People today are considered lucky if they are able to spend 100 years in this world before being forced to say goodbye to their loved ones. The children of God, on the other hand, never have to say goodbye because they are born of God’s seed and live forever. Who is more precious? Those who refuse to believe this cannot call themselves true believers.
Today, we are sowing the seed of God just as Jesus did (Mt 13:24; Mk 4:14). We are giving spiritual birth to new believers. Apostle Paul talked about suffering the pains of childbirth (Gal 4:19), about providing milk (1 Cor 3:2), and he referred to Timothy as his son (1 Tm 1:1-2). What did Paul, who never married, mean when he said these things? He was speaking figuratively, not literally—spiritually, not physically. When Paul called his disciple his son, he did not mean Timothy was his biological son; he meant he had given him spiritual birth through the seed of God. This is the same logic at work in Jas 1:18, which compares people born of the word of truth to firstfruits.
In this world where people’s lives are limited to roughly 100 years, we do everything we can to find children who go missing. People weep and mourn if their children are found dead. If this is the case, what should we think about the loss or death of one of God’s children born of God’s seed? People who show no concern about a lost child of God who should be able to live forever, are proving that they do not really belong to the family of God. How else could they be so disinterested in a missing family member? Should you not worry if one of your children, for whom you suffered the pains of childbirth, goes missing or is found dead? If such a thing does not upset you, then you have the heart of a hired hand. If even a single member goes missing, shouldn’t everyone be mobilized in the search. The congregation members of Shinchonji (SCJ) are different from the members of the other churches of the world because the members of SCJ have been through a lot to be spiritually reborn through the seed of God’s word as God’s children.
The members of SCJ have diligently studied the Bible in private sessions, in the mission center, and in the new believer’s training in an effort to be spiritually reborn of God’s seed. The congregation members who led them hear and the instructors who trained them have truly suffered the pains of childbirth to bring them to this point. My heart aches—it feels as if it is being torn apart—when I see congregation members falling away from Shinchonji. Didn’t we struggle to give birth to them? Didn’t they also endure the pains of childbirth? How can we lift our heads before heaven? I feel so overwhelmed and frustrated. How should we think about these congregation members who were not able to maintain their lives of faith as workers for God’s kingdom? I cannot stop thinking about our lost sheep.
As the good shepherd, Jesus said he would not hesitate to search for just one lost sheep (Mt 18:12-14). He also told us the story of the prodigal son, whose father spared no expense in celebrating his return. He wrapped his best robe around him and put a ring on his finger because he was so delighted to see his son again (Lk 15).
How do we deal with this sort of situation? When someone disappears or is absent without reporting a valid reason, the first step is for his cell group leader to check on him. If he lacks faith and has misunderstandings of the word, his cell group leader explains things and helps him to properly understand. If he still refuses to return, the cell group leader must notify the district leader so they can visit the struggling member together. If the situation is still not resolved, the department leader should join in the next visit. If the situation does not improve, an evangelist and an instructor must accompany them. Next, the tribe leader and executive administrator should pitch in the efforts. If none of these efforts resolve the situation, the struggling member’s home address, phone number, and specific difficulties should be reported to the church headquarters.
This member carried out his life of faith in the hope of heaven and eternal life. He studied the new song at Mt Zion and attended the new believer’s training after graduating from the mission center. If he was once willing to work so hard for heaven and eternal life, he must have reasons for no longer attending church. If he lacks knowledge or faith, then someone must visit him and help him understand. We have to communicate with one another. Don’t we have the best revealed word in the world? If you believe this, then you should believe we are able to enlighten people.
If the holy spirit comes as a groom to a pastor as its bride, if together they give birth to a believer with the seed of the word, then isn’t that believer their spiritual child? How can we neglect such a child? We who are doing God’s work are not outsiders, nor are we hired hands. We have given birth to the children of the holy spirit as brides.
Let us build God’s kingdom into a place where there are no misdeeds, no misunderstandings, and no miscarried children. Cell group leaders must study thoroughly so they can completely carry out their appointed tasks. In doing so, the grace of God and Jesus will be with them forever.