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 Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong

 

The Kingdom of Heaven Is Like Treasure Hidden in a Field

 

< Matthew 13:44-46 >

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls,who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”



In today’s Scripture passage, our Lord Jesus continues to explain the mystery of the Kingdom of Heaven by drawing two more parables: The parable of treasure hidden in a field and the parable of a pearl of great price. The meaning of the first parable is as the following.

The Kingdom of heaven refers to the Kingdom of God, and the hidden treasure refers to His gospel. In other words, Jesus said that the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the most precious treasure on this earth. To discover the gospel of the water and the Spirit is to discover the treasure of the Kingdom of God. While living on this earth, finding the most precious gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit is finding the way to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven is like finding hidden treasure. This is why Jesus said, “A man found and hid it; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”



Only Those Who Know the Value of This Treasure Can Possess It

The main point of today’s Scripture passage is that he who wants to make the Kingdom of Heaven his must pay its price. Anyone who wants to make Heaven his must pay a price that is worthy of living there.

When we discover the treasure, that is, the gospel of the water and the Spirit that enables us to enter the Kingdom of God, it is natural for us to try to make it ours. But to do so, we must pay its appropriate price. This is because the gospel of the water and the Spirit is so precious that one can make it his, only when he sells all his possessions and buys it. Because you and I have discovered the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and we sold everything we have and bought this gospel, we are now able to enter the Kingdom of God by faith. What makes it possible for us to enter the Kingdom of God is the power of the gospel of the water and the Sprit. The gospel power of the water and the Spirit has perfectly blotted out all our sins once for all. Therefore, through this gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have become sinless and are now able to enter the Kingdom of God.

If one finds the Word of Truth, of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and just ends there, then this actually amounts to nothing. Why? Because this precious treasure may very well be taken by someone else. In other words, for us to enter the Kingdom of God by finding and believing in this gospel of the water and the Spirit, we must urgently make it ours by paying a price that is commensurate to it. Put differently, to pay the price for it or to earn it, we must lose and abandon many things of the world.

Of course, the Kingdom of Heaven is never a place that we can enter through our own sacrifice. It is a place that we can enter only by placing our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

What, then, is the meaning of today’s Scripture passage that Jesus spoke? It is that those who really found the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the treasure that enables them to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, sold all their belongings and bought it to make it theirs.

Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” When we encounter the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we should not hesitate, but accept it into our hearts immediately. It is only by our faith in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, the gospel of God, that we can receive the remission of our sins.

But, if we want to receive the remission of our sins by believing in this gospel, and live blessed lives to serve this Truth, we must pay a price. Just as it is said here that the man sold all that he had, we, too, had to sell all our possession to make the gospel of the water and the Spirit ours. There is no one among us who can believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit as his own without making any sacrifice. When the gospel of the water and the Spirit is so precious, how could anyone believe in it without paying its price? We may have to pay the price by being persecuted to follow the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

It is no exaggeration to say that you have sold all your possessions to earn this gospel of the water and the Spirit after you discovered it. You surely had the following conviction when you made up your mind to hold on to the true gospel: “The gospel of the water and the Spirit is truly precious. No matter what I may lose in this world, this gospel Truth is worth it. I will make the gospel of the water and the Spirit mine, even if this requires me to lose everything that I have, for this gospel Truth is more precious than even my life.”

If we can have the gospel of the water and the Spirit, it does not matter if we even lose everything that we have in this world. He who has this true gospel is the richest. Even if having this gospel entails our sacrifice, and no matter how we may be tempted by the priceless things of this world, none of these can be compared to this gospel of the water and the Spirit. By believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we can have the most precious and priceless treasure in the world.

If you really knew just how precious the gospel of the water and the Spirit is, you would try to have no matter what price you have to pay for it. This is because it is by having this gospel of the water and the Spirit that we can enter the Kingdom of Heaven. None other than this is the very meaning that today’s passage is trying to enlighten us.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”

A man happened to find a treasure chest filled with diamonds, gold and silver, which was hidden in a field. He immediately went out and sold everything that he had and bought the field. Why did he have to sell all his possession? It is because if he had kept his possession, he could never have bought the field, and thus make the treasure his.

