Late autumn evening, Good News Mission Gangnam Church. First day of “Bible Seminar with Pastor Ock Soo Park.” Due to the rush of cars since the early morning, the parking lot was full and also the stream of people entering the venue left no space in the chapel and so many had to take seats in the lobby and cafeteria resulting in 2,500 people filling the area.

Joyful Bible Seminar

The topic for the Bible Seminar was “Became free from sin and found happiness.” The brothers and sisters who prepared and waited for this Bible Seminar were able to become free from the burdens and loads in their hearts and were filled with testimonies of how they were happy through the joy God gave them. “The Olympic Stadium was scheduled to go through refurbishments throughout the duration of the Bible Seminar and so it was held at Good News Mission Gangnam Church. It was not a coincidence as I had the heart that it was in order to bless the brothers and sisters. The topic for the Seminar was “Happiness”; the newcomers found happiness after being freed from sin but I also feel that God showed us that the brothers and sisters are truly happy when they preach the gospel. (Elder Hyo Jung Hwang/ Seochogu/Yanggaedong)

“Until now I thought, ‘I just need to preach the gospel’, however as I heard the Word I had the heart, ‘If the Holy Spirit does not work then I cannot preach.’ I was able to pray for things that I could not do even if I tried. As I went out to witness, God sent people who wanted to listen to the Word to me, and I was happy everyday as I shared my heart with them.” (Mi Mi Choi/ Seochogu/ Woomeondong)

Covered North America with the Gospel – Gracias Choir

Another reason to anticipate this year’s Bible Seminar. Participants sent out a warm applause to the Gracias Choir, which returned from travelling to 9 cities in North America, and the choir as if responding back gave to the hearts of the participants the heart of God as a gift through beautiful melodies and sounds. The audience especially gave out shouts of joy when they heard the beautiful sound that comes through change in the heart.

“Through worldly standards, Professor Hee Do Ahn holds a high position and so it is possible for him to have an arrogant heart, but when I heard him singing before God with a humble heart the sound was so beautiful and I was so grateful.” (Jeong Hwa Kim/ Gwanakgu/ Bongcheondong)

How did Noah receive grace?

In the sermon that followed guest speaker Pastor Ock Soo Park preached about the grace that Noah received in Genesis chapter 6 verses 5 to 12. “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” (Genesis 6:8) When God saw that man was “evil continually” and said that he would destroy them, people who believed themselves to be good and those who believed in their thoughts and also the people who did not believe the Word stating that he would destroy everything were unable to receive the grace of entering the ark. Pastor Ock Soo Park said, “Noah felt in this heart, ‘I am only evil. I will receive this curse.’ That is why he believed in God’s Word and entered the ark.” He emphasized that people who believe in their thoughts have no choice but to be destroyed. Pastor Ock Soo Park said to the participants, “When you realize that you are someone who is fitting to be cursed and destroyed, that is when the Word will begin to enter you and grace will begin to overflow as God’s work begins.” and expressed clearly that the first step to happiness is throwing away your thought and accepting the Word of God.

Seeing my image through the Word

After the sermon the second part was spiritual counseling time. New participants along with brothers and sisters had individual counseling concerning today’s sermon topic. It was a precious time where today’s Word was engraved into their hearts. On the first day of the Bible Seminar at Good News Mission Gangnam Church, over 100 people had spiritual counseling.

“Instead of believing in the Word that says we are evil continually, I believed in myself when I did something well and through this I realized that I was living a spiritual life that had nothing to do with the Word.” (Ok Ja Kim/ Yangcheongu/ Shinwoldong)

“The Word says that I am evil, but I despised the Word and realized that I had become a high person and had judged and condemned my children and my husband. Through this Bible Seminar I am hoping that God will change my heart.” (Hyo Soon Cha/ Choongranggu/ Myeonmokdong)

I have no doubt that the joy which God wants to give to the participants who have been led by God’s hand will be given to everyone’s heart. I will discover myself through God’s Word and not through my eyes, and am very hopeful for the remainder of the Bible Seminar which will lead me to find happiness that God gives.

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