But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. (Hebrews 10:39)
Let us read the scriptures, Hebrews chapter 10 verse 39.
‘But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.
There are a few ministers who have been preaching the Gospel but have recently left the church and now lives inside of darkness.
Actually if you are a preacher of the Gospel, because there is no greater joy than preaching the Gospel, if you preach the Gospel and works of salvation arise, they will never leave the path of a preacher even if they are beaten to death.
But to whom does such work appear and to whom does such work not appear?
People think like this, “I can’t do it,’ ‘I have tried,’ ‘It doesn’t work.’ There are many people with this kind of heart.
Sister Son Eul Soon receives salvation
I was also like that. From the enrolment to the end of my missionary school life not a single person was saved through me. After missionary school, other missionary students, because they preached and people were saved through them, they were invited to different churches.
But at the time I was younger than the other missionary students, and I did not preach as well, and because no person was ever saved through me there was no one who invited me.
I had to leave the school now, but because I had no where to go I decided to go to a village called Apkogdong which I had been to before.
Of course, I did not know anyone there. When I went there, I went with enough food for two to three days. And as I stayed there I put a lot of effort into preaching the Gospel.
If I think about it now I know that, although I was preaching the Gospel my heart was not appropriate to preaching the Gospel. I just tried hard to preach the Gospel. But not a single person received salvation.
I rented a room in a certain house and the land lady was a very good and kind lady.
Even in my eyes, I wondered is there anyone as good and kind as this lady? Because it was the countryside she was poor, and she did not dress well but she had a heart of an angel. But this lady smoked a lot. She did not purchase the expensive cigarettes to smoke rather she farmed tobacco leaves and hung them to dry and rolled them up in newspapers to smoke them.
“Ma’am, why do you smoke so much, there is tin in the newspaper and it is very harmful. You should smoke slowly, why is it that you always have a cigarette in your mouth.”
The lady said, “Young man, you don’t know anything. I get headaches so I need to smoke.’
And she continually smoked. In the morning I was reading the Bible in my room. There is a door between the front yard and my room so I was reading the Bible in the room and the lady was smoking in the yard.
The village was very quiet. Sounds of chickens crying and dogs barking you could hear none of that.
One day I was reading the Bible and I think a friend of the landlady came to visit.
“Are you well, is your business going well?”
They were saying these things and I could hear all of it. That friend of the landlady carried seaweed, dried seaweed, laver, and anchovies on her head and would go around the village selling those items.
The people in the countryside did not have a lot of money so they could not afford to buy those items.
Instead, they would pay with wheat, rice. Carrying those heavy things, she would go around the mountainous villages selling it.
The two of them were talking for a very long time and the friend asked, “Did you rent out your room?”
She saw a aluminium pot in front of my room.
“Yes, a church minister came.”
“A minister? Where did he come from?”
“He came from Daegu.”
And that lady asked many questions about me.
“When did he come? Are there believers of Jesus around here? How many kids come to church?”
She continually asked questions about me. As I was hearing their conversation I thought ‘that lady certainly goes to church.’ and I took my Bible and went out.
“Ma’am do you go to church?”
But she insisted that she does not go to church. However, on that spot I preached the Gospel to the lady.
She was a lady who was living such a difficult life in poverty in the countryside; this lady’s husband was a blind man who could not see, she had four children, and while selling the food she had, she lived in great hardship. And I wanted to preach the Gospel of Jesus to this lady. I opened the Bible and preached the Gospel for about one hour. After one hour this lady received salvation. I preached the Gospel to many people after I was born again, and I hoped that one person will be saved; that lady was the first one who was saved.
That lady was 20 years older than I was, but if she was younger and a unmarried, I might have married her. Because she was saved through me she was so lovely. That lady and her friend were so caring for me. I was a minister who just passed the age of twenty, they would call me “minister, minister,” and would listen so well to my sermons. And we had Bible studies until late at night at my place. And they would go back home late at night. The next day they would cook some rice and put Daenjang in a kettle and would bring it to me. “Last night I had such a difficult time because of a fox.”
And the faith of that sister grew and I felt so thankful and happy.
Whenever I prayed, 70% of my prayers were for that sister.
And not long after she has been saved, I moved to a different city called Geochang.
