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 Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong

 

Mankindís Thoughts Are Like Fog



< Genesis 2:4-6 >

ďThis is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.Ē



We all live everyday by Godís guidance and grace. We feed on new spiritual bread everyday, and I am very happy to share it with you.

In todayís Scripture passage, our Lord said, ďBefore any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.Ē

Why did God say that ďthere was no man to till the ground,Ē even as He had said that He created the heavens and the earth and man on the sixth day? Where did the man go then? We need to realize here in todayís Scripture passage that God, who is absolutely good, wants to reveal His good will toward us.

The ground in this passage means our hearts. He who is to till our hearts is Jesus Christ alone, who came as the incarnated Word. Godís Word, moreover, brings rain on our fields, plows them, and yields such hearts of faith that can serve the God of absolute goodness. Before Jesus Christ came to our human realm, God wanted to plow the fields of our hearts. At the beginning, there was only mist on the ground. The earth or ground refers to the human heart. Therefore, the passage ďA mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the groundĒ symbolizes the state of the hearts of those who donít have Jesus Christ. In other words, the hearts of those who are not yet born again are filled with only their own thoughts.

Before the Word of the Lord came to us, our hearts had been filled with our own thoughts. When one does not truly know the Lordís Word, he cannot know anything about even his own sins, nor can he know what the Truth is. He is completely oblivious as to who he is as a human being, where he came from, where he is heading, what is the meaning of his existence, what his sins are, what is the righteousness of God, nor what His judgment is. Therefore, we should first look at the written Word, and from this Word realize how absolutely evil mankind is, and how our thoughts are different from Godís thoughts.



You Must Know Just How Useless Mankindís Thoughts Are

It is written, ďBefore any herb of the field had grownÖ a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.Ē This points out the very fact that our hearts are filled with wickedness. Human beings came to stand against God because of their thoughts arising from their hearts. However, our Lord, who tills the heart, plows and turns over mankindís thoughts that rise from the wet ground, thus shaping it into a useful field where plants and trees can grow. Just as fog is absolutely useless to crops, mankindís thoughts are blocking Godsí good plan and His Truth from entering its heart. We need to realize that our human thoughts can bring absolutely no benefit to us. Only Jesus Christ has made it possible for the field of the human heart, which has nothing but evil, to yield useful plants and trees, all by plowing and turning over mankindís absolute wickedness.

Without the Lord to till the human heart, it is impossible for people to cultivate the fields of their hearts. In this world, there is no one but only Jesus Christ who can truly plow and turn over the human hearts and expose their absolute wickedness. By nature, every human being was born with absolute wickedness. For such completely evil human beings, the fields of their hearts were stony and filled with all kinds of filth, but our Lord, who is absolutely good, came and cultivated their hearts, turning them into useful fields.

Some people like fog for its mystic and romantic feeling, but it really is bad for the health of their respiratory organs. Likewise, your fog-like thoughts are never good for your spiritual health. Youíve probably experienced for yourselves how useless thoughts tend to arise in your minds like fog when you are sitting at home alone. We have to realize that our own thoughts are absolutely evil. It is only if Jesus comes to this earth, brings rain on our hearts and cultivates them, that such useful things as plants and trees can grow from then on. However, those who do not admit the total wretchedness of their man-made thoughts, and do not believe in the absolute goodness of God, cannot return to the God-given gospel, the gospel through which one is born of water and the Spirit. I admonish you all to realize this.



We Must Escape from Our Own Thoughts

Philosophers speak their own thoughts. But they have failed to provide mankind with any real solution or benefit. What philosophers say is nothing more than a hypothesis. So their claims have not actually saved people, whose thoughts are absolutely evil, nor have they led them to the genuine gospel. In other words, teachings stemming from mankindís thoughts cannot bring any benefit whatsoever to anyone at all.

All the man-made thoughts arising from those who have not been born again do nothing but lead people astray and obstruct them from being born again. These people do not want to know what Jesusí gospel of the water and the Spirit is, nor do they believe in it even when it is preached to them. What comes out of such people ultimately becomes the instrument of their own destruction. In its own thoughts, mankind invented dynamites and developed nuclear energy to put into good use, but now, these inventions are actually being used to destroy mankind itself. Like this, we need to realize that oneís own thoughts arising from his heart cannot benefit him but only harm him.

A life of faith can be initiated only when one first denies his own thoughts. Put differently, a proper life of faith is to follow the Word of God after escaping from oneís own thoughts. Godís Word is power and life. When God created the heavens and the earth, whatever He commanded to let there be, it all came to exist exactly as He commanded.

