81. The Principles of Spreading the Gospel and Testifying to God
(1) It is necessary to understand that all believers have a duty to spread the gospel and bear testimony for God, and that it is ordained by Heaven and acknowledged by earth for them to do so. They should submit to this, and accept it, for they are bound by honor to do;
(2) It is necessary to bear witness to God’s work in the last days in accordance with His words, such witness as makes that work clear and transparent, with a focus on communicating key truths and eliminating the major notions and difficulties that obstruct man from accepting God’s work;
(3) Each prospect must be subjected to careful analysis and research, and feasible plans must be set. Strive to break new ground as effectively as possible;
(4) It is necessary to choose the right targets for spreading the gospel. Flexibly employ a variety of wise methods and, as long as it is neither illegal nor sinful, do whatever you must to gain more people;
(5) It is necessary to look up to the work of the Holy Spirit and to follow His guidance. In each country, adopt methods that suit local systems, laws, and regulations, which may include direct gospel-spreading, spontaneous gospel-spreading, or “group evangelism.”
Relevant Words of God:
As members of the human race and devout Christians, it is the responsibility and obligation of us all to offer up our minds and bodies for the fulfillment of God’s commission, for our entire being came from God, and it exists thanks to the sovereignty of God. If our minds and bodies are not for God’s commission and not for the righteous cause of mankind, then our souls will be unworthy of those who were martyred for God’s commission, and much more unworthy of God, who has provided us with everything.
Excerpted from “God Presides Over the Fate of All Mankind” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
What I now bestow upon you surpasses Moses and eclipses David, so likewise I ask that your testimony surpass Moses and that your words be greater than David. I give you a hundredfold—so I likewise ask you to repay Me in kind. You must know I am the One who bestows life unto mankind, and it is you who receive life from Me and must bear witness for Me. This is your duty which I send down upon you and which you ought to do for Me. I have bestowed all My glory unto you, I have bestowed unto you the life that the chosen people, the Israelites, never received. By rights, you ought to bear witness to Me and devote to Me your youth and lay down your life. Whomsoever I bestow My glory unto shall bear Me witness and give their life for Me. This has long been predestined by Me. It is your good fortune that I bestow My glory upon you, and your duty is to testify to My glory. If you were to believe in Me only to gain blessings, then My work would bear little significance, and you would not be fulfilling your duty. The Israelites saw only My mercy, love, and greatness, and the Jews witnessed only My patience and redemption. They saw very, very little of the work of My Spirit, to the point that they understood but one-ten-thousandth of what you have heard and seen. What you have seen exceeds even the chief priests among them. The truths you understand today surpass theirs; what you have seen today exceeds what was seen in the Age of Law, as well as the Age of Grace, and what you have experienced surpasses even Moses and Elijah. For what the Israelites understood was only the law of Jehovah, and what they saw was only the sight of Jehovah’s back; what the Jews understood was only the redemption of Jesus, what they received was only the grace bestowed by Jesus, and what they saw was only the image of Jesus within the house of the Jews. What you see this day is the glory of Jehovah, the redemption of Jesus, and all My deeds of this day. So, too, have you heard the words of My Spirit, appreciated My wisdom, come to know My wonder, and learned of My disposition. I have also told you all of My management plan. What you have seen is not merely a loving and merciful God, but a God filled with righteousness. You have seen My wondrous work and known that I brim with majesty and wrath. Furthermore, you know that I once brought down My raging fury upon the house of Israel, and that today, it has come upon you. You understand more of My mysteries in heaven than Isaiah and John; you know more of My loveliness and venerableness than all the saints of ages past. What you have received is not merely My truth, My way, and My life, but a vision and revelation greater than that of John. You understand many more mysteries, and have also looked upon My true countenance; you have accepted more of My judgment and know more of My righteous disposition. And so, though you were born in the last days, your understanding is that of the former and the past, and you have also experienced the things of today, and this was all personally done by Me. What I ask of you is not excessive, for I have given you so much, and you have seen much in Me. Thus, I ask you to bear witness for Me to the saints of ages past, and this is My heart’s only desire.
