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God and Man

By the grace of God I wish you peace in your heart and that you will be blessed with a new message of hope that you have never heard before. I lived in China for 7 years and while I was there I met Mr. Choi who was 69 years old at that time. He had been a math teacher in high school who, 13 years prior, was diagnosed with diabetes. Because of the diabetes he had lost the sight of one of his eyes and soon would lose the other eye as well.

Someone told him to go and see Mr. Ha, and he would help him recover from his illness. Mr. Choi thought I could cure his diabetes and so he invited me to his home. He was bedridden and I was glad to have the chance to visit him.

In fact, I had no knowledge of how to cure his illness but I knew a little about the “NEWSTART” (Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sunshine, Temperance, Air, Rest, and Trust in God) program.

As I introduced him to these principles, I asked, “Would you mind if we study the Bible and search for the New Start principles?”  He had an awkward expression on his face and said, “I cannot do that, because I am a member of the communist party. We can’t join any sort of religion. I signed an agreement with the communist party when I joined.” He further told me that he was a loyal communist member all his life. 

Even though he made that statement, I insisted that we should study the Bible. Eventually, he gave in, shrugged his shoulder and said, “Go ahead. What else can I do?”, so I introduced him to the wonderful messages from the Bible. It got his attention and he began to show interest in the Bible study more than the health message. Gradually he showed improvement in his diabetes and was able to walk. Soon, he and his wife denounced their communist beliefs and membership, and they accepted Christ and become sincere Christians.

The Bible was written more than 3000 years ago. Yes, it is true that it’s difficult to read the Bible and fully understand the teaching. Many people told me that they had read the Bible several times and they couldn’t understand the teachings and its meanings. So today I am going to share and read the Bible with you. In the book of Acts chapter 16 verse 31, I read; “And they said, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

If you pay close attention, you will notice that the Bible repeatedly tells us to receive salvation. The Bible says we all have to be saved. So let us begin by studying salvation in the Bible and try to understand what it means. I invited him to read with me from the Book of Acts 4:12,

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

This verse mentioned salvation, which means that the Bible is constantly telling us about salvation. Then what is salvation? Does salvation mean that we are saved from desperate situations?

I was in China in 2001. There were two cities separated by a river. I was trying to go across the river by boat. But I was late for the departure, so I hurried, but I missed the boat. Later I heard the boat capsized and about 200 passengers on that boat were drowned. It was a very sad incident, but do you think these people needed salvation?

Yes, they did.

Suppose you were walking alone in the hills and you come face to face with a lion on the way, would you need salvation? Yes, of course.

What about if you were diagnosed with cancer? Would you need salvation?

Yes, of course.

Is that why Jesus Christ came to this earth to save us?

So far we understood that salvation is needed when we are in danger or in a desperate situation. However, we don’t feel that we are in a desperate situation now. We are not drowning in the water, confronted by a lion on the way or facing any such drastic and dangerous situation at this time. And in fact I feel fine. I am not sick or having such disasters happening to me now. Then why do we need salvation?

Let us read John 3:16. This verse explains what salvation is.

“For God, so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

This verse seems to show us that salvation and eternal life have a deep relationship between them. What will happen if we do not accept salvation? Then we will have eternal destruction instead.

Salvation = Everlasting life  VS. Eternal destruction

What is eternal life? The Bible explains that eternal life is living forever, without death. However, we know that life expectancy is only 70 or 80 years at the most. The Bible is not a book to teach us about agriculture or business, but it teaches us the purpose of life. Where we come from, where we are going, and why are we here today.

“Do you know the purpose of your life?”  I asked.

“No I don’t”, he replied.

“All these years you have never thought of it?”

“Never”, he answered.

“When you get on a train do you ever think about these issues?” I asked.

In fact most of us just go through life blindly without thinking about eternal life.

Sometimes, when I ride on the train, I carry on a conversation with the person sitting next to me.

“When did you get on this train?” I asked.

“I don’t know”, he replied.

“Where are you going?” I asked again.

“I don’t know” he answered.

“Why did you get on this train?” I continued asking.

“I don’t know that either”, he replied.

If someone says that, what would you think of such a person? His response sounds somewhat weird, doesn’t it? Many of us live our lives without thinking where we came from and where we are going, and why we are on this earth. Many have no purpose in life. We take life for granted and we know that someday we will all die and that is it. The study of these matters is called philosophy.

