Subject 22 : The Gospel According to LUKE

[Chapter 12-7] The Faith That Prepares For the Lord’s Return (Luke 12:35-40)

(Luke 12:35-40)
“Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

Prepare for the Lord’s Return

In today’s Scripture passage, the Lord told us to be awake and work until He returns. It’s written here: “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them” (Luke 12:35-37). Those who are awake, working diligently, preparing, and preaching the righteous gospel of God when the Lord returns, are blessed.
Those who remember the time of the Lord’s return, and who are awake when He returns, are blessed. Today’s Scripture passage teaches that it’s such people whom our Lord blesses, and it also tells us that the Lord Himself will serve the faithful. The Lord also said those who are awake at the second watch or the third watch are blessed. In other words, those who do their work and wait until early morning are blessed, and this passage is focused on the return of the Lord. Those who do so when the Lord returns are blessed. Blessed also are these servants that prepared beforehand knowing when the Master would return. This implies that we should prepare beforehand, for the Lord will return when no one expects Him.
Previous to today’s Scripture passage, Jesus had said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” So the faithful whose hearts are set on spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit devote themselves to the work of God even more earnestly. The Lord serves those who serve the gospel.
Lately we’ve been working very hard to preach the gospel overseas. As a result, we are receiving a lot of testimony of salvation from abroad. This week alone, we had over 20 people sending us their testimony of salvation. Every week, we hear from approximately two-dozen new saints. What a wonderful blessing it is that over 20 people are sending us their testimony of salvation every week. Moreover, when we read their messages, we see that their testimony of salvation is the same as that of our brothers and sisters and our workers. The Lord has compelled these people around the world, from pastors and to laymen, to give a thoroughly spiritual testimony, testifying how happy they are now that they’ve met the Lord from reading our books. This is why even at this very moment we continue to spread the gospel for them.
I am so grateful when I look at how well our gospel ministry is going. We are uploading e-books constantly, and many people are eagerly waiting for their publication. Most of them cannot meet us in person, but once these books are published, they will be nurtured through them, they will work with us with one heart, and the Holy Spirit will also work in their lives. These people are also preaching the gospel waiting for the Lord’s return. They also believe that the Lord’s return is imminent, that His Word is being realized one by one, and that He is nearing us step by step. I can see from their testimony just how eagerly they are waiting for the Lord’s return
I was saddened to hear about the earthquake that struck Indonesia and left many casualties. Such disasters have become an everyday occurrence in the world, and this trend is very much related to today’s Scripture passage, showing us that we should be ready for the Lord’s return, believing firmly that He will indeed come again. Once you realize that the Lord will indeed return, you will also realize that the world will crumble down under the weight of natural disasters. Then, the Antichrist will emerge, all kinds of diseases will break out around the world, and countless people will perish. However, the Bible also promises that when the Lord returns, He will protect and bless those who love the gospel, believe in it and preach it, and that He will resurrect them to live forever with God in a new world, in a new heaven and earth.
These will all be realized sooner or later. The Lord spoke of these things, and if you really believe this, then wouldn’t you work accordingly? But you won’t work for the gospel if you don’t believe this. One day, all of a sudden, you will be struck by an earthquake, or lose your job unexpectedly and end up with bad credit. There are a lot of people with bad credit in Korea. It’s very frustrating to have bad credit. One can unwittingly end up homeless.
Actually, the world economy is very fragile. It is like a sand castle by the seashore. Once the waves of the oil shock surge, the world economy will be ruined helplessly. The economy of our country also needs to be revived, but Korean exports are facing difficulty due to the rising price of oil. A devastating oil shock may indeed be just around the corner. However, to this day we’ve been living without a care, not realizing that Korea may be hit by an impending oil shock.
Just like this, most Christians also are free from care because they don’t believe that the return of the Lord is imminent. How can they take it easy when His return is so imminent? However, we the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are preaching this gospel throughout the whole world because we believe that the Lord will soon return. It’s because we believe in the Lord’s return that we are working so hard. But false teachers are just trying to grow their own churches and competing with each other to build the largest church in the world, not realizing that the Lord’s return is imminent. Yet even as they are doing so, collecting money and growing their churches, it will all be in vain.

