The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 22 : The Gospel According to LUKE

[Chapter 16-7] (Luke 16:19-25) Now Is the Time to Wake up from Sleep

(Luke 16:19-25)
“There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.’”
 
 
Through today’s Scripture passage, the Lord is telling us that we should not be interested in just worldly affairs such as our own material prosperity. What really matters is not how wealthy a person is in this world, but that one should be a happy person able to enter the Kingdom of God. This is what the Lord is teaching us with His parable of a poor man and a rich man in today’s Scripture passage.
In this parable the Lord told the story of a wealthy man who, after living a prosperous and worry-free life surrounded by opulence in this world, died a peaceful death. While alive, this man had always worn purple garments, had many servants, lived in opulence without any worry, and enjoyed a great deal of wealth. However, once the rich man died, he ended up in hell.
The wealthy man was thrown into the fire of hell filled with scorching heat to suffer from extreme thirst. In contrast, Lazarus, the poor beggar who lived at the gate of this rich man’s house and ate the crumbs that fell from his table, went to Heaven after his death. While alive, Lazarus had lived on the leftovers that the rich man’s house threw away, but after his death, he went to Heaven instead of the rich man.
In today’s Scripture passage, this is described as Lazarus being “carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom.” It means that Lazarus went to the Kingdom of Heaven where Abraham had entered before him. In other words, Lazarus went to the Kingdom of Heaven filled with blossoming flowers and wonderful music, where he was to be served by all of creation and every angel, and where the Lord was to be with him. Even though Lazarus had been a beggar in this world, he was able to enter the wonderful Kingdom of God. In complete contrast, however, the rich man ended up in hell.
From this passage we can realize clearly that our carnal lives in this world do not mean everything. As such, while living in this world, we must always trust in the Lord, the Master of Heaven, and preach His gospel. Yet despite this, my fellow believers, are we not being too myopic, judging our happiness and unhappiness based only on what’s visible? We know that this is wrong. Indeed, we should realize that life in this world is not all that matters. In other words, how one lives in this world is not what’s really important, but rather where he can go after his death.
For human beings, this world is like morning mist, that is, a temporary place to stay and live, and after this awaits judgment. Therefore, what’s important is not how much we prosper in this world, but what comes after our death—that is, whether we are embraced in Abraham’s arms like Lazarus or cast out into hell. My fellow believers, we must always remember that what comes after one’s life in this world is far more important than the present life.
Even if we set aside the issue of Heaven and hell, how one’s life is assessed after his death is more important than how he was evaluated while he was alive. Ultimately, in other words, how a person is assessed and where he ends up after his death is more important than how wealthy a life he lived in this world. You must remember that your life in this present world is not all that matters. The most important issue is how you will live your second life. No matter how wealthy anyone may have been in this world, if he has no choice but be cast into the fire of hell and suffer in it like the rich man in today’s Scripture passage, then this person’s life is a complete failure. In contrast, someone who has prepared the faith that can take him to the heavenly Kingdom of God has lived his life a hundred times better than someone who has to suffer so much in hell that he thirsts after a drop of water, even if the former lived a poorer life in this world.
 
 
When We Look at Sinners, How Should We Really Look at Them?
 
Therefore, when we look at people’s souls, we should examine whether these souls have received the remission of sins, and where they will go after death, rather than looking at how they are living in this world. With this parable of the rich man and Lazarus in mind, we must look at other souls with such spiritually farsighted eyes, and being mindful of the Word of the Lord, we must preach the gospel in this world. We ought to have compassion for all these souls that are bound to hell, and we ought to live our lives in such a way as to preach the gospel to as many souls as possible, so that they may be saved.
My fellow believers, some people in this world live in mind-boggling opulence without anything to worry about. Others spend their entire lives in abject poverty and unhappiness. But this is not an important issue at all. If you think about what happened to the rich man and Lazarus after death, you can easily grasp what’s really important. While living in this world, Lazarus ate the crumbs falling from the rich man’s table, which is just another way of saying that he ate garbage. The rich man, on the other hand, feasted on good food and wore expensive clothes all his life, and died a peaceful death without any suffering. At first glance, it may seem as though this rich man had lived a far more meaningful life, but where his soul went after his death is much more important than the lifestyle he enjoyed in this world.
