February 11th, 2018
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
Something completely unexpected happened to the people of God, and it’s the same for us as well. How can it be that the believers of God became slaves to unbelievers? How can the chosen sons of God be suffering like this? There are many times when we see God’s Word that’s nothing with us. Then who is in the wrong? Whose fault is it? God gave the Gospel to Israelites and told them to evangelize, but these Words did not match the Israelites at all, and perhaps this doesn’t match us as well. However, all the answers are contained in this. Right now, all the people of Israel were concerned with making a living, but how can they think of world evangelization? When my life is so hard, how can I think about church construction? God’s Word doesn’t match them, and they just walked through the wilderness, then God told them to build a tabernacle. My life is so difficult as it is, so how can I hold these missions? So many hardships continued to come upon the Israelites. There are many hardships that we face, so what must we do with that? Right now, right before entering Canaan, the Israelites are facing another problem. The united forces of Amorites arose to block the Hebrew people. When we look at that in today’s circumstance, what must we see? We know that we are surrounded in all sides. Long ago, the Han Dynasty cornered the Cho Dynasty by surrounding them, and what did they do after surrounding them? The tribe of the Han Dynasty didn’t ask for surrender but they sung the songs of Cho. When the King of the Cho Dynasty heard these, he was very shocked. That’s why the Cho surrendered. That’s what happened when we’re pressed on all sides. Perhaps our missionaries are facing hardships in their fields. Perhaps your life doesn’t match your mission of world evangelization. This can’t just become another conference; it must be a way to receive the answers. This must become a time schedule for all of our believers to receive answers.
During my time as an assistant pastor, I met with so many fake believers, but there was one true believer that came across, someone who truly preached the Gospel. This person wanted to go out and do missions. At that time, I thought about it. Before then, I never thought about mission work at all. When I heard that missionaries are going out to the field, I just thought, “Ah, that’s what they’re doing.” In that time, God wasn’t able to give me answers at all. At that time, I had nothing to do with evangelism, and I had no answers. I had nothing that was better than the unbeliever, in the least. Because I was the assistant pastor, I was so ashamed to speak. How can I utter the words that I was less than the unbeliever? I thought to myself, when that person wanted to go do world evangelism, I thought, “What am I doing? What can I do to help him?” At that point, my life was so pitiful because I never thought about world evangelization. For the first time, even though I didn’t have anything in my possession, I began to pray to God. This was many years back, and that person was someone who truly preached the Gospel. Consciously, before I knew it, God was speaking to me. From that moment on, answers began to come. What must we do when we’re confronted with problems in our ministry? We need to be aware of God’s method.
1. The Rightful Result
The Israelites faced with so many hardships, but we have to realize that that is a rightful result. If you ask, “Who is in the wrong?” you will never find the answer. This was the rightful result. Prior to evangelism, the Israelites didn’t know what the Gospel was. Despite the fact that God gave them the Gospel, the Israelites didn’t know what it meant. Not only that, but because they didn’t understand the Gospel, they didn’t know what the original sin was. They only knew the consequential sins that came after. Even among Christians who were Christians for a long time, they are unable to distinguish between the two. There are no faults of our own because we were born with the original sin. People don’t know what happened in the Garden of Eden or the background of hell; that’s why they continue to face these problems. They don’t know what the original sin is. There are some unbelievers that say that Christians have more sins than they do, but we’re not talking about that kind of sin. It’s not because of the harm that you conflict on others or the petty crimes you commit; that’s not the root reason. The Israelites waited for the Messiah, but they don’t know why they were waiting. Before we need to ask who Jesus is, we need to know Christ. We need the King to destroy Satan. We need the True Priest that can block those disasters. We need the True Prophet to show us the way. Only when you recognize the need for that can you receive answers, but the Israelites didn’t, so they continued their lives as slaves. Among them, the few minorities were able to realize and started to evangelize.
Moses didn’t ask the reason for that; he just said that he couldn’t go. He went to Pharaoh and said that they must give blood sacrifices, to which Pharaoh called Moses insane. Do you know what Christians fail to recognize the most? It’s Christ. Even if you just know this a little bit, you can save the world and have things left over. I can say this with clear conviction: I’m well aware of the works that will arise within this church. Somebody said this to me directly; “Darakbang will close in three years.” And he stated the reasons for that. At that time, I laughed. Amazingly enough, it was that man who was destroyed within three years. You cannot speak rashly about the evangelists and the churches that speak the Gospel; that was the Israelites’ mistake. That’s why the rational, natural suffering came upon them. They barely managed to come out of the wilderness, and they arrived in Canaan. God told them not to compromise, but they did so anyway.