As I contemplate on this Scripture passage, I examine myself whether I have such conviction or not. And I admonish you to reflect on this passage, too. For us to make this gospel of the water and the Spirit entirely ours, we have lost so many precious things. To earn something precious, we had to sacrifice much as well. Perhaps you are wondering if you really had to buy this gospel of Truth by selling everything you had, or if this gospel is really that much precious. So today, I want to speak to you about the value of this gospel of the water and the Spirit. I would like to explain to you just how valuable is this gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit that we know. Is this gospel just a mere religious doctrine of the world? Or is it worthy of buying, even if it means that I would lose my everything, from my home to my wealth, my parents, my wife, my children, and even my life? This is what I would like to speak about to both myself and to you.

This gospel of the water and the Spirit is the gospel of Truth that enables us to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The gospel of the water and the Spirit is the Truth of salvation for all sinners. It is the Truth that makes it possible for us to be saved from all our sins. By placing our faith in anything else other than the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we can never receive the remission of our sins, and therefore nor can we enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

As our Lord says that He is the door, and that whoever enters through elsewhere apart from this door is a thief and a robber, if anyone claims that we can enter the Kingdom of God without believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then he is a robber. And his faith is the faith of the tares. That only the gospel of the water and the Spirit can enable us to enter the Kingdom of God is the absolute Truth that requires no further comments. As such, this gospel of the water and the Spirit is the priceless treasure that is more than worthy of buying even if it requires us to sell everything that we own.

On this earth and in Heaven alike, what is the most precious to you? What is the most precious treasure for you and me? It is the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The gospel of the water and the Spirit is the most precious treasure for all of us. He who has given us this precious gospel is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ.

Do you now realize the worth of this gospel that our Lord spoke to His disciples through His parable? If you really knew the value of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you would sell all your possessions and buy this treasure. If, on the other hand, you did not know the value of the treasure, you would think it is a waste to sell everything you have to buy the treasure. In other words, when one does not know the value of the gospel, he is bound to be controlled by his circumstances. If anyone thinks that his own possessions are more valuable than the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then he is someone who does not know the true worth of this treasure. If we do not know the value of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we may easily throw it away.

My fellow believers, we, as the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, cannot just receive the remission of our sins for no cost. For us, the gospel of the water and the Spirit is clearly our treasure, and the real Truth. This gospel is a tremendous treasure for us. It is such a priceless treasure that we would not be able to buy it even if we were to sell everything on this earth. So this gospel is a fabulous treasure, but those who do not know its value do not want to buy it. The reality is that they should actually be thankful if they can only buy it by selling all their possessions.

Some people, even as they know the gospel of the water and the Spirit, only look at it and do not buy it to make it theirs. Such people only know the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and have not been saved from their sins. If we can only buy this gospel of the water and the Spirit, even if we have to sell everything we have, it is still a bonanza for us. There is nothing in this world that is as valuable as the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

I am admonishing you loudly with all my heart: Believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit that enables you to enter the Kingdom of Heaven; believe in it no matter what price of sacrifice you have to pay; and hold onto this gospel. I admonish you to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, make it yours, and keep it in you, no matter what sacrifice this might entail. I beseech you to keep this faith, to follow it, and to become one with it. This is the same admonishment that the Lord gave to His disciples.

Our Lord is saying to us, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field.” Even if we were to dedicate our youth to believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit and lose everything in the process, it really is no loss for us. It is this gospel that is life itself; it is this gospel that has blotted out all our sins and thereby enabled us to receive the remission of our sins; it is this gospel that enables all of us who believe to enter the Kingdom of God. This is why I dare to tell you to sell everything you have and buy this gospel of the water and the Spirit, for it is that much precious. I say this to you because I know the eternal value of this gospel.

If you know the worth of this gospel of the water and the Spirit, then you would be able to believe in it and follow it, even if it requires you to sell all your possessions. But if you do not recognize its value, then you would not sell everything you have and buy it. So in the end, you will not be saved, but lose what is the most precious. Even in the Church, when we look from this angle, there are those who follow this precious gospel only reluctantly. They are the ones who keep all the many possessions that they have, and just stare at the gospel from afar. I am not saying here that you should sell actually all your possessions—no, absolutely not! What is the worth of our puny individual wealth, anyway? Would it amount to a million dollars, if we were to sell all our possessions? Would it amount to $10 million? Compared to the Kingdom of God, our possessions are a drop in the bucket. Don’t be alarmed here by what I am saying, worried that I might be asking you to sell all your possessions and bring the money to me. I have absolutely no ulterior motive here, as if I were coveting your possessions.

