By Chuandao, South Korea
- The church became desolate and my faith grew cold.
- I struggled in sin and finally gave myself up to despair.
- A chance encounter with a co-worker reignited the hope in my heart.
- I found the way to break away from sin and welcomed the Savior.
- I had more faith in God after personally experiencing one thing.
The church became desolate and my faith grew cold.
When I was in high school, I suddenly got tuberculosis. Tortured by the disease, I was miserable and helpless, and felt so close to death. In 1980, I started to believe in the Lord in a church near my home. Through reading, I came to know that it was God who created the heavens and earth and all things. Afterward, I persisted in attending meetings in the church and reading the Bible.
Later, I attended the theology classes held by the church. To my surprise, not long after that, the lung disease that had tortured me for years healed without treatment. I gave true thanks and praise to the Lord from the bottom of my heart. After that, my faith of expending for the Lord became greater, and I wrote a lot of testimony articles about how I was saved and called upon by the Lord. In 1994, I quit my job, and donated all my retirement pay and savings to the church. After a year of training, I formally became a preacher. Since then, I had been energetically preaching, working, and sustaining the church. Such situation lasted for four years.
As time went by, I gradually discovered that the once-thriving condition of the church disappeared. Not only did the pastors always give repeated sermons, but they also often showed off and bore witness to themselves. The brothers and sisters couldn’t receive any supply, so the number of people who attended meetings gradually diminished. Even if some attended services, they were just going through formalities. They either talked about their lives or careers in the meetings. I couldn’t see their love for the Lord. Later, the pastors even open a factory and publicly sold stocks in the church. Induced and encouraged by them, the brothers and sisters all joined in. For the sake of interests, the brothers and sisters often schemed against each other and haggled over every penny. Some even took the pastors to court at last because they neither got the dividend nor claimed back the money they had invested. At that time, seeing the church becoming degenerate and secularized, I, as the pastor’s assistant, was bitterly disappointed. My spirit became dark and depressed, and my enthusiasm of expending for the Lord also gradually faded.
I struggled in sin and finally gave myself up to despair.
Later on, I told the pastors about the unlawful deeds occurring in the church, and hoped they could reflect on their actions. However, they not only paid no heed to my words but even began to exclude me. Helplessly, I left the church and found a steady job in my hometown. When I had time, I would watch videos of sermons on the Internet. Sometimes I would think: “I should fulfill my mission as a preacher. I should be working in the church supporting my brothers and sisters. But now I’m living for my flesh.” When thinking of this, I would feel guilty in my heart. But as I didn’t have the guidance or watering of the Holy Spirit, even if I had a burden toward the church, it wouldn’t last long. Most of the time, I just lived a life of comfort and ease, and sometimes even spent the night drinking and chatting with my friends.
Those days, I gained the comfort and satisfaction of the flesh, but I had no peace or joy in my heart. In the dead of night, I would feel a kind of indescribable emptiness. I asked myself: “I’m unable to keep the Lord’s teachings, and still involuntarily commit sins, even though I clearly know it is at odds with the Lord’s will. Can I still gain the approval of the Lord in the end? The Bible says, ‘For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins’ (Hebrews 10:26). If I continue like this, will the Lord forgive my sins because of my faith in Him? Though the Bible tells us that we have been justified by faith, can my actions really be judged as righteous by the Lord? Could it be that I don’t believe in the Lord properly? If not, why do I still live in sin? How should I conduct my faith to avoid sinning?” These questions kept bothering me.
In order to solve the confusion in my heart, I watched a lot of videos of foreign preacher’s sermons on the Internet, hoping to gain some new light. But all I got was disappointment. Then I went to the bookshop to read some spiritual books, only to find what they say was virtually the same as my understanding and knowledge. I had tried many ways, but still could not solve my puzzlement, nor did I find the way to escape from sin. I felt even more frustrated, and my faith became weaker and weaker. I thought to myself: “Maybe a sinner like me really cannot receive the Lord’s approval or enter into God’s kingdom when the Lord comes back.” With that thought, I began to give myself up to despair, and no longer went to the church. When I had time, I would read the Bible and pray to the Lord to barely maintain my spiritual life.
A chance encounter with a co-worker reignited the hope in my heart.
On January 17, 2018, on my way to work, I came across a co-worker who I met ten years ago. When he talked about the topics of the church’s situation as well as how the pastors led the believers down the path of pursuing the world, I felt the same way deep inside me. I said: “I feel that the church has lost the presence of the Holy Spirit. I’m very perplexed about whether I can be saved if I continue to conduct my belief like this.” After hearing my words, the co-worker said to me, “Several months ago, I went to a church and heard their sermons, which I feel are full of light. And I also read the book they gave me, from which I understood many truths that I didn’t understand when reading the Bible before. You used to do the church work and have read the Bible many times. How about we go listen to their sermons together and see whether their church has?” My curiosity was piqued instantly at his words, and I wanted to go have a listen. Then we scheduled a meeting to get together to make an investigation.
