The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 23 : The Epistle to the HEBREWS

[Chapter 4-2] (Hebrews 4:1-16) What Should We Do To Attain True Rest For Our Hearts?

(Hebrews 4:1-16)
“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. Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
 
 
Today’s Scripture passage teaches us that we must trust in the Word of God. Hebrews 4:1 says that whoever does not believe in the righteousness of God should tremble in fear, for he will be excluded from God’s promised blessings.
There are many preachers in this world who are spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit that contains the righteousness of God, and it is a wonderful blessing for anyone to hear this true gospel. All who hear the gospel of the water and the Spirit should therefore accept it into their hearts with joy. Only then will the problem of their hearts’ sins be resolved, and peace and rest can finally come into their hearts. Despite this, however, there are too many Christians still refusing to accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit into their hearts, and they are gripped by fear as a result. At the beginning of the Early Church era, such people were also found among the Jewish Christians who were scattered around the Mediterranean region.
I began my sermon series on the Epistle to the Hebrews from chapter 1, and today we are about to delve into chapter 4. While Hebrews chapter 1 taught us just how much more exalted Jesus Christ is than any angels, chapter 4 teaches us that we should fear lest there be found some among us who still does not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This implies that such non-believers can be found even inside God’s Church.
 
 
Today’s Christians Who Don’t Believe in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit with All Their Hearts Have No True Peace
 
Rest means the absence of any stress or anxiety. So, when the Bible says that all who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have rest, it means that they have peace of mind. Our hearts can find true rest only when we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit wholeheartedly. But it is written in today’s Scripture passage that we ought to fear lest there be found people among us who do not possess this faith. This implies that even though the gospel of the water and the Spirit was preached continuously in the Early Church era, there still were some people in the Church who did not really believe in this true gospel. Actually, the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we believe in and are preaching now was also testified ceaselessly during the age of the Early Church. In fact, it was preached even more forcefully during the Early Church era than this present age.
Given the primacy of the gospel of the water and the Spirit in the Early Church, the very fact that the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews said such harsh words in today’s Scripture passage shows us just how important he considered the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Although there are many brothers and sisters in God’s Church, if any of them do not really believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then this person is still a sinner. Such people have not yet become God’s very own people. Far from it, they will ultimately turn into God’s enemies.
Therefore, we should also fear lest there be found anyone like this in God’s Church. It is wearisome for us to associate with anyone who does not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, for our hearts can have no communion with such people. It is obvious to us the righteous that our minds are on a completely different plane from them. The believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can communicate with one another only if they share fellowship with each other. But no true believer can share fellowship with any non-believer, and that’s why our hearts are so troubled and unsettled when we see non-believers in God’s Church. Even among those whom we already call our brothers and sisters and consider them as God’s children, there still are some people who know the gospel of the water and the Spirit only with their heads rather than believing in it with all their hearts. This should not be tolerated. Such people not only try to oppose and hurt us the true believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, but they also try to obstruct God’s gospel from being preached. These people must confess their sins to God even now and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with their hearts. Anyone who wants to abide in God’s Church must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit wholeheartedly, or otherwise his soul will be destroyed in the end. You must realize here just how important it is to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, for this is what determines whether you are blessed or cursed by God.
Hebrews 4:1 says, “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.” The Bible tells us here to fear for the exact same reasons that I have outlined above. Could you have any spiritual fellowship with someone who does not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? No, this is impossible. No matter how virtuous this person’s acts are, since he does not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with his heart, it is impossible for him to have any sincere communion with the saints.
In contrast, if anyone really believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with all his heart, then this person is sinless. Such people who truly believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have the Holy Spirit in their hearts, and therefore they can share fellowship with everyone else who has the same faith. However, we cannot share spiritual fellowship with anyone who does not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, since this person does not have the Holy Spirit in his heart. Even if some non-believers claim to share fellowship with the true believers, this is only superficial as they can neither share any true fellowship nor have any communion with the saints, and therefore their souls will perish in the end.
Even though we are all full of shortcomings before God, so long as we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with which God has blotted out all our sins, we can all be saved from our sins. We can then also glorify God. In contrast, those whose hearts have no faith in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit cannot glorify God. They have no intention to live for the glory of God. And that’s why the writer of the Book of Hebrews said here in today’s Scripture passage that it is a most terrifying prospect for God’s Church to have false believers sitting in its pews who don’t actually believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit
 
