[1 John 3: 4-6]
“Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.  You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.  No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.”
This is the 23rd session of 1 John Lecture series.
Continuing from the last session, I will talk about the justice of God.
1 John 3:4 writes, “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.”
As written, those who commit sins and practice lawlessness will be judged according to justice.
But when the punishments do come according to the justice, they appear in different forms.
The rules of justice are applied in so many different ways by taking in consideration the different individual situations and conditions such as a person’s heart, environment, and measure of faith.
Moreover, some people receive trials and punishments not just for their own sins but also for the evil deeds that are accumulated by their ancestors or parents.
Among them, there are people who stand against God directly by idolatry or sorceries. Or, they don’t stand against God directly, but they pile up so much evil against other people.
Some people face greater interferences from Satan in the process of accepting the Lord.
Even after accepting the Lord, they still may face interference as they come to understand the truth and increase their spiritual faith.
For example, suppose a certain person, whose ancestors accumulated significant evilness, listened to the holiness gospel and are touched by it thinking it is good.
But he cannot easily cultivate that goodness in him.
He tries hard praying, fasting, working for God’s kingdom, and learning the word, but the speed of his changing is slow.
It’s because he cannot deeply realize or imprint in his heart the value of goodness.
Let me give you an allegory. When you spray water on different kinds of paper, they absorb the water in different ways.
Tissue paper or rice paper absorb even little drops of water very quickly and hold them deeply.
But some other types of paper do not absorb any water. The water stays on the surface and just rolls around.
In much the same way, when people feel goodness, they sense, realize and engrave the value of truth, love, and grace differently in their hearts.
According to the ancestral influence, it is like their heart is covered with thick leather or skin, so it is difficult for them to feel or engrave the truth deep in their heart.
When they commit sins and repent, they might regret and acknowledge that they were evil when they learn the truth.
But, they do not really understand deep in their heart how evil such sins are and how much God hates those sins, so they cannot really repent from the depth of their heart.
I gave you an example of such a person. He was forgiven of his works of flesh through repentance, but the serious illness that was caused by his sins was not healed.
He recovered the grace of salvation with repentance, but he needs to repent from the depth of his heart to receive the grace of healing.
This way, when he thinks about God the Father, he should be able to express his love that comes from the bottom of his heart in truthfulness and thanks.
He can be healed of his sickness through that kind of deep repentance.
There are also cases where the evil accumulated from the ancestors causes serious spiritual deficiencies in the descendants.
For example, they don’t have discernment between good and evil, so they are not ashamed even after committing sins. They don’t have any pangs of conscience.
Also, I gave you another example of a person. He accepted the influence of darkness in his heart and had extremely pessimistic thoughts and emotions even to cause health and life problems.
In other cases, upon the evil that is stored up from their ancestors, they themselves hardened their hearts for a long period of time.
They don’t have any willingness to repent, so there is no effective punishment for them.
They think they are leading a diligent Christian life, but God has turned His face away from them.
I explained many cases in the previous sessions.
But in any case, the important thing is your own mindset and actions.
If you are tied by spiritual cord, to break that cord is to go into spirit.
Ezekiel 18:19-20 says, “Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity?’ When the son has practiced justice and righteousness and has observed all My statutes and done them, he shall surely live. ‘The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.'”
Even if the ancestors practiced evil, you will not be bound by your ancestors’ sins if you store up goodness and go into spirit.
On the other hand, if you continuously accumulate evil, you will receive punishment for your sins, no matter how much goodness your ancestors accumulated.
It means it’s all up to how you make up your mind and try.
Additionally, in this church is the power of the original light that is working to drive away any kind of darkness.
If you believe with true heart and ask for God’s grace and strength while practicing the truth with a humble heart, God will surely give you answers and blessings.
It’s the same for those who committed grave sins and were forgiven by God’s grace.
You are forgiven of your sins. But for you to recover the grace you had, lead a spirit-filled Christian life, and go into spirit like before the commission of sins, you have to try hard.
Even if you repented, Satan might try to shake you from moment to moment.
He may try to cause doubts in you and make you think, “Have I really been forgiven?” Or he may try to take away the fullness of Spirit, or even tempt you to commit sins again.
In order to drive away these temptations and stand firm, you need to try to beat your ‘self’ into submission to make it obedient to the spirit and to dwell in the truth.
You have to recover the grace of God and quickly go into spirit through more fervent prayers and fasting.
Dear brothers and sisters,
God’s justice is very delicate and complicated, but it can never go wrong or be mistaken.
The things that people do in secret, or even the things they say and do and forget about, all become part of the basis for the judgment.
The time and methods are different, but certainly fruit of blessings are given when we practice the truth, and fruit of curses are the result of practicing lawlessness.
Also, God will answer to whatever you pray and ask with faith.
If you ask with faith but there is no answer, it means there is a problem that has to be resolved, or there is a special plan of God.
In my ministry, I have seen so many kinds of cases with regard to the diverse application of God’s justice.
Every time, I prayed to God with all my strength to solve the problem of the church members who were suffering.
Each time, God let me know the deep rules of justice one by one.
When I preached what God had let me know, God opened the way for them if they listened and obeyed God.
I hope you will also keep in mind all the rules of justice as you hear them.
Then, you will also be able to see the way to receive answers and blessings.
You will gain the wisdom and strength to lead the souls in your charge.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will ask with faith and store up goodness upon goodness with an unchanging attitude so that you will dwell in the blessings of God.