And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth: And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters: And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died. And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos: And Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died. (Genesis 5:3~8)
Have You Ever Seen a Home Like Ours?
An elderly woman attended our church when I was in Dajeon. I was once holding a Bible study at an apartment complex and she gave her testimony of how she was tied to sin but had become saved. It was really good, so I asked her, “Grandmother, where do you live?” and she replied, “I live right here in Building 4.” I went with her to see where she lived and her husband came out to greet her. This gentleman became startled and said, “Pastor Park! What brings you to my home?” He then began to speak to me.
When this gentleman was much younger, his son contracted a terminal illness. He tried everything to cure his son, but the doctors at the hospital told him that there was no hope for his son whatsoever. Then he went in search of prayer houses. He sold his house and tried everything to save his son, but ultimately, his son died. He also had a daughter who was sick. She suffered from cerebral palsy, and could not get up at all. She lived all 30 years of her life lying down. In this gentleman’s heart, he thought, “Why did God place these plagues upon me?” and he was filled with complaints against God. From then on, he completely cut himself off from God.
This grandfather asked, “Pastor, have you ever seen a home like ours?” He said that he was so ashamed of his daughter’s condition that they never once moved during the daylight. If they had to move, they would pack everything and move like a thief in the night when no one would be watching.
A Rose Has Bloomed in My Heart
His wife then received salvation and began to come to our church, but this gentleman persecuted her. “Don’t go to church! Believing in Jesus is worthless!” He persecuted her continually, but this elderly woman continued to come to church with joy.
One day, her two other daughters, who were already married, came to visit her and they were startled when they saw her sleeping on the bed. “Shhh! Be quiet!” they said. Their mother had always been insecure because of her son and daughter so she was never able to sleep deeply. She would be startled easily and wake up. But they saw that their mother was sleeping so peacefully. They understood that their mother had truly received salvation and though they were rejoicing, they were absolutely startled to see their mother sleeping so peacefully. The two daughters went outside, afraid that their mother would wake up and tearfully discussed this with one another. “Our mother has changed. The God she believes in is truly God. How could she change so much?”
However, her husband continued to persecute his wife in order to keep her from going to church. One day he thought, “Why is this old woman so crazy about this church?” and saw a book entitled The Secret of Forgiveness of Sin and Being Born Again by Pastor Ock Soo Park on the desk. He became determined, thinking, “Good! Now I shall find what’s wrong with this church in this book and take my wife out!” So he read the book, but his heart changed as he read it.
“I had no idea, but this is the love of God! God sent His son Jesus for me and Jesus was crucified for me!”
In this manner, his heart had been completely opened, and when I had gone to his apartment, he said, “Pastor, there are so many homes in Dajeon. Why have you come to mine?” Soon afterwards, he received salvation. He then came to church and gave his testimony.
“I had never once been joyful during my 70-year life. I have never once been happy. I had laughed before, but it was never from my heart. I could never erase my son’s death from my mind. I could never erase my daughter being ill of cerebral palsy and lying on her bed. I always lived inside of darkness, but Jesus came into my heart and made a rose bloom in my heart.”
I can never forget this elderly gentleman. He was so happy and joyful to see me. I often went to their house, but I no longer live in Dajeon so I have not been there for some time.
I Was So Happy Standing Before Death
The genealogy of Adam is shown in Genesis chapter 5. And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth: And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters: And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died. Adam’s genealogy continually says, “Died, died, died . . . .” It is filled with death. But if you look at the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew chapter 1, it says, Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; There is no word “death” here. It continually says, “Begat, begat, begat . . . .” While the works of life continue, there is no work of death.
Think about it. Jesus is the one who defeated death. Would he then keep death in his family? He defeated sin. Would he then keep sin? He defeated fear and sadness. Would he then keep fear and sadness? We cannot defeat sin or death, but if we are inside of Jesus, He defeats all of those things.
