Spreading the Gospel Is the Duty to Which All Believers Are Honor-Bound (Part Three)

Today, we are fellowshipping on the truth of performing one’s duty to spread the gospel. Have you gained anything from this? (Yes.) In the past, our fellowship on the truth of spreading the gospel focused on vision, that is, we expressly fellowshipped on the truth related to the vision and did not discuss many detailed issues as we are today. Because most people know something about the general outline of the truth of the vision, but may not be clear on the detailed practice paths and principles for specific issues, today I bring these specific issues into our fellowship. Through fellowship on some cases and people’s behavior—or the right and wrong things to do when someone encounters these situations, the viewpoints people hold, and how they should fulfill this responsibility, this obligation—through fellowship on all these topics, do you find that the truth of spreading the gospel becomes more concrete and easier to implement in real life? I believe that, after listening to this aspect of the truth, your hearts will become much brighter. When you encounter certain specific problems in the process of spreading the gospel, you will benefit from these words because they are practical and touch on the truth principles. They are not empty words. In your daily life, when you encounter such matters related to spreading the gospel and live in some incorrect states, or when you encounter some problems in your work of spreading the gospel, can you use these truths to solve the problems you face? If you can solve such problems, then today’s words are not spoken in vain. If you still cannot solve such problems, or if you do things your own way, make your own decisions and stick to them, do whatever you want, and act willfully and recklessly without considering your duties and responsibilities, then these truths are just empty talk to you and serve for nothing. They serve for nothing not because the truth can’t help you, not because the truth is of no benefit to you, but because you have no love for the truth at all and you don’t practice the truth. You see the duty of spreading the gospel merely as a hobby or a way to pass the time. If you approach the duty of spreading the gospel with this point of view, what will happen? Will you be able to perform your duty adequately? (No.) If talking of performing your duty adequately seems a bit distant, then let Me first ask you this: If you approach the duty of spreading the gospel with this point of view, can you satisfy the intention of God? (No.) This should be clear in all of your hearts. When you approach this duty with this kind of viewpoint and this sort of attitude, your heart will feel unsteady. You will think that your attitude is not as God would like. If you act in this way, even if you win over some people and it looks like you are doing good deeds on the outside, your intentions and motives for performing your duty are contrary to the truth principles. You are just like those religious people who spread the gospel in order to obtain blessings and make deals with God. Such an intention and source of motivation are wrong. When considering how people perform their duties, God judges people’s intentions and motives. God observes the attitudes and mindsets with which people approach their duties. Based on this, God works to cleanse people of corruption and save them so they can break away from sin. Therefore, no matter how you spread the gospel, you should accept God’s scrutiny. No matter what kind of person you are, of what caliber you are, what sort of duty you have performed, and what your duty was before you joined the ranks of those who spread the gospel, you should abide by these truth principles of spreading the gospel, you should see spreading the gospel as your duty and responsibility, and take it upon your shoulders.

