“I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
Wage the Spiritual War?
Our Lord said that He came to this world in order to make people dispute against each other. The Lord said that He came to this world to cause division between a person who has received the remission of sins and against a person who has not received the remission of sins, and divide the people who have returned before the presence of God’s Word against the people who stand against God’s Word. That is correct. Our God came to you and me with desire to make us war against evil.
Satan the Devil deceived Adam and Eve and took away human happiness and all their authority. Human beings lost everything to Satan the Devil because of that. They lost all things of human dignity, not only freedom and authority. However, our Lord said that He came to this world to wage war in the hearts of the people that have departed from God. We must know well what the heart of the Lord who came to wage war is. Our Lord said, “Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division.” The Lord also said that He came to send fire on the earth, not peace. It means that He came to announce the war and start war.
What do we think of as we live in this world after believing in Jesus and being born again? At times, we walk on the leaves on the ground and think, “As I count the Lord’s grace, it is more than the countless number of leaves.” However, the Lord did not come to give such peace to the world. Instead, the Lord came to engage in a spiritual war, not to bring peace. That is correct. Our Lord came to this world for a completely different reason than what we think. We usually think of the Lord as the Lord of love, the Lord of peace. However, it is not really like that. It is very different. The heart and the intention of Jesus is very different from our way thinking.
Our Lord desires for you and me to be engaged in the spiritual war. To do so, God first divides people who have received the remission of sins and those who have not, and He also sets apart those who will receive the remission of sins before the presence of God later. God brings His people together into His pen like this and keeps the people who are against the gospel away. And the Lord is igniting a fierce spiritual war between these two kinds of people.
Then, how are you and I? Do we want to have war as we live in this world, or do we want peace? Of course, we want peace. That is why there are many churches that have names like Peace Church or Church of Peace and so on. There are many churches named ‘Peace Church’ wherever we go. It is because people have desire in their hearts to have peace and harmony, and they like having good relationships rather than disputing.
However, our Lord did not want such a thing. The Lord came to this world to wage war, not to give peace. That is right. God wants to take back the people that are lost to Satan the Devil. God wants to bring back those souls and make them enter Heaven and live happily together with Him eternally. He will not leave His people alone in this sinful world. Remember this. Our Lord came to this world in order to defeat Satan the Devil and inflict final punishment on him at the end time.
Of course, the Lord did not come to this world only to war against us humans. The Lord came to save you and me who are His people from all the sins. And He desires to divide His people from the sinners of the world and make the born-again fight against the world. However, that actually is not what we expected, was it? Before being born again, we just wanted to live peacefully with the other religions, and what was good was good enough, right? That is why we are revisiting this Word today with a desire to know and accept God’s heart and God’s will correctly.
Our Lord said to us, “I came to send fire on the earth. Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division.” We must know well the will of God and go forth engaging in the spiritual war without ceasing. We must continue to preach the gospel and help people’s souls receive the remission of sins and nurture them. We must continue to do the work of proclaiming the gospel to the people who still do not know the Truth.
The Word from today’s Scripture passage says, “For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” In the Word here, we can see that one family member has to fight against the other members of the family. We must also continue to wage spiritual war with our family members as it says in this Word. Is there anyone among you who thinks, “What has happened after I received the remission of sins? My family has become devastated after my receiving the remission of sins instead of there being peace in the family. Is there anyone who has fallen into such situation now? However, that is natural. After becoming a child of God by receiving the remission of sins, you now have different heart and different purpose, and think differently even though you are members of the same family because you now have the Holy Spirit in your heart. Dispute occurs inevitably because you are different from them.
Therefore, we must wage spiritual war. We must fight and win if we want to enjoy true peace. We must win the spiritual war and then the war will cease immediately if we can convince the members of our family to receive the remission of sins and become a child of God. After that, we must wage war against another soul and win. That is the spiritual war God has spoken about. So, we must continue to fight this spiritual war.
