“And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, ‘Why this waste? For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.’ But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, ‘Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.’”
Jesus said, “Wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” The reason why this woman poured fragrant oil on Jesus’ head was for Jesus burial. And, she served Jesus Christ by pouring the oil on His head being thankful for the Lord that He has taken on all the sins of the world through His baptism by coming to this earth and has saved all humankind from sins by dying vicariously on the Cross and being resurrected from the dead. This woman poured it on Jesus’ head by breaking open an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil. An alabaster flask of very precious fragrant oil was worth a great amount of money comparable to a wage back then that a man in his prime would receive for having worked at someone’s house for a year.
Having heard the news that Jesus was at the house of Simon the leper, this woman came to the house of Simon. Jesus was having a meal there at the time. Jews used to eat by lying down half way with their lower half of the body stretched out. Perhaps, Jesus was also eating by lying down comfortably half way. As He was eating and having conversations, the woman came into the room. Then, having moved toward and beside Jesus’ head, she poured fragrant oil from an alabaster flask on His head.
Upon seeing this woman pouring fragrant oil from an alabaster flask on Jesus’ head, one of the disciples came forth and said, “Why this waste?” According to the Gospel of John, the person who spoke such words was Judas Iscariot (John 12:4-6). He had said such words out of indignation because he was certain, “This woman is wasting precious fragrant oil on a useless deed” and because he was thinking that he who is responsible for the money box could have made good use of it if she had sold it for money and then donated the money.
However, far from showing indignation about the woman having poured the oil on His head, Jesus said the following. “This woman did it for the gospel. I will die through crucifixion, and thus, this woman had poured the fragrant oil on My body for the burial of My corpse after death,” and also, Jesus went on to say about the woman, “Wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her” (Matthew 26:13).
In looking at what Jesus had said, it seems that the point of view of Jesus was far different from the point of view held by Jesus’ disciples. One of Jesus’ disciples viewed the act as being wasteful, saying, “Why this waste,” but Jesus viewed it as an act that is worthy of commemoration. Jesus viewed the act in such a way that this woman had poured the fragrant oil in advance for the burial of Jesus when His corpse would be cleansed thoroughly and sprinkled with fragrant oil after His death on the Cross. The oil this woman had poured on Jesus’ head was the sort of oil that gives off an aroma, like a perfume. This woman had poured the aromatic oil on Jesus’ head by breaking the large precious flask she had stored it in. Upon seeing that, Jesus said, “She has served the gospel. This woman has served the spreading of the gospel. It wasn’t a waste.”
To the indignant disciples, Jesus said, “For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always” (Matthew 26:11). The fact was that our Lord wasn’t going to be with the disciples for always, but instead, He was soon about to get nailed to the Cross, die, be resurrected and rise up at the right-hand of the throne of God the Father. Thus, He was to save all humankind.
In truth, the poor always stay around us. But, our Lord doesn’t always stay with us. Put differently, serving the gospel is something that is worth hundreds and even thousands of times more than helping the poor. And, this gospel isn’t something that one can serve always at any time. Rather, the Lord is saying that there is a time for serving the gospel. Thus, the Lord has said, “This woman having poured fragrant oil on My head was in service of the gospel. And, she has done a tremendously precious deed. You must do this work also, and as for those who do this deed, I will commemorate them.”
Serving the Lord and the gospel after having received the remission of sin through faith in the Lord is a work that is tremendously rewarding and precious. It is a very precious work. Giving up oneself completely to the work of serving the gospel is very precious, and while working in a society like this woman, serving the gospel with material things is also a very precious deed. The Lord said, “Those who have worked for the gospel and served the gospel in whatever possible way, God will commemorate them.” In any case, our Lord is saying, “Those serving the gospel are people who are carrying out a very precious work. Also, such work is something worthy of commemoration by Me, and it is something that is worthy of being remembered for a long, long time.”
We are also in service of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We are putting all our efforts into the spreading of the gospel throughout the world. As its means, right now, we are distributing books all over the world from Korea and the United States. We have arranged it so that those who want to get the books can get them by requesting through the Internet. A phone call came from Pastor Kim in the United States yesterday, and he said that books are now being shipped out at a very rapid pace. Thus, he said that before he comes back to Korea on July 15, he should have distributed all the books that we’ve sent to the United States. We will have to send over more books once again.
