총 게시물 485건, 최근 2 건

The Acts of Apostles is still being written

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2018-05-01 (화) 10:57 조회 : 178
설교일 : 2018.04.29
설교자 : Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
본문말씀 : Acts 1:8

April 29, 2018

 

The Acts of Apostles is still being written

Acts 1:8

 

Rev. Kyung Lim Shin’s sermon at the KUMC of Metro Detroit

 

 

Today I want to make a report to you about my recent overseas trip. I posted a summary of my trips on Facebook and knowing that all of you are not on Facebook, I want to give a detailed mission report of my trip and a status report on current mission activities in the world.

 

Previously, ‘A’ country had burned all the Bibles and Christian books and persecuted Christians and closed down churches, but after opening their doors again and relaxing their grip on people’s religion, this country has seen the most rapid annual increase of Christians in the world. On Sundays, every church has been so overflowing with worshipers that they are asked to leave after attending only one service, so that the others waiting outside can come inside to worship. Most churches there broadcast their service on TV screen to those waiting outside. But, recently things are beginning to change; in February this year, the government destroyed two church buildings and ordered all the underground churches to be closed. On top of that, now the government does not allow their party members to have any religion. This has not been announced publicly yet, but there is this rumor that the religious department of the government will be abolished and replaced by an agency in their political party. These changes brought on many difficulties including the banning of the sale of the Bible on Internet. We are worried about the possibility of more obstacles in the future in that country. 

 

Sadly, more of persecution and restriction are happening in other countries also. A former student of mine from ‘B’ country is very concerned about the future of Christianity in his country. He is one of the rare Christians in the country who was born into the highest class. After earning his doctorate from Wesley Theological Seminary, he went back and now is serving as the dean of a Methodist Seminary. ‘B’ country has been a very difficult country to proclaim the Gospel, but lately the number of Christians is growing and the Seminary there is doing well with the help from Wesley. Another native professor in that Seminary has gotten his doctorate from Wesley also, and a Korean missionary to that country has studied and is now writing a thesis for his degree, and another is studying for his master degree. But, the government issued a new decree which forbids preaching of any religion except their own religion, and this new decree will be effective as of August this year. Furthermore, if found to have evangelized, the person will be jailed for 8 years, and if someone lodges a complaint to have been converted to Christianity against his own will by a certain person, that person will be jailed for 8 years also. This means that evangelism will not be allowed anymore and all the Wesley graduates will be in danger.

 

When I was in Russia two years ago, I found out that a new decree had been issued ordering all the churches in the country to be registered and allowing evangelism only within the registered church buildings. The current bishop in Russia is a Korean descendant and had studied at Wesley, and right now 5 students from Russia are at Wesley going through the doctoral course. There have been other graduates of Wesley in Russia also. They are all worried about the persecution and sanctions intensifying in Russia. The people of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and other neighboring countries also speak Russian, so it has been hoped that Russian Christians would go out to these countries to evangelize, but now they face so much of obstacles and hardships that we are all worried and disappointed. “Heavenly Father, why are you allowing all these obstacles in mission? Don’t you see people are making great sacrifices to go on missions and to support missions?” After complaining to Him, I have begun to meditate on what God has in mind and what He wants us to see at present time.

 

Did we take the mission opportunities for granted? Have we overlooked some aspects of mission, while focusing on the increasing number of believers? Havet we relied on our own will only, without asking the will of God, just because things were going well? Have we asked the natives what they want and hope to accomplish? Haven’t we worked hard for our own gratification only? Questions after questions came to my mind. So, I started to read the Acts of Apostles again.

 

The book of Acts of Apostles is a historical account of how the Gospel was spread. After the ascension of Lord Jesus, His followers began to preach about Jesus, and their mission activities were written in detail in this book. Therefore, the whole book is about persecutions, hardships and sufferings; being arrested, put in jail, interrogated, whipped or flogged, making escapes or getting killed. But, all the oppression and sufferings helped to accomplish the spreading of Gospel throughout that part of the world.