What would be the reason for Jesus allowing us to receive the remission of sins and then leaving us in this world? He does this to make us fight the spiritual war. Therefore, we must engage in this war. We should have a good relationship with our family in human terms, but we must fight in order to witness the gospel to them and convince them of their need to receive the remission of sins. The members of our family who have not received the remission of sins yet are even against us going to Church. Because they dislike that, we need to fight them boldly because they can only receive the remission of sins if we fight them.
It’s Because Our Lord Came to This World to Wage War and He Wants Us to Wage War
Do we not wish to have peace with all the people. Of course, we must not dispute about useless things. However, what is one clear thing? It is that the spiritual war must definitely be carried out. We must wage a spiritual war against people who have not been born again and cause them to receive the remission of sins. Moreover, if they continue to reject the remission of sins until the end, we must fight against them so that they cannot interfere with our spiritual life. It means that we must say clearly, “You do what you want to do and I do what I want to do.”
Do you want to have a good relationship with your mother-in-law who has not received the remission of sins? Do you want to have a good relationship with your husband who has not been born again yet even though you have received the remission of sins? It is not God’s will for those two people to have good relationship. You must tell him about the gospel somehow and convince the husband of his need to receive the remission of sins. That is the thing God is pleased with and that is what He desires from us.
Long ago in Seoul there was a maintenance chief at a large apartment complex called Hanbo Apartments. His wife received salvation even though he did not receive salvation. However, the sister lived peacefully with her husband and did not dispute with him. She followed with her children wherever her husband led them and spent a good time with her family on Sundays. She did not come to Church, and instead only put forth her effort to maintain a good relationship with her husband. At that time, that sister thought, “My husband would go to God’s Church too when I ask him to some day if I continue to do well like this.” She lived in harmony with her husband because of such thinking. People in the Church she used to go to told her, “Sister, you must not be like that. You should come to Church and have such outings with your family on another day instead of Sunday. Please come to Church whenever there is a meeting.” However, that sister did not listen to the Church. She said, “I am doing this to save my husband. So, don’t tell me such things,” and she just did all she could to maintain harmony with her husband. That sister did not listen to the admonition of the Church like that and just went her own way.
However, what was the consequence? One day, that sister suddenly called the pastor of God’s Church. She said, “I am so devastated.” The pastor answered, “What is wrong?” She went out with her husband and her children on Sunday and returned home. After a good night sleep, she prepared the breakfast in the morning and she went to wake up her husband. However, he was already dead. He passed away from a heart attack. Her husband’s name was Wonsoo Lee. ‘Wonsoo’ is a homonym of ‘enemy’ in Korean. And he really became somewhat of an enemy to this sister as his name sounds as that sister probably thought, “He should have at least received the remission of sins if he was going to die like this.”
The family decided to have the funeral according to church ritual even though her children had not received the remission of sins yet. Therefore, the people in the Church gathered together before the corpse and sang, “♩We shall meet across the Jordan River. ♬” That is the hymn that people must sing at the funeral regardless of whether a person had received the remission of sins or not. However, when the saints sing, “♬In the sweet by-and-by, ♪We shall meet on the beautiful shore,” she cannot say anything and she just has to shake her head side ways. She cannot meet her husband even if she goes there because her husband passed away without receiving the remission of sins. All the saints of God’s Church came and took care of the funeral proceedings and worship service. Therefore, she has nothing to say. What could she say? He was the maintenance chief of a huge apartment complex, but was an enemy to God and also to his wife because he died without receiving the remission of sins even though she lived in harmony with him in order to lead him to God’s Church.
What was the problem of this sister? It is that she did not fight when she had to fight. A wife should help her husband receive the remission of sins if she really loves him. Even if you compromise everything else and do well for your husband, you must at least make sure he receives the remission of sins. In addition, you must make your children come to Church, live a life of faith, and receive the remission of sins. It is the same with your mother-in-law, your father-in-law, or any other relatives of yours. Even if you compromise everything for them, you must certainly witness this gospel and make sure they receive the remission of sins.