We are spreading the gospel all over the world through the literature ministry. This work of spreading the gospel through our literature ministry was possible because there were male and female servants of God as well as those, among us saints, who worship the Lord like the woman who had poured very precious fragrant oil from an alabaster flask on Jesus. The gospel spreads because there are such people, and whenever the gospel is preached, the fact is that the sacrifice of those who have served the gospel gets commemorated, just as it was said that the woman who had poured fragrant oil on the Lord’s head will be commemorated wherever the gospel is preached as it is written in the Bible.
A pastor for inmates of a certain penitentiary in Florida, US, asked us to send the books, so we sent them to him. And in a recent communication, people asked for at least tens of the books at a time, and after having read the books, they go on to send us the news that they were tremendously beneficial and good. Many people respond by saying, “In the past, I thought that the baptism of Jesus as well as the water baptism that we receive was just another ceremony, but now, I have come to realize that it wasn’t just a ceremony but something so very deep in meaning. You are truly doing a precious work. All the works that The New Life Missionary does are truly so very precious.” Also, through the books, many people have come to realize how Jesus had blotted out all their sins. Also, after starting to believe in this gospel, they ask to be our coworkers who share the work of distributing the books with us, saying, “I will hand out the books, also. I want to share them with people. I cannot do a large amount of work at once, but I can hand out tens of books at a time, if now a few.” In this way, the gospel is getting spread all over the world.
Whenever the gospel is preached, the Lord commemorates those who have served this gospel. He cheers us up, saying, “Because those who had believed in the gospel ahead of you have served the gospel as such, it was preached to you, and you have come to receive the remission of sin by having heard the gospel. The gospel is preached like this because there have been those who had served the Lord, like this woman.” The gospel is preached because there are devoted saints and male and female servants like that. And, the Lord commemorates those who are doing His work and serving the gospel, and He sees them as precious. Dear fellow believers, for the spreading of this gospel, there have been many saints like this precious woman. Now, this woman broke an alabaster jar and poured the fragrant oil on Jesus’ head. But, it is equivalent in value as a year’s worth of salary to a man. Something like this is never easy.
The gospel is actually preached all over the world. You make monetary offerings to the Lord, and also, our Churches throughout the country are making monetary offering intended for worldwide missionary work. We make promises to donate to the world mission twice a year. Then with those material offerings, God’s Church translates our books into each and every language of the world, and by distributing those books to people throughout the world God’s Church continues the work of spreading the gospel.
Whenever this gospel is preached, I think of the woman who had poured such a precious fragrant oil on Jesus’ head as well as those who are in service of the gospel by giving their all. Without their sacrifices, the gospel does not get preached. Because of their sacrifices, it is the case that the gospel gets spread. Just as a single wheat grain falls to the ground, dies, rots, sprouts, and bears fruit, the fact is that the gospel gets spread because someone has made a sacrifice for the gospel. The fact is that flowers of the gospel have blossomed and the gospel is getting spread all over the world because someone has made a sacrifice and served the Lord by giving up all that is precious to him.
The gospel does not spread just by saying: “I must preach the gospel. And, I must put in all my efforts into preaching the gospel. So, I just pray.” Of course, we must pray for the preaching of the gospel, but the gospel gets spread because there actually has been someone’s sacrifice. I believe that this gospel is getting spread because someone like this woman has put forth material offerings for the gospel and because someone has sacrificed much for the gospel by putting up his life and youth. The gospel is preached all over the world in this manner.
I think we will be able to do much more work if we were to unite together even more this year and serve the gospel. Just this year alone, the gospel was witnessed in great amounts, and if we were to work for about two more years, I think the gospel will be introduced to almost all the countries. The gospel will by then be introduced to Europe.
The gospel is preached actually because there are those serving the gospel, and if it weren’t for those serving the gospel, this gospel would not be preached. You were able to hear the gospel and receive the remission of sin because those before you have served this gospel, and thus souls that have received the remission of sin still do exist these days. Whatever the case, the fact that this gospel is being preached all over the world is truly something to be thankful for and be happy about.
