Time doesn’t wait for us but speeds towards eternity. As we look back upon our past, we should not forget to give thanks and glory to God for His saving grace and love for us.
Children do not know how much their parents sacrifice for them. Even after they have grown up, they easily forget about their parents’ love, as if they have grown up by themselves without their parents’ devotion.
In the same way, we, God’s children, can hardly grasp how wide and long and high and deep the love of our heavenly Father and Mother is who have given us eternal life and lead us to the kingdom of heaven. As the heavenly children, we should realize the boundless love of God who has saved our souls and give thanks to Him, always being joyful.
Suppose a man saved you by using all his strength when you were being swept away by floodwaters. Everyone was just watching you when you were about to die, not caring about you, but he didn’t even think about his own safety and swam towards you through rough waters. In this situation, how should you feel towards the person who saved your life?
Suppose there were children choking to death in a smoke-filled house on fire. No one was willing to enter the house to save the children because his life would also be in danger if he went inside. Then a man ran into the fire to save the lives of the children. Fortunately, they were all right, but the man was injured when he jumped out of the window after rescuing the children, and he had to be hospitalized for treatment of the injury. However, he didn’t demand any recompense or compensation. As the children grew up, they forgot how he had rescued them and even betrayed their benefactor. In this case, what kind of ruling would you make if you were a judge? If a person is not grateful to his benefactor, he deserves to be blamed by all people and be punished severely, doesn’t he?
God has bestowed on us a much greater favor than this, which is the blessing of salvation. As the Bible says, “The wages of sin is death” (Ro 6:23), we were doomed to die since we had sinned in heaven and were cast down to this earth. When no one cared for us sinners and just watched us die, only God worried about the safety of our souls and even came to this earth to save us.
We humans are obligated to be grateful to the person, who has saved our physical life even though it’s very short, and not to forget our benefactor all our life. Then, how could we betray our Benefactor who gave eternal life to us who were doomed to die forever?
God is our Benefactor who has saved us. The life God has given us is not temporary, but everlasting. Only to save His children who were doomed to suffer the punishment of eternal fire in hell, He came into this world full of sin and saved us, allowing His flesh to be torn and His blood be shed for us.
However, most human beings are oblivious to God’s grace, and they do not seek God. Even we, God’s children, have not fully understood the sacrificial love of God as the Bible says, “Each of us has turned to his own way,” and, “we esteemed him not” (Isa 53:3-6).
We must not forget the love of God, nor should we foolishly betray the Savior of our life or turn away from His love.
Inscribing God’s love on our hearts again, let’s meet God our Benefactor, who has delivered our souls from eternal death, in the Bible.
Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.” Jn 6:53-57
Who on earth would be willing to sacrifice himself to save sinners, giving them his own flesh and blood? However, God Himself has become a pledge of salvation for us by sacrificing Himself in our stead. He has delivered us from eternal death by giving us His flesh to eat and His blood to drink, torn and shed for us. By such a tremendous sacrifice of love for the atonement of our sins, God has freed us from sin and delivered us out of the shadow of death.
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’ ” So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover . . . While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Mt 26:17-19, 26-28
On the Passover, Jesus gave bread to His disciples, saying, “This is My body,” and also offered them wine, saying, “This is My blood.” And He told them to remember His holy sacrifice whenever they ate the bread and drank the wine (Lk 22:19-20; 1 Co 11:23-26).
We should not only rejoice in having received eternal life by eating the Passover bread and drinking the Passover wine, but in them we should find our Father and Mother giving us Their precious flesh and blood and looking upon us continually with eyes full of compassion and pity. God our Father and Mother have been sacrificed for us, like the Passover lamb. They’ve given us Their flesh to eat and Their blood to drink, and as the result of such a great sacrifice They have saved all of us, Their children. We must not forget the precious love of our Father and Mother.
The Apostle Paul quickly realized the sacrificial love of Christ. Even though he had never met Jesus face to face, he received Christ when he heard His voice on his way to Damascus. After receiving the truth, he realized that Christ had even endured the pain of the cross to save him, and wrote down his firm determination to never betray Christ’s love and grace in the book of Romans.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? . . . No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Ro 8:35-39
Since Apostle Paul understood the sublime love of God, he never betrayed His love. He realized he was nothing, and considered everything rubbish, such as his worldly honors, wealth and scholastic achievements. Bearing the marks of Christ’s suffering, he worked hard for brothers and sisters and never neglected preaching the gospel which Christ had entrusted him with.