What you have, of course, is precious to you, but in the greater scheme of things, I consider it to be too small to pay for even a meal for all the righteous of the world. If we were to gather around all the righteous people throughout the world and hold a feast for them in one of the classiest restaurants, for reservation alone, we would have to put down a million dollars, if not more. Like this, our material possessions are not that valuable.

But the gospel is different. The value of the gospel is literally priceless, yet those who do not know this value do not buy it. Such people are those who consider something else that they have to be more valuable than the gospel Truth, and therefore cannot give up their own possessions and follow them instead. To speak about these things at this hour is rather shameful, and it certainly brings no joy to me. As our Lord says, “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine” (Matthew 7:6), if I could have my way, I would not talk about such ones. I wish I could just explain this passage to you, talk about only those who follow the gospel, and then end my sermon there.

But there are those who, even after encountering this gospel of the water and the Spirit, keep wondering, “Should I follow this or not? Should I believe in it or not? Should I unite with it or not?” They constantly calculate the cost and benefits of doing so, and continue in their hesitation, endlessly weighing their options. When I see such people, it brings regret to me that this gospel was given to them. I almost feel like snatching away the gospel from them and telling them to quit.

In Korea, there are many people who do not know the value of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is why we decided to stop preaching the gospel in Korea temporarily. Since people swaggered over some money, as if they were doing a favor to us by believing, we decided to stop. Unless one sells all his possessions and dedicates his entire lifetime to buy this true gospel of the water and the Spirit, he can never make it his.

But I believe that throughout the world, there are many who would bet their life on this gospel. This is why we are trying to evangelize the whole world. I am sure that there still are countless souls that would buy the true gospel even if this requires them to sell their everything and pay its price, if only they could believe definitely and enter the Kingdom of God, if only they could receive the remission of sin, if only they could live the life of righteousness, and if they could only unite with the Lord and live with Him. Of course, we are positively preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit all over the world since it is His Great Commission, but it is also true that we were motivated to do so because we believed that there would be many more innocent souls around the world. We don’t need to compel someone who does not know the value of the gospel to believe in it, but it is far better for us to give this gospel to those who are actually looking for it.

How valuable is the gospel of the water and the Spirit? It is like treasure in the Kingdom of Heaven. Let us assume here that there is a chest that holds a crown made of diamonds, sparkling with mysterious light, and a dress adorned with all kinds of precious stones. The chest and all the items in it are so precious that we cannot even set their price. If you could buy this chest by selling everything that you have, would you then exchange it with all your possessions or not? Of course you would.

It’s rather unlikely, but since everyone has a different mind, perhaps some of you would say, “I don’t want to. I don’t like diamonds. I prefer pork chops!” But if you knew the real value of this chest, you would not hesitate to sell everything you have to buy it. I know its worth. I know the preciousness of this gospel power of the water and the Spirit. I believe that you, too, know this value. I believe that it is because you know the value of the gospel that you are holding onto this gospel so far.

However, perhaps there also are people who, while realizing its value, nonetheless know only a third of its full worth. No diamond, even if it is the size of a head, is of any use to those who do not know its value. Perhaps there is something else that is more precious than diamond, but I can’t think of any. At any rate, if we assume that there is nothing as valuable as diamond, how happy would we be if only we could have it? If you knew that it is more valuable than what you have now, would you exchange it with your possessions or not? Would you buy it or not? Of course you would buy it! The gospel of the water and the Spirit is like this diamond. The Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field.

