These days, the members of Zion are diligently preaching the truth even in far-off countries overseas where the gospel has not yet reached. They are leaving truly meaningful footprints in time which never returns if it passes by. Even in various difficult circumstances, they are all leading many souls into the arms of Father and Mother. By doing that, they are writing the“New Acts” with their touching emotions and beautiful actions, which no other novelist can write.
Of course, the members of Zion in our own country are also participating in overseas missions by praying together with one mind for those who are preaching overseas, from early in the morning. I believe this is also a beautiful act of faith to participate in the gospel work Father and Mother are accomplishing.
When we look at the people described in the Bible, some received the blessing of eternal life as the result of living for the gospel, while others reached eternal destruction after living according to their own desires. There were the forefathers of faith like David and Apostles Peter and Paul, who had set the beautiful examples of the life of faith for us to follow, whereas there were also foolish people like Judas Iscariot, who ruined his life because of a moment’s wrong decision, and like Demas who loved the world and deserted the truth.
Yesterday never returns, and today is the same. Let’s take a look at the forefathers of faith who had lived a wonderful life for the gospel, and think about how to live our life more meaningfully.
Apostle Paul knew intuitively that the time had come for him to leave this world after finishing his mission on this earth. So, when writing a letter to Timothy, Paul said he was proud that he had lived a valuable and meaningful life without any regret or shame.
For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 2 Ti 4:6-8
Whenever I read these verses, I truly envy the life of Paul who was able to confidently say that he had no regrets because if he lived, he lived for the Lord, and if he died, he would die for the Lord. I hope all of us also live a wonderful life which will be recorded so beautifully.
We have only one life to live. Since we cannot live any moment of our life twice, we should spend the time given to us more meaningfully for God and for the eternal kingdom of heaven. Let’s listen more to the Apostle Paul who ran the path of righteousness to the fullest without any regrets and kept the faith till the end.
“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction … But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Ti 4:1-5
Paul recommended that we should always make efforts to do the meaningful work of preaching the Word. We cannot turn back time that has already passed, so we must not have the thought: ‘I’d like to do worldly things to my heart’s content and then do the gospel work when I gain some composure in life.’ Our life is too short to waste time on worthless things. Let us do our best to live a life without any shame before God when we look back at every moment of our life.
In order for us to be able to say that we have walked the path of faith without regrets, as Paul did, when we stand before God after our life on this earth, we must not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but only think about what God’s will is and willingly obey God’s word all the time, as children of heaven.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. … Ro 12:1-3
While pursuing the same values as the people of the world, we cannot live a life without regrets before God. If we live our life pursuing worldly things, we are just like the person who feels thirsty and drinks seawater; the seawater causes him to feel more thirsty. Likewise, the more our earthly desires are satisfied, the more thirsty we feel.
However, the water of life, which God gives us, never makes us feel thirsty again once we drink it. Our members in Zion are experiencing joy and happiness through this water of life, and they realize the feeling of joy and happiness cannot be replaced by anything else in the world. I hope all people living in our time will feel this joy and happiness together.
Let us all plan to live our one and only life for the eternal gospel of the kingdom of God, so our life can be wonderful. We need to throw away the thought, ‘I will do it when my circumstances permit,’ or, ‘I will start tomorrow.’ Only those who have the will to start“right now” can do this work and make their life beautiful.
The Bible has many records about the life and work of the forefathers who walked the wonderful and beautiful path of faith by the grace of God. One of them is Joshua, who carried out his mission with all his heart and soul in obedience to the will of God.
Joshua became the leader of Israel after the death of Moses. When he arrived in the promised land of Canaan flowing with milk and honey, he waged war against the Canaanites to conquer their land and to divide it by lot to each tribe of Israel. Let’s look at the history of the fall of Jericho, which served as a prelude to the conquest of Canaan in accordance with the guidance of God.
Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. Then the LORD said to Joshua,“See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days … On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse …” … But Joshua had commanded the people, “Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!” … On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times. The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the people, “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city!” Jos 6:1-16
The God-given strategy to conquer the fortified city of Jericho was to shout all at once the moment they were told to“shout.” By obeying the word of God, the Israelites experienced the miracle of Jericho falling down before their very eyes, and they won a victory (Jos 6:20).
