The Bible says that death came to all men because all sinned (Rom 5:12). Those who do not believe in God complain, saying, “Whenever we go to church, we hear that we are sinners. Why do Christians say that?” However, in actuality, all people are basically sinners.
We do believe in God. So, we give thanks and praise to God for having saved us, sinners, who were destined to die. Even we, who admit ourselves to be sinners, do not completely realize what kind of sin we committed, and fail to repent fully. We need to examine ourselves.
God has saved us, who committed the most grievous sin. Now, let’s take time to ruminate about how great God’s saving grace is.
2,000 years ago, when Jesus came to this earth, He began to preach the gospel with the word, “Repent!” (Matt 4:17). The Bible teaches us that we were angels in heaven before we were born on this earth. What happened to us in heaven, that Christ urged us to repent when He came to this earth to save mankind and first began to preach?
Let’s consider the kingdom of heaven where we originally lived, and find out the will of God who has saved us.
The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old; I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began. When there were no oceans, I was given birth, when there were no springs abounding with water; before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth, before he made the earth or its fields or any of the dust of the world… . and when he marked out the foundations of the earth. Then I was the craftsman at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind. Prov 8:22-31
In the above verses, “I” designates Solomon, who was the third king of Israel. When he wrote the book of Proverbs, he stated that he already existed before the creation of the earth. From this, we can see that he existed as a spiritual being before he came to this earth─that he lived in the angelic world, the kingdom of God.
Not only Solomon but also all humans born on this earth were angels who lived in the kingdom of heaven, filled with delight day after day. Why have such glorious angels come down to this earth to live such painful lives? There must be a certain reason for such a tragic result. As we consider that Christ told us to “repent” when He reminded us of the heavenly kingdom, we can guess that we committed something that needs repenting, when we were in heaven.
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. 1 John 1:8-10
Christ didn’t tell the innocent and righteous to repent. We all committed sin in heaven and were cast down to the earth. Then, what kind of sin did we commit in heaven that we were thrown down to the earth? We need to know the nature and magnitude of our sin.
The Bible tells us how the king of Babylon and the king of Tyre lived before they came to the earth. Like Solomon and all the other people born on this earth, they were also angels who enjoyed delight and glory in heaven.
you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon … How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit. Isa 14:4, 12-15
Son of man, take up a lament concerning the king of Tyre and say to him: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says … You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, … Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. You were anointed as a guardian cherub, … You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.’ Ezek 28:11-17
In the above verses, we can see that the angels, who became proud and tried to raise their throne above the stars of God, finally committed sin and were punished by God. Through the case of the king of Babylon and the king of Tyre, God shows us how grave sin we committed in heaven before we came to this earth.
Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear… Isa 59:1-3
We were so proud and rebellious that we committed treason against God in heaven and were cast down to this earth. We committed such a horrendous sin in heaven. That’s why we live a life full of pain and sorrow on this earth and then die in the end. Let’s consider the degree or intensity of our sin through a verse in Romans 6.
We seem to live freely on this earth, but viewed from the spiritual world we are confined by the restraints of time and space. We are sinners destined to die eternally, that is, we are prisoners on death row.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 6:23
Living in this world, humans may commit a crime or offense like breaking traffic regulations under unavoidable circumstances. However, the death penalty is not imposed for minor offenses. Considering that the wages of our sin is death, we can see that the sin we committed is so grave that it can never be atoned for without death.
Spiritually we are condemned prisoners who committed a terrible sin in heaven and have come down to this earth. Nevertheless, we easily forget this fact. So, Christ told us to repent, humble ourselves, and serve others. By this He ultimately meant that we should realize we are sinners.
Recently I watched a documentary about condemned prisoners. Prisoners on death row suffer from anxiety and fear from the day when they are sentenced to death, unaware of when they will be executed. From the moment they wake up in the morning, they are in constant fear that they could be executed today and get even frightened when they are called out to meet a visitor. As they go to bed after the evening roll call, they put their minds at ease, thankful that the day passed without execution. This is the life of prisoners on death row; they live in fear of death every day.