When we think about it, spreading the gospel all over the world is definitely not an easy work. Making booklets was very difficult as well. When I was making the first English volume of my Christian book series, people who haven’t been born again said, “Hey! Do you think people will read them?” Then, they made commotions, scorned and ridiculed me rashly. Whether they did so or not, I just continued with the work, thinking in my heart, “So long as the gospel is preached to people, I will kneel before even those who haven’t been born again even if their help is indispensable.” Regardless of whom, so long as the person translates my Korean sermon book into English well, even if the person were to act rude, I was willing to accept such behavior and to bow my head before that person if I was told to do so. That was how much I had wanted the spreading of the gospel. Looking at me being like that, one of my fellow ministers asked, “Dear pastor, as you go on publishing these books, if you bow your head before a person who hasn’t even been born again, how will you cope when a time comes for you to suffer martyrdom?” To that minister, I said, “If the gospel can be spread by my crawling on the bare ground in trembles, I can crawl on the bare ground even before those who haven’t been born again. It is something fundamentally different from martyrdom. Because it is something I would do in service of the gospel, I will face whatever mockery and I will pay whatever price.”
We publish booklets in English, but as you well know, we were not fluent in English back then. Though we know some English, the fact is that we know just a little in our own Korean style of expression. Therefore, we had the sentences smoothed out and fixed so that they are expressed in an American style. In any case, by having done so, we had published the first volume of the English version. Though it wasn’t perfect, we had made it so that it would be good enough for people to read and to receive the remission of sin.
From the beginning, the book was distributed through an Internet based bookstore called Amazon.com. We had started off grand from the onset. Thus, the gospel is being witnessed all over the world right now. There is a Scripture passage that goes, “Though your beginning was small, yet your latter end would increase abundantly” (Job 8:7), but who would have believed at the beginning that it would really turn out this way? Who would have believed that the gospel would be preached all over the world through these books? Everyone was half in doubt, even us, but the fact is that right now, the gospel is penetrating into almost all of the countries around the world.
Because God finds joy in this work, we had done the work with faith. And for this work, we had contributed a great amount of monetary offerings intended for literature ministry. Though I hadn’t counted them all, I think we had made promises of a donation for literature ministry on more than 10 occasions. Even before you had come to this Church, we had made a promise of donation and had offered money according to the promise to purchase a copying machine at the time. That was the first step in our literature ministry.
Even when we were purchasing a copying machine, in order to purchase a low priced good quality one, we visited Yong-san Electronic Street, a district where machines were sold at a low price. You cannot imagine how much we had looked around, visiting one store after another. Then, at a certain store, we were able to purchase a copying machine for only US$ 600 in cash. Moreover, it was a product of Japan, which had a good reputation. And so, we bought it. We had bought the machine thinking that it was great, but we found out that the cost for copying a page was 40 won, which is equivalent to 4 cents in US currency. The fact was that even though the machine was inexpensive that the toners were too expensive. Japanese are like that. Japanese make a profit by selling machines at a low price then selling toners, which have to be replaced all the time, at a high price. Anyway, we had started off with that. At the time, there weren’t that many saints in our Church, and there was practically nothing, but we had served the gospel by making promises of donation with a purpose.
A certain sister had saved some money to be used for her marriage. But, as we had prayed everyday during worship services, “Please God, grant us the material needs so that we may carry on the literature ministry,” she prayed so also. And soon, she began feeling inside her heart, repeatedly burdened by conscience, “I had saved several thousand dollars for my marriage, but shouldn’t I offer them to God?” And she said that later on, she had put the money into the collection box. And so, with that we had carried on the work. Precious pocket money from brothers and sisters was gathered, and soon more than 100,000 dollars worth of money was then offered to the Lord, and with that, much work for the gospel was carried out consistently. Because people had offered donations to the Lord, we are able to print books like successfully right now. With all that money, we had printed books and distributed them to those in need of the gospel all over the world for free. Thus, people throughout the world are receiving the remission of sin through our booklets, and even in other countries, we are distributing our books through our coworkers there.