The thing we must do is wage the spiritual war. We must fight this war continuously until the day the Lord comes. There will be so many times we will regret and lament later if we do not fight against them now. We will always live with regret thinking that “I should have fought it then! I should have told him at that time!” Therefore, we must choose clearly between peace and war whenever we meet someone.
Of course, we do not need to fight with a person who is too tenacious to receive the gospel. However, we must definitely witness to a person if we have not even witnessed to him at least once. We must witness the gospel when we have the opportunity because we do not know whether he will receive the gospel or not. Otherwise, we will certainly come to regret it later. We will regret, “Why didn’t I tell him then? It is even hard to see him now. Why didn’t I tell him at that time regardless of whether he disrespected what I would tell him or not? There are times when we cause animosity in others because we stuff the gospel into a person without tilling one’s own heart. However, we need to witness the gospel any way we can. It means that we must continue to wage spiritual war against people who have not yet received the remission of sins.
Do Our Hearts Want Peace with Others Originally?
Essentially the human heart has the desire to have peace with others. People have hearts that desire peace. When we look at a person who does not even act like a human being, a person who seems like he might cause harm to us, we think, “I must not be harmed by him any more. So I should just maintain good a relationship with him.” However, you and I must certainly wage a spiritual war with that soul if we truly love that soul. We must witness the gospel of the Lord to the souls of those who have not yet received the remission of sins.
The Apostle Paul said, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season.” He told us to preach the gospel whether we are in season or out of season. We will come to regret when we lose the opportunity after time passes. The Word from today’s passage states that members of a family will fight against each other. It means that two will fight against three and three will fight against two, and a mother-in-law will dispute against a daughter-in-law, a son against a father, a mother against a daughter.
Why would we dispute? Do we dispute because we like to do so? No, we do not. The gospel is the only reason we wage war. Because the people who have not received the remission of sins are slaves of the Devil, we fight to help them receive the remission of sins and receive true peace.
Through the Word today, we must know well the heart of the Lord that desires for us to wage war. And we must continue to do such works like preaching the gospel to people, helping them receive the remission of sins, and guiding them according to God’s will. You and I are people who have received the remission of sins already. We must preach the gospel through out the entire world as the Lord said. We must wage the spiritual war. How long then must we wage this war? We must continue to fight this spiritual war until all the nations become disciples of Jesus Christ, until all the nations receive baptism in the name of God the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, and until the day the Lord returns. God is not pleased when we just sit around and do not engage in the spiritual war. The work God is pleased with is that we are engaging in the spiritual war. He is pleased only when we wage spiritual wars and He gives us strength only when we fight; He works with us, helps us, and blesses us only when we fight. Therefore, you and I must fight.
Actually, people who have not been born again subtly dislike and go against the born again. We must fight the people who have not been born again yet. We must help them receive the remission of sins. We must wage spiritual war. We must not be in harmony with people who have not been born again. Remember this: A person who has been born again cannot have peace with a person who has not been born again.
We must fight against many people. How many people are there in our neighborhood who have not received the remission of sins? Maybe they really do want peace humanly. However, we must wage war against them and say before them, “Do you have sin? Do you believe in Jesus? Have you really been born again? Do you know the gospel of the water and the Spirit? What is the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Give a testimony of your born-again faith if you say that you have been born again. What does the Bible say?” We must fight against the person’s soul, awaken the soul, and make him receive the remission of sins.
Of course, you and I must fight against all the people of the world. This is not our will, but the will of God Almighty. The fighting we are talking about is not the war of beating up one another the way that people of the world do. The spiritual war is witnessing, “How Jesus Christ loves you so much and how He blotted out all your sins.” We must wage the war of saving souls. We must witness the gospel.
