieve nothing because you would be ignoring the Lord. That is why it’s so imperative for all of us to fear God in our hearts.
Those who revere God properly serve the Lord in whatever capacity they can, even if it’s small. The woman who poured fragrant oil on the Lord did not do this to be saved because she was not saved yet. Far from it, she already knew very well in her mind who Jesus was, why He had been baptized, and why He would have to die on the Cross. She poured the fragrant oil on Him like this because she knew all these things and was grateful to Him.
 
 
The Woman Did This Because She Foresaw the Spreading of the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
 
Jesus said that the woman in today’s Scripture passage was preparing to spread the gospel beforehand. She offered her most precious treasure to the Lord because she was someone who feared God. The Lord said, “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:20-21). By any chance, are you now thinking to yourself, “I see that Reverend Jong is no different from everyone else. In the end, he is asking me to offer my money”? I am not just asking you to donate your money to the Church. Although your financial contributions are important, this is something that’s entirely up to you. What’s important is not your money, but your unwavering faith.
In other words, in your heart and mine we must all have the fear of God. All of us must love the gospel of the water and the Spirit with our hearts. We must have reverence for the Lord. In short, we must realize just how exalted our God is. For those who have no respect for God and think little of Jesus, there is something that God has prepared. It is that He will stomp on them at the hour of trial. When this hour comes, such people will be full of regret and beg the Lord to help them only then. They will blame themselves and say, “If I knew that I was going to die like this, and that I was going to lose everything without even being able to spend any of it, then I would have offered it all to the Lord. All this time I have been storing up my treasure in vain; what have I gained from it?”
In contrast, when this hour of trial comes, those who have served the Lord faithfully, feared Him, prayed to Him, taken care of the Church, treasured the gospel, and lived for this gospel in their everyday lives will think of only the following: “The time has now come for me to die for the Lord and be martyred for His name.” For these people, there is no such a thing as a life lived in regret. They will never have any regrets. When the hour of trial comes, they will pray to God, “Lord, I am full of shortcomings, but please help me endure the trials that are coming. If You plan to take me away, help me to overcome my tribulations, so that I may not betray my faith but stand upright before You.” With such prayers, they will overcome Satan by faith and stand boldly before the presence of God.
In contrast, those who have no fear of God in their everyday lives spend all their money just for themselves. They offer none of it to the Lord. Nor are they interested in the work of spreading the Lord’s gospel throughout the world. Even when someone is saved, they remain so indifferent that they don’t care at all.
My fellow believers, because all of us are weak beings full of shortcomings, we must fear God in our hearts if we want to lead an upright life and abide in the Lord in the end times. None of us is exempt from this just because we have been born again and delivered from the condemnation of sin. Fear of the Lord is absolutely indispensable to every believer. All of us must revere Him, respect Him, fear Him, and bow our heads before Him realizing just how exalted God is. And denying all our thoughts in obedience to His Word, we must believe in Him and follow Him unconditionally. All of us must have such faith and disposition. Of course, we still have certain weaknesses. But God holds this secure to the center of our hearts, takes care of our weaknesses, and leads us. He helps us and blesses us, so that we may stand even more uprightly. Although human beings only see one’s outside appearance, but the Lord sees the center of our hearts. God looks at our hearts to see whether we have the right disposition or not.
We are now trying to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit all over the world, and although we don’t have that much time, the Lord has clearly shown us that He is working in this world right now at this very moment to make sure that the gospel is spread rapidly all over the world. Of course, the Lord has not taught us the exact day and month of His return, but He has taught us through the Word when He would return. Now is the time to serve the Lord. It will be too late if we wait any longer. Perhaps some of you are thinking, “How do you know this? If you want to serve the Lord so much, then do it yourself without me.” Although I am an insufficient man, God has taught me that the Lord’s return is imminent. I know this because I believe in His Word.
I have the responsibility to tell you that now is the time to carry out God’s work. Unless the servants and saints of God serve Him right now, it will be too late. Could we serve the Lord at the hour of tribulation? When this church building is inundated by a flood, could anyone be preaching here? Could any of us serve the gospel then? Could we share the gospel and have fellowship with any soul? No, of course not! The whole church building will be completely ruined and we would have to flee to the top of the mountain. We must carry out God’s work while we can before the arrival of this tribulation, before the Great Tribulation that the Lord spoke of is here in full-scale.
 
 
Our World Mission Plan for the Future
 
We are now planning to open a branch office in Russia or Northern Europe and make it our base camp to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit to the whole of Europe. We also plan to send a servant of God to India, much as we have a branch office in New York City. Of course, we will continue to publish our gospel books as well. I am not even concerned about the financial resources that are necessary to spread the gospel. All that I do is just carry out diligently what God commands me to do. God’s work is not something that is achieved by fidgeting over it. Rather, we prepare for the Lord’s work whenever we can, move forward with God’s servants whenever we can, and work to the best of our abilities whenever we can. When we thus continue to work diligently in the coming years, countless souls will be saved all over the world. And when tribulation arrives in full-scale, I am sure that these people will be martyred righteously for their faith.
