How should one live the church life so as to be saved?

The answer from God’s word:

Some people say, ‘I have lived the church life for several years, and every time I am quite satisfied with it and enjoy it very much.’ When you ask them how they live the church life, they say, ‘When we get there, we pray to God. And while praying, we weep bitterly. The brothers and sisters all pray and we are all very willing to speak to God and pray and supplicate to God. Then we sing hymns and praise. When we sing hymns, we are so moved that our face is covered with tears! Sometimes when we are excited, we feel very hot and keep sweating, so much so that we can wring plenty of water out of our towel. The brothers and sisters then dance, some singing and others dancing. The church life is so pleasant. After that we eat and drink God’s word. When we eat and drink God’s word, we feel that God’s word touches the bottom of our heart. And when we fellowship, we feel we all have strength.’ After people have lived the church life this way for more than a decade, what is the end? No one pays attention to being an honest person, no one dissects himself, no one shares his real states with the brothers and sisters, and no one shares his real substance with the brothers and sisters and lays it bare to them. The church life of more than a decade has been wasted like this, passed in their dancing and leaping and in their feeling and enjoyment. Where do you think that enjoyment and happiness comes from? I dare say it is not what God wants and not what God is satisfied with, because God wants to see the transformation in man and see that man has lived out the reality of God’s word. God wants to see this, and He does not want to see that when you have meetings or your zeal is stirred up, you hold the hymn book and sing hymns, or praise God and dance there. This is not what God wants to see; on the contrary, God is sorrowful and grieved to see this. This is because although God has spoken thousands upon thousands of words, God’s words have not been truly realized in or lived out by anyone, and God feels very sorrowful and anxious. This is what God worries about. Often, when we have somewhat of the church life, we feel contented; when we have somewhat of a happiness, somewhat of a peace, and somewhat of a joy, and when we have a little delight and comfort in the heart or feel kind of rich in the spirit at the time of praising God, we think that we have done very well in believing in God. We always keep these false appearances and think that these are what we ought to gain first and chiefly and are what we have gained in believing in God and substitute them for the transformation of our disposition and for the way to enter into salvation, so we do not pursue, and do not pursue to be an honest person, to lay bare ourselves, or to practice God’s words. Therefore, God is very worried.”

from “To Be Honest, You Should Lay Yourself Open to Others” in Records of Christ’s Talks With Leaders and Workers of the Church

sharingIn ‘sharing and communing experiences,’ sharing means speaking of every thought in your heart, your situation, your experiences and knowledge of God’s words, as well as the corrupt disposition within you—and after that, others differentiate, and accept the positive and recognize that which is negative. Only this is sharing, and only this is truly communing. It does not simply mean having insights into the words of God or a part of a hymn, and communing as you please, and not saying anything related to your own actual life. Everyone talks about doctrinal and theoretical knowledge, and says nothing of knowledge drawn from actual experiences. They all avoid talking about such things, about their personal lives, about their life in the church with their brothers and sisters, and about their own inner world. In this way, how can there be true communication between people, how can there be real trust? There cannot! What do you say, if a wife never speaks of the words within her heart to her husband, are they confidants? Do they confide in each other? They do not. Suppose that all day long the husband says, ‘Aw, my wife, I love you!’ and all day long the wife says, ‘My husband, I love you, I will love you forever, I’ll never leave you.’ They say only this, but the wife has never laid bare what she’s thinking in her heart, what she wants of her husband, or what problems she has. She has never spoken to her husband of such things, she has never confided in him—and if the two of them have never confided in each other, are they a couple that love each other? If they have nothing but high-sounding words for each other when they are together, are they truly husband and wife? Certainly not! If the brothers and sisters are to be able to confide in each other, help each other out, and provide for one another when they are together, then each person must speak of their own true experiences. If you don’t talk of your own true experiences, and only speak high-sounding words, and words that are doctrinal and superficial, then you are not honest, and you are incapable of being honest. … If people have no verbal or spiritual communication, there is no possibility of intimacy between them, and they can’t provide to each other or help one another. Do you have such a feeling? If your friend says everything to you, saying all of what they’re thinking in their heart, and what suffering or happiness they have in their heart, then do you feel particularly intimate with them? That they are willing to tell these things to you is because you have also spoken of the words in your heart to them—you are especially close, and it is because of this that you are able to get along with them and help each other out. Without this among the brothers and sisters in the church, there would never be harmony among the brothers and sisters, which is one of the requisites of being honest. Some people say: ‘Aw, it’s hard being honest, do I have to tell everything I think in my heart to others? Isn’t it enough to commune the positive things—I won’t tell others of my dark or corrupt side, OK?’ If you do not speak these things, and do not dissect yourself, then you will never know yourself, will never know what kind of thing you are, and there will be no chance of others trusting you. This is fact. If you wish for others to trust you, first you must be honest. To be honest, you must first lay your heart bare, so that everyone can see it, and all that you are thinking, and can see your true face. People will only trust you and consider you honest if you are without pretense or packaging. This is the most fundamental practice of being honest, and it is a precondition. You are always pretending, always feigning holiness, virtuousness, greatness, and loftiness, and do not let people see your corruption and your failings. You present a false image to people, so that they believe you are upstanding, mighty, self-denying, impartial, and selfless. Don’t pretend, don’t package yourself; instead, lay yourself bare, lay your heart bare for others to see. If you can lay your heart bare for others to see, and lay bare all that you think and plan to do in your heart—regardless of whether it is positive or negative—then are you not being honest? If you are able to lay yourself bare for others to see, God will also see you, and say: ‘You have laid yourself bare for others to see, and so before Me you are surely honest, too.’ If you only lay yourself bare to God out of view of others, and always pretend to be mighty and virtuous or just and selfless before them, then what will God think? And what will God say? God will say: ‘You are genuinely crafty and hypocritical, you are petty, and you are not honest.’ God will condemn you thus. If you wish to be honest, then regardless of what you do before God or people, you are able to reveal your heart to others. Is this easy to achieve? It requires time, for there to be a battle within our hearts, and for us to continually practice. Step-by-step, our hearts will be opened, and we will be able to lay ourselves bare.