Then, how much have you been fighting? Are you waging war at this time, or are you just living in peace and harmony with your family members who have not received the remission of sins with your thinking, “All is good is good?”
Can there be peace just because you want peace? No, it is not like that. You can never have peace like that. More fleshly fights occur there even though it looks like there is peace. Therefore, engage in the spiritual war by witnessing the gospel instead of fighting physically like that. Cultivate the person’s heart and plant the gospel Word in the field of his heart. Tell him word by word clearly according to the Word of God which you have heard. Tell him the state of his heart and how Jesus has saved him. Tell him what the Law is, what the sin is, and what the judgment is. All the people in the world must receive the remission of sins from God. Furthermore, we must know that the spiritual war against the sinners is the only way to achieve peace and harmony with them and to cause them to receive the remission of sins.
How much do you and I wage this war? In addition, how much do we realize that fighting like this is God’s will? Do you happen to think as follows? ‘God wants us to have peace with all the people. Therefore, it is better to have amicable relationship with people who have not been born again.’ Though we should not be like that among us who have been born again, we must not undermine our own honor and prestige before the people who have not been born again. We must be bold when we witness the gospel to the people who have not been born again. We must prepare their hearts, witness the gospel to them so that they understand that you are more spiritual than they are, and receive the gospel of the Truth.
We must fight. Through whom would the people who have not been born again hear the gospel if we lived just like them? The way for them to hear the gospel is through us. They can hear the gospel and receive the remission of sins only through us the righteous. Think about it. Through whom would they be able to hear the gospel if you closed your mouth and did not wage the spiritual war? Through whom would they hear the Truth specifically that Jesus blotted out all their sins?
That is the reason you and I must definitely wage the spiritual war. We must fight this war if we really love their souls. We must go out personally and look for people who have not been born again and wage this war if we cannot find any one around us. We live in this world much like the people who have not been born again. However, you and I cannot become like them.
God’s Word says that the people of Israel can never live together with Gentiles. Even if a Jew has a relationship with a black person and a child is born, Jews absolutely considers the person born from that relationship a Jew if the child’s DNA is of the Jews. They consider the person a brother or a sister just like themselves and treat the person as a Jew who has same elitism as the chosen people regardless of the person’s skin color. Such elitism of the Jews as the chosen people is truly amazing. They have such definite consciousness of chosen people that says, “I am of God’s people. I am a child of God. You are a child of the Devil.” They have absolute faith before the presence of God.
You and I are the same. We are also the true people of Israel spiritually. Therefore, we must handle ourselves clearly before the people who have not been born again. We must not feel inferior before a person who has not been born again no matter how great a person he is. Instead, we must tell him clearly whatever we must say before him. We who have been born again cannot become like those sinners. You and I must have a clear consciousness of chosen people that says, “I am a God’s person.” We must have clear faith.
Are you God’s people, or are you not? You are all God’s people. And you must wage the spiritual war if you are God’s people who have received the remission of sins. That is the clear will of the Lord for us. Do you happen to think, “Let’s just live peacefully. What war do you want us to fight every day? Why do we need to cause dispute against people who are just living their lives without bothering us? Am I Hitler that I must wage war?” That is a wrong thinking. We do not fight the spiritual war with weapons. My heart is always waging this war even though it seems like I am just sitting here like this.
Actually, people who have been born again are always waging spiritual war. There are many times when the thoughts of standing against God, the worthless thoughts, come to your mind. During those times, you have to wage the spiritual war of defeating them with faith, declaring, “Jesus Christ protects me. I am one of God’s people.” Otherwise, those evil thoughts continue to attack you. Therefore, we must fight and defeat the evil with faith only. All those thoughts of darkness and concerns disappear when we have the proper faith of believing in God. However, something evil attacks us when we do not have faith. It attacks each one of you. That is the spiritual war that is invisible. This is how we continually fight the spiritual war that we cannot see as well as the spiritual war we can see with our eyes.
