Subject 13 : The Gospel According to MATTHEW

[Chapter 24-5] Cast away Your Selfishness In the Last Days and Keep Your Faith (Matthew 24:9-14)

Cast away Your Selfishness In the Last Days and Keep Your Faith
(Matthew 24:9-14)
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
I went to Injae on this Monday. We the staff workers discussed future planning at the Injae Retreat Center and came back on Tuesday. It took four and a half hours because it was the last day of the big holidays and there was a serious traffic jam. Big holidays are, indeed, big holidays. Only one and a half hours distance took four and a half hours. Have you enjoyed your holidays? Did you have delicious foods?
Today we read the Scripture starting from Matthew 24:9. Here our topic is about the Great Seven Year Tribulation. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” 
This Scripture passage tells us about the coming age of the pale horse, when Satan works through an empowered antichrist, after the age of black horse. At this time, people who are not born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit will hand in the born-again to martyrdom. At this time, the born-again will not only be hated by one or two people but by all races because of their faith in the name of Jesus. During this Great Seven Year Tribulation, the world divides into two groups of people—those who are born again and those who are not, and all the races hate all of the born-again. All the people in the world shall hate the born-again. And families, friends, and our acquaintances lead us to tribulation and martyrdom. 
The Scripture passage says, “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” This tells us about the phenomena that will happen when tribulation comes and selfishness in man’s heart goes to an extreme. There are twelve sins that come from a man’s heart—evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness (Mark 7:21-22). If we analyze these sins one by one, we understand that all of them are originated from selfishness. These sins come from a selfish and egotistical greed. One murders for one’s own interest, one commits adultery to satisfy oneself whether others want it or not, jealousy also comes from selfishness, one has hatred when one’s heart doesn’t like someone, one has pride when one thinks that he or she is the best, and foolishness occurs when things don’t go the way one wants. Every sin comes from egotistical selfishness.
Men’s nature has changed that way after Adam and Eve sinned. So every man is born selfish and his or her selfishness becomes extreme in the worst days of tribulation. Having the evil in one’s heart spilled out, lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. The love of many will grow cold because people will forsake their righteous behavior and faith, and instead pursue their own self-interest. 
When does the love in your heart cool down? When you think that someone is selfish, your heart toward that person cools down. It is rather okay when the other is insufficient. One’s weakness and shortage can be understood, accepted, and tolerated. But when a person is too selfish and egotistical, your heart deserts him or her. You will not bother to look at him. Then wouldn’t it be so difficult for one another?
At the last days of the great tribulation, selfishness grows to the highest. Schindler, who saved a lot of Jewish lives during the World War II, said to a German officer that “Human pretends to be good when he is in a nice environment but when life becomes difficult evil comes out from within his heart.” So it is. In the last days of the great tribulation, selfishness comes out from everyone’s heart and grows to the highest.
It is said that people’s love will grow cold at the last days. “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” These are the things that shall happen at the end of the world. In the Great Seven Year Tribulation, antichrist will show up and reign with violence for seven years.
God has planned to unfold human history as four stages (Revelation 6:1-8). First is the age of spreading the gospel, second is the age of war caused by conflict of ideas, third is the age of famine and disaster, and fourth is the age of the Great Seven Year Tribulation. Now we are living in the third age of disaster, and after this age the age of the pale horse, when Satan and antichrist rules the world, will come. 
In John 3:16-21, the passage says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. ‘He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.’”
God came to this world as the love and the light. Jesus Christ came to earth to point out the evils in people, to make them turn back from their evil ways, and let them receive salvation given by God, but the people who were doing evil hated the light and didn’t come to the light. This is because that their evil behavior will be revealed in the light. Hating the light means that the people know that the light is righteous but they love the darkness more, do not believe in Jesus Christ, and do not come into the light. It is because that they think their selfishness will be revealed in the light. People have concealed the evils of their hearts and thoughts by the limewash of ethics and morals to make it look good before men’s eye. Therefore, people know that the righteousness of God is right, but they try to stand away from the light because of the fear that their evil will be exposed in the light. One only has to come before the light and acknowledge, “So I am,” and believe in God’s righteousness, but one confronts and hates the light because their selfishness might be exposed. Such people just have to acknowledge their selfishness and filth before God, and accept God’s salvation. 