Some leaders and workers who cannot do practical work or solve practical problems are replaced and assigned to spread the gospel as part of the gospel team. They might say to everyone they meet, “I was a leader. I was sent to the gospel team to spread the gospel because I didn’t do a good job. Maybe God is having me spread the gospel to temper me for a time, to equip me with the truth and train me. That means I don’t have to put that much effort into spreading the gospel. Whatever I do is fine. After all, I am leader material. Once I grow in stature, I must be made a leader. As I am of such good caliber, it would be a waste of talent if I were not a leader. Right now the church has a shortage of leaders and workers!” Their words imply that God’s house can’t do without them as leaders. They are only made to spread the gospel in order to give them the opportunity to practice, to equip them with the truth, and to have them do some grassroots work as a part of their cultivation and training. Therefore, they view their duty to spread the gospel as something temporary, they are only doing it to pad their resumes, have a good time, and broaden their horizons. They think that, if they achieve results in spreading the gospel, understand the truth, and are able to do some work, they will be promoted to serve as a leader or worker. If they adopt this mindset toward performing their duty to spread the gospel, can they achieve true repentance? They have not reflected on themselves or come to know themselves. They have no self-awareness. Are these people in trouble? They don’t correctly comprehend spreading the gospel. They think too highly of themselves; they really don’t know themselves at all! They are completely unaware of what is actually going on. In fact, this has happened because they are not people who pursue the truth and they completely lack any comprehension ability. Superficially, they are articulate, they enjoy handling affairs, and it seems like they have some caliber, but when they serve as leaders and workers, their character and caliber are not up to scratch. They cannot meet the standards and criteria to be leaders and workers, so they are eliminated. They don’t see that they are a dime a dozen, but instead shamelessly boast and puff themselves up. Although some people will never say it, in their personal estimation they believe only those who can’t do anything else are assigned to spread the gospel. In their hearts, they divide all duties in the house of God into high, middle, and low. They regard the duty of spreading the gospel as the most lowly of all the duties in the house of God. Whoever makes a mistake or does not perform their duty adequately is sent to spread the gospel. This is how these people understand this duty. Is there any difference between this understanding and taking spreading the gospel as one’s responsibility and the obligation to be fulfilled in one’s life? If someone understands it this way, can they do their duty well? (No.) Where did they go wrong? They regard a person’s greatest responsibility and the obligation they should fulfill in their life—the work of spreading the gospel—as the humblest work. They don’t take it as their own responsibility and obligation, and they don’t understand it as a duty. No matter how the house of God fellowships on the necessity of loyally performing one’s duty and that spreading the gospel is one of these duties, they do not recognize that this is the case. In their heart, they believe that the various levels of leaders, workers, and people in charge in the house of God are at the top. They have absolute authority and will ultimately receive great rewards and be perfected by God. The followers under them are only foot soldiers, especially the spreaders of the gospel who always interact with people outside the church. Among all the jobs, their work may be the hardest and the most exhausting. In the end, you can’t say for sure whether these people will be perfected. Is it their fault that they conceive of the duty of spreading the gospel in this way? Are there those who regard this sacred responsibility and obligation of spreading the gospel as the humblest chore and place it at the lowest rung of a hierarchy of ranks and grades? They look down on this duty and they also look down on those who perform it. So what viewpoint do they bring with them when they do this duty? (They view it as temporary.) Anything else? When they win someone over, they don’t think much of it, and when they fail to win someone over, they don’t care. They don’t regard spreading the gospel as a part of their own work and do not make every effort to perform this duty well. In their hearts, they look down on the duty of spreading the gospel, so what will be the result of their work at spreading the gospel? Can they equip themselves with all aspects of the truth in order to fulfill their duty of spreading the gospel? In order to win over more people, do they memorize excerpts from God’s word and Bible verses and familiarize themselves with a variety of experiential testimonies so that they can solve the various problems they meet when spreading the gospel? (No.) If when spreading the gospel, people who have distorted comprehension and hold many notions ask them difficult questions, how will they deal with them? (They will give up on them.) This is a sort of attitude. Will they complain to God, saying, “Why did I have to meet such a ridiculous person without any spiritual understanding when spreading the gospel? What bad luck!”? They have no love for potential gospel recipients, and they hope that God will not save this sort of person. Concerning this matter, they do not pray to God, nor do they seek God’s intentions, much less show any consideration for God’s intentions. They choose how they treat potential gospel recipients according to the preferences of the flesh, and when they encounter people with a lot of problems and serious notions, they give up on them. They only choose to spread the gospel to people with few notions or none at all, and they don’t want to pay any price. Whenever something is detrimental to their vanity or dignity, or to their reputation or status, whenever something goes against the preferences of the flesh or conflicts with the enjoyments of the flesh, what do they choose to do? They choose to give up, choose to flee, choose not to fulfill this responsibility, but rather refuse this responsibility. At the same time, they inwardly complain to God in their hearts, “Why did I have to meet such a ridiculous person with so many notions? Why make me suffer this? I have lost face, wasted my effort, and failed to win anyone over.” Covertly, their hearts are full of resentment toward God. Therefore, they are not willing to accept the duty of spreading the gospel, and they are not willing to fulfill the responsibility of spreading the gospel either; if their attitudes toward the duty of spreading the gospel are such as this, then they are not far from being eliminated.

