Bound by Sin, I Worried About Whether I Could Enter the Heavenly Kingdom
“As girls, if you don’t know how to cook, in the future you will not even be able to make food for yourself. Come here and learn to cook!”
“Look at your messy room. Does it look like a girl’s room? Tidy it up right now!”
I angrily said over and over again.
“Do I have to do as you said? Do I have to listen to you?” One of my daughters was not convinced, and said in a loud voice.
“I’m your mother. If my words are right, then you must listen. I’m doing all this for your own good!” I retorted angrily.
I am a Christian who has believed in the Lord for more than twenty years and has two daughters. In order to teach them to do household chores, whenever I had time I would ask them to learn from me how to cook and clean the house. But when I saw the look of irritation on their faces, I would lose my patience and start to get angry and scold them. I knew becoming hot-headed and losing my temper with others were not in accordance with the Lord’s intentions, but I just couldn’t control myself. Therefore, I often suffered because I felt I was living sinfully.
I couldn’t help but think, “I’m not even tolerant or patient with my own daughters. So will I, who sin so frequently, be able to get into the kingdom of heaven in the future?” I reached out to my pastor about this. He told me, “There are such matters in every family. You only need to entrust everything to the Lord because it says in the Bible, ‘That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation’ (Romans 10:9–10). The Lord Jesus was crucified upon the cross to redeem us. As long as we believe in Him, pray to Him and confess, He will forgive our sins and we’ll be saved. Then we’ll be able to enter the kingdom of heaven in the future.” After hearing this, I could have some peace of mind at that time. But when I returned home, and after a few days, I found that nothing changed between me and my daughters. This was very painful for me. Every time this happened, I would pray to the Lord and confess, the pastor and some brothers and sisters would also often pray together with me, but nothing came of it. So I could only struggle in the agony of sin.
I Understood the True Meaning of “Being Saved” Because of an Encounter
In July 2018, I met a preacher, Brother Fang, in the Sister Yuanyuan’s house. He looked very modest and we became familiar with each other very quickly and discussed Bible verses together. He gave us fellowship on the root cause of mankind’s fall and also told us that, in order to save mankind from sin, God carries out His management work to save mankind with a plan and in steps. In the Age of Law, God took the name Jehovah, and He issued the laws through Moses, guiding mankind through their lives on earth and enabling them to know their sins. In the Age of Grace, God became flesh and took the name Jesus; He did the work of being crucified to redeem mankind and forgave their sins so that they could live before God and enjoy God’s abundant grace. Only after hearing this fellowship did I know that the works God did on us humans were filled with so many of God’s painstaking efforts. I felt that I gained more in these few days than I had in over 20 years of going to the religious church. My heart became filled with light and excitement. Thus, I earnestly listened and really wanted to gain more sustenance from Brother Fang.
Yuanyuan’s house is more than 50 kilometers away from mine but I did not at all feel it was far. On the third day, I took a quick shower and drove one and a half hours to her home in a hurry to listen to sermons. This time, Brother Fang asked me, “Sister, do you know what work will be done when the Lord returns in the last days?”
I answered, “Surely the Lord will raise us up into the heavenly kingdom.”
Then he said, “It says in the Bible, ‘Holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord’ (Hebrews 12:14). Now we’re constantly sinning and have not achieved purification. Do you think people like us who are living in sin are qualified to enter the kingdom of heaven?”
Hearing this left me stunned. Then I said, “It’s true that we often sin, but the Lord was nailed to the cross as a sin offering for our sake and absolved all our sins, so if we believe in the Lord Jesus then we are saved. It is clearly stated in the Bible, ‘That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation’ (Romans 10:9–10). Our pastor also says that as long as we believe in the Lord in our hearts and acknowledge Him with our mouths, then we are saved. When the Lord returns, He will bring us up into the kingdom of heaven.”
After I finished, Brother Fang said, “Many people think that we who believe in the Lord have been graced and saved and will be directly raptured into the kingdom of heaven. Is this perspective correct? Did the Lord Jesus ever say such a thing? Let’s seek what ‘being saved’ really refers to. First let’s read two passages of words.”
Then he took out a book and read, “At the time Jesus’ work was the redemption of all mankind. The sins of all who believed in Him were forgiven; as long as you believed in Him, He would redeem you; if you believed in Him, you were no longer a sinner, you were relieved of your sins. This is what it meant to be saved, and to be justified by faith. Yet in those who believed, there remained that which was rebellious and opposed God, and which still had to be slowly removed. Salvation did not mean man had been completely gained by Jesus, but that man was no longer of sin, that he had been forgiven his sins: Provided you believed, you would never more be of sin.” “For all that man may have been redeemed and forgiven of his sins, it can only be considered as God not remembering the transgressions of man and not treating man in accordance with his transgressions. However, when man, who lives in a body of flesh, has not been set free from sin, he can only continue to sin, endlessly revealing his corrupt satanic disposition. This is the life that man leads, an endless cycle of sinning and being forgiven. The majority of men sin in the day only to confess in the evening. This way, even if the sin offering is forever effective for man, it will not be able to save man from sin. Only half the work of salvation has been completed….”