 
The Onus Is on You to Believe in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
 
Let’s turn to Hebrews 4:2 here: “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.”
Whether or not you decide to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is entirely up to you. However, if you were to understand and believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit merely as one of many Christian doctrines, not taking seriously the fact that your heart is sinful, then you would just end up possessing a completely useless faith. If you are such a person, it is still not too late to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with all your heart. But if you just accept this genuine gospel only as a matter of theoretical conjecture or emotional feeling, then you cannot resolve the problem of your sins. It’s today and right now at this very moment that you ought to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and be delivered from all your sins. And once you are thus saved, you must meditate on this gospel all the time.
Can anyone else solve the problem of your sins? No, of course not! Therefore, if someone is preaching the Word of God to you, the onus is on you to believe in this gospel. In other words, it is absolutely up to you to find the solution to the problem of your sins. So you should believe in this God-given gospel right now at this very hour. The Lord has saved us by coming to this earth, being baptized to bear all our sins, carrying each and every sin of the world to the Cross, being crucified to death, and rising up from the dead. We must believe in this righteous work that the Lord has done for us. You must believe that the Truth of the water and the Spirit was fulfilled by Jesus for none other than you. And when you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, it’s absolutely indispensable for you to believe in it with all your heart. Our Lord has brought the remission of sins to each and every one of us on an individual basis. He did not solve the problem of sin on a collective basis as a group. So it’s entirely your own responsibility to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. After all, no one else can solve your personal problem of sin. Faith is a deeply personal matter, and no one can solve the problem of your sins on your behalf.
Consider your own family. Some of your family members may believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, but others may not. Like this, whether you decide to believe in the Word of God is a completely personal decision; it’s not as though someone else can believe on your behalf. Since no one else can believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit on your behalf—not even your parents, children, or brothers and sisters—you must confront your spiritual problem and solve it by yourself. That is why the faith that saves you from all your sins is entirely personal, and each person must receive salvation through his own personal faith. Therefore, if you yourself refuse to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with your heart, then you yourself will perish. Since you don’t believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you have nothing to do with God, and therefore you will be destroyed in the end. That is just how important it is for you to personally believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and that is why the Book of Hebrews keeps on emphasizing individual faith so much. This issue is addressed not only in Hebrews chapter 4, but it is continuously raised in chapters 5 and 6 in even greater detail.
What would happen to us if we were not to believe in the Word of God even though our Lord has saved us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit? We would all be destroyed. The Bible says that the Lord has saved us from all our sins, but do you believe that this means the Lord has also saved you from all your sins? Indeed, the Lord has at once blotted out all the sins of each and every one of us.
The problem, however, is that there still are some people in God’s Church who don’t really believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. People today are constantly looking for something new, and such people are found even amongst us. Some of them just know the gospel of the water and the Spirit only as a matter of intellectual curiosity rather than believing in it with all their hearts. In this light, such people who are constantly looking for new knowledge are in fact rather foolish. Even though they hear the Word of the Scripture with their ears, they don’t believe in it when they find it incompatible with their own limited minds, and as a result, they are heading straight to hell. And if such people are found in God’s Church, they are no more than foxes that have snuck into the vineyard (Song of Solomon 2:15). To allow these people free reign to roam around in the Church is akin to allowing foxes to come into the vineyard and ruin it. That’s why God told us to be wary of such people.
In the past, there was a certain pastor in our gathering who just pretending to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit when in fact he did not really believe with all his heart. But we could discern such pretenders, for their spiritual fruit is different from ours. Their way of ministering is different from the true servants of God, and their way of serving the righteousness of the Lord is also different. Far from serving the Lord sincerely, such false servants only go through the motions. In contrast, the righteous who truly believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit serve the righteousness of God faithfully even though they may not seem so pious outwardly. They serve God sincerely and pray to Him with an earnest heart.
There were some people among us who did not really believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with their hearts despite having stayed in God’s Church for more than 10 years. Even though these people recognized in their heads that the gospel of the water and the Spirit was right, they did not really accept it into their hearts. In contrast, those who truly believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit confess as the following: “Lord, when I was destined to be cast into hell, You bore all my sins through Your baptism and they were all passed onto You. You not only shouldered my sins, but You also shed Your precious blood on the Cross in my place. Even though I had to die for my sins, You bore them all and were condemned for them in my place.”
 