Excerpted from “What Do You Know of Faith?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
All people need to understand the aims of My work on earth, that is, what I ultimately wish to gain, and what level I must achieve in this work before it can be complete. If, after walking with Me to this day, people do not understand what My work is all about, then have they not walked with Me in vain? If people follow Me, they should know My will. I have been working on earth for thousands of years, and to this day, I continue to carry out My work thus. Although My work contains many projects, its purpose remains unchanged; though I am filled with judgment and chastisement toward man, for example, what I do is still for the sake of saving him, and for the sake of better spreading My gospel and further expanding My work among all the Gentile nations once man has been made complete. So today, at a time when many people have long since sunk deep into dismay, I still continue with My work, I continue the work I must do to judge and chastise man. Despite the fact that man is fed up with what I say, and he has no desire to concern himself with My work, I am still carrying out My duty, for the purpose of My work remains unchanged, and My original plan will not be broken. The function of My judgment is to enable man to better obey Me, and the function of My chastisement is to allow man to more effectively be changed. Though what I do is for the sake of My management, I have never done anything that was without benefit to man, for I wish to make all the nations beyond Israel as obedient as the Israelites, to make them into real human beings, that I might have a foothold in the lands outside Israel. This is My management; it is the work I am accomplishing among the Gentile nations. Even now, many people still do not understand My management, because they have no interest in such things, and care only for their own futures and destinations. No matter what I say, they remain indifferent to the work that I do, instead focusing exclusively on their destinations of tomorrow. If things go on in this way, how can My work expand? How can My gospel be spread throughout the world? Know that when My work spreads, I will scatter you, and smite you just as Jehovah smote each of the tribes of Israel. All this will be done so that My gospel may spread across the earth, so that it may reach the Gentile nations, so that My name may be magnified by adults and children alike, and My holy name exalted in the mouths of people from all tribes and nations. It is so that, in this final era, My name may be magnified among the Gentile nations, so that My deeds may be seen by the Gentiles and they will call Me the Almighty on account of My deeds, and so that My words may soon come to pass. I will make all people know that I am not only the God of the Israelites, but also the God of all the nations of the Gentiles, even those that I have cursed. I will let all people see that I am the God of all creation. This is My greatest work, the purpose of My work plan for the last days, and the only work to be fulfilled in the last days.
Excerpted from “The Work of Spreading the Gospel Is Also the Work of Saving Man” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Are you able to communicate the disposition expressed by God in each age in a concrete way, with language that suitably conveys the significance of the age? Are you, who experience God’s work of the last days, able to describe God’s righteous disposition in detail? Can you testify about God’s disposition clearly and accurately? How will you pass on what you have seen and experienced to those pitiable, poor, and devout religious believers who hunger and thirst for righteousness and are waiting for you to shepherd them? What kind of people are waiting for you to shepherd them? Can you imagine? Are you aware of the burden on your shoulders, your commission, and your responsibility? Where is your sense of historic mission? How will you adequately serve as a master in the next age? Do you have a strong sense of masterhood? How would you explain the master of all things? Is it really the master of all living creatures and of all physical things in the world? What plans do you have for the progress of the next phase of the work? How many people are waiting for you to be their shepherd? Is your task a heavy one? They are poor, pitiable, blind, and at a loss, wailing in the darkness—where is the way? How they yearn for the light, like a shooting star, to suddenly descend and dispel the forces of darkness that have oppressed man for so many years. Who can know the full extent to which they anxiously hope, and how they pine, day and night, for this? Even on a day when the light flashes past, these deeply suffering people remain imprisoned in a dark dungeon without hope of release; when will they weep no longer? Terrible is the misfortune of these fragile spirits who have never been granted rest, and long have they been kept bound in this state by merciless bonds and frozen history. And who has heard the sound of their wailing? Who has looked upon their miserable state? Has it ever occurred to you how grieved and anxious God’s heart is? How can He bear to see innocent mankind, whom He created with His own hands, suffering such torment? Human beings, after all, are the victims who have been poisoned. And although man has survived to this day, who would have known that mankind has long been poisoned by the evil one? Have you forgotten that you are one of the victims? Are you not willing to strive, out of your love for God, to save these survivors? Are you not willing to devote all of your energy to repaying God, who loves mankind like His own flesh and blood? When all is said and done, how would you interpret being used by God to live your extraordinary life? Do you really have the resolve and confidence to live the meaningful life of a pious, God-serving person?