After finishing reading, he continued, “From these two passages we can know that ‘being saved’ only means that we won’t be condemned or punished by the law. As we all know, in the later period of the Age of Law, because people grew far from God and couldn’t keep the law, they became more and more sinful to the extent that no offering could redeem their sins; some people went so far as to deceive Jehovah God by offering lame sacrifices to Him. According to the law, all people should be subject to being condemned and sentenced to death. But God took mercy on mankind and couldn’t bear to see them be put to death, so God Himself became flesh, was nailed to the cross for mankind’s sake and did a step of redemptive work, thus redeeming all mankind from sins. To all those who accepted the Lord Jesus as their Savior and could confess their sins to the Lord and repent, the Lord would not remember their transgressions, and they would no longer be condemned or punished by the law. This is the true meaning of ‘being saved.’ But the Lord Jesus only forgave our sins. The Lord did not forgive our satanic dispositions such as arrogance, selfishness and deceit. All kinds of corrupt dispositions still remain deeply rooted within us and have made us become arrogant and conceited, selfish and despicable, crooked and deceitful, and evil and greedy. And they also cause us to often lose our temper, argue with people and guard against each other. Though we often pray and confess, we are never able to cast off the shackles and strictures of sin, and thus we always live within the cycle of sinning and confessing and can’t find release. How could people as sinful as we are enter the kingdom of heaven? Just as the Lord Jesus said, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin. And the servant stays not in the house for ever: but the son stays ever’ (John 8:34–35). ‘Be you holy; for I am holy’ (1 Peter 1:16). God is holy and His kingdom is holy, too. So, those who live often in the midst of sin and resist God are not qualified to see the face of God and certainly will not be able to enter God’s kingdom. This is decided by God’s righteous and holy disposition. Therefore, being saved by the Lord’s grace in our belief in Him does not mean we’re qualified to enter the heavenly kingdom. Only when we are able to escape our sinful natures and no longer sin or resist God can we enter God’s kingdom!”
When I heard Brother Fang’s fellowship, I suddenly saw the light: “It turns out that the Lord Jesus only absolved us of our sins and no longer looked upon us as sinners, but our sinful nature hasn’t been gotten rid of and we still often sin in spite of ourselves. Therefore, the fact that we are saved by faith does not mean that we no longer have sin within us, and it certainly doesn’t represent that we can enter the kingdom of heaven. I quarrel with my daughters every day. Even though I pray and confess to the Lord, afterward the same problems occur again. I still cannot help sinning and offending the Lord. People like me who are filthy and corrupt are indeed unworthy of entering the kingdom of heaven and seeing the Lord’s face. It turns out that I have always based my belief in the Lord on my own notions and imaginings in these past years.” When thinking that I was living in sin and thereby was unable to enter the heavenly kingdom at all, I couldn’t help but feel concerned and really wanted to know how I could rid myself of sin.
The Wonderful Surprise That the Lord Has Returned and Is Doing the Work of Freeing People From Sin
So I asked Brother Fang, “We often sin, and it’s true that we haven’t been purified and are not able to meet the standard for entering the kingdom of heaven. So what can we do to stop sinning?”
He answered, “Let’s take a look at some biblical prophecies, ‘Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time’ (1 Peter 1:5). ‘I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come’ (John 16:12–13). ‘He that rejects Me, and receives not My words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day’ (John 12:48). We can see from these verses that God will bestow upon us the eternal salvation in the last days so that He can fully save us from sin. That is to say, when God returns in the last days, He will express truths to do the work of judgment and purification. Only by accepting God’s work of judgment of the last days can our corrupt dispositions be cleansed and transformed and can we no longer suffer the bondage and constraints of sin and be qualified to enter into God’s kingdom.”
Hearing this, my heart was brightened, and I happily said, “Oh, so the Lord’s going to return in the last days, express the truth and do a stage of work of judgment and cleansing. Only by accepting God’s work of the last days and being freed from sin can we be worthy of entering God’s kingdom. In the past, I often read these passages of scripture—why did I not understand the Lord’s will? Your fellowship has made me feel that God’s work is so practical. I have the hope to free myself from sin. I have to quickly seek to welcome the Lord’s return.”
