September 10th, 2016
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
Gospel of Trial (Gen 22:1-3)
It’s good to see you, greet those around you. Have you had a good week? Today’s title is, “Gospel of Trial”. We do surprise parties for kids to celebrate events. Before the party, we surprise them. When a person gets surprised many times, their life will get shorter. They may feel bad. There is a reason for this. Friends or the parents celebrate their birthday. Before the joy of celebration, there is a joy of surprise. There is a saying that after it rains, the weather will be calm. Things will be smoother. Some people can ask what trials have to do with the Gospel. The salvation of mankind is the Gospel. The Gospel of Christ will give blessings forever. The Gospel is the masterpiece that went through all the trials. It is written in the Bible. You see the Gospelized families in Genesis. The families went through trials and then became witnesses.
1. The Gospel Noble Families have passed the trials and become witnesses of blessings
(1) Noah’s family (Gen 6:1-7, Gen 6:22, Gen 9:20-21)
(2) Abraham’s family (Gen 11:30-32, Gen 12:10, Gen 22:1-3)
(3) Moses’ family (Ex 1:15-16, Ex 2:15, Deut 3:27/Deut 34:1-4)
(4) David’s family (1Sam 17:28, 1Sam 18:11, 2Sam 15:10-14)
There are 4 families: Noah, Abraham, Moses and David. The generation of Adam and Eve were destroyed with the flood. Only Noah’s family survived. Then, the new man started. Think about the age of the flood. What was the situation during the age? It is written in Genesis 6. It is the age of the Nephilim. The forces of darkness were strong. Sin is filling the air. It’s when God regret creating mankind. This age was so hopeless to the point where God regret it. Young people in Korea have a difficult time in getting jobs and starting families. Their generation is difficult. They cannot earn a lot of money with part time jobs. The age that they’re living in is difficult. Then, Noah’s age was worse to the point where it was incomparable. Everyone was corrupt and committed sin. However, Noah was a person who received God’s grace. He was not discouraged, but sought after God’s grace. In the midst of this age of despair, there was a promise of grace. God promised something amazing. No matter how dark it is, seek God through prayer. There is no reason to criticize politicians. No matter how dark this age can be, we will have victory. we don’t have to blame others. All we have to do is use God’s authority, then we will win. Through the grace of God, Noah got the covenant. It will rain, so make an ark. At the time, there was no such thing as rain. It was difficult to believe in rain. However, Noah completely obeyed His command and did what God said. There is a lot of meaning behind this. He was doing a lot of construction. A lot of people asked what he was doing. And he was making a boat because of the impending flood in order to survive. The people completely believe him at the time. There was no such thing as rain. There was never a flood before. All the people criticized Noah. Have you ever been criticized or bullied? People would falter and maybe stop coming to church if they’re bullied. Even when married couples fight, they can separate. Noah’s family continued to receive criticism. This is a great thing to be at trial. He may just be giving up. On scholar said that the ark was built over a period of 40-120 years. Whichever amount of time it was, it was a lot and they were bullied during that time frame. A normal person might go crazy because of it. Noah held onto the Covenant and the Word of God. He completed the Ark. Then the rain poured and the flood came. They overcame the trials and received the blessings. They received great answers, everyone else died. The entire earth became Noah’s property. The new man started from Noah. That is great. These trials will continue to come. After that, there was an age of peace. Because of this rain, the land looked better. They were making grapes on the farm. Noah had wine from it. He must’ve felt great. He drank a lot. He fell asleep, and it wouldn’t be a problem, but he fell asleep naked. That caused a problem. That was a mistake on the part of the authority figure. That became a trial. One of the sons of Noah saw this. One of the sons of Noah exposed the problems of Noah without knowing that this was a trial that God allowed. You could easily talk about the leaders of society. People don’t realize that this is the trials of God. Within Noah’s family, there was a trial. Ham didn’t lie. He did tell the truth. He said that his father was drunk with alcohol and slept naked. Then Noah wakes up. Sam and Japheth covered Noah’s shame received blessings from God. However, Ham received curses. They went through 3 trials. The trials coming from other people can be curses or blessings. Look at Abraham’s family, he was called by God. Abraham was living well in his father’s land, but he had to leave. It’s not easy to move. It’s not like he had a moving truck to help them. God told him to get out of there and then He would give further instructions later on. That