Jesus said, ďI am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.Ē Itís because our hearts are dwelt by Jesus Christ, the Farmer who cultivates the fields of our hearts, that from then on, the Word of Truth began to rain down on us and plants began to grow. As we read the Word of God and learned it, and as we threw out our own thoughts and accepted and believed in Godís Word, we came to know God little by little.

Fundamentally speaking, mankind had lived without giving any thoughts to Godís plan and His will. Being absolutely evil, we only had thoughts that would actually hurt us. Itís akin to fog being harmful to peopleís health. So it was when we accepted only Godís absolute goodness and believed in it—that is, when we accepted the Word of God—that we finally benefited. If your minds are now all cluttered, this can only mean that you do not really believe in Godís Word and think according to it, but you are actually following your own thoughts without even realizing how your thoughts are absolutely evil.

The thoughts of the flesh can bring no benefit whatsoever in the end. Oneís own thoughts only result in trouble and worsen the problem. When human beings, who are all absolutely evil, fall into their own thoughts, they invariably get into deep trouble, and so they slip into a slump, making and scrapping plans on their own, and building and destroying castles all by themselves—in the end, they are unable to believe in Jesus, thus heading straight to hell. Anyone who does not know how to live by faith is inevitably bound to walk on the way of destruction like this.

Can oneís own thoughts benefit him? No, they cannot. On the contrary, it is the Word of God that brings salvation to mankind, gives everlasting life, solves its problems, and bestows blessings. Herein lies the reason why mankind must escape from its evil thoughts.

It is only our Lord who is to truly till the field of our hearts. As we receive the Lord into our hearts, as we know His Word, and as we believe in this Word, it is from then on that the fields of our hearts are plowed and turned over. Stones are removed, the field is fertilized, and then our egos are broken down, just as lumps of earth are broken down. After this, only the seed of the Word of God must be sown in our hearts. Godís Word must come into our human hearts unadulterated, exactly as it is, and we must hold onto this Word and believe in it in all its purity. Only then does Jesus Christ work in our hearts.

It is God who is to cultivate our hearts, and it is also God who works in them. None other than Jesus Christ is the Lord of mankind and its Shepherd. Nothing that came out of manís head can ever cultivate his totally depraved heart—no book in this world, no human philosophy, no Christian doctrine, no religion whatsoever can ever do this. Who, then, makes our hearts blessed, even though our thoughts are totally evil? It is none other than Our Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible is the Word of Truth spoken by the Lord. When we rely on the written Word of the Lord, from then on, our Lord begins to cultivate our hearts and makes us yield plants, trees, flowers, and fruits.

There is nothing else that can till the human heart but only Godís pure Word of the Scriptures. Only this Word of the Scriptures can till the human heart, and only Jesus Christ, our Lord and the King of kings, can truly cultivate our hearts. Do you believe that the Bible itself is Godís absolute goodness?

When we turn to the Book of Acts, we see it saying, ďThese were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men (Acts 17:11-12). When Paul and Silas went into the synagogue of Jews in Berea, they found some fair-minded people there. It says here that the people in Berea received the Word with all readiness. We need to examine ourselves to see whether or not we are indeed like these people. The hearts of those who are ruled and tilled by the Lord are precisely such hearts.

Fair-minded believers accept the Word of God into the fields of their hearts with a yes, if it is indeed Godís Word. Such people make sure to verify what the Word actually says; are ruled by God through faith; turn many people back to God; become workers before the Lord; follow Him by faith and obey Him by faith; and are made into Godís true servants.

Those whose hearts have been tiled by the Lord contemplate deeply on what Godís Word actually says, and they singularly focus on faith in the Lordís Word. They are never bound by their own evil thoughts, but they cast them aside and adjust themselves to the Word of God. It is such people who are tiled by the Lord.

If there is a tiller, then what is its result? The field yields trees and plants. When we accept Godís absolute goodness into our totally depraved hearts, then from this moment on, our hearts, which now believe in Godís absolute goodness, begin to yield plants, blossom flowers, and grow trees of faith. The fields of our hearts come to produce edible plants for God.

My fellow believers, it is our Lord who is to till our hearts that are absolutely evil. Therefore, we must entrust ourselves to the Lord, and our hearts must be ruled by His Word. It is my sincerest hope and desire that you would all cast aside your own thoughts, believe in the Word of God, hold onto it and obey it, and thus be tilled by the Lord for His precious work. Our Lord will then cultivate the fields of our hearts freely, you will become workers truly fitting to Godís good work, and we will see God alone glorified.

 

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