In the process of spreading the gospel, many of those who spread the gospel treat their work with a perfunctory and careless attitude. They never change. They never treat it with an attitude of careful attention, prudence, and fear of God. Instead, they think, “In any case, I’ve got nothing going on, I can do anything. The gospel team looks like fun, so I’ll join in.” Then, they follow along and spread the gospel. In fact, they make a very limited contribution to this process. They just take some time and travel a little, but they don’t pay any real price. They always preach the gospel according to the preferences of their flesh and their own notions and imaginings. They never follow the truth principles in the least. There are many people who like to preach to the wealthy and people with money, but not to the poor. They like to preach to good-looking people, but not to plain-looking people. They like to preach to people they get along well with, but not to people they don’t get along with. They like to preach to people who have few notions, but not to those with too many notions. They like to preach to people who are easy to bring the gospel to, people who will accept the gospel without having to listen to much talking. They do not want to preach to people if it means a lot of exhausting talking. To give an example, say that a woman is spreading the gospel and meets a man who comes from a well-off family, who owns a house and a car, whose parents have good jobs, who is an only child, and who is good-looking. She thinks that she would be able to live a life of wealth if she could marry him, so she wants to preach the gospel to this man, thinking that it would be great if he accepts it. Some other people try to stop her, telling her that this person is not a seeker of the truth, not someone who can be preached to, but she says, “If we fellowship more on the truth, it is possible that he will come to accept it. If we do not bring the gospel to such a good person and do not save him, wouldn’t that go against God’s intentions?” In fact, she has her own purpose. She is not trying to win over this person in order to bring him before God, but wants to advertise and sell herself to him. After a lot of marketing, she ultimately gets what she’s after, and she is able to form a relationship with him for her own ends. What is the problem here? In all she does, she has her own motives, which violate the truth principles. In the end, she uses various means to “bring” the gospel to him, and even marries him, saying, “The greatest achievement in my work of spreading the gospel was to find such a kindred spirit. This is something I must accept from God. Marriage is ordained by God. It was entirely by God’s arrangement that I met and married this person. This is God’s favor and blessing.” She goes on to form a small family and live a happy life—is she still able to spread the gospel? (No.) After a year or two, she occasionally goes to spread the gospel when she is feeling good, but she spends most of her time in family life, and her heart becomes increasingly empty. Finally, she realizes that family life is nothing but pots and pans, eating, drinking, playing around, and commotion. She feels that it is all meaningless. Looking back, she ponders and thinks to herself, “Faith in God—that is still meaningful. Let me go back and take up faith again and continue to spread the gospel!” In the end, she talks of her experiences in a grandiose manner, saying: “Man was created by God, so he cannot leave God. Without God man cannot live. Just as a fish must die without water, if man leaves God, he will certainly have no road forward in his life. This is why I have returned. It is because God called me.” What utter shamelessness! After returning, she demands that she perform her duty, saying, “It is all empty if I don’t do my duty. Everyone has to do their duty.” The words of people who don’t practice the truth and have no love for the truth disgust those who hear them. You say you can’t leave God, so why not ask God if He wants you? You found a partner in the process of performing your duty, and then laid down your duty and ran away. Why didn’t you pray to God to ask Him if He agreed with this and find out His attitude? Did you fulfill your responsibilities? Did you fulfill the commission entrusted to you by God? Did you treat God as God? Did you view your duty as your duty? To all these questions, the answer is no. What is God to you? He is just a buddy you met on the side of the road. You greet Him and immediately think you are friends. If it serves your interests, you continue on with Him, but if it is not to your benefit, you say goodbye. But then you think of Him again when you need Him. This is the sort of relationship you have. If you regard God as a buddy you once knew, what will God think of you? How will God treat you? You feel sad, your days are empty, so you need God. You turn back and want to perform your duty. Will God so casually give you a duty? (He will not.) Why not? You don’t deserve it! Although people like this can perform