 Karl Marx’s philosophy is one of them. Most of the Chinese and North Koreans believe this kind of philosophy. They are atheists.  These people consider life is no more important than matter. So what matters to them is only material things like money, and bigger homes, etc.

Since life is simply a matter, it will return to dust in the end and that is all. Buddhism and some other religions believe that life is in a form of a spirit. In our body there dwells a spirit, and when a person dies the body will return to dust, but the spirit will be reincarnated into a different form of body and live forever. 

Let’s read the Bible to see what it says. Job 14:1, 2;

 “Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. He springs up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure.” Job 14:1, 2

It says, that “Man born of women is of few days….” “Is of few days” means that our life on this earth is short. Is it really short? Yes, it is.

(Pointing at seniors) May I ask you how old you are? Are you in your 70s? Your youthful days have gone by in a blink of an eye, haven’t they? When you were young perhaps you were handsome and intelligent. I think some young ladies were chasing after you. It looks like you were an honor roll student, right? But is there anyone attracted to you now and will they ask you out for a date? I would not think so. (Audience laughter) Your youthful days have quickly slipped away, and you are already in your 70s…

In fact, I am in the same situation as you are. As I look back, my school days were like yesterday, but I am over 40 years old already. Many of my students bring back some memories of my school days. I don’t think it has been that long, but time surely passed away quickly. It would be nice if life were filled with happiness, joy, and pleasure even though it is short. The Bible speaks contrary to that, rather it declares that life is full of troubles, worries, sorrow and suffering. Let me read you one more verse; Psalm 90:10.

“The length of our days is seventy years– or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.” Psalm 90:10

Time surely flies away. The life expectancy today is about seventy or eighty years at the most. As we look back on our life, our days were full of anguish, troubles, and hardships. Our life is like a gust of wind that comes and goes, and we can never go back again. That is so sad and we cannot be too arrogant about that.

What is the Biblical conclusion about our life?

Let’s read Ecclesiastes 1:1-8.

“Meaningless! Meaningless! says the Teacher. Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless. What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again. All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.” Ecclesiastes 1:1-8

The Bible concluded that our life is meaningless. It means that whatever we do on earth is in vain. The studying, gardening, working in a company, or making money, the Bible says all these things are in vain. Why is that so? It says no matter how much money we make on earth, when we die we cannot take a single penny with us. So it is truly in vain. Whether we were a President or homeless, eventually we will all end up in the same place. This means we will all end up at the same destiny. That is the reason why the Bible concluded that all those things are in vain. I agree with that, and it is true.

Let me illustrate for you one thing: 100×0=0. 1,000,000×0= 0.

Just as life x death=nothing. That’s the fact. Likewise whoever or whatever we are, eventually we will face death, and everything will become nothing. So, the Bible concluded that our life is in vain. But didn’t we all work hard at a job, at school or at the farm? Actually you’ve all worked for nothing. (Audience laughter). Yes, we worked for nothing.  All the business workers, students and farmers all worked in vain. Why? The most serious issue in our life is not marrying, studying or finding a good house. But it is the topic of death. Every one of us will die eventually, and all of our earthly possessions will perish.

Why do we have to die? What is death and where did it come from? Let’s read Romans 5:12.

“Wherefore as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed upon all men for that all have sinned.” Romans 5:12.

What did the Bible say about death? That sin had caused us to die. All of us sinned against God, so we are doomed to perish.

 “Have you sinned a lot?” (Pointing to a lady in the audience)

“Yes, a lot”, replied the lady

“What have you done, a lot?”

“A lot”, she answered

“What do you mean by a lot?”

“I can’t tell”, she replied

I guess we sin against God unknowingly.

When I watched a president being interviewed on television; his response was constantly “I don’t know”, or “I can’t recall.” 

If I say we are all sinners, some Chinese people get upset with me. They would ask me back, “Why do you say I am a sinner?

I’ve never cheated or beaten anyone. So, why am I a sinner?”

The Bible says we all are sinners, and the wages of sin is death. First we must find out what kind of sin we have committed, and what is the meaning of sin? Let’s read from the book of 1 John 3:4              

“Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.” The transgression of sin is breaking the law; whose law is it referring to? Of course it is God’s law. Then what is God’s law? The book of Luke explains what it is.

