July 9th, 2017
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
(Intro) Who are Christians?
Greet those around you. We use the term “church member.” What does it mean by church member? Church members are people who attend church. We also use the term “saint.” A saint means a person with faith. We also call ourselves Christians. Christians are the ones who believe and follow Jesus Christ. Whether church members, saints, or Christians, we are ultimately the children of God. In Christ, we became the sons of God. Sons of God should follow the will of God. Father God is in heaven and He rules over everything. How does He rule over everything? He rules according to His will. He rules according to His heavenly will. Then the sons of God should follow the will of God’s heavenly kingdom. We should follow the flow of heaven. Because Jesus Christ came from the heaven, He followed the heavenly flow. I was born in South Korea. After a while, I gained American citizenship. During the process of gaining the citizenship, the interviewer asked me this. “If a war breaks out between Korea and America, which side would you be on?” I contemplated on this question because I had lived in Korea for 30 years. However, as other people who know about this interview have advised me, I answered that I would be on the side of America. My original nationality is Korea, but I am currently a citizen of the States. As a U.S. citizen, I should follow the flow and the will of America. If one is a part of heaven, that person should follow the heavenly flow and will. Through today’s scripture, we can see that the Son of God, Jesus Christ, had followed the heavenly flow and will. In Matthew chapter 19, three events occurred. While Jesus was healing the sick, the Pharisees picked up a quarrel with Jesus. The dispute between them is the first event. The second event is Jesus blessing and praying for the young children. Lastly, the third event is the conversation between the rich man and Jesus. Through these three events, we can come to a realization. The first event, the dispute between the Pharisees and Jesus, was about divorce between married couples. The reason why Jesus blessed and prayed for the children was because other people looked down on those children. Also, Jesus told the rich man to distribute all his belongings and become His disciple. Let us look more carefully on these three events.
1. Remember Satan's attack that changed the age.(Ge.3:6)
1) Genesis 3 - Attacked the married couple - Original Sin (Ge.3:6)
2) Genesis 6 - Attacked the future generation - Age of Nephilim (Ge.6:4)
3) Genesis 11 - Attacked the finance – Built tower of Babel. (Ge.11:4)
The Pharisees made an aggressive inquiry. Can a married couple divorce? Jesus answers, “A man and a woman left their parents and became one according to the Law of God.” Then, the Pharisees made another inquiry. “Why did the man of God, Moses, divorce his wife?” Jesus answered, “That was not My original will. It is because of you wicked people.” I will give you an example. Often times, some bad husbands leave their wives with no big reason. The deserted wives do not know how to make a living. Of course, it would be best if they meet new men. However, if that happened back in the days, they would have been stoned to death. So the deserted wives become beggars or they die of hunger. Because this wicked event continues to happen, Moses gave an alternate plan. Moses said if you leave your wife, you should give her a divorce certificate. That is a proof that the marriage completely ended. If not, you are responsible for your wife forever. If the deserted wife has a divorce certificate, she can make a new family. This is not considered as adultery. This is set as law in order to live a restored life. Let us now focus on the reason why the couple broke up. We should understand that there is a being that blocks restoration and healing. A husband and a wife could get mad at each other. They could doubt each other. They could shift responsibility on each other. We should understand that there is a being that who makes this way. That being makes us commit crimes in front of God like Genesis 3. I am not trying to say whether you should divorce or not. It does not matter if you divorce or not because we are all very weak. When you hold onto the Word of God and begin anew, the kingdom of God will be established. The important thing is that we should remember the existence of that being who brings destruction.
The people brought the young children to Jesus. Why did they bring the children to Jesus? They brought them so that the children can be baptized. At this time, Jesus’s disciples rebuked them. “Who do you think you are? Get out of here.” However, Jesus rebuked His disciples instead. “Do not stop the children from coming to Me.” When children quarrel and make a loud noise, we need to teach them. You should talk to them first, but if that doesn’t work, you need to punish them. Here, Jesus said to not stop the children from coming to Him. Our children and the next generation are our future. Therefore, conquering young children is like conquering future. After Genesis 3 what happened? In Genesis 4, the future generation killed each other. A son of Adam and Eve killed another son. The next generation committed murder and was murdered. In Genesis 5, the offspring of Cain prospered. What happened in Genesis 6? It was the Age of Nephilim. The criminal of Genesis 6 is Satan.
The youthful man came to Jesus and bowed down saying, “Righteous Rabbi, how can I live an eternal life?” Jesus answered, “Do not call me righteous. Only the Father God is righteous. And didn’t I reveal it through the Ten Commandments? Love your God and your neighbor as your own body.” The rich man answers, “I kept those commandments since I was young.” However, Jesus said that he is lacking one thing. Jesus told him to distribute all his possessions and follow Him. Then he will receive the eternal life and be complete. The rich man was troubled by those words and left Jesus. At this time Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than a rich man to enter the heaven.” Everyone thinks wealth is important. Jesus is teaching us how to use wealth. Satan makes people to be enslaved by money. That way, they would not be able to worship God. Afterwards, Satan makes them to go against God. Do you remember the tower of Babel in Genesis 11? You need lots of money and resources to build a huge tower. You can find the reason why they build the tower in Genesis 11. “Let us gather here and build a tower to reach the heaven.” This means they are underestimating the throne of heaven. God told people to spread and be fruitful and multiply, but these people did not obey Him. Instead, they raised their own names and were prideful. Who made them this way? It is Satan.
