Question 4: All of us have believed in the Lord for many years, and have always followed the example of Paul in our work for the Lord. We have been faithful to the name and way of the Lord, and the crown of righteousness surely awaits us. Today, we need only focus on working hard for the Lord, and watching for His return. Only thus, can we be taken into the kingdom of heaven. That’s because in the Bible it is said that “for they shall not be ashamed that wait for Me” (Isa 49:23). We believe the Lord’s promise: He will take us into the kingdom of heaven at His return. Could there really be anything wrong with practicing in this way?
Answer: In watching for the arrival of the Lord, most people believe that they need only work hard for the Lord, and follow the example of Paul, in order to be directly taken into the kingdom of heaven when the Lord arrives. To them, it seems right to practice in this way, and no one disagrees. Yet we who believe in God should seek the truth in all things. Though practicing in that way is in keeping with people's conceptions, is it in keeping with God's wishes? I think we should know: God's words are the principles of our actions, they are the standard by which all people, things, and matters are measured. If we practice according to the words of God, we will surely receive God's approval. If we go against the words of God, and practice according to our own conceptions and imaginings, then we will surely be detested and rejected by God. Can we really be directly taken into the kingdom of heaven by watching and waiting and working hard for the Lord? Let us look at what the Lord Jesus said “Not every one that said to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name? and in Your name have cast out devils? and in Your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from Me, you that work iniquity” (Mat 7:21–23). In the words of the Lord Jesus we see that the Lord Jesus only said “but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.” He did not say that all those who are faithful to the Lord Jesus’ name and work hard for the Lord will be rewarded, and enter into the kingdom of heaven. Is this not fact? The Lord Jesus didn’t say that people need only work hard for the Lord to enter into the kingdom of heaven. To me, these are our conceptions and imaginings. If, as in our conceptions, all those who keep the Lord’s name and work hard for Him will enter into the kingdom of heaven, why were some of those who preached and cast out devils in the Lord Jesus’ name condemned as evildoers by the Lord? This shows that working hard for the Lord is not necessarily the same as doing the will of God. And why is that? Because many people work hard for the Lord so that they might be blessed, and not for truly obeying God. Their satanic disposition is still there. They still have conceptions about God, and still disobey, oppose, and condemn Him. Some even hate the truth, like the Pharisees. No matter how hard they work for the Lord, how could such people do the will of God? In nature, such people oppose God. To enter into the kingdom of heaven simply by working hard for the Lord, this is intolerable to Heaven! Don’t you all agree?
So who exactly do those who do God’s will refer to? Those who do God’s will are those who truly obey God. Obedience to God is shown by magnifying God, revering God, submitting to God’s work, practicing and experiencing God’s word, and thereby gaining knowledge of God, having true love for Him and being able to bear witness to Him. It’s shown by not resisting or betraying God anytime, under any circumstances. Those who achieve this are doers of God's will. We have seen how, though they work hard for the Lord and make great sacrifices, many of those who believe in the Lord do so in order to be rewarded, and enter the kingdom of heaven, and enjoy rich blessings. It is not to love God and obey Him Such devotion to God is nothing more than making a deal with Him. Despite working hard for God, many people have never put the truth into practice, nor do they exalt or testify to God. Instead, they often make an idol of themselves, and make others worship and follow them. Everything they do is to maintain their own position and income. Are such people those who put God's words into practice and obey God? Are they those who do the will of God? Such people serve God, but they also oppose Him, they are the hypocritical Pharisees. It can be said that they are evildoers. How could people like this be qualified to enter into the kingdom of heaven? From this we see that those who appear to be working hard for the Lord, yet have never put the truth into practice, are not exalting and testifying to God for loving Him and carrying out His will. Such people do not do the will of God! They work hard for the Lord in order to receive His blessings and enter the kingdom of heaven, yet there is no change in their life disposition, they still oppose God. Like the Pharisees, they are only pretending to be good, and will ultimately be cursed by God! Almighty God says, “I decide the destination of each person not on the basis of age, seniority, amount of suffering, and least of all, the degree to which they invite pity, but according to whether they possess the truth. There is no other choice but this. You must realize that all those who do not follow the will of God shall also be punished. This is an immutable fact. Therefore, all those who are punished are so punished for the righteousness of God and as retribution for their numerous evil acts” (“Prepare Sufficient Good Deeds for Your Destination” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Almighty God’s words make it very clear. Whether or not we will ultimately enter the kingdom of heaven is not based on how much work we do, or how much we have suffered. It is based on whether or not we put the words of God into practice, whether or not we abide by God’s commandments and whether or not we do God’s will. Such are the criteria and principles of entry into the kingdom of heaven. And yet, there are those who blindly hold to the words of Paul “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: From now on there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness….” (2Ti 4:7–8) They take Paul’s fallacious views as the theoretical basis for entry into the kingdom of heaven. So regardless of how much they suffer, or what sacrifices they make, these people are still incapable of receiving God’s approval, much less can they enter the kingdom of heaven!
