Greeting the Return of the Lord While Abroad — Return to God

bible study | Greeting the Return of the Lord While Abroad — Return to God

By Xiyue, Japan

When I was six years old, my mother began to believe in the Lord Jesus and usually brought me to attend meetings in the church. Under the influence of my mother, I realized that we are created by God and thus we should pray to God and rely on God whenever encountering difficulties, and give thanks to Him in everything. Besides, my mother also said, “God doesn’t worry that we depend on Him, but instead, what He worries is that we depend on ourselves and don’t commit everything to Him. God solves problems for man and bestows blessings upon man, for He so loved the world. Furthermore, God shall bring us into the kingdom of heaven in the future, hence we ought to believe in Him properly.” Hearing what she said, I felt incredibly at peace in my heart and I have God to rely on. In addition, I firmly believed that one day the Lord would come to bring us into the kingdom of heaven. And I dreamed of the coming of that day.

Afterward, on account of some unexpected misfortunes, I discontinued my studies in junior high school and started to work in a clothing factory in my hometown. Because I was young, I was often teased by others in the factory. With the addition to my especially introverted characteristics, I gradually became quite self-abased. Nobody made friends with me, and I didn’t dare take the initiative to talk to others as well. My mother also often told me, “We must learn to exercise forbearance whatever happens. We believers should not quarrel with others. When explaining the scriptures, the pastor once said that blessed are those who can suffer losses” At that time, I bore her words in mind, therefore, I learned to be tolerant and patient in everything, even though I encountered something unfair and suffered a lot from it. Whereas, every time I felt unhappy, I would sing the hymn“Lord, You Are My Most Intimate Friend”, and pour my own pain to the Lord, for I think only He was my most intimate friend. In addition, thinking that I believed in the Lord and depended on Him for the sake of entering the kingdom of heaven in the future, I didn’t feel so miserable any more. In this way, I spent several years with these convictions.

In 2013, I was exactly 21 years old then and left the clothing factory to work in a big city. In the face of crowded roads and automobiles speeding in an endless stream every morning, I had to make great effort to shove onto the bus and went to work in a rush. I was so busy that I had lunch in haste and at random, without a regular rule of life. However, I just merely made ends meet though I worked hard for a month. Confronting the pressure of life, I felt painful and aggrieved: Why am I so tired while others are elegant and unconventional? When can I call it an end like this? I deeply felt that life in a big city was not as nice as I imagined. The fast-paced life made me depressed, and the busy life left me little time to get close to God. Nonetheless, my mother never forgot to remind me, “Daughter, you should pray to God frequently.… You should keep it in mind that the Lord will bring us into the kingdom of heaven in no time.” And I bore her words in mind.

Then in 2014, I had the opportunity to work in Japan. I awfully looked forward to the unknowing life there, hoping to live meaningfully in the appointed period of three years. When I reached Japan, I was curious about the surroundings in the beginning, but gradually, I found that the life there was not better than that in my home: I usually got a scolding in the factory and had difficulties communicating in Japanese. In addition, my colleagues also competed with each other stealthily, sought to prevail over others, and contended to show themselves before the chairman. What’s more, some of my colleagues were double-faced and I was frequently tricked and judged by them. People all sought interests rather than affection. Driven by the benefits, there were eternal interests instead of real friends among men. Thus I felt the desolation of this world at a stroke. I was extremely eager to be distant from them, while the reality made me have no choice but to accept the way of life as such to continue subsisting. As time went by, I also learned to be smooth in dealing with different people. For the sake of establishing social relations, I also accompanied them to KTVs and bars. Seeing people around fight for their interests, quarrel for fame and wealth, and even wrangle with each other because of a slight problem about paying for water and electricity, I was also unwilling to suffer losses in the environment like this. Then I lived in selfishness, no longer endured, and could not practice the Lord’s teachings any more. There were no family or real friends abroad and I couldn’t feel the presence of the Lord though I prayed. Consequently, when getting off work, I usually shut myself alone in my room, neither eating nor speaking. I just sat on the ground and wept silently. At that moment, I felt that nobody in the world would treat me sincerely. Feeling that my life was meaningless, I even had the thought of committing suicide, but I didn’t have the courage to do that. Whenever I was disappointed to a certain point, the Lord’s promise always occurred to me: He shall bring us into the kingdom of heaven. Perhaps only the destination that the Lord prepared for us was the real paradise. I truly expected the day would be upon me!