My grandmother passed away about 20 years ago. I was the chief mourner at the funeral so I had to greet visitors all night long. I was sleepy, but I drank coffee and lasted several days without sleeping. After the funeral, I had to return home. My stomach hurt so much the next day. It would hurt; then be okay. It would hurt; then be okay . . . It repeated like this, but at about 12 o’clock at night, I could not take it any longer and went to the hospital. They examined me and said that I had an intestinal obstruction. My intestines had become twisted due to over-anxiety. I was lying on the bed and my wife looked down at me with a worried face. Then my wife’s face quickly became blurry and unclear.
I thought, “Ah, now I am dying. Let me finalize some things before I die,” and the church came to mind first. I should live and lead my church, but when I quietly thought about it, there were many great pastors in my church and it seemed that everything would go well even if I died. Then I thought of my family. I had the heart that God, who has protected my family till now, would continue to protect my family. I then finally thought of myself.
“When I lived inside of sin and inside of darkness, Jesus entered my heart after I received the forgiveness of sin. He cast out the darkness and the sadness that I could not defeat and allowed me to live inside of joy and hope. Now Jesus will take my hand as I cross the river of death and lead me to the eternal land!”
I was so happy standing before death that day. Before, I was so afraid of death and thought that it would be so painful. But that day, I did not actually die, but I clearly thought that I would die. I was so thankful that I was standing before death with Jesus. Jesus defeated the sin, judgment, and death inside of me. My sins, the destruction that I was to receive, the curse that I was to bear, and the death that I was to receive were all defeated by the Lord and He gave me true freedom and liberty. Therefore, my heart was extremely peaceful.
“Ah, death is something joyful for a Christian! Death is coming to me, but it is not death! I will be freed from this flesh, wear new clothes, and stand before Jesus. It is something absolutely joyful! It is happiness!”
Things were so complicated when I was not standing before death. But when I thought of actually finalizing everything before my death, there was nothing for me to finalize. Things I had worried about while I was alive were not worrisome anymore. So I thought, “I will live forever inside of Jesus! I will be freed from this body of pain and wear a new one! I will have life! I have received grace!” I was so thankful. “God, thank you so much!”
Death is not death if you are with Jesus. Pain is not pain when you are with Jesus. Sorrow is not sorrow when you are with Jesus. It appears to be extreme sadness, pain, and despair in the eyes of people, but Jesus, who is with me, has swallowed and triumphed over all of my sorrow, pain, and despair. Therefore, despair is not despair even if it comes to me. Sorrow is not sorrow and pain is not pain even if they come to me. I am inside of Jesus.
Jesus, You Do It! You Are the Lord!
The word death is nowhere to be found in the genealogy of Jesus, in Matthew chapter 1. Because Jesus defeated death, the villain named death cannot enter the house of Jesus. Therefore, you, who are inside of Jesus, will not taste death. You will shed your flesh and enter the eternal world. You are not dying.
There is no sin inside of Jesus. There is no despair inside of Jesus. We are tied to sin in pain when we are outside of Jesus. But when we are together with Jesus, no sin can condemn or pain you. While you are with Jesus, you and He are one. Though you may sin, the one who resolves that sin is not you, but the Lord. When pain or sadness comes to us while we are separate from Jesus, we must bear it as it comes, but it is not that way inside of Jesus.
My son is married with children now, but when I used to hold him by the hand and take him around when he was young, I took all the responsibilities no matter what happened. Whether it was a taxi, food, or whatever, I took the responsibility. When my son was six, the family rode in a taxi together. I asked the driver, “How much is it to East Daegu Station?” “It is one dollar.” “Oh, really? Then Daddy will pay 30 cents, Mother 30 cents, Yeong-kook 20 cents, and your sister 20 cents.” Then my son said, “No!” “Why not?” “Daddy, you should pay.” “Why should Daddy pay? We are all riding together.” “Because you are our daddy!”
I could not say anything. He was riding in the car, but he was telling me to pay. If you have this much faith in Jesus, it is so great living in this world.
“Jesus, you do it! It’s your problem, Jesus! Jesus, you are our Lord!”
When I say, “I sinned, but you take the responsibility, Jesus. Jesus, you are my Lord!” then He does so. But we do not have faith and we bear the pain of sin because we committed it. However, the Lord carried our sins and was crucified. Why? It was because the responsibility for the sins we committed was placed upon the Lord and not upon us. The Lord should receive the death we should have received, and the plagues and sadness that we should have gone through are not ours in any way after we have entered inside of Jesus.
