Paying the Price to Gain the Truth Is of Great Significance
The point of believing in God is to attain salvation, but is attaining salvation a simple matter? What is most difficult about it? There are many people who cannot see this clearly, but gaining the truth is actually the most difficult part of attaining salvation. Therefore, suffering a lot of pain and paying a price in order to gain the truth is always worthwhile, regardless of how much you gain. So, what do you need to suffer in order to obtain the truth? You must suffer through judgment and chastisement, trials and refinement, and being pruned and dealt with, you must suffer the persecution and adversity that comes from following God, you must suffer through imprisonment, and the slander and condemnation of the religious world. You must endure all of these hardships. If you can bear through all of them, then you can gain the truth. Right now, most people are willing to pursue the truth. They are focused on performing their duties well, and they want to train in practicing the truth while performing their duties, and to gain the truth. Believing in God and doing one’s duty is the correct path in life. It is right to choose this path, and it is the most blessed by God. People can sincerely expend themselves for Him, and fulfill the duty of created beings—this is God’s great grace and blessing. There are some who do not see clearly the significance of performing a duty, who always try to strike deals with God—no matter what befalls them, they can always be constrained and disturbed, they can always be influenced and swayed, which leads to them being unable to perform their duties normally, to the extent that they even abandon their duties and run away. What a regrettable thing that is! They may not feel much regret, but when the disasters grow great, and God’s work concludes, and He begins to reward the good and punish the wicked, they will know the consequences of this action. That is why you must pray together often, quiet yourselves before God, read more of His words, and fellowship more on the truth. Set aside for now those issues that have nothing to do with the pursuit of the truth, that should not be considered right now. Marriage, work, one’s future, and settling down are not the only important matters in life, nor is finding one’s place in society and having enough to eat. None of these things are the most important matters in life. What is the most important matter in life? It is to perform the duty and function that a created being ought to fulfill and to complete God’s mission and what He has entrusted to you. That is the most meaningful thing. That is the resolve that people ought to have.
Right now, you who believe in God can eat and drink of His words every day, and those that pursue the truth more are also fulfilling duties. This is the right starting point for your direction in life, so how should you continue walking down this path? (We should lay down a foundation on the path of life entry.) Yes, if you want to gain the truth and the life, then you must lay down a foundation on the words of God. This will allow you to embark on the path of pursuing the truth, which alone is the goal and direction in life. You are only truly one of God’s chosen and preordained if you allow His words and the truth to lay a foundation in your heart. Right now, your foundations are still unstable. If even a small temptation from Satan befell you, to say nothing of a great disaster or trial, you could be shaken and stumble. This is a lack of foundation, which is very dangerous! Many people stumble and betray God when persecution or adversity befalls them. Some people begin to act recklessly after they gain some status, and they are then exposed and cast out. You can all see these things very clearly. So, you should now first determine the direction and goal that you ought to pursue in life, as well as the path that you ought to walk, and then calm your mind and work hard, expend yourselves, put in effort, and pay a price for that goal. Set aside other matters for now—if you continue to ponder on them, it will impact the performance of your duty, and it will impact the crucial matter of your pursuit of the truth and your salvation. If you have to think about finding work, making lots of money, and getting rich, and about establishing a stable foothold in society, and about finding your place, if you have to think about marriage and finding a partner, and about taking on the responsibility of supporting a family and giving them a good life, and if you also want to learn some new skills, to excel and be better than other people—would thinking about all these things not be exhausting? How many things can fit into your mind? How much energy does a person have in their lifetime? How many good years does one have? In this life, people have the most energy between the ages of twenty and forty years old. During this period, you must master the truths that believers in God ought to understand, and then enter into the reality of the truth, and accept God’s judgment and chastisement, as well as His refinement and trials, and reach the point where you do not deny God, no matter what the circumstances. This is the most basic thing. Furthermore, no matter who uses love and marriage to tempt and entice you, or how much fame, wealth, status, or benefits someone offers you, you should not give up on your duty, or on what a created being ought to do. Even if later God does not want you, you should still pursue the truth, you should still seek to walk the path of fearing God and shunning evil. You must reach for this height. That way, the years you spent expending yourself for God will not have been in vain. If you spend your best years thinking about finding a good job or looking for a partner, hoping to enjoy a life of the flesh while believing in God, to do both at the same time, then after