The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 23 : The Epistle to the HEBREWS

[Chapter 4-1] (Hebrews 4:1-13) Let Us Therefore Be Diligent to Enter God’s Rest

(Hebrews 4:1-13)
“Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said:
‘So I swore in My wrath,
They shall not enter My rest,’
although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: ‘And God rested on the seventh day from all His works’; and again in this place: ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, again He designates a certain day, saying in David, ‘Today,’ after such a long time, as it has been said:
‘Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.’
For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
 
 
God the Father has blotted out all our sins so that anyone who believes in the righteousness of Jesus would be able to find true rest. God has made it possible for anyone of us to enjoy His rest just by believing in His righteousness. In other words, God has now permitted anyone who comes into the righteousness of Jesus Christ to find rest. Just as we can rest in comfort when we finish a project and we no longer have to work on it; so has our Lord prepared our salvation completely, so that we may be washed from all our sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. As our Lord has given us the gospel of the water and the Spirit in this age, He has enabled us to find rest by faith just as He had promised us. God rested on the seventh day of creation, and now He has blessed all of us who truly believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit to also rest.
 
 
Pay Particular Attention to the Passage That Says, “Let Us Fear Lest Any of You Seem to Have Come Short of It” (Hebrews 4:1)
 
God the Father promised us rest even before creating us, and He sought to fulfill this promise and to complete our salvation by sending Jesus Christ to this earth. It was to every human being that God the Father promised to give His blessings. Even before the foundation of the world, God the Father knew already that man would be deceived by Satan and fall into sin, and that is why He promised to prepare this rest and give it to all of us who would come to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Today’s Scripture reading therefore reminds us that God’s blessed promise remains with us, but it also reminds us that some of us might come short of this promise. Put differently, God is teaching us here that all of us should ensure that we are able to partake in this Word of promise by faith.
The God-given rest literally means a peaceful rest. No one works all the time around the clock, but everyone takes some time off to rest. Any rest that comes after hard work is sweet and refreshing even if it is short. For example, we took a short break today after holding an outdoor worship service, and from this experience alone we can see that even a brief rest from work is sweeter than any honey in this world.
However, even though we enjoyed our time-off in a beautiful park today, this cannot even be compared to the God-given rest. If there is one thing that’s similar, it is that we did not have to do anything to enjoy today’s picnic as every facility at the picnic site was already prepared by the park office beforehand. In a similar vein, we don’t have to do anything for our salvation in order to enjoy the everlasting rest that God promised to us, and we can obtain it just by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with our hearts. God has been waiting for us, having already prepared all the blessings of faith for us. None of us can observe the God-given Law to perfection, but we can now reach our perfect salvation and find this true rest just by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that God has given to us in this age. God had already prepared our salvation through the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit beforehand.
Having thus prepared the Truth of salvation that’s indispensable to us all, God wanted to give it only to those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is very important for us to grasp this will of God. Our true salvation is found in the righteousness of God, and although we can receive all the blessings of God if we believe in this Truth of salvation, we cannot reach our salvation without this faith.
Put differently, even though our Lord promised to give us true salvation, we cannot enjoy this salvation unless we have faith in it. Sadly, there are many Christians nowadays who are unable to enjoy God’s blessings because of their unbelief. That is why the Bible says, “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it” (Hebrews 4:1). Let us now turn to the following verse written in Hebrews 4:2: “For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.” It is written here that the Word of salvation did not profit some people even though it was preached to them. This means that there will always be some people who, despite hearing the Word of God, will not be able to enjoy His true salvation and rest because of their lack of faith. Then who amongst us is unable to enjoy God’s blessings even after hearing the His Word? Who among us is unable to receive God’s help?
God the Father has granted His true salvation to all who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that constitutes the righteousness of God. The problem, however, is that many people reject their own salvation by refusing to believe in this righteousness of God. Even though the Triune God has delivered all human beings from all their sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, many people still refuse to accept this gospel as their salvation, and consequently they cannot profit from God’s blessings. It is so heartbreaking to see so many people refusing to accept salvation into their hearts despite the fact God has saved them from all the sins of this world through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is because of this lack of faith that so many people nowadays are struggling so hard unable to enjoy any rest even though God has given them His rest. All of us must know this gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit and believe in it from the bottom of our hearts. God has done everything for us to never again struggle over our sins and to never be condemned into hell for our sins. It was to deliver us from all our sins that Jesus Christ came looking for us. And because none of us could solve the problem of our sins by ourselves, all of us had to believe in the righteousness of God. We all had to accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit into our hearts with thanksgiving. Tragically too many people are still rejecting this God-given salvation. These people are rejecting God’s help, saying that they don’t need Him to reach their own salvation.
The Bible says, “For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it” (Hebrews 4:2). So, those who accepted God’s gospel of the water and the Spirit into their hearts found rest, but those who rejected this help had to be destroyed.
  
