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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   God Measures Our Faith(3) - God Measures Our Faith (3)    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   Ezekiel 47: 1-5
Date
   2011-05-22



Passage

Ezekiel 47: 1-5
"Then he brought me back to the door of the house; and behold, water was flowing from under the threshold of the house toward the east, for the house faced east. And the water was flowing down from under, from the right side of the house, from south of the altar. He brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate by way of the gate that faces east. And behold, water was trickling from the south side. When the man went out toward the east with a line in his hand, he measured a thousand cubits, and he led me through the water, water reaching the ankles. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the knees. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the loins. Again he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not ford, for the water had risen, enough water to swim in, a river that could not be forded."


Introduction

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This is the third session on 'God Measures Our Faith'.
For a soul to receive salvation is a big and special event both on this earth and in Heaven.
In Luke 15:7 Jesus said, "I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance."
When a soul repents and receives salvation, God, the Lord, and all people in Heaven rejoice greatly.
Because a soul who is more precious than the whole world is revived, God rejoices as if, or more than when He lost the whole world and then got it back.
For the soul who received salvation, it is a life-turning event by which his destiny changed from Hell to the heavenly kingdom.
If we think about salvation deeply, we can feel the truly great grace that we have received.
We can realize how thankful it is that the Lord took the cross for us.
And is there anyone who considers the grace of salvation so lightly that you think you deserve to receive salvation?
Or, is there anyone among you who doesn't like going the narrow way not to mention being thankful?
Our Lord and the Holy Spirit pray before God repeatedly to give us the opportunity to gain enough faith to receive salvation.
But those who actually need to pray for their salvation are the ones who lead a spiritual life of ease in their faith.
Before we learn about the sins leading to death, let us first consider the cases of those who are outside the boundary of salvation.
Through this message, I urge you to check whether you are within the boundaries of salvation.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will all safely dwell within the boundaries of salvation.


