“In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, ‘Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops. And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God. And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.’”
There Is No Hypocrisy of Man That Won’t Be Revealed before God
In today’s Scripture passage, our Lord said these three things: “Beware the leaven of the Pharisees,” “Fear your God,” and “Do not blaspheme against the Holy Spirit.”
Just as our Lord personally said to beware the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, the Pharisees were very hypocritical. There probably isn’t anyone as hypocritical in this world as the Pharisees were. If we just read the Lord’s saying that warns us especially to beware the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, we can know how hypocritical they were. They were very pious, virtuous, and clean in their outward appearances. So, the Lord told us to beware of these outward appearances. No matter how modest their appearances were, no matter how pious they looked, and no matter how much they claimed to serve God, all of their hypocrisy was revealed before God.
My fellow believers, we must keep in mind the Word of the Lord saying to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. Today’s Christians must truly beware the leaven of hypocrites. Can anyone hide what he has before the Lord? Can a person hide his heart, the sins in him, or anything belonging to him before God? People can’t hide anything. Even so, the Pharisees tried to thoroughly hide themselves before God.
My fellow believers, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the Pharisees in movies, but if you look at the clothes that they wear, the hem of their garments is very big. They covered their faces with those hems if a leper came toward them while they were walking. They didn’t even look at them, saying, “Unclean, unclean.” The Pharisees lived so piously that they wouldn’t look at anything unclean at all. Accordingly, they looked pious beyond description as far as their outward appearances were concerned.
But our Lord says to beware their leaven. The Lord said to beware it because they were very hypocritical. At the time Jesus was on this earth, many people were deceived a lot by the Pharisees. The Pharisees were actually very, very hypocritical. The appearances of the Pharisees, whether they are those of the past or those of today, are very refined. They never curse. They even walk in a very holy manner. You probably know if you have lived a religious life, but I can’t describe how much people who are empty on the inside embellish their outward appearances. People who live religious lives do that more than anyone else in the world. Their behavior is so pious that none of us who have been saved can even imitate them at all. I can’t explain how virtuously they pray after kneeling and putting their hands together as soon as they enter the chapel. There are times when we come to Church, plop down on a chair, and pray saying, “God the Father, please help me.” We usually pray so briefly that another person could not notice whether we have prayed or not. You and I can’t be compared to the Pharisees at all in regards to our outward appearances and formality.
I have believed in Jesus over 30 years, even though I lead my religious life for the first ten years not knowing how to be born again. It was the same long ago. But if there was just one characteristic of people who have not been born again, it is that they are very hypocritical. They are very, very hypocritical. How is that so? Their outward appearances are so smooth and smart that no one else can even approach. But if you take a look at their insides, they never open the doors of their hearts. Only their outward appearances are smooth. It is totally impossible to tell what is in their hearts just like the Kremlin in the U.S.S.R. Their outward appearances, like a wall of iron, are built up so strongly that I can’t explain. It is so stout that it really can’t be described in words.
My fellow believers, single men and women talk about things as if they know everything, but things are not what they seem. You may probably wonder why it is that couples fight when you see them do so, but you will be the same when you get married, too. You now wonder how it’s possible for a woman to say something bad about her husband? Try getting married. You will be the same. The wife naturally says bad things like that if her husband bothers her too much after they are married. You young people don’t think you’ll be like that, right? Everyone will be the same.
But hypocritical people are so showy that they never say anything bad about people in front of them. In front of them, they say, “Oh, OK, you’re right. I understand you.” But they turn around and curse, saying, “Man, you son of a bitch.” Then, they go before God and say, “God, I cursed someone. I couldn’t control my heart. Please, forgive me!” So, who knows what’s inside of them? People who are very hypocritical like this close themselves to others so thoroughly like an iron wall that you can never hear anything about their real intention if you meet them and talk. You can never be with them because they pretend to be so outwardly pious only.
If you now meet people who live lives of faith without having been born again, you cannot have true fellowship with them because they disguise their hearts so well. If you try to talk a little about God’s righteousness with them, you feel that they are living very holy lives and you, on the other hand, are living a very worthless life of nothingness. They seem to be holy and special. So, you can’t speak with those kinds of people very well because your heart finds no route to communicate with their hearts. People can share fellowship with each other when they recognize their insufficiencies. If someone tries to cover his insufficiencies and embellish himself by pretending to keep all of God’s Law, there is truly no gratitude for God’s righteousness in that person. So, we can’t have true connections with those kinds of people. They are the modern version of the Pharisees, and today’s Christianity is full of such Pharisees when we see it spiritually. They think they are leading good religious lives even though they are not born again, don’t believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and have sin in their hearts. These kinds of people totally cover themselves with their hypocrisy. Therefore, when someone tells them about something, they state their opinion firmly as if they know everything. If they hear one word, they say ten words about the topic. So, we can’t speak with them anymore. If you say one thing, they say two things; if you say five things, they say ten. Therefore, you can never hold a conversation with them.
These kinds of people are deceiving themselves. Jesus said to beware the leaven of those Pharisees. The leaven spoken of here means their teachings that are worldly, hypocritical, and lowly. The Pharisees claimed to believe in God well. If there was anyone in the world who believed in God the most, that person must be a Pharisee. Jesus also acknowledged them when He said, “Unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” The righteousness of the Pharisees was actually very great. They lived very good lives, spoke of only good things to say, and lived nicely and cleanly. They lived so well that our Lord said we had to be more righteous than the Pharisees’ righteousness to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The Pharisees were people who believed in God so well that they even seemed to be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven for themselves if they had tried just a little more. Obviously, we also can’t follow them by our deeds. But what is the important thing? Those Pharisees couldn’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven because they lacked just one thing.
The Pharisees Were So Arrogant As to Challenge Jesus
Luke 7:36-50 describes an account of a woman who brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil. She came into the room of a Pharisee where Jesus was invited and stood at His feet behind Him weeping. She began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. What did the Pharisee who had invited Him speak to himself when he saw this? He remained still as the sinful woman came and washed and touched His feet. The Pharisee said to himself, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.” As such, these Pharisees thought they were people who lived more righteous lives than Jesus. They are pretty audacious, aren’t they? Therefore, I’m at a loss for words.