Let me elaborate on the parable of the hidden treasure here. Suppose that a man came upon a field, and for whatever reason, he happened to dig up one of its corner and found a wooden chest. So he wondered, “Is this a casket?” But it didn’t look like a casket, since there was a lock. So he opened the lock and uncovered the lid, and all of a sudden he was forced to squint his eyes by the brilliant light coming out of the chest. The man then quietly put the lid down and locked it again, and then covered up the chest with earth. He then called up his real estate agent, told him that he wanted to sell every real estate he owns, from his house to his factory and his land, auctions off his jewels and even his clothes at fire sale prices, and he sold everything else that he owns. So he now has about $3 million in cash from all these sales. He carried all this money and went to see the owner of the field. And so the bargain started:

“Are you the owner of this field?”
“Yes, I am.”

“I would like to build a cottage on that piece of land; would you mind selling this field to me? I will, of course, make an offer that corresponds to its price. I would really appreciate it if you would sell this field to me.”

“How much will you pay?”

This field, in fact, was only valued at $30,000. But the man was so bad at bargaining that he offered $1 million from the beginning, when he should have first offered $30,000 or $25,000 for the field. Wouldn’t the owner of this land be shocked by this sudden and outlandish offer? So he thought about it carefully, and something just didn’t seem right. “There must be something very valuable in this land. A goldmine, perhaps?”

“I don’t want to sell. This land was inherited to me from my forefathers, and so it should be inherited to my descendants.”


“Well, then I will pay you $1.5 million.”

Then, the landowner thought, “But this land is valued at only $30,000; why is this guy offering me $1.5 million for it? He must be out of his mind! Should I sell it? No, wait. He is head over heel to buy the field. I should try to jack up the price some more.”

“Do you really have that much money to begin with?”

The man went to his car, brought a case, and put it down before the owner. Seeing a case of one million-dollar cash, the landowner thought, “I guess he does have the money. So he is offering me $1.5 million. But I should bluff a bit more and see how it goes.”

“No thanks. I won’t sell it.”

“I will pay you $1.7 million.”

“Nope. I won’t sell the land even if you offer me $10 million. Why, you ask? Because this piece of land was passed onto me from my forefathers, and I will make sure that it is passed onto generation after generation. My forefathers told me to never sell it, and so I will never sell it. A man should keep the trust. I must keep the last words of my forefathers.” Seeing that the man did not hesitate to offer so much money for the land, the owner thought that he could bluff his way to a higher price.

“What about $2 million then?”
“Nope; that won’t do.”
“How much will it take for you to sell this field then?”
“I will sell it if you offer me $3 million.”
“You are like a fortuneteller! How did you know that I had $3 million? My entire asset is worth exactly $3 million, not a penny more, not a penny less. Okay, that’s deal! I will pay you $3 million with two more cases of cash.”

So he paid off the money, and bought the field that day. In exchange for everything that he owned, now he finally got hold of the field. But He was so happy, for the field was that much worth it. It was worth selling off all his possessions to buy it.

The gospel of the water and the Spirit is of great worth beyond description. It was worth it even if we were to lose our life. It was all the worthwhile even if we had to sell ourselves into slavery. You probably have heard about the martyrdom of the Early Church age. Many of the Early Church believers were willing to embrace their martyrdom to keep their faith in the true gospel. Some of them gladly gave up their noble status and even became slaves of their acquaintances to defend their precious faith. This is the value of the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

How valuable is this gospel of the water and the Spirit that you and I have heard? This gospel of the water and the Spirit is the precious gospel that enables us to possess everything in the Kingdom of Heaven. This gospel Truth is so precious that we had to buy it and make it ours, even if we had to sell all that we owned to do so. Just as the man sold his everything to buy the treasure chest hidden in the field, we must have the gospel of the water and the Spirit by paying off the price with all our possessions, if this is what it takes. To thereby be saved is the most joyful thing to do. Is this not the case, my fellow believers?

There are, however, many who are trying to possess the gospel Truth without selling theirs. Such people can lose it at any time. They may give it up as soon as they are not happy with it even slightly. Since they had not bought the gospel by offering all their belongings, they may abandon the gospel at any time, and take back their belongings and leave.

But those who bought this gospel by selling all their possessions can never lose it. Why? Because they have placed their lives on it. Anyone who does not buy the gospel of the water and the Spirit by selling everything that he has is someone who does not believe in it. Depending on circumstances, he may very well abandon this gospel. So I can’t stand it when anyone toys around with this gospel of the water and the Spirit and think lightly of it. The power and the truthfulness of this gospel of the water and the Spirit are worthy of buying even if it requires one’s life. It is through this gospel that we can receive new life, and it is by the power of this gospel that we can earn all the treasures that are in the Kingdom of God.

