How to Pursue the Truth (3) Part Three

Besides illness, people often feel distressed, anxious, and worried about some other real problems in their lives. There are many real problems in life, for example, there are elderly people or children in your home who need looking after or raising, the money your children need for their schooling and living expenses, elderly people needing money to treat medical conditions, and the large amounts of money required for daily living expenses. You want to perform your duty, but if you give up your job, how are you going to live? Your home savings will be quickly exhausted, so what will you do then without any money? If you go out to earn money, it will cause delays in the performance of your duty, but if you give up your job to perform your duty, you will have no way to solve the difficulties at home. So, what should you do? Many people struggle with and get confused by such things, and so they all long for the day of God to come and wonder when the great disasters will befall and whether they need to make stores of food. If they prepare, they have no spare money at home and life becomes very difficult. They see other people wearing better clothes and eating better food and they feel unhappy and that their life is too hard. They go without eating meat for a long time, and if they have some eggs they feel reluctant to eat them, and they hurry to the market to sell them and make a few dollars. As they think of all these difficulties, they begin to worry: “When will these difficult days come to an end? They always say, ‘The day of God is coming, the day of God is coming,’ and ‘God’s work will soon come to an end,’ but when will anyone tell me when this is actually going to happen? Who can say this for sure?” Some people spend years performing their duty away from home, and from time to time they think, “I have no idea how big my kids are now, or whether my parents are in good health. I’ve been away from home all these years and haven’t looked after them. Do they have any difficulties? What will they do if they get sick? Will anyone look after them? My parents must be in their 80s or 90s by now, and I have no idea whether they’re even still alive.” When they think of these things, a nameless anxiety arises in their hearts. Beyond feeling anxious, they will worry, but worrying never solves anything, and so they begin to feel distressed. When they feel very distressed, their attention turns to God’s work and the day of God, and they wonder, “Why hasn’t the day of God arrived yet? Are we to always live a life of wandering and isolation like this? When will the day of God arrive? When will God’s work come to an end? When will God destroy this world? When will the kingdom of God be made manifest on earth? When will we see God’s person appear?” They think on these things over and over, and the negative emotions of worry, anxiety, and distress surge up into their hearts, they instantly wear a worried expression, they feel no joy anymore, they walk listlessly, they eat without any appetite, and they spend every day with their mind in a whirl. Is it a good thing to live within such negative emotions? (No.) Even a tiny difficulty in life can make people occasionally fall into these negative emotions of passivity, and even sometimes without any reason at all, or without any particular context, or without any particular person saying anything special, these negative emotions will unknowingly surge into their hearts. When these negative emotions surge into people’s hearts, the wishes people have, yearning for the day of God to arrive, for His work to come to an end, and for His kingdom to come, become even more insistent. Some people even kneel earnestly and pray to God in floods of tears, saying, “Oh God, I hate this world, and I hate this mankind. Please end it all as quickly as possible, end people’s fleshly lives, and end all these hardships.” They pray like this many times without result, and the negative emotions of worry, anxiety, and distress are still wrapped around their hearts, and remain in their thoughts and deep in their spirits, profoundly influencing them and encompassing them. In fact, this happens for no other reason than because they long for the day of God to come sooner, for God’s work to end sooner, for them to receive blessings as soon as possible, for them to have a good destination, for them to enter into the heaven or the kingdom that they imagine and long for in their own notions; that is why they always get so worked up in their innermost hearts about these things. They show themselves getting worked up on the surface, but actually they are feeling distressed, anxious, and worried. When such feelings of distress, anxiety, and worry are constantly surrounding people, they get an active thought, thinking, “If the day of God is not coming soon, and God’s work won’t be completed as soon as possible, I should take advantage of my youth and my ability to work hard. I want to work and earn money, work hard in the world for a while and enjoy life. If the day of God is not coming soon, I want to return home and reunite with my family, find a partner, live well for a while, support my parents, raise my children. When I get old, I’ll have lots of children and they’ll live together with me, and we’ll enjoy the family life—what a wonderful scene that is! What a sweet image!” Thinking like this, they look forward to enjoying that kind of life. Whenever people think that the day of God will soon