from “How Should You Attend to Your Future Mission?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
What is the purpose of propagating the gospel? As has been said continuously since this stage of work began, God has come to do His work this time to inaugurate a new era, to bring in a new era and end the old one, a fact that can now be seen in those of us now here and that has already been fulfilled. That is, God is doing new work, and the people here have already accepted this and have already emerged from the Age of Law and the Age of Grace, no longer reading the Bible, no longer living under the cross, no longer crying out the name of Lord Jesus the Savior, but at once praying to the name of God of the present day and accepting the words God now expresses and taking them as the principles of survival, the methods, and the objectives of human life. In this sense, have the people here not already entered a new era? In what era, then, do the many more people who have not accepted this gospel and these words live? They are still living in the Age of Grace. It is now your vocation to bring these people out from the Age of Grace and have them enter this new era. Can you accomplish this commission merely by praying and calling out God’s name? Is it enough merely to preach a few of the words of God? It is certainly not; this requires all of you to shoulder responsibility for the duty of spreading the gospel, of propagating the words of God, of spreading them forth and extending their reach. What does it mean to “extend their reach”? It means to spread God’s gospel beyond just the people who are here; it means to make more people aware of God’s new work, and then to preach God’s words to them. It means to use your experience to bear witness to the work of God and to bring them also into the new era. Then, they will be the same as you. God’s intention is quite obvious—He would not have only you who have heard and accepted His words and begun to follow Him enter the new age; He wants to lead the entire human race into the new age. This is God’s intention, and this is a truth that every person who currently follows God should understand. God is not leading a batch or a small tribe of people into the new age, but leading the whole of humanity into the new age. To achieve this objective, it is necessary to propagate the gospel, and to use many methods and channels to do so.
Excerpted from “For Leaders and Workers, Choosing a Path Is of Utmost Importance (1)” in Records of Christ’s Talks
If you wish to be fit for use by God, you must know the work of God, you must know the work that He did previously (in the New and Old Testaments), and, moreover, you must know His work of today; which is to say, you must know the three stages of God’s work performed over 6,000 years. If you are asked to spread the gospel, then you will not be able to do so without knowing the work of God. Someone may ask you about what your God has said about the Bible, the Old Testament, and Jesus’ work and words of that time. If you cannot speak of the inside story of the Bible, then they will not be convinced. At that time, Jesus talked much of the Old Testament with His disciples. Everything they read was from the Old Testament; the New Testament was only written several decades after Jesus was crucified. To spread the gospel, you should principally grasp the inner truth of the Bible, and God’s work in Israel, which is the work done by Jehovah, and you also have to understand the work done by Jesus. These are the issues that all people are most concerned about, and the inside story of those two stages of work is what they have not heard. When spreading the gospel, first put aside talk of the Holy Spirit’s work of today. This stage of work is beyond their reach, because what you pursue is that which is most lofty of all—a knowledge of God, and a knowledge of the work of the Holy Spirit—and nothing is more exalted than these two things. If you first talk about that which is lofty, it will be too much for them, for no one has experienced such work by the Holy Spirit; it has no precedent, and it is not easy for man to accept. Their experiences are old things from the past, with some occasional work by the Holy Spirit. What they experience is not the Holy Spirit’s work today, or God’s will today. They still act according to old practices, with no new light, and no new things.
Excerpted from “Concerning Appellations and Identity” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
In order to spread the gospel, so that all who seek with a true heart may gain knowledge of the work done this day and be thoroughly convinced, you must arrive at a clear understanding of the inside story, the essence, and the significance of the work done in each stage. Make it so that, by listening to your fellowship, others may understand the work of Jehovah, the work of Jesus and, even more, all the work of the God of today, as well as the connections and the differences between the three stages of work. Make it so that, after they have finished listening, others will see that the three stages do not disrupt one another, but that all are the work of the same Spirit. Although They work in different ages, the content of the work They carry out is different, and the words They speak are different, yet the principles by which They work are one and the same. These things are the greatest visions that all people who follow God should understand.