We just fellowshiped that people can only enter the kingdom of heaven by doing the will of the heavenly Father. So what are God’s requirements for watching and waiting for the arrival of the Lord? Many people believe that they need only work hard for the Lord, and suffer as they bear the cross, and be faithful to the Lord’s name. By doing this, they believe, they’re watching and waiting, and when the Lord arrives He will surely not forsake them. In fact, Jesus spoke very clearly about watching and waiting. “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him.” (Mat 25:6). There’s also Revelation “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame” (Rev 16:15). “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me” (Rev 3:20). In the Book of Revelation there are also several mentions that “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the church.” In these prophecies we clearly see that when the Lord Jesus returns during the last days, He will speak to the churches. Thus the Lord asked us to be clever virgins, and pay attention to hearing His voice. We need to come out and welcome the Lord once we hear His voice. Only then will we be those who watch and wait for the Lord’s return and who go to the wedding feast of the Lamb and are taken before God’s throne. The wedding feast of the Lamb foretold in the Book of Revelation refers to accepting God’s judgment and chastisement during the last days, and delighting in the water of the river of life that flows from God’s throne, that is, accepting all the truths expressed by Christ of the last days, and finally being purified by God to become an overcomer. Only these overcomers will enter the kingdom of heaven. Today, Christ of the last days, Almighty God has expressed all truths for the salvation and purification of man. The words of Almighty God have been published online for people in countries and territories around the world to seek and examine. By seeking and examining the words and work of Almighty God, those clever virgins have recognized the voice of God, and have returned before the throne of God. Only people such as this are attending the wedding feast of the Lamb, and are the overcomers whom God will make before the disaster. It can be said that only these people are the ones who will enter into the kingdom of heaven. Many people believe that watching and waiting for the coming of the Lord only involves working hard for the Lord. They do not seek the truth in the big issue of the coming of the Lord. They blindly cling to their own conceptions and imaginings, and refuse to hear God’s voice, and never behold the appearance of the Lord. Watching and waiting in this way, then, is neither real nor meaningful. Watching and waiting has nothing to do with our actions. What’s key is whether or not we can hear the voice of the Lord, and whether or not we welcome the return of the Lord. Whether or not we can achieve this effect is what’s key. Let’s read another passage of the words of Almighty God, “The return of Jesus is a great salvation for those who are capable of accepting the truth, but for those who are unable to accept the truth it is a sign of condemnation. You should choose your own path, and should not blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and reject the truth. You should not be an ignorant and arrogant person, but someone who obeys the guidance of the Holy Spirit and longs for and seeks the truth; only in this way will you benefit. I advise you to tread the path of belief in God with care. Do not jump to conclusions; what’s more, do not be casual and carefree in your belief in God. You should know that, at the very least, those who believe in God should be humble and reverential. Those who have heard the truth and yet turn their nose up at it are foolish and ignorant. Those who have heard the truth and yet carelessly jump to conclusions or condemn it are beset by arrogance. No one who believes in Jesus is qualified to curse or condemn others. You should all be someone who is rational and accepts the truth” (“By the Time You Behold the Spiritual Body of Jesus, God Will Have Made Heaven and Earth Anew” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Today, the incarnate Almighty God does the work of judgment of the last days. Through expressing the truth, Almighty God reveals every kind of man. And God’s sheep will hear the voice of God. All those who seek and examine the true way, and accept the truth, are saved by God. At the same time, God reveals those wicked people who are arrogant and do not accept the truth, as well as the antichrists who condemn and blaspheme against Almighty God. These people are all condemned and eliminated by God. Today, the work of God become flesh has almost reached its end. Which is to say, the work of judgment beginning from the house of God has basically finished. So, the work of the church’s rapture will finish very soon. The clever virgins shouldn’t waste any time in examining and accepting Almighty God’s work of the last days. If they do not, the doors of salvation shall close. If you wait until the Lord publicly appears whilst riding upon a cloud, you might be thinking of the Lord’s words, “because you have seen Me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (Jhn 20:29). I don’t know whether these words mean receiving God’s approval or being condemned by God.
Excerpted from the movie screenplay of Waiting