Dear fellow believers, we are currently handing out books to people, and even though it might not seem great, many people have been receiving the remission of sin through these booklets and keeping their faith by reading them. They keep holding on to their faith by reading these booklets alone in their own home, not attending churches that haven’t been born again, and then when a God’s Church gets built near their home, they go to that Church. And there, they go on serving the Lord and keeping their faith. The books are fulfilling their purpose. Such instances are many.
A certain brethren in our Church said to me, in his testimony of faith, “Dear pastor, as I am doing business, I sometimes get to have a doubt. ‘Is it really true that so many of these people didn’t get to receive the salvation? So long as they believe in Jesus, haven’t they been saved?’ I have these sorts of strange thoughts. Once a doubt enters my head, such thought begets other thoughts and soon I become confused. The faith that I have surely received the salvation itself becomes shaky. And so, when I go home, I always read the sermon books before I sleep. ‘Yes, it is true. The Lord surely did save me like this.’ Like so, I read the booklets once more and organize what is in my heart once more. Then, I go to sleep. Thus, I read the booklets everyday, whenever my heart gets swayed. I read the booklets and ruminate everyday and eventually, I cannot but say, ‘Right. Surely, the Lord has saved me by the water and the Spirit.’”
Right now, you and I are spreading the gospel. We go on spreading the gospel with our lips also. Thus, many people get to receive the remission of sin. But, it is the case that through booklets, a much greater number of people get to come in touch with the gospel and receive the remission of sin. There are those coming to the Church after having realized this gospel Truth and received the remission of sin through the booklets. But as for those who haven’t yet been able to attend God’s Church, with these booklets, they go on holding fast to their faith and are nurtured spiritually by solving many doubts within their own faith.
Right now, we are introducing the gospel to a 30-year-old Japanese woman named Itakaki Misao by giving her our booklet written in Japanese. Because she is a native of Japan, she is very beneficial in revising our booklets written in Japanese. And so, when our staff in charge of Japanese translation reads and revises the booklets once more, a book that is of good quality will come out, and I think it will be of great help in preaching the gospel in Japan. Right now, through the booklets, the gospel is even being preached to the Korean descendants living in China. The fact of the matter is that the gospel is being spread in places where we cannot directly preach the gospel through literature ministries. Just like the woman who had poured the very costly fragrant oil from an alabaster flask, the work carried out by many saints who have served the Lord will be commemorated whenever the gospel is preached.
As we print and share books with people by offering donations before the Lord, they get to know the gospel through these booklets, receive the remission of sin, be spiritually raised, and grow up to be workers of God. Whenever such works of faith occur, the Lord remembers and commemorates those who have served the Lord. “Yes. Your services and sacrifices have sprouted and borne fruits like so. Their receiving of the remission of sin is due to the fact that I have become their Savior by My coming to this earth, receiving My baptism, dying vicariously on the Cross, and being resurrected from the dead. But, because you have served this gospel, it is the case that people just like you get to receive the remission of sin in this day and age.” It means that the Lord will remember this in His heart. Because there are those who are devotedly serving the Lord and the gospel, the gospel gets spread all over the world, and the lost people of this day and age who are tormented and crushed by sins get saved from sins.
There are many kinds of good deeds in this world. There is so much need for workers in elderly homes, mother-and-child homes, welfare homes, and so on. Yet, a work that is more precious than such works is the work of remembering and glorifying the Lord, that is, the work of serving this gospel. Whenever we let others know that the Lord has blotted out all our sins by coming to this earth, receiving His baptism, and dying on the Cross, the Lord remembers us as having served Him. The Lord remembers our spreading to others the work that the Lord has done after having come to this earth.
What happens when you drop a single drop of fragrant oil in a room? Doesn’t the scent fill up the entire room and then also spread outside? God finds joy in this work of serving the gospel and commemorates it. I will not mention every single one, but the names of precious people who have truly served the Lord are many in our Church. Even now, there are many. There are many people who serve the Lord anonymously. Dear fellow believers, it is right that we serve the gospel like this. It is right for you to serve the gospel after having received the remission of sin. This is the work that is truly precious, the work that receives recognition before God, and the work that we ought to do before the Lord.