It’s written in the Book of Revelation, “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’” (Revelation 7:9-10)
As it is written here, I have every confidence that through the gospel that we are now preaching, countless people will come to believe in this gospel, stand against Satan, lay down their lives courageously in martyrdom, and ultimately enter the Kingdom of God together with us and live there forever. I am absolutely convinced that when the Lord returns to this earth, these people will also be resurrected along with us and enjoy everlasting life in the next world. It is with such assured faith that we are carrying out the Lord’s work. Our work is not something that will fall apart in just a year or two, but it is something that we are carrying out now with foresight, able to see far into the future to the end of the world.
We have published and shipped out so many books in so many languages all over the world. We recently signed a contract with the four largest distributors in the United States. The sales managers of these companies are not stupid. The pastors and experts there signed the contract with us only after examining our books carefully and meticulously. If there were anything wrong with our books, then they would not have accepted them.
To the Christians in the Western countries, I have written in my books frankly and publicly as follows: “Although Christianity you believe in has a long history spanning hundreds of years, you are entirely ignorant of the real gospel. Here is the real gospel of the water and the Spirit. The gospel of the water and the Spirit is the true gospel. Everyone should read our gospel books, from theologians to scholars, pastors and laymen, and even inmates in the prison. This is how Jesus has saved all of us from our sins, the entire human race, and each and every sinner of this world—by coming to this earth, bearing the sins of mankind by being baptized by John the Baptist, carrying the sins of the world to the Cross and dying on it, and rising up from the dead. This is the Truth of salvation. The Lord is our Savior. He has saved us through His baptism and blood. See and believe!”
We have preached the gospel of the water and the Spirit in this way. Even now, countless people are reading our books and witnessing the wonderful work of God arising to blot out all their sins from their hearts and bring the remission of sins to them. Such wonderful news is streaming in from every corner of the world. In India, some pastors have even invited us to there, saying to us, “We have never seen such a wonderful and astonishing book before. Could you come here and hold a revival meeting? We would like to hold the meeting in 2001, and we would appreciate it greatly if you could come. We are willing to pay all your expenses.” They also said that they wanted to print out our books at their own expense and share them with their countrymen.
I am not just bragging here. Rather, I am pointing out that these people have truly recognized the value of our books. Do you think that they are stupid? Our coworkers sharing fellowship with us and laboring together with us are no ordinary people. They are quite renowned in their areas for their competence and stature. They are very influential in their respective denominations as well.
The gospel that we have is not something that any of us should be ashamed of. Nor is it something that hurts our own interests. Far from it, it is the only Truth in the world and it is the most precious treasure. Some of you may think, “I have made a lot of financial contributions to serve this gospel, but it seems like it’s just been a waste of money,” but it’s never a waste to serve the Lord and His gospel with your material possessions.
Even though there are certain physical limits to how much we can do to serve the Lord, at least with our spiritual hearts we can fear God, revere Him, love Him, and exalt Him endlessly. God is the exalted Creator of the universe and its entire host. What could we then offer Him? Our material possessions are but one of the many things that we can offer Him. The Bible invokes us countless times to serve the gospel with our material possessions, saying to us, “Make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon” (Luke 16:9), as well as, “Cast your bread upon the waters, For you will find it after many days” (Ecclesiastes 11:1).
My fellow believers, this gospel which the Lord gave to us is truly worthy of our service, and we must indeed serve it. If you can serve neither this gospel nor the Lord with your material possessions even as you profess to fear God, then this can only mean that you do not really love the Lord with your heart. This actually proves that there is no fear of God in your heart. If you can’t serve the Lord because you are too poor, then you can always pray to God with all your heart and say, “Lord, I am too poor to serve You. Please bless me to prosper so that I may serve You.” When you ask the Lord like this, you will receive what you ask of Him and prosper, until you are finally able to offer your material possessions to the Lord.
I am not asking you here to offer a lot of money to the Church. Far from it, I am just saying that you must have fear of the Lord in your heart. What is there that you cannot do, if you just put your mind to it? Are there any saints neglecting the Lord’s work and just watching it in idleness, even as they are now living in such an urgent era? Are there such people just sitting around and watching as spectators even when this gospel is proclaimed all over the world? Even at this very moment, God’s servants are working all night long and enduring so much hard work overseas. I don’t ask you to do such hard work yourself. In reality, all of us are the same servants of the Lord. You are supporting the gospel ministry from behind, while your church leaders are working at the frontline to the best of their abilities.
Indeed, our ministers are almost militant when it comes to spreading the gospel. Our ministers and evangelists in China sent us a news report recently, telling us that dozens of people there have now realized clearly why Jesus was baptized and understood the gospel of the water and the Spirit. They also said that they wanted to receive more books. About 30 people are worshipping in an underground church, and they asked us to send them just 30 more books. So our workers gave them these books. About 700 books have made their way into China through such a process. These books will be circulating all around China, so long as the people there don’t throw them away.