“And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Luke 10:25

“ ‘What is written in the Law?’ He asked. ‘How do you interpret it?’ He answered: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, love your neighbor as yourself.’ ‘You have answered correctly,’ Jesus replied. ‘Do this and you will live’ ” Luke 10:26-28

A law student came to Jesus and asked, “How could I not live in vain?” “Keep the law of God”, Jesus replied. God’s law consists of two parts, love for God and love for others. It is simple. Let’s ponder on this.

If all the people who lived in the LA area loved one another, then we would not need to strive to go to Heaven because Heaven is already there. Let me illustrate this way.  When we go to market, a customer walks into the market and the merchant says to him, “Oh, the next store’s products are much cheaper than mine, go and buy from him.” or “It’s ok for my child to fail, but I want your child to pass the examination.” or “I hope you will make more money than I do.”

If all the people of LA behaved like this, then LA would already be like Heaven. And if all the Americans’ attitudes were like that then the whole country, the USA, would be like Heaven. We all know that the Japanese would like to have the Dokdo Island in Korea. If we were to say, yes, you can have it, or let us share the island, or you can have Jeju Island too. Then Korea would be like Heaven, wouldn’t it? (Audience laughter).

But we just don’t do that. We love ourselves more than others, don’t we? We think of ourselves first and we are all greedy and selfish. Whether one is educated or not, has lots of money or little, regardless of nationality, may it be Korean,  American, Chinese, Capitalists or Socialists, most of us are selfish and greedy. That is one reason why our world is a difficult place to live. We have worries, competition, and countries at war with each other. All this is happening  because of our sinful human nature.

The more I study about God’s law it points out to me our sinful nature. Our sinful nature is completely opposite to God’s law. We disobeyed God’s law and so we became sinners, and that means we have to face death. No one can escape death.

When you visit a Buddhist temple they will tell you something like this. If you do lots of good works and be virtuous then you will achieve deliverance and become a Buddha. But what about the sin we already committed in the past?  They do not have an answer to it. Because of our sinful nature, achieving deliverance and becoming a Buddha is not possible. Were we sinners at the beginning of creation? Let’s read Genesis 1:26-27.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:26-27

Does the Holy Bible tell us where we came from? It clearly states we were created by God. When we write this Chinese character it looks like this (神) which means God. God created us in His own

image. We were taught in Junior High and Senior High school about Darwin’s theory of evolution. His theory says that as the time passed by and through gene mutation, the monkey evolved and became a man. I was a believer of that theory once, but not anymore. May I share with you why I don’t believe in that theory?

Let me use numbers to explain. From one to ten is not too many to count. To reach number 10 we count the lower numbers to higher, 2, 3, 4, and on to number 9 and then number 10. Then in between 1 to 2, I will put sub numbers such as1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and so on. As you imagine, if a monkey were to evolve to a human, it will be a very long process. We humans are so different from the monkey. Have you ever seen a monkey worship or perform a sacrificial ceremony? Have you ever seen a monkey build a house? Have you ever seen monkeys wear dresses that they made themselves and parade around wearing them? Never, that is not happening! We have not seen monkeys making movies for their entertainment or clapping their hands for their accomplishment. Men are created differently compared to monkeys.

If we truly came from a monkey, we should be able to see some intermediate animals between monkeys and man in the process. For example, an individual who would look like half monkey and half man. But no such thing exists. A monkey will always be a monkey, and so a man will always be a man. The Theory of Evolution concludes only the end from the assumed beginning (#1 and #10) and intermediary creatures do not exist. Darwin’s theory has no reasonable evidence to support its claims. And if the Darwinian theory is true, why is it that we are not evolving further from man to something better?

As an example, we have a newborn child and an 80 year old man. We all know that the baby will gradually grow and mature to an older person. We can observe the process of the baby’s growth, 10, 20 and 30 years old, and finally grown up to 80 years old. In Kwang-Chun, Seoul, and America, you won’t see only the very young and very old people, and nothing in between.

Darwinian theory says something like this. Here is a lump of clay. A million years later, three holes will appear, and this clay will turn into a brick all by itself. Ten million years later, these bricks build themselves into a house.  Can you imagine this would ever happen in real life? It is not possible, and we all know that. Man must make the bricks and build a house.  Basically man is made of clay, as are the bricks and the houses.

As we can see, forms of clay cannot transform on their own, even yet, where can they derive life from? If Darwin’s theory is indeed to be believed that we were evolved from monkeys, and they are our ancestors, should we not show some respect to these monkeys, instead of locking them in cages in zoos and laughing at them? The Bible tells us that we are created by God. Yes, He is our ancestor. God has two distinctive characteristics.