Excerpted from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Bearing testimony to God is primarily a matter of speaking of your knowledge of God’s work, of how God conquers people, of how He saves people, of how He changes people; it is a matter of speaking of how He guides people to enter truth reality, allowing them to be conquered, made perfect, and saved by Him. Bearing testimony means speaking of His work and all that you have experienced. Only His work can represent Him, and only His work can reveal Him publicly, in His entirety; His work bears testimony to Him. His work and utterances directly represent the Spirit; the work He does is carried out by the Spirit, and the words He speaks are spoken by the Spirit. These things are merely expressed through the incarnate flesh of God, yet, in reality, they are expressions of the Spirit. All the work He does and all the words He speaks represent His essence. If, after clothing Himself in flesh and coming among man, God did not speak or work, and then asked you to know His realness, His normality, and His omnipotence, would you be able to? Would you be able to know what the essence of the Spirit is? Would you be able to know what the attributes of His flesh are? It is only because you have experienced each step of His work that He asks you to bear testimony to Him. If you were without such experience, then He would not insist that you bear testimony. Thus, when you bear testimony to God, you are not only testifying to His exterior of normal humanity, but also to the work He does and the path He leads; you are to testify to how you have been conquered by Him and in what aspects you have been made perfect. This is the kind of testimony you should bear. If, wherever you go, you cry out: “Our God has come to work, and His work is truly practical! He has gained us without supernatural acts, without any miracles and wonders at all!” Others will ask: “What do you mean when you say He does not work miracles and wonders? How can He have conquered you without working miracles and wonders?” And you say: “He speaks, and, without a show of any wonders or miracles, He has conquered us. His work has conquered us.” Ultimately, if you are unable to say anything of essence, if you cannot talk of specifics, is this true testimony? When God incarnate conquers people, it is His divine words that do so. Humanity cannot accomplish this; it is not something any mortal can achieve, and even those of the highest caliber among normal people are incapable of this, for His divinity is higher than any created being. This is extraordinary to people; the Creator, after all, is higher than any created being. Created beings cannot be higher than the Creator; if you were higher than He, He would not be able to conquer you, and He can only conquer you because He is higher than you. He who can conquer all humankind is the Creator, and none but He can do this work. These words are “testimony”—the kind of testimony you should bear. Step by step, you have experienced chastisement, judgment, refinement, trials, setbacks, and tribulations, and you have been conquered; you have put aside the prospects of the flesh, your personal motivations, and the intimate interests of the flesh. In other words, God’s words have conquered your heart completely. Although you have not grown in your life as much as He demands, you know all these things and you are utterly convinced by what He does. Thus, this may be called testimony, testimony that is real and true. The work God has come to do, the work of judgment and chastisement, is meant to conquer man, but He is also concluding His work, ending the age, and carrying out the work of conclusion. He is ending the entire age, saving all of humankind, delivering humankind from sin for once and for all; He is fully gaining humankind, which He created. You should bear testimony to all of this. You have experienced so much of God’s work, you have seen it with your own eyes and experienced it personally; when you have reached the very end, you must not be unable to perform the function incumbent upon you. What a pity that would be! In the future, when the gospel is spread, you should be able to speak of your own knowledge, testify to all that you have gained in your heart, and spare no effort. This is what a created being should attain. What is the actual significance of this stage of God’s work? What is its effect? And how much of it is carried out in man? What should people do? When you can speak clearly of all the work God incarnate has done since coming to earth, then your testimony will be complete. When you can speak clearly of these five things: the significance of His work; its contents; its essence; the disposition it represents; and its principles, then this will prove you are capable of bearing testimony to God, that you are truly possessed of knowledge. My requirements of you are not very high, and are attainable by all those who are in true pursuit. If you are resolved to be one of God’s witnesses, you must understand what God loathes and what God loves. You have experienced much of His work; through this work, you must come to know His disposition, understand His will and His requirements of mankind, and use this knowledge to testify about Him and perform your duty.