By any chance, are you thinking to yourself, “I don’t care what happens after my death? All that matters is that I enjoy a wealthy and comfortable life while I’m still alive”? This is absolutely not the case. Just as there is no gain without pain, what’s really important is the end result. Even if you are struggling a lot now, if at the end of the road you are able to reach your goal, and the end result of your present suffering is rewarding, then all has gone well. Your end must be better than your beginning. Only when your life ends well can you say that you’ve lived a truly worthy and meaningful life.
Whenever we come across anyone, we must ask ourselves, “Will this soul go to hell, or will he go to Heaven?” Put differently, we should treat everyone based on the question of whether this person will go to hell or Heaven at the end of his life. If this soul is bound to hell, then it is our duty to preach the gospel to him so that he may not end up in hell.
My fellow believers, countless people see their stations in life change drastically after their death. There are surprisingly many people who, after having lived a prosperous life in this world, actually end up in a completely opposite situation after their death. Then there are others who, even though they have lived in abject poverty in this world, enter the Kingdom of Heaven, having met the Lord, believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and received the remission of sins and salvation. It is a very common occurrence for people to live in this world without any worry, only to end up facing the opposite situation after their death. In short, our lives in this present world are not all that matter to us. A far longer life awaits us in the next world. You should also keep in mind that just as I said now, one’s way of life in this world is not necessarily continued in the next world.
Many people think that if they’ve lived like a king in this world, they will be able to continue to live like a king in the next world. For instance, in ancient times, when a king died, it was believed that he would be able to carry his power into the next world, so his subjects in the court, his servants, and his wives and concubines were buried alive together with the king. This is not only a foolish practice, but it is also inhumane. If you think that a servant is still a servant and a king is still a king even after death, then you are making a big mistake.
As mentioned before, even though Lazarus had been a beggar in this world, after his death he was embraced in Abraham’s arms, whereas the rich man who had enjoyed a good life in this world was cast into hell to suffer. The fire in hell was so hot that the rich man said, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” The rich man said this because he still was not aware of what had happened. He must have thought that Lazarus was still a beggar. Even as he was suffering in the fire of hell, he still thought of Lazarus only as the beggar at the gate of his house feeding on the crumbs falling from his table. In other words, the rich man said these things because he still thought that he could dictate Lazarus to his liking, even though their circumstances had now changed. This is the very delusion that’s plaguing many people.
Like this, even though one’s present life in the flesh does not mean anything, many people take this life as the standard to judge everything. As such, we need to think carefully about how we should deal with souls—that is, from what perspective we should approach them. Should we look at them based on their wealth, fame, knowledge, or beauty, or should we look at them from a different point of view? This question deserves serious consideration. Whenever we look at people, we must view them based on the question of whether their souls will go to Heaven or hell.
Based on what standard do people evaluate other people or things? For those who are not of the people of faith, the standard is how they can prosper materially in this world. They don’t care about the means; as long as they are prospering, they think this is their happiness no matter how they attained their prosperity, even if they had to steal or murder to get where they are. It is with this standard that they look at others, themselves, and everything else. But that is not what’s important. Those who are truly happy are those whose hearts have been set free, who have been liberated from sin to enjoy peace, and received the remission of sins in their lives.
What is our point of view then? How should we approach people? We should see and discern people based on whether they are bound to hell or Heaven. Put differently, we should have compassion on those who are bound to hell, and when it comes to those who are going to Heaven, we should be grateful to God for them and consider them as blessed people.
 
 
Value System Is Shaken a Lot in These End Times
 
In this present age, worldly wealth is considered to be the supreme value. We may very well say that this age is the golden age for the rich. Most people in developed countries are quite prosperous. In contrast, in underdeveloped countries there still are many people worrying about meeting their basic needs for clothing, food, and housing. North Koreans are among such poor people, and it saddens us deeply to see our brethren in North Korea suffering like this.