But because I had to move so suddenly I did not tell the sister. I moved to Geochang on a day where she did not do business.
‘Sister, start a Bible study’
One day the sister came to visit me and seeing that the pot in front of my room disappeared she realised that I had moved and she said that she felt like the sky had fallen down.
The next day she did not know my address nor anything about where I lived but she came to the Geochang marketplace to look for me and I met her there. She was looking for me in the market and I was witnessing in the market so we were able to meet quickly. I was so pleased to see the sister. But we could not afford to go to a restaurant, so we were sat under a shade near the marketplace while people were looking at us as they were passing by we had fellowship and we had prayer meetings as well. I thought ‘It seems that this sister cannot come to Geochang every weekend, how could this sister live her spiritual life in Apkogdong?’
There was no one to guide her so that worried me very much.
And what I thought of was “Sister, start a Bible study.”
“What is a Bible study?”
You gather people every evening and sing songs, teach hymns and teach the Bible. And the sister jumped.
“Minister I have been living in Japan so I am not very good in speaking Korean, and I need to know something about the Bible first to teach about it, I know nothing and I know no hymns.”
She said she could never do it. But I could not back off. I had a heart that if this sister does not do this then her spiritual life will end.
“Sister, you have to do it.”
“No , seriously I cannot do it.”
“No, you must.”
She said later that she could never do it so I said, “Sister are you despising me because I am young?”
“No, minister why would I despise you?”
“Sister, although I may be young, I am a servant of God.” “Yes, I know that.”
“If the servant of God tells you to do it, just do it why do you have so many excuses?”
The sister could not say anything. And she gathered few children in her village and started teaching the Bible. She was not very fluent in Korean. She had no knowledge about the Bible. One day I went to see how she was holding the Bible study. And in the countryside there are no large sheets of paper. There were only calendars. She wrote the lyrics of a hymn on the back of a calendar.
‘World full of grief and concerns, sorrowful life. Bearing of the sin on Mount Calvary, Jesus is our lord.’
She opened the calendar to teach the kids the song. The lyrics were precise, but the music was like a democracy every individual on their own. After singing the songs, she taught about the Bible, and seeing her I thought ‘that sister cannot be doing it like that.’
And I came back to Geochang. And every few months we would meet each other. What was really amazing was through that sister the work of salvation was happening. The village she lived at was called Kwonbin, and there were about 180 houses there. And there were about 40 houses which make altars and idols and serve them. There were many superstitions and there were many works of the demon. There were many demon possessed people, but when these people met the sister they were saved. And the people’s diseases would depart from them. As the congregation of the church became two, ten then twenty more and more people started receiving salvation. When I saw the sister she was so precious and beautiful.
Pastor Park Heejin that we all know very well also received salvation through her and like that many people were saved through her, and many demons left amongst the demon possessed people whenever she prayed.
I thought about that sister once again. Seven years ago she passed away and she went to be with the Lord, she lived so happily all her life for the Gospel then she went in front of the Lord. The depths of my thoughts became deeper after I met this sister because when I met this sister at Geochang I told her start a Bible study.
“Minsiter I can’t.”
“No, you must.”
“I can’t.” This sister actually did not know how to witness. She knew nothing about the Bible, and she did not know how to witness. But the ssister started witnessing. And God worked inside of her and many people were saved.
Salvation Testimony of Pastor Park Heejin
Pastor Park Heejin testified about how he received salvation to me. He was going to a soccer school in Seoul and then got tuberculosis(TB). At the time TB was a very scary disease with no good medicine available to treat it. Because TB was very contagious if you caught it the whole family would die. As a young man Pastor Park Heejin was going to a soccer school and he caught TB. So, he came down to the countryside. He spent few days at home and at home there was his elderly mother, his older brother and his wife and two or three nephews and nieces. One day, his older brother said, “Heejin, I know I should not be saying this, but I think I must say it. If it was just you and me living by ourselves it would have been fine but there are young children here. Eventually, if you stay with us all the children will be infected and all the family will die. I shouldn’t be saying this, but you should leave the house.”
When Pastor Park Heejin thought about it, what his brother was saying was correct.
“Brother, I know I have to leave and I will not delay it any longer and I will just leave today.”
