By Amy, USA
Welcoming the Lord is the greatest wish for all who long for His return. By the grace of God, I welcomed His return. My heart is full of gratitude toward Him, scenes of the past appearing in my mind.
The Desolation of the Church
After graduation, I came to work in America. There I was baptized into the faith of the Lord and became a Catholic. In the first several years after that, no matter how tired I was, every Sunday I would go to the church for Mass and focus my attention to listening to the priest’s preaching and feel the Lord’s love with my heart. The church friends were warm-hearted to each other, just like family members coming together.
But later, I gradually found that apart from espousing letters and doctrines and knowledge of history from the, the priest had nothing new to preach. Although I listened to it carefully, I couldn’t get the supply of life or feel the work of the Holy Spirit at all. Moreover, when I had some questions, I dared not to ask the priest, because he always positioned himself high above, only noticing and speaking to those who contributed the most money or had position. As for the common believers like me, he had no regard, much less answered my questions. The thing that disappointed me most was this. He actually argued with an old church friend who helped preach in the catechumen class. He even cursed the old church friend before many church members, so that the old church friend didn’t come to our church since then. I saw that outwardly the priest dressed himself elegantly and was well-mannered, but actually he was as hypocritical as the world’s government officials. Therefore, my enthusiastic heart became cold gradually as if it had been doused by a bucket of cold water. What was more, I found that the church was the same as the world: Relationships between church friends were based on nothing but mutual interest. They became very kind only when they exploited connections to sell products or do business. Other times they came and went in haste and guarded against each other and were indifferent like people in the world. There I couldn’t feel the love between each other.
During those years, in the church I learnt nothing except some religious rules and rituals. During the sermons, many believers dozed off and later I also became drowsy, somehow. And I didn’t want to go to church gradually, even to the extent of going there once every several months. Because I felt empty and had no support, I became unknowingly addicted to TV series. In order to fill the emptiness within my heart, I was obsessed with them every day and had a decadent life. Even after I got married and had kids, I was still given to the soap operas at my leisure and even though I went to the church for Mass sometimes, I was sleepy. I felt very confused about this. Until one day in December 2017, I met one of my old classmates in the park. She also believed in the Lord. Thanks to this encounter, my confusion was resolved and meanwhile I welcomed the Lord.
My Confusion Was Resolved
The weather in December was cold, yet it was a sunny day. With the sun shining on us, we were full of warmth. My classmate and I were invited to her friend’s to listen to the preaching. The preacher was a brother, who was proficient in the Bible. He integrated some characters recorded in the Bible such as Abraham, Job, Peter, the woman of Samaria, and so on, and fellowshiped their experiences of knowing God. I enjoyed very much listening to it. When we had some questions, he was very patient in giving us an answer, and he wouldn’t stop until we understood. Moreover, what he fellowshiped was enlightening, making me feel very brightened. I liked such get-together very much for there was no distinction of class. Instead, everyone sat together face-to-face fellowshiping. I felt very free and released with no restraint.
Later, my classmate told my confusion to the brother and asked, “Why is the church the same as the world? In church, we doze off during the sermons and can’t feel the Lord’s love and the work of the Holy Spirit at all. Could you tell us your views?”
The brother said, “Thank God! The question you’ve asked is an important one. We all know that we live in the late period of the last days. Theonce prophesied: ‘And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold.’ (Matthew 24:12). Lawlessness in the world of religion is growing. Religious leaders don’t abide by the Lord’s commandments, but only follow religious ceremonies and ancient traditions, turning churches into places of religious ritual and treating their responsibilities and duties as access to status and income. They appear godly outside but substantively are hypocritical. They don’t at all exalt God or bear witness to God, God’s words, and God’s requirements of man when preaching biblical knowledge, but only show off and bear witness to themselves. This leads to them deviating from the Lord’s way and bringing believers before themselves. They’ve been loathed and rejected by God. Another reason is that the Lord will perform a new stage of work in the last days and personally come to earth and express the truth to save mankind corrupted by Satan. The Bible predicted, ‘Thus saith the Lord God: Behold I myself come upon the shepherds, I will require my flock at their hand, and I will cause them to cease from feeding the flock any more, neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more: and I will deliver my flock from their mouth, and it shall no more be meat for them. For thus saith the Lord God: Behold I myself will seek my sheep, and will visit them.’ (Ezekiel 34:10-11). From these verses, we can see the Lord will personally come to search for, shepherd, and lead His sheep.” Hearing those words “come to earth, express the truth, personally search for and shepherd His sheep,” and his fellowship, I felt the love and care from the Lord and my heart was deeply touched. Unknowingly tears blurred my eyes. A sister was considerate and handed me some tissues with a smile. I took them with a shy smile. Then I listened to his fellowship carefully lest I lose one word.