I told you three events so far. Theses are the events of Genesis 3, 6, and 11. This is the flow of this world. In this flow, Satan is destroying humankind. Because these events are so important, they are written in the beginning of the Bible. God already knew. He already knew that His Words would be recorded and published. A majority of people only reads 10% of a book if that is too thick. We sometimes read only the beginning of our textbooks. Because the aforementioned events are so important, they are written in the beginning of the Bible. We should remember these events and not fail. It is very important.
Children of God who live in this world with a heavenly background must remember the 3 attacks of Satan because these events changed this world rapidly. After the incidence of Genesis 3, everyone fell into the fundamental problem. After the incidence of Genesis 6, everyone died from the judgment of the Great Flood. After the incidence of Genesis 11, everyone spoke different language and was spread around the world. We should relay these facts to our children. “Child, when you go out in the world, you will confront three flows of Genesis 3, 6, and 11. When you get married, you will face hardship. When you have your own children, they will perish. You will become corrupted by money.” You should relay this to your children. It’s the Word of God and is written in the beginning of the Bible. It’s not just mere words from a pastor. If you don’t relay this, people will be shifted away by this flow and be destroyed.
2. Be alerted to the flow of the world that goes towards destruction.
1) Married couples break their covenant due to difference in personality. (Mt.19:8)
2) They treat their children as burden, and they treat their children to satisfy themselves. (Mt.19:13)
3) They treat offerings more preciously than the Lord. (Mt.19:22)
Like the people during the time of Moses, husbands and wives become wicked and break apart. This is one of the most painful problems within a family. What about the problems of our children? Our children are the gifts from God, but many people forget about that. Rather than raising children at home, people go out to work. Some adults use children to earn money. Some women do not want any children because they are bothersome. Many people just have one child. Also, there are times when parents try to live their dreams through their children. This is the flow of the world. Also some people say, “Where is God? God’s dead. Let’s stop talking about God. To live a happy life, money is the best.” People live and die because of money. Because of money people fall in trial inside a church and in their own homes. We should warn others of this flow. Then we will be victorious and receive God’s blessing.
3. The one who became heavenly person with Christ follow the heavenly principle. 1) The married couple are one body. (Mt.19:5)
2) Grant the blessing to future generation. (Mt.19:15)
3) Help the poor and the future generations with the offerings. (Mt.19:21)
How should we grab hold of the covenant today? With Christ, we are the people of heaven. In order to receive blessings, we should not follow the flow of the world but the flow of heaven. We received an eternal life by believing in Jesus. We never lose our salvation. However, Satan keeps on attacking us to not enjoy our blessing. Satan makes us fail and continues to bring problems to us. If we remember the flow of Genesis, we can overcome. We should not simply think of Genesis 3 around the fruit of good and evil. It is about Satan attacking a married couple. We should know that a married couple constitutes one body. A body has many parts with unique functionalities. We have two eyes, implying that men and women have different perspectives. We have two ears, interpreting what we hear in different ways. Two nostrils, two arms, two legs… we have everything as a pair. However, we have only one head and mouth. Even though we may see and hear things differently, we should at least have one mind and one heart. Married couples should speak in accordance. Keep it as one body. Wives look down on their husbands and tell their kids that it is the dad’s fault. When married couples have one mind and one word, they can enjoy the blessing of being one body. In other words, married couples should look towards Jesus Christ who is the head. Listen to the Word from His mouth and be in the flow. Then there will be a synergic effect. The Word has a fulfilling power. That is why our confession of faith is important. When we share one Word, it becomes fulfilled. I bless that all the couples in the Immanuel Church of Austin may be able to do this. Men and women see differently. Usually, men see the big picture and women see the details. We should acknowledge that, but the couples should speak in accordance through forum. The children who see that in their parents will be successful in their own marriage. If they don’t see that, they fail unknowingly. Within Christ, I bless you to have one faith, one expression, and one confession of faith. This is how you break down the flow of Genesis 3 through God’s power. Satan tries very hard to block this. Jeremiah 32 says, “I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them.” Also, Ezekiel 11 says, “Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them… that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God.” When we have one heart, we want to carry out the Word of God. And the Word of God becomes fulfilled. Although we may lack knowledge and personality, no one can challenge us because we have the Word that continues to be fulfilled. Acts 4 says, “Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all tings in common.” All the world’s problems within politics, economics, society, culture, national defense, and IT are derived from money. When we achieve one heart, financial justice is actualized. The early church has experienced this. Romans 15 says, “you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the god and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We can glorify God when we confess our faith in one mind and one mouth. Philippians 2 says, “fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” Apostle Paul is addressing to the church of Philippi that he is filled with joy because of their one heart and one mind. Church members who make the pastor joyous are blessed. When we have one heart, our future generation receives blessings, the Word is fulfilled, you receive financial blessing, you glorify God, and you make your pastor happy. I think not many Asians, especially Koreans, are good at this. However, Americans are good at this. During the service, they sit next to each other holding hands and kissing time to time. They probably have one heart. You should receive realistic blessing. May you be able to grab hold of this covenant and have a victory within your family.
