By Chen Liang, United States
Editor’s note: How can we break free from the bondage of sin? I believe that many brothers and sisters in the Lord are troubled by this issue, and maybe you personally have tried many ways but have still failed to shake off the fetters of sin. The author of the following article once had the same trouble. But after seeking for many years, he finally found the root of his sin and learned the way of getting rid of it.
Being bound by sins, I felt perplexed and had nowhere to turn.
I was born in a Catholic family, and when I was thirteen years old I began to study the doctrines of Catholicism and received baptism. Later, I saw the faith of some of my church friends become colder and colder. They busied themselves with making money and followed the trends of the world, becoming ever more distant from the Lord. Seeing this, I felt that it was truly not easy to walk the path of the cross, and that without faith in the Lord it was impossible to enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, I resolved to consecrate myself to the Lord, and sought to become a priest in service of the Lord.
At the age of 22, I entered a monastery to study. Every day, I got up at 5:30 a.m., did meditation, prayed the Rosary and praised the Lord from 6 a.m., studied the Bible and the doctrines of Catholicism from 8 a.m., and prayed for over an hour at night. But after studying for a period of time, I didn’t feel that I was getting closer to the Lord, but on the contrary I felt that that kind of life was boring and tedious. Moreover, during that period, filthy and evil thoughts often appeared in my mind, and even though I confessed and repented to the Lord, these thoughts still popped up from time to time and I was unable to control myself. I once made a vow to the Lord that I would remain chaste, but now I wanted to break it. Was this not committing a sin and deceiving the Lord? Then how would I be able to enter the kingdom of heaven? Thus I constantly prayed to the Lord every day, asking Him to help me get rid of my sins and make me serve Him wholeheartedly. But this brought no changes, which made me suffer and feel anxious. After studying for ten years, I graduated from there. Then, in order to solve the problem of my desire to commit sins, I went to a secluded monastery in Indonesia for advanced study. But I still couldn’t help thinking about those unclean things. For this reason, I felt extremely discouraged and disheartened, and a year later I chose to return to the USA.
Later, the church arranged for me to go to Beijing for advanced study. During the time I studied there, I often recalled that over those years of believing in the Lord, I constantly prayed to Him and asked Him to change me, and I also continually sought to establish a close relationship with Him. But despite years of efforts, I still had no knowledge of the Lord and my sinful nature hadn’t been eliminated either. I thought: “How could I do a good job in leading my brothers and sisters in the church under such circumstances? If I become a priest, won’t I end up ruining them?” After I finished my studies, the bishop came to me and said that he wanted to consecrate me as a priest. It was the dream that I had pursued for many years, but by that time my previous passion and enthusiasm had gone. Therefore, I declined, and chose to be an ordinary believer. Afterward, I went back home and got married. After that, I committed sins more frequently, often losing my temper and quarreling with my wife over trivial things. I was just unable to put patience and acceptance into practice. Because of this, I often confessed my sins and repented to the Lord, but afterward I still sinned. Later, I tried to recover my relationship with the Lord by attending more gatherings; whenever there were gatherings or training classes in my church, I would put aside my work to attend them. But this still didn’t solve my problem. Due to the withering of my spirit and the pressure of work, I was exhausted, both physically and mentally. I felt very perplexed, and didn’t know how to continue on the road ahead. It was as if I had been thrown into the wilderness. There was an unspeakable disappointment and helplessness in my heart.
The news of the Lord’s return brought me hope.
Just when I had no more faith to go on,came upon me and led me out of misery. One day in January of 2018, after attending Mass, I met Brother Li by chance, and then through his introduction I got acquainted with Brother Liu. From then on, we talked about belief together whenever we had time. I felt that they both had unique insights into the Bible, so I enjoyed communicating with them. One time, when we were sharing our knowledge of the scriptures with each other, Brother Liu said: “A co-worker whom I got acquainted with in China was pious and good at preaching sermons, but he now believes in Eastern Lightning. Not long ago, two co-workers of mine, who had meetings with me in my church, also started to believe in it. What type of a church is Eastern Lightning? Why have so many brothers and sisters who pursue the truth converted to it?” Hearing that, I frowned slightly. I remembered that a devoted church trustee who I knew before had also converted to Eastern Lightning. I thought to myself: “What are they preaching in Eastern Lightning? Why is it able to attract so many devout Christians? I’ve heard that people in that church always talk about Revelation. Most people don’t dare to talk about Revelation, and even the priests seldom talk about it. Could it be that they have been enlightened by the Holy Spirit? Why don’t I go and listen to Eastern Lightning to see what’s so special about their sermons? Maybe they will be beneficial to my spiritual devotions and help me know the Lord.” Thinking like this, I became curious about that church, so I said to them: “Why don’t we go to investigate Eastern Lightning to see what’s different about it?” They all nodded in agreement. Later, Brother Liu contacted some brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God and scheduled a meeting with them.