If you do not put God’s words into practice, and if you never dissect your own secrets or difficulties, or never tell anyone these private things or open up to people about them, commune with people about them, or dissect them with people in order to lay yourself bare, then there’s no possibility of you being saved. And why is that? If you do not lay yourself bare or dissect yourself in this way, your corrupt disposition can never change. That’s what these words mean. And if you do not change, you can forget being saved. This is God’s will, and this is God’s intention in saying these words. Why have I emphasized being honest? Because it is so important; it directly relates to whether or not you can be saved.”

from “To Be Honest, You Should Lay Yourself Open to Others” in Records of Christ’s Talks With Leaders and Workers of the Church

If when eating and drinking every piece of God’s word, you can touch what God wants to do now and know how to pray, how to cooperate, and how to enter, this means that you have achieved results in eating and drinking God’s word. If from God’s word you can find the path to entry and touch the movement of God’s present work and the trend of the Holy Spirit’s work, this means that you have entered the right track. If you cannot grasp the central points when eating and drinking God’s word and cannot find the way of practice after eating and drinking God’s word, it proves that you still do not know how to eat and drink God’s word and have not found the way and the principle of eating and drinking God’s word.”

from “Mindful of God’s Will and Attain Perfection” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

To put all one’s heart and strength into God’s word mainly means to seek the truth, seek God’s meaning, and pay attention to touching God’s will in God’s word, and to understand and gain more truths in God’s word. In reading God’s word, Peter did not put his focus on understanding doctrines, much less on gaining theological knowledge. Rather, he focused on understanding the truth and touching God’s will, so as to know God’s disposition and God’s loveliness. Meanwhile, he tried to know in God’s word man’s various corrupt states, man’s corrupt nature, and man’s real lacks, and tried to meet God’s requirements for man in every aspect so as to satisfy God. He had so many accurate practices in God’s word, which was most after God’s heart and was man’s best cooperation in experiencing God’s work. … In God’s word and God’s work, Peter not only knew himself but also knew God. Besides, in God’s word he also paid special attention to God’s requirements for man and in which respects man should satisfy God so as to be after God’s heart. In this aspect, he could exert great effort to become fully clear about them. This was of great benefit to his entry.”

from “How to Walk Peter’s Path” in Records of Christ’s Talks With Leaders and Workers of the Church

In God’s work, He supplies you through His word. When you obey and accept His word, then the Holy Spirit shall surely work in you. The Holy Spirit works exactly in the way I speak. Do as I have said, and the Holy Spirit will promptly work in you. I release a new light for you to see and bring you into the present light. When you walk into this light, the Holy Spirit will immediately work in you. Some may be recalcitrant and say, ‘I simply will not do as you say.’ Then I tell you that now this is the end of the road. You have withered away and have no more life. Therefore, in experiencing the transformation of your disposition, it is most crucial to keep pace with the present light. The Holy Spirit not only works in certain men who are used by God, but even more in the church. He could be working in anyone. He may work in you now, and after you have experienced it, He may work in someone else next. Follow closely; the more you follow the present light, the more your life can grow. Follow those whom the Holy Spirit works in, whatever kind of man he may be. Take in his experiences through your own, and you will receive even higher things. In so doing you will see growth more quickly. This is the path of perfection for man and a way through which life grows. The path to perfection is reached through your obedience to the work of the Holy Spirit. You do not know through what kind of person God will work to perfect you, nor through what person, occurrence, or thing He will bring you profit and enable you to gain some insight. If you are able to walk onto this right track, this shows that there is great hope for you to be perfected by God. If you are unable to do so, this shows that your future is bleakness and one of darkness. When you walk upon the right track, you will be given revelation in all things. No matter what the Holy Spirit may reveal to others, if you continue on in your experience on the basis of their knowledge, then it shall become your life, and you shall be able to supply others because of this experience. Those who supply others by parroting words are those without experience; you must learn to find, through the enlightenment and illumination of others, a way of practice before speaking of your own actual experience and knowledge. This will be of greater benefit to your own life. You should experience in this way, obeying all that comes from God. You should seek the mind of God in all things and learn lessons in all things, creating growth in your life. Such practice affords the fastest growth.”

from “The Truly Obedient Shall Surely Be Gained by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

What is it to accept truth? It means that no matter which corrupt disposition you have or which venom of the great red dragon poisons your nature, you acknowledge it when it is revealed by God’s word and submit to God’s word with utter conviction. And, you know yourself according to God’s word. This is what it means to accept God’s word. No matter what God says, no matter how piercing to the heart, no matter what words He uses, you can accept it as long as it is truth, and you can acknowledge it as long as it conforms to reality. You can submit to God’s word regardless of how deeply you understand it, and you accept and submit to the light of enlightenment from the Holy Spirit that is communicated by the brothers and sisters. When such a person’s pursuit of truth has reached a certain point, he can obtain truth and achieve the transformation of his disposition.”

from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks With Leaders and Workers of the Church

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