With nothing he came out of his house. He had no place sleep or eat. So he starved all day long. Because he had no place to sleep at night, it was very difficult for him. The weather had gotten colder so it felt like if he slept outside he would freeze to death. He was looking for a house and in the outskirts of his village there was a coffin house. Because it was so cold, he went into the coffin house to avoid the wind.
And he would wake up in the morning to wash his face in the creek. And in that village there was the younger sister of sister Son who was saved; the younger sister was also saved through her older sister. Because Pastor Park Heejin was young and the lady was a housewife, she would call him “Heejin, Heejin,” everyday. One day, he was coming up from the creek after having washed his face that sister called him. “Heejin, do you want to follow me today?”
“Where are you going?”
“I am going to church.”
Because he had no where to go and it was so cold he followed her to church. And when he went to church the older sister of sister Son was preaching. Brother Park Heejin, because he had been shivering in the cold and then came into a warm church, he fell asleep due to his weariness. He leaned against the wall and he fell fast asleep. After a while, he opened his eyes and the service was over, and the people were eating when they woke him up to eat.
‘I have TB, should I eat with them? Should I say I have TB? What happens if I say it and I cannot eat?’ So he did not say it and he ate. After eating, he said he was very thankful. After lunch the sister opened the Bible and started preaching the Gospel. He received salvation. He spent the evening the and he had dinner with them again. After evening service he returned to the coffin house to sleep.
Pastor Park Heejin testified that after receiving salvation he prayed to God for the first time.
“God, it is too cold outside. If I continue like this, I don’t think I will survive the winter. For the first time I have a wish, please give me a room to spend the winter.”
He prayed so earnestly for a room. Then the next day he met an elder of the village.
“Heejin, where were you? I was looking all day for you, where were you?”
There was a garden under the mountain. And in the garden during spring the elder man farmed apples. He trimmed the apple trees and he gave fertilisers to the trees and raised them. And during autumn, many apples would ripen. He picked them to sell it. During the winter there was nothing to do. So he was not able to stay at the garden and returned home to stay with his family. But he needed a person to keep the garden.
And the elder said, “Heejin, it would be good for you to keep the garden, the room is warm. If you make fire with the apple tree branches it is very warm.”
The owner asked and begged that he stay at the garden. He went to clean the room and he made fire with the tree branches. The room was so warm and he felt so happy. And during his stay he did not take any medications but his TB was fully healed.
The next year he came into missionary school. I asked how he came to missionary school and he testified about these things and told me his stories. If this brother had not met Sister Son perhaps he would’ve died during that winter. After having met Sister Son he listened to the Gospel and he became a precious Gospel preacher and is now preaching in Gwangju. If sister Son had not done the Bible Study because it was burdensome then not much would have happened.
Everyone, God’s spirit works strongly inside of us, but Satan also works very strongly as well. When we try to preach the Gospel, Satan gives us a very burdened heart. You feel that even though you preach people will not receive salvation, and also even if you witness, Satan puts in your heart that it will not work out. If you witness with that heart, it becomes burdensome, difficult, so you do not witness and Satan makes you not witness completely. So if one or two years pass like that ‘I cannot witness, no matter how much I try, I can’t do it.’ your heart changes like this and you do not preach the Gospel to other people.
‘Not of those who draw back to perdition’
If you look in Hebrew chapter 10 verse 39 it says that ‘we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.’
Many people go to church and read the Bible. But what the Bible says and the thoughts Satan puts inside of us is completely different. The Bible says that with the blood of Jesus all our sins were cleansed, but Satan deceives us to make us think as if we still have sin remaining in our hearts. So, many people are deceived by Satan and therefore are unable to escape from sin. That is why no matter what it may seem like in our eyes, we believe in the words of the Bible. It is not that we have to receive the forgiveness of sin, but we have to believe the fact that our sins have been forgiven. But if we read the Bible and try to believe it Satan puts in the thought which makes us think that our sins are not cleansed.
After receiving salvation God works inside of us. But I seem lacking, and I seem faithless so it feels as if God will not work to me.
But the Bible says we are not of those who draw back to perdition. Who draws back to perdition?