Excerpted from “Practice (7)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
There are deviations in the way many people understand the spreading of the gospel. Some people think, “I am performing a special duty, and spreading the gospel is not my business; moreover, the principles, truths, and the intentions of God that must be understood in order to spread the gospel have nothing to do with me, so I don’t need to understand them.” As a result, when this aspect of the truth is fellowshiped, they doze off or their attention wanders. All that they hear goes in one ear and out the other, and after they have finished listening, they do not know what was talked about. There are also those who say, “Ever since I started believing in God, I have served as a leader; I have caliber and am capable, and I was preordained to be a leader, so my God-given duty and my life-long mission is to be one.” Implicit in this is that the work of spreading the gospel has nothing to do with them. That is why, when the truth of the gospel’s spread is spoken, they have the appearance of listening, but in their hearts they attach no importance to it. In this, one can see an attitude people hold toward the truth. So, I warn all people and let all of them know that spreading the gospel is not the special vocation of a single type or group of people; it is the vocation of every person who follows God. Why should I make people understand this? And why do they need to know this? It is the mission and vocation that every created being and every follower of God, whether old or young, male or female, must accept. If this mission comes to you and requires you to offer up your body, to expend yourself, and to pay a price, what should you do? You should accept that which you are beholden to undertake. This is the truth, and it is what you should understand. This is not about empty catchphrases, nor is it merely piece of bombastic rhetoric, nor is it an opinion; it is the truth. And what makes it the truth? It is because, regardless of the change wrought by the passage of time, or how the era changes, or how geography and space change, spreading the gospel and bearing witness to God is eternally a positive thing; its meaning, its worth, and its formulation are unchanging. It does not change with the passage of time or with geographic location. It exists eternally, and it is what you ought to accept, put into practice, and manifest in the way you live as a created being. This is the truth. Some people say they are likely to pass their whole lives without coming into contact with this aspect of the truth, yet it is still an aspect of the truth that people must understand. And why is this so? Is there a fixed time and a fixed geographical location to spread the gospel? Is it to be carried out by a fixed set of personnel? No. So, once you have understood this truth, you will know in your heart: “Preaching God’s new work and preaching the gospel of His work to save people is my vocation; regardless of place or time, regardless of my position or my role or the duty I am currently performing, I have an obligation to go and spread the good news of the new work of God. It is my beholden duty to pass it on whenever I have the opportunity or spare time.” Are these currently the thoughts of a majority of people? (No.) A majority of people think: “I currently have a fixed duty; I am currently engaged in studying and delving into a fixed profession and specialization, so spreading the gospel has nothing whatsoever to do with me.” What kind of attitude is this? This is an attitude of shirking one’s duty and one’s mission, and it is an attitude of negativity toward the duty of spreading the gospel. When people do not shoulder the burden of and are not considerate of spreading the gospel of God’s salvation of man, this commission, are they manifesting a conscience or humanity? If you are not vigorous and proactive in cooperating, extending your consideration, or taking responsibility, then you are merely reacting negatively and passively. This is an ill-advised attitude. No matter where you are or what duty you are engaged in, and no matter what profession or what specialty your duty involves, one of the most important of all the fruits of your work is being able to spread and bear witness to the gospel of God’s work to save mankind. This is the least that a created being should do.