 

When the disciples were arrested for their preaching, put in a jail and interrogated, they used those opportunities to witness for Jesus. When Stephen was facing imminent death, he gave a long testimony of 51 verses about the historical accounts of Abraham, Moses and all the way to Jesus. After Paul’s conversion on the way to Damascus, the Jews were trying to kill him and he made an escape in a basket and was able to give a testimony in Jerusalem. Then Paul had to escape again to Tarsus and gave a testimony there. The Jews continued to harass Paul and had him arrested, but he used the opportunity to preach to King Agrippa and other dignitaries. On the way to Rome as a prisoner, during violent storm he witnessed for Jesus to the ship’s crew, and after their shipwreck, he had another opportunity to witness to the natives on the unfamiliar island. After arriving in Rome, Paul continued to preach for 2 years, even though he was incarcerated. The book of the Acts of Apostles ends with this verse; ‘Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Acts 28:31)

 

The book of the Acts of Apostles shows how they persevered to preach the kingdom of God and to manifest the power of God, His love, grace and glory, and God did not call only disciples, but also regular folks. According to Acts 11:19, ‘Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews.’ We can see that when people were scattered because of the persecution, they became the instruments of spreading the Gospel and glorifying God in their new dwelling places.

 

This has been going on for more than 2,000 years and will go on, as the people of God will never give up, no matter how much persecution and danger come to their way.

 

There is a special cemetery for foreign missionaries and their family members in Yang-Hwa-Jin, Korea, next to the hill where the first Christians and missionaries were decapitated during Yi Dynasty. Every other year I pay a visit to that cemetery with my students from Wesley who are doctoral candidates. At that place, we cannot help feeling that our faith in Jesus and our dedication to Him growing passionately. We wonder what motivated them to make such a long and arduous journey, sometimes several months on a ship, and then they got sick, were imprisoned and flogged, family members were getting sick and died. In spite of all these sufferings and hardships, they stayed in Korea and died there. Standing in front of these tombs, we realize that we are free to keep our faith as the result of their sacrifices. At the memorial hall, I came across a message by a missionary which said, “If I had thousand lives, I would give all of them for Chosun (old name for Korea).” That reminded me of another missionary of earlier times, Hudson Taylor, who had said the same words about China. Now I want to share a video about his mission work in China. <Video shown>

 

5 pastors from Beijing came to study at Wesley a few years ago and they even came here to learn more about church ministry and church life from a successful church in U.S. While they were in Washington, D.C. many people were interested in meeting them, including U.S. senators, congressmen and presidential aides. At one of these meetings, one pastor from Beijing said, “We are now writing the next chapter of the Acts of Apostles.” I was very touched by that remark and others were also impressed and offered to help these pastors.

 

Even though the persecution and oppression are becoming more intensive in some countries, we should not be discouraged or disheartened. We should just take it as another opportunity to try something different to expand the kingdom of heaven. This applies to each of us, no matter where we are, either overseas or home, at our home or our workplace in downtown Detroit, or at our schools or with our customers, we have to witness for Jesus and preach the Gospel at all times. We can have closer relationship with Jesus Christ while going through hardships, and with patience and rejoicing, we should go forward with our evangelism under any circumstances. Now is the time for us to reflect upon ourselves and to redefine our objectives, so that we will be prepared to leap and expand when the time is right.

 

Right now, we are going to concentrate on bringing up future leaders for ‘A’ country. In hard times the pure grain is separated from the chaff, and we should gather the pure grain and educate them to become pastors or theologians in the future. The church buildings may be closed, the Bibles may be burned, but as long as there are pastors, a church can be established in any place and the members can share their memorized Bible verses. As a matter of fact, long ago in this country, after all the Bibles had been burned, the underground believers wrote their own Bible by compiling their memorized passages. Even when the church buildings disappear, the believers can still go on, just like a new seedling that sprouts from the hard, frozen ground.

 

We are going to do the same for ‘B’ country and concentrate on bringing up pastors. We have to be prepared for the future when the door opens again. We need to educate more young people and to do so, we need to bring up more professors at the Seminary by offering master’s program in that country. Right now, the Seminary there needs 4,000 more books in their library and we need to send those theological books written in English by air. As it costs a lot, we have started to fund-raise for sending one book by each person. The first thing we did was asking the professors at Wesley to donate any excess books and the shipping expense by air is being paid by Wesley Board for Asian Missions. When donated books are sent, each book will have the name of the donor pasted inside of the book.