their duties right after they come to believe in God, before they complete their duties, they will abandon God without giving any warning, leaving their posts and abandoning their work. How does God view this? What is the nature of this conduct? (A betrayal.) Betrayal is no small matter. Such people are deserters! How do deserters perform their duty? They seek their own self-interest under the banner of performing their duty. They lay plans to secure their own future and livelihood while violating the original intention for performing their duties. Ultimately, they run away in the middle of performing their duty, making them deserters. Such a person does not expend themselves for God with a sincere heart. Instead, they have their own personal intentions and purposes and attempt to deceive God, ultimately revealing their true colors. Aren’t these people who betray God? Some people say, “Isn’t there freedom to come and go in God’s house?” There is freedom to come and go, that is true, but one must undergo an examination when entering the house of God. You are free to leave the house of God and no one will stand in your way. However, if you want to return to the house of God, it is not so easy. You must be examined and checked by the leaders and workers of the church at all levels to prove that your repentance is true. Only then will you be accepted. Thus, it is easy to go out, but hard to get back in. I have heard that some people found it so difficult to spread the gospel and suffered so much that they threw down their burden and ran away. What is the problem here? It is that they are deserters. What is most important when working at spreading the gospel? Everyone who spreads the gospel, especially people responsible for important positions, has an important role in the eyes of God. If you play an important part in spreading the gospel and desert your post without God’s permission, there is no greater transgression. Does it not count as an act of betrayal against God? (Yes.) So how, in your view, should God treat deserters? (They should be put aside.) Being put aside means being ignored, left to do as you please. If people who are put aside feel repentance, it is possible that God will see that their attitude is sufficiently repentant and still want them back. But toward those who desert their duty—and only toward these people—God does not have this attitude. How does God treat such people? (God does not save them. God spurns them.) That is completely correct. More specifically, people who perform an important duty have been commissioned by God, and if they desert their post, then no matter how well they did before, or do after, to God, they are people who have betrayed Him, and they will never again be given the opportunity to perform a duty. What does it mean to not be given another opportunity? If you say, “I am very remorseful. I owe a debt to God. I should not have made such a choice at the beginning. At the time, I was bewitched and led astray, and now I regret it. I beseech God to give me another chance to perform my duty so that I have the opportunity to repent for what I have done by meritorious deeds and make up for my mistakes,” how will God deal with this matter? As God says you have no opportunity, He will never take notice of you again. This is the attitude of God toward deserters. When dealing with people who commit common transgressions, God may say that it was a momentary transgression, or that it was due to an adverse environment, small stature, a lack of understanding of the truth, or some other such reason. In this case, God may give them the opportunity to repent. However, to deserters alone, God offers no second chances. Some people say, “What does it mean that God gives no second chances? If they wanted to perform their duty, would God not allow this?” You can perform your duty, you can spread the gospel, you can also listen to sermons and join the church. The church will not remove your name from its rolls, but as for God, no matter how you perform your duty and how you repent, God neither needs nor approves of you, even though you are laboring for Him. This is God’s attitude. It is possible that some people fail to understand this matter and say, “Why is God so heartless and absolute when dealing with this kind of person?” Man need not understand this matter. This is God’s disposition. This is God’s attitude. You may think whatever you like. God has the power to decide. He has the power to act in this way and handle the matter like this. What can any human do? Can people protest? Who told you not to follow the right path from the first, to betray God and become a deserter? The work of spreading the gospel cannot be accomplished by one person alone, it requires many people. If you cannot perform your duty, God will choose another who can. If you don’t cooperate and don’t perform your duty, it proves that you are blind. It proves that you are muddleheaded and stupid. You don’t know that this is a blessing, so you won’t have this blessing. You should just go! If you go away but come back