Brother Fang nodded, smiled and said, “Sister, actually the Lord has returned already as the incarnate Almighty God, and He has uttered over a million words and begun His work of judgment beginning with the house of God in order to judge and cleanse our satanic dispositions. I came to understand everything I fellowshiped about over these few days through Almighty God’s words. We all know that it has been more than two thousand years since the Lord Jesus was nailed to the cross and then departed. However, no one, whether scholars of religious studies or Bible experts, has ever explained clearly the mysteries of God’s management work. It is because only God Himself can reveal these truths and mysteries. The Lord really has returned!”
When hearing him say the Lord has returned, I was amazed and excited. I said, “The Lord has returned? Is it true? If He has really come back, then I will certainly believe in Him!”
Afterward, Brother Fang fellowshiped with us about such truths and mysteries as how the Lord will return, the mystery of incarnation, and how to be certain that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus. The more I heard, the more enlightened I felt in my heart. I thought, “If God hasn’t returned, who could speak with such a clear way about God’s work?” At that moment, I was so excited and thought to myself, “I’ve finally awaited the Lord’s return. I have hope to be purified. I will no longer commit sin every day or feel so much pain as I do now.” Therefore, I couldn’t wait to ask Brother Fang, “You said that the Lord has returned and performed the work of judging and cleansing our sinful nature. So how does God judge and purify mankind?”
How God Performs His Work of Judgment and Purification
Brother Fang went on in fellowship, “Many people don’t understand how God does His work of judgment. As soon as judgment is mentioned, they will tremble with fear and can’t help but feel afraid because they think that God’s work of judgment is to condemn and curse mankind. Actually, this is all just our notions and imaginings. We all know that, after mankind sinned, God began the work of His management plan to save mankind. No matter how God works in us, it is all to save us. So God judges people not to condemn them, but to allow them to cleanse their sins and be qualified to enter His kingdom and inherit His promise. But how exactly does God judge and purify people? Let’s read another passage of Almighty God’s words, and then we’ll understand.
“Almighty God says, ‘In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, to expose the essence of man, and to dissect the words and deeds of man. These words comprise various truths, such as man’s duty, how man should obey God, how man should be loyal to God, how man ought to live out normal humanity, as well as the wisdom and the disposition of God, and so on. These words are all directed at the essence of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, the words that expose how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan, and an enemy force against God. In undertaking His work of judgment, God does not simply make clear the nature of man with a few words; He exposes, deals with, and prunes over the long term. These methods of exposure, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words, but with the truth of which man is utterly bereft. Only methods such as these can be called judgment; only through judgment of this kind can man be subdued and thoroughly convinced into submission to God, and moreover gain true knowledge of God. What the work of judgment brings about is man’s understanding of the true face of God and the truth about his own rebelliousness. The work of judgment allows man to gain much understanding of the will of God, of the purpose of God’s work, and of the mysteries that are incomprehensible to him. It also allows man to recognize and know his corrupt substance and the roots of his corruption, as well as to discover the ugliness of man. These effects are all brought about by the work of judgment, for the substance of this work is actually the work of opening up the truth, the way, and the life of God to all those who have faith in Him. This work is the work of judgment done by God.’”
After reading Almighty God’s words, Brother Fang fellowshiped, “From God’s words we can see that in the last days God expresses all aspects of the truth to save mankind according to their needs. Through His words, God dissects our speech and behaviors and exposes the truth of our corruption at the hands of Satan. By doing so, God allows us to measure ourselves using His words and see clearly that our satanic natures such as conceit and arrogance, selfishness and contempt, and deception and crookedness have taken root deep inside of us and that there is no human likeness whatsoever in what we live out. For example, because of our arrogant dispositions, we can’t get along well with our families and there is jealousy and conflict between us and our friends and colleagues. Besides, even though we can expend ourselves for God, we try to enter into a deal with God because we want to get God’s grace and blessings in return. When God’s work is not in line with our notions or other undesirable things occur, we blame and misunderstand God and even develop notions about God and judge His work. We completely lack hearts of reverence for God. From the revelations of God’s words and the exposed facts, we see the truth of how we’ve been corrupted by Satan and gain genuine knowledge of and hatred for our own satanic natures. Meanwhile we also gain some true understanding of God’s righteousness, purity and holiness, know what kind of people can attain God’s approval and what kind of people God hates and detests. Then, we will feel even greater hatred for our own satanic nature from the depths of our hearts, become happy to accept God’s judgment and chastisement, and produce a will to pursue the truth and to make a complete break from Satan. Then over time we gain more and more understanding of our own corrupt dispositions and the path of practice, and begin to consciously forsake the flesh and put the truth into practice. By always experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement this way, our corrupt dispositions will change to varying degrees, then a heart of reverence for God will gradually develop within us, and we will submit more and more to God. When we cast off all of our corruption and live the way that true people live as required by God, we will completely separate from the bondage of Satan and attain purity and God’s salvation.”