At any rate, even if one is living in a rich country, and he is also individually wealthy, if he has not received the remission of sins, then he is as good as facing starvation. Even worse, his life in the next world will be far more wretched. You probably have family members or relatives who are sure of themselves just because they are rich, even as they have not received the remission of sins. However, if you think about them more carefully, you will realize just how miserable they are. Where are those who have not received the remission of sins bound? They are all destined to hell. That’s why they are pitiful. No matter how powerful, how rich, and how attractive they may be, they will all be cast into hell in the end; so what use are all these things, even if they were to live for a hundred years in this world? My fellow believers, anyone who does not receive the remission of sins is bound to hell.
Such souls are truly pitiful souls. I am not saying this because I have received the remission of sins, but because these souls are indeed wretched souls destined to hell. You must realize clearly that Heaven and hell do exist. You must also grasp clearly that such souls will inevitably be cast into hell. Since they are destined to hell, what is the point of having all this power, driving around in a Benz, or even throwing around money on the road? Driving a Benz or other luxury cars is akin to wasting away money. Of course, I don’t know the details since I’ve never driven such a car, but the point is that these luxury cars guzzle that much gas.
If I wanted to, I could actually buy a Benz right away. How much does a Benz cost? Fifty thousand dollars? One hundred thousand dollars? I could afford it if I really wanted to. If I were to cut back on all my living expenses except for basic needs, then I could buy at least one Benz, if not five, and drive around in it. It’s all possible if I just pinch my pennies a bit. Do you think that I don’t drive around in a Benz or a BMW because I don’t have enough money? No, I don’t drive around in such a luxury car because that has absolutely nothing to do with where I will go after my death. Every sinner is destined to hell, even if one happens to drive such a luxury car. Put simply, even if you have the most expensive car in the world, this car will not lead you to Heaven. No high-performance car in this world can take us to Heaven. What difference does it make for a hell-bound person to drive a Benz, a BMW, a Ford, or even a run-down piece of junk? Which car one drives in this world is absolutely irrelevant to where he will go after his death. A car is supposed to take you from point A to point B, something that you use temporarily while in this world; so what difference does it make whether you drive a luxury car or a compact?
Those who are truly happy are those who are going to Heaven, and those who are truly unhappy are those destined to hell. That’s all that matters. It is from this perspective that we must look at other souls and preach the gospel to them. My fellow believers, life is short. Some people say that life is like disappearing mist, here to stay only for a short while. Others say that life is like a wild flower, growing and blossoming during the warm months, but withering and perishing in the winter. Like this, people have known from long ago that life is meaningless. Life is indeed like morning mist and a wild flower. Life in this world is so ephemeral.
From time to time, I still remember how I was a little kid doted on by my parents. I remember my house, and I remember how I once fell from somewhere and hurt my head, and how my mother put some red medicine on it. That’s not all that I remember: I remember how I was once stung by a bee and had to put some home remedy on it. I remember my friend Malsun in my neighborhood, and I even remember the dog that another neighbor had. I remember playing around with my friends; I remember falling into a ditch and hurting my forehead; and I remember spending so much time to prepare myself for the field day and not being able to run the actual race for some reason. I even remember who were good neighbors and who were not good neighbors, and who treated my parents well and who didn’t.
However, my fellow believers, when I turned 20 and was drafted into the military, from then on my life just flew by me as swiftly as an arrow. Once I reached 20, time began to fly by quickly, and in a moment’s notice I was already 30. I got married at 30, and soon I turned 35 and 40. Life seemed to slow down a bit in those years, but all of a sudden I found myself turning 55.
My fellow believers, life passes by in the blink of an eye like this. Even now, I still can’t believe that I am over 50. I still feel as though I am only 25. At least that’s how I feel in my heart. Even now, if I were not to do anything else but only take care of my own flesh, then I could very well shout out that the real life begins at 60. But because I am struggling with not only my physical health but also my spiritual work to help others, I sometimes get weary and feel saddened. It wasn’t long ago that I turned 50, and now my sixtieth birthday is just around the corner.