On January 21, 2018, led by the co-worker, I went to the church which I was very curious about. The brothers and sisters there received me with enthusiasm. During the meeting, Brother Park asked me: “Brother, you have believed in the Lord for a long time. You must have seen clearly the situation in the religious world now. Do you think that most believers of the Lord are living a life of sinning in the day and confessing at night? Aren’t they all distressed for being unable to break free from the bondage of sin?” I was surprised when hearing this, and thought: “In recent years, the church’s situation is exactly like this. I myself also become depraved and live a decadent life. His words are so accurate!” Then I asked him: “Brother, what you said is indeed the truth. Today the situation of the whole religious world is truly thus, so is my church. I’m also distressed for being unable to escape sin. Can you tell me what is going on?”
Brother Park said: “The main reason behind the desolation in the religious world is that the pastors do not follow the Lord’s way but lead believers to walk the worldly path. So the Holy Spirit does not work in the religious churches anymore. Another reason is that God has done new work, and the work of the Holy Spirit has transferred. As for the root cause why we still sin involuntarily, it is because there is the root of sin and Satan’s poisons inside us. The root of sin hasn’t been removed, so we cannot solve the problem of sinning.”
“Why do you say that there are still Satan’s poisons within us?” I continued asking. “Hasn’t theborn our sins two thousand years ago?”
Brother Park continued to fellowship with patience, “In the beginning, after Adam and Eve sinned, we humans began to be corrupted by Satan, and then Satan’s poisons were planted within us and we started to sin. The closer it gets to, the more deeply we are corrupted by Satan. So, today the whole mankind all lives in sins, advocates wickedness, and follows the evil trend of the world. Everyone scrambles for fame and profit, and no one pursues the truth and the light. All mankind is becoming more and more selfish and despicable, licentious and wicked. Though we have received the Lord Jesus’ salvation and have our sins forgiven, our sinful nature is still within us. And we still live a cyclical life of sinning in the day and confessing in the evening, having no way to break away from the bondage of sin. The Bible says, ‘Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord’ (Hebrews 12:14). If the sinful nature is not resolved, what we live out is nothing but Satan’s image. Then how can we be qualified to see the Lord? Therefore, we need God to do the work of purification and transformation; only thus can the problem of our sinning be resolved at the root.” The brother’s fellowship was well-founded and irrefutable. And this was the first time that I had listened to such a fellowship over the years of my faith in the Lord, and I wanted to keep listening.
I found the way to break away from sin and welcomed the Savior.
The brother then showed me a picture of God’s three stages of work. He integrated the Bible to fellowship with me the content, significance and result of God’s work in the Age of Law, the Age of Grace, and the Age of Kingdom. Only then did I come to realize: God did the work of tilling the land in the Age of Law, the Lord Jesus did the work of sowing the seeds in the Age of Grace, and in the last days, God brings the Age of Kingdom and does the work of reaping and rewarding the good and punishing the evil. Then I thought to myself: “I haven’t yet received God’s work in the last days. Doesn’t this mean that I still remain in the Age of Grace? But when the Lord Jesus was crucified, didn’t He say that ‘It is finished’? So when He comes back, we will be directly brought into the kingdom of heaven. Why does the Lord still need to do a stage of work?” With that thought, I told Brother Park my puzzlement.
Brother Park said: “In fact, there are many verses in the Bible predicting that the Lord will do new work on His return. For example, Hebrews 9:28 says: ‘Sowas once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin to salvation.’ John 16:12-13 says: ‘I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.’ And in John 12:47-48 the Lord Jesus also said: ‘And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.’ These verses all mention that God will perform a stage of work of judgment in the last days. If all the work of saving mankind has been finished when the Lord Jesus was crucified, then how will His prophecies be fulfilled? It’s true that our sins have been forgiven after we believed in the Lord Jesus, and that we have some good behaviors and no longer commit obvious sins, but we haven’t completely broken away from sin. We still can tell lies to cheat others, have greed and evil thoughts, envy and hate others, follow the trends of the world, covet money, and pursue vanity. According to our present situation, we absolutely have no qualification to enter into the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, in saying that ‘It is finished’ when He was nailed to the cross, the Lord Jesus meant that His work of redeeming mankind was finished. Most certainly, He was not saying that all of the work of saving the human was complete.”
