Only With Fear of God Can One Tread Upon the Path of Salvation (Part Three)

Is it easy for a believer to fear God and shun evil? In reality, it is no easy matter; if you do not pursue the truth, then you can never attain it. For example, some people say: “It’s really not easy to believe in God, and you must also do your duty, suffer, and pay a price.” How do you feel when you hear these words? What is the problem with saying these words? If you do not have a God-fearing heart, then what would you say? You would say: “That’s exactly right, I have left my home to do my duty for many years, I miss my children and my mother, and I have suffered no small amount. If I were not to receive blessings, that would be unjust!” Is there any fear of God in these words? (There is not.) If a person does not have a God-fearing heart, and they say such words, what is the quality of their behavior? Are they not in conflict with God, complaining against Him? If they speak words of complaint against God, then do they really believe that God is a righteous God? If a person does not have terror of God at heart, if they cannot manage to fear Him, then is it easy for them to shun evil? (It is not easy.) They cannot manage to shun evil. That person says: “If I were not to receive blessings after giving up my family and career, it would be so unjust!” If you immediately followed up with, “That’s exactly right,” how would those words seem to you? Is this shunning evil? The fact that you can say “that’s exactly right” just proves that you, like the other person, are also complaining against God. The complaint has already come out of your mouth to form evil. Not only can you not shun evil, you are capable of speaking complaints and doing evil. Although it is a small evil, it is still complaining against God. If today’s small evil is not resolved, then tomorrow you are in danger of betraying God—that is how terrible man’s corrupt disposition is. Do you see this matter clearly? If a person does not have a God-fearing heart, then whether the things they speak aloud, or the things they think in their heart, or the things which naturally pour forth from them—all are evil. If you do not have a God-fearing heart, then even a small matter can utterly expose your corrupt disposition, your character, pursuits, and intents; it can even expose your dissatisfaction with God. Those who do not have a God-fearing heart say whatever they want. They say whatever they are thinking, and after they say it, it becomes a fact. From God’s perspective, such a person does not fear Him, nor do they shun evil things; rather, they involve themselves in evil things when they see them, and they become partners in crime with evil people. If you have a God-fearing heart, if you are terrified of Him, if you live in His presence, then how should you respond to such a person’s words? What do they mean with their words? They are unwilling to give up blessings. They want to obtain blessings, but they are unwilling to suffer or pay the price, so they say: “It is really not easy to believe in God.” Do they not have a feeling of complaint? These words contain a feeling of complaint; this person is upset with God, they complain, and they think that God’s requirements of people are too high; they think God wants them to pay too high a price for what little blessings He gives them; they think God should not act this way, that He has no love for man, that He does not truly have mercy on man, that He torments man; they think it is not easy for a person to trade suffering for blessing—is this not what they are implying? (It is.) So how should you answer them? Listen to this answer, see if you think it is right. You should say: “What does our little suffering amount to? You see how much God has suffered. To save mankind, God came down to earth from heaven, and was incarnated humbly and secretly among men, and suffered great humiliation; to save mankind, He sacrificed even His life. God’s suffering far outstrips the little we have suffered. Our suffering does not amount to anything. What’s more, we should suffer; is our suffering not so that we can be blessed?” What do you think? On the surface, it seems right, and from a doctrinal standpoint, there are no mistakes, but is there a testimony here? (No.) There is no testimony. This is just cursorily speaking doctrine aloud to exhort someone. Can this resolve any problems? If you want to solve problems, how should you fellowship with them? If you heard these words of complaint, how would you feel in your heart? You would feel that as they did their duty while believing in God, their suffering was not done with a particularly willing heart, but after pondering for a moment you would think: “If they are unwilling, let them be unwilling. What does that have to do with me? If they complain against God, they’re not complaining against me, and it doesn’t involve my profit. This is their personal relationship with God, so they should deal with it themselves. What does this have to do with me?” Treating them this way seems like common sense, and it is not wrong, but as someone who has a God-fearing heart, when this happens to you, you must first think: “This person believes in God, and still complains against Him, and they twist the facts as they speak. This kind of person cannot possibly accept the truth. Being saved is a big deal, so is it fine if they don’t suffer at all? What’s more, why do people suffer? Is it not because of their corrupt dispositions? God has good intentions in allowing people to suffer. It benefits people, it perfects them and builds them up; if people do not suffer they cannot learn their lessons, nor can they obtain the truth, nor can they be in line with God’s intentions. Suffering a little is mercy and grace on God’s part; it is God’s love for mankind. This is salvation! How can they speak this way? I must fellowship with them. I cannot allow them to misunderstand and complain against God, I cannot allow them to go