 
To Unite Your Heart with the Righteousness of God Is to Be in Harmony with God
 
When God says that we need His help, we ought to admit this by saying, “Yes, Lord! We do need your help.” We are saved from all our sins when we admit that we need God’s help like this and accept His gospel of the water and the Spirit into our hearts. All of us need God’s salvation, and it is when we accept this salvation by faith that we can really thank God and truly unite ourselves with Him. We can then follow the will of God in complete obedience, which is what every life of righteousness is all about.
Is God’s help not absolutely indispensable to all our lives? God’s help is indeed desperately needed by all of us. That is because we cannot reach our salvation by ourselves, and fortunately, God does not want to abandon us to our own devices only to end up in hell. It is precisely like this because we would have all ended up in hell if left alone that God came looking for us to help us avoid this fate. But to receive this help from God, we must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that He has given to us. Otherwise God’s help is wasted, and this is why the Bible says, “But the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it” (Hebrews 4:2).
By trusting in our God’s Word of righteousness, all of us must confirm our salvation and unite ourselves with God. It is absolutely imperative for us to submit ourselves to the authority of the God-spoken Word and believe in it, professing, “Lord God, did You want to help us like this? You have given us the gospel of the water and the Spirit to save us from all the sins of the world.” We must therefore unite ourselves with God’s Word of righteousness like this. The work of salvation that God has done for us is explained in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and this genuine gospel was given to us for our deliverance. We ought to then believe in the sacrifice that our God made for us—that is, the gospel of the water and the Spirit—and thereby be reconciled to God.
 
 
Jesus Has Blotted Out All Our Sins Once and for All by Being Baptized and Shedding His Blood
 
“I took upon all your sins by being baptized by John the Baptist, and I bore the condemnation for all your sins by dying on the Cross in your place. I have thereby made it possible for all of you who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit to no longer dwell in your sins, but to reach your perfect salvation by believing in My righteousness.” This is God’s will for us, and we ought to accept it in agreement, saying to God, “Yes, Lord! You are right. If You have saved me like this through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then all my sins have indeed disappeared. You are absolutely right!” Like this, only when our hearts and faith are completely united with the righteousness of God can we say that we have the true faith of salvation.
Sadly, many Christians still refuse to unite with this gospel Word they have heard. The fact that these Christians have not united with God’s Word means that they do not agree with the plan of salvation that God made to save them through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Far from listening attentively to the gospel of the water and the Spirit, these misguided Christians refuse to unite their hearts with this gospel. Since they refuse to believe in God’s plan of salvation for them, they are unable to be saved by God. Such people can never enjoy true salvation, for they can never receive the remission of their sins.
In contrast, when we first heard the gospel of the water and the Spirit all of us obeyed and believed in it. Because we have united ourselves with God through our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have come into true rest, and therefore we have peace in our hearts. And when the day of the Lord’s return comes, even our bodies will be transformed. That’s because it is an irrefutable fact that we the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit will enjoy everlasting rest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
The problem however in today’s Christian communities is that too many people have not yet received rest as they refuse to believe in this blessed gospel of God. Since the Bible says that anyone who has not united himself with God by faith cannot come into His rest, these misguided Christians who refuse to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can never find any true rest.
 
 
What Kind of Rest Is beyond Their Reach Then?
 
