Coming Home (Part 1)
By Muyi, South Korea
“God’s overflowing love is freely bestowed upon man and surrounds man; man is innocent and pure, unencumbered and carefree, blissfully living under God’s eye; … As a person with a conscience and sense of humanity, you would feel differently. You would feel warmth, you would feel cared for and loved, and you would feel happiness” (“How Important God’s Love for Man Is” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). Every time I start to sing thisof the word of God, it’s hard to keep control of the emotions stirring inside me. That is because I once shunned God and rebelled against Him. I was like a lost lamb, unable to find the path home, and it was God’s steadfast love that led me back to the house of God. In the following article, I wish to share both with my brothers and sisters in the Lord, as well as with friends who have not yet turned to God, my experience of returning to God’s house.
I lived every day in fear as a child because my mother and father were always fighting. After I graduated from middle school, my mother began to believe in theat the urging of a neighbor, and I followed her into the church. From that time on, I knew that God is the Lord of all created beings, and that to redeem mankind from sin, the incarnate God Himself was crucified on the cross to become a sin offering for man—God’s love for man is so great! Inspired by the Lord’s love, I resolved to believe in the Lord in earnest and to repay Him for His love, and thus I found direction and purpose in life. After that, I frequently attended gatherings, read the Scriptures, and gave praise to the Lord, and over time I began to feel happy. Especially when I read in the Bible that in the last days the Lord would come again upon a cloud and welcome us into the kingdom of heaven, my heart filled even more with hope. On top of that, the pastor often expounded on this verse of the Scriptures for us at gatherings: “You men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). I became even more convinced that the Lord Jesus would descend upon a white cloud to welcome us into our heavenly home!
In 2005, I met a Korean who became my boyfriend and I went with him to Korea. Because of the language barrier, I tried to find a church of Chinese expatriates but I couldn’t find one, and so my spirit grew weaker and weaker. Without knowing it, I grew distant from God. We got married, but because the cultural difference was too great we couldn’t stay living together, so pretty soon we were divorced. This setback in my marriage was a great shock to me spiritually, and it caused me a great deal of pain. What with being in a foreign land without any friends or family, I felt even more alone. All I could do was pray silently to God and relate the suffering in my heart to Him. I asked God to guide me to a Chinese church so that I might return to the house of God.
A year later I found a Chinese ministry in a Presbyterian church, and I was extremely happy. Finally, I was able once again to give praise to God in church. But what disappointed me was that, whenever we held a gathering, the pastors would just read passages of scriptures to us and expound a little to us about the literal meaning of the words. Their sermons were totally devoid of any light or anything to enjoy. They didn’t supply anything at all for our lives, and the gatherings just became nothing more than a formality. During the gatherings, some people would be whispering to each other, some people would be playing games on their cell phones, some would be sleeping, some would only be there looking for girlfriends or boyfriends, and there would even be some people putting their arms around each other. I thought: “The church is a temple, a place to revere God. We come here to attend gatherings but no one has even a shred of a God-fearing heart. God must be so disgusted with what He sees! Wouldn’t the Lord abandon a place as sordid as this?” But the pastors and preachers acted like they didn’t notice all this going on, and they paid no attention to it at all.
Living in this huge cauldron of evil that is the world, I gradually began to take up dissolute ways, and would often go out drinking with friends in my free time, never behaving anything like a believer in God. However, whenever my heart began to grow distant from the Lord, His words would appear in my mind: “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he said, I will return into my house from where I came out; and when he is come, he finds it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goes he, and takes with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first” (Matthew 12:43–45). The Lord’s words restrained and protected me, and they stopped me from becoming too estranged from God or doing anything that went too far, out of fear that I would aggravate the Lord and cause Him to become disgusted with me. I was afraid to be abandoned by the Lord and to fall into the hands of the unclean spirit.
At Christmas in 2016, to raise spirits in the church, the church got a group of talented brothers and sisters to put on a show. There was a sister whom I had never seen before who sang to us a song in praise of God: “The scene painted in the Bible ‘God’s command to Adam’ is both touching and heartwarming. Though there is only God and man in it, the intimacy between them is so worthy of envy: 1 God’s profuse love is gratuitously bestowed upon man, surrounds man; man is naive and innocent, unencumbered and carefree, blissfully living under God’s eye; God shows concern for man, while man lives under God’s protection and blessing; every single thing man does and says is closely linked to and inseparable from God. 2 God has had a responsibility toward man since the moment He created him. What is His responsibility? He has to protect man, to look after man. He hopes man can trust and obey His words. This is also God’s first expectation of man. 3 It is with this expectation that God says the following: ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.’ These simple words represent God’s will. They also reveal that God’s heart has already begun to show concern for man. 4 In these few simple words, we see God’s heart. Is there love in God’s heart? Does it have any concern in it? God’s love and concern can not only be appreciated by people, but it can also well and truly be felt. If you are a person with a conscience, with humanity, then you would feel warmth, you would feel cared for and loved, and you would feel happiness. 5 When you feel these things, how will you act toward God? Would you feel attached to God? Would you love and respect God from the bottom of your heart? Would your heart grow closer to God? You can see from this just how important God’s love is to man. But what is even more crucial is man’s appreciation and comprehension of God’s love” (“How Important God’s Love for Man Is” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs).
