April 29th, 2018
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
I have a question for you: Do you wish to receive God’s blessing until the very end or stop in the middle? Do you want to be healthy for your whole life or do you want to contract cancer and die early? Do you want your children to receive God’s blessing to the very end or just stop in the middle? We all want to receive that until the very end, and we desire for God’s blessings until the very end. I bless you that God’s blessings and prosperity be with you for the rest of your life. There’s no one that wants their blessings to stop. For you and I, we are not sitting here to believe in God. Then why are we here? We are here to believe in “only” Christ. What I’m saying is that we can’t just believe in Jesus. We are the people who have the reasons to “only” believe in Jesus. It’s because we have discovered His value and worth, which is unlimited. His powers are the greatest. That’s why we don’t just believe in Jesus, we “only” believe in Jesus. Regardless of how good your faith is, when you believe in Jesus, you will become His children. To all who believe in His name, He gave you the right to become His child. During the Exodus of the Israelites, God told them to smear blood on their doorsteps. Regardless of how much was smeared, they were all saved. The blessing that God gave is tremendous. His plans are to the very end, and He has called us to enjoy these blessings until the very end. However, there are times when we do not believe in Him. There are people who stop in their life. It is because people do not correctly understand the Gospel. They have misunderstood and have misconceptions about the Gospel. We must discover and solve our mistakes in our walks of Faith. That’s how we will continue to the very end. I have asked before, “Are we His servants or sons?” which was to know our identities. If you do not know who you are, then you will sway back and forth. Then I asked, “Is salvation a wage or a present from God?” If you misunderstand that you have received salvation from your efforts, then you will lose what blessings you have. Without any part of your effort, you have received this salvation, so there’s nothing for you to boast about. Then, “Are we under His legalism or liberated from this law?” The law is great and shows the standards of God, but we cannot follow them as mere humans. However, we have been freed from this law through Jesus Christ, and because we have been freed, we give thanks. Because we are thankful, we give offering. For you and I, because we have received salvation, we give thanksgiving to the church. Sometimes, because of the law, when you make mistakes, you fall into discouragement and when others make mistakes, you nag them. However, we must discard this type of mindset and fix our wrongs. There’s a reason that this exists. The world is all about give and take, and when someone makes a mistake, you have a need to correct them. However, in the kingdom of God, it’s the complete opposite. Because you have not experienced the kingdom of God, this seems unnatural to you. Then I asked, “Are you living by your feelings or by your faith?” Since God has called us to hold onto His promise, since He specifically selected us to engage in spiritual battle, we must live by our faith. People who do not engage in spiritual battle are not rooted in the Word of God, and they waver. There is no person who enjoy their scars of their past. However, we need to know all of this and change that mindset. For today, we have to ask, “Are we the chosen people or the commissioned people?”
1. God chose the Israelites and gave them special blessing.
When you think about the Israelites and Jews, what kind of image do you have? Some might think of the plight that they’ve gone through during their Exodus out of Egypt. Others might think of the terrible tragedy of the Holocaust. For me, I used to think that they were very stingy, and they wear these very strange hats that differentiate them from others. At the airport, I was standing in line to get my ticket. I realized one Jewish person who wore that strange hat was standing one step outside the line. I later heard from another person that that is the way the Jewish people distinguish themselves from the gentiles. They’ve also had a tragic history with Hitler in the genocide known as the Holocaust. Even though they are small in population, they have seized the arts, economics, and various other media outlets. They firmly believe in the Old Testament, but they don’t know of the Son who came to Earth. In the Middle East, there are still wars going on right now. The Israelites have been called by God. It’s recorded in the book of Deuteronomy. There’s a reason why God chose the Israelites. God didn’t choose them because they were special. God confirmed that they were chosen because they were few in number. Because God looked upon them with mercy and pity, they have been chosen. We need to realize and know that when God has chosen you, it is because you are lacking and you are pitiful. That’s why God called the Israelites and gave them special blessings. Who has recorded the Books of the Bible? They were written, not by the gentiles, but by the Israelites. God called everyone to Joseph, and they were all Israelites. He called Moses and led them through the exodus. When the Israelites entered the wilderness, God performed many miracles for them. The Ten Commandments were also given to His people, the Jews.
The only way to become a child of God is to believe in Christ. It is the name of Christ who breaks down the forces of the darkness and curses. That Jesus Christ came as a Jew. For Jews, it is a privilege and blessing. Koreans at times say this: “Someone I know works at the Blue House.” And when they say this, they are very proud of this. Even if the person is a very distant cousin that they rarely keep in touch with, they are very proud. Who started the church? It was a Jew. The Israelites have been chosen by God.
2. Then God chose the church and determined to serve and save the world.
Why did God let go of the Israelites and start a new church? It’s because the Israelites have failed. They did not recognize Jesus who came as the Messiah and crucified Him. They have killed Him, and as a result, they perished. They have partaken in a diaspora that lasted for centuries. Why is it that this happened? There’s a fundamental reason for this, which is also something that you must know for your walk of faith. When you realize this, you can continue your walk of faith to the very end. Why did the Israelites fail? For Israelites, the forefather of faith is Abraham. During the time of Abraham, in the very beginning, God had revealed this. There’s a reason why God has chosen the Israelites. It’s because of God’s vision for the future. It was a vision that Jesus Christ will come and save the world. There are three reasons why God had called Abraham; there are three purposes and goals. In Genesis God said that He would show Abraham a new land. He also said that He would make Abraham a great nation. God’s blessings towards the people were fulfilled. He promised Abraham that He will give him the authority to bless others through him. God told Abraham the reasons that God chose Abraham, and the Israelites held onto the receiving of blessings for them and their offspring, but they have lost hold of saving others. They started to belittle anyone who was not an Israelite. They have lost hold of the concept of world evangelism. How could they lose hold of the heart of God who wants to save the world? They lost hold of the problems in the world because they have spiritual problems. The only way to be saved is listed in Genesis 3:15, but they have lost hold of this as well. In other words, they have lost hold of the missions. God wants salvation for all of the world. It’s not just for the Israelites. God’s mission is to save the world through world evangelization because He wishes to save them. However, the Israelites lost hold of this motive. That’s why the Israelites failed.
3. Now we must live a new life with the privilege from Christ.
However, we are the people who are important now. We must hold onto the covenant inside of Christ and live a new life. We must not repeat the mistakes of the Israelites. While you have received God’s blessings, you must go to others so that they can also receive those blessings. He has saved them so that they can praise Him and lead others out of the darkness. There’s no other reason. You have not been saved because you are special. You have not been saved because you’re American or Korean. You have been saved because you were lacking, and you will be used to save others who are lacking as well. What are the privileges that we have received through Christ?
We are God’s people who have been chosen from the very beginning. We have the authority of the royal priesthood. You have the power to cast away the evil. You have the authority to cast out the spirit of poverty. The power of poverty that is in your family line will be broken down by Christ through you. There are some families that are constantly ill, but you must engage in spiritual battle. You are not fighting the battle; you are using the power of the King, Jesus Christ. If you do this, you will receive answers, and you will know the taste of the walk of faith. When this happens, you have no choice but to confess. That is evangelism. Because you have not tasted this, you cannot do this. I pray that this will happen for you. We are His people to receive His blessings. When God perceives you, He is looking on to you with love. Tell this to your spouse, your children, your friends, and your teachers. The priests who shined the light of God are we. We must hold onto this privilege and live our lives. When you wake up in the morning, confirm this through prayer.
Before believing in Jesus, I was in a dark place. I was seized by darkness and destiny. This is what you need to remember. Then when you have other interactions with people, you have no choice but to be humble. With humility, save others. You need to know how to apply this. As you attend church, there are some people who say that they were in church before you. However, if you are given a position of authority in church, you have spiritual authority over them. Yet, do not be deceived by this and remember that you have been in the same position as them before. In your field and workplace, you are there to save the people in that field and workplace.
You need to perceive the nonbelievers and people of the world through the eyes of God. Many of us are here as immigrants. Koreans have bad tempers and talk a lot as a result. For the younger generations, even though they have gained citizenship here, they do not want to involve in the Korean community. However, they are losing important things, and I realize they may act like this because they have scars. Satan was active to the point where these young people want to cut off their ties with Koreans. They should realize God’s plan within this, but they do not. There are people who commit to never interacting with the Korean communities. But if you are Korean, it’s because God has a plan for you and the Korean communities. It’s the same with the church. When you realize this, you will be able to start your walk of faith. The reason why you have been chosen and called is to commission for others who were the same as you, pitiful and lacking. I bless that you will enjoy the blessings God has given you throughout the rest of your life.
As we are dedicating today’s worship for missions, you should give missions offering. You might ask if I’m talking about money. Wherever you go, money will matter. If you cannot decide to give offering or not, then God has already decided to not accept your offering. God sees that you are wavering, and it means that He has not given you blessings and will not accept your offering. I hope that God will give you five blessings.
Dear Heavenly Father, we praise and glorify Your Name. I come to my resolution before You. Help me to not repeat the mistakes of the Israelites. Help me to enjoy the blessing until the end of my life, without stopping. I praise You to receive unending evidences. Help me to realize why I have been chosen for the missions. Help me to relay this mystery to my next generation. In Jesus Christ’s name, I pray. Amen