Then Brother Park took out a book The Scroll Opened by the Lamb, and read: “For all that man may have been redeemed and forgiven of his sins, it can only be considered as God not remembering the transgressions of man and not treating man in accordance with his transgressions. However, when man, who lives in a body of flesh, has not been set free from sin, he can only continue to sin, endlessly revealing his corrupt satanic disposition. This is the life that man leads, an endless cycle of sinning and being forgiven. The majority of men sin in the day only to confess in the evening. This way, even if the sin offering is forever effective for man, it will not be able to save man from sin. Only half the work of salvation has been completed.” “Fully saving man from the influence of Satan not only required Jesus to take on the sins of man as the sin offering, but also required God to do greater work to completely rid man of his disposition, which has been corrupted by Satan. And so, after man was forgiven his sins, God has returned to flesh to lead man into the new age, and begun the work of chastisement and judgment, and this work has brought man into a higher realm. All those who submit under His dominion shall enjoy higher truth and receive greater blessings. They shall truly live in the light, and shall gain the truth, the way, and the life.” After finishing reading God’s words, Brother Park fellowshiped this: “God’s words make it clear that the Lord Jesus just did a stage of work of redemption, but our sinful nature hasn’t yet been resolved. So we still frequently commit sins and covet fleshly enjoyments, and our living out is the same as that of worldly people. We all know that God is holy, so it is impossible for God to bring the filthy people, who are full of sins, into His kingdom. If our corrupt satanic dispositions are not solved, we won’t be able to break free from the bondage and restraint of sin. Therefore, we still need God to do a stage of judgment and cleansing work to fully save us from sin, so that we can be qualified to enterand receive His promise.”
After listening to God’s words and the brother’s fellowship, I felt deeply touched. I couldn’t help but think of myself 30 years ago. At that time, whenever I sinned, I, holding on these words of the Bible: “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin” (Hebrews 10:17-18), believed that our sins had been forgiven, that we no longer belonged to sins, for the Lord Jesus had taken on them for us, and that when the Lord came, we would be taken into the kingdom of heaven. Later on, however, when seeing that I, living in the state of sinning and repenting, became more and more depraved but was unable to extricate myself from such a condition, I felt distressed and miserable, and always feared that I couldn’t be brought into the kingdom of heaven. But at the same time, I would comfort myself: “Our sins have been absolved by the Lord. Even if we sin, the Lord will forgive us.” So, as to whether or not I could be brought into the kingdom of heaven, I didn’t know for sure. After hearing God’s words and the brother’s fellowship, I finally understood this: My sinful nature has not been resolved, which is why I cannot refrain myself from sinning. The redemption work of the Lord Jesus only absolved us of our sins, but we haven’t yet been completely saved. Therefore, God still needs to do a stage of work of judging and purifying man in the last days to save us from sin. As long as I accept God’s judgment work, I will have a chance to cast off sins and obtain the approval of God. The questions that puzzled me greatly were solved, and I finally found the way to extricate myself from the bondage of sin. Upon thinking of how I could break away from the depraved situation I’d been living in for many years, I felt so excited.
That day, Brother Park and I fellowshiped together till very late. Before I left, he gave me a copy of The Scroll Opened by the Lamb, and told me that the words in it are expressed by Almighty God, Christ of the last days, and that they could solve all of the difficulties I encountered in my belief in God. I accepted this book with excitement.
Later, I saw a passage of God’s words which say, “In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, expose the essence of man, and dissect his words and deeds. These words comprise various truths, such as man’s duty, how man should obey God, how man should be loyal to God, how man ought to live out the normal humanity, as well as the wisdom and the disposition of God, and so on. These words are all directed at the essence of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, those words that expose how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan and an enemy force against God. In undertaking His work of judgment, God does not simply make clear the nature of man with just a few words; He exposes, deals with, and prunes it over the long term. These methods of exposure, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words, but with the truth that man does not possess at all. Only methods of this kind are deemed judgment; only through judgment of this kind can man be subdued and thoroughly convinced into submission to God, and moreover gain true knowledge of God. What the work of judgment brings about is man’s understanding of the true face of God and the truth about his own rebelliousness. The work of judgment allows man to gain much understanding of the, of the purpose of God’s work, and of the mysteries that are incomprehensible to him. It also allows man to recognize and know his corrupt substance and the roots of his corruption, as well as to discover the ugliness of man. These effects are all brought about by the work of judgment, for the substance of this work is actually the work of opening up the truth, the way, and the life of God to all those who have faith in Him. This work is the work of judgment done by God.”