after a while, would God still want you? No, God does not care. This is the attitude of God toward deserters and only deserters. Some people said, “After I return and perform my duty, I am enlightened by the Holy Spirit!” When you first were performing your duty, you fled without leave, and the Holy Spirit did not hinder you. Now that you are back, can the Holy Spirit still enlighten you? Don’t make so much out of your sentimental feelings. God will not do anything against His wishes, and He has principles when dealing with everyone. What is the warning for people here? You must persist in your duty, hold your ground, and fulfill your responsibilities. Is God’s attitude toward such deserters too extreme? (It is not.) Why do you say it is not? How do you understand that this is not too extreme? Regardless of what duty a person performs, in the current period, does each duty done by each person have a relation to that which is ordained by God? They are closely related. Looking at it this way, if you are able to perform your duty, does it mean that God has done a lot of work? God has predestined you since the creation of the world. He has predestined the era and age in which you are born, the kind of family you are born into, the influence your family has on you, the duty God requires you to perform, and the things you have been permitted to learn in advance. For instance, if you have learned a foreign language, you now possess this caliber, this talent, that allows you to successfully perform your duty. God has done a lot of work in preparation. For what purpose does God make such preparations? Is it so that you can stand out from the crowd? Is it so that you can pursue the world and serve Satan? Absolutely not! God wants you to offer the things God has given you in God’s house, in the spreading of God’s gospel, and in God’s management plan. However, if you cannot offer what God has given you, but instead serve Satan, how will God feel? How will God handle this? How should God handle this in accord with His disposition? God will kick you away from Him with one blow. He doesn’t want you. You forget His kindness and betray His trust. You do not acknowledge or return to your Maker. You do not dedicate to God what God has given you, but offer it to Satan instead. This is a serious betrayal, and God does not want such a traitor!

In God’s work of saving mankind, the caliber that each person possesses makes them up to the task of performing the duty that they ought to do. In addition, the experience and knowledge they gain after coming to believe in God as well as the truths they understand must all be used to perform their duty. Only in this way can people contribute their humble effort to the work of spreading the gospel of the kingdom. What is this humble effort? It is the duty that a person should perform. God allows you to understand the truth and to possess intelligence and wisdom so that you may perform your duty well. This is the value and meaning of your life. If you don’t live out this value and meaning, it proves that you have gained nothing from your belief in God. You have become useless junk in the house of God. If what you live out is Satan and the flesh, can God still want you? The value and meaning of your life are gone. In God’s view, you should just vanish from His house, vanish forever. He doesn’t want you anymore. In addition, in the period of the expansion of God’s management work, everyone who follows God is performing their own duty, and they all have undergone, time and again, the suppression and cruel persecution of the great red dragon. The path of following God is rough and uneven, and it is exceptionally difficult. Anyone who has followed God for more than two or three years will have experienced this for themselves. The duty performed by each person, whether it be a fixed duty or a temporary arrangement, comes from God’s sovereignty and arrangements. People may be arrested often, and the work of the church may be disturbed and spoiled, and there may be an evident shortage of people to perform duties, especially those with good caliber and professional expertise, who are in the minority, but because of God’s leadership, because of His might and authority, God’s house has already emerged from the most difficult times, and all of its work has gotten onto the right track. To man, this seems impossible, but nothing is difficult for God to accomplish. The thirty years since God appeared and began to work until the present have been marked by tempests and all manner of tribulation. Were it not for God’s leadership, and His words which imbue people with faith and strength, no one would have made it this far. All God’s chosen people have experienced this personally. None of the work of God’s house goes smoothly, all of it is started from scratch, and done with great difficulty, and beset with troubles. Why is this? It is because we are faced not only with the crazed suppression and persecution of the great red dragon’s regime, but also with discrimination, slander, and condemnation from the entire