God is love and He is immortal. Because He created us in His own image, we possess the same quality as God in the beginning. Man was to enjoy this eternal life and happiness. We harvest what we sow. If we sow soybeans, we will harvest soybeans.  When we plant adzuki beans, we will harvest adzuki beans. Likewise in the beginning, we were created by God in His image, and we had everlasting life and happiness. Yet somehow we lost that quality.

Let’s read Genesis 2:16-17.

“And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17

As we read these verses, God is explaining to man the kinds of the fruits he can enjoy, and kind of work he needs to do. But there was only one tree, the tree of knowledge of good and evil, that He forbade man to eat the fruit thereof. Man was to show his trust and loyalty to God by following his command. The woman said to the serpent, “God told us that we may eat fruit from all the trees in the garden”, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will surely die.’ The serpent told Eve that if she ate that fruit she would not surely die, but be like God. She ate the fruit, and then gave the fruit to her husband, and he ate it as well. Genesis 3:2

I will talk more about the snake later, but the snake was the devil disguised as a serpent to deceive the woman. The woman was deceived and ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This is how all the suffering, sorrow, struggles, affliction, and eventually death came to mankind, and passed this history of sadness unto following generations.

That is how we are suffering the consequences. Because of who? Yes, the woman. It was the woman, right? (Laughter). Ladies, it was because of woman, that men have to go through the struggles of life. You ought to feel sorry for the men, right?  It seems that the world is contrary to that. I heard someone say that it is true the woman ate the fruit first, and the man ate knowingly. This incidence tells us how man cannot dare to go against his wife. (Laughter)

In China, it is a common sight in an early morning to see men dressed with an apron cooking breakfast. Chinese women are said to have more power than men. If one has to be kicked out of the house it will be usually the man. In a large gathering of men in a company, a man shouted to the group, “If any one of you is not afraid of your wife, move to the other side.”  There was one man who walked to the other side. Someone asked him, “Are you not really afraid of your wife?” He answered, “My wife told me never to stay among the large group of men.” (Audience laughs). You see, there are few men who would refuse to take what a woman gives.

Someone asked, “Isn’t God too harsh on us? Just because the man ate one forbidden fruit, He punishes him with death?” If Korean law says that whoever steals someone’s apple will be put in jail for 10 years, is that law considered too harsh?

Let us read Genesis 2:17. “But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for when you eat of it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:17.

When God gave instruction to Adam not to eat the forbidden fruit Eve was not created yet. Genesis 2:22 tells us where Eve came from. “Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.” Genesis 2:22

Adam received the instruction from God first regarding the forbidden fruits and Eve heard it from Adam. He ate the fruit with her because he did not want Eve to suffer alone and he wanted to die with her. After all she was his companion that God had created.

Adam’s mind was as pure as God’s. He loved God and his companion. He realized what Eve had done so he did not want to see her die alone. So he decided to eat the fruit and die with

her. If your wife were in that situation would you be willing to die with her? It’s not an easy decision. Most of us find it very difficult to do what Adam did for Eve. Since my wife is not present here I am going to tell you the truth. I don’t think I could die with her. (Audience laughs)

This shows that our minds have been corrupted. Let us examine and compare what has changed before and after the eating of forbidden fruit. Let’s read Genesis 3:8-9

“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called the man, ‘Where are you?’” Genesis 3:8-9

The first sign of disobedience was running away from God.  They ran from God and hid themselves. They lost their love for God. Man’s heart has changed. In these days, most of us are the same as this, aren’t we? We visit from house to house, knocking on the doors to invite the residents to come to church. We tell them that God so loved the world and He promised us eternal life. So we were inviting them to come and learn and search for the truth. How do they respond to our invitation? Most common replies by these people were, “I don’t have the time”, or “I don’t believe in such things.”

We handed out pamphlets around the train station, and on the way back we found a lot of the distributed pamphlets in the trash can. From the moment of disobedience, human nature has changed and we refuse to accept God and keep our distance from Him. God is constantly searching for us and we are always running away from Him. This is how the game of hide and seek between God and man started. Disobedience and running away from God were the first behavioral changes.

“And he asked who told you that you were naked, have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” Genesis 3:11-12

The second behavioral change was finger pointing and blaming someone else.

