[Acts 1: 11]
“They also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.'”
Continuing from the last session, let us look into the second meaning of the resurrection.
The resurrection of the Lord, firstly, signifies that our mortal body that will die and perish, has gained an eternal life.
I talked about this in the last session.
The Lord clearly proved that the resurrection of the believers is certainly going to happen by becoming the first fruit of the resurrection Himself.
And yet, there are many people who do not believe in resurrection.
But why don’t you just think about it?
The night of Jesus’ arrest, all the disciples scattered because they were very scared.
However, after the resurrection and ascension of the Lord, these disciples preached the gospel boldly without fearing death.
After all, all the disciples except John became martyrs.
How could they so dramatically change?
Their lives were completely changed because they personally met and touched the Lord who died and resurrected, firsthand.
Of course, they were brave because they had received the Holy Spirit, but not everyone who receives the Holy Spirit can have the faith of martyrdom.
The resurrection of the Lord is a historical fact that is confirmed by the actual people, namely the disciples of the Lord.
God the Father also planted various evidences in all things in the nature so that we can believe in the resurrection.
For example, in spring, old trees that seemed to be dead during the winter gives out new buds and also beautiful flowers.
Also, seemingly dead seeds can also give life. They sprout and grow up.
The seed itself will die, but a new life comes forth from it.
Also, think about cicada larva.
Cicada larvae live underground for two to seventeen years.
Then they transform into cicadas to fly in the sky and render among the loudest sounds of all insects.
Butterflies look like they are dead in their pupal stage, but soon they have beautiful wings to fly in the blue sky and among beautiful flowers.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will firmly believe in resurrection through these evidences and later on participate in resurrection of the believers.
Brothers and sisters, and viewing audiences, the resurrection of the Lord signifies secondly that the way was opened so that those who had been dead due to sins can now be revived and become God’s children.
I already mentioned that the first significance of the resurrection of the Lord is that our body can gain a life that is eternal.
This first meaning is in regard to physical resurrection, and the second meaning is concerned with the spiritual resurrection.
In fact, these two kinds of resurrections cannot be separated.
Our bodies died because our spirits were dead. Furthermore, because our spirits can be revived we can be resurrected and we can gain eternal life.
The first part of 1 Corinthians 15:21 says, “For since by a man came death.”
Originally, God created men as living beings, or living spirits, and they were immortal.
But since the first man, Adam, ate the forbidden fruit in disobedience to God, he received the curse of death and his spirit died.
Due to this death, our physical body also ages and dies.
Of course, spirit cannot die.
Spirit ‘dying’ here means that its activities have come to a complete stop, and it could not communicate with God any longer.
Since Adam’s spirit died, the breath of life that God had breathed began to leak out from men, and only a trace of it remained.
This is the ‘seed of life’ which I explained in the Genesis lectures.
After this, Adam and all his descendants came to die of old age.
But the more serious problem than physical death is the death of spirit.
Unless one solves the problem of sin, his spirit will also be put to death spiritually.
Spiritual death is one’s spirit falling into Hell and receiving eternal punishments.
Once a person falls into Hell, nobody can save him, and the punishments cannot be stopped.
Namely, he has to suffer from unimaginable pains forever and ever without any hope.
Although this spiritual death is waiting, so many people in the world do not believe in the Lord.
Due to the original sin they inherited from Adam and the actual sins they committed, they are heading towards the eternal grave, namely Hell.
God the Father, however, could not just watch these people quietly.
His love for first man Adam, whom He created in His own image, and His love for mankind never changed.
For this reason, He gave His only begotten Son to die on the cross, (the death) which was actually meant for mankind.
The Lord sacrificed Himself with the same heart as the Father God.
Now, anyone who accepts this Lord as his personal Savior can receive the forgiveness of sins and a new life.
To gain a new life is something to be so thankful for, and on top of that, God the Father gives us the rights of the children of God, too.
Thus, we are exempt from the punishment of the death, and we are born again as God’s children.
How can we measure this love?
Brothers and sisters, if one commits sins, he will certainly die.
If you understand the kinds of effects that sins have on your spirit, you would never commit sins.