First of all, these Christian sinners cannot find any rest for their hearts while they live on this earth because they do not believe in the God-given gospel of the water and the Spirit, and consequently they have not received the remission of sins into their hearts yet. Second, because these misguided Christians don’t believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they cannot partake in the everlasting rest that will be granted to all true believers. They are therefore always tormented by their sins. And we thus see them trying to blot out their sins with their own prayers of repentance or other pious acts. They themselves probably know only too well just how weary it is to lead such a wearisome religious life.
What’s the opposite of rest? It is having works to do in perpetuity. Even though many Christians are trying hard to blot out their sins like this, we see that none of them are ultimately successful in this endeavor. Every day these Christian sinners devote their time and piety to offer their own prayers of repentance. Even today, they are all trying to receive the remission of their sins all on their own. They are laboring in vain like this because they have not united themselves with the righteousness of Jesus by faith. But until they actually receive the remission of all their sins, they can never ever dream of ever receiving true rest on this earth. So while we are living out our faith in peace by trusting in the righteousness of Jesus, most Christians today cannot find true rest even though they are thirsting after it because they do not know the righteousness of Jesus. Even though these misguided Christians try coming into the presence of God, their prayers are all in vain, asking God to wash away their sins when He has already cleansed them all away. Like this, there is a huge difference between those who are enjoying the God-given rest and those who are not.
So, Christians can be divided into two groups: Those whose hearts have found rest, and those who have not. What kind of Christian are you then? Does your heart have faith in the true gospel of the water and the Spirit? If there is rest in your heart, then this clearly means that you are someone who believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Those who have this faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have true rest in their hearts because they no longer have to work so hard in perpetuity to blot out their heart’s sins. These people have truly received the remission of their sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. In contrast, those who have not found true rest for their hearts are always tormented like this because they have not received the remission of all their sins yet; and this is because they do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Because we the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are so used to enjoying rest on account of our faith, it may be possible for some of us to take this rest for granted and not really appreciate just how precious it is. How about you? Are you really grateful to God that your heart is now enjoying His rest? It is by faith that we are serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The very fact that we have found this spiritual rest means that we all believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Sometimes I ask you to take some rest. But soon after this I also ask you to resume working once again. I do this because it’s absolutely imperative to complete the work that we have been doing, or otherwise we cannot sustain the true rest that we now have. When Jesus passed away on the Cross, He said, “It is finished!” He then arose from the dead in three days, ascended to the Kingdom of Heaven, and is now sitting and resting at the right hand of the throne of God the Father. If Jesus had not completed His work of salvation to blot out all the sins of the human race with His baptism and His blood on the Cross, then it would have been impossible for Him to rest now even though He is God Himself. It is exactly like this because Jesus has blotted out all our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit that He can rest now; if He had failed to complete this work of salvation, He would not have been able to rest. The Bible says that our Lord God rested on the seventh day of the creation of the heavens and the earth, and this implies that to give us His true rest, the Lord Himself came to this earth as the Master of the Sabbath Day and eradicated all our sins once and for all with His baptism and blood. That is why Jesus Christ is now sitting and resting at the right hand of the throne of God the Father. And thanks to the righteous work of salvation that Jesus Christ has done, all human beings can now enjoy the same rest that Jesus is enjoying.
However, many of today’s Christians are still suffering because of the sins that are in their hearts and their futile attempt to blot them out through their own efforts. They are weary from their constant struggle against their sins and against the curses and condemnation of Satan. They are battling their sins all by themselves. So you can imagine just how hard this must be on them. But they have nothing to complain to God about, for they are suffering out of their own volition because they stubbornly profess to believe in Jesus with a mistaken understanding of His righteousness.
Our Lord has brought His true rest to us by giving us the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is such an amazing blessing that we cannot help but believe in this gospel and praise our Lord for His righteousness. Our Lord had come to this earth to give His true rest into your heart and mine. How marvelous is this grace of God? This rest that we the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are enjoying freely was completed by our Lord once and for all when He came to this earth. This rest that we now have was prepared by God Himself with His righteousness and was bestowed upon all of us. It is God’s precious gift. The grace of God is such a wonderful blessing because it is the righteousness made in Heaven.
This rest that we have received into our hearts is the very righteousness of God that our Lord has given to all of us. What did God the Father say about those who cannot enjoy any rest in their hearts even as they profess to believe in Jesus? He said in today’s Scripture passage, “But the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it” (Hebrews 4:2). Even now, many Christians are still refusing to unite their hearts with the righteousness of God by faith. Even though we have preached the Word of God to them, they say to us, “But I don’t think you are right. Surely, the gospel of the water and the Spirit cannot be the only true gospel.” They say this because they have not united themselves with the righteousness of God by faith, for they neither agree with the Word of God nor accept His divine authority.
