November 5th, 2017
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
<Intro> Christ existed before creation and was prophesied. (Jn. 17:5,24, Gen. 3:1, Heb. 1:1-3)
This is when I went to Malaysia for the first time. An elder of a church in Kuala Lumpur invited our mission team for dinner. That elder’s house was huge. Everyone sat around the long table, and there was a water cup for each person. Because it was a hot day, I just drank that water. Soon afterwards meals were served and then the people washed their hands in the water cup. I was the only one who did not know. This one country person went to Seoul for the first time. He needed to use a restroom, but he did not know how to use the toilet. Like how he was accustomed to using the traditional Korean bathroom, he stepped on top of the toilet. If you don’t know, this is what happens. If you don’t know how to use a tool, you cannot appreciate it. If we do not know a personal relationship, then we cannot enjoy it. We are gathered here to worship and pray because of Jesus. Should we know Jesus as the founder of Christianity, the main figure of Christmas, or one of the four great saints? Then we will lose hold of the blessings inside of Jesus Christ. Today’s title is “the Son of God, Jesus is the Christ.” Amazing blessings will continue when we accurately know who Jesus is.
Christ existed before creation and He was prophesied. It is recorded in John 17. Jesus said, “the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” Jesus existed before creation. And He had been prophesied through many generations as the One to be born of a virgin. He is different from us. We have date of birth, but He existed even before creation. This means that He is the One who created this world. Because He created this world, He owns this world. He is the Lord of all creation. He created our bodies and souls. Our bodies, minds, and characters are all His possession. In order to live a life of a believer, we must know these. Jesus was prophesied to come. His works on earth were prophesied. His beginning was different from us and His power was also different from us.
1. He possessed the things that are not in this world.
(1) In this world, people pursue food/clothing/shelter, honor, and success (Gen. 3, 6, 11, Mt. 4:1-10)
(2) He knows the mystery of finding the disciple and raising the church with the Gospel. (Mt. 6:33, 16:18, 28:18-20)
(3) Therefore, He saves the soul with His spiritual authority and gives us evidences to restore the field. (Mk. 3:15, Rom. 1:16, Acts 2:7,47, 3:10, 4:13)
What should we look at now? Jesus has something this world doesn’t have. When you look around the world, it seems like there’s everything we need. However, Jesus has something that this world does not have. What is filled in this world? It is recorded in the Bible. The first Book of the Bible is Genesis. There is no problem in Genesis chapters 1 and 2. However, a problem occurs in chapter 3. All the answers are in that chapter. As you all know, Genesis 3 is about eating the fruit of knowledge and evil. God told Adam and Even not to eat it, but they ate it. Because they disobeyed the Word of God, they were separated from God. In Genesis 6, the Age of Nephilim came. The offspring of the sons of God and the daughters of men got married. They were captivated by physical beauty, and that was the problem of physical-centeredness. Between them the next generation of Nephilim was born. They were the famous, ancient soldiers. They cared about their fame and glory over God’s. It is recorded that the world was filled with sins. They chased after their fame and popularity; they committed many sins and left God.
A big problem occurred in Genesis 11. It was the incidence of the Tower of Babel. People built a huge tower. In order to build this, many people, technologies, and money were gathered. To gather them, there must had been a great political movement. Under the motto of “Let us gather and not disperse,” politics, technology, work force, finance, and everything gathered to build the Tower of Babel to go against God. Earning money, people, fame, and glory are the life success. They became successful and left God. In other words, the problems of Genesis 3, 6, and 11 are filled in this world. People leave God because of their problems with food, clothing, and shelter. To make a living, they leave God. Whether people die or not, others make junk food. There are many Hollywood stars. Majority of them are engaged in meditation. They think God doesn’t exist. In modern days, science and technology have been advanced so much. People become successful and achieve many great things and leave God. Everything of this world makes people to leave God. People fall into this. We have everything on this earth, but there is not a way to meet God. That is why many trials and disasters come into the lives of people.
To solve these problems, God sent Christ. He challenged to the world that veers away from meeting God. He sent the way to meet God, and that was Jesus Christ. Jesus challenged for 40 days in the wilderness, fasting. What kinds of trial did He face? When Jesus was fasting in prayer, Satan challenged Jesus to stop praying and make bread out of stones. Because Jesus has the power to do so, Satan tested Him. Satan tried to make Him depart from God with the problem of food. However, Jesus was victorious over this trial. Jesus said, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every Word that comes from the mouth of God.” He didn’t say man shall live by the Bible but by the Word that comes from the mouth of God. People live not by the logos that is recorded in the Bible per se but by the preached Word of God, His voice. Jesus was victorious for those who disobeyed God’s Word because of their problems with food. The Nephilims had great popularity in Genesis 6. Because Satan is stupid, he attacked Jesus with the same kind of trial. Satan told Jesus to jump off from the top of the temple. If we jumped off, we would absolutely die, but Satan said the angels would protect Jesus. Do you think the angels would protect Jesus? Of course they would. Then, who gets the glory and popularity? People would say, “Jesus of Nazareth is not an average person,” and they would applaud Him. However, Jesus refused to do so. He said to serve God. At the end, how did Satan attack Jesus? He said to bow down to him, then, he would give the whole world to Jesus. What did Jesus say? He said to not test God but serve and worship God. That was the attack in Genesis 11. Believe that Jesus overcame Satan once and for all.