This is why when I see people wavering before the precious gospel, unable to decide their minds, wondering whether they should believe in it or not, and whether they should follow it or not, I feel sorry for them and pity them. Why? Because for anyone who does not know the true value of the gospel, his life itself is worthless. He himself is living a worthless, cheap life that can be sold for a few lousy changes. When our souls are so precious that they cannot be changed for anything under the heavens, how could we cheapen our lives in such a way?

Because we, the human beings, were created in the likeness of God’s image, our existence is such that we are to live forever. We are to become God’s children and live forever to enjoy splendor and glory together with God. We are all that much worthwhile. Our Lord said, “A man who is in honor, yet does not understand, is like the beasts that perish” (Psalms 49:20). So those who do not know their own precious worth are like the beasts that perish. We must recognize that God has made us precious in Jesus Christ.

There are people who, not knowing the value of this gospel, are still undecided, wondering whether they should believe in this gospel or not. I have fully explained all the benefits and prestige that accompany the true gospel. However, there are many people who can’t decide and still waver, and there are also many people who are worried that they might get cheated. In other words, there are many who cannot see the value of the gospel itself. When I come across such people, I find them so pitiful and I feel so frustrated.

Those who don’t know the worth of the gospel of the water and the Spirit can never give up their possessions to earn it, and therefore, can never be born again at all. Just how much do they have and how exalted are they to boast of themselves so much, without even realizing how miserable life is for all who are not born again? They are setting themselves up for mockery. The life of those who are not born again is like that of a dog that eats its own vomits and swallows its own waste (2 Peter 2:22).

They may say, “Buying this land would be a loss for me.” It’s as if they can only see the earth that is covering up the treasure chest. They seem to not see the light that is coming out of the treasure chest. Such people appear to have no idea just how precious the gospel of the water and the Spirit is.

On the other hand, there also are those who know very well how precious the treasure chest is, and who hold onto it steadfastly. He who bought the treasure field by giving up his everything checks this chest everyday and holds onto it.

There are some others who still haven’t bought the field, but nonetheless are still bargaining with its owner all the time: “I will buy this land sooner or later. So, don’t sell it to anyone else! Why would you try to sell it out to anyone else, when you know that I’ll buy it?” So the owner says, “If you sell everything you have and offer its proceeds to me, then I’ll sell it to you.” But they only reply, “Well, but I am telling you that I’ll buy it. It’s not that I am not going to buy it, but it is just a matter of when. I can’t buy it now, just not now.”  

This is so frustrating. They drive me crazy. There is no comedy like this. I feel absurd when I see such people.

Our Lord said that the Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden a field. A man found this, and sells all that he has and buys that field. To make what is precious ours, we must pay its price. With all our hearts, all our strength, and our all life, we must appreciate the value of what is really precious and believe so. We must realize that the gospel of the water and the Spirit has brought us new life, and we must believe in this. We must know and believe that it is this gospel that has blotted out our sins and made us God’s children.

However, even in God’s Church, there are those who do not believe in this gospel of treasure. My fellow believers, is the gospel of the water and the Spirit the same as any other gospel? Every time the pseudo-gospel preachers open their mouths, they only lay emphasis on the movement for regional evangelization. They engage in activism, saying that we must go to the people and make them Christians, but they do this without the gospel of the water and the Spirit. That’s why they only yield the tares, the religionists, instead of truly born-again Christians. Only the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the true gospel. If people believe only in Jesus’ blood on the Cross when they profess to believe in Him, their faith is the faith of the religionists.

Even if you were to lose everything, when you believe in this precious gospel, you will gain far more. And you will receive far more blessings. You need to realize this fact and appreciate the value of the gospel Truth when you believe in it with your hearts. Do you believe? Words cannot express it any further.



The Kingdom of Heaven Is Like a Merchant Seeking Beautiful Pearls

Verses 45 and 46 say, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls,who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” Our Lord said here that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls. He said that when the merchant had found one pearl of great price, he sold all that he had and bought it.