be here and that God’s work will soon come to an end, their desires burn even more fiercely, and their yearning for God’s work to end as soon as possible grows even more intense. In such a situation, when facts do not accord with what people wish for, when people cannot see any indication of God’s work ending or the day of God arriving, their feelings of distress, anxiety, and worry grow ever more severe. They worry about, in a few years’ time, when they’ve gotten old and haven’t found a partner, who will look after them in their old age. They worry, if they constantly perform their duty in God’s house and have already broken all ties with society, whether they’ll be able to integrate back into society when they return home to live. They worry, if they get back into business in a few years’ time or go back to work, whether they’ll be able to keep up with the times, whether they’ll be able to stand out from the crowd, and whether they’ll be able to survive. The more they worry about such things and the more anxious and distressed they feel about them, the more they are unable to calmly perform their duty and follow God in God’s house. Thus, they worry about their future, their prospects, and their family life more and more, as well as worrying about all the difficulties that may arise in life in the future. They think of everything they can, they worry about everything they can; they even worry about their grandsons and how life will be for their grandsons’ descendants. Their thoughts reach far, their thoughts are very thorough, and they think everything through. When people have these worries, anxieties, and feelings of distress, they become unable to perform their duties calmly, and they cannot simply follow God, but instead they often have active thoughts and blow hot and cold. When they see that the gospel work is going very well, they think, “The day of God will soon come. I must perform my duty well, yeah! Come on! I have to keep going for a few more years, it’s not long to go now. All this suffering will be worth it and it will all bear fruit, and I’ll have no more worries!” After a few years, however, the great disasters still have not arrived and no one mentions the day of God, and so their hearts cool. This distress, anxiety, and worry, as well as their active thoughts, keep coming and going and repeating over and over in this way, going around in endless circles according to the international situation and the situation in God’s house, and there’s nothing they can do to control them—they’re unable to change the state they’re in no matter what anyone says. Are there such people? (Yes.) Is it easy for people like this to stand firm? (No.) Their attitude and mood in the performance of their duties, and the amount of energy they apply to their duties, are all based on “the latest news.” Some people say, “According to reliable news, God’s gospel is spreading wonderfully!” And some people say, “The latest news is that disasters are happening now across the world very frequently, and apparently the situation of the world and the disasters have now fulfilled the such-and-such disaster in the Book of Revelation. God’s work will soon be completed, the day of God will soon be here, and the religious world is all in an uproar!” Whenever they hear “the latest news” or “reliable news,” their distress, anxiety, and worry cease temporarily and no longer disturb them and they let their active thoughts go for a time. However, when they haven’t heard any “reliable news” or any “accurate news” recently, their distress, anxiety, and worry, as well as their active thoughts, begin flooding out. Some people even prepare by thinking where to apply for a job, where to work, how many children to have, where their children will go to school in a few years, how to prepare for their college tuition, and they even plan to buy a house, land, or car. However, upon hearing “reliable news,” these things are temporarily put on hold. Doesn’t this seem like a joke? (It does.) They believe in God but they don’t set their heart on this and say faith in God is the right path in life, that it is the most meaningful life, that to live this way has the most value; no matter how God leads them or what God does, they’re certain that everything God does is done to save people, and so they will follow God till the very end. Whether it takes until heaven and earth grow old, until the stars change their positions, whether it takes until the seas dry up, the rocks turn to dust, or the seas become the land and the land becomes the seas, their heart remains the same, and it is set. Their heart will be given to God for the rest of their life, and if there is another life after this one, they will still follow God. These people who have so many difficulties in their lives, however, don’t think like this. Their faith in God involves watching for the time being, and they live their lives in whichever way they think they ought to live it. They will not change the ways and means in which they live or change their wishes or plans just because they believe in God and follow the path of faith in God. Whatever their plans were in the beginning, they don’t change them just because they believe in God, they don’t change anything at all, and they seek to live in whatever way the unbelievers live. Yet faith in God involves one special thing, and that is that the day of God will soon arrive, God’s kingdom will soon come, and the great disasters will befall. Those who believe in God