 
Do You Know How You Have Changed After Believing in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit?
 
Whoever has received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit has true peace and rest in his heart. The amazing work of salvation has unfolded in the lives of all who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Such a wonderful work has arisen in our lives like this because we have met the Lord. Even though our acts are still full of shortcomings, our hearts have found rest because of the righteousness of God that has blotted out all our sins from our hearts. That is why it is now possible for us to think about how we can live for the righteousness of the Lord rather than just worrying about ourselves. Before believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we had no rest in our hearts no matter how hard we tried to find it, but now that this problem has been resolved, we can all live for the sake of others.
The problem, however, is that too many Christians do not realize this fact. Such Christians are not sure that the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the true gospel, and they think that it’s pretty much the same as any other gospel. But the gospel of the water and the Spirit is fundamentally different from any gospel that advocates only Jesus’ blood on the Cross. The Bible says in Hebrews 4:3-4 that all who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have already come into the God-given rest, as it’s written: “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.’”
In these two verses alone, the word “rest” is mentioned repeatedly. It’s written in Genesis 2:2, “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.” Just as God rested after finishing all His work of creation, so can we also attain His true rest by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. All who already believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with their hearts have come into this rest which was prepared by God, and they are all enjoying this rest.
People today must realize that if they want to find true rest for their hearts, they must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Those who have found this rest for their souls are those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, while those who are yet to find this rest are those who don’t believe in this true gospel. This is the difference that sets us the righteous apart from everyone else. That is why all the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have true rest in their hearts, while this rest is yet to come into anyone who does not believe in this gospel. Therefore, if you want to find out whether or not your heart has true rest, you should examine yourself first to see whether or not you have really received the remission of your sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Is there actually any sin in your heart? Do you continue to see your sins remaining intact even as you try to convince yourself that you have been saved? If this is the case, then you have no peace in your heart, for a sinful heart is always apprehensive. It’s because of your sins that your heart is darkened. On the other hand, if you really have faith in the Truth of salvation that has blotted out all your sins, then you are a truly happy person. Genuine rest is enjoyed only by those who have received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Each and every one of us who believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit received from God cannot help but praise Jesus Christ. Like this, all who have been born again by believing in this genuine gospel lead their lives of faith in God’s Church. It is impossible for them not to do so. And they recognize God’s true servants and saints and are joyful together with them. These true believers can recognize and discern the born-again from everyone else. Even though nominal Christians cannot discern whether one has been born again or not, every born-again Christian can see this clearly. While the people of this world may deceive one another, they cannot hide from the eyes of the born-again.
Therefore, all of us must find true rest for our hearts by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and live in this rest for the rest of our lives. The Bible says that whoever believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can find rest for his heart, but how many people in this age have really found this peace of mind? Even though everyone wants to find true rest, few actually find it. Who has then found true rest for his heart? Where is this peace found? It is found in those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, in the true believers abiding in God’s Church.
Jesus said that a tree is known by its fruit. This implies that those who have truly found the solution to the problem of their sins and attained rest for their hearts naturally try to help others to solve their problem of sin also, for such people have already resolved this issue. And the result of their effort is always good.
In contrast, those who have not received the remission of sins cannot help anyone else since they themselves still have not solved their own problems. They have no choice but to leave others in their sinful state just as their own hearts remain sinful. This is why so many Christians all around the world cannot actually preach the Word effectively even as they claim to be engaged in world mission.
Unlike such nominal Christians, we have been truly born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and therefore we can all preach this genuine gospel ceaselessly all over the world. Because the problem of our sins has been resolved, we can now live for the sake of others. In other words, because each and every one of us has personally received the remission of sins, all of us can work to bring the remission of sins to others as well. We do this gospel work in various ways and forms—through our literature ministry, by preaching the gospel to the lost souls directly, praying for them from far away, or otherwise doing whatever we can to support the gospel ministry. We can do these things like this because we have found true rest. If we had no rest in our hearts, then it would make no sense for us to try to live for others. It would be simply impossible. If anyone claims to live such a selfless life even when he himself does not have any peace in his heart, this person is nothing more than a hypocrite.
 
