Main reference: Heb 3 (Jn 16:8-15, Lk 13:23-30, Rv 2:1-5)
This article is given by the Advocate (Jn 14:26) to the congregation members so that they may keep Jesus’ commands.
Let us take a look into the 6,000 years in the Bible at the pattern of faith and complacency among the believers in God’s world as they become corrupt without realizing it.
Regardless of the era, anyone, though he may lack knowledge, fervently carries out his walk in faith at first and is thankful. However, as he continues to carry out his faith, his faith grows cold and prideful actions appear. For animals and humans alike, his mother is his whole world when he is young. If she is nowhere to be found, he cries and seeks after her. When he grows older, however, he weans from milk and starts drifting away from his mother. Likewise, in the world of believers, their faith grows cold and prideful actions begin to appear as time goes by. That is why Jesus said that unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven, and that the heaven belongs to these little children.
In the days of Adam and Eve, the serpent, a cherub that called itself God, was also thankful and carried out its duty at the time of its creation. But it soon trusted its own abilities and lawlessness surfaced. In the end, he started claiming himself to be God out of his pride (Eze 28). In the same way, when people first believe, they are fervent and thankful. They love the Word, they are thankful for it, and they are faithful and loyal. However, even before they realize it, their faith starts to grow cold and their earnestness for the Word diminishes. Their fervency for prayer and meeting also grows cold. Despite all these changes, they still think their faith is the best.
6But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast. 7 So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, 9 where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did. 10 That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ 11 So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.'” 12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. 15 As has just been said: “Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” 16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.1 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.
We, who are now in Shincheonji, need to take these Words of life as a mirror to reflect upon ourselves. It is not that people are too young or too immature to realize it. Rather, it is that people start becoming full of themselves and become prideful. Even though it is obvious that their actions are prideful, they start focusing on others’ flaws or mistakes instead, and use them as a weapon against one another. Without a doubt, this is the devil’s strategy. Yes, he who does such things may have his personal reasons for doing so, but in the end, what he did made him into someone who is now a harm to many others and ultimately, God. Going from good into evil, he may ridicule others and become stiff-necked, but the only plausible ending for such path is none other than harm to others and self-destruction. Therefore, all believers must inspect their heart and the direction they are taking—whether they are complacent or arrogant.
The serpent took a hold of Eve and eventually Adam in the end. One must see his reflection in the Bible and see whether one is acting like the serpent, whether one is doing the work of deception, or whether one is taking hold of others. Not having the fervent faith that it used to be, zeal for God growing cold, taking God’s work lightly, wanting to sit in a place of honor without willing to take the lowest place, being rebellious instead of being obedient, putting down others, showing-off, drifting away from righteousness and loyalty, only wanting to be respected and honored, enjoying gossiping, considering oneself the only righteous and others to be sinners—all of these, which are empty of the just love, are the image of one who is standing on the wrong path. More than anything, “I” myself have to be acknowledged by God, “I” have to lower myself and serve others, “I” have to pray without ceasing, “I” have to love God, “I” have to value fellow brothers and sisters, love them, and protect them. Therefore, I continue to pray—and again, pray—for these kinds of heart to be in all Shincheonji congregation members.
In Matthew 5, 6, and 7, Jesus spoke of many things out of concern for the faith of us believers. He said to not judge, or we too will be judged, to first take the plank out of our own eyes, before taking a speck of sawdust in others. He also said to love our enemies. Did we love, or did we hate? Did we bless others? Or did we curse others?
“I will kill you and destroy you if you do not listen to my will.” Is such heart from God, or of the devil? Is not the heart wanting to be exalted higher from an already honored place a heart that challenges the words of Jesus who told us to lower ourselves and be humble? If we once liked to evangelize, but now like to curse more instead, and to harm more than to help, we must think about what kind of heart we have. We must consider at least once that even one simple mistake can take us deep into the eternal burning lake of sulfur. Then we can say that we are a human with conscience and someone who believes in the Lord. We cannot carry out actions that kill others for the benefit of our own lives.
The words of the Bible must be the standard of our faith, and the faith of Jesus and the martyrs and the prophets must be the standard of our faith as well. Those with the heart of the devil will hate and resent these words, but for the sake of our hope, we have to set the standard of our faith and belief straight. We have to be new creations that are born again. We have to be God’s offspring. Let us love, forgive, and bless one another. Always remember Jesus who died in place of the sinners. Always be with him, always.