The Righteous Must Live for the Righteousness of God

What should one live for then? One should live for a greater cause, rather than being blinded by money. For this greater cause, you ought to be beneficial to others, realize what the will of God is, believe in His Word, actually lead your life in accordance, and prepare for the Lord’s return. This is the kind of person you must become. Are you instead preoccupied solely about your job and wondering how you could make a living out of your meager salary? Of course, such people are necessary for factories to keep running, but even so, the born-again should be more ambitious than this and live for a greater cause. You should live for a greater cause, not just to feed yourself. You would be doing a great disservice to yourself if you were to be enslaved to your needs throughout your entire lifetime.
The Bible states, “There is one who scatters, yet increases more;
And there is one who withholds more than is right,
But it leads to poverty” (Proverbs 11:24). There is a way for you to become rich even if you were to lend to others generously, and it is found in the lives of the gospel preachers. On the other hand, some people actually become poorer by being too stingy. These are the ones who live only for themselves. Such people are inevitably bound to become poorer. They seem to earn much but live in poverty throughout their lives, and their descendants will also be poor. They should consider themselves fortunate if they don’t end up as beggars in the street.
Do you think that people driving around in luxury cars are rich? In reality, they are deep in debt. Do you think the owners of the huge conglomerates in Korea are wealthy? It’s said that they make only about 6 cents in profit for every dollar they export. Even this small profit of 6 cents is said to be a lucky result. With some unfortunate change, this tiny profit may very easily turn into a loss of 10 or 20 cents. In reality, the conglomerates are barely kept afloat on bank loans; they are not actually making that much profit.
We must prepare for what will actually happen in the future. If we are prepared, there is nothing to worry about. Those who do not prepare in times like this are unwise and foolish. My fellow believers, the Lord said that those who are awake late into the night waiting for His return are blessed. The Lord also said that He would serve such people.
He said that those who are awake in the second watch and the third watch are even more blessed. What does this mean then? Someone who is awake, who is ready, is someone who believes that the Lord will come soon. Such people prepare themselves like this because they really believe in the Lord’s imminent return.
What then should one do when the Lord returns? Is one really ready just by having his lamp burning? Sinners must be sent to hell without exception, as it is written, “The wages of sin is death.” Therefore, every sinner must first try to receive the remission of sins. But people don’t prepare at all. Perhaps because they think that death will escape them even as it comes to everyone else. Such people need to go into the fire of hell and come out once to realize just how terrible their fate is. But no one thinks about this.
How then should the born-again prepare for the Lord’s return? Is it right for the born-again to live well in clover just for themselves and abandon everyone else so that all the people of the world will be judged and thrown to hell by God? My fellow believers, when the Lord returns, all of us must be preaching the gospel, just as we are preaching it right now. The right way to be awake is to prepare to meet the Lord and preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The Lord will return when the gospel is fully spread. He will come to take us away. He will fulfill everything He promised before He returns. Thanks to our present effort to spread the gospel, every week at least 20 people are sending us their testimony of salvation; they give thanks to God and us that they’ve come to receive the remission of sins through our books. I am sure there are actually more people who have received the remission of sins but have not sent us their messages. This is not a small number. It is a huge gain. Do you still find it hard to appreciate what this number really means? Imagine for a moment that 20 saved people from every corner of the world are now standing here before you and giving us their testimony of salvation. Imagine these people singing praise. Though we don’t actually see them, they are still real. If 20 people around the world are completely remitted from their sins every week, almost 100 people will receive the remission of sins in a month. Are there 100 saints in our Church? No. The entire membership of all our Churches hardly amounts to 300 including children. We are compared to Gideon’s 300 warriors. But through our ministry, many people all over the world are being born again every day. We are preparing for the Lord’s return. We are getting ready for His return. You and I are doing everything possible to spread the gospel and support this endeavor, and it is actually being achieved like this. Every month there is another Church of God springing forth that’s bigger than ours.
If pastors around the world are saved, and these pastors only preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit in their churches, then these churches will become none other than God’s Church. It is very possible for God’s Church to add 30 branch Churches to its fold every month. What should we do while waiting for the coming Lord? We should plant Churches all over the world so that the born-again saints in every Church can preach the gospel like this, make it possible for others to receive the remission of sins, plant even more new Churches, make them spread the gospel, and thus support the gospel ministry—this is what we must do while waiting for the Lord’s return. That is how our lives should be led in anticipation of the Lord’s return. If you really believe in this, then this is what you must do.