God has given us the faith to arrive at salvation. The Bible tells us that ‘we are not of those who draw back to perdition but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.’ Everyone, it says that after receiving salvation we all have the faith to the saving of the souls. But Satan continually speaks to our heart. ‘You cannot save a person. God is not going to be with you. You have sinned too much.’ with such nonsense we have the heart that God will not work inside of us.
I have spoken about this previously, right? The moment in which the brother who drunk alcohol believed he was perfect, the alcohol left him. Folks, we are those who believe to the saving of the soul, we must believe this Word, but so many people do not believe in this Word. Rather, they listen to the voice of Satan inside of them and think ‘Although I received salvation, God will not work through me. God will not help me. God will not protect me.; Satan continually puts in such hearts inside of us.
‘Those who believe to the saving of the soul’
Let us no longer listen to any other voice or sounds, let us now believe the word of God. It says that ‘we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.’ Everyone today, if you have all received salvation, we are all of those who believe to the saving of the soul.’ If sister Son felt burdened to preach the Gospel and left it, all her life, she would not have been able to lead a single soul to salvation. What would the sister say?
“I can’t do it. I have tried and I can’t. Work of salvation does not happen through me.”
But this sister was not like that. Although she was lacking she started to witness. She opened the Bible and started preaching. So many people received salvation and change through this sister.
Why are you unable to witness and why is no one saved through you? Satan says to you, “You have committed sin. You disobeyed the word of God. You did wrong. You love the world. You are fleshly. Therefore God will not work.”
Satan deceives us like that, and because we listen so well to the voice of Satan, we think that ‘God will not work inside of me.’ There are many people who think like this.
Now throw away all the thoughts you have and accept the word of God as faith. What does God say? ‘You are those who believe to the saving of the soul.’ As the word of God says, we are of those who believe to the saving of the souls. But Satan says, inside of us, ‘No, not you, you can’t do it, through you no one will be saved.’ We have accepted those words with no resistance. That is why it is burdensome to preach the Gospel, and you end up not preaching at all. So the work of salvation does not happen. Now do not believe in your thoughts and believe in the word of God.
Sister Son was like that, just as I was, too. After receiving salvation, for a long time, not a single person received salvation through me. ‘I can’t do it’, I used to think. However, after sister Son had received salvation I was so amazed about how there would be new people receiving salvation everyday in my life.
Everyone, do not look at your circumstances but look at the Word. It is possible that not a single person may have received salvation through you yet. Satan will say these thing; ‘I haven’t preached the Gospel yet. There is no one who has received salvation. I have no talent’. Do not listen to these things but listen to the Words of God.
‘But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.’
From the moment in which we have received salvation, we are of those who believe in the saving of the soul. God cannot work because we are deceived by Satan and constantly say and think that we have no faith.
‘Let us preach the Gospel from 2016’
The New Year of 2016 has come upon us. From 2016, let us preach the Gospel. Whether you are good or bad, because we are of those who believe to the saving of the soul, if we preach the Gospel with that faith, then I believe that God will give us fruits.
I hope that in 2016, you can preach the Gospel to someone that you have never preached the Gospel to before and and see the works in which those people receive salvation. Not just one person, but I hope that we can become those people who guide many souls to the Lord and become such great workers and which God is happy with and live a life where we glorify God. God has prepared people to be saved through you. Just open your mouth and try preaching the Gospel. God will work. I hope that in 2016 a more lively and valuable life will be open for you. Thank you.
Our loving lord, it is not that we go to heaven immediately after receiving salvation but as we dwell on this land we pray to God, know your heart in reading the Bible and as we preach I give thanks that we have the blessing of going to heaven with our family as the work of salvation arises. Satan, who is sly, deceives our heart and makes us hesitant in preaching the Gospel. Now we don’t believe in our thoughts but we believe that we are of those who believe to the saving of souls. Amen! God, I believe. We are of those who believe to the saving of souls. God I thank you for giving us such precious faith. In 2016 I pray that all the brothers and sisters in our mission preach the Gospel and experience the precious grace of people receiving salvation and through that I pray that our lives will become brighter and stronger. Lord please bless the brothers and sisters, work through the Holy Spirit and place words in our mouth when preaching the Gospel and please bestow your grace upon us. I thank you for giving us the grace to preach the Gospel. I give you glory. In Jesus name, I have prayed. Amen!