God asked Adam, “Why did you eat the forbidden fruit?” Adam’s reply was, “The woman you created for me to be my companion, she gave me the fruit so I ate it.” Adam knew the consequence of eating the forbidden fruit, and he wanted to die with her, because he loved her so much. But after Adam had eaten the forbidden fruit, the love towards Eve was gone, and sadly he blamed her saying that she gave him the forbidden fruit. Eve then blamed the serpent for deceiving her to eat the forbidden fruit.  In other words, it was not just a simple sin of eating a forbidden fruit, but it was a much more profound and serious sin to the extent that changed human nature. Now can you understand how serious a sin it was? As the consequence, mankind cannot escape the situation of sadness, resentment, fighting and troubles, toward the final destination of death.

The question, then, is “Is there a way to escape from such sad situations?” Yes, there is, and it is called salvation. It is a blessing to have good health, a happy family, prosperity, and wealth. But these things have nothing to do with salvation. When we die all these things will perish.  So where do we find the way to salvation?

Genesis chapter 3 tells us of an episode of great struggle between God and the devil that started in the universe. This is a part of that great struggle, and indeed the devil succeeded in deceiving man to sin. And the devil declared that he defeated God in this struggle. As the Bible says, God is love. On the other hand, God’s law cannot be changed to make it like nothing has happened. Now the man sinned against God. Since God said, “But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for when you eat of it you will surely die,” man had to die. If man was put to death, the devil would proclaim to the universe that God is a liar.

Even though God says He is love, he punishes anyone with death if he disobeys even once. The devil would accuse God as a brutal being. What would happen if God told Adam and Eve, because He is love, that He would forgive and give them a second chance, and told them not to disobey Him again. Satan will then accuse God for not keeping His word. His laws are not steadfast. He can do whatever He wants to. So it would be OK to trample on the laws at will.

Do you think God was in a dilemma? So Satan proclaimed that he had won the war against God. But some unusual thing has happened which Satan could never have imagined. Have you seen this? It is the cross.

This is the cross where God himself would come down as a man to this sinful world and die in place of man to save humankind. From this moment onward whosoever believes that God has come down and died on his behalf and receives Him with a grateful heart will have eternal life. The Christian church is the place where such believers gather together to worship God. Let’s read John 3:16.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

“For God so loved the world” means God loved us so much and so He died for our sin. That means all men and women, including the person who would die tomorrow, and Chinese or Koreans, will find the way of eternal life whoever believes in this fact. This is what Christianity is all about.

Is it clear to you now that the Cross is where the Love of God is manifested and proven? By His sacrificial death you can understand God’s law was vindicated. Through the death on the cross, God demonstrated how God’s love will go hand in hand with His law in a wonderful way. Satan was defeated. The cross is the memorial of victory of God’s law and His unconditional love. This is the reason why Christians love the cross. It is the way of eternal life.

It said, “Whoever believes in Him will not perish.” It means we are not going to die. People still die even though they believe in God. Many believing Christians have died in the past. Was there something wrong with the Bible then? Whether you are believers or nonbelievers we all know that someday we are destined to die.

So what is this eternal life the Bible is talking about? Some people say after death we will stay in a sleeping state and others say our body is dead, but our spirit goes to Heaven. Today we are not getting into details, but will study this soon.   This section will deal with the overview of the Bible from the beginning to the end like on a speedy highway.

Let’s read and try to understand John 11:25

Lazarus was dead for four days and Jesus came to comfort Lazarus’ sister.  Jesus said to her that her brother will rise again. “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies’ Do you believe this?” John 11:25

We read a new word here on resurrection. What does resurrection mean?  Resurrection means a dead person will come to life again. It means the Christians will die just like nonbelievers, but they will come to life again in a new body and new life. Let us read one more verse in the Bible;

“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” 1Corinthians 15:51-52

This verse describes that the death in Christ, the believers, are asleep. Young or old, we all are destined to die and decay in a matter of a few months once buried. This verse, however, tells us someday we will be awakened to a new life incorruptible. When will this resurrection take place, you ask? Let us find the answer in 1Thesalonians 4:13

“Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-15

Here again “death” to Christians is described as a sleep. We grieve over the loss of our parents, because we realize that we will not be able to see or talk to them anymore. Most believe that it is an eternal separation. My mom lives in my hometown in Korea and she is 80 years old. When I took off to China she didn’t cry because she knew I would come back some day. But we are dealing with death, permanent separation, and that is why it is hard to accept this loss. Let us read 1 Thessalonians 4:13

“We do not want you to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.”

