I heard such a story when I was a child. A flock of monkeys often came down from the mountain to eat the peasants’ food stealthily, which made those peasants very upset. One evening, a peasant had a good idea of dealing with these monkeys. He suggested a bottle containing peanuts be laid in front of the gate of every family and be fixed firmly by a rope. If a monkey wanted to grab the peanuts in the bottle, it needed to clench its fist. Then it couldn’t get its hand out of the bottle due to its narrow neck. If it gave up the peanuts, it could take out its hand. As a consequence, the next morning, there sat a money before the bottle of every family, every monkey assuming the posture of clenching its fist with grabbed peanuts.
Although the story was short, its meaning is deep and significant. Greed is the common ailment of human. Sometimes, if we seize what we want and do not let them go, this will bring us pressure, distress and even death. Especially in this materialistic period and this evil tendency of admiring fame, interest and position, some people are resolved from childhood to alter their own fates by their own hands to become outstanding and to get the fame, interest and remarkable status. For instance, in order to be admitted by famous universities to attain a job looked up to by others in future, some students have a decade of hard study but fail in the entrance examination. As a result, they lose hope for life and are not interested in anything. Furthermore, some young people even end their short, empty and painful lives by suicide. Those who have stepped into the society and want to succeed in their career by struggle, make painstaking efforts even at the expense of their health and precious years. In the social trend that people place more and more emphasis on unrealistic comparison, people are not content to live comfortably. For foreign-style houses, luxury cars, more and better enjoyments, many people spare no effort to earn money through working overtime, some even taking two or three part-time jobs, at the cost of physical and mental fatigue. There are also those who engage in varying business competition and political strife. Once they cannot achieve their goals by efforts and sweat, they would betray their integrity and morality. They can do all that they can to scramble for interest and position, carrying on varied power-cash trade and power-sex trade frequently.
Man’s life is fleeting. Don’t we come to the world just to seek after money, fame, gain and position? People all pursue the temporary entertainment but do not cherish their lives or seek for the meaning and value of life. Moreover, people feel empty and helpless, without life targets and directions even after they have obtained the temporary material comforts they long for. This is acknowledged by all.
I have ever heard a story about a rich man from my friend. This wealthy man, young and competent, ruled the business field. In order to enlarge his undertaking, he was fully occupied and tended to each single thing personally every day. Unfortunately, in his middle age, the wealthy young man suddenly suffered from cancer. When he lay on the sickbed and stated his last words, he said repentantly that he would think over human life, never acting as a slave to fame and gain and unwilling to lie on the sickbed to wait for death if time flew back. If time could turn back, he would prefer to exchange wealth for health, have a renewed life and search for the true significance and value of human life. … I am sure that one can express such words on condition that he has some true experiences and realizations of human life. What is regret is that such words come at the cost of life.
People usually do not appreciate what they have till they lose it. When life is not threatened and does not come to an end, people behave like those greedy monkeys, struggling and fighting for the immediate material entertainment at all costs. Nevertheless, people will come to their senses when they are at stake: Compared with life, position and fame and gain appear that useless and worthless. The says: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”(Matthew 16:26). Almighty God says: “The things that people treasure are family, money, and fame; they view these as the most valuable things in life. All people complain about their fates, yet still they push to the back of their minds the questions that it is most imperative to examine and understand: why man is alive, how man should live, what the value and meaning of life is. All of their lives, however many years that may be, they just rush about seeking fame and fortune, until their youth has fled, until they become gray and wrinkled; until they see that fame and fortune cannot stop one’s slide toward senility, that money cannot fill the emptiness of the heart; until they understand that no one is exempt from the law of birth, aging, sickness, and death, that no one can escape what fate has in store. Only when they are forced to confront life’s final juncture do they truly grasp that even if one owns millions in property, even if one is privileged and of high rank, no one can escape death, every person will return to his or her original position: a solitary soul, with nothing to its name. … Fame and fortune one gains in the material world give one temporary satisfaction, passing pleasure, a false sense of ease, and make one lose one’s way. And so people, as they thrash about in the vast sea of humanity, craving peace, comfort, and tranquility of heart, are subsumed again and again beneath the waves. When people have yet to figure out the questions that it is most crucial to understand—where they come from, why they are alive, where they are going, and so forth—they are seduced by fame and fortune, misled, controlled by them, irrevocably lost. Time flies; years pass in an eyeblink; before one realizes it, one has bid farewell to the best years of one’s life” (“God Himself, the Unique III” in Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh).