Main

Brothers and sisters in Christ, in the last session,
I talked about the messenger of the Lord measuring one thousand cubits before Ezekiel was guided through the water.
This symbolizes that God measures each one's faith very accurately.
Without any bias, God measures our faith with the only measure, water, which is the word of God.
And He does not consider just the outward appearances when He applies this measure.
He considers the length of being a believer, our duties, titles, and the depth of our heart to give us the overall grade.
Namely, before He judges our level of faith, He considers all the aspects of each person in detail.
For this reason nobody can say God's judgment is wrong or give excuses.
This is a clear fact.
We know from the Bible that the angels, the seven Spirits of God, and the four livings creatures are watching every 'deed' of all people.
In searching our deeds, God searches not just our words and actions but also the depth of our hearts through His spirits.
The reason why He pays so much attention to accurate measurement is not to see our blemishes, discount our faith, or to punish us.
It is rather to give us more chances, and furthermore, to give us more rewards. That is why He makes such accurate measurement.
From the messenger of the Lord measuring one thousand cubits, we can see the broad and righteous heart of God.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, when God concludes the accurate measurement and determines that one has achieved the 1st Level of Faith, this person is then qualified to receive salvation.
In the reading passage, the water 'reaching the ankle' refers to the First Level of Faith.
The first level of faith is the faith to receive salvation or the faith to receive the Holy Spirit.
You are running your race of faith with the goal of at least the fourth level of faith, the faith of spirit.
So, you might consider the first level of faith as just a little faith.
But in reality today, there are so many people who do not even have this First Level of Faith.
This is not my personal opinion.
Anybody can see this fact if you consider the trend of this world today.
It's just that many people are trying to deny that which is the reality.
Now, what kinds of people are the ones who do not have faith to receive salvation, standing outside the boundary of salvation?
I will talk to you about this in four categories.
I hope you will not belong to any of these categories.
First, it is the worldly people who do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ even after hearing the Gospel.
Acts 4:12 says, "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved." As said, no one but Jesus Christ can save the mankind.
John 3:18 says, "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
Namely, those who do not believe in the Lord have already been judged and condemned to Hell.
But it's not true to say those who cannot be saved can be found only outside churches.
There are such people in the church, too.
What I am going to explain from now are about those people who go to church.
The second case of those who are out of the boundary of salvation is those who go to church but are forced to attend or who attend church for some personal benefit.
Most of these people do not try to believe in the living God.
Even though truth is preached in the church, they just doubt.
They pass judgment and say it is wrong only because it does not agree with worldly thought and theory.
In this way, no matter how long they attend church, they cannot receive the Holy Spirit nor have spiritual faith.
Instead they form synagogues of Satan that cause dissensions in the church and disturb the kingdom of God.
Some people think of the church as a place for social life or a place to get some peace of mind.
They are not interested in spiritual messages on salvation, Heaven and Hell, or holiness.
They are interested only in friendships, their businesses, or worldly fame.
Some people go to church only to receive blessings on this earth.
They consider Christianity as one of many religions and the Christian life as a simple religious activity.
Their goal of attending church is not in Heaven, but the earthly life.
So, how can these people have faith to receive salvation, even though they go to church?
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the third case of being out of the boundary of salvation is when they don't have faith to receive salvation or when they lose it.
These people have the willingness to receive salvation and they also believe in Heaven and Hell.
It's just that they don't know the truth properly, so they don't know exactly what faith is and how they can receive salvation.
They just vaguely think they will be saved if they attend church.
There are many people who believe that they can be saved once they have accepted the Lord and received the Holy Spirit.
This is an example of those who do not know the truth correctly.
So, even after accepting the Lord and having become children of God, they still commit sins following their old way of life.
It's not that they commit sins a couple of times because of their weak faith when they were new believers.
They commit sins just like worldly people for many years or even for decades although they attend church.
They don't try to cast off sins. They don't even have the concept that they have to cast off sins.
They seriously lack the effort to live by the Word of God.
For example, keeping the Lord's Day holy and giving tithes are duties of God's children.
As I will explain later, they are directly related to salvation.
Nevertheless, some believers do it only when they are able, but when they feel it is difficult or inconvenient, they don't.
It is because they do not realize that it is directly related to salvation whether they do it or not.
Also, many people just lead a life in Christ without knowing that the dwelling places and rewards will be different according to each one's measure of faith.
They just think everyone will all go into the same Heaven, without regard to whether they lead a passionate life in faith or not.
Even though they might know it, there are few who truly believe this and practice it in their Christian lives.
So, they place one foot in the church and the other foot in the world to lead a casual Christian life.
But God is the God of Justice who lets us reap what we have sown and pays us back for what we have done.
So how can this Just God grant salvation to everybody without regard to whether or not they live by the Word of God?
Also, will He give the same dwelling place and reward to someone who led an ardent Christian life and to one who just barely gained salvation?
In Matthew 16:27 Jesus said, "For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds."
Revelation 22:12 says, "To render to every man according to what he has done."
God will lead each person into one of 5 dwelling places in either paradise; the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd kingdoms of heaven; or New Jerusalem according to their measure of faith.
He gives them rewards according to their faithfulness.
Many biblical passages tell us these things, but not many believers take hold of better dwelling place and more rewards in heaven by force.
It's because, as the Bible says, it is difficult to meet with a guide who teaches them the truth correctly, and it is even more difficult to understand and believe the truth by themselves.
Also, even though they are taught with the truth, it is difficult to believe it with the heart without spiritual experiences.
Namely, they cannot really feel Heaven and Hell in their hearts.
If the leader distorts the truth and teaches something that is not true, it can have devastating consequences.
Not too long ago a church in the United States allowed for ordaining of homosexual pastors.
The representatives of the churches, who are supposed to lead the churches to the right way, passed an agenda that is directly against the word of God.
As Jesus said in Matthew 15:14, it is an example of a blind man guiding a blind man.
Today, there are many Christians who remain in the first level of faith because they do not understand the truth in a life in faith.
They don't advance into the Second Level of Faith where they try to practice the word of God.
They don't cast off sins nor are they truly faithful to God.
They may lead a life of faith, but they have more interest in this earthly life than in the heavenly kingdom.
So, even though many of them are saved, they will just receive 'shameful salvation'.
But that is, if they are lucky enough to keep their faith until the Lord comes back.
If they just stay at the same place in faith, it is likely that they will lose that little bit of faith.
By some tests or trials, they will soon stumble and depart from salvation.
It would be good if our salvation were guaranteed once we accept the Lord.
The Bible, however, tells believers to 'work out our salvation'.
Philippians 2:12 says, "So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling."
Also, Bible tells and warns us that our name can be erased from the book of life.
1 Thessalonians 5:19 warns us saying, "Do not quench the Spirit."
The fourth case of being outside of the boundaries of salvation is when a person commits sins and departs from salvation knowing the truth.
This case is different from that of a person not being able to live by the Word of God because they do not know the truth.
They know the boundaries of salvation, and they also have had spiritual experiences.
Some people lead a passionate Christian life with fervor after they accept the Lord.
They try to live by the Word they hear.
They fast and pray to cast off sins and work faithfully for God's kingdom.
They may even become pastors, leaders, workers and those who teach others.
But then, they commit a grave sin at one point in time and as a result they lose the fervor. Or, they take the world back in little by little and their zeal cools down.
If they stay like that without repenting, they can be stained by sins once again and finally lose the faith to receive salvation.
In other words, the Holy Spirit will be quenched.
It is in situations like this that those who have been advancing from the 1st level to the 2nd and 3rd level of faith can also fall away from salvation.
It's because as long as they don't cast off flesh from their heart, they can take back in the world of flesh and commit sins any time.
Therefore, you have to keep your heart until you stand on the Rock of Faith, namely the faith on which you will not be swayed. Or, even further still until you go into spirit.
You should not give any room for Satan.
Then, how is it that these people who are outside of the boundaries of salvation cannot receive salvation, that is, what kinds of sins did they commit?
I will explain about them from the next session.
These sins are about those who believe in God but do not lead a proper life in faith as in today's third and fourth categories, rather than that of the unbelievers.
I hope you will keep it in mind to work out your salvation completely, and also to guide many souls who will come in the future.


Conclusion

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
In the mini crusades we listened to the testimony of Angelica together.
In that short testimony, we heard many times our Lord was shedding His tears.
He was full of sorrow for the many souls who are going the way of Hell, who do not receive salvation and fall into Hell.
Salvation is a gift that is given by grace without a price.
But the reality of this age is that so many souls do not receive salvation.
Added on top of suffering the pains of the cross for us, the Lord is interceding for us without eating anything in Heaven.
He will not stop His prayers until He comes back to this earth again us to take us.
As 1 Timothy 2:4 says, "[God] desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth," He earnestly wants all the souls on this earth to receive salvation.
Among those who are listening to this message, do any of you belong to one of these four categories I mentioned?
If so, I hope you will repent and come into the boundary of salvation today, right at this moment.
Depend on the love of the Lord.
Live as children of God should be living.
2 Corinthians 6:2 says, "For He says, 'At the acceptable time I listened to you, and on the day of salvation I helped you.' Behold, now is 'the acceptable time,' behold, now is 'the day of salvation.'"
To those souls who listen and hear the Word today and turn away from sin, today will be the day of salvation.
I pray in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you will all be filled with the joy of salvation.

 
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