Excerpted from “For Leaders and Workers, Choosing a Path Is of Utmost Importance (1)” in Records of Christ’s Talks
In spreading the gospel, you must fulfill your responsibility to deal earnestly with everyone to whom you spread it. You must not pass over anyone carelessly. This means you must seek conscientiously to understand every person with whom you share the gospel. If they are in alignment with the principles of spreading the gospel, you should try to win them over. How will you win them over? You must think of every possible means to fulfill your responsibility, you must pay a price, and you must avail yourself of some techniques and methods. In brief, your impetus should be the fulfillment of your responsibilities, with all your heart, in a way that keeps your conscience clear. In ten or twenty years, when you recall a person with whom you shared the gospel, you will feel that you used all your strength and, even if they did not accept it, you will have a clear conscience. If, in your heart, you still feel uneasy and like you should have been able to win them over, but lost that gospel target due to your own momentary neglect or laziness, or due to a momentary feeling or self-will, or because you did not seize the opportunity, then this will be a stain tainting you. Being tainted, are you then condemned by God? God will not go so far as to condemn you for this minor issue yet; He will not go so far as to make mountains out of molehills, but, if this issue is put in its proper place by measuring it against the truth, then, at the very least, you did not fulfill your responsibility, and thus will be God’s judgment. This does not qualify as condemnation, but God will thus judge your transgressions and faults. Therefore, in order to reduce or avoid these types of mistakes, people should take a more active approach in dealing with every gospel target they encounter. If a gospel target repeatedly asks a question, how should you respond? You should not mind taking the time and trouble to answer them, to think of every possible means to resolve their question, until they understand and do not ask it again. You will then have fulfilled your responsibility, and your heart will be free of guilt. Does this mean being free of guilt from them? It does not. You will be free of guilt from God, because this duty, this responsibility, was entrusted to you by God. When everything you do is done before God, done facing God, when everything is done according to God’s word, according to the truth principle, then your internal standards will rise to a higher level. People will approve of and easily accept the things you do and the words you say once your standards are elevated. If the words you speak are illuminating and practical, then you will be able to avoid contention and confrontation, and, as you do, you will edify others. You will also be able to avoid negative influence on the testimony and spreading of the gospel.
Excerpted from “Spreading the Gospel Is the Duty to Which All Believers Are Honor-Bound” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Spreading the gospel is everyone’s duty and obligation. At any time, regardless of what we hear, or what we see, or what kind of treatment we encounter, we must always persist in this responsibility of spreading the gospel. Under no circumstances can we give up on this duty because of negativity or weakness. The duty to spread the gospel is not smooth sailing, but fraught with danger. When you spread the gospel, you will not face angels, or aliens, or robots. You will face only evil and corrupt humanity, living demons, beasts—they are all humanity that is surviving in this evil space and that has been corrupted deeply by Satan and resists God. Therefore, in the process of spreading the gospel, there are certainly all sorts of dangers, let alone petty slander, sneers, and misunderstandings, of which there are even more. If you truly regard spreading the gospel as a responsibility, as an obligation, and as your duty, then you will be able to regard these things correctly and even handle them correctly, and you will not at any time give up on your responsibility and your obligation, nor will you deviate from your original intention to spread the gospel and testify about God because of these things, for this is your duty. How should this duty be understood? The value and the primary responsibility of this life you live is to spread the good news of God’s work in the last days and to spread the gospel of God’s work.
Excerpted from “Spreading the Gospel Is the Duty to Which All Believers Are Honor-Bound” in Records of Christ’s Talks
If you acknowledge you are a created being, you must prepare yourself to suffer and pay a price for the sake of fulfilling the responsibility to spread the gospel and for the sake of doing your duty properly. The price might be suffering some physical ailment or difficulty, or the persecutions arising from your environment or the misunderstandings of worldly people, as well as being beaten, scolded, and forsaken by gospel targets; or, in the most severe cases, possibly having your life endangered. It is possible, in the course of spreading the gospel, that you will die before God’s work is completed, and that you will not live to see the day of God’s glory. You must be prepared for this. This is not meant to frighten you; it is a fact. However, now that I have made this clear, and you have understood it, if you still have this aspiration, and it has not yet changed, this proves you possess a certain stature. Do not assume that spreading the gospel in these overseas nations with religious freedoms and human rights will be free from danger and that everything you do will go smoothly, all with God’s blessings and in company with His great power and authority; this is something from the human imagination. You cannot spread the gospel without wisdom, and mishaps often befall the ignorant. The Pharisees also believed in God, yet they took the incarnate