The Lord said, “For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always” (Matthew 26:11). The poor will always be on this earth, and from the Lord’s perspective, the work of helping them fleshly isn’t a particularly precious work. But the fact is that the work of saving souls and then to have them receive the everlasting life in Heaven is most urgent and that as there is still an opportunity, instead of losing that opportunity, we must carry out the work of spreading the gospel. That is what is meant by “Me you do not have always with.” Pouring fragrant oil on the Lord’s head isn’t something that we can do at anytime. It is something that we cannot do if we were to lose that timing. That is why the Apostle Paul had said to the saints of Ephesus, as well as to all of us, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16). The Scripture passage, “redeeming the time,” has the meaning, “getting hold of opportunities.” We must get hold of all the opportunities to spread the gospel.
Dear fellow believers, it is right for the born-again to serve the Lord. It is right for me also to serve the Lord. Ever since I was born again, I have been serving the Lord, and all our ministers and workers have also been serving the Lord. As you may well know, our ministers and workers are actually serving the gospel by offering to the spreading of the gospel all the money that they had earned through physical labor. Most of our ministry workers are all in businesses. And so, they take care of food, clothing, and shelter on their own, and also, they offer to the Lord most of the money that they had earned there. Our Churches in Korea gather up material offerings, and then they do the works of making booklets filled with the gospel, sending off missionary workers overseas, making disciples and establishing our coworkers there, delivering the funds to be used there, and so on.
All our ministers and workers of our Church do such work full time. There were the ornamental knobs under each bowl made like almond blossoms on the seven branches of the gold lampstand of the Tabernacle. By working hard in various businesses, ministry workers act as calyx of the gospel with material offerings, and at the same time, they devoutly carry out the work that they are entrusted with. Some ministry workers devote themselves fully to the work of publishing books, and some ministry workers take charge of the Internet related part. Not only the ministry workers, but brothers and sisters do so as well. It is right for the born-again to serve the Lord. This is the truth that is in the Bible.
The Lord has said wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her. Because this woman had served the gospel by pouring the precious fragrant oil she had over the Lord, the gospel got to be spread, and thus, whenever people get to receive the remission of sin, the Lord will commemorate the fact that people were able to receive the remission of sins because this woman had served the gospel. This is what He was saying. The born-again people serve the Lord with material offerings because they are truly thankful toward the Lord who has remitted all their sins and blotted out all the sins of every single person throughout the world. It isn’t something that they do against their will, and it isn’t some obligation or premise of their salvation. Rather, it is work that they do out of true gratitude and thankfulness toward the Lord. The fact of the matter is that we the righteous who have been born again serve the Lord in order to spread the gospel and because it is only proper for us to be spreading the gospel.
The born-again people, whoever they may be, must go on living wholly for the gospel just like what this woman had done in the Bible. Just as you and all the people throughout the world have received the remission of sin because those who have gone before you had all served the Lord, you must also serve the Lord, just like those who had served the gospel before you. Serving the Lord is a work that is right. Serving the Lord instead of the world is what that is right. Many people have received the remission of sin because you and I have served the Lord. Right here, there are youths, adult brothers, and sisters. The gospel gets spread throughout the entire world because you and I have served the Lord. The fact of the matter is that this gospel is getting spread throughout the entire world even now because many saints of this day and age have served the Lord at the risk of their life, just as the disciples of Jesus had served the Lord and preached this gospel.
The Lord has said what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her. We must commemorate this woman. We must commemorate those who had lived serving the Lord by joining together with the Church after having received the remission of sin. We must accept them as indeed the precious. You and I must set our life’s objective as such. We must hold a grand dream in our hearts. If you have been thinking up until now all is fine so long as you yourself and your family member had things to eat and drink, then you must change your thinking from now on. We must now set the goal, “I must earn a great amount of money in order to serve the Lord much more.” And, we must hold such a wish, have such a faith, offer such prayers, and go on living a life like that by faith. We must set our hearts on the righteous work. “Having received the remission of sin, I must now go on living for the souls of the others, not just for myself.” We must hold such faith and heart. We must live like so. Our way of thinking and our hearts must change.