religious community and corrupt humanity—even the whole era abandons and inhibits us. All of God’s management work launches and operates in an environment and under conditions that are filled with Satan’s evil trends, and in which Satan is in power. This is not at all easy; it is extraordinarily difficult. Therefore, every person who can perform a duty is a comfort to God, and their performing a duty is a rare and precious thing. The earnestness, loyalty, and expenditure that each person can offer, as well as their attitude of sincerity and responsibility toward their duty, of submission toward God’s commission, and of revering God, are cherished by Him, and He regards these things as very important. In contrast, God has the utmost loathing for people who desert their duties or treat them as a joke, and for the different behaviors, actions, and manifestations of betrayal against God, because amid the various contexts, people, events, and things arranged by God, these people play the role of impeding, damaging, delaying, disturbing, or affecting the progress of God’s work. And, for this reason, how does God feel and react toward deserters and people who betray God? What attitude does God have? (He hates them.) Nothing but loathing and hatred. Does He feel pity? No—He could never feel pity. Some people say, “Is God not love?” Why doesn’t God love such people? These people are not worthy of love. If you love them, then your love is foolish, and just because you love them, that does not mean that God does; you may cherish them, but God does not, for in such people there is nothing worth cherishing. And so, God resolutely abandons such people, and doesn’t give them any second chances. Is this reasonable? Not only is this reasonable, it is above all one aspect of God’s disposition, and it is also the truth. In the process of spreading the gospel, some people accept no part of the truth. They always act arbitrarily and recklessly according to their own will. They are stumbling blocks and obstacles to the work of spreading the gospel. They play a negative role by disturbing, disrupting, and spoiling the gospel work, hindering its expansion. Therefore, God’s attitude toward these people is one of loathing and hatred. They are to be eliminated. This is how God’s righteous disposition is revealed. Some people say, “Isn’t it a bit excessive to handle such people like this?” There is nothing excessive about it. Faced with such devils, God can only feel loathing and hate. God does not disguise Himself. God’s disposition is righteous, and God’s disposition is clear to see. What are the two most important aspects of God’s righteous disposition? (Abundant mercy and profound wrath.) What is the importance of this here? Who endures God’s profound wrath? It falls on those who resist God, reject the truth, and follow Satan. God does not want those who are determined to follow Satan, nor does He want traitors and deserters. Some people say, “In a moment of weakness, I chose not to do my duty, but I didn’t actually want to leave God, or to return to the world and Satan’s camp.” Whether you were weak or wanted to return to the world, God may show mercy and tolerance when dealing with your weakness, depending on the situation. God is abundantly merciful. People live amid their corrupt dispositions, and in some circumstances, it is inevitable that they will feel weak, negative, or lazy. God scrutinizes all and He will deal with them according to the situation. If you are not a deserter, He will not treat you like one. If you are weak, He will surely handle you according to your weakness. If you momentarily reveal corruption, if you are momentarily weak, or if you temporarily lose your way, then God will enlighten you, guide you, and support you. He will treat you as someone small of stature who does not understand the truth because this problem is not one of your nature essence. Why does God not deal with such people by abandoning them? It is because they do not want to reject Him or the truth, and because they do not want to follow Satan. They only show a temporary moment of weakness and are unable to step up, so God gives them another chance. How, then, should these people be handled, who experience a momentary weakness and cannot perform their duties, but who later return to do them? They should be accepted. This case is different in nature from that of deserters, so you cannot apply the same rule or adopt the same approach to deal with them. Some people are not suffering weakness; they are actually deserters. If you take them back, they will desert again when they encounter a similar situation. Someone like that is not a momentary deserter; such a person will always be a deserter. This is why God kicks out such people and never takes them back. This is not excessive in the least. As they are never taken back, this means whomever else God might save, He does not save those people. When God sees that the salvation team is short one person, He may add someone else. But this kind of person is not wanted. They are cut off forever and unwanted.

