Genesis 19: 29
“Thus it came about, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot lived.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This is the 28th session of the ‘Heaven’ lecture series. Continuing from the last session, I will talk about the third case where paradise is given as the eternal dwelling place.
The third case where the paradise is given as eternal dwelling place is when people backslide in their faith due to tests and trials. Among them, those who commit unforgivable sins cannot receive salvation according to the justice of God. But the original nature of God the Father’s heart is love, and the justice exists to make this love perfect.
Therefore, in the Bible, there are also some cases where the way of salvation was opened by special love of God, although some people were not eligible to receive salvation in the aspect of justice.
One of such cases is where a righteous man in God’s sight pleads with God with true goodness and love that can move the heart of God to save other people.
The cases I am going to introduce to you today are such cases as well.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will feel the great love of God the Father through today’s message, look forward to a better heavenly dwelling place through that love, and run towards spirit more strongly.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, first, today’s passage Genesis 19:29 says, “Thus it came about, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot lived.”
God knew that Abraham was a righteous man and that he was concerned about his nephew Lot. So, God remembered Abraham and saved Lot and his family. God sent His angels to bring them out of the city of Sodom that was being destroyed.
Also, in Exodus chapter 32 we can read a scene where God heard the moving prayer of Moses and forgave the people of Israel.
God had been showing the Israelites that He was with them since the moment of the Exodus by showing them great signs and wonders.
But, when Moses went up a mountain to communicate with God and did not come back down for many days, they couldn’t be patient any longer and made a calf of gold to worship.
Then, Exodus 32:9-10 says, “The LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, they are an obstinate people. Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them; and I will make of you a great nation.””
When Moses heard this, did he think, “It’s the will of God, so I can’t help it.”? No.
He rather offered up prayer of love that was going beyond the justice, asking God to change His plan.
Exodus 32:31-32 says, “Then Moses returned to the LORD, and said, “Alas, this people has committed a great sin, and they have made a god of gold for themselves. But now, if You will, forgive their sin and if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written!”
If one’s name is erased from the book the LORD has written, namely, the Book of Life, he will fall into the eternal fire of hell.
Moses certainly knew this fact very well, but when he saw that his people was about to be destroyed, he prayed to God with love, putting up his life as security.
God heard this prayer and changed His plan to destroy the people of Israel. Likewise, the prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
But it doesn’t mean all prayers of righteous men will be answered, just because it’s a prayer of love going beyond justice.
When the way of salvation was opened for Lot because of Abraham, Lot had to come out of the sinful city with the guidance of the angel. In the same way, for a sinner who cannot be forgiven by justice to be forgiven through prayer of a righteous man, that sinner also has to turn from sins completely.
He must not have his lingering attachments to the world and long for the world again like the wife of Lot.
If he does, just as Lot’s wife perished, such a person will also perish, since God will not be able to give an answer to even the prayers of a righteous man.
Also, by the prayer of Moses the people (Exodus Generation) of Israel escaped from the crisis of being completely destroyed. But, for the most part, they kept on disobeying the will of God anyway. Finally, they could not enter into the land of Canaan but died in the wilderness.
If they had understood that they were not destroyed just because of the prayer of Moses, they would have changed their minds and obeyed the will of God given through Moses.
But as a result of constant disobedience, nobody except Joshua and Caleb among the first generation of the Exodus who were age 20 or above went into the land of Canaan. So, what is the important point here?
If one has committed sins leading to death, but has been forgiven of his sin through a righteous man’s prayer of love going beyond justice, this means he has received unimaginable grace and compassion.
But even more important is the time after one is forgiven of his great sins.
Some people write repentance letters or receive prayers for forgiveness and feel at ease saying they laid down the burden of sin.
But the more important thing is that there must be deeds of struggling against sins that follow, even to the point of shedding blood from that time on. Only then will the sins be forgiven completely.
It is as said in 1 John 1:7, “but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
But the one I am going to introduce to you now did not try to cast off sins to the point of shedding blood even after she was forgiven of unforgivable sins.
She should have tried to live by the word of God and enter into light with the thanks to the great grace of God the Father who had forgiven her of unforgivable sins, but she didn’t.
She still stayed in flesh, and when things didn’t go as she wanted, she hated others, and she was also jealous and envious of others.
She should have tried to look at everything with goodness and understand everything, but she didn’t.
But the problem is that she was not an ordinary member, but a pastor. Suppose two of you have the same measure of sanctification and faithfulness. Then, those who have higher positions on this earth will also be recognized and loved more in heavenly kingdom.
If you have the same measure of faithfulness, you can accomplish more as an elder than as an ordinary member. You can accomplish even more as a pastor than ordinary members because of the authority and responsibility given.
Therefore, if you want to become sanctified and work for the kingdom of God, you should long for higher positions in the Lord.
But you should also understand that the higher your positions, the stricter the standard of judgment becomes.
James 3:1 says, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.”
But this person was a pastor, but she did so many things that even layman members wouldn’t do.
She did those things so many times and she became so accustomed to them that she couldn’t even realize in her heart that what she was doing was so wrong in the sight of God.
Her heart became accustomed to sins.
As a result, she had a very severe disease, and only then did she try to repent in fear because she had so much pain in her body.
She intended to come before the shepherd to confess her sins and repent, but she didn’t confess everything, so it was very difficult for her to receive salvation.
But God the Father considered her trying to solve the problem through the intercessory prayer of the shepherd, and she was saved.
She received salvation, but it was a shameful salvation that she received. Especially, as a pastor, it was such a shameful thing. You should never follow the same steps.
If one has a truly good heart, in a worldly sense, if one has conscience, the more sins you have been forgiven, the more you should love God the Father.
Jesus talked about Mary Magdalene in Luke 7:47. It says, “For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
Once you have been forgiven of your sins that you committed in the past by great love of God, from that time on is important.
If you keep His commandments by loving God passionately and circumcise your heart with thanks for the love and grace you received, you can also receive love and blessings from God.
But even though you have been given the same grace and love, if you lose your fullness of Spirit because of your fleshly thought or if you are still bound by the previous sins, you cannot receive either love or blessings of God. It depends on you actually.
Therefore, I urge you in the name of the Lord that you should not be entangled in previous sins, and you should not forget what God the Father advises His children. You must struggle against sins to the point of shedding blood.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I will give you the last example of a person who is given Paradise as his eternal dwelling place.
This person tried to be faithful to God’s kingdom with the title of an elder, but was barely saved.
It is the case where he gave his thoughts over to Satan during the trials of blessings in ’98 and ’99. The words that he spoke out became great sins and he lost faith.
He shouldn’t have heard, seen, or spoken what was not truth, but he heard and saw the slandering against his shepherd who was leading him to the way of life, and spoke about him. Then, he lost his trust in his shepherd.
Before, he thought he loved God, the church, and the shepherd, and that’s why he tried to work faithfully for the kingdom of God, but listening to the slandering against the shepherd itself proves that he didn’t love his shepherd.
Why is it so? Let me give you an example.
Suppose somebody is cursing at your parents and saying many bad things about them, would you just keep on listening as the children?
Would you keep on listening thinking, “Is it really so?” Especially, if they were trying to bring down the name of your parents with so many lies, would you still keep on listening to them?
As the children, your duty would be that you shouldn’t just keep quiet about it, but rebuke those people harshly so that they will not do such a thing again, especially when they were slandering with so many lies.
When people are slandering and telling so many bad things about the shepherd who is leading your soul to heaven, if you just listen to them or try to hear more, it means you don’t love the shepherd.
The Bible tells us that it is love and truth to cover a fault.
When Noah was drunk with wine and fell asleep, the second son saw his father’s shame. He communicated it to others and was cursed.