Someone once said that turning 50 is no big deal. But is this really the case, when one ought to plan his life again and live an upright life until the Lord returns? It may seem at first glance that 50 years are a long time; but if you divide your life into different stages and look back at them, it’s such a short time. One lives without a care when he is a kid, and all the subsequent stages in his life—middle school, high school, college, and so forth—go by in the blink of an eye.
As soon as one enters elementary school, he finds himself in middle school. As soon as he finds himself in middle school, in no time does he find himself in high school. Then comes college. Time goes by so fast. Some of our students here may wonder, “What is Pastor Jong talking about? Time goes by so slowly for me. I wish I would grow up faster!” But life goes by fast. Just wait a bit more. Time goes by slowly only because one hasn’t finished what he is supposed to do. If you are diligent and do what you are supposed to do, then you will feel with both your body and mind just how fast time goes by.
Because life flies by so fast, there is all the more reason why one must receive the remission of sins. Life doesn’t wait for anyone. You will turn 50 and 60 in no time. Just ask your parents and you will see what I mean. Your parents didn’t get old for no reason. They turned 50 and 60 in no time because they had lived their lives diligently. You hear them saying, “My back is killing me! Every joint and bone in my body are aching! Close the door; it’s so chilly in here.” You may think they are exaggerating, wondering why they feel so chilly when it’s so warm, and how it’s possible for every bone to ache. But if you turn your parents’ age, you, too, will complain how every bone in your body aches so much. My fellow believers, everyone must receive the remission of sins before it’s too late. Only then can everyone be happy.
When you look at other souls, you must always be able to discern those who have received the remission of sins from those who have not, the blessed from the accursed. If you come across anyone who has not received the remission of sins, you should see him as someone who is bound to hell, and if you come across anyone who has received the remission of sins, you should see him as someone who is heading to Heaven, as a happy person. My fellow believers, even though all of us are living in this world, this doesn’t mean that it’s okay for us to look at the world and people from a carnal point of view. Instead, we must look at everyone and everything through our spiritual eyes. Only when we discern whether people are destined to Heaven or hell can we preach the gospel to their souls, have compassion on them, and realize just how happy we are.
My fellow believers, in all things, we must always see what’s inside rather than what appears outside. When we look at another person, we must also be able to look deep into his soul. However, myriad things in this world are tempting us so that we would not be able to see everything in this way. Once we are deceived like this, we will end up thinking that our own prosperity and comfort are all that matters, but we should never allow this to happen. Moreover, people in the world today are not prospering that much anyway. If you take a look at college students these days, you will see that few of them can actually enjoy their college years because they are so preoccupied with their future. As soon as they step into college, from their freshman year they are already worried about finding a job and what major they should choose to secure a good livelihood.
What worth does such a life have, if it has any at all? We the born-again should therefore not fall into such worldly concerns, but when we look at people, we should always look at them based on the question of whether or not they have received the remission of sins—that is, whether they are destined to Heaven or hell. We must have such eyes at all times. This perspective must be the guiding principle in our lives. We must always have compassion on those who are heading to hell. This means we must preach the gospel to them. We have compassion on these people precisely because they are ultimately bound to hell no matter how rich and talented they may be. What virtue would they have when they are destined to hell? They have nothing. They are totally empty inside, and their hearts are completely devoid.
My fellow believers, there are only two kinds of people on this planet: those going to Heaven and those going to hell. There aren’t any other types of people. There are only two types of people, one heading straight to hell, and the other going to Heaven. We must indeed live for these two types of people. We should have compassion on one kind of people, and we should consider the other kind of people as the truly blessed, cherished people of God, unite with them, and treat them well.
 
 
What Does It Matter If One Is a Pastor?