Reunion With the Lord
The brother went on fellowshiping, “The Lord Jesus once said, ‘I have yet many things to say to you: but you cannot bear them now. But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth. For he shall not speak of himself; but what things soever he shall hear, he shall speak; and the things that are to come, he shall shew you.’ (John 16:12-13). From these verses we can see when the Lord returns, He will express the truth and tell us the things we do not know. Now the Lord has returned to the flesh, expressed all the truths man requires toand begun the work of judgment beginning with the house of God to purify all who accept His work of the last days. And the work of the Holy Spirit turns to God’s work of the last days. Those who accept God’s work of judgment in the last days will receive the work of the Holy Spirit, and receive the watering and provision of the living water of life, while those who stop in religious place and refuse to accept God’s work of the last days are left in dark desolation. This proves a prophecy in the Bible: ‘I also have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon: and the piece whereupon I rained not, withered. And two and three cities went to one city to drink water, and were not filled: yet you returned not to me, saith the Lord.’ (Amos 4:7-8). Just as the Old Testament recorded that at the end of the Age of Law, the temple that originally shined with the glory of the Lord fell into desolation—it became a place of trade, a den of thieves. This was because the Lord came and performed a new stage of work. Those who accepted the work of the Lord Jesus were accompanied by the work of the Holy Spirit, while those who rejected His work were eliminated by the work of the Holy Spirit.”
I said, “Now the situation of the churches is almost the same as that of the temple at the end of the Age of Law. They also become a place of trade.” Others all said, “That’s right. It is indeed the same.” The brother nodded and said, “In order to gain the work of the Holy Spirit and watering of the living water of life, we must escape the deception and shackles of pastors and priests in the churches to seek and study the work of God in the last days. Only in this way can we follow the footprints of the Holy Spirit and come out of the spiritual darkness.” Then the brother turned on the computer and read two passages of God’s words, “God will accomplish this fact: He will make all people throughout the universe come before Him, and worship the God on earth, and His work in other places will cease, and people will be forced to seek the true way. It will be like Joseph: Everyone came to him for food, and bowed down to him, for he had things to eat. In order to avoid famine people will be forced to seek the true way. The entire religious community is suffering severe famine, and only the God of today is the wellspring of living water, possessed of the ever-flowing wellspring provided for the enjoyment of man, and people will come and depend on Him.” “All of God’s work in the entire universe has focused on this group of people. He has devoted all His efforts to you and sacrificed all for you; He has reclaimed and given to you all the work of the Spirit throughout the universe. That is why I say, you are the fortunate. Moreover, He has shifted His glory from Israel, His chosen people, to you, in order to make the purpose of His plan fully manifest through you group of people. Therefore, you are those who will receive the inheritance of God, and even more the heirs of God’s glory.”
The brother went on fellowshiping, “God has reclaimed all the work of the Holy Spirit throughout the universe and worked on those who follow His work of the last days, in order that they can hear God’s voice and be raptured before His throne to accept the judgment, purification and perfection of His words. After God makes this group of people into the overcomers, He will send down great disasters to reward good and punish evil. At that time, all those who don’t accept God’s work of judgment in the last days or achieve purification and change will fall into disasters and be punished.” Hearing this, I was very surprised: Is this the truth? The Lord Jesus has truly returned? If we don’t follow God’s work the outcome will be so severe? It’s so sudden. With lots of doubts and confusions, I listened attentively.