Every one of the 66 Books of the Bible is the Word of God, and therefore you must agree with every part of the Scriptures. You cannot describe yourself as someone who truly believes in God’s righteousness if you just believe in some parts of the Scriptures and ignore the other parts. If anyone believes in just some parts of the Word of God but not in others, then this person cannot really be said to believe in God completely. In other words, when it comes to believing in God, we cannot really say that we believe in God if we believe in some of His Word but not in others. We must believe in every part of the Word of God, and if there is any part that we cannot understand, then we must make every effort to learn about these parts and believe in it just as it is.
There are many Christians nowadays who believe in the Word of God only if they are able to comprehend it according to their own limited thoughts, but don’t believe in it if they cannot understand it. But these mistaken Christians must realize what God is saying to them. Someone who possesses the real faith in the righteousness of God by necessity agrees with every part of the Word of God. Whether you decide to believe in the Word of God or not should not depend on whether it’s congruent to your own thoughts; rather, you must believe in every part of the Word of God no matter what, even if it does not fit into your fleshly thoughts. Yet, there are so many misguided Christians nowadays who pick and choose which part of the Word of God to believe. When I think about them, I feel so sorry for them that it keeps me awake at night. This is the same concern that the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews had in his mind.
Let’s now turn to Hebrews 4:3-6:
“For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said:
‘So I swore in My wrath,
“They shall not enter My rest,”’
although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: ‘And God rested on the seventh day from all His works’; and again in this place: ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience.”
In the age of the New Testament, every Apostle preached the Truth that Jesus bore all the sins of the world once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist, died on the Cross, and thereby saved all who believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit from all their sins. However, some people in those days still could not come into the God-given rest as they refused to believe in the Word of God that came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Just as the Israelites in the days of the Old Testament could not be perfected even though they and their priests offered sacrifices to God constantly, these people could not become perfect either. They could not come into the everlasting rest prepared by God but suffer because they did not believe in God’s Word. Therefore, it’s absolutely important for you to realize here that God grants salvation only to those who accept His Word into their hearts—that is, those who accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
In the days of both the Old and the New Testaments there were and are countless people who neither obeyed the Word of God nor believed in it. It is because so many people did not and do not believe in the Word of God that they could and cannot ever enter into His peace. So, today as we hear the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we must also be wide awake and believe in this gospel. It is written in Hebrews 4:7-8:
“Again He designates a certain day, saying in David, ‘Today,’ after such a long time, as it has been said:
‘Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.’
For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day.”
This passage reminds us that through the Law, Moses could take the people of Israel only as far as the outskirts of the land of Canaan to see it from a distance but could not enter it. It was Joshua who actually led them into the land of Canaan. Today, it is Jesus Christ who is offering us the true remission of our sins and rest. When the Bible says here in Hebrews 4:8, “For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day,” it means that no lawyer can bring any true rest no matter how great he is. In other words, only Jesus Christ and His righteousness can bring true rest to us. And the Word of God admonishes us to believe in Christ right now at this very moment, saying to us,
“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts” (Hebrews 4:7).
Sometimes we find it hard to accept God’s Word of salvation as our hearts are hardened. However, when we once again hear the Word of God, we should not allow our hearts to continue to be hardened, but rather we must open up our minds, accept God’s Word with all humility, and thus reach our true salvation. John 1:12-13 says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” Receiving Jesus Christ here means accepting into the heart the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit that constitutes the righteousness of God. Sadly to say, there are so many Christians nowadays who do not actually believe in the Word of God. Perhaps that’s why there are so many people whose hearts are so hardened.
Let’s turn to Hebrews 4:4 here: “He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: ‘And God rested on the seventh day from all His works.’” Here the words that God “rested” on the seventh day of creation means that He had finished all His works of creation and no longer had to work. To put this in the context of the New Testament, that God rested from all his works on the seventh day of the creation of the heavens and the earth implies that God no longer needs to work on our salvation, for Jesus has blotted out all our sins completely and perfectly by being baptized by John the Baptist and shedding His blood. The Lord, in other words, is not working anymore to blot out our sins.
This is why the Bible says in Hebrews 10:12, “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.” This passage says clearly that Jesus sat down at the right hand of God the Father. That ‘the Lord sat down’ means He is now resting comfortably. “Resting” means stopping or refraining from any more work. So, the fact that Jesus Christ sat down at the right hand of God the Father means that He has already finished His work of salvation, stopped laboring for it, and is now resting. In short, it means that Jesus Christ has given us the remission of sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Having thus blotted out all our sins and is now resting, Jesus is telling us to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with all our hearts. Therefore, whoever believes in this gospel of the water and the Spirit in unity with the Word of God can now receive true rest into his heart.
 