 
There Are Some People Who Offer Charity Even When They Themselves Have No Rest in Their Hearts
 
Christians who have not found true rest for their hearts are prone to devote themselves to charitable works in a futile attempt to gain it. Many Christians try to do virtuous things by volunteering at a seniors’ residence, an orphanage, or a soup kitchen. As a result of such activities, they get to enjoy some peace and rest for a short while. But this kind of temporary rest is attained by a religious means, and therefore they get thirsty in just a few days. Since none of them can be completely quenched by relying on their own good deeds, they have no choice but to try to do good things endlessly, for they are always thirsty.
Any rest that’s attained in this way is not genuine. And since this kind of rest is attained by one’s own effort rather than from God, it is a false rest. It is akin to deceiving oneself and whitewashing one’s own conscience. This is in fact evil, for it is all about trying to establishing one’s own righteousness through one’s own good works.
Like this, countless religious people in this world try to find rest for their consciences by doing good deeds on their own. But they ultimately cannot enjoy any lasting rest. Even though they might feel at ease while doing charitable works, this is only ephemeral, for their own virtuous works are rendered ineffective in no time. Even so, they still devote themselves to good works, and this is because they have no peace in their hearts, nor any satisfaction, nor any joy. No matter how hard they try to build their own virtue on this earth, they can neither be saved nor become sinless. As these people continue to remain sinful, they will all be cast into hell in the end and suffer its punishment forever. They will get nowhere near the Kingdom of God. So you can see just how wretched these people are.
In the account of the Samaritan woman, we see that this woman came to the well to draw water at high noon because she wanted to avoid people. As she was an adulterous woman, she was afraid of being seen by anyone at this well. But she still needed water, so she came to the well at the hottest hour of the day when everyone else was resting. And Jesus Christ said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13-14).
Countless religious people are just like this Samaritan woman. They drink from the well of religion, and for a short while, they don’t feel that thirsty. But eventually they get thirsty again, so they once again find themselves going to the well of religion to draw water again. Like this, so many people today are trapped in their respective religions whether they are Christians or non-Christians, and these people seek religious devotion in an attempt to find rest like this because they have no rest in their hearts. So they try hard to practice their religion piously and devotedly. Even though they may find some rest from this, it’s all fleeting as it will disappear the moment they turn around from their religious activities.
But is any genuine rest so ephemeral like this, as though it were a mirage? No, of course not! Because religion can provide only a temporary relief, people get even thirstier over time, they then try even harder to find rest, and they end up making even more sacrifices for this elusive goal. However, these people still have their sins remaining intact in their hearts no matter how piously they practice their religion. Although they hope to find some rest even if it’s fake, and with the passing of time, even this is rendered unattainable.
In contrast, the Lord has already given us true rest. After all, He has given us the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And by believing in this genuine gospel, we have received the Lord’s rest. What a wonderful blessing is this?
The Lord did not blot out all our sins just because He wanted to boast of His power. It’s not for any useless purpose that the Lord came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, nor has He saved us for no reason by bearing all our sins through His baptism, shedding His blood to death on the Cross, and rising up from the dead. Rather, the Lord did these righteous things because He truly loved us.
Therefore, whether or not we can be happy depends entirely on whether or not we believe in the work of salvation that the Lord has done for us. Indeed, it’s your faith that makes all the difference, and the consequences of your decision are far reaching. If you decide to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with all your heart, then you will be blessed beyond your imagination, but if you choose not to believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit, then you will be cursed forever to face indescribable suffering.
Although God can do anything since He is omniscient and omnipotent, we are not like God. There are countless things that remain beyond our reach. We are so feeble that our lives on this earth last only about 70 to 80 years at the most. And unless we receive the remission of our sins, even this short life would be unbearably hard to live. Life itself would be filled with nothing but suffering, for we would have no true rest in our hearts, nor any true peace, nor any true satisfaction. Without receiving the remission of sins, no one can find any satisfaction in this world no matter what he does.
I am sure all of us here had a childhood dream and tried very hard to make this dream come true, doing our best to succeed and prosper in this world. When I was a kid, I also wanted to become a successful man, and I also wanted to grow up to be a good man to help others in need. However, with the passing of time, as I grew up and became a college student, I began to be preoccupied with my own life rather than someone else’s, wondering what I should do to make a living and succeed in life now that it was time for me to stand on my own two feet.