2. The Necessary Time Schedule
Why would this kind of hardship come? It is the most necessary time schedule. It was the most rightful, natural thing that bore. There are some people who pray saying, “God why am I not okay but those who don’t believe are fine?” You must realize that this is the natural thing. It looked as though the Israelites faced great hardship, but all those things were necessary. Parting the Jordan River and the walls of Jericho coming down, all those things were necessary. They didn’t value the Word of God, and that’s why they were ambushed. God has permitted it, and it was deemed necessary. There are so many people who are cursing over traffic, but that is also a necessary time schedule. When we’re faced with a lot of hardships, we ask ourselves why they come, but that’s the necessary time schedule. There’s something more important than that; the Amorites knew the terrain very well, but Joshua’s army didn’t know it at all. The Israelites were in an obvious disadvantage.
3. The Absolute Answer
The absolute time schedule is something that you must hold on to. Don’t give up in the face of trials. The absolute answer is there. When Joshua faced the army of Amorites, God told him, “Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands. Not a man of them shall stand before you.” If we hold onto the absolute answer of God, no one can stand in our way. It’s impossible for them to go against the power of God. We easily crumble because we haven’t held onto this absolute answer. However, that’s the most necessary time schedule. In the midst of crisis, we naturally give up, but whatever happens, don’t let go of this. Joshua held onto the covenant, and God gave the Israelites a precious sign. What was the sign? As stated in the Scripture, hail began to fall; large boulders of ice were falling and crushing the skulls of the Amorites. The Bible records that more of them died by the hail than by the sword. What did this mean? It was a sign of God, and you must be able to see that. You must be able to see the covenant of God, but you must also see the signs of God as well. The Sun began to set, and when that happens, Joshua’s army would have been defeated. The enemy would have been able to take over since they knew the terrain well. It was not God’s will to be defeated there. We’re not using the same terminology of people who say, “We cannot fail.” No, it was not even in God’s will for us to fail at all! It will never happen.
If you’re faced with hardships, hold onto this covenant because this is something that cannot be destroyed. In Joshua 10:12, Joshua said, “Sun, stand still at Gibeon, and moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.” The prayer of Joshua was something that he spoke to the Lord. He knew that it was only possible with God, so he asked the Lord. What’s most interesting was that he didn’t ask this of God; he spoke to God. Realize that there are two types of prayer: one is a prayer that asks of God and another is a prayer that utilizes the power of prayer that God has given to you. There are times when we will utilize the authority to break all the forces of the darkness. This type of amazing prayer came out of Joshua’s mouth, and what followed was the authority of prayer. The Moody Institute found evidence that the Sun and Moon stopped. I saw the scientific grounds for this; something unprecedented that can never happen. May the unprecedented works of God come through our churches and our ministries. If you don’t study and you’re last in your class, that’s a rightful result. You shouldn’t blame your teacher or parents. Understand the absolute answer. There is one thing that I must confess before all of you. Before realizing the Gospel, I couldn’t see one person who have truly succeeded. I looked at all the great leaders and figures the teachers taught about in school, and I thought that they were just mere thugs; they caused wars, and all the mighty nations we learned about in school were practically insane. They conquered others and sold people. People take pity on poor and weak countries, but all of them fell into idol worship. I saw the pastors. I realized that all of them, including myself, were all out to just make a living. It was my job to be a pastor, a mere occupation. After realizing the Gospel, however, I realized that there is a separate, true success. If your business, your job, your life is able to be used for evangelism, that is true success. It may look as though you’re facing many problems, but know that you are the true successful individuals who have been blessed by God to never fail. That’s why you’re the truly successful individuals; the fact that you are praying for this and don’t even need to think about what comes after this is, in itself, a blessing. I bless you that these unprecedented answers will come to you.
God, we give You all the glory. We thank You for giving us the covenant. Bless our missionaries who are preaching the Gospel; they are facing great hardships and persecution in their lives. May You hold fast to them and give them Your power. Bestow Your unprecedented evidences to all the family lines who are praying for these missionaries. May our church receive the answers to save all 237 nations. In Jesus Christ’s name we pray, Amen.