When I fell into loneliness and pain to a certain point, Xiaoguo, my new colleague, preached the gospel of the kingdom of Almighty God to me. She told me that the Lord Jesus has already come to do the work of judgment. Hearing the news, I was excited but a little doubtful. What excited me was that the Lord has returned and thereafter I seemed to see the hope of life once again; yet in the meantime I couldn’t believe that it was true: I had been yearning for the coming of the Lord, but He didn’t. Now is it really the coming of the Lord? I felt surprised and considered it unbelievable. I used to think I couldn’t wait until the day when the Lord comes. Looking at my surprised and doubtful face, Xiaoguo said, “God has already returned to flesh as the Son of man and descended secretly on earth to do His work among man. In addition, He has a new name called Almighty God.” Subsequently, she gave me a book of “Selections of Classic Words of God on the Gospel of the Kingdom” and exhorted me: “The words in the book are all God’s words, and are the truths expressed by Almighty God to save mankind. Please take it home and read it carefully.” Looking at her sincere face, I took the book. I also didn’t want to miss the return of the Lord, hence I decided to investigate Almighty God’s work in the last days seriously.

Looking at the book, I thought: I have never heard that there are other books about believing in God except the Bible. What on earth does this book talk about? With urgent curiosity, I opened the book and saw a passage of Almighty God’s word, “Many who follow God are only concerned with how to gain blessings or stave off disaster. As soon as God’s work and management are mentioned, they fall silent and lose all interest. They think that understanding such tedious issues will not help their lives to grow or provide any benefit. Consequently, although they have heard about God’s management, they pay it little heed. They do not see it as something precious to be accepted, much less do they receive it as part of their lives. Such people only have one simple aim in following God, and that aim is to receive blessings. Such people cannot be bothered to pay heed to anything else that does not directly involve this aim. To them, there is no goal more legitimate than believing in God to receive blessings — it is the very value of their faith. If something does not contribute to this aim, they remain completely unmoved by it. This is the case with most people who believe in God today” (“Man Can Only Be Saved Amidst God’s Management” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). After reading God’s word, my face was burning, as if I were slapped. And I was at a loss as to what to do for a short while. Almighty God’s word is quite stern and straightforward, revealing my purpose of believing in God for so many years. I had taken it for granted that believing in Him was to gain blessings and grace. Thus I always begged as well as asked for God when encountering difficulties. Furthermore I considered that He should freely bestow these upon man. Since I had believed in God, shouldn’t He bless me? Thinking it over, I would surely not believe in God if He didn’t make the promise that I shall ascend to heaven and gain eternal life. Then I realized that my views about faith in God were not correct, yet I didn’t understand what was the correct viewpoint of believing in God. Meanwhile, I had a doubt: Now that Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus, then why doesn’t He take us to the kingdom of heaven?

Later, as for these two questions, I sought from the brothers and sisters of the Church of Almighty God when I met them. Sister Huixin with whom I met for the first time told me, “Job gained blessings through faith, but also experienced misfortune through faith. However, he kept praising God regardless of being blessed or cursed. Hence, this is precisely Job’s faith that God finds most deserving of His approval. God is the Creator and man was created by God. As a created being, it is heaven’s law and earth’s principle to believe in Him. Therefore, we should hold the belief in God whether we are blessed or cursed.” What Sister Huixin said utterly convinced me: Right! Since we believe in God, we shouldn’t strike bargains with God. Instead, we should hold the belief in God regardless of whether we will be blessed or not. Therefore, I told the sister that I was willing to put down my own notions to investigate Almighty God’s word. Then Xiaoguo said, “On the gospel website of the Church of Almighty God, you can see more God’s word, wonderful films, MVs, etc.” As she said this, she turned on the computer and let me see what appeared on the official website of the Church of Almighty God, which brought me surprise in an instant. There were so many videos and films, and moreover, books and hymn videos of God’s words…. It was so abundant that I was left dazzled for a short while and I didn’t know what I should watch first. When I was scanning, the film “Awakening From the Dream” attracted my eyes deeply. After I watched it, I found the content was so wonderful. And the film has been remaining fresh in my memory all the time: The heroine had been following the Lord holding the belief that she shall enter the kingdom of heaven as long as she believed in the Lord. Whereas, when the Lord comes, she stuck to her notions and couldn’t accept His new work, merely dreaming of entering the kingdom of heaven. Through a sister from the Church of Almighty God communicating the truth, she realized that she was one of the Pharisees who believed in God yet opposed Him. In the judgment and chastisement of God’s word, the heroine had discernment about her own notions and thus made some changes. In the face of judgment of God, the heroine truly repented before the Lord, shedding tears of guilty and indebtedness. It was really true! As from my childhood, I also had a dream of entering the kingdom of heaven, imagining that I was clothed with a pure white garment and grew a pair of wings, and thereby could fly to everywhere I was eager to reach. … For the sake of the dream, how many of us Christians have been yearning for the coming of the day!