can then escape the disasters, they will not fall into the disasters, they can be saved, and it’s only because of this special thing that they are so exceedingly interested in believing in God. Therefore, their purpose and what they focus on in their belief in God is only ever this one thing. No matter how many sermons they listen to, or how many truths they hear people fellowship on, or how long they’ve believed in God for, the way they believe in God doesn’t ever change, and they never give it up. Neither because of the sermons they listen to nor the truths they understand do they change or let go of their wrong views on belief in God. And so, whether there is some change in or some saying about the situation in the outside world or in God’s house, it always has an impact on this thing that they’re most concerned about in their innermost hearts. If they hear that God’s work will soon be completed, they’re overjoyed; if they hear that it’s still too early for God’s work to be completed, however, and they can’t keep going, their distress, anxiety, and worry will grow by the day, and they will begin preparing to take their leave of God’s house and their brothers and sisters at any time, to make a clean separation from God’s house. Of course, there are also those who, at any time, begin preparing to completely erase all contact details of their brothers and sisters and all their messages, and return the books of God’s words that God’s house has sent them back to the church. They think, “I really can’t go on following this path of believing in God and pursuing the truth. I thought that believing in God meant I would live a happy life, have children, receive blessings and enter the kingdom of heaven. Now this beautiful dream has been smashed, so I will still choose to live a happy life, have children, and enjoy life. Yet I still can’t give up my belief in God. If there’s a chance I could receive a hundredfold in this life and eternal life in the life to come, wouldn’t that be even better?” This is their view on belief in God, it is their plan and, of course, it is also what they do. This is the thinking and the planning in the innermost hearts of those who rely on their imaginings in their belief in God, who always feel distressed, anxious, and worried about their fleshly lives, and it represents what they pursue and the path they follow in their belief in God. What is it they’re most hung up on? The thing they’re most hung up on is when the day of God will arrive, when God’s work will come to an end, when the great disasters will befall, and whether they will be able to escape the great disasters—this is what they’re most hung up on.

As far as those who are always distressed, anxious, and worried about their fleshly lives are concerned, their pursuit in their belief in God is to “receive a hundredfold in this life and eternal life in the life to come.” They do not, however, like to hear about how far God’s work has progressed, whether those who believe in God achieve the result of attaining salvation, how many people have gained the truth, come to know God, and borne good testimony, as though these things have nothing to do with them. So, what is it that they want to hear? (When God’s work will come to an end.) They have greater hopes, right? Most people are too small-minded. Look at what they set their sights on and they hope just for great things—what a high state they’re in! Most people are just so vulgar, always talking about dispositional changes, submitting to God, faithfully performing their duty, doing things in accordance with the truth principles—what are these people? They’re too small-minded! What do Chinese people say? They’re too low. What does low mean? It’s too vulgar. And where do these people set their sights? They hope for great things, lofty things, upscale things. Those who hope for upscale things always want to progress upward, still vainly hoping that God will one day raise them up into the air to meet Him. You want to meet God but you don’t ask whether or not God wants to meet you—you just keep wanting these amazing things! Have you only met God a few times? People don’t know God, so when you meet Him you’ll still be defying Him. So, what is the reason behind these people’s distress, anxiety, and worry? Is it really all because of difficulties in their lives? No, it’s not that they really have difficulties in their lives, it’s that they have set the focus of their faith in God on their fleshly lives. The focus of their pursuit is not the truth, but rather it is to live a happy life, to enjoy the good life and to enjoy a good future. Are these people’s problems easy to resolve? Are there people like this in the church? They’re always asking others, “Oh, when will the day of God come? Wasn’t it said a couple of years ago that God’s work was about to come to an end? So why hasn’t it ended yet?” Is there any way to deal with people like this? Just say one word to them, and tell them, “Soon!” When it comes to people like this, first ask them, “You’re always asking about this. Have you made some plans? If so, then don’t bother staying here when you don’t want to. Just go with what you want. Don’t go against your own desires, and don’t make life hard for yourself. God’s house isn’t keeping you here, it isn’t trapping you here. You can leave whenever you want. Don’t always be asking what’s new on the grapevine. To any of the news on the grapevine you’ll just be told ‘Soon!’ If you’re not happy with that answer, if you have already made plans in your heart and will carry them through sooner or later anyway, then take my advice: Give your books of God’s words back to the church as soon as possible, pack your stuff and go. We’ll just say goodbye to each other, and you won’t ever need to feel distressed, anxious, or worried about these things again. Go back home and live your life. I wish you well! I wish you a happy and contented life and I hope everything works out for you in the future!” What do you think of this? (It’s good.) Advise them to leave the church; don’t try to keep them. Why not try to keep them? (They don’t truly believe in God, so there’s no point in keeping them.) That’s right; they’re nonbelievers! What would be the point in keeping nonbelievers and not kicking them out? Some people say, “But they haven’t done anything evil, and they haven’t disrupted anything.” Do they need to disrupt anything? Tell Me, does someone like this staying in a group of people not constitute a disruption? Wherever they go, their demeanor and actions already constitute a disruption. They never carry out spiritual devotions, they never read God’s words, they never pray or give fellowship in gatherings, they just go through the motions in their duties, always asking for what’s new on the grapevine. They are exceptionally emotional and capricious. They are also exceptionally focused on eating, drinking, and enjoying themselves, and there are even some who are lazy, who indulge in eating, who indulge in sleep, who mess around, who are just there to make up the numbers in God’s house. They don’t concern themselves with the performance of their duties, and they’re just loafers. When they come to God’s house, they’re just there looking for things to benefit themselves and taking advantage. If they can’t take advantage, they will leave at the drop of a hat. Seeing as they will leave at the drop of a hat, isn’t it better for them to leave sooner rather than later? People like this can’t even render service to the end and their service has no good effect. When they do render service, they don’t do the right things—they’re just nonbelievers. In their belief in God, they regard issues from a third perspective. When God’s house prospers, they’re happy, thinking that they have hope of being blessed, that they have the advantage, that their belief in God has not been in vain, that they haven’t lost out, and that they’ve bet on the winning side. If, however, God’s house is oppressed by satanic forces, abandoned by society, subjected to slander and persecution, and in dire straits, then not only are they not upset, but they laugh at it. Can we keep people like this in the church? (No.) They’re nonbelievers and enemies! If an enemy is right beside you and yet you regard them as a brother or sister, then doesn’t that make you stupid? If people like this are unable to willingly render service, then they should be kicked out, right? (Right.) Right indeed, do it promptly and thoroughly. There’s no need to advise them, just comfortably ask them to leave. There’s no need to waste your breath on them, you should just send them packing back home. In essence, they are not people who belong to God’s house, they are just nonbelievers who made their way into the church. They can just go back where they came from, and you can just ask them to leave. After they’ve entered the church, some people actually draw a clear distinction between themselves and brothers and sisters and God’s house. This is because they know what they’ve come to do, they know whether they truly believe or not, and besides their hopes regarding when God’s work will come to an end and whether they can receive blessings, no work of God’s house or any of the truths God requires people to enter have anything to do with them at all; they pay no attention to these things, they don’t read the books of God’s words the church sends them to read, and they just leave them lying around with the packaging still unopened. Such people only say they believe in God; they appear to believe as others do on the surface and they go through the motions to perform their duties, but they never read God’s words. They’ve never once opened a book of God’s words, they’ve never turned a single page—they never read any of it. They never watch the videos of experiential testimony, the gospel movies, or the hymns and so on that God’s house puts online either. What do they watch ordinarily? They watch the news, popular shows, video clips, and comedies, only watching what is pointless. What are these people? They occasionally visit the church to ask, “How many countries has the gospel work spread to now? How many people have turned to God? How many countries have churches been set up in now? How many churches are there? What stage is God’s work at?” In their free time, they always ask about these things. Is there not a suspicion that this person is a spy? Tell Me, is it okay to keep someone like this? (No.) If they don’t leave the church of their own accord, then you must remove them as soon as you discover them and rid the church of these scourges. Keeping them is pointless and will cause trouble. So, the things these people get distressed, anxious, and worried about have nothing to do with us whatsoever. Don’t bother to offer them advice, and it’s useless to fellowship on the truth with them. Just get rid of them and have done with it—this is the best way to deal with people like this.

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