These Pharisees had their own precepts that they had inherited. They all lived according to their own precepts. They place more importance on man’s precepts which they had inherited traditionally than the Word of God. They believed more in the words and thoughts of man taught to them by their elders or ancestors than the lessons from the Word of God. There are similar phenomena today. Christians nowadays trust more in the references to the passages of the Bible rather than God’s Word itself. They put more stock in the notes that are recorded below every page of the Bible. They believe 100% in the notes and lay more stress on them than they actually believe in the Word of the Bible. They don’t care what the Word of the Bible says. It is more important to them what is recorded in those notes. Many people today actually believe that way.
These Pharisees totally feigned being holy. So, Jesus said, “Beware of their leaven. Beware of their precepts. Truly beware of their teachings. You will also die if you accept them. Beware of their hypocrisy.” The Almighty God sees everything about them, even though they have hidden themselves. So, the Bible said, “For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops” (Luke 12:2-3).
That is true. Our Lord knows everything about us. He knows the sweet words of men whose lips are smooth as if they have put oil on them; He knows the thoughts and desires their hearts harbor; He knows what sins have been committed in secret; He knows what they believe in, and He knows every action they make in their lives as if looking at them with a microscope. When we look at a goldfish in its bowl, we see everything unobstructed, don’t we? We can know everything about that goldfish: How it moves its fins, how the water moves when it moves its fins, what happens when it goes between the weeds in its tank, how it drinks water, what its eyes are like, what color it is, and which way it moves when its tail fin moves to the side. God is the same. He knows not only the Pharisees, but He knows all of us.
Is there anything hidden that will not be revealed before God? There is nothing that will not be found out, even if it was hidden. There are obviously sins in the hearts of the Pharisees. Such hypocrites appear to believe well on the outside, but what is inside? There are sins there. So, there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed before God.
What Can Man Hide before God? Can They Hide Their Sins?
People never talk about their shameful sins, even if they talk about everything else under the sun. Instinctively hiding sins like that is also a sin. Lying to others and deceiving one’s own conscience are revealed eventually before God. Our Lord knows everything. If we read Luke 12:4, our Lord said, “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.” What does this mean? It means that all people can do to others is just killing their bodies. There is nothing else they can do after that. What can be done to someone who is already dead? Sending a person to hell is something man can never do.
However, in Luke 12:5, our Lord said, “But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” The Lord is saying that we must fear God who will judge our souls. That is right. People must fear God. God clearly exists, even though we can’t see Him with our eyes. He thrusts the souls of people who have not received the remission of sins and those who do not obey His Word of Truth into the endless fires of hell. This is the reason we should fear God. We must know that there will be His awful judgment for the sinners. We must also know that God made hell and sends people there and that we are people who can’t help but go to hell if He sends us, and we must fear Him. That is the only reason we should fear Him.
But there are people who don’t fear God. People who don’t fear Him absolutely go to hell when they die, even if they are as daring as a lion while they are alive. You have to think about it carefully. Most people dare not to fear God even while knowing they will go to hell because they have sin. Therefore, all people must fear God.
People who haven’t received the remission of sins cannot help but fear God. So, a common trait of people who haven’t received the remission of sins is that they try to hide their sins. But if they are people who truly fear God, they must receive the remission of their sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. There are people around us who try hard in order to receive the cleansing of their sins. They have to properly receive the remission of sins through God. People must try hard their whole lives to receive the remission of sins. If there is one thing people must exert their strength on until they go before the Lord, it is to receive the remission of sins. People who don’t want to receive the remission of sins and just try to enjoy the world day in and day out are fools. Who else are fools other than the people who don’t even know they are going to hell or don’t try to resolve this problem even though they know they are going to hell? Whoever concerns himself with the next life will definitely receive the remission of his sins. If one just gives a little attention to his problem of sin, he can receive the remission of sins from God.
Why Do People Not Believe in the God-given Grace of Salvation and Try to Avoid It?
The words in one of our hymns say “Don’t avoid it, don’t avoid it.” These words mean that “the Lord comes to us and tries to give us the grace of salvation through the gospel of the water and the Spirit; so, why do people try to avoid it?” Why do they try to avoid the Lord’s salvation because of the sins they have committed? Our Lord took all of our sins at once. He knows everything about us. Keep that in mind. Jesus Christ came to us with God’s righteousness in order to save you and me from all those sins.
We must know that righteousness of God. God isn’t just some nice guy. Do you understand? Should I tell you a story that happened long ago? There was a certain nice person long ago. He had a friend, but his friend wasn’t that good of a person. They were walking together one day and the guy who wasn’t that nice started thinking, “I should tease my friend because he’s so nice.” So, he grabbed his friend’s arm and pulled it up behind his back. A person’s arm can get broken if you do that harshly. Even so, he kept pulling up on his friend’s hand. The nice guy told him to knock it off, but the guy who wasn’t so nice pulled his hand up even more. He pulled his hand up quite a bit. He kept pulling up on his hand even after the good guy said it hurt. However, he hurt his friend a lot. So, the nice guy said, “If you keep it up, my arm’s going to break.” But the other guy just kept pulling up on it. Then, there was a slight cracking sound. The nice guy said, “I said you’re going to break it!” This time, the other guy pulled up on it sharply. Then, the nice guy’s arm totally broke. The bad guy kept raising his arm up until it broke. Do you know what the nice guy said after that? He said, “Look, you broke it.” Is there anyone who can react like this nice guy? If there is such a person, he is really a nice guy. God is not just some nice guy.