My fellow believers, we are now preparing ourselves for the Lord’s return. Perhaps some of you can’t quite grasp this. Some of you may not feel that the Lord will return soon. But, my fellow believers what is not actually visible is seen by the eyes of faith. Even though it is not visible to our eyes of the flesh, we are preparing ourselves. No matter how well we are preparing ourselves right now, we must continue to do so into the future. We simply cannot stop preparing for the Lord’s return, for our gain is far greater than our labor.
A book that I’ve written on the ministry of John the Baptist is now being translated, and it is highly anticipated. Whenever such a book is published, more and more people come to realize and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they receive the remission of sins, and their faith becomes stronger than even yours and mine. When I look at the testimonies of salvation sent to us, I see how some of them are so spiritually pure. Such saints will soon grow up and become God’s servants working for His Kingdom for the rest of their lives. You and I also are today’s servants waiting for the Lord’s return. This is real. If you and I believe in God, then we must be ready. If we believe in the Lord, and if we believe that the Lord has saved us, then shouldn’t we all prepare ourselves by faith? Even as we are preparing for the Lord’s return, isn’t there much that we are now gaining?
If we devote ourselves to the preaching of the gospel in order to be ready for the Lord’s return, we will gain a lot both spiritually and physically. This evening, I’ll go to Inje Discipleship Training Center to start building a storehouse behind the small chapel. While preparing for this construction, some people may think that a simple house should suffice; but we are building a solid storehouse with foresight. Those who do not prepare beforehand will have no gain later on. If we build a big storage building and fill it with some kinds of raw materials for our business, we will become rich. How much do we gain when we do God’s work by faith? We are not just supposing that we should do this, but we are actually doing it. So in a short while, everything will come together, and the laborers will gain a lot. Therefore, we must continue to do God’s work. If we continue on, we will become rich as a matter of course. How wonderful would it be if we become wealthy, serve the gospel faithfully, prosper ourselves, and remain awake?
We must be prepared. We must prepare to receive blessings, and we must prepare for our future lives. Instead of going from one day to the next like a daily wage earner, we ought to prepare the Lord’s Day steadily. Even though we may be hungry right now and we may not be satisfied by what we have, we should endure and be filled later on. That is how you should live in this world also. Even if you make several thousand dollars a month at your job and try to make a living out of it, you will see that this money does not last long. Your family can’t get by on several thousand dollars unless you devote yourself to the gospel. To be honest, it’s because we are living for the gospel that we are prosperous like this; if we try to live just for ourselves, we will be very pressed for money. Our pockets will be empty.
The Lord told us to be ready, for the Son of Man will return unexpectedly. Although this is what the Lord said when He spoke to His disciples, we are all watchful about it. The Lord will return for sure when we feel His time is near. The Lord’s return is now very near. I no longer talk about what will happen in the end times. Why? Because it would scare people. Speaking of these things now depresses me and makes me fearful. Disasters will be catastrophic in no time.
An earthquake will destroy the whole nation. Think about what will happen if Seoul is hit by a violent earthquake. It’s reported that over 2,000 people died in Indonesia, but this would be nothing in comparison. In Korea, a million people, 2 million people, 10 million people, or even 20 million people may die in one day. If a severe earthquake of, say, 7.7 magnitude strikes Seoul, it may be reported that around 10 million died at the first instance, followed by 30 million dead from complications, for a total of 40 million casualties. Most Koreans would be dead, since Korea has only about 48 million people. We must be prepared beforehand realizing that such events will happen in the world. In other words, we must get ready now while we are still safe.
When I look at the world, I have nothing but contempt for politicians. Politics requires good leaders; underlings cannot achieve anything no matter how hard they try. Policies come from the top. The same goes for international affairs. It’s the great powers that move international politics. Recently North Korea has been trying to ensure its security by developing nuclear weapons. But no matter how hard a small state tries to assert its influence, it will only bring hardship on its own people. This will only destroy its own people. It would be nice if North Korea and South Korea can set aside their differences and achieve peaceful unification. But for us, even more important than unification is preventing war, so that we may preach the gospel to the ends of the world.