There is another category of people who often disturb and spoil the gospel work while spreading the gospel, but they have also done some work and won over some people. Can these be considered good deeds on their part? For the time being, let’s put aside the question of whether they have done good deeds. Let’s first say that such people often disturb and spoil the gospel work while spreading the gospel. For example, if a person is in charge of the gospel work and always competes with others for status and power or they often get into disputes with others, disturbing and spoiling the gospel work, how will God view this matter? Will God balance such a person’s achievements and faults or approach them in some other manner? (God will give them a demerit.) Why will God give them a demerit? Although they have preached to some people, done some work, and achieved some results, they have continued to do evil deeds. Although they commit no major errors, they often make minor mistakes. What does it mean to often make minor mistakes? It means not practicing the truth, fighting over fame, gain, and status, speaking without the least bit of piety, never seeking the truth principles, often acting arbitrarily and without restraint, never making any changes, and being like the nonbelievers, which has a detrimental influence on the life of the church and God’s chosen people and causes some new believers to trip up. Are these not evil deeds? (Yes, they are.) If people have done such evil deeds, even if they have worked hard to do their duties, have they really fulfilled their responsibilities? Have they truly performed their duties adequately? How does God view these people? Although they have done some work, they can still recklessly do evil, so are they performing their duties? (No.) Then why is it that they can do evil with such recklessness? In one respect, it is due to their corrupt dispositions. In another respect, these people embrace the mentality of chance. They think, “I have done a lot of good in spreading the gospel. In this or that church, hundreds of people are there because I brought the gospel to them. If these people can be saved, that will mean a great deal of merit for me. So how could God fail to remember me? When God takes these people into account, He cannot condemn me.” Are they not overvaluing themselves? Do they have a God-fearing heart? Are they people who expend themselves for God with a sincere heart? Like Paul, they seek to gain rewards and crowns. There is no place for God in their hearts. They do not understand God’s disposition and dare to make deals with God. This proves that they possess none of the truth reality. There was a person who had been spreading the gospel for a few years and had some experience at it. They suffered a lot of hardship while spreading the gospel, and were even incarcerated and sentenced to many years in prison. After getting out, they continued to spread the gospel, and won over several hundred people, some of whom turned out to be significant talents; some were even chosen as leaders or workers. As a result, this person believed themselves to be worthy of great accolades, and used this as capital that they bragged about wherever they went, showing off and testifying to themselves: “I went to prison for eight years, and I stood firm in my testimony. I have won over many people while spreading the gospel, some of whom are now leaders or workers. In the house of God, I deserve credit, I have made a contribution.” No matter where they were spreading the gospel, they were sure to brag to the local leaders or workers. They would also say, “You must listen to what I say; even your senior leaders must be polite when they speak to me. I’ll teach a lesson to anyone who isn’t!” This person is a bully, are they not? If someone like this had not spread the gospel and won over those people, would they dare to be so pompous? They would indeed. That they can be so pompous proves that this is in their nature. It is their nature essence. They become so arrogant that they lack all reason. After spreading the gospel and winning over a few people, their arrogant nature swells, and they become even more pompous. Such people brag about their capital wherever they go, they try to claim credit wherever they go, and even put pressure on leaders at various levels, trying to be on an equal footing with them, and even thinking that they themselves ought to be senior leaders. Based on what is manifested by the behavior of someone like this, we should all be clear about just what kind of nature they have, and what their outcome is likely to be. When a demon infiltrates the house of God, they labor a little before showing their true colors; they don’t listen no matter who prunes them, and they persist in fighting against the house of God. What is the nature of their actions? In the eyes of God, they are courting death, and they will not rest until they have killed themselves. This is the only appropriate way of putting it. The term “courting death” has a practical meaning. What is this practical meaning? It is a good thing when people are able to perform their duties. Some people are born with certain gifts, which is a blessing, but if they do not follow the right path, they will get into trouble. For instance, some people can speak eloquently. They know how to talk to different people and can converse easily with anyone. This can also be regarded as a kind of innate ability. Instead of first saying whether it is a good thing or a bad thing, the key thing is to