God clearly speaks to you and me. He tells us to receive the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit while living on this earth. He exhorts us to receive the remission of sins. Our Lord waits for us for one year, 10 years, or even 100 years. God is that merciful. But what else does He say to us? He says, “I will send you to hell if you don’t receive the remission of even just the smallest one of your sins. You still have opportunities on this earth. Receive the remission of sins. Give ear a little to Me. Spare Me just a little time. Receive the remission of sins and get to know Me a little. Listen to what I say.” God thus exhorts you and me to receive the remission of sins.
That is right. God exhorts us daily through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. He exhorts us and then, if that doesn’t work, He gives us hardships to make us seek Him. God actually does various things to save us. He sometimes even takes people away lest they should lose their salvation. He also takes away some others by killing them when they stand against Him and His Church to the end. What does God do if He takes them away? As I just said, God isn’t just like some nice guy. When He is furious, He says to His angels, “I’m going to have to toss this guy in the eternal fires of hell. I’ll have to put him in the fires that never end. Go and get him.” So, the angel of death goes and gets that person’s soul. People’s bodies get stiff when they die. I can’t explain how hard it is to move a body like that. If you handle it a little roughly, the body parts will break off. Anyway, the angel of God brings the soul before God, saying, “God, I have brought him.” Then, God says, “You little punk. I told you to receive the remission of your sins, but you didn’t, did you? There is only one place I can send you. Angels, open the door. Open the door to that hot place and send this guy through.” The Lord Jesus Christ told His disciples to fear God because our God will bring those stiff bodies back to life and toss them along with their souls into the fire that never ends at the last day. This is the truth. There is without doubt a judgment of God waiting for every sinner as the Bible says, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
Even though our God has a lot of love, there is a limit to it. God who created this world has all authority. He has the power to send you and me to the Kingdom of Heaven and the power to send us to hell. We must live with a clear knowledge of this. We must live with a clear knowledge of the fact that God has power. If you are not a beast that perishes, you must live by knowing this at least: You must live by fearing God whom you should fear and honoring Him whom you should honor. You also must live in society while knowing this. My fellow believers, I hope that you definitely live the remainder of your lives fearing God.
Let’s Look at Luke 12:8-10
The Lord said, “Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God. And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven” (Luke 12:8-10).
The Lord talks here about people who confess Him before others and then about people who deny Him. So, what does this mean? If someone acknowledges to others what Jesus had done, God personally says that person is one of His people and that he is a person who has been saved. When he stands before the judgment seat of God, God will tell His angels “That person is one of My people.” But, what happens to a person who clearly did not confess to others that Jesus saved him? What happens to those who deny Him? If a person denies what Jesus Christ has done for Him saying, “Jesus couldn’t take away all my sins. He took away original sins but couldn’t take away my personal sins,” the Lord will curse him as He says “I will deny him before My angels.”
He says, “Go get him.” The angel of death always comes and takes away those who are appointed. The angel reports to God saying, “I have brought so-and-so here, God.”
Then, God looks at him and speaks to him, “Do you know Me?”
The person might say, “Oh, Lord, of course I believed in You when I was on the earth. I’m so glad to see You in person.”
God asks, “Do you really know Me?”
The person might say, “I do. I believed in You for 30 years; how could I not know You? I called on the Lord for thirty years. Couldn’t You hear me?”
Then, God says, “So, do you know Me or not?”
That person replies, “I do. I know You thoroughly.”
Then, God says, “But I don’t know you.”
Then, that person says, “What are You talking about? I called on Your name and lived for You for 30 years; why don’t You know me?”
God says, “What did I do for you? Did I eliminate all your sins or couldn’t I?”
That person says, “You eliminated them all.”
God says, “So, how did those sins of yours go away?”
That person says, “You took away my original sin when you died on the Cross and forgave my personal sins everyday when I offered prayers of repentance.”
Then, God says, “Is that how I eliminated your sins? So, did you tell others that I took away all your sins or that I couldn’t take them all away? Didn’t you say that I took them away but that you had sin if you came to commit it? So, isn’t that saying that I couldn’t’ take away all your sins?”
That person says, “Oh, no, not at all. I lived a clean life by believing in You according to the doctrine of sanctification, and now I am here before You; what are You talking about?”
Then, God says, “I don’t know you. Angels, open that door. Conduct this person to hell because I don’t know him.”
My fellow believers, what does this mean? It means that people who deny our Lord before others will also be denied by Him. Even if the heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle of the Word spoken here by our Lord shall ever pass away till they are all fulfilled. Do you believe this? God will definitely fulfill them all. Therefore, people who receive the remission of sins live fearlessly in front of their foes. That is because we the righteous know that people who reject God’s love and fight against Him will be treated as God has promised, even if we do nothing. So, we can live happily in this world having nothing to do with them. What is bound on this earth shall be bound in Heaven. A person who denies God on this earth will be denied in Heaven.
The Lord said, “And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven” (Luke 12:10). Do you know what this means? People who blaspheme against the Holy Spirit can never be forgiven, and the sin of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit is a sin that will clearly get a person sent to hell.
I believe in all the things that God has done. I believe the fact that Jesus is the Son of God. I believe the fact that He is the Person who created everything in this world. I believe that He is our God. I believe that He is the Son of God and the Creator who made us. I believe that God came to this earth, took all our sins, and eliminated them all. Do you also believe that?
The Word that Says Jesus Was Conceived by the Holy Spirit Means That God Became Man
People who only believe in Jesus as the Son of Man have the opportunity to receive the remission of sins, just as it says here, “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him” (Luke 12:10). They have the opportunity to receive the remission of their sins when they come to know the gospel of the water and the Spirit because they didn’t know it before. But some people clearly know that ‘Jesus is clearly the Son of God. He is God. He eliminated all our sins.’ What happens to such people who blaspheme against the Holy Spirit even though they clearly know this? What is blasphemy? Let’s say that a dog could speak and came up to me and said, “Daddy, daddy.” What would I say to him? This is absolutely ridiculous. It is the sin of blasphemy. How could I possibly be a dog’s father?