Our beginning is extremely small. But, it is said that our latter end would increase abundantly. After being born again, our beginning was extremely small in serving the Lord. However, how is it now? As the faith grows, our latter end would increase abundantly. Dear fellow believers, we must work in order to save all the people throughout the world, and this has to become our life’s objective. And, this must be the reason why we breathe. Also, we must set our hearts to earn money not to take care of food, shelter, and clothing for me and my family members only, but to save those have not yet received salvation, to preach to them this gospel, and to serve the gospel. We must become a person who thinks, “In order to serve the gospel, I must keep my health, and in order to serve the gospel, I should be diligent. From now on, I should not live just for myself.”
Now, you must place your life’s goal and meaning in the spreading of the gospel. This woman had a faith similar to yours and mine. This woman, like us, knew that Jesus was the Savior and that He was the Lamb of God and the Son of God who has taken on all her sins by receiving the baptism. Knowing that Jesus will vicariously be dying to save her from sins by having come to this earth and received His baptism, that was why she had poured the fragrant oil on Jesus’ head by faith This woman had poured the fragrant oil on Jesus’ head to spread the work that Jesus had done all over the world because Jesus was someone who is truly precious and had saved her life from death. This woman had done so because she was so very thankful and grateful.
Now, when our faith grows, your hearts and mine will become like that of this woman, even if no one says anything. If you have surely received the remission of sin, life’s objective will totally change. We must dwell our thoughts upon the Lord, and we must learn to be thankful to the Lord. Also, we must become a person of faith who can be so very thankful for just a single fact that the Lord has blotted out your sins and mine. Dear fellow believers, isn’t the fact that a life, which was once dead, was brought back to life something really we should be thankful for? It is something we should be thankful for so much.
Dear fellow believers, to us, Jesus is the Lord who is so very kind and gracious. That is why we now hope to offer our remaining lives to the Lord. Even though you yourself cannot do great things or do something standing at the forefront, you must realize that your serving of the Lord by uniting with God’s Church is in fact spreading the gospel. And we must go on living like so. Even though we may not be doing the work of spreading the gospel directly, for us to make material offerings to serve the gospel, just like the woman who had poured this fragrant oil on Jesus’ head, is something truly worth of commemoration. And, because it is greatly beneficial for the spreading of the gospel to do so, we must take that as our objective and live accordingly with such faith.
Dear fellow believers, if a born-again person does not make the work of spreading the gospel as his or her life’s objective, the person will fall from grace. If one lives just for himself after being born again, then he would amount to truly nothing. Having been born again, if one does not offer his life to the work of serving the Lord, what would happen to his life? He would become a debauchee because he would just be without sins and in comfort, with nothing to do. Therefore, even though he has received the remission of sin, if he does not live for the work of saving the souls of others, spread the gospel himself personally, or lead a life of offering his efforts or material things for the spreading of the gospel, he will just become corrupted. It would just be a matter of time before such a person would become corrupted.
As there is nothing to do, how can he go on living upright? Now that he has received the remission of sin, there is nothing for him to do. What would happen when there is nothing to do? Such a person will pursue things of the world, falling in love with things of the world, going on living relying on things of the world and receiving recognition from the world. But then, he will become corrupted and in the end he will lose the gospel itself. Far from guiding so many people toward Heaven, such person will be prone to turn into the Devil’s instrument that makes numerous people, despite their faith in Jesus, to go to hell by making up a strange gospel.
Dear fellow believers, the born-again must set the life’s objective on loving Jesus Christ purely and on the precious work of serving the gospel that is the work of saving souls. If someone is a just person, he has set such an objective. He must set his heart, thinking, “The Lord has saved me also, so if I were to convey this gospel to others, they would also be able to receive salvation by having faith in it. Thus, I will also live for this gospel. I will also serve this gospel. This is my life’s objective. I want to convey this gospel to many people all over the world. Since I cannot do so personally, I will serve the Lord with material offerings instead.”