As He was telling Adam not to eat from the tree of knowledge, God clearly warned Adam.
In the second part of Genesis 2:17, He said, “for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
This word came upon Adam as spoken.
Adam was driven out of the Garden of Eden, and he could not communicate with God freely any longer.
His descendants were increasingly cut off from God who is the source of life.
Instead of the spirit being the master, their soul became their master, and they came to communicate more actively with the enemy devil and Satan that has the power of death.
The enemy devil and Satan agitates the untruths in people’s hearts to cause them to commit sins.
They cause people to depart from God and drag them to Hell.
Therefore, you must not mistakenly think that you will resurrect or you will be caught up alive just because you are attending church, while you live like the unbelievers who have nothing to do with God.
You can receive salvation and resurrect to gain an eternal life only after your sins are forgiven through faith and the problems of your sins are solved.
Namely, the result of faith is salvation and eternal life, but the result of sin is death, namely punishments in Hell according to the justice.
Jesus let us understand this point through the parable of the poor man Lazarus and a rich man.
The poor Lazarus was saved for he believed in God, but the rich man went to the Lower Grave for he was not saved.
You have heard about this kind of strict justice so many times until now.
Nevertheless, many of you repeatedly repented after committing sins leading to death and sins depriving of salvation again and again.
And what kind of compassion has God the Father shown to you?
In Matthew 23:37, Jesus said to the scribes and the Pharisees who were not repenting as follows.
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.”
Is there anybody who is still forsaking the love of God the Father, who is trying to hold you, and breaking the heart of your shepherd just because you want to live in sins?
I plead with you to open your heart now and accept this love.
Please turn from sins from the heart. Cast away evil and belong to goodness.
Last Sunday was the last day of the three months’ suspension period, which was the last chance given to us by God the Father.
The Father God with His love forgave even the sins that could not be forgiven.
And now you should enjoy the joy of resurrection with the assurance that all your walls of sins were torn down.
In order to do that, you have to completely turn from the sins depriving of salvation and sins leading to death.
Namely, you have to wash the robes of your heart diligently so that you will not be tempted to sin again.
In doing so, I hope you will never commit sins and walk in the valley of the shadow of death, but dwell in the bosom of God safely.
Work out your salvation completely and get an eternal life.
Above all, make your faith grow up and accomplish true love that will never change.
I pray in the name of the Lord that in doing so you will become joy to the Father God.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, viewing audiences, nowadays there are places where they let people experience the death-bed.
They take funeral photos, write their will, and get into a coffin in a winding sheet.
They even look at their own funeral array, which is of course a simulation.
Most of those who do this burst into tears having so many regrets about their lives that they have been living.
They think about things like, “I will die soon, and why did I seek after my desires only, living an ugly life hating many people? How come I never realized the preciousness of the people around me? I will live a new kind of life from now on!”
In fact, some of you have already experienced the moment of death.
Some of you were healed of your diseases by the grace of God after you crossed the physical life-line, or some others have felt the fear like falling into Hell after committing grave sins.
Especially, some of the pastors and Levites were put into a situation where the sword of punishments was right in front of your eyes.
God let you see this situation meaning that He will not forgive you any longer.
Jeremiah 15:2 says, “And it shall be that when they say to you, ‘Where should we go?’ then you are to tell them, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Those destined for death, to death; and those destined for the sword, to the sword; and those destined for famine, to famine; and those destined for captivity, to captivity.”‘”
As said, many of you were in a situation where you had to receive all the retributions and punishments for the sins you had committed.
Having this sense of crisis, I believe you realized that all your pride, faithful hard-work, or your self-evaluation thinking you tried to live a diligent life were meaningless unless you cast off flesh that changes over time.
Spending the time during which your ‘ego’ and ‘self’ were completely dead, what kind of attitude of heart did you have?
I would like to believe that you made up your mind to die completely to sins and live in righteousness.
God the Father redirected all the punishments to me, who is your shepherd, to forgive your sins.
Now, I hope you will deeply realize His love and engrave it in your bones.
Colossians 3:1 says, “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” As said, just seek the things above.
I pray in the name of the Lord who will come back to take us that you will vigorously run your race of faith looking up to the day of resurrection.