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world . . . Finally, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. Gal 6:14-17
As Paul realized what kind of sacrifice Christ had made to save him, he considered his life worth nothing to him if only he could save his neighbors and the world. Five times he received the forty lashes minus one, three times he was beaten with rods, once he was stoned, three times he was shipwrecked, he spent a night and a day in the open sea, and he faced all kinds of danger. Despite all these hardships, he didn’t hesitate to preach the gospel in obedience to the will of Christ (2 Co 11:23-28).
So did Peter. He truly realized that Christ was the Savior of his life and was determined to obey His holy will to the end. When over five thousand people, who followed Jesus because they saw the miraculous signs He had performed, turned away from Him, Jesus asked the rest of His disciples, “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Then Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (Jn 6:66-68).
Like them, we should fully realize God’s love. The apostles like Peter and Paul left all things and passionately devoted themselves to preaching the gospel. Without the same realization as the apostles had, we will walk away from faith and fail to have a true faith, regarding faith merely as an ornament. When we deeply understand Christ’s love and abide in the faith, we can see God.
Our heavenly Father and Mother, who are the Saviors of our life, have come to this earth in the flesh a second time to save us.
Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. Heb 9:27-28
Christ was prophesied to come to this earth a second time to save the souls that would die if they were left alone. The prophet Isaiah describes the process of God’s saving His children when He comes to this earth a second time, as follows:
On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine—the best of meats and the finest of wines. On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever . . . In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.” Isa 25:6-9
“Aged wine,” with which God swallows up death forever, means the Passover wine promised by Christ. It was our God who brought us out of the shadow of sin and death and led us into eternal life through the Passover of the new covenant.
The Passover is the day when God gives us life by giving us His flesh to eat and His blood to drink. For us it is the day of joy when we receive eternal life, but for our heavenly Parents it’s the most painful day. Through the extreme suffering and sacrifice of our heavenly Father and Mother, we are healed and enjoy peace.
We preach not only the ceremony of eating the Passover bread and drinking the Passover wine, but the love of our heavenly Parents who have sacrificed Themselves to save our life. This is the true gospel.
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. Rev 22:17
To lead those living in the shadow of death into life, the Spirit and the Bride have come to this earth in the last days—in the age of the Holy Spirit. Giving life is impossible without extreme pain and sacrifice. So God likens the suffering in the process of saving a soul to the pain of childbirth. Through this, God teaches us that as a child is born through the agony of childbirth, so a spiritual life can be born through sacrifice.
We should proclaim the wonderful love and sacrifice of the Spirit and the Bride, who have saved us, to all the nations of the world. None of us should forget Their love or grumble against Them, instead of giving thanks. Let’s find out what God’s will is for us in the Bible.
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. 1 Th 5:16-22
Being joyful always, praying continually and giving thanks in all circumstances, not forgetting God the Savior of our life—truly, this is God’s will for us. The Savior came to give life to the world, but the world did not receive Him; they rejected and betrayed Him, instead of giving thanks to Him. Even in this situation, God silently endured the pains of childbirth for the salvation of our souls. He never asked anything of us for His own benefit, but just told us to live right according to the Bible and be broad-minded enough to embrace the whole world like an ocean, considering others better than ourselves.
Since our heavenly Father and Mother love us more than Themselves, They willingly endured the agony of the cross on behalf of us, rebellious sinners. We must not forget Their love. The kingdom of heaven is for those who are continually thankful to God Elohim for Their love. So, in heaven, all the heavenly hosts and angels always give thanks and glory to God sincerely and wholeheartedly.
Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” Rev 4:9-11
Words cannot fully express the depths of the precious sacrifice of God. Viewed from heaven, God’s sacrifice is so far beyond our comprehension. The great work of saving souls through infinite love can be done by God Himself alone. That’s why the spiritual beings in the universe give praise, glory, honor and thanks only to God.
Let’s think about why the Apostle Paul was so faithful to the gospel and why Peter followed Christ to the end—until he was martyred, crucified upside down. Understanding the grace of the Spirit and the Bride who have saved us, let us obey Their will and become the salt and light of the world through our good deeds. I hope all you brothers and sisters in Zion will save many souls by diligently preaching this good news, so that you will all be blessed by God in the eternal kingdom of heaven.