An Indonesian Christian’s Experience: How to Overcome Sin

By Ana, Indonesia

How to Not Live in Sin

I was born into a Christian family. In my childhood, I used to be a happy child and never missed Sunday School. After I grew up, I was busy with work to make a living, so I started to slowly grow distant from God in my heart and going to church became routine to me. Unexpectedly, in November 2010, my husband left me without saying a word. That left me with feelings of resentment and sadness, and I lost hope in life. To solve my inner pain, I started to focus on reading the Bible. I saw it said in the Bible, “Come to Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. … For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Mat 11:28, 30). “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1Jn 1:9). These scriptures gave me great comfort, and had me reach a turning point in my belief in God. Since then, I often remorsefully confessed my sins to the Lord Jesus.

During the days of repentance, I prayed every morning and night, studied the Scriptures more diligently and persisted in seeking God’s will in life. One day, I saw the Bible say, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Heb 12:14). That meant if we were not cleansed, we would be unable to enter into the kingdom of heaven. As I read this verse I applied these words myself. Though my sins were forgiven by the Lord Jesus and I also tried hard to act based on the Lord’s words, I still often vented my anger on others. For example, in my store, sometimes when my customers complained that my goods were more expensive than others’ or when they urged me to serve them quickly, I would get angry. In my home, when finding my mother messed up the bathroom again, I couldn’t stop myself from losing my temper at her. Every time after that, I would feel full of regret, and I thought, “I’m a believer in the Lord, and I should live out the Lord’s words and have patience with others. But once something against my will happens to me, I always can’t control my temper. I’m committing sins in doing so. The Lord won’t be pleased with me.” Therefore, I often repented before the Lord, but I still failed to control my anger after then. Then, how could I, who was living in sin and wasn’t cleansed at all, enter into the kingdom of God? I really desired to know how to not live in sin, because I was afraid of losing God’s salvation and being cast down to hell for punishment when the Lord returned in the last days.

Who Can Tell Me How to Gain Purification

Afterward, when I asked my pastor how to get rid of sin, he told me to read the Bible more. But I didn’t think it would be that simple. The pastors and elders had read the Bible more than I did, but they still committed many sins. For example, they took believers to hold weddings and birthday parties in exchange for money. That proved reading the Bible could not allow us to be changed. The pastor failed to solve my problem. Later, during a meeting, I heard another pastor say, “In this world, there is no perfect man and it’s impossible to be purified. As long as we read the scriptures and pray more often, we will be lifted into the kingdom of heaven when the Lord arrives.” I thought he was wrong. The Lord Jesus clearly requested us to seek purification, but the pastor should disregard this requirement of the Lord. Afterward, I thought that there was no new light in the pastors’ sermons, and that they just talked about something according to the literal meaning of the Scriptures and couldn’t resolve my problem. I felt I couldn’t gain anything from their sermons. Therefore, I left the church.

After that, I read the Bible at home every day, and even fasted and prayed, asking God to lead me to find the path of gaining purity. Besides, I also listened to sermons on 4 or 5 radios and read many books by famous preachers from around the world. However, I discovered that what they preached was pretty much the same, and that their sermons either couldn’t resolve my problem of committing sins and were of no benefit to my life. I felt disappointed about that.

Facebook Posts Brought Me Hope

A woman is browsing the Facebook page
Image Source: https://www.freepik.com

Until one day in March of 2017, when I was browsing the Facebook pages of my friends, I found that a new friend’s posts were different from others’. These posts talked about the aspects of the truth regarding God’s disposition and God’s incarnation, and especially one of them talked about the reason behind the desolation in the religious world. It said, “Now is the late period of the last days. The Lord Jesus once prophesied, ‘And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold’ (Mat 24:12). Nowadays, wrongdoings in the world of religion are becoming more and more common. Religious leaders don’t abide by the Lord’s commandments, but only abide by human traditions. They only preach Bible knowledge to show off and testify to themselves. They don’t testify to God or exalt God at all and they have wholly deviated from the Lord’s way, which is why they have been abandoned and eliminated by God. This is the main reason why the religious community has lost the work of the Holy Spirit.” I felt that was exactly how my church was. The pastors shed no new light in their preaching, and they didn’t lead us to practice the Lord’s words in ordinary times, but instead took us to organize worldly activities. They even violated the words of the Lord Jesus, saying that we needn’t seek to be cleansed. Their actions weren’t in the least in line with the Lord’s will, and therefore the Holy Spirit abandoned them. I felt these words in this post were very good and clear.

Later, I found out that the content of most of these posts was from a book entitled “The Word Appears in the Flesh.” I was a little curious, and I thought, “How does the author of this book know so much about God? What’s more, these words are full of light.” In the following days, whenever I had time I would browse the new friend’s posts on his timeline, and I even had some posts printed so as to reread them later. And I wanted to learn more from this friend, so I decided to have a talk with him.