Obviously, God, our heavenly Father, has sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to this land. Jesus took upon Himself all the human sins of the world by being baptized by John the Baptist, died on the Cross, was resurrected, and thus gave us salvation. People will be saved if they believe in this obvious Truth of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God has sent His Son to this earth not to judge the people by their sins but to give eternal life to the ones who believe. God has done it to deliver the people out of their egotistical sins and to bring them out from the judgment. But there are people who believe in this Truth and there are people who don’t. The people who do not believe in this Truth are already condemned. People are already condemned in their hearts because they don’t reveal their selfishness and maliciousness in front of God and ask for His compassion. Now when it is time, they will receive the final sentence and immediately go to hell. But the believers will receive salvation. 
What is sin? The Bible says “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). People are not saved but condemned by their sins because they love themselves more than the Truth. In the last days, you will sight collective egotism even from the religious groups. For example, people want to go to big churches if it is possible. They think that there are lots of benefits if they go to big churches. Those places have lots of factors that can fill their selfishness. Those people are relieved and enjoy their faith being acknowledged by the others. Irregardless, they are actually weak in faith, even though they are proud of being members of a socially recognized association. Thus, people are prone to go to big churches to be acknowledged instead of insulted even though they will go to hell at the end because of their false faith. And this is because they have extreme selfishness. Such selfishness has created big churches and big denominations. It is because of their selfishness that many Christians claim to believe in Jesus and try to be in big denominations acknowledged by the world.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Even though the Truth that Jesus has completely saved us by taking upon Himself all our sins through His baptism, dying on the cross, and being resurrected from the dead is so obvious, there are lots of people who don’t believe in this Truth. It isn’t because the Truth is incomplete but that they try to conceal their sins. This is called the sin of selfishness. And this selfishness becomes extreme in the last days of the tribulation. 
There was this happening this holiday. A man loved a woman so much but the woman’s family didn’t allow their marriage. So this man planned and killed the woman’s family with a shotgun on this New Years Day. Every person has one’s own personality and isn’t it possible for you to say that you don’t like someone when you don’t? Does it make sense that this man shot the woman’s family who opposed the marriage? Are the woman’s family quarries? Also, there was this case that someone was killed by talking long on the public phone. Definitely people’s selfishness has become extreme. 
Do you know why people prefer strong and good cars? It is because of their huge selfishness. Nowadays there are lots of RV jeeps with tough bumpers. There are lots of Koreans showing off by driving these 30,000 dollars worth of jeep. Why do people prefer this kind of car? It is all because of their selfishness. Let us think there is a collision with this kind of car. Who has the high probability to die? Of course, the driver driving with a small vehicle with thin bumper. So people prefer high quality cars with strong engines, thick metals, slick appearances, and big bumpers because they are selfish, want to show off, and be safe. This tendency comes from the evil heart of human beings. In other words, it is to satisfy their selfishness and vanity. 
Take a serious look at human society. Aren’t there so many products of selfishness? Don’t people fret over to set up a big tombstone at a good spot of good land? Will the dead person know whether his or her tombstone is big or small? The living are only trying to take pride. It is that small tombstone that hurts one’s pride. One may be satisfied because one can dance up and down when he shows off the big tombstone saying, “That is my own ancestor’s.” Does this make his ancestor know? Will the dead know whether someone throws a stone or pours shit on it? People try to build a big mound over every grave, make the tombstone big, and make a tiled roofed house over the tomb only to show off. 
In Taiwan when one’s parent dies, they put models of refrigerators, televisions, and similar stuffs in the marble-made tomb house. I am so surprised to hear that the best propitious site for a grave in Taiwan nearly costs 11.2 million US dollars. Undoubtedly it is partially because of human affection towards the dead family members but their main motive is to show off their family fame. And they do so because they believe that their ancestor-gods will bless them when they worship them in excess. You see that at normal times selfishness is shown this way. Wouldn’t it be even more extreme at the last days of tribulation? 
At the end of the world, those people who have not been born again will do great evil with Satan’s spirit. These people know well that they are to be condemned by God. They know better that their thoughts and hearts are so wicked, filthy, and savage to the extent of making them sick of themselves. They think about themselves and know that “I will surely go to hell,” and thus they say, “Let me do more evil before I go to hell.” It is not because the Lord hasn’t given us perfect salvation that the people are not saved from their sins. It is because they themselves hate the light of the Truth. 