Prior to an increase in the price of paper, it cost us around 35,000 US dollars just to print 10,000 copies of our books. Of course, our workers editing and making book covers weren’t paid for because they had volunteered to do so in order to publish books, but when we count in these expenses as normal, the total cost will be about 40,000 US dollars. Also, in order to send those ten thousand copies all over the world, we would be in need of around 20,000 US dollars for the shipping cost. Therefore, it is correct in estimating the total amount going into sending off ten thousand copies and into having them be held in the hands of ten thousand readers to be around 60,000 US dollars. It is calculated that it costs about 6 dollars per copy. Accordingly, if you were to offer approximately 6,000 US dollars per month for the gospel, with that money, we are able to send about 1,000 copies of the book to the requestors, so it would be exactly the same as preaching the gospel to 1,000 people per month. Also, when those 1,000 books go out into the world, they do not just stay still. As for some books, they get passed on from the one person who had received it the first to another person and then get passed on again and again. And thus, the fact is that many people get to receive the remission of sin.
Dear fellow believers, this is why the work of you and I serving the Lord and offering monetary donations before the Lord is something immensely precious. This is precisely what spreading of the gospel is. When you provide support for the spreading of the gospel, you are saving the lives of those headed for hell. This is something that is fundamentally different from such works as building prayer chapels with red bricks, purchasing pews, installing a huge pipe organ, and so on that the churches of the world do by gathering up money collected from church members. It is serving the work of saving lives. It is truly a precious work. That is why the Lord has said, “Those who had done this work will be told as a memorial to them.” The Lord is the Master of all things of this entire universe. The Lord can personally do all the work alone, but because the Lord is God and the Spirit, He goes on doing the work of spreading the gospel through us, His servants.
If you and I did indeed participate in the precious work of the gospel and did serve it, then that is in turn the same as having participated in the building of the Kingdom of Heaven. As we have set our hearts in a life of serving the Lord, the Lord has given us this opportunity. How precious is this work? If you are someone who has truly received the remission of sin, then you must offer your life to the work of saving the souls of others. Also, you must set your life’s objective on the work of spreading the gospel to others, and then you must live out the rest of your life with such a purpose. We must live according to such faith. Do you understand?
Dear fellow believers, many people have made sacrifices for the gospel. They have not only served the Lord with material offerings, but there are many others who have given up their youth and offered it before the Lord. What is the difference between ministry workers and lay saints? Ministers and full time workers are different from lay saints on the point that they have given up their entire life to the Lord. Of course, lay brothers and sisters also serve the Lord in a precious manner. Among lay saints, there are a great number of them who are precious. It is something truly worthy of commemoration.
But, ministers and full time workers are a bit different. They have offered their lives to the Lord. They have offered not only material things as well as their youth. As the Scripture passage that goes, “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1), to offer one’s youth is something that is utterly precious.
The work of serving the Lord is a work that is immensely precious. People who participate in this work are participating in an immensely precious work. I hope for you to participate in this precious work, too. I am not asking you to participate right at this moment, but rather, I hope for you to gradually become those that participate in the work of serving the Lord in time as you hold faith inside your hearts and as that faith grows. Then, through us who participate in the work of serving this gospel, I believe the gospel will be preached throughout the entire world vigorously.
I am not saying these words for you to make a promise of a huge monetary donation at this time. Jesus has said, “Wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her” (Matthew 26:13). And I just want us to engrave in our hearts these words of Jesus, and hope for us to know the Lord’s intention a little better. Do you believe? I am sure you do.
I have so much to say. After I was born again by having realized and believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which says that the Lord has blotted out not only my sins but also the sins of people throughout the entire world, the very first prayer that I had offered was the prayer that went, “Dear God, the gospel is nowhere in this entire world. Allow me to spread this gospel all over the world.” That prayer was the first prayer that I had offered after all the sins inside my heart had disappeared.
When born again, a person becomes just a child. The person would worry, “I have to live with these things, but when there are gone, how can I live?” And, the heart would just be childish. Right after being born again, everyone is like that. Dear fellow believers, regardless of whom, people tend to think that they will die without money right after having been born again. After I was born again, I came to think, “There is no gospel in this entire world, yet as I am aware of this fact, how can I just ignore it? Well, the Lord said, ‘For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required.’” Through the Word, God encouraged and admonished me greatly. “Do you not know? Do you not have much? Preach this gospel then.” Being so very thankful, even though I had no abilities of my own, I first prayed, and then as I met people one by one, I began preaching the gospel to others. Even though there were many occasions when I had preached the Word in an unorganized manner, but as I met people and conveyed to them the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they did in fact received the remission of sin.