Many people probably dreamed of becoming the President in their childhood. Others might have dreamt of becoming a famous professional baseball player, boxer, or golfer. Most people have an ambitious dream when they are young, but what happens with the passing of time? Many college freshmen are so excited to take their first steps into the world that they are full of ambitious dreams and hopes for their future. But in time, they see their dreams becoming smaller and smaller. By the time they are about to graduate, they see themselves just wishing to find a job anywhere, and as they realize just how hopeless their lives have become, they fall into despair. From then on life is a living hell and every day is a constant struggle. Many people therefore end up living recklessly and wasting away their lives, all the while complaining about how life is full of struggles and dangers like a boat tossed to and fro in the high seas, and always talking about how wonderful it had been when they were kids. People reminisce about their childhood with nostalgia because their present circumstances are so hard. And that’s why they have no rest in their hearts.
However, to such people who have no rest, God has given the gospel of the water and the Spirit so that they would all believe in it. And the Lord has granted true rest to whoever believes in this gospel. So what a wonderful blessing is it that we have this rest? Even though we could never find any true rest for our hearts no matter how hard we tried throughout our entire lifetime, the Lord has given the gospel of the water and the Spirit to such wretched people like us, and our hearts have found this heavenly rest by believing in this gospel. As all our sins have disappeared from our hearts, we can all enjoy peace and renew our strength. It is no longer necessary for us to suffer because of our sins, cry over our sins and beg God to forgive us for our sins, fast and pray over our sins, or try to do good deeds to compensate for our sins. What a wonderful blessing is this?
Today, even though many Christians claim to have received the remission of their sins when they first believed in Jesus, they are still prone to try to wash away their everyday sins with their own virtuous acts. I see people like this all the time, trying hard to wash away their sins through their own efforts. These misguided Christians do whatever they can to serve God and volunteer their time and efforts to Him, from going on short-term mission trips abroad, to visiting prisons and hospitals, all to bear witness of Jesus. But this cannot blot out their hearts’ sins at all. They are just trying in vain, and all that they get out of this effort is a fleeting sense of accomplishment. That’s why they have no true rest.
Such religious practitioners are found everywhere in Christian communities all around the world. And such religious people are also found in every kind of religion apart from Christianity. These religious people probably feel good about themselves when they try to do many good things according to the teachings of their respective religions. But when they stop doing these acts even for a short while, they are tormented even more. Ultimately, when they realize that they cannot do anything on their own and look deep into their hearts, they see that there is nothing remaining but their sins, and that is why all that awaits them in the end is suffering. Because their sins remain intact, they are still sinners even after believing in their respective religions just as they were sinners before believing. So just how futile is this? This is why religious devotion is completely meaningless.
The word “religion” derives from the Latin word “religio,” which means “to tie fast.” A religion is a man-made belief system that binds its followers in chains. Put differently, to be religious is to make one’s own god and doctrines and chain oneself to a false belief system.
That is not what real Christian faith is all about. True Christian faith is all about grasping God’s achievements and trusting in Him with reverence. So, if the rules of religion are set by oneself, the rules of faith are governed by God. To be religious is to try to find the truth by oneself, and therefore it is entirely up to the individual seeker. In contrast, faith is all about believing in what God has done for us according to His Word rather than one’s own wishes, and therefore it depends entirely on God. That is why religious practitioners have no rest, for no one can stand before God on his own without any defects. Even if one claims to be a Christian and professes to believe in Jesus, so long as this person is just leading a religious life, he is restless because he cannot come into God’s rest.
In contrast, the people of faith can enjoy true rest because their faith is given by the perfect God. Just as the Bible says that God loved the world so much that He sent His only begotten Son, it is because God loved us first that we were created and put on this earth. That is why God allowed us to be born on this earth and personally came to this earth to save us when we had fallen into sin. Moreover, God bore all our sins by being baptized and saved us by dying on the Cross and rising up from the dead. This is what we hear with our ears, confirm with our eyes, and believe with our hearts. And this is what faith is all about.
 
 
What Should One Then Believe to Come into God’s Rest?
 