 
You Cannot Be Saved Just by Pretending to Know and Believe in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit Even as You Don’t Actually Understand It
 
I just cannot understand why so many people don’t accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit even though it is so clear that Jesus Christ has saved them from all their sins through this genuine gospel. One of the most serious afflictions plaguing virtually all Christians in this world is that they pretend to know and believe in Jesus even as they neither know nor believe in the Lord properly. This is the most serious hypocrisy. They all are infected with this life threatening epidemic called “religious hypocrisy.” They pretend to know everything about being saved but in reality they know nothing of the true salvation; they pretend not to have committed any sins even though they sin all the time; and they pretend to have been saved from their sins even though they do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and therefore still have not received the remission of their sins yet. Some people even pretend to know and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit even as they don’t really understand this gospel, and all these people will surely end up in hell. So I ask you to understand the gospel of the water and the Spirit properly and believe in it sincerely. Given the fact that Jesus Christ has already blotted out all our sins once and for all with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, everyone ought to accept this gospel Word into their hearts so that they can enter the Kingdom of Heaven. There is no reason why anyone should ever reject this gospel only to end up going to hell. Yet many people are still heading straight for hell, and the reason for this is because they are too pretentious in their religious hypocrisy, feigning to know everything there is to know about salvation even as they know absolutely nothing.
I am sure that you have come across people like this who pretend to have received the remission of their sins even though they are ignorant of the gospel of the water and the Spirit and therefore have not actually received the remission of sins yet. These people pretend to be God’s own people, His saints, and His servants, and they act as though they were sinless. It boggles my mind why so many people would hang onto their useless pride and pretend to believe in Jesus like this. You should be honest about yourself; if there is any sin in your heart, then you ought to admit this, and if there is no sin, then you ought to say so boldly. The problem of course, is that most Christians think they can go to Heaven as long as they believe in Jesus even if they still remain sinful. But anyone who still has sin cannot ever step inside the Kingdom of Heaven. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just full of his own thoughts. One should rather pay close attention to the Word of God and not his own thoughts.
How can anyone who remains a sinner ever go to the Kingdom of Heaven? Heaven has absolutely no place for any sinner. How about you then? Is your heart still full of sins? You should answer this question with all honesty. If by any chance your answer is yes, then you cannot go to the Kingdom of Heaven, for no sinner can ever enter Heaven. When this question is raised with today’s Christians, many of them say in all honesty that their hearts still remain sinful. But when they are asked if they have the Holy Spirit in their hearts, they usually say that they do. When asked how they know that they have the Holy Spirit in their hearts, they say that they know this because they can speak in tongues. But this makes no sense at all, since these misguided Christians acknowledge that their hearts remain sinful, yet at the same time they claim that the Holy Spirit dwells in them. After all how can the Holy Spirit who is completely and absolutely sinless ever dwell in any sinful heart? It is impossible for the Holy Spirit to enter any heart that remains sinful. This then can only mean that what these nominal Christians claim to have in their hearts is not the Holy Spirit.
Koreans share some similar traits with Jewish people due to the lingering influence of Confucianism. One of such traits is that they put a great deal of emphasis on saving their faces. For instance, some Koreans still look down on any kind of manual labor, thinking that it’s fit only for the uneducated and uncultured. This is a legacy of Korea’s Confucian traditions which prizes scholarly endeavors above all and considered manual labor as something beneath any self-respecting nobleman. As a result of this lingering legacy, some Koreans who still cling to such outdated notions are ashamed to do any physical labor. In the feudal past, there were actually many impoverished noblemen who starved to death just to save face. But what does face-saving matter when one is about to starve to death?
Like this, many Christians in Korea put a great deal of emphasis on their outward piety, and so they try to establish their own righteousness even as they do not know the righteousness of Jesus. They pretend to be “good” Christians despite the fact that their hearts remain sinful and they are heading straight to hell. But what does it matter whether one is ordained as an elder or a pastor? One’s church office has absolutely no bearing on his salvation; even if you are an elder or a pastor, if you are heading to hell, then you ought to accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit right away. You ought to ensure that your soul is delivered from all your sins.