Death Is Swallowed Up in Victory
The days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died: All the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years . . . .
In the genealogy of Adam in Genesis chapter 5, “Died, died, died . . . ,” continues. These are the works of death. But there is no death in the genealogy of Jesus Christ in Matthew chapter 1. It is because Jesus completely cast out death. If you belong to the genealogy of Jesus Christ, you can avoid death. This is because the fight between death and us is not our own.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, them shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (1 Cor. 15:53, 54)
Death and victory were fighting and death was swallowed up by victory. Victory represents Jesus. It means Jesus defeated death. He swallowed it. Jesus defeated sin. He defeated Satan. He defeated disease. That is why sin cannot exist when you are with Jesus. Death cannot exist and disease cannot exist.
We have lived separated from God ever since Adam and Eve sinned and death reigned in the midst of us. It is only natural that one becomes close with darkness when he departs from God, Who is the light. We cannot overcome sin in such a state. We fall deeper into sin as we struggle not to sin. We cannot defeat death. We cannot defeat the judgment. Therefore, we become the servants of sin when we fight against sin. We become the servants to death when we fight death. We become the servants of temptation when we fight temptation. And we become the servants of pain when we fight pain.
But people who belong to Jesus Christ do not fight themselves, but Jesus who is the Lord fights for them. Jesus fights against your sin and your pain and He fights against the punishment, curse, and destruction you should receive. Therefore, there is true rest and freedom inside of Jesus. Jesus does not allow sin to remain within His domain. Jesus does not allow death, curse, or destruction in His domain, but He casts them all out. That is why it is not that we must labor to not sin, to be good, or to be sincere, but we must enter into Jesus.
A person could only have lived if he entered the ark during the time of Noah’s flood. It is okay even if that person does not know how to swim. Inside the ark, even evil people live. Not only the clean animals but also the unclean animals in the ark lived. However, even the clean animals outside the ark were all killed. All the good people who were outside the ark were killed. Everything outside the ark was killed.
Our goodness or evilness does not decide our salvation. How well you have kept the law or how poorly you have kept the law does not decide this, either. “Are you inside of Jesus or outside of Jesus?” That is the only thing that determines your salvation.
Do not Try to Do It, but Belong Inside of Jesus
I have gone to church ever since I was young, but I was outside of Jesus until the year I turned 19. I tried to pray hard, be loyal to church work, and not commit sin, but I was outside of Jesus. Back then, I tried hard to believe in God, and I tried to stand before God through the good I had done. However, all of this was useless. One day, I realized that everything I did was useless and I realized that it would not work by me trying to do well. So, I gave up on trying to do well in order to go to heaven. I gave up on spiritual life; I gave up on myself; and I entered into Jesus and belonged to Him. I was now inside of Jesus, and since He was inside of me, Jesus defeated death, destruction, and despair from inside of me. At that moment, true peace, joy, and satisfaction came to my heart.
Many people today go to church, but they try to do good and be righteous on their own. You should not do that, but give up on yourself. I hope that you will belong to Jesus Christ. Then Jesus Christ will fight your fights for you. You will fall again and again if you try not to sin. You say, “This time I will not sin and I will be good!” but you fall again. This is because you cannot defeat sin. You cannot defeat temptation, curses, destruction, or pain. That is why we hide behind Jesus. We take refuge in Jesus.
Jesus Christ bestows grace upon you and fights for you if He is inside of you. Even though we sin, it is not our problem, but Jesus’. The curse that we should receive is not ours, but Jesus has done everything necessary to make it His. Now, if we enter Jesus and rest in Him, Jesus will bestow His grace upon us.
The people in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew chapter 1 had nothing to do with death. They had nothing to do with curses. They had nothing to do with sadness. However, the people inside of the genealogy of Adam had death, curses, and destruction come upon them. Do you belong to Jesus Christ? Have you entered Jesus? I hope that all of you will enter Jesus. I hope that you will all receive the grace of the Lord in your life, and live strengthened by the work the Lord has done.