a few years, you may find a partner, get married, have children, and build a home and a career, but you will have gained nothing from believing in God for all those years, you will not have gained any of the truth, your heart will feel empty, and your best years will have slipped by. When you look back at the age of forty, you will have a family, you will have children, and you will not be alone, but you will have to support your family. That is a chain that you cannot break free from. If you want to perform your duty, you will have to do so while shackled to the chains of your family. No matter how big your heart is, you cannot attend to both—you will not be able to wholeheartedly follow God and do your duty well. There are many people who abandon family and worldly things, but after believing in God for a few years they still only pursue renown, profit, and status. They have not gained the truth, and they do not even have any real experiential testimony. This is the same as them wasting their time. When they perform their duties now, they do not understand even a small part of the truth, and when something happens to them, they do not know how to experience it—so they start to snivel, and they are filled with great remorse. When they think back to the beginning, to all the young people living church lives together, doing their duties, singing hymns and praising God together, they think about how good those days were, and how much they would like to return to that time! Unfortunately, in this world there is no cure for regret. No one can turn back time, even if they would like to. There is no way to go back to the beginning and live life over again. That is why, once an opportunity has passed, it will not come again. A person’s life is only a few decades long, if you miss out on this optimum time to pursue the truth, your regrets will be useless. Some people have believed in God up until this day, and they are still muddled. They are completely ignorant of what stage God’s work has reached. The great disasters have come, and these people are still living in a dream, thinking: “There’s still a lot of time left before God finishes His work! People now still eat, drink, and marry as usual. I have to hurry up and enjoy life, I can’t miss out!” They still covet fleshly comfort, without the smallest thirst for the truth in their hearts. In this way, they miss out on their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for salvation. In fact, God works to save mankind, and when His work of salvation is complete, even if only one person survives, God will not think that this is too few. God will take that one person, and all the others will be left behind. This is God’s disposition, which no person can see clearly. When God was going to destroy the world by flood, He instructed Noah to build an ark to save those who believed in Him. When the ark was completed, only the eight members of Noah’s family entered the ark and attained God’s salvation. What happened to everyone else? They all drowned in the flood and died in the disaster. Today, there are many people who see God expressing all these truths, who know full well that God is doing the work of salvation, but they still doubt, have their own notions, and refuse to accept it. This kind of person is pleased with themselves, but when the great disasters come, they will be destroyed, and who will they have to blame for this? In God’s eyes, those who do not accept His salvation are bugs, they are living ghosts, they are less than beasts! During the period of God’s salvation, His disposition is merciful, loving, and forgiving, but when God’s work of salvation ends, He will no longer offer His forgiveness to man. God will take it back, and people will face only His wrath and majesty. Right now, you are just in time for this great moment—God is doing the work of judgment in the last days. This is the one and only opportunity for people to be saved and perfected by God. You are all fulfilling duties in this key moment of God’s expansion of the kingdom gospel. This is truly God’s exceptional exaltation of you. No matter what field you studied, or what area of knowledge you possess, or what gifts or expertise you have, in any case, God is showing you grace by allowing you to use this expertise to fulfill a duty in His house. That is an opportunity that is hard to come by. When God acts, He is not biased toward any person, He treats everyone fairly. God treats anyone who accepts and practices the truth with grace, and He detests and rejects anyone who does not love the truth, who is sick of the truth and rejects the truth. God is just toward every person. So long as you can accept the truth and submit to God, God will treat you with grace, and He will not hold you accountable for your past transgressions. No matter what kind of way out God opens up for you, no matter how much grace He treats you with, He ultimately has only one desire, which is to make you understand His will, learn lessons, and understand the truth in environments suited to your life progress. Once God’s words and truths have been wrought inside of you and have become your life, and you treat God as the parent of your rebirth, and you are able to achieve submission to God and fear of God, you will be in accordance with God’s will. Though most of you are quite young, if, by reading God’s words and understanding the truth, you all gain resolve, you grow in life, you have fear of God in your hearts, and you are able to stand firm when trials and adversity befall you, then you will have stature, and God will be satisfied. God will say that He did not pay a painstaking price in vain when He treated you with grace. He will have reaped rewards, He will see the fruits of His work in you, and He will look on this with pleasure and joy. This result is entirely achieved by God’s work; it is not something for man to boast about.