My fellow believers, keep this in mind. People who blaspheme against the Holy Spirit like this before God can never be forgiven by God. I’m not getting emotional right now. So, think about it deeply and listen carefully. People who blaspheme against the Holy Spirit can never be forgiven by God. So, what kind of sin is this sin of blaspheming against the Holy Ghost? This sin is committed by those who know the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Some people, even though they have heard the gospel of the water and the Spirit, stand against God and His Word saying, “God couldn’t eliminate all my sins. Lord, I believe in You. I believe that You are the Son of God. But You could not eliminate all my sins. So, Lord, please forgive my personal sins when I offer daily prayers of repentance.” Such is the sin of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit.
The issue of whether one has denied or confessed the Lord is the issue of whether one has confessed or denied that our Lord is our true Savior. A person can never be forgiven by God if he blasphemes against the Holy Spirit before others. Even if there is just one verse in the Bible whose meaning we cannot grasp clearly, we must absolutely know what it means before moving on when we read the Bible. We must know it before we go farther. Then we are able to find correct answers from the Bible.
Do you think it is good to just read the Bible a lot or get through the whole Bible in a week? No, it’s not. It is absolutely useless to even read the Bible everyday if one doesn’t know what it actually means. There are people in prison who recite a whole Book of the Bible without even opening it. They are told, “Please recite 1 Corinthians.” Then, they recite it really well as if they are a tape recorder saying, “1 Corinthians: Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God…” When someone intends to preach a sermon before them, they say, “Oh that Word is in such-and-such verse of such-and-such chapter of the Bible.” I am actually not very good at finding Scripture verses. I can do it, but I can’t memorize them. But these people memorize the Bible more accurately than computers.
By the way, you must keep this in mind. You should never blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. Did the Lord eliminate all the sins of mankind or not? Did our Lord Jesus come to this earth and eradicate all the sins of mankind and the world at once or not? He did. True faith is to believe this. But what are people like who say, “Jesus couldn’t eliminate all the sins of the world”? Those are people who blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. The sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is applied to such people who haven’t received the remission of sins intentionally; people who don’t believe 100% accurately in the work our Lord did when He came to this earth but believe in it mixed with their own thoughts; people who have the leaven of the Pharisees; people who say that the Lord took away original sins but not people’s personal sins, and even people who approve the faith of those kinds of people. God spoke numerous times in Proverbs to not become surety for your friend’s debt, and that only fools do so. That is true. Bad things happen if you do that. If you look at people on this earth who have lost everything, almost all of them are people who have made this mistake. It’s almost 100% of them. So, the Lord said frequently in Proverbs not to stand surety for others’ debt.
What does this mean? When other people say, “I have sins. So, I receive the remission of my sins everyday by offering prayers of repentance,” you should never say, “Yes. You have received the remission of your sins.” You shouldn’t vouch for their faith. That is also the sin of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. You must clearly discern people who have received the remission of sins from those who haven’t. It must be either “yes” or “no” before God. This is not my own personal thought. I am telling you what is written in the Bible. The Lord said, “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37). You must by all means keep in mind this Word that God spoke. There may be those among you who think, “This doesn’t seem right. It seems as if I am tolerating that person in a worldly sense. That person clearly hasn’t received the remission of sins, but I am approving him just because he seems to have good and pious faith.” If there are any people who think like this among you, they absolutely need to repent before God. They need to resolve their own problems before they worry about others.
Secondly, Accurately Vouch for God’s Righteousness when You Do
My fellow believers, is this admonition the Word of God or not? It is of God’s Word. Things will come true as the Word says. So, we who live on this earth must speak accurately. We must be careful every time we speak. How many years do people live on this earth? They live for 70 years, 80 if they’re robust. Life is living for that short of a time and then just dying. We must be careful to remember the Word of God and keep it in mind. We must try to receive the remission of our sins and we must be careful not to stand surety for others’ debt. That’s right. One must definitely receive the remission of sins before he goes to God. We must not blaspheme against what the Holy Spirit has done. Rather, we should be saved by praising the work the Lord has done and being grateful for it by faith. Only then is the glory of God revealed to the world.
Let’s read the Word a little more. Let’s read Luke 12:15-21 together.
“And He said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.’ Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: ‘The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.’’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’”
This Word is telling us to beware of covetousness. Greed to possess a lot in this earth is the desire that people are prone to indulge in the most. There are many people who even think that it will help them get to Heaven if they have a lot of material possessions on this earth. But what does our Lord say? He said, “Beware of covetousness” (Luke 12:15). He said, “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:21). People’s true lives are not in their possessions or having a lot of material things. People’s lives are only in the grace of the remission of sins that is given by our Lord Jesus Christ. The eternal life of man is in Jesus Christ.
Our Lord often explains the Word of the Truth through parables. In today’s Scripture passage, He also used a parable to explain the excessive greed of man because people’s hearts are really attached to this world and the things in it. He said this in advance in order for us to receive the remission of sins and go to the Kingdom of Heaven by pondering wisely on our hell bound destiny because of our sins.
“Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: ‘The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods’” (Luke 12:16-18).
There was a rich man here. This rich man had quite a lot of fields and a lot of material things. The yield he made from his fields in a year was a huge amount. It was truly abundant. When this happened, he thought, “I have no place to put all this grain.” The storehouse he had already built was so full that there was no room to put anything else in. So, he thought, “I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods.” He also thought, “My soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”
Most people think this way. People are prone to rely on material things because they are not originally spiritual but are instead physically inclined. But people who depend on their material possessions are actually foolish. Material prosperity is given to you today, but it can be gone the next morning. Our Lord accurately pointed that out, and what did He say? He said, “You would say, ‘My soul, don’t worry about your future. Take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry. What is there to fear now that I have these many goods? My soul, you have many goods laid up for many years.’ But what shall you do if God takes your soul away the next day.”