Through reading God’s words, I came to know how God does the work of judgment in the last days. On the one hand, He expresses His words to reveal various satanic dispositions of us, such as arrogance and conceitedness, crookedness and deceitfulness, selfishness and lowliness, greed, viciousness, etc. On the other hand, He arranges situations in real life to prune and deal with us, try and refine us, making us gradually cast off these satanic dispositions and live out the manner of a true person. I felt that the work of judgment done by God is so practical, which is just the way by which we can break away from the bondage of sin and enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Afterward, I read God’s words every day, from which I understood many truths that I had not understood before and also obtained some knowledge of my own corruptions, gaining real supply in my spirit. I confirmed from my heart that Almighty God is indeed the returned Lord Jesus.
I had moreafter personally experiencing one thing.
Later, in my real life, I experienced that God’s work of judgment in the last days is so practical, and that it really can transform and purify man. One day, there came a sister from mainland China to our church, and then I began to proudly share with her my gains from believing in God. After chatting with her for a while, I asked her: “Sister, how can we understand the truth and enter into reality more quickly?” She said: “To this end, it is not enough if we merely read God’s words at home. The most important thing is to experience God’s words within the duties we perform. Only in this way can we understand the truth more quickly. If we just read God’s words but do not perform any duty, we will find it difficult to enter into reality, because what we understand is just the literal meaning of God’s words.” Her words touched my dignity and I thought: “I haven’t yet performed any duty. Do you mean that what I spoke is all letters and doctrines? I have just believed in Almighty God for five months. Why can’t you understand my difficulties? How could you say such things? I don’t want to have gatherings with you anymore. I’ll read God’s words at home by myself.” At that time, I was very angry and left the church in a rage, and I even had a prejudice against the sister. After I returned home, the sister called me and texted me, but I ignored all of them. Afterward, I felt it was wrong doing so, and was somewhat blamed. I prayed to God about my situation, and then I saw a passage of God’s words: “Because you don’t accept the truth or God’s orchestrations and dominion, because you always look for outside reasons, and always try to lay the blame on others—and God sees that you are deaf to all words, that your flesh and natural self are too grievous, and your disposition too arrogant, that you cannot be tamed. What was the use in your hearing all those truths? Is the truth something to be shouted by you? Is it some slogan? The truth is not simply standardizing your behavior, or making you shout out slogans, or providing you with spiritual support—it’s not these things. It is making you live by the truth when something happens to you, it is giving you a path to walk, making you know which way to act is the right way when something happens to you, and how to act in order to satisfy God’s will. When you understand this, your actions will no longer be directed by your natural self, by your corruption, by Satan’s teachings, by the things that Satan has taught you, and you will not live according to satanic logic and life philosophies. Instead, you will live according to the truths that you understand, and this ‘living’ will mean putting the truth into practice. Only then will you be able to satisfy God’s will.”
Reflecting on my revealing, I discovered that it was exactly what God’s words have exposed. My disposition was too wildly arrogant, and I always treated others based on my hot blood. When the sister said something not to my liking and touched my dignity, I resisted and complained rather than having a submissive attitude. Actually, what she said conformed with the truth. But I felt that she was looking down upon me by saying so, and thus I was unwilling to accept it, and even fixed my gaze on her, feeling that she was belittling me on purpose. When I looked back on the attitude I treated her with, I found that I was truly unreasonable and inhumane. Driven by my arrogant nature, I always wanted to get others’ approval and couldn’t bear any criticism or offense. Therefore, when I couldn’t get the approval of the sister, I was prejudiced toward her. There was no tolerance or forgiveness in my living out, and I did not possess normal humanity. Thinking of this, I felt bad in my heart. Had it not been for the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, I wouldn’t have realized my corrupt dispositions. Later, I laid bare my corruptions to the sister, and then we could get along with each other again. Through this experience, I saw that God’s judgment work of the last days is so practical, and thus had more and more faith in God. I believe that as long as I accept more of God’s judgment and chastisement, and experience various situations arranged by God, my corrupt dispositions will be transformed and I will have a chance to be saved and enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Though I still have many corrupt dispositions now and need to undergo God’s judgment and chastisement, pruning and dealing over a long period of time, fortunately, I have found the way to break free from sin. Then I prayed to God and asked Him to arrange more practical situations to expose my corruptions, so that I could soon have them cleansed.
When I thought of how many brothers and sisters who hadn’t heard God’s voice were still living in their own notions and imaginations looking forward to the Lord’s arrival, living in the state of sinning and confessing, I felt ill at ease. So I threw myself into spreading the gospel, preaching God’s kingdom gospel to those who seek and thirst for God’s appearance. When I saw that the brothers and sisters in religion could put aside their conceptions and follow the footprints of God’s work in the last days, I truly felt happy for them. May all glory be to Almighty God!
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