Sadly, however, too many Christians nowadays are entwined in the tiresome old sectarian disputes of doctrinal issues. But who has time for this anymore? If you are drowning, you ought to grab anything that can pull you out of the water. Even if someone throws you just a broken branch, you should be grateful enough to grab it right away and pull yourself out of the water. If you instead insist to the person who is trying to save you like this to call for a rescue boat, then you will surely drown.
It’s such a tragedy that so many people find it so hard to accept every God-spoken Word even though they are about to be cast into hell for their sins. Who could be more arrogant than such people? Who could be more reckless? How could anyone accept just some parts of the Word of God while rejecting the other parts? How could we mere creatures dare to judge what Jesus Christ has done for us and reject His grace of salvation in disbelief? Given the fact that God has commanded us to always revere Him, would it be okay for us to accept just some of His Word and reject others? No, of course not! All of us have no choice but to accept each and every Word of God into our hearts and endorse it.
The problem, however, is that the vast majority of today’s Christians are suffering from the affliction of religious hypocrisy, pretending to know and believe it all. But these people have not actually united with the Word of God. They will all face God’s judgment on the last day. If God says in His Word, “This is the gospel of the water and the Spirit,” then you ought to accept it into your heart by saying, “Lord, You are right.” Just how smart do you think you are to try to understand the majestic God with your tiny head? Can you comprehend the Word of God completely with your head even if you try? Would you believe in God’s Word only if you could understand it completely and reject it if you could not understand any part of it?
About 15 years ago a major newspaper in Korea ran a story about a Korean missionary in the Amazon forest territory. This article made a great deal of splash, and so perhaps some of you might still remember it. Anyways, a reporter had gone to the Amazon River in Brazil to film the rain forest, but while there, he came across an Asian missionary ministering amidst a cannibalistic tribe in the jungle. Surprised by this, the reporter made an enquiry and found out that this missionary was from Korea.
The missionary had not even had any formal theological training, but he had left Korea with only enough money to pay for his flight to the United States, just saying that he was going to preach the gospel to a cannibalistic tribe in the Amazon. To reach Brazil, this missionary had to transit through the United States, but he ran out of money once he got to the United States. While stranded in the United States, he happened to see people tossing coins into a fountain for good luck, which is actually quite a common practice in many Western countries. So once he saw that the fountain was full of coins he waited around for the fountain to be deserted, and when no one was watching he got into the fountain and collected all the coins. He then used this windfall to purchase the next leg of his trip to Brazil.
When he got to the Amazon, there was a tribe that was thought to be cannibalistic. But in fact, this tribe was not cannibalistic. The tribal members did eat human flesh, but only when one of them had passed away. The members of this tribe believed that it was immoral to bury the dead only to be devoured by worms, and so when a family member passed away, it was their tradition for everyone in the family to eat the dead out of respect. In other words, they did not kill anyone alive to eat; rather, they ate the dead out of the belief that they would become one with their dead family members by eating their flesh. And the missionary was preaching the gospel to this primitive tribe.
When this missionary eventually returned to Korea, a major newspaper ran a splashing story on him, making a big fuss about the return of the first Korea missionary to preach the gospel to a cannibalistic tribe. It is true that prior to this no Korean missionary had ever ministered in such a hostile environment. So it was understandable that there was such a big buzz in Korea, but outside Korea it was not such a big deal as there had been many Western missionaries ministering amongst these primitive tribes.
This missionary was then invited by a seminary at one of the major Presbyterian denominations in Korea to hold revival meetings for the students there. While preaching in a grand lecture hall packed with graduate students and theological professors, the missionary asked the students the following question: “Why are you attending this seminary?”
A student then answered and said, “To become a pastor, of course.”
The missionary then asked, “What will you do when you become a pastor?”
“I will preach the gospel.”
“Why are you then studying theology?”
“I am studying to understand God.”
The missionary then said, “How can you understand such a majestic, great and infinite God with your tiny head? If you could understand God like this, would He really be divine?” There was then a great deal of commotion amongst the students, wondering, “What is he saying? Is he saying that we are wrong to study God?”
The missionary then went on to say, “I did not study theology. But do I not revere God more than you? By any chance, are you not studying theology just to exalt yourself? Does it even make any sense for you to study the majestic God with such a tiny head? Is it not a huge mistake? Stop this nonsense! You said just a while ago that you were here because you wanted to become a pastor to preach the gospel. But do you not have sin in your heart? How can you, as someone studying theology, still have sin in your heart? You are not someone who has received the remission of sins, nor are you someone who truly believes in Jesus Christ. What will you then do once you graduate from this seminary? Are you going to minister as a pastor? But if you become a pastor in this way, then you will just become a wage-earner, not a genuine pastor.” Like this, the missionary minced no words testing these students.