 
It doesn’t matter if one is a pastor or an elder; as long as one has not received the remission of sins, he will be cast into hell. The rich in this world are confident of themselves while living in this world. But where do they go once they are dead? They end up in hell. Unless they receive the remission of sins, they will all be thrown into the burning fire of hell. Even if one professes to believe in Jesus, if he still has sin in his heart, then he can’t avoid hell. What does it matter then, for anyone to live a comfortable life in this world if he is bound to hell? Even if one is a pastor at a huge church, if he hasn’t received the remission of sins, then what use is it? What’s the point of being paid $5,000 a month in salary and a 1,000 percent bonus at the end of the year? Will he use all this money before he ends up in hell? Or will he take it with him when he dies? Alexander the Great also returned empty-handed on his death. You know very well that no one can carry anything with him on his death. The dead cannot take anything in this world with them. All that you have left upon your death is the clothing you are wearing, your cramped casket, and a tiny parcel of land where you are buried. Even this tomb of yours will be just barely enough to bury you. Apart from this, you will have nothing to carry, and this is true for all of us human beings. So it is absolutely imperative for everyone to realize where he is heading in the end. Put differently, you cannot afford to live without knowing where you will end up. My fellow believers, if any soul lives without even realizing where he is heading, then such souls would be the most pitiful souls.
Any soul that has not received the remission of sins is a soul that’s bound to hell. We should discern every soul based on two criteria: One is bound to hell, and the other is bound to Heaven. Only when we are able to discern souls like this can we have compassion on the sinners destined to hell and preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to these sinners. It is then that we can also pray for such sinners.
Life in this world is not everything there is. Yet there are too many pitiful people in this world who don’t even realize this. But rather than denouncing these souls, we ought to have compassion on them. Such poor souls are everywhere around us. Their end result is predictably clear. Yet they still continue on with their lives as though nothing will happen to them, even though there clearly is a Heaven and a hell.
Some people might then say, “Have you been to Heaven then?” I’ve been to Heaven by my faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and I know it by faith in the Word of God. From time to time we hear some people claiming that they were brought back to life from death. These people make outlandish claims, saying that they saw the tree of life, a river flowing next to it, and all kinds of wonderful fruit-bearing trees in Heaven. But that is not what Heaven is all about. Such people’s claims are nothing more than lies. It’s true that some people fall into a coma and do not regain consciousness for a long time. But once anyone dies definitely and goes to Heaven or hell, he cannot return. Once someone enters either place, he cannot return to this world in any way. Nor can he move from one destination to the other. There is such a great gulf between Heaven and hell that no one can go to the other places once he arrives at his destination. So how can anyone say that he’s been to Heaven and hell? Such a claim is not only preposterous, but it is completely unfounded. It might have happened in their dreams, but to claim to have seen Heaven and hell makes no sense.
Don’t you agree, my fellow believers? Such people might have dreamed about it, but none of them has actually been to Heaven. If they’ve been to Heaven, then how is it possible for them to have returned to this world? Anyway, we must carry out the work of spreading the gospel, believing that there indeed are two types of people in this world. When dealing with those bound to hell, we should have compassion on them rather than discriminating against them. We must cherish all souls alike, whether it is our own children’s souls or someone else’s soul. Every soul is equally precious; it is never the case that the souls of my own family members are somehow more precious than other people’s souls. The soul is free of its earthly relations once it’s dead.
 
 
The Reality of the Resurrected
 
Jesus was once asked, “There is a certain woman who had seven husbands. Whose wife would she then become when she is resurrected?” Jesus answered this question by saying, “You are asking such a question because you think only according to the standard of the world. After the resurrection, there is no difference of sex. There is no man, nor woman.” My fellow believers, the resurrected have no distinction or classification. There is no gender. So there is no marital relationship either, as there is in this world. The relationships you have built in this world are all rendered obsolete in the next world.