There was such a scene in the film: Sister Yang said, “Let’s read some words from Almighty God. ‘At the time, Jesus’ work was the work to redeem all mankind. The sins of all who believed in Him were forgiven; as long as you believed in Him, He would redeem you; if you believed in Him, you were no longer a sinner, you were relieved of your sins. This is what it meant to be saved, and to be justified by faith. Yet in those who believed, there remained that which was rebellious and opposed God, and which still had to be slowly removed. Salvation did not mean man had been completely gained by Jesus, but that man was no longer of sin, that he had been forgiven his sins. Provided you believed, you would never more be of sin’ (“The Vision of God’s Work (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). ‘Before man was redeemed, many of Satan’s poisons had already been planted within him and, after thousands of years of being corrupted by Satan, he has within him an established nature that resists God. Therefore, when man has been redeemed, it is nothing more than a case of redemption in which man is bought at a high price, but the poisonous nature within him has not been eliminated. Man that is so defiled must undergo a change before becoming worthy to serve God. By means of this work of judgment and chastisement, man will fully come to know the filthy and corrupt essence within his own self, and he will be able to change completely and become clean. Only in this way can man become worthy to return before the throne of God. … For all that man may have been redeemed and forgiven of his sins, it can only be considered as God not remembering the transgressions of man and not treating man in accordance with his transgressions. However, when man, who lives in a body of flesh, has not been set free from sin, he can only continue to sin, endlessly revealing his corrupt satanic disposition. This is the life that man leads, an endless cycle of sinning and being forgiven. The majority of mankind sin in the day only to confess in the evening. This way, even though the sin offering is forever effective for man, it will not be able to save man from sin. Only half the work of salvation has been completed, for man still has a corrupt disposition’ (“The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Almighty God makes it very clear, right? These words of God really explain it quite clearly with no doubt. They’re so easy to understand! In the Age of Grace, Lord Jesus only did redemptive work. Man’s sins were forgiven. They were justified and saved by faith. But Lord Jesus never said that man could enter His kingdom this way. That’s because Lord Jesus had forgiven man’s sins, but not mankind’s satanic nature. Arrogance and deceit, selfishness, and evil, all these corruptions still exist within us today. And these are much deeper and more stubborn than sins. If our satanic nature of opposing God and our corruption remain unresolved, we could still commit sins not of our own volition, even worse and bigger sins than simply violating the laws of God. Why did the Pharisees condemn the Lord Jesus and stand against Him, even nail Him to the cross? This proves to us that with man’s satanic nature, they can still disobey God, commit sins, and betray Him.”

Through the part, I learned: Man can’t divest himself from his sinful nature simply by accepting God’s salvation, which is also the very source that man still often sins after believing in the Lord. God’s work in the Age of Grace only made man’s sins forgiven. And man was simply saved for his faith, but there was no path by which man could get rid of the sins and be purified. Consequently, it is necessary that God carries another step of work of delivering man from sins. Thinking of the fact that if I had not seen God’s utterances about judgment and chastisement, I would not have realized the incorrectness of my motives and viewpoints of believing in God or seen my own corruption. Instead, I would hold the view that it was proper for believers to beg for grace, not recognizing that it was the representation of selfishness and contemptibility. What’s more, although I believed in the Lord, I still followed worldly trends, hankered after carnal pleasures and clung to riches, scrambled for fame and fortune, intrigue against each other, live in sin and couldn’t extricate myself from it. Only when I saw the judgment and revelation in Almighty God’s words did I have a knowledge of them. I consider that God’s work of judgment and chastisement today is so essential, otherwise how can such an impure and corrupt person just like me enter the kingdom of heaven?

bible study | Greeting the Return of the Lord While Abroad — Return to God
bible study | Greeting the Return of the Lord While Abroad — Return to God

Thank God! I never dreamed of such a thing: when I came to Japan to work, I welcomed the Savior, saw the work of God’s appearance. I began to eagerly read Almighty God’s words, actively participated in the church life and communicated God’s words with brothers and sisters. As long as I have free time, I took time to watch the Gospel movies, choir videos, MV, etc., I understood the truth more and more, and felt the enjoyment of life. Nowadays I am no longer living in pain and sorrow, and I don’t have any intention to end my life any more. God’s words continually increase my faith, and I would like to pursue the truth with brothers and sisters and fulfill duty as a created being to repay God’s love. I think it is meaningful to live in this way.

Source from: Greeting the Return of the Lord While Abroad — Return to God

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