Hearing Almighty God’s words and Brother Fang’s fellowship, I felt particularly excited because I knew that God has really returned. Only God’s word is the truth, the way and the life and can purify and change us. Besides God, no one else is able to do this work! In the past, when I lived in sin, no matter how I prayed and confessed I couldn’t solve the problem of sinning and lived in so much pain. I finally understood that it was all because I hadn’t accepted God’s judgment work in the last days. I had no true understanding of my own corruption and couldn’t hate it, so real change couldn’t arise. I thought to myself, “Since God has returned to do the work of judging and cleansing us mankind, I have to pursue diligently, rid myself of corruption as soon as possible, live out the likeness of a human being, and attain God’s salvation.”
Then Brother Fang played videos and MVs produced by The Church of Almighty God for us. When I saw that, under the guidance of God’s words, the brothers and sisters from The Church of Almighty God all wore such joyful faces, I felt so envious. When I was about to leave, Brother Fang gave me a copy of the book of God’s words, Judgment Begins With the House of God, and told me to seriously investigate.
After that, I started attending online gatherings with the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God to fellowship God’s words. I also told them about my difficulties in getting along with my daughters.
By Accepting the Judgment of God’s Words, I Can Get Along Well With My Daughters
One day, Sister Li sent me a passage of God’s words directed toward my difficulty, “Regardless of whether one becomes angry in the sight of others or behind their backs, everyone has a different intention and purpose. Perhaps they are building up their prestige, or maybe they are defending their own interests, maintaining their image or keeping face. Some exercise restraint in their anger, while others are more rash and flare up with rage whenever they wish without the least bit of restraint. In short, man’s anger derives from his corrupt disposition. No matter what its purpose, it is of the flesh and of nature; it has nothing to do with justice or injustice because nothing in man’s nature and substance corresponds to the truth.”
What was revealed by God’s words was precisely my own corrupt condition. In the past although I knew losing my temper wasn’t right, I always thought that my daughters were wrong as well and that my losing my temper was for their own good. Only through reading Almighty God’s words did I realize that, whatever the reason, as long as I lost my temper and scolded them, it was a revelation of my corrupt disposition. I thought, “Ordinarily, I always stood in my position as a mother and felt that since I had much experience my words were right, so I wanted my daughters to listen to me. When they didn’t, I couldn’t help but lose my temper. What I exposed was an arrogant corrupt satanic disposition. I myself am a sinner as well who has been corrupted by Satan and without the truth, so how do I have any right to get my daughters to do what I want? This is so unreasonable. Over these years, I’ve been controlled by my arrogant and conceited corrupt disposition, which not only threw my life into pain but also hurt my daughters.” Under the judgment of God’s words, I clearly saw the truth of my own profound corruption by Satan, so I couldn’t help hating myself and, from the bottom of my heart, wanted to cast off my corruption and change myself.
From then on, in my interactions with my daughters I would consciously practice putting my personal thoughts and considerations aside and no longer rely on my arrogant disposition in my approach to them, but treat them as my friends. When I wanted them to do something, I would very calmly communicate with them; if they were very busy, I would try my best to respect their opinions and no longer always demand that they listen to me. Sometimes when I was about to get angry when my daughters lost their temper with and spoke unkindly to me, I would pray to God in my heart, asking God to help me forsake my arrogant disposition so that I would no longer stand in my position as a mother to oppress them. Then my temper would unconsciously vanish. When I changed, gradually I saw that my daughters were not irritable like they were before.
Now I seldom get angry, and my two daughters don’t argue with me very much. My home is filled with sound of laughter and happy voices and in my heart I feel considerable release. All of this makes me feel that the words expressed by God in the last days can indeed reveal the substance of our corruption, change and purify our corrupt disposition. I finally have the path to cleanse my sins and enter the kingdom of heaven! Though I have believed in Almighty God for only a few months and the transformation I’ve achieved is very limited, I wish to experience the judgment of God’s words more and soon break free from my corrupt disposition and attain God’s salvation. Thanks be to God!
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I Find the Way to Be Free From Sin and No Longer Feel Distressed was last modified: December 21st, 2019 by Find the Shepherd
Many brothers and sisters dare not listen to sermons lightly for fear of being deceived by false Christs. After attending the Bible study meetings, she understood she would naturally not be deceived by false Christs as long as she grasped the principles of discerning them.
Why do things always happen to me when I attend gatherings? I feel very distressed. Through seeking, I find the way of practice and no longer miss gatherings because of being disrupted by the people, events and things.
Satan made use of my father to hinder me from believing in God. With the guidance and enlightenment of God’s words and my mother’s support, I had the confidence to defeat Satan, and finally stood witness.
Their lost, confused, afraid, anxious, yearning and numb hearts found comfort. They were no longer doubtful or disappointed because they felt that now there was hope and something to rely on. The Son of man standing in front of them would be behind them for eternity, He would be their strong tower, their refuge for all time.