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, God has sent Jesus not to judge but save us from our sins. We should know that the purpose of sending His begotten Son was to save us. And we should believe in the Truth that Jesus was baptized to take away from us all our sins on the Cross, died there, was resurrected from the dead, and thus saved us from all our sins. Many people suffer critical losses because they don’t believe in this Truth. Many people have the desire to enjoy this world saying, “I can’t believe the Truth even though I shall go to hell later,” and they don’t accept the Truth. We should know that lots of things like this happen in the last days. 
Presently we are living in the third age of the black horse, and there are huge numbers of people starving to death. Not so long will it be before one third of the world is ruined by the war. And at the last days when the selfishness in men’s heart comes out to the full extent, what would happen to this world? This world becomes a warlike and dreadful place where it shall be even hard to breathe. At that time, antichrist will show up and start to work, which God told us to be the time of the great tribulation. At the time of great tribulation, many born-again Christians will be put to death. This means that all the people who don’t surrender to antichrist and desert God shall be killed. This time will certainly come and we know that it is coming near.
All our books from series number 1 to 10 are published in English. In these books, I have dealt with all the topics that Christians all over the world consider important. Through these books, people will learn that Christianity all over the world is an illegitimate faith. And these books will create a great sensation to the people who had wrong faith but were seeking for the Truth. These books will entirely change the people’s beliefs and they will truly be born again when they believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. 
We shouldn’t become a selfish person in this last age. Naturally people are born selfish, but people with true faith live for the spirits of others at least. The truly born-again live for other’s interest and for the salvation of the people who they haven’t met. Righteous men are also only human beings and therefore are selfish. But the righteous should live for the benefits of others, and these are true Christians. 
In these holidays, you have met your families. If you meet your family members who are not born again yet, they ask you, “What do you do for a living? Did you make some money? Do you have some money in your bankbook? What are you going to do in the future?” When there is a family union, some members who are successful have high spirits while members who barely live hang their heads in shame. Like a small dog whining in front of a big dog, the poor shrink in front of the rich. You will also have these hearts. The desire to compare with others, to be in superior position, and to be servile in front of the strong—all these come from men’s selfish hearts. 
We, the righteous people, should know that lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold at the time of the Great Seven Year Tribulation, and thus, we should cast away our selfish minds. When a man casts away his or her selfishness, pure love comes out. At the very least, the righteous that have received the remission of sin should hold back their selfishness and have faith that enables them to sacrifice themselves for the lost souls. We the righteous should have this faith and sacrifice to spread forth the gospel of the water and the Spirit, stand in the awe of God, love our brothers and sisters, and live for the ones who haven’t yet received the remission of sin. 
The most fearful enemy to our belief is selfishness. Selfishness kills people. Selfishness kills our faiths and thoughts toward God, quenches the desires to follow God, and make us live self-centered lives by estranging us from God. Thus, selfishness is absolute evil to our lives of faith. If we know well about the dreadful results of the selfishness in our thoughts and hearts, we will be able to desert our selfishness and spread out the gospel until our Lord comes back. 
Today’s Scripture passage says, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” When this gospel spreads out to the end of the world, our Lord will come. We are planning to spread out this gospel to one third of the whole world this year. As we see that our Lord has given us such hearts, we know that “It is near to the time that our Lord will come.” When this gospel spreads out all over the world, the end comes. People can’t live any longer even if they want to. Though people yearn for a better world, the world is going to become just a little better while we can spread out the gospel, and at the time when the will of God would be met to an extent, the world will soon be out of order. Then total chaos will come soon to this world. As the Lord said the gospel would spread out all over the world, I believe as it was said. 
You might wonder, “How will the gospel spread out all over the world?” But you will see God does things by amazing ways that a human thought cannot perceive. God works in an uncommon way to spread out the gospels all over the world. For example, we saw that there are often cases of some Israelis ordering rather Russian books than Hebrew books. They might be Russians living in Israel or might have lived a long time in Russia and came back to their motherland and ordered our Russian books. One of them is said to have received the remission of sin after reading our books and the person is spreading out the gospel to other near people. Jesus said that the world would end when the gospel spreads throughout the whole world, and like this, the gospel is continuously being spread out. We believe, once the Lord works, the gospel will spread out even to those countries forbidding Christianity. 