God’s words have clearly revealed the present situation where mankind only cares about scrambling for fame and gain under Satan’s domain. One who does not know worshiping God will not know the value and significance of life. They are like those monkeys who seize the benefits and do not let them go, only to lose their lives. Some day, money, fame, gain and status will vanish like smoke and can impossibly become the eternal life. Life only comes around once. Without life, what can one do? When a person is faced with the loss of his life, what can he take away? Is such kind of life one wants that one brings nothing at birth and takes away nothing at death? Life is brief. Even if one has enjoyed the temporary pleasure brought by fame, gain and status, yet as he does not know where the source of life is and the Creator’s sovereignty and arrangement over mankind’s fate, when confronting death, the fear and loneliness in his deep heart cannot be removed by any valuable materials. Almighty God says: “Under God’s authority every person actively or passively accepts His sovereignty and His arrangements, and no matter how one struggles in the course of one’s life, no matter how many crooked paths one walks, in the end one will return to the orbit of fate that the Creator has traced out for him or her. This is the insuperability of the Creator’s authority, the manner in which His authority controls and governs the universe.”
“If some of you are still dissatisfied with things as they stand, believing that you have some special skill or ability, and still thinking you can get lucky and change your present circumstances or else escape them; if you attempt to change your own fate by means of human effort, and thereby stand out from others and win fame and fortune; then I say to you, you are making things hard for yourself, you are only asking for trouble, you are digging your own grave! One day, sooner or later, you will discover that you made the wrong choice, that your efforts were wasted. Your ambition, your desire to struggle against fate, and your own egregious conduct, will lead you down a road of no return, and for this you will pay a bitter price. … But those who, in God’s work, can accept His trial, accept His sovereignty, submit to His authority, and gradually gain real experience of His words, will have attained real knowledge of God’s authority, real understanding of His sovereignty, and will have truly become subject to the Creator. Only such people will have truly been saved” (“God Himself, the Unique III” in Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Man has been left numb and ignorant by Satan’s corruption, not knowing they were originally created by God and that their fate is even more controlled by God. Therefore, after man is masked by the temptation of fame, gain and status, they do not cherish their life bestowed by God any longer, much less know the life meaning of the created beings is not to pursue fame and gain but to worship the Creator. Nowadays, God incarnate has descended in the world again and bestowed all the truths of salvation upon man to save man from under the influence of Satan. God discloses the bitter results brought by man’s fight against Him for fame and gain in his lifetime, enabling them to see clearly the tragic outcomes when they live under the influence of Satan. Simultaneously, God points out the true way of life for them, which is, submitting before the Creator again, obeying all of God’s orchestrations and arrangements for their destinies, living according to God’s words and walking the right way of life of fearing God and shunning evil.
When the kingdom of Almighty God approaches, the smart will choose to come before God and worship Him, accept the guidance and supply of God’s words, receive God’s care and leadership and have their true value of human life realized. If those who still take money as their life and love status and influence, continue struggling for physical enjoyments, honor and vanity and rejecting the salvation of God, they will miss the last opportunity of God’s salvation for mankind. The salvation work of God does not last forever but has a time limitation. When God’s salvation work in the last days is drawing to a close, some choose to seek for the truth, follow the footsteps of God and receive God’s blessings; some are still greedy for vanity and fame and gain obsessively. Different choices lead to different endings naturally. Have you made your choice to accept the last salvation of God?