After I got in contact with him, I learned that his name was Qiao Moor and he was from The Church of Almighty God. I frankly said to him, “I like to read your posts very much. I have never before seen or heard such meaningful and clear words from others. Honestly speaking, I truly hope that there can be someone who fellowships the truth so well in my hometown. If so, we can fellowship together.” The brother replied happily, “Thank God! We can frequently have meetings on the internet to fellowship God’s words if you’d like. May God lead us.” Hearing this, I agreed willingly.

What “the Salvation of the Last Days” Refers to

Afterward, I started to gather together with Brother Qiao on the internet to fellowship God’s words. In the beginning, he fellowshiped with me on the manner of the Lord’s return, the meaning of God’s incarnation, and other aspects of the truth. After several meetings, I noticed that he often referred to “the salvation of the last days.” I couldn’t help but wonder, “What’s the meaning of this? It sounds new and important.” So I asked, “Brother, I only know the salvation of the Lord Jesus, and I have never before heard about the salvation of the last days that you mentioned. Could you fellowship to me what it refers to?”

Brother Qiao said, “That’s a great question, Ana. Actually, the salvation of the last days refers to God’s salvation that appears in the last days. Just as the Bible says, ‘Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time’ (1Pe 1:5). This verse tells us that when the Lord returns in the last days, He will prepare a complete salvation. The salvation of the Lord Jesus you mentioned just now is different from the salvation of the last days. Let’s recall when the Lord Jesus’ salvation was granted to man. As is known to us, in the end of the Age of Law, mankind couldn’t abide by the laws and was in danger of being condemned to death by the laws. In order to save man from being punished by those laws, God was incarnated for the first time, and began the work of redemption of the Age of Grace under the name of Jesus. He brought the way of repentance, healed the sick and cast out demons, and bestowed abundant grace for man to enjoy. As long as people accepted and obeyed the work of the Lord Jesus, confessed their sins and repented to the Lord, then they would receive God’s salvation and no longer be condemned by the law. This is the salvation God prepared for man in the Age of Grace. Then what does the salvation of the last days refer to? First let’s read a couple of passages.

Reading the Bible and hands

“‘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, for man still has a corrupt disposition.’ ‘The sins of man were forgiven, and this is because of the work of God’s crucifixion, but man continued to live within the corrupt satanic disposition of old. This being so, man must be completely saved from his corrupt satanic disposition, so that his sinful nature may be completely extirpated, never to develop again, thus enabling the disposition of man to be transformed. This would require man to grasp the path of growth in life, to grasp the way of life, and to grasp the way to change his disposition. Furthermore, it would require man to act in accordance with this path, so that his disposition may gradually be changed and he may live under the shining of the light, so that all that he does may be in accord with the will of God, so that he may cast away his corrupt satanic disposition, and so that he may break free from Satan’s influence of darkness, thereby emerging fully from sin. Only then will man receive complete salvation.

“From these two passages, we can know that although the redemption work of the Lord Jesus is done and our sins are forgiven, that doesn’t mean God’s work of salvation for mankind is over. That’s because our sinful nature hasn’t been resolved and the satanic disposition is deeply rooted in us, such as arrogance, despicableness, crookedness, deceitfulness, evil and greed. Controlled by these corrupt dispositions, we often commit sins. For example, no matter what we do, we always want to have the final say, and when others say or do things that don’t accord with our will, we will develop prejudices against them; we still often tell lies in life, and deceive and cheat others for some little gain; when seeing worldly people pursue wining, dining and gaming, we also want to seek physical pleasures; when we face hardships, we will blame and misunderstand God and even betray God. And so on. These facts show that we haven’t extricated ourselves from the bondage and control of sin and haven’t truly been cleansed. The Lord Jesus said, ‘Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin. And the servant stays not in the house for ever: but the Son stays ever’ (Jhn 8:34–35). God is holy and He will never allow any filthy and corrupt people to enter His kingdom. This is decided by God’s righteous disposition. In the last days, according to our needs, God will express the truth and perform a stage of the work of judgment and purification, showing us the way of getting rid of our corruption and achieving purification. This exactly fulfills the prophecies of the Lord Jesus, ‘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’ (Jhn 16:12–13). ‘For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God’ (1Pe 4:17). From these verses we can see that the salvation of the last days refers to God’s work of the last days. Only by accepting God’s work in the last days and having our corrupt dispositions cleansed can we receive God’s complete salvation. From this we can see that the salvation of the last days is very important to us.”

I said, “Brother, what you fellowship is the true conditions of us believers and conforms with the facts. Although we believe in the Lord Jesus, we still often commit sins. Take me for example. After putting faith in the Lord, I still often get angry and lose my temper, and I can’t free myself from this state even after repenting and confessing my sins to the Lord. The pastors also commit sins frequently. I have never figured out the reason before, and the pastors and elders either can’t explain clearly. Now I understand. Although our sins are forgiven because of the Lord Jesus’ salvation, our sinful nature hasn’t been forgiven, so we continue to commit sins. Only by accepting God’s work in the last days can we break free of the bondage of sin and achieve God’s complete salvation. The salvation of the last days is indeed very important to us.”

After I finished, Brother Qiao said happily, “Thank God! That you can recognize things like this is all thanks to His guidance.”

We had wanted to continue our fellowship, but it was too late, so we arranged a time for us to gather again.

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