everywhere and spread these words to influence others. In this matter, I must speak for God. I must help them resolve their misunderstandings about God, and help them have a correct understanding of belief in God. If they misunderstand God in this way, are they not treating Him unjustly? God’s love and salvation for man are so great! How could they think that way?” If you think this way, does that not mean you have a God-fearing heart? (Yes.) As to the matter of fearing God, you do not only speak right words; rather, you have a God-fearing heart in you, you are able to achieve submission to Him, you do not rebel or complain at all. Thus, you become someone who fears God. When it comes to fearing God, you have obtained the truth. You do not merely shout a slogan, you are able to bear testimony of God, and to stand firm in your testimony of Him. With this knowledge, what should you say to that person? You should say: “God expends a great deal of care in the salvation of man. Those who do not have a God-fearing heart often complain against and resist Him, and they show no consideration at all for His intentions. If they suffer a little, or they do not see God’s blessings, then they complain, their hearts rebel, and they become negative and contradictory. This proves that it is natural for people with corrupt dispositions to often resist God, and that human nature is inimical to God. People paying a little price, giving a little bit up, and expending themselves a little bit, is so that they can attain salvation—it is not for God. You suffer because of your corrupt disposition. If you want to obtain the truth, you have to suffer a little. To say it in a less pleasant way, people deserve to suffer; God does not give you suffering, nor does He make you suffer. If you have a rebellious disposition, can you avoid suffering? It is your corrupt disposition that causes you to suffer—it has nothing to do with God. If you truly understood the truth and submitted to God in all things, then would you still give rise to negativity? Would you still complain against God? Would you still suffer these things? So, no matter what people suffer, it is the result of their corrupt dispositions; they cannot blame others, much less God. It is a matter of reaping what you sow. If you do not suffer, you must perish; you must be punished. Which would you choose? God does not want you to suffer, but without suffering, would you be able to submit to God? Without suffering, would you be able to act according to the truth principles? Without suffering, would you be able to listen to God’s words?” Having said these words, will your counterpart be able to gain some understanding? First of all, are these words in line with God’s intentions? Are they in accord with the truth? (They are.) Seeing as they are in accord with the truth, should a person who fears God not speak them? (They should.) Someone who is capable of speaking these words is shunning evil. So, what must a person possess to cause themselves to shun evil? (They must have a God-fearing heart.) Only with a God-fearing heart can they shun evil; only with a God-fearing heart can people submit to Him and testify of Him. Such people will naturally come to shun evil.

So in what state would you say those people who have no God-fearing hearts often live? Do they have a relationship with God? (They do not.) Some people say: “That’s not right. They pray every day, they read God’s words, they go to gatherings on time, and they do their duty normally. How can you say that they have no relationship with God? If they didn’t believe in God, could they do all that?” Is this way of speaking correct? (It is not. This is merely an outward action. If you do not seek the truth as you act, then you have no God-fearing heart, and nothing you do has anything to do with God.) If, in their belief in God, people do not frequently live before Him, then they will not be able to have any fear of Him, and so will they be incapable of shunning evil. These things are connected. If deep down you often live before God, you will be held in check, and will fear Him in many things. You will not say anything unreasonable, you will not go too far or do anything that is dissolute, nor will you do anything which is loathed by God. If you accept God’s scrutiny, and accept His discipline, you will avoid doing many evil things. As such, will you not have shunned evil? If you say you believe in God yet are often in a daze at heart, neither knowing how God works to save man nor how it is that man ought to pursue the truth, nor whether you love the truth, nor which events should occasion your prayer to God; if you are in a muddle each day, unserious in everything, merely adhering to regulations; if your heart is incapable of being at peace before God, and you do not pray or seek the truth whenever something happens to you; if you often act according to your own will, live according to your satanic disposition, and reveal your arrogant disposition; and if you do not accept God’s scrutiny or discipline, and do not have a submissive heart, then deep down, you will always live before Satan, and be controlled by Satan and by your corrupt disposition. Such people are without the slightest fear of God. They are simply incapable of shunning evil, and even if they do not do evil things, everything they think is still evil, and is both unconnected to the truth and runs against it. Do such people, then, fundamentally have no connection to God? Though they are ruled by Him, their hearts have never come before Him, nor have they ever truly prayed to Him; they have never treated God as God, they have never treated Him as the Creator who holds sovereignty over them, they have never acknowledged that He is their God and their Lord, and they have never considered worshiping Him in earnest. Such people do not understand what it means to fear God, and they think it is their right to commit evil. They say in their hearts, “I’ll do what I want. I’ll