After I was born again, time passed by so quickly that I do not know how it all had passed. I don’t know how fast I have come to be well over the age of fifty. I cannot remember very well how I have come to be at this age right now. Even before I was born again, I believed in Jesus and lived for Jesus somehow. But, after being born again, I had a thought in my heart, “The gospel isn’t everywhere in this entire world, yet how can I just go on living only for myself?” And so, I started spreading this gospel.
But, it is not easy to spread the gospel by meeting and sharing words directly with people. For example, if there should be two or three people who haven’t been born again sitting here, I would have to shout out loud from the top of my lungs. Only then, is it possible to have those souls surrender to the Truth and save them. I have to bring down those people’s thoughts, learning, religious convictions, and other things like that completely with the Word, and by conveying to them the Truth, I have to claim victory over the non-truths that had possessed them. When I have to do so, my voice would get hoarse.
But, as I went about preaching the gospel, there were times when I had no time to sufficiently share words with people, and I came to think, on many occasions, “At times like this it would be so nice to have a book to give to this person. If this person is searching about the Truth, he would be able to receive the remission of sin by reading the book.” Also, I came to have the thought that even foreigners would be able to receive the remission of sin by reading books that contain this gospel. This thought occurred inside my heart more and more.
And so, in a truly meager way, we had started the literature ministry. We started the literature so that we may be able to spread the gospel in a little more efficient way. At first, a small amount of monetary offering for the literature ministry came in, and with that money, I purchased a copier that was worth 600 US dollars. During the day, I preached the gospel at the Missionary School, and at night when I went home after having finished the worship service, I ran the copier all through the night, just rattling along. Just then, there were times when I had fallen asleep in front of it, without realizing. When I woke up in the morning, as you can imagine, the machine was still on. So, can you see how high the electric bill was and how fast the toners for the copier were running out?
As I distributed the printed materials to students of our Mission School, I said to them, “Paste these to electric poles and make sure that these don’t ever come off by using superglue.” As they were all pasted on, they were so well pasted on that they had stayed on for more than a year. They didn’t come off even when cleanup ladies from the city hall had tried to scrape them off with hands using brushes. They didn’t come off easily because they were pasted on with superglue.
I got greedier. “Right now they are in a single color, but wouldn’t it be good to make them with more color? Wouldn’t be nice to print them in two colors, black and blue?” And so, I bought a color toner and printed pamphlets, acting all so frivolously. The pamphlets that I made back then might still have been found in our Editing Department. We had started the literature ministry like that, but hasn’t it gotten so big right now? The fact is that people get to read the gospel through books and get to come in contact with the Truth. Even a Japanese woman named Itakaki Misao is reading our books, sharing fellowship with one of our sisters in the gospel. The gospel can be conveyed to all Japanese through these books. It is possible to preach the gospel to those who believe in Jesus as well as to those who do not through these books.
A few years ago, several of our pastors visited Deaconess Soon-ok Park who was living in Japan, and she showed us around a famous park in Tokyo. It was a really clean and nice park, with so many lotus trees, all in full blossom. But while we were there, we handed out books to people as we had done here in Korea, and the people there liked it very much. When we hand out books like that, the gospel gets spread to Japanese people as well. You and I have served the Lord and rendered sacrifices by offering monetary donations, and because of our serving of the Lord, it is the case that those who will believe do get to believe. When you earn material gains and offer them before the Lord for the gospel, people of all the various languages throughout the world get to receive the remission of sin through the gospel books that we have translated and sent to them.
In the Bible, “woman” symbolizes the Church. Thus, just as the Lord has said, “Wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her,” because of the self-sacrifices of God’s Church for the gospel, it is the case that the gospel gets spread all over the world, and the Lord will remember all this work.
God remembers and commemorates this work of having served the Lord carried out by you and me. When someone gets saved, the Lord remembers it like the following: “That soul received salvation because someone named so and so had served the Lord and the gospel.” That is why you and I, after having received the remission of sin, must serve the Lord. Anyone who is a born-again person must do as this woman had done and realize the salvation that he has received is a salvation that is so very precious. Also, he must serve the Lord so that not just the souls around him but everyone else on this entire world can also receive the salvation.