Through the parable of the treasure hidden in a field, our Lord is telling us that we have to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit no matter what sacrifice is required. And now, with this parable of the pearl of great price, He is telling us that we have to defend our faith in the true gospel no matter how difficult it might be.

The pearl here refers to the perseverance of faith. Think about the how pearls are made inside oysters. How hard is this process, and how much patience is required? When an oyster is injured, it excretes some substance to heal itself from the injury, and this excretion eventually turns into a pearl.

Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, meaning that if we have encountered the gospel of the water and the Spirit and believed in this gospel, if we sold all our possessions to believe in it, then we should commit our life and death to keep this gospel, no matter what price of sacrifice would follow. Even if we were to lose our everything, in other words, we would still keep this precious gospel so that we would not lose it. We would pay whatever price to keep it.

My fellow believers, while it is important to have the precious treasure, once we have it, it is also important to keep it and manage it well, so that we can enjoy all the benefits that are accrued from it. To do so, we have to pay a high price, the price of sacrifice.

Some people keep a safe vault in their homes. They place their valuables, such as jewels, in these vaults, but even after this, they still worry that they might lose them. So they permanently affix the vault on the wall, so that it would be even more difficult for a thief to break into. From the very moment they build the house, they place the vault in the wall. There actually are people like these who build their houses with this thing in mind, making sure that no one would ever be able to break into the vault unless he demolishes the whole house or has a key to the vault. They do this because they’ve placed all kinds of treasures in the safe, and they want to protect them. Those who are not so rich, of course, would just place their money in the closet or underneath the mattress. In short, those who think their possessions are very precious try that much to protect them from robbery. If someone thinks that he has nothing to lose, he won’t lock even the front door when he leaves his house.

Once we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we must realize how valuable it is, and we must try to keep it. Since there are those who are trying to snatch it away from us, to protect our treasure, we must pay the price of sacrifice. This is what the parable of the precious pearl is saying. 

We are devoting ourselves to the Great Commission, commanding us to go and preach the precious gospel of the water and the Spirit throughout the whole world. If this gospel is precious to us, we must protect it in every way, so that it may not be corrupted. This is why I sometimes speak to so bluntly, so that it would be planted in your hearts firmly, so that you would reach a correct understanding of it, and so that you would keep it well.

My fellow believers, there are those who try to corrupt this gospel of the water and the Spirit. There also are people who are so ignorant of the value of this gospel of Truth. They do so because they do not know well about it; had they known its real value, why would they do this? This is why we must appreciate the value of the gospel.

This is a treasure that cannot be changed for any other treasure. In this chest there are all other treasures. It has all kinds of precious stones, from pearls to sapphires broaches, gold bracelets, amber rings, diamond rings, jade rings, and so forth. This chest cannot be changed for anything in this world, for it was given to us from God. If only we would believe in this and take it to the Lord, we would receive rewards that are even greater than this, and so we have all the more reason why we shouldn’t change it for anything else.

Just as the merchant, when he realized the value of the pearl, sold all that he had and bought this pearl, once we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and appreciate its worth, we must dedicate all our efforts to protecting it and spreading it. This is not to be done just once, but we must commit our own life to it. We must invest our everything and bet our lives on it.

While walking around my neighborhood, I once came across a new pizzeria that just opened, with a large banner hung across the storefront. The banner read: “I’ve bet my life on pizza!” So the moment I saw this banner, I couldn’t help myself but try its pizza. How could anyone pass on a pizza that someone has bet his life on? And how could anyone say that the pizza didn’t taste that good?

So I told my coworkers, “We should go there and have our lunch. How could we not, when the owner has apparently bet his life on it? We should give it a try. Let’s go to this pizzeria that’s got a life riding on it.”

So we all went there and tried out its pizza. The verdict? It wasn’t as good as to bet one’s life, but it was better than most pizza. Having finished our lunch, we sat there for a while, not knowing what to say to the owner who was eagerly waiting for our approval, and finally I said, “That was so good! It was really as good as to bet your life! It was really delicious.” Even though his pizza wasn’t the best that I had ever tried, I couldn’t help but appreciate his commitment to his restaurant. I like such dedicated people. Anyone who works so diligently as to bet his own life on his task deserves my respect.