He then turned his attention to the seminary professors and said to them, “You are teaching here as professors just to make a living. You are not studying theology because you really revere God. How can a human being try to understand God by any scholarly means? God is understood only by faith and through His Word. Just what are you trying to accomplish by studying God? It is only by accepting the Word of God that one can have true faith.” The missionary said these blunt words in a revival meeting, and so you could easily imagine just how uncomfortable the audience must have felt.
Jesus Christ has given His rest to our hearts through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and the only reason why so many people cannot enjoy this rest is because they do not believe in this gospel. These people are foolish, arrogant and reckless. The Triune God promised rest to all of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and according to this promise, God Himself has personally fulfilled all our salvation through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, if you still do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which is the Word of God, then all that you have to do is just learn about this gospel; and if you have already learned about this gospel, then you only have to believe in it and accept it into your heart. Why are you then unwilling to know the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit? And if you already know this Truth, then why do you refuse to believe in it?
Even though countless Christians profess to believe in Jesus, they still have not come into His rest because they have not accepted the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit that constitutes the righteousness of God. It is because these misguided Christians have not accepted the Truth of the righteousness of God that they are unable to come into His rest due to their disobedience. Whenever we hear the Word of God, we must always cast aside our own stubbornness and accept the gospel Word of the righteousness of God into our hearts with all humility. How about you then? Do you believe that it is the gospel of the water and the Spirit that gives you true rest and the remission of sins? The Lord has indeed given you His rest freely, but you must believe in the righteousness of this Lord to receive it.
Let’s now turn to Hebrews 4:9-13:
“There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
As the Bible says here, there remains a rest for the people of God who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Our Lord has given us His true rest for free. He has enabled us to rest in peace forever. God has prepared an eternal rest for us so that our souls would no longer suffer on this earth. And this resting place is none other than the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Having blotted out all our sins once and for all and prepared the remission of sins for all who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, our Lord Jesus is now sitting and resting at the right hand of God the Father. How about your heart then? Is your heart now enjoying the rest that comes from believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? If you believe in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, then you also have received the remission of sins and your heart is now resting.
Hebrews 4:11 says, “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.” If you really want to be saved from all your sins, then you should without doubt believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. You should never focus on your own fleshly efforts, such as trying to fast and pray a lot, offer your own prayers of repentance every day doing many good deeds, or volunteer your service to some good cause. True rest is enjoyed not through any such means but by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Bible says that obedience is better than any sacrifice. It’s just by obeying the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit that we can enjoy true rest and receive the blessing of becoming God’s own children; you must realize here that you are making a great mistake if you are still trying to be saved by God through your own efforts. Your own efforts and works are nothing more than rubbish that must be cast aside.
Everyone must strive to come into the true salvation by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit which was prepared by God. Those who have already come into the gospel of the water and the Spirit must strive to lead everyone else in this world to this true gospel. And those who still have not come into this true rest must look for those who are preaching the correct Word, that is, the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Rather than blindly insisting that their own respective denominations are orthodox, they ought to look for and come into God’s Church that is preaching His Word correctly, listen to the gospel of the water and the Spirit, be born again, and receive God’s true rest.
There are many heretics and false prophets in this world. There also are many pastors who want nothing else but money. However, my fellow believers, there are also many servants of God who truly believe in His Word of the gospel of the water and the Spirit; they are now resting from their works through this faith just as Jesus is resting from His works. Here you will find witnesses testifying the Word of God correctly, and here you will find God’s true Church.
 