People speak this way to their souls, bodies, and hearts. They say, “Are you worried? No, you’re not. There’s nothing to worry about now. All your grandsons and granddaughters for ten generations will live well, huh? For the next ten generations, your descendants will live well even if they increase up to 500 people. So, take your ease. Do not be afraid. Take your ease. Let’s not worry but instead let’s be still, take your ease, eat, and be merry. Be still.” They thus comfort themselves. They say to their souls, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry’’ (Luke 12:19). But let’s read what our Lord says about those kinds of people. He said, “This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?” (Luke 12:20)
My fellow believers, who is wiser here? Who is stronger? Man said, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry,” but that night our Lord said to those who thought that way, “This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?” To whom do people’s souls belong? They are God’s.
Material things are only necessary on this earth. We shouldn’t be too attached to them. Are you uncomfortable because you don’t have enough material things? You will have all you need to eat and live if you just pray to God, ask for things from Him, and try. We Koreans are actually on the side of living well. We must become people who know the essential value of material things accurately when we have enough material things to live. But the problem is that there aren’t many people like that. People who have much look immature and some people seem so pitiful because they don’t have hardly anything. There are quite a lot of things in this world that aren’t fair.
We Must Beware of Covetousness
My fellow believers, where can we find our true happiness and joy? We can find them in God. Do you believe this? Our joy and happiness are both in God. Do you know where poor people find joy? It is in the fun of saving little by little from what they earn everyday. That is actually more than just fun.
So, what kind of people cannot be rich before God? They are people who aren’t interested in God and don’t know much about His dealings; people who don’t know much of God’s Word of the Truth and don’t have much of His wisdom and knowledge. These kinds of people live vain lives and then just die. Many people in human history became rich by gathering a lot of possessions. But they died as soon as they became rich. There are still quite a lot of people like this today. Our Lord is talking about those kinds of people here in today’s Scripture passage.
Does everyone live happily by just becoming rich through hard work and suffering? They must be interested in God. Only then can they be truly happy and joyous. I am extremely happy. I don’t know what you think of me, but I am extremely happy. I have real joy in the Lord. My joy becomes bigger everyday. It gets bigger and bigger.
The sister who just bore witness of her salvation said that she wondered if she had been saved for nothing at first, but she found that her heart had changed when she went back to school the next semester. She said her heart had changed a little while she was listening to the Word of God in His Church, but she didn’t notice this change at first. You probably have experienced the same thing. But the more time goes by after you have been saved and you attend one meeting and then another, that joy increases little by little. You and I are very fortunate. We are grateful and fortunate that we can heave a sigh of relief after having received the remission of sins owing to our small amount of knowledge about God. We are very grateful that God has blessed us; and we are very fortunate that we are in the position of being blessed.
God is telling us to choose one of two things. “I can curse you or I can bless you. Which one shall it be? Shall I punish you or shall I bless you?” He has given us the liberty of choice. Then, He says to choose one of the two. God gives people exactly what they want. If someone asks for punishment, He will give it, and if he asks for blessings, God will give blessings. He blesses or curses you according to how you believe in Him, what you know and believe, how rich you are when it comes to God, and whether or not you have faith in Him. We are blessed or cursed according to whether or not we correctly know and believe in God.
Let’s read Luke 12 from verse 54 to the end together. It says, “Then He also said to the multitudes, ‘Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it is. And when you see the south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is. Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time? Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right? When you go with your adversary to the magistrate, make every effort along the way to settle with him, lest he drag you to the judge, the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. I tell you, you shall not depart from there till you have paid the very last mite’” (Luke 12:54-59).
Our Lord Said to Discern This Time
My fellow believers, we must discern this time. The Lord said, “Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?” (Luke 12:56) When we listen to the weather report or look about the natural environment, we can discern the weather, saying, “Oh, it’s fall. The leaves are falling, and so is my heart.” After fall is over and all the leaves have fallen, we realize, “The days are getting kind of chilly. Oh, it’s winter. It’s snowing. It’s winter. The whole earth is going to get white with snow, freeze, then melt, and it will be spring when it rains and we can hear the sound of the brook.” We thus know how to discern the weather.
But God rebukes us that we can’t discern the time. He asks, “Can you not discern how much is left of this time in which you are living? What are the conditions of the world? How much can this world endure?” Of course, God did not say what month and day He would come to this earth. But the Lord who is the First and the Last, the Alpha and Omega, said roughly when He will destroy this world and create new heavens and a new earth, didn’t He? He clearly left that Word in the Bible. He asks, “Has that time drawn near or not? Why can’t you discern this time? Why can’t you discern this? You would discern it if you had just a little interest in it. Why aren’t you interested in it? Why can’t you discern it?”
You and I must clearly discern this time. We must have the knowledge of history. We must know history, even if we know nothing else. We become wise if we know history. There are a lot of mistakes made in history that are being repeated at this time exactly the same. The Bible says there is nothing new under heaven, and there are actually quite a lot of things in this world that repeat themselves. We are living at this time now. But if we clearly know history, if we correctly know the history of this universe, of this world, and of mankind from a biblical perspective, the thought becomes clear what kind of people we must live as. We figure out what era this world has arrived at. It says in the Bible that in the time of the end, many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase (Daniel 12:4). It also says that people will love money and themselves, disobey their parents, not believe in God, and slander Him in the last days. That is true. The Bible says that they will love themselves and money more than God. God says it will be a lustful generation. We must become people who can discern the time by correctly understanding the Word of God.
Noah’s father lived with Noah for a long time. People lived 900 years on average in the Old Testament. So, if a father had a son when he was 300, he usually lived for at least 600 more years. This meant that the father lived until his son was 600 years old. So, what happens if the son has a son of his own when he is 300 years old? The grandfather, his son, and his grandson all live together for about 300 years.