With each word of the hymn, my heart beat even faster and tears of emotion would not stop pouring from my eyes. I felt I was in this beautiful picture accompanied by God, loved by God and enjoying all the things He bestows upon creation. The air, the light, the water and so on—everything was brimming with God’s love! I was enjoying everything that God had bestowed upon us but my heart had grown distant from God, and how saddened God must have been by this. I especially felt that the words “If you are a person with a conscience, with humanity, then you would feel warmth, you would feel cared for and loved, and you would feel happiness” were God calling out to my heart and spirit. In 2007, when I could no longer continue living together with my husband and had no place to call home, God arranged Women Migrants Human Rights Center of Korea for me. They provided free food and shelter for me there and found me a lawyer. They took care of the legal proceedings of my divorce for me at no cost. When it was time for me to apply for naturalization, God moved a minister from the Presbyterian church to serve as my sponsor. Normally, Koreans are seldom willing to be a sponsor for someone, especially since I was a foreigner and, moreover, I had only gone to that particular church three or four times. I knew this was all made possible through the hidden help of God. There was also the fact that foreigners applying for naturalization have to have 30 million won in fixed assets, but I didn’t even have 3 million. The Immigration Office asked me to provide proof of employment to demonstrate that I was able to provide for myself, and they didn’t make it difficult for me at all…. God always produced miracles for me when I was most in need, and it was all a display of His sovereignty! God’s love is vast and deep, and yet I was too rebellious. I had long ago forgotten God and broken His heart. This hymn of praise touched my spirit, and I determined to regain my faith and never again engage in debauchery and cause God grief.
On February 19, 2017, my head and eyes began to hurt terribly. I went to the hospital but the treatment I received didn’t work. Sister Li, who was in our church, introduced me to one of her friends who knew Chinese traditional medicine and said that the course of treatment would only take one week to be effective. I went along with her to get treated, and that day we met a brother surnamed Jin, who was a friend of the one who knew Chinese medicine. I did not expect to meet a brother in the Lord, and I thought it must have been arranged by God. I got to talking about the Bible with Brother Jin. Brother Jin read to us the parable of the ten virgins from the Bible. He asked me, “Sister, are you looking forward to the Lord’s return?” I said, “Of course!” The brother said, “Then how will the Lord return?” I said without hesitation, “The Scriptures say He will descend upon a cloud!” The brother said, “You know what? The Lord has already returned.” I was astonished to hear that, and said, “Mark chapter 13 verse 32 says: ‘But of that day and that hour knows no man, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.’ No one knows when the Lord will come. You’re saying that the Lord has returned, but how could you know?” Brother Jin didn’t give me a straight answer but instead found some prophecies in the Bible about the Lord’s return. Luke 12:40 says: “Be you therefore ready also: for the Son of man comes at an hour when you think not.” Luke 17:24–26 says: “For as the lightning, that lightens out of the one part under heaven, shines to the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in His day. But first must He suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation. And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.” Revelation 3:20 says: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” John 10:27 says: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
Once he was done reading, Brother Jin said, “The Lord asks us to keep a vigilant watch because no one knows the day on which He will come. But according to what the prophecies say, when the Lord comes again it will be in the form of the Son of man. The Son of man is God become man, which means God incarnating in the flesh. Even though we don’t know the exact time the Lord will come, we will know Him by His voice. This is because the sheep of God will hear God’s voice, and when they hear it, they will follow Him….” I thought then about my pastor who had said that anyone testifying that the Lord Jesus had returned in the flesh was a faker. I could no longer listen to what Brother Jin was saying, so I sent a text message to the pastor that said, “Someone is telling me that the Lord has returned incarnate. What church do they belong to?” The pastor replied, saying, “They are from.” He told me to leave right away and not to have any more contact with them. He also wanted me never to read their books and went on to send me some sermons on how to guard against heresy. I thought that whatever the pastor said must be correct, and so I decided not to listen to their fellowships again and to just ignore them.
To my surprise, on the afternoon of the 20th, Brother Jin and his younger sister came to the place where I was receiving treatment and he told me so much about the work of the Lord’s return. However, because that morning I had just received news of my mother’s passing, as well as having some doubts about what they were preaching, I just couldn’t take in anything they said. This went on for three days, and it seemed like Brother Jin had not given up on preaching the gospel to me. But because of my inward turmoil, I told him to leave me alone. I said, “Let it go. If you keep talking to me, then if you don’t go, I will!” Brother Jin saw that I really wasn’t listening and had no choice but to leave. I thought Brother Jin would not try to come again, but to my surprise the next day he brought someone named Brother Cheng along with him and continued to preach the gospel to me. I thought to myself: “Why does he keep on like this?” To save face, all I could do was put up with it, but I didn’t get into any discussion with them. Although I acted coldly toward them, Brother Cheng kept patiently talking to me. He said, “The Lord has already come incarnate into the world and He is performing the work of judgment and chastisement….” Seeing how patient and loving he was and how he thought it no trouble to preach to me, I thought: “The people in our church are weak. Their faith and love have grown cold. Why is it that the faith and love of people who believe in Eastern Lightning are so great? What power is it that supports them to persevere with their efforts in spreading the gospel to me? If it weren’t for the work of the Holy Spirit, they would never be able to do this on their own strength!”