was a trial given by God. His family members died. Later, Abraham’s wife couldn’t have a child and his wife Sarah was almost taken away. However, his family was able to overcome these trials and go into the Canaan land. God told them to become the source of blessings. It wasn’t easy. Amongst the students here, there are those from different countries. There are those who are forced to come here from afar. There may be difficulties. You must think before God. It doesn’t matter how you came. It is the guidance of God. God will lead and be responsible for you. You must have faith. After this promise of blessing, they must live. Then famine occurs. I believe that they were not able to pass trials. They had to go to Egypt and Abraham almost lost his wife. However, God allows a miracle and protects her. Then, they go back to Canaan. 25 years had passed. Isaac was born and becomes a young adult. One day, God gives a command to sacrifice his son as a burnt offering. He immediately obeyed and brought 2 servants. In the middle, he left the 2 servants. That means that Abraham made his decision. He is supposed to sacrifice him as an offering. If his servants follow him, they would’ve stopped him. These 2 servants would’ve thought that he was crazy. What does this mean? He made a resolution to win against trials. He brings a knife and was about to kill Isaac. However, God immediately told him to stop. God told him that since he follows His command, He will give him a covenant. “I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” There’s a door in a castle. When wars break out, they will be shooting arrows. You must break the gates of the castle to invade. Having this gate means that they have victory. God will give you a complete blessing. God will continue to bless you. That’s how God blessed Abraham. Let’s say that your businesses is going well, you’d accept it. If you’re kids are going well, you would take it. He confirms it after these trials. I will lift these servants after these trials. Abraham became and ancestor of faith. You may think that if the people of the Covenant meet trials, it’s a sign of God that He will bless you. Open your spiritual eyes. Look at Moses. At the time of Moses, the Egyptians were practicing infanticide. It’s difficult to depart with your kids. You may criticize this age. That became an opportunity for Moses to enter inside the palace. Moses grows up. He realizes he’s a Jew. The people of Hebrews were struggling as slaves. He rightfully wants to help them out. Looking at the bad actions of the Egyptians, he prevented one Egyptian from being beat and accidentally killed him. So, he ran away. We would think that he’s doing God’s work, why is he trapped in the wilderness. Moses was waiting for the blessing within the blessing. It was when God was preparing His weapon. Suppose that there’s nothing happening to you nor are you receiving answers. As long as you are a person of the covenant, God will mobilize you according to His time schedule. No other trials matter. God calls Moses and give His answer. He became a great person. He crosses the wilderness. He conquers the land of Canaan. He looks onto the mountains. God is telling him to not enter the Land of Canaan. There are many efforts, along with fruits and miracles, but God is telling him to not go. Many of you will give up. That was the plan of God as well. If you look at Revelations, it says that the 2 witnesses resurrect. It talks about the last age. The first witness is Elijah and the second witness is Moses. Elijah was representative of miracles and Moses was representative of the Word. They would resurrect. God would utilize these 2 people. Moses’ body was unable to be found. You can’t rely on your judgment. You have to think about what is vital. The people who truly realized the Gospel will not have problems. It was the same for David. He was criticized by his family and was a shepherd. He went into war with his brothers. They criticized him for going into battle because he was unfit for it. The time was not wasted, and he utilized Immanuel. It was where he received spiritual training. He didn’t waste time. He was preparing. Thus, he beat Goliath. Then, he became a hero. David brought many fans. Then, King Saul was jealous. He tries to kill David with a spear, but misses. King Saul was so jealous and tried to kill him. David had to run away. Half of David’s life was on the run. He was anointed as a king, but ran away. You would have a trial and ask God for His time schedule. He ran around many locations. He researched these places. He would have a tactical advantage in the future because he knew locations. The life of David was victorious. I bless that you will be victorious. Eventually, he became a king that conquers Israel. He became the greatest king. He made a new nation. After time passed, David got old. Something strange happened. His eldest son Absalom tried to kill him so he had to run away again. Most people would question God and His existence. After time passes, Absalom dies and David regains his position. It’s not that David tested people, but now he knew which people were loyal to him or loyal to Absalom. I can see everything, but I can’t say that. David got rid of all of Absalom’s people. He was able to build a strong future generation. You might ask why God is like that. You won’t receive any answers if you’re like that. The rebellion of his first son was a preparation for the future. Children of God must know this. You must confess with your faith regardless of your skill and knowledge. To the nonbelievers, this may be a door to destruction, but to the believers, it’s a door to victory. May you realize and know this. May you make this on your own. May you make Satan ashamed. Be a role model for your children. May you have this blessing in your family