Prophetically, we are now in the same situation. The shout which the Israelites gave just before the fall of Jericho is just like the shout that the people of Zion, who have been sent to every region of the world, are giving to lead many souls to repentance before the fall of the spiritual Babylon. The parade of the members who shout the truth of the new covenant will continue towards the whole world, so that there will not even be a single country which the message of the gospel has not been preached to.
Our path is not smooth all the time. Just as the people of Jericho shut the gates of the fortress tightly because they were afraid of the Israelites, the devil in the invisible spiritual world will try to hinder the truth by every means possible because he is afraid that the glory of God will shine bright throughout the world.
However, the water of life is now continuously flowing all over the world, just as it is impossible to stop water flowing once the embankment bursts. Since the members are participating in the gospel with a resolution to live their one and only life for the gospel, even those with weak faith are moved and awakened, so they are now shouting together with one voice. Through the history of the time of Joshua, let’s look into the status of the gospel in this age, so that we can fully carry out our God-given mission.
Even after conquering Jericho, Joshua continued to follow God’s will; he drove out many emigrant peoples from Canaan and distributed the conquered land among the tribes of Israel. As he had a premonition of his death after finishing his mission on this earth, he lastly taught the Israelites never to leave God.
After a long time had passed and the LORD had given Israel rest from all their enemies around them, Joshua, by then old and well advanced in years, summoned all Israel—their elders, leaders, judges and officials—and said to them: “I am old and well advanced in years … you will take possession of their land, as the LORD your God promised you. Be very strong; be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left … do not invoke the names of their gods or swear by them. You must not serve them or bow down to them … So be very careful to love the LORD your God.” Jos 23:1-11
“Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD … But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Then the people answered, “Far be it from us to forsake the LORD to serve other gods! It was the LORD our God himself who brought us and our fathers up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes. He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled … We too will serve the LORD, because he is our God.” Jos 24:14-18
Joshua declared that he would serve only Jehovah until the last moment. He was always with God throughout his lifetime. And in his last will to the Israelites, he asked them not to foolishly lose eternal things while worshiping idols or pursuing worldly wealth or fame, which is vain and meaningless, but to live their lives given by God meaningfully. He lived a true life of faith without any regrets, always walking with God.
It was not only Joshua who lived such a faithful life. Apostle Paul devoted his whole life to preaching the gospel with a determination to live only for God and to nestle in His everlasting arms. So did the warriors of Gideon, Daniel and his friends—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Moreover, the saints of the early Church kept the faith without even fearing death and without yielding to any threat. They all lived a truly meaningful and rewarding life.
Life is given only once. Judas Iscariot, who took a wrong step in life and followed the devious way, finally ended up in irretrievable and eternal destruction. If he had been given one more chance in life, he would not have made the same mistake again. However, there was no more opportunity for him.
Even though the apostles, including Peter and Paul, walked the path of the gospel in the midst of hardship and affliction, they continued to follow Jesus’ words, “You have to take your cross and follow Me in order to be worthy of Me,” and as a result, they had no regrets in their life just before their death. They were confident that there was now in store for them the crown of righteousness in heaven because they had fought the good fight to the fullest and finished the race of faith by helping many souls repent and leading them into the arms of God. So they testified that they had lived their lives without any regrets even though they had gone through many dangers.
Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 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. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked … If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 2 Co 11:24-30
The life of Apostle Paul was a series of many dangers and hardships just as he confessed. In spite of the repeated sufferings, he walked with God till the end, so he was able to smile in the last moments of his life.
During his one and only life, Paul made a gracious choice to proceed toward the eternal glory of heaven and ran diligently toward the goal. Like Paul and many forefathers of faith, we should also live a meaningful life, so that we will not have any regrets when we go to heaven. For this, let us pray fervently and try our hardest.
God has given us a precious and good way—a once-in-a-life-time opportunity. Even if we took our first step of faith without realizing it fully, the path we are on is the way to the kingdom of heaven, the way to eternal life and salvation, and the way to the glorious future.
There will be nothing more rewarding than being able to live our one and only life fully for the glory of Elohim and to end our life on this earth in God’s grace while proclaiming the glory of Jerusalem to the whole world. Father and Mother have granted us the opportunity to awaken all people around the world with the truth and lead them to salvation, starting with our neighbors. I earnestly ask you, people of Zion, to renew your mind by looking ahead into the glorious future of the kingdom of heaven and to live your one and only life faithfully for the gospel.