 
You and I Should Never Imitate Those Who Disobey God
 
None of us should ever emulate those who disobey the Word of God, but emulate the obedient. In Hebrews 4:12-13, the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews shows that the Word of God has the power to pierce through every soul, saying, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” What does the Bible say about the Word of God here? It says that the Word is living, powerful and sharper than any double-edged sword.
Everyone has a soul, a spirit and a body. It is because you are human that you have fleshly thoughts. We also have a heart, bones and joints. And the Bible says that God pierces even to the deepest secretes hidden in our thoughts. With His Word God points out correctly that what is from within; out of the heart of man, precede filthy sins such as evil thoughts, murder, theft, adultery, jealousy, conflict, fornication and madness. This means that God knows all about every thought and intent of the human heart. Indeed, there is nothing that the omniscient God does not know.
God knows everything about us; there is nothing about us that God does not know. Even when you deceive your own heart, God knows all about it, as it’s written, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:12). Therefore, do not deceive yourself before this omniscient God. Instead, expose yourself completely as it is before God, admit all your sins to Him, and hold fast onto the gospel of the water and the Spirit by faith, which is the very fountainhead of the God-given remission of sins and rest.
Do you really want to come into the true rest? If you really yearn to come into this true rest, then you ought to admit your wickedness when God’s Word of the water and the Spirit exposes your evil self. When you thus admit your wickedness, you will be able to have faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit much sooner. You will then enter into God’s rest thanks to His grace. Our salvation is reached only by acknowledging the Word of God, never by relying on our own wisdom or believing in some denominational doctrines.
My fellow believers, we have received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. But there still are way too many people who are yet to receive the remission of their sins as they remain ignorant of this genuine gospel. It’s absolutely indispensable for us to preach the correct Word of God to all such people. God has entrusted us with the task of spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and He has made us preach it with our lips. Having made His temple out of our hands, our feet, our thoughts and our everything, God is thus alive inside all of us, and even now He is working through us. He wants to use every part of our body as His instrument. Our Lord wants to fulfill the will of God the Father through us. Do you believe in this will of God? If you do, then as someone who has been truly saved, you ought to have compassion on the people of this world who still have not come into God’s rest and you should be striving to guide them onto the right path. This duty to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit remains with all of us. And when this work is accomplished, we will also enter into everlasting rest.
For all of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, our hearts have already entered into eternal rest, and although we are still laboring on this earth in our flesh, we will soon see the Lord of righteousness face to face. Just as the Lord fulfilled the gospel of the water and the Spirit while walking on this earth for 33 years, during His short stay on this earth, we are also carrying out the Lord’s work; and when this work is done, we will all go to the Lord and enjoy everlasting rest in both body and spirit, just as the Lord is now resting at the right hand of the throne of God the Father.
God has prepared every blessing so that all our hopes would be attained. When we the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit enter the Kingdom of Heaven, we will forever enjoy unimaginable privileges and blessings that defy our current understanding. Looking forward to this day when we will praise God in joy and live happily forever with Him, we are now living according to the will of God. I hope and pray that your heart is also enjoying God’s rest along with every other saint just as Jesus is resting from all His works of salvation.