 

In Russia, there will be a mission center in Vladivostok built by a Korean church in Seoul and Wesley will help with the education of Seminary students and lay leaders. It takes several days of traveling on a train from Moscow to Vladivostok and there is only one Methodist Seminary in Moscow at present.

 

If there were no foreign missionaries to Korea who were not afraid of any hardships and obstacles, we wouldn’t be worshiping here today. The missionary who said “If I had a thousand lives, I would give all of them for Chosun (Korea)”, is Ruby Kendrik, who died at the age of 25 due to the appendicitis while learning the Korean language and was buried in Yang-Hwa-Jin. Just before she died, she said in her last letter to her parents, “The oppression is getting worse every day. The day before yesterday, several Koreans who had accepted Jesus as their Lord less than a week ago were taken and martyred. Missionaries Thomas and James were martyred also. I know the Mission Headquarters ordered the evacuation, but most of the missionaries are in hiding and worshiping with the Koreans whom they had witnessed to. I think they all have made up their minds to die as martyrs. … I have decided to become a small seedling for this country. After I am buried here as a seed, in God’s time there will be many flowers blooming in this land and they will become seedlings for many other countries.”

 

From this letter, we have learned that most of the foreign missionaries did not give up their mission under harsh oppression but stayed here to worship with the Koreans until the end of their lives. We are the fruits of the sacrifice of their blood and lives. Without their sacrifices, it is very unlikely for us to be here in this sanctuary right now.

 

Ruby believed that after she was buried in Korea as a seed, there would be many flowers blooming in Korea later and those flowers would become seedlings for many other countries. We are the flowers and we are also the seedlings for other countries. Evangelism is not one of our choices, but it should be the ultimate goal in our lives.

 

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit come on you; and you WILL be my witnesses to the ends of the earth.”

 

Mission work is not an option for us, but it is our duty and responsibility.


   

총 게시물 485건, 최근 2 건
번호 설교일              제목 본문말씀 설교자
485 2018.08.12  'Having faith of half the strength' Matthew 14:22-33 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
484 2018.08.12  절반의 믿음 마태복음 14:22-33 신경림 목사
483 2018.07.29  The fruit of the Spirit Galatians 5:16-26 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
482 2018.07.29  성령의 열매 갈라디아서 5장 16~26절 신경림 목사
481 2018.07.22  Go forward together as one body Ephesians 4:1-16 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
480 2018.07.22  앞으로 나란히 에베소서 4장 1~16절 신경림 목사
479 2018.07.15  The Grace of Restoration Acts 4:5-12 Rev. Sei Hwan Kim
478 2018.07.08  The Lord's Supper 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
477 2018.07.08  주님의 만찬 고린도전서 11장 23~26절 신경림 목사
476 2018.07.01  여호와의 손 이사야 41장 17~20절 신태규 목사
475 2018.07.01  'The hand of the LORD' Isaiah 41:17-20 Rev. Taegyu Shin
474 2018.07.01  여호와의 손 이사야 41:17-20 신태규 목사
473 2018.06.24  은과 금보다 귀한 믿음 사도행전 3장 1~10절 권병훈 목사
472 2018.06.24  More precious than silver or gold is our faith Acts 3:1-10 Rev. Byunghoon Kwon
471 2018.06.24  은과 금보다 귀한 믿음 사도행전 3:1-10 권병훈 목사
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  다음  맨끝

제목 : 'Having faith of half the strength'
설교일 : 2018.08.12
본문말씀 : Matthew 14:22-33
설교자 : Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
하이게이밍
클럽골드카지노
top카지노
탑카지노
안전놀이터주소
온라인카지노
우리카지노

HOME

교회소개

환영의글
담임목사 소개
비전과 사명
섬기는 사람들
예배시간&오시는 길

말씀

주일예배설교
수요예배설교
새벽예배설교
목양칼럼
읽는말씀(English&Korean)
Bible Time
성경필사

양육

유초등부
중등부
고등부
한국학교
하람 청년부
소망대학
Troy Hope
KKCA

선교

선교통신
케냐선교
중국 · 연변 · 북한선교
몽골선교
방글라데시선교
태국선교
페루선교
아이티선교
북미(미국)
우크라이나선교
기타선교권

나눔터

공지사항
찬양영상
사진 게시판
새가족 사진게시판
새땅지