China has over 1.3 billion people, and more and more of them are converting to Christianity nowadays. A fervent revival is arising in China, similar to the one that arose in Korea when Christianity was first introduced, and the believers there are experiencing many kinds of wonderful things if they just believe in Jesus. The fever is so great that anyone who tries to stop evangelism is called a demon. The problem, however, is that although there is a great revival going on in China, the true gospel is actually nowhere to be found. Yet even under such dire circumstances, our books will continue to be sent there. Like this, the gospel is now firmly planted in China to spread all over. Those in China who fear God, look for Him, yearn to receive the remission of sins, and want to meet the Lord and go to Heaven can now find the right path. I have every confidence that the gospel will soon be spread throughout China.
The same work of God is unfolding everywhere in the world, from Asia to the English-speaking world, Africa, Central and South America, and Eastern Europe. There are so many places to work. We also have to print many more books. I have said this so many times before that you may be sick and tired of hearing about these books, but don’t be. Let’s endure in patience and love our literature ministry.
As you know, Catholicism is the dominant religion in some European countries. But even so, I believe that true Christianity will once again flourish there. Recently, the gospel of the water and the Spirit entered Germany for the first time. As you no doubt know, Germany is the home country of Martin Luther, the famous reformer who advocated justification by faith. As one of the fathers of Protestantism, Luther translated the Bible into German vernacular for the first time. But it’s only now that the true gospel has made its way into this country. Seen in this light, Luther had failed to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit like everyone else. All that he did was just break away from the Catholic Church; he had not preached the true gospel. On the contrary, the gospel that Luther preached was a pseudo-gospel without the core truth, akin to a fake diamond ring. It was a powerless gospel that could not blot out any sins no matter how ardently people believed in it.
But in this last age, God has bestowed His grace especially on us despite our many shortcomings, to be honored and served through us, and to fulfill His will. He has entrusted His work to us to reward us and bless us. Many amazing things are happening. I have not talked about them at all because I don’t want you to think that I am bragging, but there really are many astonishing things happening. So don’t turn your face away from the Lord’s work. Don’t just sit there idling away. Instead, serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit together with your fellow saints, and support this ministry with your financial contributions. Let us all work together. If you don’t carry out the Lord’s work, then God will ask someone else to carry out this righteous work.
Now is the time to serve the Lord. The Lord said, “You have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always” (Mark 14:7). It’s not as though we can serve the Lord anytime. Perhaps we only have a few years left. The Christian community in Korea is in a complete mess. Arguing over doctrinal issues all the time, its leaders are denouncing each other. All that they do is just defend their doctrines of their respected denominations. So whenever anything new appears, they blindly reject it no matter what it is. So when I go abroad, I don’t pay much attention to Korean Christians there. But foreigners are not so blindly conservative. When they come across something new, they verify it in detail, accept it if they like it, and praise it if they see something groundbreaking. When we first published our books, we actually faced a lot of detraction. But how is it now? Many people are being saved through our books. Many have received the remission of their sins. God is rejoicing. He is pleased by this work that we are carrying out.
What takes 100 years for the peoples of this world to accomplish; we can achieve it in just one year. Indeed, we can accomplish it in one year what others take 500 years to finish. That’s because this gospel that we are preaching is the Truth. Once we answer a few questions that people may have after reading our books, they will come to know the Truth clearly. They will know and believe for sure why Jesus is their Savior and their God, how He has saved them from sin, how He has blotted out their sins, and why they will go to Heaven if they believe in this Truth.
So let us all serve this gospel. Just as the woman in today’s Scripture passage broke an alabaster flask of priceless fragrant oil and poured it on Jesus’ head, I ask you all to offer your most precious treasure to the Lord. That, my fellow believers, is the right faith. You must be willing to offer your precious treasure to the Lord gladly.
Does this sound as though I am asking you for your financial contribution? Yes, I am in fact asking you for your financial support. But I am not asking you to offer your money to me, but to the very Lord in whom you believe. In other words, I am admonishing you to offer your material possessions to the Lord who has saved you and everyone all over the world. I am pleading you to offer your most precious treasure to the Lord for the proclamation of the gospel. I have no shame at all in my conscience to say this.
Let us then all offer ourselves to the Lord and serve Him. Your service is never in vain. It is very much worthwhile. The opportunity presents itself now. So let us serve the Lord now. We will open a branch in Northern Europe as we have done so in New York, send God’s servants there, and preach the gospel throughout all the European countries together with our coworkers there. We will base our literature ministry in India to cover Central Asia, and New York for the English-speaking world.
Let us all participate in this work. Let us work together. In unity, let us together overcome the hour of tribulation and trial by trusting in God. Let us live by our faith in God’s righteousness.