Noah’s father with whom he lived for 600 years spoke to him. He said, “There is a judgment for this earth. God said He would judge it by water. Remember that.” Noah said, “OK, I will.” His father said, “Don’t just believe it yourself alone. Tell your sons, also. OK?” Noah said, “OK, I will.” His father said, “Don’t just say you will, start getting prepared.” Noah said, “OK, I will.” His father said, “I mean it when I say to not just say you will. Do you definitely believe what I’m saying?” Noah said, “Yes, I believe.” Noah’s father said, “Is it believing to put your heart in the world, buy land, and engage in land speculation like you are? Hurry up and get yourself together.” Noah said, “OK, I will.” His father said, “You say you will, but your actions say something else. Why are you planning to buy a field in the other village? Do you need some more? Should I give you all the land I have? Do you know that the only thing you have to do to others is to tell them that the judgment of this earth is coming?” Noah said, “OK, I understand.” Then, his father said, “Don’t just say so, hurry up and get out there and tell them. Now!” This is what Noah’s father said to him.
The judgment of this world really came after Noah’s father died. Noah already knew that. That’s because he heard it all from his father. Therefore, Noah remembered what his father had said when God spoke to him, and he made the ark. So, what ultimately happened? Didn’t his whole family get in that ark and therefore get saved?
Let’s Not Live by the Flesh Too Much
My fellow believers, we must live discerning this time. We Koreans say that the world is great because our country has become one of the great economic powers and there are a lot of apartments, cars and there are planes flying overhead. But the fact is that this is not a good world. Our country is rated as the world’s 12th largest economy. But the more developed the world becomes, it rather becomes more complicated. It is harder for man to live here, and people become more hardhearted. The time becomes one in which people love money more, and people can’t live any longer because the environment is ruined.
You and I must clearly discern this time. We must know that the end is coming near. Knowing that doesn’t mean Jesus will come in a certain month at a certain time. But we must know that He will clearly come sometime. We must live by discerning this time correctly until the day the Lord comes. So, don’t worry too much about other things. Spread this gospel well to your children. Correctly spread this gospel to your parents and family members before you do so to other people. Don’t fight about money uselessly. Live in harmony with one another. “Honey, what’s so bad about not having a lot of money? We’re able to live and eat. Let’s live satisfied because this much money a month is sufficient. Let’s also live serving the Church and the gospel. I’m here with you always; what is there to worry about?” It suffices us to live massaging one another’s shoulders.
Are those kinds of people pathetic and foolish? On the contrary, people who think this world is eternal and that they absolutely must get something in this world to be happy are idiots. People are really idiots and pathetic who think, “Honey, hurry up and make some money. I said hurry up and make some! Are you out of your mind or not?” If this world were eternal, we would have to live tenaciously on this earth. But you should know that this world is not eternal. You and I must live calculating the end of this world. We must live discerning the time.
Let’s read from verse 57 to the end of this chapter again: “Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right? When you go with your adversary to the magistrate, make every effort along the way to settle with him, lest he drag you to the judge, the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison” (Luke 12:57-58).
The Lord said here, “Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right?” (Luke 12:57) What does this mean? It means that you must judge for yourselves. You must know about God, know what is the Truth, and make judgments yourselves about whether things are right or not. Everyone living in this world must judge what is right by themselves. They shouldn’t avoid it. People who don’t judge by themselves, that is, people who are indecisive before God are prone to fall into the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit if they make a slight mistake. You must judge what is right by yourselves. Of course you have to judge what is right by yourselves, but so do your children and parents.
That’s right. You and I must make correct judgments by ourselves before God about this time, our salvation, receiving the remission of sins, and our happiness. Of course, we need a lot of information to reference in judging things by ourselves. We must have correct reference materials to make right judgments. We must make judgments by ourselves, just as the Lord said, “Why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right?” (Luke 12:57) You and I must make right judgments. We must make judgments before God about what is right and what isn’t right, whether or not we will believe in Jesus Christ, whether or not He took away our sins, and how many of our sins He took away if He did take them away.
Some people say, “The Lord took all the sins of mankind. So, I have no sins. Of course, mankind has weaknesses, but people who believe in Jesus Christ have received the remission of all their sins because our Lord took away all the sins of the world and wickedness pertaining to those weaknesses. Therefore, those who believe in this Truth have become the righteous. They go to the Kingdom of Heaven. They are insufficient and commit sins, but they go to the Kingdom of Heaven.” But, what do other people say? They say, “No, the Lord only took away original sin. People receive the remission of their personal sins every time they offer prayers of repentance. So, people can never become the righteous until they die. But they can become totally holy by being sanctified through the grace of God at the moment they die if they try while living.”
We must judge between these two and choose one of them. We must judge which one is correct. What do we need to make this judgment? We need an accurate standard of value to measure with. Isn’t that right? The Bible is often referred to as “the Canon.” The Greek word “canon” means the measuring rod or the standard. The Bible is the measuring rod of salvation, that of happiness, that of the Kingdom of Heaven and hell, and that of wisdom,
That’s right. We must examine whether something is right or not by using this Bible as the measuring rod. We must accurately confirm each verse of the Word. We must compile what is said by the people of the world and examine whether it is the same as the Word of the Bible or not. If there is anyone who speaks of the accurate Truth that is in the Word of the Bible, we must believe what that person says. We must each decide whether we will go to the Kingdom of Heaven or go to hell by making judgments between the two. My fellow believers, do you understand? You must make a judgment. No one can do it for us. No one can choose for us in regards to the issue of going to the Kingdom of Heaven or going to hell.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink; it’s up to the horse. People of the world are the same. For example, if a person has received a bottle of drink with a leaflet for free on the street, the person would read the leaflet carefully before drinking it. The decision to drink it or not is wholly made by his or her own judgment. The remission of sins is the same. “Will I really believe this gospel of the water and the Spirit or not? Is this right or not? What church will I attend and do I have to live a life of faith or not after I have received the remission of sins? Will I really have God’s blessings or not?” We must each make a judgment about all of these things by thinking and consulting the Word of the Bible. The kind of person who does that is truly wise.