The souls who left God and are bound by Satan would perish. The places where those souls live would be destroyed. This is a sin in front of God. To solve this, Christ came. For those who left God, Jesus came as the way to meet God. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” When you hold onto Jesus, you will receive the way to meet God. The way to meet God is not of this world. This world is only filled with the things that veer us away from meeting God. To this world, Jesus came as the way to meet God. Those who receive Jesus as their Lord are saved eternally. The Holy Spirit revives the souls. The Holy Spirit works upon the lives of saved people and change their fields. Jesus did this work. Jesus preached the Gospel as He said “the kingdom of heaven has come near.” He raised the disciples. He established church in the field to change the spiritual atmosphere and culture. Jesus gave this great power and authority to His disciples. So the disciples saved and healed the souls in the field with the power of the name of Jesus. This mystery is only in Jesus. It is not in this world. That is why Jesus is the Christ. I pray that you would hold onto the mystery of Christ and receive answers and become victorious. Why did God save us who are so sinful?
2. He went against legalism that condemns people.
(1) Because mankind cannot be saved by following the law (Rom. 3:23)
(2) We must look up to Christ who fulfilled and completed all laws (Rom. 10:4)
(3) We must realize the heart of God the Father. (Prov. 25:13, Acts 13:22, Jn. 4:34)
God said He would forgive all the sins and curses of this world. That is why He sent His Son as the sacrifice for the judgment of sins. The curses and disasters should have been upon the sinners, but God’s Son, Jesus Christ, died on the Cross to complete the judgment instead. God wants to forgive us. Because of Christ who died for our fundamental sin, God wants to forgive us. God wants to save those who acknowledge that Jesus died for them. He wants to forgive those who receive the Lord and give thanks to Christ who died for them for their sake. Jesus is the one and only way to meet God. The only way to be forgiven from God’s wrath is through Jesus Christ. He forgave us so that He wouldn’t judge us with the law. That is why the Christ who came to this earth challenged against legalism. God knows that there is no person who can satisfy God’s level. He knows that no one can be saved by keeping the law. Instead, He sent Christ to complete the law. Christ became the end and the fulfillment of the law.
God’s heart forgives, embraces, understands, and cares. This is the heart of the Father God. We must realize the heart of God. He sacrificed His own Son in order to save us. However, the legalists are not like that. The people of the world say differently because Satan has deceived them. They say even if you don’t believe in Jesus, you can be righteous and go to heaven. That’s what the religious people and the legalists say. That is why they are against Jesus. Eventually, they killed Jesus. Our action and good deeds have a limit. As I said before, there’s no one who has the vessel to satisfy God. That is why we are forgiven when we accept Jesus who completed the law. We think that we can forgive others when we empathize them with our good character. That is all about your own righteousness. Who is forgiving whom? Can a sinner forgive another sinner? Only the Lord of judgment can forgive sinners. You can realize this when you realize Christ and the Gospel. Because Christ died for us on the Cross, we are forgiven. The Lord of judgment is the One who forgives. It is not us who forgive. We should see the Almighty God when we think about forgiving someone. We don’t have the authority to forgive others. Forgiveness comes from God. So for us to forgive others, we must ask God to take control. We should bow down in front of God’s greatness and kindness. That is when the Gospel of forgiveness works in action. Believe that these people will gratify God’s heart. Believe that these people are in line with God’s heart. Who is the Christ? He went against legalism and fulfilled God’s forgiveness. That is why God’s Son, Jesus, is the only Christ. This world is filled with scars from sins. Because of those scars, people are filled with wrath and they commit crimes and initiate wars. They judge according to themselves and become perished. Believe that the true works of healing take place when we look upon Christ who forgave everything and became the way.