take care of my own business, it’s not up to anyone else!” They treat faith in God as a kind of mantra, a form of ceremony. Does this not make them disbelievers? They are disbelievers! In God’s mind, these people are all evildoers. All day long, everything they think is evil. They are the degenerates of the house of God, and He does not acknowledge such people as members of His house. What kind of people are those in God’s house? They are people who fear God and shun evil, people who submit to God’s work. Those who merely believe in God’s name, who do not accept Him as their Lord and God—are they part of God’s house? Those who do not accept God as their Creator, who do not accept the fact that He is the truth—do they belong to God? Absolutely not. Only those who accept the truth belong to God; only those who treat God as God belong to Him. With people who can know that God is the truth, who can accept Him as their Lord, and who see that He is the Sovereign of all things, how do such people express themselves? What state do they have in their heart? How do they practice when things happen to them? (They search for the truth in all things.) That is one aspect. What else? (They submit to all of the environments, people, events, and things set out by God, are able to learn from them, and gain the truth.) (They dare not do anything that resists or offends God.) These, too, are ways they express themselves. The main thing is that when something happens to them, whether they understand the truth or not, whether they can put the truth into practice or not, they first and foremost have the terror of God; they do not act rashly according to their own will, they are able to fear God and not offend Him. Others can see that they do not speak rashly, that their actions are calm rather than impetuous or dissolute, that they are profoundly at peace, that they are capable of waiting, that they commune with God in their hearts and seek Him, that they have a heart of submission to God, and they have a God-fearing heart. People who live out these things can connect and link up anything that happens to them with God’s words, and their relationship with Him is normal. Some people—those who do not have God in their hearts—are incapable of living out these realities, and their dispositions are sure to be arrogant, dissolute and unrestrained. They spend all day laughing and joking, they do not put their hearts into performing their duties, they say and do whatever comes into their heads, they bare their fangs and brandish their claws, and they are reckless and impetuous in everything they do. You can tell at first glance that they are like nonbelievers. Is someone with this kind of outpourings and behavior someone who lives before God? Do they sincerely believe in God? Is God in their heart? It is absolutely certain that He is not. Such people are condemned and loathed by God.

Today we have been fellowshipping about one of the most important topics of all. What does this topic have to do with? (Salvation.) If people wish to be saved when they believe in God, what’s key is whether or not they have God-fearing hearts, whether or not God has a place in their hearts, whether or not they are able to live before God and maintain a normal relationship with God. What’s crucial is whether or not people are able to practice the truth, and attain submission to God. Such are the path and conditions for being saved. If your heart is not able to live before God, if you do not often pray to God and fellowship with God, and lose the normal relationship with God, you will never be saved, for you have blockaded the path to salvation. If you do not have any relationship with God, you have reached the end of the line. If God is not in your heart, then it’s useless to claim you have faith, to only nominally believe in God. It doesn’t matter how many words and doctrines you are able to speak, how much you have suffered for your belief in God, or how gifted you are; if God is absent from your heart, and you do not fear God, then it doesn’t matter how you believe in God. God will say, “Depart from Me, you evildoer.” You will be classed as an evildoer. You will be unconnected to God; He will not be your Lord or your God. Even though you acknowledge that God holds sovereignty over all, and acknowledge that He is the Creator, you do not worship Him, and do not submit to His sovereignty. You follow Satan and devils; only Satan and devils are your lords. If, in all things, you trust in yourself, and follow your own will, if you trust that your fate is in your own hands, then what you believe in is yourself. Even though you claim to believe in and acknowledge God, God does not acknowledge you. You have no relationship with God, and so you are destined to ultimately be spurned by Him, punished by Him, and eliminated by Him; God does not save people like you. People who truly believe in God are those who accept Him as the Savior, who accept that He is the truth, the way, and the life. They are able to sincerely expend themselves for Him and perform the duty of a created being; they experience the work of God, they practice His words and the truth, and they walk the path of pursuing the truth. They are people who submit to the sovereignty and arrangements of God, and who follow His will. Only when people have such faith in God can they be saved; if not, they will be condemned. Is it acceptable for people to engage in wishful thinking when they believe in God? In their faith in God, can people gain the truth when they always cling to their own notions and vague, abstract imaginings? Absolutely not. When people believe in God, they must accept the truth, believe in Him as He asks, and submit to His orchestrations and arrangements; only then can they attain salvation. There is no other way apart from this—whatever you do, you must not engage in any wishful thinking. Fellowshipping this topic is very important for people, is it not? This is a wake-up call for you.