No one can do that for us. You must make judgments by yourselves. Have you made judgments? Is there anyone among you who still does not discern whether or not you have received the remission of sins? Please do so. Think about it for a moment tonight. Do you think it’s difficult because there are too many people? Then go to a storehouse like that one over there and think about it alone. Don’t just talk about things with your friends; think about it by yourselves. If you cannot judge what is right by thinking by yourselves, go to those whom you respect and who believe in God correctly and ask for advice. I hope that you listen to that advice and live wisely by making proper decisions according to your faith. People who have not yet made judgments are those who have not been saved yet. No matter how plausible things may be, there is clearly one right thing when you think about it. People who have not confirmed whether they are saved or not say that they still haven’t done it; but the truth is that they have not been saved. The truth is that they can’t. What is the reason? They have not been saved because they have not chosen what is good yet.
Is there anyone among you who has still not made a decision? Such a person must choose one of the two. People of the world really like indecisive people. This world acknowledges indecisive people and even calls them wise. But we must clearly choose between “yes” and “no” before God. He deals with those people who indecisively cannot make a judgment as the same sort of saying “no.” He sends them all to hell. Is that true or not? It is correct. So, each and every person must make decisions before God. They must make judgments by using the accurate measuring rod of the Canon, or this Word of the Bible, as a standard. The people who do so are the wisest and those who have built their houses on the rock.
Let’s read verses 58 and 59 all together. “When you go with your adversary to the magistrate, make every effort along the way to settle with him, lest he drag you to the judge, the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. I tell you, you shall not depart from there till you have paid the very last mite” (Luke 12:58-59).
My fellow believers, there is only one thing on which everyone must first concentrate his or her efforts while living on this earth. We must first try to receive the complete remission of sins before God. We must try to help our parents or family members to receive the remission of sins, too. Along with that, we must work hard to help others receive the remission of sins.
The Lord said, “When you go with your adversary to the magistrate, make every effort along the way to settle with him” (Luke 12:58). The Bible says to “you.” The Lord said, “When you go with your adversary to the magistrate, make every effort along the way to settle with him” (Luke 12:58); what does this mean? Actually, all the people of this world sue one another and are sued by one another. Just as the Law accuses us as sinners, we are people who accuse one another. God is the sole Judge in this world. Only God is the Person who has the upright judgment and upright law. That is right. All of us are people who are due to go to the Judge; we are people who go before God.
There are two roads that seem to lead us to God; the wide road and the narrow road. The wide road is one in which many people crowd onto it and go down at the same time as if they are running a marathon. What is the narrow road like? That road is like a road on the side of a cliff in which people climb up single-file. The person in front says, “Step exactly where I do because you could fall off the edge if you make a mistake, OK?” The person behind him says, “All right, I understand.” The narrow road is one in which people must step in exactly the same footprints of the person in front of them. There are thus two groups of people; those who go down the wide road and those who go down the narrow road. But their destination is the same. They all go before the Judge; they all go before our God.
That’s right. All of us go before the Judge, whether we have received the remission of sins or not. But those who have not received the remission of sins must first try hard to settle their problems of sin before they arrive at the court of law. They must settle them quickly. They must quickly settle their problems exactly as the Judge demands before they go before Him. He says, “Hey, you better pay attention to my words. I’m going to incarcerate you if you don’t put things right by a certain time.” Then, that person must say, “Oh, my. Really? I will fix things right now,” and he must do so quickly. Those people must quickly settle those problems as the judge demands. When they go before the Judge and say, “This is what I’ve done; is it OK?” they must pass by the Judge saying, “Yes, that’s fine.”
We Definitely Hesitate to Go before God If We Have Sins While Living on this Earth
God pours down wrath without fail on those who have sin. Those who have sins also know that fact. People with sins are also afraid because of those sins. The Bible lists the cowardly with the unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars as those who have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone (Revelation 21:8). In 1 John, it also says, “He who fears has not been made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18). People who fear God because they have sins in their hearts are people who ultimately cannot totally reconcile with God.
That’s right. People who have sins cannot become one with God in love because they cannot totally believe in that love. They cannot help but fear God because they anticipate His punishment for their sins. Therefore, people who fear God must quickly settle their problem of sin. They must do it before they go before the Judge. It’s too late after they go before Him. When the Judge gives His verdict, He either sends them to a hot place or a nice and refreshing place; there is only one of the two. Do you believe this? Where do you want to go? Do you want to go to a nice and cool place? It is nice and cool, but you won’t catch a cold. It is nice and refreshing and a good place where it is good to live. Perhaps God improves the physical constitutions of those who go to the Kingdom of Heaven. It seems that He makes new constitutions for us unlike the ones we have now so that we can live healthy in the Kingdom of Heaven when we go there. It isn’t recorded in the Bible that there are bathrooms in the Kingdom of Heaven. It is said that a person who enters the fires of hell doesn’t burn up. It seems that God also improves the physical constitutions of those whom He sends to hell. God is truly gracious, isn’t He?
My fellow believers, let’s try first to settle our problems. If there is anyone who has hurt feelings toward me, please forgive me. Please stop having bad feelings toward me and let’s definitely be reconciled with God, even if we can’t do so with other people. It suffices if we make judgments and be reconciled with God by ourselves. We must make decisions ourselves. What must we truly try to achieve when we live in this world? We must try to receive the remission of sins before God first of all.
Have you received the remission of sins? If yes, that is very fortunate. How did you receive that precious remission of sins? That is a miracle. We who have truly received the remission of sins are all very precious people. You have also received the remission of your sins and have come to know how precious this is as time goes by, haven’t you?
This is something we must truly be thankful for to God. It is something to give Him more glory and praise for. It is something for which to commend Him more. “Thank You, God. Thank You for saving us this way. We are insufficient, but thank You for saving us. Thank You for saving us even though we are weak. Thank You for saving us even though we lied. Thank You very much.” No matter how many times we say “thank you,” those thanks can’t repay it all.
There is a verse in one of our hymns that says, “♪O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise, the glories of my God and King, the triumphs of his grace!♪” This means that we would not be able to praise all the grace of God bestowing salvation on us, even if we had a thousand mouths. The second verse of the hymn goes, “♪My gracious Master and my God, assist me to proclaim.♪” The Lord truly saved us by grace. God made you and me His children by giving us His grace. He clothed us in glory as His children. That is correct. We have put on the glory of God on this earth. We are kings. We are the masters of this world.