No matter how awful the pizza might be at that pizzeria, since the owner bet his life on his business, I had confidence in the restaurant and I wanted to go there again. Likewise, as we serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I want us to really bet our life on this gospel, dedicate our entire lives to preach this gospel. And I want all of us to keep this gospel. This work that brings new life to people’s souls and saves them from destruction is indeed well worth our effort. It is worthwhile for us to even lay down our life. As we work, even if God suddenly takes us away and we die one day, this work is worthy of betting our life on it. There will never be a time when we quit this work because of some changed circumstances. This ministry of preaching the gospel is all the worthwhile for us to bet our entire lives and everything we have.

And we must have patience while devoting ourselves to this precious ministry. We must endure until the end, for it’s not so easy to follow the Lord. Because it’s not so easy to serve the gospel, we must endure and persevere lest we should lose it; we must appreciate its value, and never change our hearts that had sold everything to buy it. Until the day we enter the Kingdom of the Lord, we must serve the gospel in endurance and perseverance. We must put down our own life as the collateral for the work of the gospel—this, in essence, is what the Lord is telling us now. Had this been a matter of small weight, I would have explained to you by referring to my own past life, but because it is such a precious work that cannot be compared to anything, I can only admonish you to know the value of this precious gospel, believe in it, persevere, preach it, keep it up until the end, and then receive the tremendous blessings that await you. This is what our Lord told us.

I am so happy and proud that I am serving the Lord with you. Our congregation has only 300 members, but we are preaching the gospel to the whole world. We will do even more work in the future, 100 times more than what we have done so far. How would we achieve this, you might wonder, when even now there are limits to our abilities and it seems so remotely possible? We can achieve this by working with faith. Do we work with only our bodies? If this were the case, today alone is hard enough for us to collapse. We need to rely on our faith more and to try harder. He who enables us to achieve these things is the Lord.

I am so happy. I am so happy that I can do this work with you. Ever since I found this gospel of the water and the Spirit, I have become such a happy man. What about you? Have you also become happy since you met the gospel of the water and the Spirit?

When we first met this precious gospel, you probably thought that it was nothing but a mere accident. It may seem like only a coincidence, but in fact, it was all planned beforehand. And it is in this plan that we found the precious treasure, and also made it ours. This is why I am so happy. Though it is not easy to keep this gospel, the fact that I can do this work is enough to make me happy.

Whenever the countless people of this world utter nonsense, instead of speaking of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I immediately reply to them like this: “What are you talking about? You are just talking trash. Stop spewing out garbage. Do you think that this gospel of the water and the Spirit that we have, the gospel that is revealed in the Bible, its power, and the One who has given it to us, are like you at all? Do you think that the worthless thoughts proceeding from your puny brains can even be compared to the Word of God? Your IQ is in three digits at best, and yet you keep saying all these crazy things!”

My fellow believers, when people speak not about the gospel of the water and the Sprit, but about some other similar gospels, do they even make a dent to us? Of course not. Only fools utter such weird talks. When I talk to people, I always talk about the Word of God without fail, and I never talk about my own thoughts.

In this world there are many pastors and many Christians who profess to believe in Jesus. But, can they be compared to us? Can our workers be compared to these false pastors? Of course not. Can you be compared to the religionists of the world? Of course not. The fact that anyone would even dare to compare us to such false Christians, who are no more than religious bastards, is itself an insult for us. The word “bastard” refers to someone who is born out of wedlock, and this word is a fitting word for the religionists of the world. When we read Genesis 6, there come the bastard giants who were born of their unmatched parents: “There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them” (Genesis 6:4). Bastards should definitively be called as bastards, what is precious should definitively be called as treasure.

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We are God’s own people. We are God’s workers, of those who have the most precious treasure in the world, and of those who have treasure-like faith. I thank God for this. To have dignity and pride about ourselves is, when compared to this faith and this Truth that God has given to us, so trivial. We are, in fact, more than able to boast of our pride to anyone. But it is a matter of course that we have to forsake our pride and lower our heads for this precious gospel.

Given this, who could then even dare to compare us to those who have not received the remission of their sins and believe in false gospels? Who could ever do this? What fame, temptation, or treasure could possibly take us away from this love that is found in Christ?

I give all my thanks to God.

 

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