It is by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that one can come into God’s rest. Genuine rest is attained only when one receives true remission of sins, and the true remission of sins is received only when one believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Some people think that this is a new doctrine. But that is not the case at all. The gospel of the water and the Spirit that we are preaching is not a mere doctrine. If it were just a dogma, we could not possibly speak of the same thing over and over again day after day. If the gospel of the water and the Spirit were not the Truth, it would be impossible for us to speak of only this gospel, and we would have to find something new to talk about every day. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews also preached the gospel of the water and the Spirit repeatedly in every chapter. This gospel of the water and the Spirit is never boring even if it were preached a million times. That’s because it is God’s Truth.
Here in the Epistle to the Hebrews, God is asking us whether or not we have really come into His rest, whether or not we truly believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and whether or not we have indeed united our hearts with this genuine gospel. Therefore, all of us ought to thank God for giving us the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and with thanksgiving accept His rest into our hearts. Only then can we also enter the Kingdom of Heaven. And this is why the Bible speaks of this gospel of rest so many times.
Even though God has saved all humanity and is offering true rest to whoever believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, there still are so many people who have not entered His rest. The problem is that not everyone can have faith. Only those whose hearts are pure and honest like a child, whose spirits are poor, and who truly try to live according to the God-spoken Word can possess this real faith and find God’s approval. You can have this true faith that brings God’s rest to you only if you accept the God-spoken Word trustingly like a little child and believe in it without a trace of doubt. If you are instead filled with the lust of the flesh and treacherously scheme to use the Word of God only as a means to further your own selfish interests, then you can never know the Truth nor find God’s approval. Such people who are filled with selfish greed are bound to take the gospel of the water and the Spirit only as a new doctrine even when they hear it. But these people will all perish over their own wiles. You must therefore have a trusting heart like a little child, believe in the God-given gospel of the water and the Spirit, and thereby attain your rest.
Your faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit must be constantly confirmed and meditated upon everyday. Regardless of how long you might have believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, if you fail to ruminate on it today, you may end up losing your faith and forgetting all about it. On this earth, the gospel of the water and the Spirit alone brings peace and satisfaction to our hearts. That is why we must meditate upon it everyday and renew our faith day after day. Whenever God’s servants preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we ought to believe in it in obedience. The greatest sin of all is not to believe in this gospel Word of the water and the Spirit even after hearing it.
Let’s turn to Hebrews 4:12-13 here: “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.”
Whenever we read the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit which is revealed in the Bible, we can feel just how sharp the Word of God is. God’s Truth is so sharp that it pierces even to the division of our minds, our spirits, and our fleshly thoughts to manifest them all clearly. The Word of God therefore shows us what is wrong with our thoughts and what the right faith is like.
Everything is exposed naked before the gospel of the water and the Spirit like this. Just as there is no creature that is hidden from God’s sight, our everything is made naked and open before God’s Word, thereby exposing who we are by nature, in what condition we were born, what kinds of sins we have, what iniquities we would commit in the future, and what kinds of fleshly thoughts we have. God’s Word teaches us what is the right heart to have and what is the wrong heart. The Word of God not only makes it possible for us to grasp exactly how the Lord blotted out our countless sins when He came to this earth, but it also reveals clearly what it is that we must believe in. From our thoughts to our souls, our everything is laid bare in detail by His Word. And it’s with the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit that God exposes our spirits, souls, and bodies to compel us to receive the remission of sins. There is therefore nothing that is as sharp as the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
When people come out to the gospel of the water and the Spirit, all their sins are revealed. In fact, all who stand before this gospel are made completely naked and their everything is exposed, so that it would be impossible for them to hide anything no matter how hard they try. Everyone is exposed as a sinner when he stands before the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Indeed, this true gospel reveals completely whether your thoughts are right or wrong, and whether your acts are godly or ungodly. And ultimately, you are compelled to realize that the Lord has blotted out all your sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit alone. When this happens, you must submit to the gospel of the water and the Spirit and believe in it with all your heart.
Let’s turn to Hebrews 4:14 here: “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” As it is written here, Jesus Christ is indeed our High Priest in the Kingdom of Heaven and our Savior, and it is absolutely imperative for all of us to believe in His incarnation, His baptism, His death on the Cross and His resurrection. And we must hold fast onto our confession. We must hang onto our faith like this so that no one can take it away from us.