In these end times, those who, even as they have received the remission of sins, think of only their own fleshly comfort and their present well being and try to ensure only their own fleshly survival are stupid. They are retarded. They have a two-digit IQ. It’s lower than a chimp’s IQ. It’s only as high as the IQ of puppy. One should be smart. One shouldn’t think that he is knowledgeable just based on what he learned at school and from textbooks, nor should one think that he is smart just because he has read a lot of books.
You should be awake in this present age, serve the gospel, and devote yourself to the Lord. Jesus said here in today’s Scripture passage, “Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them” (Luke 12:37). What did the Lord say? Does this make sense? Does it really make any sense? Isn’t it only a matter of course for servants to wait for their master’s return, open the door when he is back, and fetch the water to wash his feet? Of course that’s what they should do. No servant should think of himself higher than his master just because he has done well while the master was out. Every servant should clearly recognize his master as his master and himself as a servant.
However, the Lord said here that when the master returns and finds his servants watching, he would gird himself, have his servants sit down, and serve them. Will the Lord then really do this? Of course He will do this when the Millennial Kingdom comes. He will make us glorious. On this earth also, the Lord helps and serves those who live for His gospel. This is what today’s Scripture passage teaches.
My fellow believers, do you think you will be ruined if you devote all your life to the spreading of the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Do you think you’ll make a fool out of yourself? Are you afraid you will end up a loser? Will your life and mine turn out to be a failure in vain? You and I have served the gospel to this day, but are our present lives a success or a failure? They are a success! The Bible says, “Those who are wise shall shine
Like the brightness of the firmament,
And those who turn many to righteousness
Like the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:3). Isn’t this a successful life? None other than this is a successful life. Is there anyone else leading his life to do what is right, like we are doing? You and I, that is, all of us, have done what is right in this world.
Who works like us? Who is carrying out the right work as we are doing? Not even the president can save a single hell-bound soul. Can anyone rich save even just one dying person just because he is wealthy? No, it’s impossible. Only those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, serve this gospel, and thereby lead others to return to the right place, to come into the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and to be saved—it’s none other than these people serving this gospel purpose, you and I, that have done the right work. No one else on this earth has ever led such a life. We have accomplished great achievements. Though it’s not visible to our naked eyes, our achievements are indeed unsurpassed. You and I must always think of this first.
If one pastor is saved, his church will become God’s Church. Isn’t this how God’s Church works? From now on we should be asking how many churches have been planted in a month, rather than asking how many people have received the remission of sins. This is a great endeavor. We are doing something marvelous. That is why the Lord said that anyone who gives a cup of cold water to a little one will receive his reward, and anyone who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward. This means that our labor is never in vain.
Just as the Lord told us to be ready, we are preparing ourselves. We will make a lot of money also. Some of you may wonder what’s the point of making money when the world is about to be destroyed. We are making money to prosper at the end. We will prosper when others are ruined. How could we allow ourselves to be ruined along with everyone else? Far from it, we ought to prosper. Shouldn’t the servants of the gospel be rich and wealthy if they were to help others and be generous to them? It’s not a pretty sight to see someone doing the righteous work to serve the gospel to be so poor that he has to go around borrowing money every day.
When you attend the gathering, your heart will be restored. That is why God’s Church is so indispensable. You and I must participate in the worship service and listen to the Word. My fellow believers, when you feel weak, it is all the more important that you come to the Church. Your heart will be restored if you come to the Church and sit here like this. Our Lord will return to this earth soon. The Lord said that He would return when the gospel is completely spread, and our work is now progressing so much and the gospel is being spread so far that His return is very near. It won’t be long before the Lord returns. Until then, my fellow believers, I ask you to prepare yourselves and wait for the Lord. Do not worry about tomorrow. Those who are with the gospel and the Lord are blessed; they will be blessed and approved by the Lord, and therefore everything will go well.
However, those who are not with the Lord will be invariably destroyed in these end times. At this time when the Lord’s return is imminent, I admonish you not to foolishly give up waiting on the Lord’s return to no longer watch out for your Master. Instead, I ask you to live by faith, be blessed in both body and spirit, carry out the right work before the Lord, and then see Him face to face. It is to such people that God wants to give faith and blessings.
This sermon is also available in ebook format. Click on the book cover below.
Sermons on the Gospel of Luke (IV) - DISCERN THE WILL OF THE LORD IN YOUR LIFE