Think about it. How pitiful are the people who have not yet received the remission of sins? Therefore, we must witness the gospel to all those people. We must put up placards, publish and distribute gospel newspapers, hold revival meetings, invite gospel preachers to preach the Word, support from behind the scene and attend worship services personally, and defeat the Devil like that. That is the spiritual war we can see with our eyes. We are people who must continue to wage the spiritual war. The spiritual war is the duty that we who have been born again must definitely carry out.
When you and I lose this duty, we will degenerate into slaves of Satan the Devil in no time. Satan the Devil takes us who have not been faithful to our duty and oppresses us. He kills us when we are like that. You must choose between two choices, either to become a servant of God or become a slave of Satan the Devil. There is no middle ground. We must definitely be ruled by something. If we do not want to be ruled by God, then, we must be ruled by the Devil. And if we do not want to be ruled by the Devil, then, we must be ruled by God and enjoy peace and receive the blessing.
I will tell you once again. We must keep our original duty as the people who have been born again. We begin to experience hardship as soon as we give up our original duty. Therefore, wage war against Satan the Devil. Save the souls. Witness the gospel to souls. Jesus’ heart desires for us to engage in the war. You and I are waging many wars now according to God’s will. We do God’s work until we fall asleep from exhaustion. Whenever, wherever we are, and whoever we meet and talk to, whether we talk on the phone to witness the gospel, whether we receive a report from oversea missions, whether we pray for souls, whether we cast out Satan the Devil in the heart, we continue to wage the spiritual war like that.
Isn’t our life itself a spiritual war? It is wrong if you are thinking of taking a little break from spiritual warfare. It is our duty to wage war until we die, until we go before God. We must understand that this duty is our god-given calling. We must know that we are the warriors of Christ. We must always fight and win the battle if we are warriors. I want you to know that it is your fate to live the life of waging war.
Do you happen to think, “I do not like war because I am a pacifist”? Who is not a pacifist? However, what is the reality? Even if peace did come, it comes after the spiritual war, and the peace never comes if we do not engage in war. You and I are living in this world to wage the spiritual war. We exist for the spiritual war. Is there anyone here who still does not like to wage spiritual war? I want you to know the deep meaning and the benefit of the war now.
It really feels good when we win this battle. Aren’t you the same way? I really feel great in my heart when we win a battle. How boring our life would be if we did not wage war every day and there was nothing to win or lose. Find and fight a person you can take on in this wearisome world and win the soul. You will really feel great. Let’s go on living with taste of such pleasant feeling every day like that.
Is it burdensome to preach the gospel to some souls? Then, go to a less difficult person. Then, witness the gospel to that person. Witness the gospel to that person and review God’s Word that you have heard in the Church while you are preaching the gospel. I want you to review God’s Word with a soul who is not so difficult fleshly and spiritually. Among the students of our mission school, there were some brothers and sisters who felt the heavy burden of witnessing the gospel because they fought against the adults from the beginning. Later, they witnessed the gospel to the elementary students. They built their confidence like that and they were able to witness the gospel properly to adults as well afterwards.
What kind of warriors would we be if we did not know how to fight? Do you know the bird that cannot fly at all? An Ostrich can run as fast as 80 km per hour, but it cannot actually fly. They have lost the ability to fly because they haven’t used their wings for a long time. Our faith is the same. We will lose our faith if we do not use it in all spiritual warfare. We are warriors of Jesus Christ. The Lord told us to wage war. I actually enjoy waging this war. It is especially more fun waging war against foreigners.
We must know the heart of our Lord well. Our Lord wants you and me to engage in the spiritual war. We will some day win this war if we know the heart of the Lord and believe. We fight, witness the gospel, and save souls. Even though we want peace, I want you to live with new hearts that believe it is right to engage in the spiritual war since we now understand the desire of the Lord’s heart.