Some people say, “I will follow you until the end.” “I will go to where my parents are.” “Your parents went to hell.” “Still, I will go to where my parents are.” Do you think that your parents will remember you when you see them? Not only will your parents not recognize you, but you will not recognize your parents either. Parents and children will not recognize each other. Such relationships are valid only in this present world. There will be no such relationships in the next world. As such, we must always cherish other souls just as we cherish our own families. As those who have received the remission of sins, we ought to cherish not only our own families but also other souls, and preach the gospel to every soul.
Whenever we deal with any souls, we must treat them without discrimination and see all of them through the eyes of our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This means that we should have compassion on the hell-bound souls, feel sorry for them, have mercy on them, and thus preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to them with even more motivation. My fellow believers, we must remind ourselves once again that the end of this world is not too far away. It’s true that I do not know the exact timing. However, even though I do not know the exact hour, day, and year of the end of the world, given the signs of the time, I can still feel that it is near. Take a look at what’s happening in this world, including climate changes. This world is a depressing and scary place. Everything looks ominous. Dark clouds loom over everyone’s head.
Indeed, the world is like a powder keg that can go off at any time. No one knows when and what devastation might fall on the whole world. People are trembling in constant fear. The end times will be ravaged by earthquakes and wars. Although now is not the time for the Lord to return yet, once such disasters strike, the Great Tribulation will descend without fail.
My fellow believers, this world is filled with too many disasters and calamities. To repeat, when we look at such signs, we can realize clearly that the days of this world are numbered. For most people, however, the present age may seem like the most peaceful and quiet age. So they sit around all day long, eating and drinking without a care, and even though calamities are breaking out endlessly, it’s hard to find anyone who has any sense of urgency, as most people have become desensitized. Intoxicated by the world, they are going about their everyday lives as though nothing is going to happen to them. However, my fellow believers, the Lord said, “As the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:37). In other words, our Lord will come when people least suspect His return, when they are busy eating and drinking, dancing and singing, and committing sin without any inhibition.
This present age is a totally depraved age, no different from the days of Noah. This world is so similar to the end times of which the Bible spoke. In times like this, it is all the more important for us to set every soul straight, based on the right standard. We must discern this age correctly. Now is the time for us to wake up from our sleep. I’ve already said how we must look at souls from two perspectives. We should examine them to see if they are bound to Heaven or hell, and we should look at them based on a spiritual standard. On those who are heading to hell, we must have compassion.
What about you then? Have you received the remission of sins? Didn’t you receive the remission of sins in the midst of troubles and hardships of life? Be thankful for this salvation. Rather than just ending at your own salvation, open your eyes and see your family members and the souls that are around you. Examine them to see if they are heading to Heaven or hell. Of course, you will inevitably find some people who are bound to hell, and when you do, have compassion on them, knowing for sure that such people who have not received the remission of sins will end up in hell. These souls are all heading straight to hell. My fellow believers, the Lord said that those who believe in Him in the end times are blessed. He also said that in the end times there would be those who lose their faith.
We must prepare ourselves beforehand for everything we will face. We must store up spiritual food beforehand for both ourselves and other souls. We must show compassion to all souls and preach the gospel to them. For this age is such an evil age, the Devil will knock on the hearts of the born-again in his attempt to devour them. The Devil would be looking for every opportunity to devour the born-again, including you and me. In this way, he is trying to undermine your faith and mine. It’s all possible in this present age.
My fellow believers, once you realize that this present age is such an evil age, you have all the more reason to not just stare idly at your surroundings and your family, but to preach the gospel to your family and those around you even more diligently. As those who are spreading the gospel, when we look at other souls, we must not fail to examine whether they are bound to hell or Heaven, and if they are destined to hell, then above all else, our hearts must have compassion on them. In other words, we ought to be capable of showing compassion on all the souls that still have not been saved. Rather than just looking toward the world, we must examine carefully whether other souls are going to hell or Heaven. We must empathize with the souls that are heading to hell.
However, even though there are so many such souls around us, the reality is that we don’t’ have enough workers who would preach the true gospel to them. Yesterday, brother Phillip visited us, and he will return to Russia on April 1. I heard from him how the Russians people have a good heart. Although he had met a few unscrupulous people, such people are found everywhere, and he found it easy to engage with Russians as most people there are good-hearted and optimistic. So I was very encouraged to hear that our gospel ministry in Russia was going well.