God does not merely pay a price for each person in the decades from their birth to the present. As God sees it, you have come into this world countless times, and have been reincarnated countless times. Who is in charge of this? God is in charge of this. You have no way of knowing these things. Each time you come into this world, God personally makes arrangements for you: He arranges how many years you will live, the sort of family that you will be born into, when you will build a home and a career, as well as what you will do in this world and how you will make a living. God arranges a way for you to earn a living, so that you can accomplish your mission in this life unhindered. And as for what you should do in your next incarnation, God arranges and delivers that life to you according to what you ought to have and what ought to be given to you…. God has made these arrangements for you many times, and, at last, you were born into the age of the last days, into your present family. God arranged an environment for you in which you could believe in Him, He allowed you to hear His voice and come back before Him, so that you could follow Him and perform a duty in His house. It is only with such guidance from God that you have lived until today. You do not know how many times you have been born among man, nor how many times your appearance has changed, nor how many families you have had, nor how many ages and dynasties you have lived through—but God’s hand has been supporting you the whole time, and He has always been watching over you. How much God toils for a person’s sake! Some people say, “I’m sixty years old. For sixty years, God has been watching over me, protecting me, and guiding me. If, when I’m old, I can’t perform a duty and I can’t do anything—will God still care about me?” Is this not a silly thing to say? God does not have sovereignty over a person’s fate, and watch over them and protect them for just a single lifespan. If it were just the matter of a single lifespan, a single lifetime, that would fail to demonstrate that God is almighty and has sovereignty over everything. The labor that God does and the price that He pays for a person is not merely to arrange what they do in this life, but to arrange for them a countless number of lifetimes. God takes full responsibility for every soul that is incarnated. He works attentively, paying the price of His life, guiding every person and arranging each of their lives. God toils and pays a price in this way for man’s sake, and He bestows upon man all of these truths and this life. If people do not perform the duty of created beings in these final days, and they do not return before the Creator—if, in the end, no matter how many lives and generations they have lived through, they do not do their duties well and they fail to meet God’s demands—would their debt to God not then be too great? Would they not be unworthy of all the prices God has paid? They would be so lacking in conscience, they would not deserve to be called people, as their debt to God would be too great. Therefore, in this life—I am not talking about your former lives, but in this life—if you are not able to give up the things you love or external things for the sake of your mission—like material pleasures and the love and joy of family—if you do not give up the pleasures of the flesh for the sake of the prices that God pays for you or to repay God’s love, then you are truly wicked! Actually, any price that you pay for God is worth it. Compared to the price that God pays on your behalf, what does the tiny amount that you offer up or expend amount to? What does the little you suffer amount to? Do you know how much God has suffered? The little that you suffer is not even worth mentioning when it is compared to what God has suffered. Moreover, by doing your duty now, you are obtaining the truth and the life, and in the end, you will survive and enter into God’s kingdom. What a great blessing that is! While you follow God, no matter whether you suffer or pay a price, you are actually working with God. Whatever God asks us to do, we listen to God’s words, and practice according to them. Do not disobey God or do anything that brings Him sorrow. In order to work with God, you must suffer a little, and you must renounce and lay aside some things. You must give up fame and gain, status, money, and worldly pleasures—you even need to give up things like marriage, work, and your prospects in the world. Does God know whether you have given up these things? Can God see all this? (Yes.) What will God do when He sees that you have given up these things? (God will be comforted, and He will be pleased.) God will not only be pleased and say, “The prices that I paid have borne fruit. People are willing to work alongside Me, they have this resolve, and I have gained them.” Whether God is pleased or happy, satisfied or comforted, God does not only have that attitude. He also acts, and He wants to see the results that His work achieves, otherwise what He requires of people would be meaningless. The grace, love, and compassion that God shows man are not merely a kind of attitude—they are a fact, as well. What fact is that? It is that God puts His words within you, enlightening you, so that you may see what is lovely about Him, and what this world is all about, so that your heart is filled with light, allowing you to understand His words and the truth. In this way, without knowing it, you gain the truth. God does so much work on you in a very real way, enabling you to gain the truth. When you gain the truth, when you gain that most precious thing which is eternal life, God’s will is satisfied. When God sees that people are pursuing the truth and willing to cooperate with Him, He is happy and contented. He is then of an attitude, and while He is of that attitude, He goes to work, and commends and blesses man. He says, “I will reward you with the blessings that you deserve.” And then you will have gained the truth and the life. When you have knowledge of the Creator and you have gained His appreciation, will you still feel an emptiness in your heart? You will not. You will feel fulfilled and have a sense of enjoyment. Is this not what it means for one’s life to have value? This is the most valuable and meaningful life.