Now that you have heard these messages, you should understand the truth and be clear about what salvation entails. What people like, what they strive for, what they are passionate about—none of this is important. What’s most important is accepting the truth. In the final analysis, being able to gain the truth is what’s most important, and that which can allow you to attain the fear of God and the shunning of evil is the correct path. If you have believed in God for several years and have always focused on the pursuit of things that bear no relation to the truth, then your faith has nothing to do with the truth, and nothing to do with God. You may claim to believe in and acknowledge God, but God is not your Lord, He is not your God, you do not accept that God holds sovereignty over your fate, you do not submit to all that God arranges for you, you do not acknowledge the fact of God being the truth—in which case your hopes of salvation have been shattered; if you cannot walk the path of pursuing the truth, you walk the path of destruction. If everything you pursue, focus on, pray about, and appeal for is based on the words of God, and upon what God asks, and if you have an increasing sense that you submit to the Creator, and worship the Creator, and feel that God is your Lord, your God, if you are increasingly glad to submit to all that God orchestrates and arranges for you, and your relationship with God grows ever closer, and ever more normal, and if your love of God is ever more pure and true, then your complaints and misunderstandings about God, and your extravagant desires toward God, will grow ever fewer, and you will have wholly attained the fear of God and shunning of evil, which means that you will have already set foot on the path of salvation. Although walking the path of salvation comes with the discipline, pruning, judgment, and chastisement of God, and these cause you to suffer much pain, this is the love of God coming upon you. If, when you believe in God, you only pursue being blessed, and only pursue status, fame, and gain, and are never disciplined, or pruned, or judged and chastised, then although you may have an easy life, your heart will grow ever more distant from God, you will lose the normal relationship with God, and you will also be unwilling to accept the scrutiny of God; you will want to be your own boss—which all proves that the path you walk is not the right path. If you have experienced the work of God for a while and have an increasing sense of how humankind is so profoundly corrupt, and so prone to resisting God, and if you are anxious that a day may come when you do something that resists God, and are afraid that you are likely to offend God and be abandoned by Him, and thus feel that nothing is more frightful than opposing God, then you will have a God-fearing heart. You will feel that when people believe in God, they must not stray from God; if they stray from God, if they stray from God’s discipline, and from the judgment and chastisement of God, then this is equivalent to losing the protection and care of God, to losing the blessings of God, and it is all over for people; they can only become ever more depraved, they will be like the people of religion, and will still be liable to oppose God while they believe in God—and in this, they will have become antichrists. If you can realize this, then you will pray to God, “Oh God! Please judge me and chastise me. In everything I do, I beg that You scrutinize me. If I do something that violates the truth and goes against Your intentions, may You severely judge me and chastise me—I cannot be without Your judgment and chastisement.” This is the correct path that people should walk in their faith in God. So measure according to this standard: Do you dare say that you have set foot upon the path of salvation? You dare not, because you have yet to become one of those who pursue the truth, in many things, you do not seek the truth, and you are not able to accept and submit to being pruned—which proves that you are a long way off walking the path of salvation. Is it easy to set foot on the path of salvation if you are not someone who pursues the truth? Actually, it is not. If people have not experienced the judgment and chastisement of God, if they have not experienced the discipline, chastening, and pruning of God, then it is not easy for them to become someone who pursues the truth, and as a result it is very difficult for them to set foot on the path to salvation. If, after hearing this message, you know it is the truth, yet you have yet to set foot on the path of pursuing the truth and achieving salvation, and you do not see this as something serious, feeling that sooner or later, the day will come when you will get on with it—no rush—then what kind of view is this? When you have such a view, you’re in trouble, and you will have a hard time setting foot on the path to salvation. So how should you resolve to be able to set foot on this path? You should say, “Ah! Right now I have yet to set foot on the path to salvation—this is pretty dangerous! God says that people must live before Him