Like this, the true gospel is being spread throughout the whole world, but on the other hand, it seems as though Christianity is asleep. In no college campus can we find anyone preaching the true gospel of the water and the Spirit. In the past, there used to be some people preaching the gospel everywhere on the campus, even if the gospel was a false one. They even preached the gospel in lecture halls. But now, even those people have disappeared. In times like this, we the born-again have all the more reason to wake up from our sleep. We should never allow ourselves to indulge in indolence.
 
 
We Must Be Spiritually Awake
 
We must wake up from our spiritual sleep. Even if everyone is asleep, we must be awake. What must we do to wake up then? When we are able to see straight through the soul and see where the soul is going, we can wake up from our minds’ sleep. Unless you see the souls that are heading to hell, you cannot wake up from sleep. On the contrary, you will fall into an even deeper sleep. However, if you can see that the soul standing right before you is heading straight to hell, your mind will be jolted and you will wake up from your sleep right away.
We are preaching the gospel regardless of whether people believe in it or not, whether they come to our church or not. There is a certain college student who had been afflicted with nightmares every night. After we preached the gospel to him, he no longer has any nightmares, but he now drinks all the time instead of coming to our Church. Being liberated from nightmares itself is a good thing anyway. The point is that it’s okay for people not to attend our Church. Even so, one thing is clear; even if a demon visits this brother, he now has the strength to stand up against him. Why? Because this brother now has the gospel in his heart, because he is sinless. So he can rebuke the demon and say, “Get away, Satan!” He is now empowered, and his heart is bold.
The problem, however, is that even though this brother has been remitted from all his heart’s sins by hearing and believing in the gospel like this, he still is defeated by his flesh. His Lord has been replaced by alcohol. He has replaced the heavenly Lord with an earthly lord, and now he is struggling to serve two lords. So this is a problem, but still, I am grateful that he has come to believe clearly in God the Father our Lord. He is probably making a friend of the earthly lord, that is, liquor. It’s because he can’t forsake this friend that he is unable to attend our Church. My fellow believers, there is nothing we can do if people don’t attend our church. Even so, far from being disappointed, we the born-again must continue to preach the gospel diligently. We must become the workers that spread the gospel to everyone heading to hell.
I don’t believe that everyone who receives the remission of sins becomes a worker of God. I believe that those who become the Lord’s workers are those who love other souls, love the Lord, and despite being insufficient in their flesh, cherish both their own souls and others’ as well. As such workers of God, we must continue to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit regardless of whether those who hear the gospel attend our church or not.
It is very important for us to help as many souls as possible to receive the remission of sins and teach them the gospel of the water and the blood. This is my only wish in this world. My only wish is for everyone to know the gospel of the water and the blood, and to believe in this gospel. Remember always that this is also our Lord’s wish. As long as people hear the gospel, I don’t care if they don’t come to our church. I don’t mind it at all if they go somewhere else after receiving the remission of sins. It doesn’t matter where they go, for they are still in the palm of the Lord’s hand. Where they go is not their home, but here is their home. Let them go to someone else’ home, make as much offerings as they want, and serve as much as they wish.
My fellow believers, what we really need is the eye that can see the state of every soul. We ought to pray to the Lord to give us this eye and preach the gospel. Even though few people have the gospel, and there are too few true workers of God. If we pray at all times like this, prepare a bit more, plant churches, and spread the gospel abroad, everyone all over the world will be able to know this gospel in the end. All will come to believe in this gospel Truth of the water and the blood and receive the remission of sins.