Look at Job: Did he ever pray for God to give him a mountain full of livestock and great riches? (No.) What did he seek? (He sought to fear God and shun evil.) How does God view “fearing God and shunning evil”? God said: “God saw that it was good.” When people seek to fear God and shun evil, it brings God the greatest joy, and it is something that He blesses. Did God merely speak these words and do nothing more? What else did God do to Job? (He tested Job.) God sent Satan to tempt Job, to take away his mountain full of livestock, his great riches, his children, his servants—God tested him. What did God want to achieve through testing him? God wanted Job’s testimony. What did God give Job at that time? People ponder: “What did God give Job? His livestock and great riches were taken away, and what was he left with? God didn’t give him anything!” On the surface, it seems as if what God gave Job, He then took away, and it appears as though Job had nothing left, but God’s taking-away is itself a greater reward. No one sees clearly what God rewarded Job with. God wanted Job’s testimony, and He gave Job an opportunity. What kind of opportunity was that? It was the opportunity for Job to testify for God in front of Satan and all people, to testify to the reality of his fear of God and shunning of evil, to testify to the fact of his fear of God and shunning of evil, to testify that he was a perfect and upright man. Was this not given to him by God? If God had not given Job this opportunity, would Satan have dared to move against Job? (No.) Satan would definitely not have dared, that is absolutely certain. If Satan had not dared to tempt Job, would Job have had this opportunity? He would not have had this opportunity. That is why God gave Job just such an opportunity, to prove to everyone that the path he walked—that of fearing God and shunning evil—is correct, that God finds it acceptable, and that Job was an upright, perfect man. Everyone saw these things, God saw them too, and Job did not disappoint God in the midst of this opportunity. He testified for God, he defeated Satan, and God saw that it was good. Did God reward Job in the end? (He did.) What was God’s second reward for Job? God said that Job’s fear of God and shunning of evil was acceptable to Him. Job testified for God in front of Satan, and God saw that all of this was good. He was both gratified and pleased, and He had a sort of attitude. After God had this attitude, did He do nothing else? What did God do? It seems that you are not very familiar with the Book of Job. Under what circumstances did Job say: “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye sees You”? He said these words after he had listened to the words God spoke to him. Had Job seen God before this? (No.) For Job, hearing God’s voice was the same as seeing His face, and is that not the blessing that a created being most longs for? (It is.) Job obtained this. Do you envy him? (Yes.) This blessing is not easy to obtain. So, how can you get this opportunity and receive this kind of grace and reward? You must testify for God, which is to say, you must testify for God in the midst of Satan’s temptations. You must walk the path of fearing God and shunning evil. You must make God say, “God saw that it was good.” When God feels gratified and pleased, and He sees that your testimony and all that you have done is good, when God says that you are a perfect person, and a person who pursues the truth, then you will be able to obtain His blessings. After Job heard God’s voice, what else did God do? He gave Job more than He ever had before. Job was wealthier than he was before—if he had been a multimillionaire before, he would have probably been a billionaire after that. You see, if a person fears God and shuns evil, it is an easy thing for them to become a billionaire; it is a matter of a single word for God. That is God’s grace. Job feared God and shunned evil, and he obtained God’s blessings.
