2. What is the relationship between fearing God and shunning evil and being saved?
Relevant Words of God:
In their faith, if people wish to attain salvation, the crux of the matter is whether they are God-fearing and whether He has a place in their hearts. If your heart is incapable of living before Him, or if there is no normal relationship between you and God, then you will never be saved. Your path to salvation will be blocked; you will have reached a dead end. Your belief in God will be useless if it exists in name only, and it will not matter how much doctrine you are able to speak, how much you have suffered, or how great your natural gifts are. God will say, “Depart from Me, you evildoer.” You will have been classed as an evildoer. You have no connection to God; He is not your Ruler, He is not your Creator, He is not your God, He is not the One you worship, and He is not the One you follow. You follow Satan and demons. You are your own lord. Ultimately, people like you will be eliminated, detested, rejected, and punished by God. He does not save such people. Only when people accept that God is their Lord and Ruler, only when they accept that He is the truth and the source of man’s way and life, and only when all that they do and the path that they walk are connected to the truth, to God, to submission before Him, and to following His way—only then will they be saved. Otherwise, they shall be condemned by God. Is it alright for people to hope to just get lucky? Is it okay for them to always cling to their own notions? Is it okay for them to constantly hold on to vague and abstract imaginings? (No.) Do not think you can just get lucky; if you want to attain salvation in your faith in God, there is no other path to take. …
What impassions you after having listened to these sermons does not matter; when all is said and done, the only right path is the path that makes you fear God and shun evil. If you believe in God but your faith has nothing to do with Him, if He is not your Lord and not your Creator, if you do not accept that He is the Ruler of your fate, do not submit to all that is set out for your by Him, do not accept the fact that He is the truth, then your dream of salvation is in tatters. If you walk this path, then you are on the path of destruction. Suppose what you focus on, pursue, and pray and supplicate for each day gives you an increasing sense that you should submit to the Creator, that God is your Lord. And suppose you gladly accept and obey His sovereignty and orchestration for you, submitting to what God arranges for you ever more gladly, your state becoming increasingly normal, your relationship with God becoming ever closer, your love for Him ever purer, and you then have ever fewer extravagant desires, complaints, and misunderstandings toward God, you commit less and less evil, increasingly shunning it, and your fear of God becomes ever more genuine. Now what would this mean? It would mean that you have set foot upon the path of salvation. If you think that there is nothing wrong with what you seek, and that the path you are following is the right one, but then, after all your seeking, you have not been disciplined by God and cannot sense His judgment and chastisement, unwilling to be examined by Him and wishing to be your own boss, then this is not the right path. If, the more you seek, the greater your sense that you must live before God at every moment, and you are fearful that one day you will do something wrong, that as soon as you are not careful you might offend God and be in trouble, and will then surely be forsaken by Him, and that there is nothing more terrifying than this, and you feel that when people believe in God, they must not stray from Him, and that if they do stray from His discipline, dealing, pruning, judgment, and chastisement, then it will be the same as losing the care and protection of God—if you realize these things, you will then pray to God and say, “O God! I beg You to judge and chastise me, to reprimand and discipline me, to scrutinize me at all times, to grant me reverence for You, and to make me shun evil.” What do you think of this path? This is the right path.
Excerpted from “Only by Constantly Living Before God Can One Walk the Path to Salvation” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Everything that God does is necessary and possessed of extraordinary significance, for all that He does in man concerns His management and the salvation of mankind. Naturally, the work that God did in Job is no different, even though Job was perfect and upright in the eyes of God. In other words, regardless of what God does or the means by which He does it, regardless of the cost, regardless of His objective, the purpose of His actions does not change. His purpose is to work God’s words into man, as well as God’s requirements and will for man; in other words, it is to work into man all that God believes to be positive in accordance with His steps, enabling man to understand God’s heart and comprehend God’s essence, and allowing man to obey God’s sovereignty and arrangements, thus allowing man to attain fear of God and shunning of evil—all of this is one aspect of God’s purpose in all He does. The other aspect is that, because Satan is the foil and service object in God’s work, man is often given to Satan; this is the means God uses to allow people to see in Satan’s temptations and attacks the wickedness, ugliness, and contemptibility of Satan, thus causing people to hate Satan and be able to know and recognize that which is negative. This process allows them to gradually free themselves from Satan’s control and accusations, interference, and attacks—until, thanks to God’s words, their knowledge and obedience of God, and their faith in God and fear of Him, they triumph over the attacks and accusations of Satan; only then will they have been completely delivered from the domain of Satan. People’s deliverance means that Satan has been defeated, it means that they are no longer the food in Satan’s mouth—instead of swallowing them, Satan has relinquished them. This is because such people are upright, because they have faith, obedience, and fear toward God, and because they completely break with Satan. They bring shame upon Satan, they make a coward of Satan, and they utterly defeat Satan. Their conviction in following God, and obedience to and fear of God defeat Satan, and make Satan completely give them up. Only people such as this have truly been gained by God, and it is this which is God’s ultimate objective in saving man. If they wish to be saved, and wish to be completely gained by God, then all those who follow God must face temptations and attacks both great and small from Satan. Those who emerge from these temptations and attacks and are able to fully defeat Satan are those who have been saved by God. This is to say, those who have been saved unto God are those who have undergone God’s trials, and who have been tempted and attacked by Satan an untold number of times. Those who have been saved unto God understand God’s will and requirements, and are able to acquiesce to God’s sovereignty and arrangements, and they do not forsake the way of fearing God and shunning evil amid Satan’s temptations. Those who are saved unto God possess honesty, they are kindhearted, they differentiate between love and hate, they have a sense of justice and are rational, and they are able to care for God and treasure all that is of God. Such people are not bound, spied upon, accused, or abused by Satan; they are completely free, they have been completely liberated and released. Job was just such a man of freedom, and this is precisely the significance of why God had handed him over to Satan.
Excerpted from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
God is meant to be revered and obeyed, because His being and His disposition are not the same as those of a created being and are above those of a created being. God is self-existent and everlasting, He is a non-created being, and only God is worthy of reverence and obedience; man is not qualified for this. So, all who have experienced His work and truly known Him feel reverence toward Him. However, those who do not let go of their notions about Him—those who simply do not regard Him as God—have no reverence toward Him, and though they follow Him, they are not conquered; they are disobedient people by nature. What He means to achieve by working thus is for all created beings to have hearts of reverence for the Creator, worship Him, and submit to His dominion unconditionally. This is the final result that all His work is meant to achieve. If people who have experienced such work do not revere God, even slightly, and if their past disobedience does not change at all, then they are sure to be eliminated. If a person’s attitude toward God is only to admire Him or to show Him respect from a distance, and not to love Him in the slightest, then this is the result at which a person without a heart of love for God has arrived, and that person lacks the conditions to be perfected. If so much work is unable to obtain a person’s true love, then that person has not gained God and does not genuinely pursue the truth. A person who does not love God does not love the truth and thus cannot gain God, much less receive God’s approval. Such people, however they experience the work of the Holy Spirit, and however they experience judgment, are unable to revere God. These are people whose nature is unchangeable and who have extremely wicked dispositions. All who do not revere God are to be eliminated, to be objects of punishment, and to be punished just like those who do evil, to suffer even more than those who have done unrighteous things.
Excerpted from “God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh