What will of God is concealed within the Lord Jesus’ refusal to observe the Sabbath? And what inspiration does it bring to us today?
Christian Testimonies: The Last Bus
By Su Xing
It was in the coldest days of winter in northeastern China. The biting cold north wind blew with great snowflakes swirling. As evening fell, the number of pedestrians gradually dwindled. A middle-aged woman then scurried along the road. Her name was Ding Xiang. After spreading thethe whole day, she was tired, but she still rushed to the bus station with all her strength for fear that she would miss the last bus. When getting there, she found the bus was still there. At that time, she gave a long sigh, and subconsciously shook the snowflakes off her clothes. She checked her watch with a smile on her face. She finally caught the last bus.
Looking into the bus, Ding Xing saw the bus driver who was about fifty years old. He had some gray hairs, and looked like an experienced driver. Standing next to the door, she asked politely, “Excuse me, what time does it leave?” “Soon, ten minutes at most. It’s too cold. Please get on and have a seat,” answered he gently. She nodded and got on the bus quickly. She sat down beside the window in silence, leaning against the back of the seat. At the moment, her stomach began to make noises, and tiredness and cold came over her. Thinking of preaching the gospel for a day, not only did she find no one who wanted to seek and investigate, but she also met a religious person who spat on her and fiercely said, “You believers inhave betrayed the Lord . I bitterly curse you in the name of the .” At that thought, she heaved a little sigh, and suddenly felt greatly wronged with a wave of sorrow welling up in her heart. She thought it was so difficult for her to spread the gospel of the kingdom of Almighty God to these religious believers. She recalled: I have been walking on the path of spreading the gospel for several years. The incarnate Almighty God has descended into China mainland secretly and worked for more than twenty years. The word of God has long since spread to thousands of households, shaking all denominations and sects. Many people who truly believe in God and thirst for the truth have returned before Almighty God after hearing His voice. However, many people of religion are still deceived and bound, and are unwilling to investigate the true way, for their pastors and elders condemn and slander God’s work of the last days. After I spread the gospel of the kingdom of Almighty God to my friends who believe in the Lord in Born Again Movement, these former good friends turned against me. When I spread the gospel to a sister in another denomination, unexpectedly, this sister went for me with a dung-fork. … With thinking of their rejecting and hating Almighty God’s salvation of the last days again and again, she became somewhat passive and weak.
At this moment, a loud noise in the bus interrupted her thoughts. She saw a powerfully built middle-aged man fiercely roar at the driver, “Doesn’t it depart at 6:10? It’s ten minutes after time. Why not go?” After hearing his words, other passengers also blamed the driver for going back on his words. Some complained it was so cold. Some said they needed to go back home early to cook for kids. All the passengers began to get on at the driver. But he smiled apologetically, and said, “I’m sorry. Just one moment please. This is the last bus. Two girls who took my bus this morning still haven’t come back. If they cannot catch this last bus, they’ll have to take a taxi. If so, it will cost them.” Holding the steering wheel, he made an explanation to the passengers and looked outside frequently. After a while, two young girls got on the bus breathlessly, with bags in their left hands, right hands on their breasts, snowflakes on heads. The bus then started. The girls thanked the driver continuously. He said, relief surging through him, “Oh, girls. It’s a pleasure. But I feel sorry for these passengers. You should thank them.” The girls unceasingly nodded their heads to the passengers, and said sorry and thanks.
The bus sped along the road steadily. What happened just now touched Ding Xiang, and she felt ashamed. She prayed to God silently: Oh Almighty God! Thank You for teaching me a great lesson through the driver. He knew how many people he had taken. His duty was bringing them back. In spite of others’ complaints and blame, he still insisted on performing his duty—bringing all the passengers back. He fulfilled his duty, with a clear conscience. But, as a created being, have I fulfilled my responsibility and duty in spreading the gospel? Why is it that I become negative and retreating when facing difficulties and the insults and slanders of religious people? It can be seen that I don’t understand Your kind intention of saving man.
She thought of the work of God’s six-thousand-year managing mankind: From the Age of Law to the Age of Grace, God has been leading and saving mankind. Now, the work of the Age of Kingdom is the last work for God to save man. God will not abandon anyone He has predestined to save, and He will bring this group of people into the wonderful destination He prepared for man. The time is running out. God’s work is about to be complete. But there are still many people who have not yet come back. God is waiting, and feels anxious. As to these who fail to keep up with God’s work, doesn’t God also hope they can rush to catch “the last bus”—God’s salvation for man in the last days? These brothers and sisters in denominations who have not come before Almighty God, for they don’t know God’s management plan for the salvation of man, only believe the words and doctrines of thetalked by the pastors and elders. They confine to the Bible, and think leaving the Bible means leaving their faith. They believe that God only is a God of mercy and loving-kindness, and only can perform the work of redemption in the Age of Grace. They, however, don’t know these facts: God’s work is progressing forward with the age. The incarnate Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus. He has done a new work of judging and purifying man, which is based upon the work of redemption in the Age of Grace. In this way, these who live in the circle of committing and confessing sins every day can get rid of sin, being purified, transformed, and saved by God’s work of judgment in the last days. The reason why they resist God and refuse to accept God’s work of the last days is that they are controlled and deceived by pastors and elders and uphold their own way without investigating the true way, rather than seek the truth or listen to God’s voice carefully. Although the numb mankind becomes full of misunderstanding and resistance toward God, yet His work still progresses forward. He utters His voice and spreads the gospel, and His will for the salvation of man remains the same. Facing God’s work of the last days and His salvation for man, Ding Xiang thought: At that time, God arranged many brothers and sisters to spread the gospel to me. But I also disobeyed and resisted God over and over again, wounding His heart. Nevertheless, God didn’t treat me based on my disobedience, but offered me chances to turn back to Him. During the whole three years, brothers and sisters had never forsaken me, but gave me testimony to the work of God in the last days again and again with patience. Eventually, I got on “the last bus” to the kingdom.
After recalling that, Ding Xiang was tormented by her conscience. At the same time, God’s words rang in her ears: “They are poor, pitiable, blind, and at a loss, wailing in the darkness, ‘Where is the way?’ How they yearn for the light, like a shooting star, to suddenly descend and disperse the force of darkness that has oppressed men for so many years. Who can know just how anxiously they hope, and how they pine day and night for this? These men who suffer deeply remain imprisoned in the dungeons of darkness, without hope of release, even on the day that the light flashes; when will they weep no longer? These fragile spirits who have never been granted rest are truly suffering such misfortune. They have long been sealed off by the ruthless ropes and the history that is frozen in place. Who has ever heard the sound of their wailing? Who has ever seen their miserable visage? Have you ever thought how grieved and anxious God’s heart is? How can He bear to see the innocent mankind He created with His own hands suffering such torment? After all, mankind are the unfortunates that have been poisoned. Though they have survived to this day, who would have thought that they have long been poisoned by the evil one? Have you forgotten that you are one of the victims? Out of your love for God, are you not willing to strive to save those who have survived? Are you not willing to use all your effort to repay the God who loves mankind like His own flesh and blood?” (“How Should You Attend to Your Future Mission”). She sensed that God’s words carry authority and blame. Those words, gentle and powerful, made her feel ashamed, leaving her with nowhere to hide from her shame. “Right! How come I forgot that I was one of the victims?” she thought. “Even if these two girls had missed the last bus, they still could have taken a taxi home. But, as for these who still remain in the Age of Grace, they only accept the Lord Jesus’ redemptive work but reject Almighty God’s end-time salvation. If they cannot catch ‘the last bus’—God’s salvation for man in the last days, then they will lose the opportunity of being saved forever.”
Ding Xiang poured out to God silently in the heart again and again: “O God! I’m wrong. I am really wrong. I resolve to cooperate with You with might and main and to spread the gospel to satisfy You.” At the moment, she was full of strength all over, and tiredness and hunger vanished into thin air. She sang in her heart: “I don’t care about the path ahead; I only carry out God’s will as my mission. Neither do I care whether I will receive good or evil in the future. Since I’ve chosen to love God, I will be faithful to the end. However great the dangers and adversities lurking behind, however rough and rugged the path ahead, since I aim toward the day God gains glory, I forsake everything and strive to go forward. Have you ever thought how anxious God’s heart is? How should you cooperate with God to share His worries? I shall consider more how to comfort God’s heart. As I want to love God, I will offer up my all. The time has come to display our loyalty to God; we shall suffer for testifying Him. God has suffered so much for us; it’s time to repay His love. Brothers and sisters, let’s stand up. To love God, we shouldn’t be restrained by anyone or anything. Let’s give up everything and be devoted to God, so that He can have rest earlier. Let’s welcome the day God gains glory, the day God gains glory” (“Marching on the Path of Loving God”).
In the evening sky, the glare of the headlights shone over the path ahead. Falling snow slapped at the window. In the wind and snow, the bus, crowded with passengers, sped on the way home, raising white smoke.
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