They all say that once they are forgiven for their sins, they will pay their debt to society for the rest of their lives. If somebody tells them to serve all people, saying he’s going to forgive them, they will do that wholeheartedly. If he tells them to lead other prisoners to repentance, they will also do that. No matter what words they hear, even if somebody slaps them on their cheeks, they will put up with it. They were on death row but now their lives have been saved. Isn’t there anything they wouldn’t do? Nothing.
If anyone shows himself off and tries to exalt himself over others, it’s because he still does not realize who he is. When Father and Mother saved us sinners, who were waiting for death, They told us to be humble, serve one another, and be considerate of each other. We are obligated to follow Their words because we have received the forgiveness of sins through Their boundless love.
There is a law in heaven, too. To forgive our sin, without breaking the heavenly law, our heavenly Father and Mother have become the sin offering for us. Only death could expiate our sin, so our heavenly Parents paid the penalty that we deserved for our sin, in our stead, enduring all kinds of sufferings.
Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? … Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isa 53:1-6
We’ve been redeemed from sin at a great price; our Father died in our place for our sins, and our Mother suffered in our stead. Since our Father and Mother have taken up all our iniquities, we’ve been able to be saved.
God established the law of the Passover so that His children might not forget His death, and let them eat His flesh and drink His blood through the Passover.
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… . so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.” John 6:53-57
… 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. Matt 26:17-19, 26-28
In the Passover is contained the love of God who gave His body as a ransom to save us, the condemned prisoners who were destined for death. The Passover also contains God’s earnest command not to forget His love and not to fall into sin again.
For a convict on death row, there can be no greater joy than to hear the news that he will be forgiven for his sin and his life will be saved. When the Passover comes every year, we just rejoice in having received eternal life, eating bread and wine. In reality, we are the most unfilial of all in the universe because we’ve gained life by eating our Parents’ flesh and drinking Their blood. However, our Father and Mother were pleased just with the fact that Their children repented and were not involved in the same sin again (see Isa 53:10-11).
When we eat the Passover bread, we have to remember that our Parents gave Their precious body and blood for us to eat in order to save us. When we drink the Passover wine, we have to remember that our sin was so great that it couldn’t be forgiven without the precious blood of our Parents, and we should give thanks to Them for Their sacrifice. When we do this, we can be said to have truly realized the truth of the new covenant.
Now, let’s obey everything God has told us. God said to us, “Serve one another, be humble, and preach fervently.” There is a certain reason why God has commanded us to do so.
There is nothing that condemned prisoners can’t do if only they can be forgiven for their sins. Whatever they do, no matter how hard and difficult the task is, it will be a very joyful time for them, compared to the time they spent waiting for death. We are such sinners who need to continue repenting desperately.
There are many Christians who say they are sinners but do not know what kind of sin they committed, so they sin repeatedly. The children of Zion must not be like them. We are not righteous. We didn’t do anything good in heaven before we came to this earth, so we have no right to rule over others. All we have to do is repent much and always live a contrite life.
Thinking of the Christ who took our place and died for us the mortal sinners, Paul realized that nothing in the world would be able to separate us from the love of Christ.
… Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? … 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 8:31-39
Paul beat his body and submitted himself to God’s word every day; he preached the gospel in spite of all dangers, with a determination that he would live for the Lord if he lived, and that if he died, he would die for the Lord. After he realized how great and precious God’s love was, he couldn’t stop being joyful and thankful to God, and he told his brothers to be joyful always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances.
Remember that our sin deserves the death penalty. What does God want from us who have received the forgiveness of sins through God’s deep and profound love? What is most pleasing to God is realizing His love and leading all people around the world to the kingdom of heaven by teaching them the way to have the forgiveness of sins and guiding them to repentance. This is the reason why we preach the new covenant. If we fully understand the new covenant, we should please our Father and Mother by practicing such devotion and love.
The 144,000 who are redeemed from the earth do not insist on doing things their own way but follow the Lamb wherever He goes (Rev 14:1-5). They do not follow Him blindly, but they are willing to do everything for God, who has forgiven their sins and given them life, since they have realized that they are sinners who should have paid the price for their sin with death. We need to realize the severity of our sin, look back upon our past, come to complete repentance, and obey everything God has commanded us. I truly want you children of heaven to preach the good news of salvation to all people around the world and participate in God’s great work of saving all mankind together.