2. Because Christ who is the main figure of the Gospel passed the trials, we received salvation
(1) During His birth (Mt 2:16)
(2) Trial in the wilderness (Mt 4:1-10)
(3) Trial before the cross (Mt 26:39,42)
Thanks to Christ, you have salvation. Christ is the one who completed the Gospel. Even the salvation that you received is because of Christ. He passed 3 trials. King Herod wanted to kill Baby Jesus, so Mary and Joseph had to run away. Jesus was from a poor family. What happens if a child is born in a poor family? It has a lasting effect. Suppose a parent gives birth to a child. The stomach of the lady gets bigger, but the husband has to earn money. The child will be influenced by these things. The emotions of the mother will reflect onto the child. If a child grows up and becomes a womanizer, it’s a reflection of the parents. It’s where Jesus was born. Jesus passed this trial. That’s why he knows all these poor situations. That’s how He embraced all these poor situations. That’s a blessing of God. Interpret this within God’s vessel. Jesus fasted for 40 days alone. Have you ever done so? With the word of God, He is able to overcome. In Matthew 4:1-10, it talks about the trials. What happens next? It says that the angels came and administered onto him. The time of trials just like the wilderness, if you overcome it with faith, you will restore the spiritual authority. Was Jesus fearing His death or that He might be cut off from God? Ever since His birth, He had the Holy Spirit. Jesus was lamenting the fact that He would be cut off from God spiritually. He would do what His Father said. Jesus passed all these trials. He meets the glory of resurrection. After the resurrection, all authorities in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus. After Jesus passed theses 3 trials, we received salvation. These were the trials that He went through. There is a trial inside of Gospel.
3. Because the Early Church, who preached the Gospel passed the trials, we received the Gospel
(1) Trials on the Early Church (1 Pe 1:6)
(2) Trails of Peter (Ac 4:1-12)
(3) Trials of Paul (2Cor 11:23-27)
The Early Church also went through trials. When Peter proclaimed the Gospel, he could’ve been sentenced to death. He proclaimed that there is no other name by which you must be saved. He passed through these trials with his faith. The people in the court tell him leave. After this, the Early Church is opened to revive greatly. Paul also went through trials in 2 Corinthians 11. “Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers.” He was able to overcome these situations, he had victory to be able to be used for mission. Thanks to Paul, we were able to receive the Gospel.
I have said a lot of things and you were able to hear it. There is a trial of faith that God gives and trials of temptation that Satan gives. There are no problems because those can become blessings. How can you change this into blessings? Hold onto the covenant. They have victory. People who complain do not have the covenant which is the word of God. They are afraid of trials. May you hold onto the Covenant. That trial is the time when you reveal yourself, like in a court. It’s because you reveal yourself to everyone. It’s when the judge acknowledges that he isn’t guilty, then everyone admits it. Once you stand before the Holy Spirit, the angels and demons will acknowledge. That’s the law. It is written in Roman 8. “because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” You must confess and pray whenever trials come. At that time, God declares, “You are the source of blessings. You will take possession of the cities of their enemies” This is the law, no one else can tackle you. After that you will have realistic answer. The reason why you have trials is so that you can prepare your vessels. In Romans 8:17, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Those trials of faith will become blessings. In 1 Pe 1:7, “These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” May you be thankful for trials.
We thank you for giving us the Gospel of trials. May we become the witnesses of blessings that the Gospel families possessed. May we be thankful for the Gospel through trials. Just like the Early Church, may you preach the Gospel. May we take all the trials of faith and temptation as the platform of blessing. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.