Do not scorn or use our next generation, but continue to bless them. From this day on, pray for your children. If your children are not with you, place your hand on a picture of your children and pray. Do you know what happens when the parents and the children stop communicating? At the end of the Old Testament, Malachi 4:5-6 says, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” When parents and children stop communicating, the covenant cannot be relayed. The spiritual inheritance cannot be relayed. Then naturally, the children have no choice but to fall in the world. They stray away from God’s plan. Naturally, Israel became a captive of Rome. The country was completely destroyed. That is why Jesus told His disciple to feed His lamb. I hope that you may be able to do the ordained prayer. If your children don’t want to be touched, then place your hands on a picture of them and pray. “May you be blessed. May you understand the Word. May you admire God’s grace.” The ordained prayer is declaring that you are a child of God. You are asking God to raise your children with His power, so that He will use them in His vision. It is a time of imprint, relaying the covenant to your children. It is a time of rooting, remembering the blessed inheritance. When you have this time, your children will have a victory. It is a time to acknowledge God’s Almighty power. Let’s say my children are addicted to drugs and are imprisoned. Even if my sermon is beautiful and amazing, what do you think my life would actually be? It is a failed life. I will go to heaven eventually, but I failed my life because my children fell down. When our children are at the place of summit, we will have the greatest victory. This is breaking down the curse of Genesis 6. Do the ordained prayer. Maybe do it when they are sleeping. Do it everyday. Do it before they go to school.
Help your poor brothers and sisters in Christ with what you have, whether it’d be small or big. Help especially the remnants that have the Gospel and are studying at school. Help them secretly. Help them not to be discouraged but gain strength. When you invest on people, they will bear abundant fruits. It is an investment that never fails. Ecclesiastes 11:1 says, “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.” If you cast your bread upon the waters, fish will eat the bread and it will be gone. What does this verse mean? Who wrote the Ecclesiastes? King Solomon wrote it. Solomon said this because he knew an important fact. He knew how to farm at the Nile River in Egypt. During the time of flood, the Nile River overflows. The nutritious soil from the upper stream comes down and spread around the farmland. That is why the Egyptians cast seeds on the waters, not land. Then the seeds will go down stream and spread around the farmland. The seeds eventually root down on the land and become fruitful. This is why Solomon said to cast the bread upon the waters. Many theologians interpret this verse as “help other people.” Casting upon the waters means to not hesitate. Solomon says not to just help the people you like. The attitude of the other people does not matter. Invest on people and they will be fruitful. Last week, the kindergarten principal who taught my three children came and visited me. The principal is almost 80 years old and is running her kindergarten in a difficult condition. However, back in the days, she did not receive any money from us because my children were evangelist’s kids. My oldest daughter even took piano lessons from her school. The principal continues to help other missionaries and churches. Although the principal is not a part of Darakbang, her family has been greatly blessed. Her husband and son are PhDs. Her son became a government employee. Even though she doesn’t know much about the covenant, she has many evidences in her family because she has carried out the things God desires.
(Conc) Forum within married couple, ordained prayer for children, charity and scholarship offering
Let us summarize. Why am I keep talking about Genesis 3, 6, and 11? What happens when we remember the criminal of these events and overcome Satan? Then the blessing of Genesis 12 will come. “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Abraham knew the correct content of Genesis 3, 6, and 11. He knew that he came out of the curse of Genesis 3, 6, and 11. Even though he was lacking, the blessing of Genesis 12 was fulfilled. I hope you would receive the same blessing. I hope your offspring would be prosperous. I hope you receive the greatest blessings that know one can overcome you. I hope you receive the blessing of helping many people. During the mission conference last summer, I met the director of a hospital. He is very tall and handsome. He carries out a Bible study with the nurses and doctors at his hospital. Some people criticize him because of that. However, he continued to carry out the Bible study. And God blessed him with another pediatrics hospital. He renovated the 7th floor of that hospital into rooms where pastors from abroad can come and have rest. I attended the forum and prayer meeting in that hospital. Someone said that her daughter is a senior in college, but they are having a hard time paying the school tuition. Without saying anything, the director gave the money to the mother. Wouldn’t you be happy if you have overflowing blessings and answers, which you can share with other people? You don’t help others to receive something in return. Use the blessings from God for the future generation. Currently, I have a small challenge. Within our church, there should be people like this whom you can entrust an entire hospital. The director of the hospital gave his own house to his pastor and he is living on the 7th floor of his hospital. He is also supporting 40 college students. Seeing that made me shameful. I thought to myself that even though I am a pastor and he is an elder, he is making God happier than I am. Because I have proclaimed about this, I am sure God will select among you and raise you to receive such blessing.
Let us pray. Dear Almighty God we thank You. Let us grab hold of Your Word as we meditate and do forum. May you fulfill the Word and give us evidence. In Jesus Christ’s name we pray. Amen.