3. We have made life conclusion through Him.
(1) The life of following only the Word, not being self-centered (Mt. 4:4)
(2) The life of serving God with one heart, not being physical-centered (Mt. 4:10)
(3) The life of fulfilling God’s kingdom, transcending world’s success (Mt. 6:33)
Through Christ, we can realize and experience the work of God. Then, we are able to come to a life conclusion. You realize that you are filled with the problems of Genesis 3, 6, and 11. We live so self-centered even though there is God’s Word. Rightfully, we should serve God, but we live according to our own will and for our glory. When someone criticizes us, we get into a fight. When we receive a scar, we just let go of things. That is our physical centeredness of Genesis 6. Everyone runs after worldly success and promotion. Because of that, we were bound to be judged and go to hell, but Jesus Christ was judged for our sake. We need to come to this conclusion. Believing in Jesus means that your life has been concluded in Jesus Christ. Because of our selfishness, we go astray from God’s Word. Although we are not able to fulfill the law, we must come to a conclusion that we will follow God’s Word. I hope your life will be like this. I hope you make a resolution to follow the pulpit message that is the voice of God. At that moment, God is pleased and He works through you.
When we resolute to live only for the glory of God, our physical-centered life that chased after popularity, pride, and fame changes. We should live for God’s glory and honor. How great is our God? He is the Lord of all creations including us. He became our Father and forgave all our impurities. We are the witnesses of His unending love. This is the life of an evangelist. Everyone lives for worldly success. Instead of building the Tower of Babel, we should establish the kingdom of God in our field. We should seek His kingdom and righteousness. What is the success of God and His kingdom? It is the establishment of church on this earth. I hope you receive tremendous blessings from the church you serve. Why should we only live for God’s Word, glory, and success? We are merely dusts when we depart from God. But when we enter into God’s glory, we become glorious. God forgave us who are so worthless like dusts. He saved us and restored us. We should be very thankful.
<Conc> Those who serve Christ have been chosen, confirmed, and guaranteed by God. (Eph. 1:4, Jn. 5:24, Eph. 2:6)
We became the children of God as we received Christ. Three important blessings are upon us. In Ephesians 1:4, it says we have been chosen even before the creation. He chose us even before we were born, even before the world was created. We have been chosen. God takes care of the ones He chose. I’m not telling you to believe in this, but God will make you experience this. God will give you evidence to share with others. God has confirmed us as the sons of God. Jesus Christ was baptized and the Holy Spirit came upon Him. At that moment, heaven was opened and a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” This value has been confirmed in us. God loves us and He is well pleased by us. This is God’s confirmation. Although we do not know what’s coming in next 5 minutes, but God guarantees our future. Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father. Christ has finished everything with His heavenly throne. This is God’s eternal guarantee. We have received amazing gift from God in Christ. Jesus finished all the darkness. He cleansed all our crimson sin. He has prepared all our future. It is because of Christ. That is why we can confess Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. I hope you become victorious with the mystery that is not of this world. With that power and evidence, forgive and save others. With your life’s conclusion, I hope you will be able to give glory to God. Come to a conclusion and resolute.
There was a rich person named Kimson. He was a poor orphan, but he became a very wealthy person. A friend of him asked him how he became rich. Kimson answered, “ I have 4 ways to success. One, I believe in God and keep the Sabbath. Two, I don’t waste time and spend it diligently. Three, I quit drinking that I used to like. Four, I give tithe. These are the ways that changed my life.” The friend held onto Kimson’s word and made a resolution. He wanted to receive God’s blessing like Kimson so he took actions accordingly. Surprisingly, the friend became a rich CEO in 10 years. The future changes based on what you conclude and resolute your life. In the 19th century, there was a famous missionary named John Paton. He carried out his ministry in the region where the African tribe practiced cannibalism. An old man was concerned for John’s safety and questioned him. However, missionary John Paton respectfully replied, “Elder, you are old. One day you will be eaten by bugs in your grave. I can confess now that, if I can live for Jesus, I don’t care whether I get eaten by the cannibals or bugs. I will follow as God chooses. If I can serve Christ, I will live according to the resolution.” He became a famous missionary in Christian history. When we come to a conclusion in faith, God fulfills it. Even if we ask physical blessing, He answers. God fulfills the resolution for spiritual ministry. I hope you will be able to come to a conclusion as you organize the messages of 2017.
Close your eyes and come before God. Confess that God is alive. Confess that you can’t control you life. Confess that Jesus Christ is your Lord. Come to a conclusion that your life has to be guided by God. Confess that you wish to receive answers and blessings. Put your right hand on your heart. Make a resolution. Dear God, have pity on us. We wish to enjoy the mystery that the world does not have. As You forgave us, help us to forgive other souls. Help us to follow Your Word, live for Your glory, and serve the church for Your kingdom. Give us grace to enjoy the fact that You have chosen, confirmed, and guaranteed our lives. We come before You, Lord. May You work upon us. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen