The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 22 : The Gospel According to LUKE

[Chapter 16-1] (Luke 16:1-13) Our Hope Is In the Eternal Kingdom

(Luke 16:1-13)
“He also said to His disciples: ‘There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’ Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’ So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light. And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own? No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.’”
 
 
What Kind of Kingdom Did God Give to Us?
 
It says in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 6 verse 33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Our spiritual life is in seeking the authority and the righteousness of the Kingdom of God. The Lord told us to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness. Where is the Kingdom of God? The Kingdom of God is where the people who have received the remission of sins are gathered. The Kingdom of God is the place where the righteous gather together to worship before the presence of God.
We must expand the Kingdom of God through God’s Church and live the life of seeking His righteousness. What is the righteousness of God? It is the justness of God. It is the love of God that saved us from the sins of the world with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God tells us to boast and seek the salvation that saved us from the sins of the world.
We live out our faith in the righteousness of God in order to practice two kinds of righteousness. One of them is the life of seeking the expansion of God’s Kingdom, and the other is the life of seeking the righteousness of God. Our righteousness should be aimed at boasting the righteousness of God, God’s goodness, and the Truth of the righteousness of God rather than our own righteousness. We can live by the faith because of the righteousness of God.
You and I must believe in God with the understanding of what the purpose of our life of faith is. We must live to build the Kingdom of God and lift up and boast His righteousness. Therefore, in a way, we who believe in the righteousness of God live a very different life compared to the people of the world. We put our efforts together to expand the Kingdom of God instead of living for the world. We the righteous try hard to build the Kingdom of God instead of the kingdom in this world. There already are countless nations in this world in which they live. Therefore, we sometimes enter into a complete state of confusion while we live in this world. In such confusion, we sometimes contemplate for what we should live, for what purpose we should live the spiritual life in the future, and for what we should live. We think that the way we live in this world is not natural and somewhat strange too.
The Word from the Gospel of Luke that we have read today is the same too. This Word is about a certain steward. The steward thought about what would happen if the master came to the steward and told him that he wanted to see the account of his stewardship and found fraudulence. He would definitely be cast away. Therefore, the steward wrote off the debts of many people who were in debt to their master in order to prepare for a place to go to before he would be cast out by the master.
However, what does the Lord think about this steward? Our Lord said, “Those who live like this steward could be said to have lived a life more wisely than the children of the light.” The Lord said to the children of the light, “It is right for you to be faithful to the Kingdom of God that you will go and live in the future instead of being faithful to this world while living in this world.”
 
 
The Lord Told Us to Support the Construction of His Kingdom with the Unrighteous Mammon
 
Our Lord said, “How could I entrust such great work to one who is not faithful with material things.” He is saying that God would not give material things to a person who is not faithful to the Kingdom of God that he will enter and live eternally in the future. Therefore, we who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit live a new life of righteousness that is different from people in this world. We live by faith in the righteousness of God. The people of this world live according to the principles of nature, but we live to build the Kingdom of God instead of living like that. Therefore, we live as the workers of righteousness for God’s Kingdom. As you and I live in this world, we discern what the right way to live is. We can understand this instantly if we ponder on, “What do we live for when we live by faith?” However, we must be aware that there are times when we live an inadequate life without thinking about the proper faith.
Therefore, living in this world would be so arduous if we did not know that we were workers of the Kingdom of God. God saved us from the sins of the world with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We praise earnestly the righteousness of God that saved us from the sins of the world by believing in the righteousness of God, that God cleansed our sins by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist unilaterally, saved us from the judgment of sins, and that He sits at the right hand of the throne of God and still helps us. God really loved us. Now, we must be thankful over and over again that we have become the workers who are called to build the Kingdom of God.
You and I are the workers for the Kingdom of God. We have been enlisted to do the work of building the Kingdom of God and you and I live all our lives for the righteousness of God because we are workers of the Kingdom of God. The housewives do laundry, do dishes, and cook food, while the husbands work in companies, make money, pray, and live the spiritual life. All these things are for building the Kingdom of God. You and I are living as the workers of the Kingdom of God.
The Lord says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” This Word is telling us to build the Church of God, as we know well. We build God’s Church, bring souls and preach the gospel to them in order that they receive the remission of sins. We have them stay in the Church and surrender to Jesus Christ our God, and make them praise, applaud, and serve Jesus Christ. We build the Kingdom of God to do these works. We live with such purpose.
The Gospel of Luke 15 tells us about the work of finding the lost souls with three parables. The first one is the parable of the sheep: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.” The second one is the parable of the lost coin: “What woman, having ten drachma, if she loses one drachma, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, wouldn’t she celebrate with her neighbors?” The third one is the parable of the lost son: “A second son went out to the world after receiving wealth from his father, and wasted it all and then returned home from the world. So, his father rejoiced and celebrated because his son who was dead returned.”
All three of these parables are about saving lost souls by witnessing the gospel. These parables demand us to witness the gospel to the lost, bring them to God’s Church, have them receive the remission of sins, and praise Jesus Christ the King who saved them in the Church. The parable of the second son returning home after living a life of debauchery illustrates his seeking the righteousness of God in the Church. The second son implies God’s worker who does not have his own righteousness and does not have his own goodness, and all his own have been shattered and is even ashamed to return to the Father as a son. Therefore, he asks to become a servant. Such a worker, whose own righteousness has broken down completely, only boasts of the righteousness of God.
 
 
You and I Are Workers of God’s Kingdom
 
You who are building the Kingdom of God must not boast of the righteousness of your own flesh after entering His Church. Instead, knowing that God has made you the workers of His Kingdom when your own righteousness is all crushed down, you must be people who are thankful that you have been appointed as workers before the presence of God who work all your life to build the Kingdom of God. God has appointed us as workers who are faithful to the Kingdom of God. That is why we must be faithful to building the Kingdom of God and fill this world with the life of lifting up the righteousness of God.
Then, what is the blessing God gives to a person who seeks His Kingdom and His righteousness? It is that God will give us the Millennial Kingdom. The Millennial Kingdom is God’s Kingdom that will be established on the earth. All our endeavor and devotion to His Kingdom will be rewarded physically in the end. That is the Millennial Kingdom. God will establish His Kingdom that lasts one thousand years on this land. God establishes His Kingdom on this earth and gives reward and compensation for His workers who worked hard for the Kingdom of God and makes them enjoy His splendid glory. We should be rehearsing such glory in this world so that we would not die of heart attack because of a sudden dose of excitement when we go to Heaven. God is considerate to let us have time to adjust ourselves in the new heaven and new land.
The Millennial Kingdom is the gift God gives to His workers who have worked hard to build the Kingdom of God. That is the new heaven and the new earth. We who have been born again do not live to build the kingdom that belongs to this earth. People who have received salvation do the work of building the Kingdom of God as they keep the laws and regulations of the society of this world. For this purpose, you and I who have received salvation came into the Church and live with grace like this.
God said, “An unrighteous steward of the world has lived a life wiser than the life of the Son of God. If you were not faithful with unrighteous material wealth, who will entrust you with true riches?” God is saying, “How could God who is the original master of all material things entrust the material things to a person if he does not use the material things that he has for the work of building the Kingdom of God?” Referring to the example of the unrighteous steward, the Lord said that all the material things are His, that He has given the material things to the righteous, and that the righteous should manage them as good and shrewd stewards. How could God entrust us with the material things that would eventually perish if the righteous who have received salvation do not use the material things for building the Kingdom of God? God is saying that He would not give the resources if the workers who are constructing the Kingdom of God do not use them for building His Kingdom.
Therefore, God is saying to the righteous that they must live for building the Kingdom of God and that they must lift up and boast of His righteousness. Now, after receiving the remission of sins and coming into God’s Church, all our lives must be aimed at constructing the Kingdom of God. Therefore, we actually live for building the Kingdom of God and we live to lift up the righteousness of God now. We live for this purpose.
Do you have anything of your own to boast of? You will recognize that you have nothing to boast of in the flesh a few years after you have really received the remission of sins. You probably thought you were very smart before. But if you come to know more and go beyond your own righteousness, you will no longer have anything to boast about.
We have received the remission of sins and live for the righteousness of God. We should have something to boast of after receiving salvation and the remission of sins, and becoming righteous by believing in the baptism and the blood of Jesus. However, God follows us around every moment, tramples the things to boast of, and breaks them down so that we would not have any human things to boast about. If that is not enough, God grinds them into powder and makes it swept away by the winds. Of course, it hurts every time you lose something to boast about. But, like the returned second son, only those who have no righteousness of their own can serve the Lord and His gospel with thankfulness from the bottom of their hearts.
If there is anything to boast of after coming into God’s Church, it is just the works that are done for the gospel. It is stacking up the bricks for building the Kingdom of God. Giving material things for the gospel is worth boasting about. They are worth boasting about because such a thing lifts up the righteousness of God and does not weaken them, even if we boast about them. There is nothing to boast of besides this.
In the matter of building the Kingdom of God in His Church, the standard for beauty lies in whether or not a person devotes himself or herself to serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It means that anyone who works hard for building the Kingdom of God is handsome and beautiful. That is the standard of the Kingdom of God. This painful work of building the Kingdom of God is the only thing worthy of praise and boasting.
You and I are people who have been called and chosen to build the Kingdom of God. That is the purpose of God calling us. You and I live in this world with the purpose of building the Kingdom of God. We do not live for anything else. We must understand this clearly. We must believe it. We must go forth toward the signpost that God has set for us. Our adult brothers and sisters, members of youth meetings, members of junior high and high school group, Sunday school students, and the servants of God are all called to build the Kingdom of God.
That is the purpose of our life. That is why we give the material things to this ministry. That is the reason we pray. That is the reason we preach the gospel. That is the reason we gather together. What is the purpose of living for you and me? It is building the Kingdom of God. If someone asks us, “What is the reason you live for?” we must say, “I am a worker chosen to build the Kingdom of God. Therefore, I am a worker who lives for the Kingdom of God,” and believe and live with this purpose.
 
 
Moreover, This Is the Age of the Confusion of Values
 
A certain economist said, “This is the age of uncertainty.” The international relations and politics are in disarray and the world economy is unstable. Not only the people of the world, but even the people who have been born again are prone to drown in chaos. This is the period when people do not know what to live for and do not follow God’s Word.
Even though people have sins, they just hide them as they live in this world. A certain sister testified that she took a vacation from her spiritual life because she was disappointed with her life of faith and put her sins deep in a certain storage room because she could not do anything with them. Then, she said that her face trembled and she became so upset when a person who has received salvation came to her one day and revealed her sins that were hidden deep inside. Later, she said that she admitted that she had sins and received the gospel of the water and the Spirit and thereby received the remission of sins. Like this, whoever wants to be saved should admit his or her sins before the Word of God, but people of this age do not want their sins revealed even before God.
We are people who have been called as God’s workers to build the Kingdom of God in this era. We have the duty of the workers who find the lost sheep of God, make them receive salvation by preaching the gospel to them, building the Kingdom of God, and gathering the people of the Kingdom of God. In other words, the work we must do in these end times is to look for the lost people, witness the gospel to them, and bring them back to God. It says that there were one hundred sheep and one was lost. There are so many people in this world, and among them, there is a person like the one sheep that is lost. We must search for that lost sheep everywhere and look for it carefully. We must look and see carefully whether the lost sheep is hidden underneath the carpet, inside the garbage can, on the shelf, stuck on a pot, or inside the wall closet. You and I must do the work of finding the lost soul because we are God’s workers. We live for this work.
It is very hard to find the lost sheep because the lost people are rare although there are so many people in the world. We leave the ninety-nine sheep, and go out to look for one sheep. We search all over the house for one drachma that is lost. We must go to this country and that country through literature ministry. That is the life of the workers who are building the Kingdom of God. We must seek the lost person. You and I must do that work.
Our life has already been decided. Your life and my life have already been decided. Whatever I do, I do it passionately. I will write many books. I want to be passionate for the work of seeking the lost souls. I will choose titles of my books carefully and make the cover art neatly, and go around distributing them and witnessing the gospel.
I don’t want to do this alone. You and I must do this together. I am saying that we must look for the lost sheep together. Let’s go to this corner and that corner. Even if we just passed by, our hearts would become passionate for the salvation of those neighborhoods. Then, God will save the souls in those regions. In addition, even though it may not be right away, they will some day receive the remission of sins. We must go out and look for the lost souls. We must go out and look for them even if those souls do not return to God. You and I must do this work. Fleshly sheep will not want to return if the field is wide and the pasture is green. However, there will be a lost sheep among them that is in difficulty. We must look for those souls. You and I who have become God’s workers must do that work.
Let’s build the Kingdom of God together. Let’s live the life of seeking the righteousness of God. We live only for this work since we have been called for God’s work. Nothing can satisfy us. There would not be satisfaction even if we published tens of thousands of books. We were really happy when we first published our first book, but it does not satisfy us now that many books have been published.