“♪Prince, prince, prince, prince, I’m a prince in the Kingdom of Heaven. Princess, princess, princess, princess, I’m a princess in the Kingdom of Heaven.♪” This is one of our children’s praises. My fellow believers, aren’t princesses the children of God? Aren’t princes His children? They are all His children. But there probably isn’t a distinction between the sexes in the Kingdom of Heaven. I’m not sure, but that’s what I think.
Even if there are things we don’t know, there is one thing we must know. It is that we must try hard to receive the remission of sins before God. People who work hard to receive the remission of sins are the wisest people in this world. There is no one as wise as them. What happens to people who live thoughtlessly even though they know they are going to hell? They enter never-ending fire where there is no use even if they cry for eternity. If they need to cry, they have to do so at this moment for their souls.
This is why the Lord said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children” (Luke 23:28). When the Lord carried His Cross and climbed toward Golgotha, many of His disciples and brothers and sisters who believed in Him cried as they followed Him. They cried because they felt really sorry for all the pain He had to suffer on the Cross. But what did our Lord say to those people? He said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children” (Luke 23:28). That’s right. Just as the Lord said, we must cry for ourselves. We must try hard to be saved for ourselves. You must try first to receive the remission of your sins. You must do this while living on this earth. Do you understand?
The Lord said in today’s Scripture passage, “When you go with your adversary to the magistrate, make every effort along the way to settle with him, lest he drag you to the judge, the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. I tell you, you shall not depart from there till you have paid the very last mite” (Luke 12:58-59).
He said, “I tell you, you shall not depart from there till you have paid the very last mite” (Luke 12:59). What does this mean? It means that the Lord took away even the slightest of our sins in order to send us to the Kingdom of Heaven. The Lord is our true Savior. Did He leave even the slightest sin in our hearts? Is there even the slightest sin left in your hearts because you have done something wrong after having received the remission of sins? No, absolutely not!
Do you believe the Word of the Lord? Do you believe the Word that saved you? Then, you don’t have even the slightest sin. There are people who say, “People commit sins ceaselessly, so how can they have none?” But you and I don’t have even the slightest sin. The Lord took them all away, so why would anything be left? It is OK to ridicule and mock what the people of the world say. That is because the Truth is eternal, no matter what anybody says about it.
People who praise and believe in the Lord’s love with which He eliminated even the slightest sins are the possessors of upright faith. We don’t make fun of people who try to blame the righteous at every opportunity. But we cannot but ridicule them whenever we look at their sorrowful faces due to the bunch of sins in their chests. They are the same as dogs and pigs that perish. They are truly pathetic.
The Lord said, “You shall not depart from there till you have paid the very last mite” (Luke 12:59). Where did He say such people couldn’t depart from? You can’t depart from hell. My fellow believers, does hell really exist or not? It does. Hell is not a place in the earth like that of molten lava. If the Almighty God wanted to make hell, could He do it or not? Many people have not received the remission of sins, so is hell going to be full or not? If God says for it to be, it will be. So, if God intends to make hell, He obviously makes it. He makes a door there and transfers people who have not received the remission of sins there by saying, “Enter.”
No one really knows what happens next when people die on this earth. But God brings those dead people back to life at the end. If we read Revelation, it said that God brings everyone back to life, whether they died by drowning or whether they were burned to death or whatever. He brings everyone back to life and has them stand before His judgment seat. He has them stand before Jesus the Judge and Jesus personally judges them. At that time, the Book of Life and the Books of Deeds are before Jesus. There are probably many Books of Deeds but the Book of Life is probably small. That is because the righteous who have received the remission of sins is a small number.
Jesus will say, “What is your name?” The person may say, “Yes, my name is Jong so-and-so.” Jesus says, “Angel, check whether or not this person’s name is in the Book of Life.” That angel is an expert. When the guy says his last name is Jong, the angel goes to the section starting with J and looks for his name. The angel may say, “His name is here, Lord.” Even though there are quite a lot of people with that same name, the angel knows everything, and so does the Lord. He says, “Angel, take this man for eternity for he is your master.” So, that guy named Jong so-and-so goes to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Then the person who was behind him comes forward. He says, “I am Jeong so-and-so.” The Lord says, “OK. Angel, check the name Jeong so-and-so.” Then, the face of the angel who looked up that name suddenly begins to darken. He says, “His name isn’t here.” So, the Lord says, “Then open those thick books over there, the Books of Deeds.” The angel says, “Here is his name.” The Lord asks, “Jeong so-and-so, did you believe in Me or not when you lived on the earth?” That person says, “I believed in You, but I don’t know why my name is not recorded in the Book of Life.” The Lord asks, “Anyway, do you have sins or not?” That person says, “Yes, I have sins. I did this and that.” My fellow believers, the Bible says that everyone must report truthfully when they go before God. If He orders to start to confess their sins, all the sins they committed in this world come forth automatically. After they tell the truth, God says, “Angel, check for his name. Check whether he has lied or not.” Everything is recorded in the Books of Deeds. Everything is recorded in order, including everything in one’s heart and what has disappeared from one’s memory. Then, after the angel checks all the records, he says, “What this person says is totally accurate.” That’s what he says. Then, that person will go to the hot place, right?
Maybe Jong so-and-so who saw this scene will think, “Man, that sucks. You seemed smarter than me while we were living on the earth, but you’re going to the hot place and I’m going to the cool place. I’m going this way by faith in the Lord and you’re going where you’re going. You and I go to different places. You can’t do anything about it.” The judgment of the Lord is more fitting than anything of the world. Hallelujah! I praise our Lord who does that.
My fellow believers, keep this in mind. You must receive the remission of even the slightest sins. Doing so is the power of the true remission of sins and the power of the gospel. Do you believe this? Let’s finish here today.