This year is 2008. Where was the starting point for counting? What happened 2008 years ago in history? What took place in the year 0 or year 1? Have you thought about this? Most people are not aware of this when they do count the number of years. The starting point was the birth of Jesus Christ. So the era before the birth of Christ is called BC, and after Christ is called AD (anno domini).

So He is an important person in history whether you are believers or nonbelievers of Jesus Christ. (Pointing at audience) Sister, may I ask you your birthday? February 10, 1985?  “Yes”, she replied. That means you were born 1985 years, 2month and 10 days after Jesus Christ came to this earth. What do you think about that?

So the birth of Jesus is an important event in your life. My identity card number has something to do with His birthday. Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross on Friday 2000 years ago, and on Saturday He was laid to rest in the tomb. He was resurrected on Sunday and ascended to Heaven. Likewise when Jesus

returns, the dead in Christ will be resurrected just as He was and will go to Heaven. Therefore, I ask you not to be so sad even though we may face death. When are we going to be resurrected?

1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17 says this:

“For the Lord himself will come down from Heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

About 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ died on the cross and was resurrected. He is coming back and the dead in Christ will rise to an incorruptible body. The day of resurrection is the same day as the second coming of Jesus Christ.  Buddhists do not teach about resurrection. Their belief is when a good person dies the physical body will be decomposed in the ground, but the spirit will be in Heaven or reincarnate. Those who refuse to accept their teaching about the spirit will go to hell. The Bible never says that when a person dies, he or she will go to Heaven right away. It says that he or she will sleep and wait until Christ’s return. At that moment the dead will be resurrected and go to Heaven. You have heard of hell.  Where is this place called hell?

I heard an awful story, and please allow me to paint a picture of this place called hell. Individuals who go to hell will be punished forever. There were many different types of punishment. There is a humongous grinder that will grind an individual into pieces. By the time an individual gets used to this grinding, he will be tossed into a furnace to be burned, then shoved into a poisonous snake hole, and then made to walk about on a bed of needles barefooted. So hell is a place of perpetual suffering and agony.

As you recall, we know that God is love and that is His character. Can you imagine such a loving God preparing a cruel torture chamber like hell, and tell nonbelieving wicked people to suffer their consequences forever and ever? This kind of hell is not compatible with God’s character of love.

As I study the Bible I haven’t found anything like that. Then what will happen to nonbelievers? They are already returned to dust and remain dead when Jesus comes.  They won’t be resurrected to life till later.

Jesus Christ says, “I died for you and paid full penalty of your sin, so now I want you to be saved and have everlasting life.” But if you refuse Jesus’ invitation saying, “I don’t want it” or “I don’t believe it,” then God cannot force you to accept it. So He will let you go back to the original state, which is dust. Some have asked me, “The dead body already is rotten and became dust, or even burnt and turned to ashes, how will an individual be restored on resurrection day?” But I believe whether we were buried or burnt, some elements will be there for our Creator to restore us. Modern science talks about cloning using stem cells.

If scientists can perform such experiments, then it will not be a difficult task for our Creator to accomplish. Our genes contain all our life history that is stored as on a film. So when He comes back He will restore us in a better form. That is resurrection. Let us read the following verses and see what Jesus has promised us.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John


2000 years ago on one Thursday, Jesus announced to the disciples that He would be put to death on the cross, and would rise on the third day. As disciples heard of this they were distressed and worried. At that moment Jesus promised them and said, “Do not worry, I am going to go and prepare a place for you, I will come again.” Let us focus on the words ‘Come again.’ This tells us that we do not go to Heaven right away when we die. ‘I will come again, and receive you unto myself.’

2000 years ago, after Jesus told this to the disciples, He ascended to Heaven. He promised that He will return. Do we know when He will be back?

“And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately. ‘Tell us,’ they said, ‘when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?’” Matthew 24:3.

The disciples asked Him for signs of His second coming? “And Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘Take heed that no man deceive you.’” Matthew 24:4

Jesus answered, “There will be many false prophets.” Even though they are human, they will say, “Believe in me and you will be healthier and wealthier.”  Have you seen someone like that? There are many false Gods in Korea and everywhere. In China there is a man called Bub Ryoon Koong, and his real name is Lee, Hong Ji. He claimed to be a god. He has about 100 million followers. His followers were demonstrating at Tiananmen Square by pouring oil on their cotton-padded clothes and torching themselves proclaiming that Lee Hong Ji is god. We will see many false gods. Why are so many people deceived by them?