at all times, and must pray more, and that their hearts must be at peace, and not impulsive—so I should start putting all this into practice right now.” To practice in this way is to enter onto the right track of faith in God; it’s that simple. What kind of people are those who hear God’s words and then go and put them into practice? Are they good people? They are—they are people who love the truth. What kind of person are they if, after hearing the words of God, they remain numb, indifferent, unyielding—if they treat God’s words lightly, and turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to them? Are they not muddleheaded? People always ask if there are any shortcuts to being saved when they believe in God. I tell you there are not, and then I tell you of this simple path, but after hearing it you do not put it into practice—which is a case of not knowing a good thing when you hear it. Can such people be saved? Even if there is some hope for them, it is not great; salvation will be very difficult. There may be a day when they wake up from sleep, when they think to themselves: “I’m not young anymore, and I have not been attending to my proper duties while believing in God for all these years. God requires that people live before Him at all times, and I have not lived before God. I must hurry up and pray.” If they come to their senses in their hearts and begin to attend to their proper duties, then it’s not too late! But don’t leave it too late; if you wait until you are in your seventies or eighties, and your body is failing, and you no longer have any energy, will it not be too late to pursue the truth? If you spend the best years of your life on meaningless things, and end up putting off or missing out on the pursuit of the truth, which is the most important thing of all, is this not extremely foolish? Is there anything more stupid? Many people are well aware of the true way and yet wait until the future to accept and pursue it—they are all fools. They do not know that pursuing the truth takes decades of effort before they can gain life. It will be too late for regret if they squander the best time for being saved!

Right now, what is the most pressing matter you should put into practice? It is that when things happen to you, you should hurry to seek the truth, make your hearts peaceful before God, and pray to God and read His words with a heart of submission to God. This way, you will be able to establish a normal relationship with God. If you believe in God but have nothing to do with Him, if you still believe in a vague God, if you do not have a normal relationship with the practical God, then can God acknowledge that you believe in Him? If God does not acknowledge you, then aren’t you in trouble? In your heart, you must be clear on how to pursue in order to have God acknowledge you as a member of His house, as one of His followers. Do not be intransigent or rebellious, and you absolutely cannot distance yourself from God; you must come before God and accept Him as your Lord. So what should you do next? Hurry to eat and drink God’s words, accept all the truth He has expressed, put it into practice and experience it, and enter into reality—this is the most important part. If you think these words I have fellowshipped are important, if you can apply these words in your lives, make them a guidebook in your lives, and make them the reality you live out, then you will have made some gains, and I will not have fellowshipped in vain today. The key to believing in God is that you must have God in your heart, be able to act based on God’s words, honor God as great in your heart, and submit to God; you must put all the things you do before God, and make sure they have a relationship with God; this is to say that to believe in God, you must resemble a person who believes in God. You must have the reality of belief in God. After you listen to a sermon, you understand what the intentions of God are, and you are able to practice and enter according to God’s requirements. After a time, I see that people have changed, that My words have benefited them, changed their state, and changed the direction in which they walk. When people really turn themselves around, I feel that I have not spoken in vain. When I see you put these words into your hearts, without treating them as wind by your ears, then I am very pleased to see you. If you do not listen regardless of how many words I speak, if you do not take them seriously, if you do whatever you want, and act however you want, then I feel pained when I look at you; I start to feel an aversion to you, and it is useless for you to speak nice-sounding words, or to make yourself look better on the outside. To do so would be hypocrisy on your part, and it is unpleasant for Me to look at. So, it is very important for people to practice the truth, and to enter into the truth reality is even more important. People who have the truth reality naturally come to fear God; those who have God-fearing hearts naturally are able to tread onto the path of salvation.

February 5, 2017

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