Following the promise that we are the ‘light to the Gentiles, to the ends of the earth’, the work has been happening very powerfully all over the world. This trend has continued to Korea where the ‘2017 Summer Bible Seminar with Pastor Ock Soo Park’ is taking place. The month of May, in which the flowers of the gospel blossom freely. After the Bible Seminar in Daejeon, the first day of the Bible Seminar in Jamsil Indoor Arena, Seoul.
‘See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it’ (Revelation 3:8)
Wherever the gospel goes, the door is opened just like the Philadelphia Church who were not chastised by God as they endlessly preached the Gospel. ‘If we go out with the Gospel, God has prepared an open door before us,’ ‘We are little Jesus!’ with this faith the brothers and sisters prepared for the seminar with one heart. Writing letters, visiting houses to witness, online promotion, setting up tables in the city to witness not only this but also by advertising on the Chosun National Newspaper as well as on broadcasting station such as MBC, JTBC, MBN, TVChosun, it was impossible not to know about the event if you were a citizen of Seoul.
“One seventy year old elderly man came to our table. I was speaking with him and he said that in the church he goes to they emphasize about actions strongly. So as I had fellowship with him we shared the word in Romans 3:23 and 24. We cannot become justified by our actions and all people acknowledge verse 23 but they are unable to understand verse 24. I told him that in verse 24 it says that ‘we have been justified through Jesus Christ.’ After he heard those words he told me that he would come visit the seminar. Because of this I was able to pray for him to come. I have a wishful heart that he comes to the seminar and realizes that one is justified not of works but of faith.” (Youngsuk Lee, Gangnam Church).
The hopeful news which was heard even before the Bible seminar raised the level of expectation for the actual seminar.
The first evening, the seminar began with hymns, MC of pastor Youngjoo Park and the prayer from pastor Hunmok Lee. It was followed by the performance of the Gracias Choir who performs all over the world wherever there is the Gospel.
The first performance which was a tenor solo by Julio Gonzalez who sang ‘The Cross Upon which Jesus died drew inside of the hearts of audience the love of God which was going to be preached throughout the seminar.
It was followed by a performance by violinist Chingiz Osmanov who played Mozart’s Concerton No.5 1st movement. As he played there were cheers and little laughter and reaction from the crowd. It was because he played the melody of the Korean traditional song Arirang in the middle of this unfamiliar song. Another beauty of the Bible Seminar is being able to listen to world class artists who harmonize with the audience.
And the full choir performance by the Gracias Choir which everyone has been waiting for. The choir who was standing on their national stage for the first time in a long time exceeded the expectations of the audience and performed to its full potential.
The choir played ‘The Lord is Great and Manifest,’ ‘Panis Angelicus’ and ‘Beatitudes’. The audience was mesmerized for each and every song by the world best choir.
“The woman who was caught in the act of adultery deserved to have been dead. But when Jesus’ words were spoken the rocks which were directed to her were dropped to the floor. Me too, after I met Jesus many rock of condemnation towards me were also dropped through God. Now I became a person who live in joy not in fear. I praise Jesus who is with me.” The short testimony delivered by Baritone Jungjoon Yoon before the song reminded once again the audience of the theme of the seminar which was ‘Neither do I condemn thee.’
The applause of the audience did not stop even after the songs were finished so the choir responded by singing two encore songs ‘Glory to God,’ and ‘How Great Thou art.’
On the first evening Pastor Ock Soo Park preached about the ‘woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets’ in 2Kings 4:1-7.
“The words in the Bible speak about a brand new world which we cannot imagine. Because we have been living deep inside of our own thoughts, the thoughts of man was never one with the thought of God. When God told Abraham that ‘You will have a son’ the thought of Abraham was completely different from the thought of God, and when Jesus told Peter that ‘You shall deny me’ Peter’s heart was also completely different.
Pastor Ock Soo Park described in his introduction about how the thought of God and thought of man could not be the same and gave the example of the sister who had a kidney transplant.
“There was a very small and pretty sister. Her kidney was ruined so it could not filter the blood or make urine. One lady gave her kidney to this sister and when this healthy kidney was transplanted into this sister it filtered the blood to make it clean and also made urine.”