Is there a true satisfaction? There is no satisfaction in the work of the world. There are people who live for the enjoyment of making money, but there is no satisfaction even if they make much money. There are people who live for the enjoyment of studying. There is no satisfaction for them no matter how passionately they do this. The only thing that could give us satisfaction is bringing in a lost soul to the Church. This is the only work that we who have become God’s workers must do and that is the only work that gives satisfaction in the end.
I believe that we must seek after the lost souls until the Millennial Kingdom comes after the end of the earth, until the Lord comes, and until we go before the presence of the Lord. That is the work God’s Church must do, the work you and I who have received salvation, who have become the workers for building the Kingdom of God, must do. We must live only for this.
I really have a desire not to do anything absurd outside of this. I do not want you, all saints, to live for any other thing. I believe that God will entrust us with even more material wealth and blessings while we live in this world if we live the life of a worker for the Kingdom of God and live to save the lost souls.
As I read this Word, I believe that becoming wealthy is simple. You do not become rich by trying hard. God entrusts more to a person who works more faithfully for God. The thing you and I who have received salvation must do is doing our best to build the Kingdom of God. We must live for building the Kingdom of God, and live the life of seeking and boasting the righteousness of God. I reiterate again that our life is seeking the righteousness of God and living for the Kingdom of God. I believe that you will also do like that. You are lacking but it is God’s providence to make you live the life of seeking the righteousness of God. God made you and me receive salvation and made us dwell in this Church. It is to make us live as workers to build the Kingdom of God. Many people do not come to Church after receiving salvation. Such people will never become rich. They will be destroyed. I know this even though I don’t see this. The end of those who seek the path of evil is obvious. The work you and I, who have received the remission of sins, must do is the work of building the Kingdom of God and seeking the righteousness of God. That is the goal and the purpose we have to seek all our lives. There is nothing else.
I often preach sermons with dual points. Today’s sermon is one of them. The second point of this sermon is this: The secret to becoming rich is joining our hearts with the Church and serving to build the Kingdom of God. Then, you will become rich even if you do not want to. This does not fit the logic of this world, but it fits God’s principle. The logic of the world is that you become poor when you serve more, but God’s principle is that you become rich when you serve even more. I was able to know this clearly after meeting and serving the Lord. God made me preach the gospel instead of making me earn money, and I became better off when I chose to do the work of God. Love is serving. It is giving. Becoming rich when you share and becoming poor when you hold onto it; that is God’s principle. It is really strange. You lose that much more when you do not invest in the work of God, and you attain even more when you invest in it. That is the principle of the Kingdom of God.
I do not want to exploit your material wealth. Rather, I want to live well together with you as we build the Kingdom of God in this world. God has called you and me as the workers to build the Kingdom of God. The Lord said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” God made us live for these two things. He promised us that we would become well off when we live for these purposes. I believe this Word.
I give sincere thanks to God for making us live for the Kingdom of God like this, even though we have nothing to boast of, and made us seek the righteousness of God. We do not have anything to boast of fleshly. However, we have testimony in our lives and we have something to boast of if we have sought the righteousness for the Kingdom of God. Therefore, we must live the life of building the Kingdom of God and seeking the righteousness of God unchangingly.