But the first and the third son, so as not to see the fault of their father, went in backward and covered him.
This is the truth.
But this particular elder kept on listening to the false rumors that evil people created and were spreading.
He heard and spread the things that opposed and blasphemed the works of the Holy Spirit, and thus committed the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. So, God turned His face away from this elder, and on the contrary, Satan controlled his thoughts more and more, so he lost his fullness of Spirit completely.
His deeds of faithfulness also disappeared, and he could not pray.
In that situation, he got a disease that was incurable even with modern medicine, and finally, he was on his deathbed.
At that time, there were some people who visited him, and they could clearly feel that the messengers of darkness and angels were having a fierce spiritual fight over his soul.
For the most part he was unconscious, but he sometimes suddenly stood up and walked around the house with a face full of fear. He wasn’t able to speak.
Then, why did the messengers of darkness and the angels fight over this soul?
From the side of the messengers of darkness, his soul was obviously theirs, because he had committed unforgivable sins.
Nevertheless, God sent His angels to hold him, and what is the reason?
That elder once used to love God and the shepherd and served the church diligently. And God knew that, if this soul should fall into hell, his shepherd would be so sad.
So, the messengers of darkness and God’s angels were confronting each other, and when this person had reached the point of death, he came to understand this spiritual situation.
Just imagine that you are holding on to one little branch on the edge of a cliff, and if you fall, you go right down to the burning fires of hell.
How afraid you must be! His soul was in such a situation. In that situation, his family members brought him before me.
I drove away the enemy devil and Satan and the messengers of darkness that were trying to take his soul.
I held that soul and prayed before God the Father saying, “Father, hold this soul. Please let this soul reach salvation.”
When I finished praying, the messengers of darkness left, and that soul now had the faith to receive salvation. Also, his face also turned into a peaceful face, being set free from terror.
Then, I told the family members to prepare for the funeral, and this elder passed away the very next day.
I heard from his family members that since this elder had received my prayer, he kept on shedding tears. It means he was repenting. How do you think he felt after he came to receive salvation this way?
Let me introduce to you some parts of what was revealed by God the Father.
“I am saved. Even though I am in Paradise, I am so satisfied because I was going to fall into the dark place, but I was set free from all the fear and burdens of the soul, and I am now in this beautiful and comfortable light.
Thank you! Thank you for saving me!
I don’t have anything to say. I am just so thankful just for that I can be in this Paradise.”
The Lord revealed to me that ever since he passed away and went into the upper grave, he began to pray to God kneeling down.
Giving thanks to God in his prayer that he was saved through his shepherd, he began to miss the shepherd already and prayed with his tears.
He also offered a vowed prayer that he will not stop praying in his waiting place in Paradise for the shepherd and the church until he meets the shepherd again at the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus in the air.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, until today, I gave you some example in which Paradise is given as one’s eternal dwelling place.
What have you felt through each of the cases?
I believe you could have felt the love of God the Father who wants to save even one more soul and lead them to heavenly kingdom that is full of true peace and happiness.
If a person who has not believed in God for his whole life repents with true heart and accepts Jesus Christ just before his death, God saves him.
One says he believes in God but does not show any evidence of his faith. Still, if he has the least bit of faith the size of a mustard seed to receive salvation, God saves him without forsaking him.
We are now able to understand that there are cases where souls are in situations where they cannot receive salvation, but sometimes God saves them through His Love that goes beyond Justice.
But those of you who are listening to this message should not be barely saved like these people.
This actually is such a shameful thing.
Also, even if you go into heavenly kingdom this way, you will not be able to boldly see the face of God the Father or the Lord.
Therefore, I hope you will reflect yourself upon and scrutinize yourself with these examples given.
I pray in the name of the Lord that, by the love of God the Father who wants to lead you into better heavenly dwelling place, you will change everyday to accomplish heart of truth.