“When I read the Bible about ten time all I saw was the work of Jesus. When I read it more deeply I saw that there were the laws and the ten commandments and I started to become more and more a sinner. When I read the Bible a bit more I could see that the blood of Jesus washed away my sin and made it as white as snow. People are unaware of this hear so when they hear that they must ‘repent’ they simply confess their sins and they think that if they live an obedient and kind life then they will receive the holy spirit and change. But try to live a good life. It is not possible. I should not drink, I should quit smoking, I should live a kind life. It is not possible. It has been made to be impossible. It may be possible to a certain point but according to the standard of God it is impossible. The moment Adam ate of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil he began to be led by Satan. That is why in spiritual life just like the sister who had the bad kidney you must also receive a transplant. Repentance is realizing that your heart is dirty, filthy and lustful and that these hearts continue to arise so you cannot go to heaven with your heart therefore you change it with the heart of Jesus. You cut the bad kidneys and you replace it with a healthy and strong kidney.”
“The wife of the prophet was receiving training with the prophets and when her husband passed away she tried to raise her two sons with her own strength. However, as time passed rather than making money she fell deeper into debt. The debtors came to her every day. Later on it got to the point where the debtors demanded for her son. That is when this woman thought ‘I did not believe in God until now. I thought that if I work heard I could live well, but I was so arrogant! God, please help me.”
Pastor Ocksoo Park explained thoroughly through the story of the prophet’s wife about the process in which this woman went through to repent her heart in front of God. Just like how this woman followed the word of God which she could not understand when she realized that her own ways were wrong, Pastor Park emphasized that we also must incline our ears to the words of the Bible and what it says about our sins after realizing that our thoughts were wrong from the beginning as it began from Satan.
Even after the sermon was over the participants did not leave. Those who attended the seminar for the first time had fellowship about the Gospel with pastors from all over Korea and had spiritual counselling. From young students to elderly men people sat down during the second part of the meeting and share the words which they heard once again and shared their concerns and problems regarding their spiritual life.
I had many ups and downs in my spiritual life. I wasn’t healthy and I requested for counselling as I wandered why these fluctuations were so serious in my life. Although I had no good and all I had was evil I departed from God and had the thought of wanting to do good by myself and because I did not have the faith to live by faith which God has given me I kept falling into difficulties as I continually saw myself. When God sees me I am perfect and whole, but I refused this and tried to work hard in my own way. Also, there was no peace in my heart. But through the individual counselling I could let go of my heart a little bit and gain peace. When I realized that I am someone who could do nothing peace came to me. (Myunghee Song, Gimpo)
From the first day, the jovial sounds of the trumpet rang. Ms. Sunja Jin who came to the Gimpo seminar last time listened to the word and had personal spiritual counselling with our pastor during the second session. Afterwards, she said that although she went to church she did not know at all that she was already righteous and she was so happy as she said that she ‘no longer has sins and have become righteous.’ I shuttled her from the Hana Apartment in Majeon and we shared our happiness and I am not tired at all. I am so happy and as I see the members of the church and the pastor all working together to accomplish good I am able to gain strength in my heart. (Soeun Kim, Gimpo)
In the young adult’s meeting of the Seoul region pastor of the Seongbuk Church pastor Junghwan Oh said “I am a Christian. If you have any problems come find me. The God I believe in can resolve your problems without a doubt” he told the youth to say this. He testified about how when he followed the word as it was God certainly helped him. The youth who heard about how to live as a Christian in their jobs or at their schools were able to learn the life of faith, and hoped to live with great strength as the light of the gentiles.
The heat of the holy spirit which filled the Jamsil Stadium did not cool down even after 10pm.
This Bible seminar preaches about true repentance where one’s thoughts and God’s words clash directly and as one compares between the two they come to accept the word as it is. Just like the story of the sister who got rid of her useless kidney and received a transplant of the new kidney and became healthy again. We hope that all the participants get rid of their own thoughts and cherish the word of God as it is and live a brand new life.
The seminar will continue in the Jamsil Stadium until the 18th(Thursday) and on the 19th~20th it will be moved to Good News Gangnam Church.