God and crucified Him upon the cross. Do you think that today’s religious world would not do such a thing? Do not forget that those who took the Lord Jesus and crucified Him upon the cross were believers. Only they had the opportunity to do this sort of thing. The unbelievers did not care about those things. It was these believers who colluded with the government to take the Lord Jesus and crucify Him upon the cross. Moreover, how did those disciples die? Among the disciples, there were those who were stoned, dragged behind a horse, crucified upside down, dismembered by five horses—every sort of death befell them. What was the reason for their deaths? Were they lawfully executed for their crimes? They were condemned, beaten, scolded, and put to death because they spread the Lord’s gospel and were rejected by the people of the world—that is how they were martyred. Let us not speak of the final end of those martyrs, or of God’s definition of their conduct, but ask this: When they arrived at the end, did the way they met the end of their lives accord with human notions? From the perspective of human notions, if they paid this sort of price to spread the work of God, they should at least have received a good death. But these people died tragically before their time. This does not accord with human notions, but God did precisely that—God allowed it to happen. What truth can be sought in God’s having allowed this to happen? Was God’s allowing them to die this way His curse and condemnation, or was it His plan and blessing? It was neither. What was it? People now reflect on their deaths with much heartache, but that was how things were: Those who believed in God died that way, and it makes people’s hearts ache. How is this to be explained? When we touch on this topic, you put yourselves in their position; are your hearts then sad, and do you feel a hidden pain? You think, “These people did their duty to spread God’s gospel and should be considered good people, so how could they come to such an end, such an outcome?” Actually, this is how their bodies died and passed away; this was their means of departure from the human world, yet that does not mean their outcome was the same. The means of their death and departure, no matter what it was nor how it happened, is not how God defines the final outcomes of those lives, of those created beings. This is something you must see clearly. On the contrary, they used precisely those means to condemn this world and to testify to God’s deeds. These created beings used their lives that are most precious—they used the last moment of their lives to testify to God’s deeds, to testify to God’s great power, and to declare to Satan and the world that God’s deeds are right, that the Lord Jesus is God, that He is the Lord, and is God’s incarnate flesh; even down to the final moment of their lives, they never denied the name of the Lord Jesus. Was this not a form of judgment upon this world? They used their lives to proclaim to the world, to confirm to human beings that the Lord Jesus is the Lord, that the Lord Jesus is Christ, that He is God’s incarnate flesh, that the work of redemption He wrought for all humanity allows humanity to live on—this fact is forever unchanging. To what extent did they perform their duty? Was it to the ultimate extent? How was the ultimate extent manifested? They paid the price with their lives. Family, wealth, and the material things of this life are all external things; the only thing that is internal to self is life. To every living person, life is the thing most worthy of being treasured, the most precious thing and, as it happens, these people were able to offer their most precious possession—life—as confirmation, in exchange for worldly people’s acknowledgment of God’s work. Until the day they died, they did not deny God’s name, nor did they deny God’s work, and they used their last moment of life to testify to the existence of this fact—is this not the highest form of testimony? This is the best way of doing one’s duty; this is what it is to fulfill one’s responsibility. When Satan threatened and terrorized them, and, in the end, even when it made them pay the price of their lives, they did not abrogate their responsibility. This is what it is to fulfill one’s duty to the utmost extent. What do I mean by this? Do I mean to have you use the same method to testify of God and to spread the gospel? You do not necessarily need to do so, but you must understand that this is your responsibility, that if God needs you to, you should accept it as a moral obligation. People today have fear and worry inside them, but what purpose do those feelings serve? If God does not need you to do this, what is the use in worrying about it? If God needs you to do this, you should not shirk this responsibility nor reject it. You should cooperate proactively and accept it without worry. No matter how one dies, they should not die before Satan, and not die in its hands. If one is going to die, they should die in God’s hands. People came from God, and to God they return—such is the sense and attitude that a created being should possess. This is the final truth one should understand in performing their duty of spreading the gospel—one must pay the price of their life to spread and testify to the gospel of God incarnate performing His work and saving mankind. If you have this aspiration, if you can achieve this, that is wonderful. If you still do not possess this sort of aspiration, you should, at the very least, properly fulfill the responsibility and duty that lie before you, giving the rest to God. Perhaps then, as the months and years pass and your experience and maturity increase, and your understanding of the truth deepens, you will realize that you have an obligation and a responsibility to offer your life to the work of God’s gospel, even unto the end of your life.
Excerpted from “Spreading the Gospel Is the Duty to Which All Believers Are Honor-Bound” in Records of Christ’s Talks