My fellow believers, I am confident that this day is not too far away. Soon, our fellow Koreans will also come to know the gospel of the water and the blood. In the years to come, the number of believers in this true gospel will increase evermore. The churches in this city are now changing. Anyone who believes in Jesus is said to be a righteous person. In other words, every Christian is unconditionally said to be a righteous person regardless of whether he has sin or not. In the past, when a Christian said that he was a righteous person, he was accused of being a heretic. But now pastors in this city speak without hesitation that they are the righteous because they believe that Jesus has blotted out all their sins with His blood on the Cross. But, is it really true that all their sins have been blotted out from their hearts just by believing in the blood of Jesus? Does everyone really become righteous when he believes in the blood of the Cross alone? No, that’s not the case.
In times like this, all that we have to do is preach the genuine gospel to people, to demonstrate to them clearly the evidence of the fact that we are the righteous. I am sure that countless people in our country will then receive the remission of sins. I am also confident that not just Koreans, but many people all over the world will also receive the remission of sins in this way. Soon, before the end of this earth, many people will know the gospel of the water and the blood. So that this may indeed come to pass, our Lord will strengthen us, and we will fulfill our calling without fail. No matter what, we will devote all our energy to preaching the gospel of the water and the blood to everyone throughout the whole world.
My fellow believers, we are awoken people. We have much to do. Do not be so attached to yourself alone. You should first preach the gospel to your family members so that they may be saved. Wouldn’t you feel sad for your family members if they are not saved? Would your heart be at peace even as your own family members are heading to hell? We must pray also. We must pray to God with one heart for the gospel to be preached. God will answer us if we pray united in one heart. That’s why we have to pray day and night. We must pray to God by faith time after time to save all these souls. After some time has gone since praying like this, we should approach them and admonish them to accept the gospel. If they don’t listen to us, then we have to start praying again. If we pray by faith, then sooner or later all these people’s hearts will change and they will come to believe. My fellow believers, we must continue to pray. How did I say we should see souls? We should see them as one of two types—those bound to hell, and those bound to Heaven. In other words, before we preach the gospel to anyone, we need to discern carefully whether one is heading to Heaven or hell.
I admonish you to remember the parable of Lazarus and the rich man in today’s Scripture passage, discern the two types of souls, and, having compassion on those bound to hell, preach the gospel to them. Above all else, I ask you to move forward by faith. Be on guard. The end is not far away. Even if the Lord returns tomorrow, we must faithfully carry out our entrusted work today. Whether you are working at a job or have your own business, you should work diligently, and even if the Lord returns tomorrow, you should faithfully finish today what you’ve been entrusted with. However, although you should take care of your fleshly affairs like this, you shouldn’t lose your focus, and more than anything else, you should be devoted to saving souls and preaching the gospel to them out of compassion.
You and I have been called by the Lord for this work, and seeing our faithfulness, God has made us His workers and put us in this Church. Above all else, you and I must be awake and live our lives for the salvation of the soul. Our Lord said that He will come when people think they are comfortable and safe. Take a look at this present age. Isn’t it time for you to wake up from your sleep? My fellow believers, remember that now is the time for us to be awake. We must be on guard. We must get our priorities straight and preach the gospel to all the souls in this world. While you should be diligent in your everyday life to take care of your studies, your job, and your family, you must do all things, whether eating or drinking, for the glory of God and the preaching of the gospel. Let us then all lead our lives in this way, and then go to the wonderful place together when the Lord calls us.
My fellow saints, remember that when you use what you have for the gospel, and when you thus take many souls to the Lord in the next world, this is the most worthwhile thing to do. It is the most virtuous and most righteous work. If we are unable to do this, then what we have would be meaningless. An earthquake can render the things of the world completely useless, and all our possessions will mean nothing when tribulations come. Therefore, everyone is ultimately the same before the Lord, whether rich or poor. My fellow believers, let us all live to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I will carry out this work until the day I take in my last breath. I believe that if I live in this way, the Lord will take me away. But I won’t go before you. Despite my appearance, I am far more resilient and stronger than what many people think. Even if I look exhausted, all that it takes for me to recover is just a couple of days of rest. So you have nothing to worry about me. No matter what, I will preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to the last drop of my strength. I am convinced that the gospel flower will then blossom soon, and I am sure that you also believe the same.