Matthew 24:24 has the answer.

“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Matthew 24:24

They performed miracles, which most of us ordinary people can’t do. By looking at the miracles, many people think God must be within them. So many will follow and accept them as their leader.

The Seventh-day Adventist church teaches only from the Bible and no such dramatic performance, so it is not that attractive to many people. People will flock to the place where they can see some unusual happenings. But Jesus warned us to be careful about that in Matthew 24:7, 8

“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:7, 8

There is going to be more war and earthquakes, and we have seen this happening.

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Matthew 24:12.

People are not as kind as they used be. It has changed since my childhood days. We often see parents disown their child and children despise their parents. Friends betray each other because of money, and we hear of  broken marriages 3 out of 10 times.

For example, some children took their elderly parents to Jeju island as if it was to be a sightseeing tour. They dropped them off on the roadside, promising to come back and pick them up.

They never came back to the elderly parents. These elderly folks were too ashamed to go to authorities to seek help. They would not give the telephone number of their children because it is a disgrace on them. They were then placed in a nursing home for care.

These are signs of the end times. These things happen not only in Korea, but also all around the world. Matthew 24:14.

“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the entire world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Matthew 24:14

When the gospel messages are heard all over the world then Jesus will return. Is there any country that doesn’t have churches?  If there is one place, it could be North Korea. But even in that area we are aware of underground Christians worshiping God in secret.

Today I have introduced the whole Bible in very simple format. The Bible is telling us to receive salvation. Why do we need salvation? Because our life is in vain. Why is it in vain? When we

die everything stops. Why do we have to die?  It is because of sin. What is sin? Sin is the transgression of God’s law. It is human nature to sin. We couldn’t get away from our destiny of death. But the Son of God came down to this earth and died for all of us so we can go to Heaven and have everlasting life when He returns the second time.

I mentioned to you earlier that there is no such place called hell. Before I end my lecture I would like to show you a picture. Have you seen this kind of picture before? What does it look like to you? This is a picture of the Milky Way. We are told there are many galaxies like that in the universe, and the size of the galaxy is so enormous that we cannot fathom it. It would take one hundred thousand light years to travel from one end to the other. Can you guess how many stars there are inside this galaxy?

In school we learned that there were more than one hundred billion stars. And in the universe there are over one hundred billion galaxies. And if you multiply one hundred billion by one hundred billion, could you guess how many stars are out there. This earth is like a speck of dust in the midst of the universe.

There are many stars and planets in the universe; do you think earth is the only planet that is inhabited? Do you think Loma Linda is the only place populated with people? Then you are wrong. There are many people living in L.A. and in the whole country of America. There are 1.3 billion people living in China. So if you think earth is the only inhabited planet you may be proven to be foolish.

The Bible teaches us that earth is not the only planet that is inhabited. Other planets in the universe are inhabited too. There are 100 billion galaxies out there.  Even if there is only one planet like earth in each of these galaxies, there would be at least one hundred billion planets where rivers flow and flowers are blossoming.

After all, the earth is the worst place to live whereas the other planets are much happier where there are no hospitals or police stations, because there is no sin. Earth is the only planet you have to struggle to survive, bound in sorrows, wars, sickness and death. So, where is this place we call hell? The place where you and I are living in is hell. If we directly translate hell in Chinese characters -地=earth, 獄=prison, it is the very words as it reads.

Therefore God had to isolate this corrupted earth because we are infected with the horrible disease of sin, greed, and selfishness from the rest of the other planets.  We are born into this hell, with this terrible disease of sin, to go through a life of suffering, and end up in death. This is our common destiny of vanity. The Bible shows us the way out of this unfortunate destiny and that is through the cross of Jesus Christ.

Let us pray.

Dear Father in Heaven. We thank You for telling us the way of eternal life. In the past we never knew where we came from, where we are going to or where we are standing now. Our destiny

was to live in sadness and suffer all along our lives, and die in vain. We are thankful that You gave us the way to eternal life. Things may be unclear now, but please help us to understand more clearly and believe in you. We all came here from different situations, but help our mind and body to be healed through your grace, oh Lord.  Amen.


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