What God gives to people exceeds what they could ask for or imagine, but if you want to receive a reward greater than anything you could ask for or imagine, you must follow God’s way. Following God’s way is not simple. People have to pay a price, but that price is not paid in vain, it will be rewarded. People think that God only has a kind of attitude toward them, that He does not do anything, that He is always watching them, seeing how they behave. Is that really how it is? No. God is actually like a parent. If you listen to your parents, if you are sensible, if you tend to your proper duties, and suffer no small amount to follow the right path, how will your parents feel? Your parents will feel love and sorrow for you. They are only too eager to give up their lives for their children, and to lessen their children’s suffering, to make sure that they eat well, wear nice clothes, and enjoy life—then they are satisfied. They do not want you to suffer at all. That is the heart of a parent. When compared to a parent’s heart, God’s heart can only be better, more beautiful, kinder—His heart could not be any less than this. You can all understand a bit about the hearts of your parents. You all know very well just how good your parents have been to you, and you all want to honor your parents. So, you should first use that filial piety to show consideration for God’s heart. Those who do so possess the greatest amount of sense. Children can feel the love their parents have for them, but people should be able to feel the love that God has for them even more, because all that they have is arranged and orchestrated by God. Only God can decide everything for a person. Parents cannot decide everything for a child, no matter how great their love is. At the very least, parents do not possess the truth. Their love is of flesh and feelings; it absolutely cannot deliver someone from corruption, nor can it in the least provide them with growth in life. Only the love of God can save people. The word of God can lead people and supply them so that they may walk the right path in life. You can see how much greater God’s love is than that of a parent—God shows people every consideration! Your parents gave birth to you, and to them, you are their own flesh and blood. They care for you, cherish, and protect you so much—so how do you think God sees humans, whom He formed with His own hands? God cherishes humans as if they were His own children; people are His own flesh and blood. It is not like the human concept of parents giving birth to a child, and being connected by a blood tie—God created people with His own hands, but He breathed His breath into them, and He has expectations of them. God has entrusted people with His hopes; He has requirements of them, and He has entrusted them with things. God did not simply create humans, breathe into them, make them come alive, and then His work was done. It is not like if mankind was bad, God could just re-make it, because God is powerful and omnipotent, after all. After God created humans, He felt concern for them. Humans are His flesh and blood, they are His companions, and at the same time, in His management plan, they are the trustees and bearers of all His hopes. Ultimately, He wants to see hope in these people, and to obtain results. If, based on this, you can show some understanding for God’s intention and will, will that not deepen your understanding a bit? (Yes, it will.) Just like parents who want their children to study and excel in life, who stay by their children’s side while they learn, fanning them, pouring them some tea a moment later, making them some tasty food when the time comes to eat—those parents do not know how to do any better, their minds are always circling around their children. Do your parents not treat you like this because they have expectations of you, because they have placed their hopes in you? If you do not listen to them, and keep disobeying them, will that not hurt them? Will they not be sad? (They will.) Then ponder on God’s will based on this idea. When God looks at humans, no matter how old they are, they are a child in His eyes. If you say, “I’m eighty years old,” God will say that you are a child. If you say, “I’m twenty years old,” then you are even more of a child. Whether you are eighty, eight hundred, or eight thousand years old, humans are all children in God’s eyes. From God’s perspective, age makes no difference at all. In God’s eyes, people are all babies and children; that is how God sees mankind. That is why, in God’s eyes, you are His flesh and blood, and one of His companions. How then can you be qualified to become His flesh and blood, His companion, a person after His own heart, to make Him satisfied? Is this not a question worth mankind’s consideration and pondering? (It is.) God treats mankind as His flesh and blood, His companions, the bearers of the prices and blood that He has paid. What kind of love does God have for man? What kind of mindset does He have? How does He treat people with whom He has this level of relationship? Can humans understand, even a little, the kind of love that God has for these people? Some people say: “I’ve never seen God, and I can’t feel the things that He has done for me in my past lives.” You are alive right now, so can you not feel God’s guidance and the prices He has paid for you? Can you comprehend them? (Yes.) If you can comprehend them, that is all right—it proves that you have a heart and a soul. If you can comprehend this much, it is enough. It is worth it for you to cast aside everything to follow God.
May 29, 2017