At the appointed time, we got to the meeting place. As soon as we entered the door, the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God, who had arrived early, came up and greeted us very warmly. After introductions, a sister played a video The Origin and Development of The Church of Almighty God. After watching the video, I felt very surprised: Its content was all in line with the Bible and revealed the mysteries in Revelation. For example: The Bible says, “For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:27). Although I had read the Bible for years, I didn’t know what this scripture meant. Only when I watched the video did I understand that the verse has been fulfilled by the work of God incarnate of the last days. Later, a brother played for us a gospel movie The Bible and God. After watching the movie, my spirit was shaken to the core. It turned out that there are so many mysteries about the Bible. I felt that the truth fellowshiped in the movie couldn’t be uttered by any theologian or pastor in the world. I had read so many spiritual books and yet I had never seen anyone fellowship the production of the Bible and its essence so clearly and plainly. I really gained great provision from it.
Following that, the three of us listened to Brother Wang’s fellowshiping more carefully. When hearing that God is doing a step of judgment work in the last days, I was a bit suspicious and thought: “That’s not right. Thehas already completed His work, so how could He become flesh to do the work of judgment? What’s this all about?” I became more interested in what Brother Wang was saying and wanted to know more about it to ascertain whether or not Almighty God was the returned Lord Jesus. However, it was already late. Thus we made an appointment with them for the next day so we could continue listening to their fellowshiping. On the way home, we were discussing what was fellowshiped in the videos and I said: “I understood a lot from today’s meeting. I feel that it has brought me closer to the Lord.” Saying this, I felt somewhat excited and thought: “If the Lord really has returned to be among us, then am I not like Peter, who also lived in the same age as the Lord? If so, then I am truly blessed! And I believe that the Lord will surely help to resolve my problems.” Thinking of this, I looked forward to the next day’s meeting even more.
My confusion was resolved and I understood the reason why God does judgment work and what the root of my sinfulness was.
The next day, I hurried to the meeting place as soon as I got off work. On arriving there, I saw the brothers and sisters were all waiting for me. I felt a little embarrassed, and rapidly walked forward and sat down. At that time, a sister who had met me the day before asked me with a smile: “How do you feel about our last meeting? If you have anything you still don’t understand, just say it. We can seek together through fellowshiping.” Hearing her invitation, I immediately asked: “Sister, yesterday you said that the Lord Jesus has already come and He is doing the work of judgment. But on the cross the Lord Jesus clearly said, ‘It is finished.’ Doesn’t this prove that God has completed His work? So why does He still need to do His work of judgment? What is really going on here?”
The sister said: “Brother, you think that when the Lord Jesus was crucified and said before He expired ‘It is finished,’ proves that God’s work of salvation was entirely done, and there would be no more work. But is this way of thinking really correct or not? Let’s fellowship about it. We all know, that ever since mankind was corrupted by Satan God has been doing the work to save mankind. He will thoroughly save us from Satan’s domain and let us recover our original sanctity. But now we are still living in a state of sinning and confessing our sins, and we haven’t attained sanctity. This proves that God’s work of salvation hasn’t been entirely completed. Actually, if we study the Bible closely, it’s not difficult to find that in it there are many prophecies about God’s work of judgment in the last days. For example, chapter 4, verse 17 in the First Epistle of Peter says: ‘For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.’ Chapter 14, verse 7 in Revelation says: ‘Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.’ And chapter 16, verses 12-13 inof John says: ‘I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.’ From these verses, we can see that in the last days, God will do a step of judgment work and the Spirit of truth will guide us into truth. Let’s read some of Almighty God’s words so we can understand things better.”
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