look at the person’s nature and whether they are going down the right path or an evil path. During the period of God’s work of spreading the gospel, you have dedicated your talents, expended a lot of thought, and won over many people. This is no bad thing in itself. You have contributed your efforts to the gospel work, which is worthy of God’s remembrance. If, without fanfare, you do this duty well, the brothers and sisters will respect you when they see your work, and those who do not understand something will seek from you and ask your advice about it. If you have humanity and pursue the truth, people will like you, and God will bless you. However, it can happen that you do not take the right path. You may think of this little gift from God as capital and go so far as to brag everywhere about having been in prison. In fact, being in prison is no great thing. In the country of the great red dragon, many people have been arrested and imprisoned for spreading the gospel or doing church work. This should not be thought of as capital, but as a kind of suffering that is proper for people to endure. If people have testimony to give after their suffering, they can testify to God’s deeds, testify about how they relied on God to overcome Satan during the time of their persecution, what kind of suffering they endured, and what they gained from it. This is the correct way. However, they deliberately do not take this correct path, but go around boasting about themselves everywhere. “I was in prison for so many years and suffered so much, so this is how you should treat me. If you don’t treat me like that, you are blind, ignorant, and heartless.” Are they not failing to take the correct path? Originally, them being imprisoned and suffering without selling out and standing firm in their witness after being sentenced was a good thing. This was worthy of God’s remembrance. However, they deliberately did not do as they ought to have. Everywhere they went, they boasted of their achievements to win people’s respect and sympathy. They even went so far as to request some material things. This is seeking a reward for their achievements. What is the implicit meaning of seeking rewards from people like this? They can ask to be rewarded by people, but can they ask for rewards from God? They go to people and ask for sufficient rewards, they ask for status, for fame and gain, for prestige, and for enjoyments of the flesh, and then they go ask for rewards from God. Isn’t this like Paul? What’s more, they have won over many people by performing this duty. As far as God is concerned, if they can continue to do their duties on the foundation of an understanding of the truth and continue to perform this responsibility well, God will continue to entrust them with spreading the gospel. However, they choose not to do this, but think that they have sufficient credit and qualifications that they can proclaim them to everyone. Therefore, they do no work at all, but start asking to be rewarded. Everywhere they go, they boast, flaunt their capital, compare merits, and show off how many hundreds or thousands of people they have brought the gospel to. In this, they give no glory to God and never testify to God’s almightiness and wisdom. Is this not courting death? They believe in God but do not walk the right path. So, what is their attitude toward listening to sermons and fellowship? They think, “I don’t need to listen, I have been in prison, I have not become a Judas, I have testimony to give. Besides that, I have won over more people than anyone else, I have paid the highest price. I have endured every hardship, burrowed through bushes, and slept in caves. There is no suffering that I cannot bear, and there is no place I have not been to. Who among you can measure up to me? Therefore, I don’t need to completely understand the sermons I listen to. Isn’t listening to sermons just for practice? I’ve done it all already, I’ve lived it out. There’s nothing that impressive even about God’s incarnation.” What type of person speaks words similar to these? (Paul.) This is Paul brought back to life. They also say, “You’re not as skilled as I am. If you were, you wouldn’t have to listen to so many sermons, and you wouldn’t have to attentively write, copy, and memorize God’s words every day. Look at me. I have won over so many people by preaching the gospel. When did I ever study like you do? I don’t need to, as soon as the Holy Spirit does His work, I have everything.” Is this not great stupidity? Their arrogance knows no bounds. What do they take the acceptance of God’s work and the pursuit of salvation to be? They take it to be child’s play. They believe that they have displayed a bit of good behavior and done a bit of work, that they have finished their course and fought their fight, so the only thing left to do is receive their crown. To them, a God who does not give crowns is no God at all. In this, they share the same view as religious people. They also say, “Now I have suffered all there is to suffer and paid every price. I have suffered almost as much as God suffered. I should be able to receive God’s reward.” Are these people not like Paul? They always rank people by qualifications and seniority. They all but said that for them to live is Christ. If they really want to be Christ, they will get into trouble. This is a second Paul. Does one who walks this path still have room to turn themselves around? None at all. This path is the blind alley of antichrists.

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