Many Christians claim that one can receive the remission of sins just by believing in Jesus’ blood on the Cross alone. Others try to rob our blessings by lying through their teeth, claiming to us that they no longer commit any sin because they were put to death with Christ and resurrected with Christ. But the fact of the matter is that even though we have been saved, we still have many shortcomings, and therefore we still commit sin. However, because the Lord bore all our sins and was condemned for them in our place, we are forever sinless despite our shortcomings. And the Lord is our forever-unchanging Savior.
By believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have received the remission of our sins and found the way to the Kingdom of Heaven. All of us must hold fast onto this faith. We must testify it every day, so that no one can ever take it away from us. There is no other way to defend our faith but to bear witness of the gospel of the water and the Spirit everyday. It is when we testify and preach this genuine gospel that we can defend our beliefs.
Let’s turn to Hebrews 4:15: “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” As it is written here, our Lord can sympathize with us because He came in the same flesh as ours. The same point is also made in the last verse of Hebrews chapter 2, which says, “For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18). From these two passages we can see clearly that when Jesus our Savior came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, He came to know all about us through His 33 years of life, and it is with this full understanding that He has saved us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. In other words, Jesus knows all about the fundamental condition of the human race, fully cognizant of the fact that everyone is full of shortcomings that everyone has to eat to survive, that everyone falls ill, and that everyone is suffering in pain. That is precisely why we must believe unwaveringly in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that Jesus our High Priest has given to us. It is absolutely indispensable for all of us to have the full conviction of faith and to believe that the Lord is alive, and that He is helping us every step of our way. It’s Jesus Christ who has saved us, and because He is forever our God and our Savior who is alive even now, He helps us all the time. We can therefore hold onto our Lord and trust in Him always, and by thus confirming our faith in Him, we can also be reassured of our remission of sins. That is why we can pray to the Lord to help us whenever we find ourselves struggling. The Lord then helps us every time without fail, for He knows our everything.
Hebrews 4:16 goes on to say, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” This passage teaches us that if we really believe in Jesus Christ, we ought to come to His presence through prayer and faith and ask Him for His help, for He is our Lord God and Savior who always listens to our prayers. Indeed, if you really believe that the Lord has blotted out all your sins, then come boldly into His presence with thanksgiving and ask Him by faith to help you. The Lord has given you such abundant grace that you can ask Him for all your needs and pray to Him confidently as the following: “Lord, I need Your help to carry out Your work. Please help me, Lord! I want to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to build Your Kingdom on this earth, to become Your faithful worker, and to save all these souls that still have not been saved. So help me Lord, so that I may carry out Your work and save as many souls as possible.”
As Jesus Christ is faithful to answer all our prayers, we should all ask Him for God’s blessings and receive His rest for our hearts, never forgetting the God-given gospel of the water and the Spirit but always trusting in it. Therefore, now that we have received the remission of sins, let us all become God’s workers, bearing witness of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and always meditating on it in our lives, so that we would never lose our faith in this genuine gospel. Like this, all of us ought to renew our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit everyday, and all of us ought to ask God for our everyday needs and find His help. In short, we must live by God’s help now and forever.
The gospel of the water and the Spirit is the way and the Truth that all the people of God must believe in. So I ask you all to live by such unwavering faith in this true gospel. Our brothers and sisters at the Mission School don’t just learn about secular knowledge such as English, Greek, or Hebrew, but they learn to serve the Lord’s righteousness and purify their hearts before God through their training. If you have already completed the course at the Mission School, then I am sure that you are living a spiritually prosperous and honorable life, for you have now learned to put all your trust in the gospel of the water and the Spirit rather than in any human knowledge, throw away all your evil desires, and accept nothing but the Word of God into your heart. Wherever you may be, whether you are still attending the Mission School or already serving the Lord in your ministry, it is the gospel of the water and the Spirit that you are serving and preaching. Everything else is superfluous to us. If there is anyone in God’s Church who is still preaching anything other than the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then this person is a heretic and a servant of the Devil.
Our God has saved us from all our sins by giving us the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And He has also bestowed His rest upon our hearts, so that we may all serve the Lord and pray to Him with confidence. I give all thanks to the Lord for giving us such wonderful blessings.