I think that “At the last days selfishness will overspread the world and the world will be in great trouble.” Thus we the righteous should live out our lives with faith by casting away selfishness until the Lord returns. Whether the born-again righteous people have good faith or not depends, needless to say, partially on one’s faith in the Word of God, but also on how far one throws away his or her own self-centered thoughts and sacrifices for others. At this last age, Satan fosters selfishness even in righteous men’s hearts and makes their religious lives difficult. But as much as Satan hinders our religious lives, we the born-again, as the children of God, should know Satan’s plan, embrace God’s love, and lead religious lives without selfishness. 
Now the teachings on the basics of the gospel have been made set forth in ten books. I thank God that there was a great step in spreading out the gospel. We could do God’s work because we worked together. Looking at these things I have a joyful and graceful heart. As we have these people who are serving the gospel, the gospel is spread out all over the world. The born again, who have been serving this gospel, triumphed over their selfishness, while those who have deserted the church after receiving the remission of their sins have pursued their selfishness. Remission of sin might be the same that they received but the latter can’t be blessed with the joy of spreading out the gospel because they followed their selfishness treating it as precious treasures. My fellow believers, how can all the people in the world receive the remission of sin if we don’t cast away our selfishness and serve the gospel? How can others receive the remission of sin if you only live for yourself? 
We see our church ministers as well as our brothers and sisters sometimes stain their hands with dirty things, work outside when it is cold, and work inside until they are utterly exhausted. The world still has hope and yet people are saved because each of you have thrown away your selfishness and served in and out for the gospel, for the Lord, for the lost souls, for God’s will, and for God’s righteousness. You were also saved by this way. Who among you would have received the remission of sin if the seniors who have been saved prior to us hadn’t served the gospel and pursued only their own selfishness? A flower doesn’t blossom by itself but there should be a trunk, branch, leaves, and a flower cup to make a flower blossom. To blossom, a cup will keep the life of the flower; the branch will give the nourishments. And if the flower blossoms by itself without these, not only will it look bad but also it is impossible. Every factor should work together to make a flower blossom, make a flower become beautiful, and glorify God. But if you don’t function as a cup, then how can the flower of the gospel bloom? I know well that the gospel is spreading out all over the world because all of you are loyal at your place to serve the gospel. I am thankful for the gospel is spreading out a lot and I expect big fruits of our services. 
This year the gospel will spread out a lot. I believe our Lord will do it, and I pray and serve for this purpose. Let us serve our Lord with joy and without discouragement, until He comes. He will soon come. I hope He comes back shortly. How about you? Don’t you like that our Lord will come back when the gospel is spread out all over the world and all the people with humble hearts believe in Him without fail? I yearn for the day to come quickly when all the people who are to believe have faith in Him quickly, for the nonbelievers will not believe anyhow. 
A person who conceals his selfishness and pretends to be good is prone to refuse this gospel. By contrast, people who come forth to the Lord saying, “I am so insufficient. But I believe my Lord will save me,” will receive salvation. There are only two groups of people in the whole world; the pros and cons of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Those who are selfish don’t believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, but those who honestly seek God’s compassion will receive salvation by believing in this gospel. 
God wants the gospel to spread pervasively and impartially. I believe that God will end the world in His proper time when the gospel is fully spread all over the world whether the people believe it or not. God will give all the people the opportunity to believe in the gospel saying, “You don’t believe. You are already in hell. You believe. Your sins are remitted and you are saved,” and then He will straighten out the world. 
When the gospel is spread all over the world, God allows the world to suffer the Great Seven Year Tribulation and let Satan run to the extreme one last time. I believe that Jesus Christ, the King of kings, will advent to earth and shut down the Devil and his subjects up, punish the sinners, and give the Millennial Kingdom to the righteous. The Lord lives with the righteous for a thousand years, and after a thousand years, He casts the ones filled with selfishness, who have rejected God’s love and His righteousness, into hell, where the fire is not quenched forever. After the Millennial Kingdom, the ones who believe in God’s righteousness and are saved by God’s love will live as the kings at the Kingdom of Heaven forever. This is God’s scenario. If we have lost many things for the gospel on earth, at that time, God will give us much in return. 
Even in the future selfishness in our heart will move a lot. However, as long as you are not a fool, you all will know whether it is helpful or not to pursue this selfishness. I admonish you to first look at the everlasting returns, possess the everlasting life with faith, and keep your faith in His promises. 
I thank God for giving us the privilege to get into the everlasting Kingdom of Heaven. Amen.
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