In 1995, my husband suddenly got pneumothorax—air was trapped in the space around his lungs. Because our family had no money to treat my husband’s illness, I felt very distressed and helpless. Just then, someone preached to me the Savior Jesus’ gospel. Since I believed in the Lord, I had received tremendous grace from the Lord: My husband’s illness gradually became better. I then preached the Lord Jesus’ gospel to my husband and my sons. All my family lived in the Lord’s love, and our hearts were filled with peace and joy.
As the time of our believing in the Lord became longer and longer, we better understood the Lord’s will: The Lord Jesus’ return to heaven was to prepare a place for us. When the Lord came back, He would take us into the air to meet Him. And then, we would enjoy the heavenly life, and there would be no sorrow or pain. Just as 1 Thessalonians 4:17 says, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” We believed that the Lord is faithful. As long as we believed in the Lord properly and spent for the Lord, in the future we would be taken into the air to meet the Lord and then live in heaven. Subsequently, I did hosting at home, and if I had free time, I would go out to preach. My husband and my two sons all became preachers of our church, and worked for the Lord away from our home all year around.
Unexpectedly, six years later, the church became more and more desolate: Preachers talked about the same sermons over and over again, without any new light. And no one enjoyed listening. Brothers and sisters also couldn’t keep the Lord’s way. They followed the society trends, and saw earning money more important than believing in God. Even when coming to have meetings, they would doze off or chat. They became weaker and weaker in faith. My husband and my two sons were also the same. They couldn’t preach new sermons and had no strength to shepherd brothers and sisters, and for this reason, they became passive and weak, and went out to work. Because the church became so desolate and my husband and my sons were also so weak, I saw in my eyes and grew anxious in my heart. So I had to repeatedly cry to the Lord: “O Lord, the church is becoming more and more desolate. My husband’s and my sons’ faith grow cold; I also feel very weak in the spirit. Lord, when will You come to take us? …”
In a blink, the time came to the autumn in 2003. One day, while I was washing clothes in the yard, two strange middle-aged women came to my home and said hello to me with smiles. When I was wondering what they came for, the older sister of them said to me mildly: “Sister, we heard that you’re a believer in the Lord; we are also believers in God. Today we come to your home and want to have a talk with you about faith in God.” Upon hearing that they believed in God, I immediately put down my guarded heart because all believers in the Lord are a family. Since two sisters came, I should entertain them by love; only doing so was in accordance with the Lord’s teaching. So, I welcomed them to my home with a smile. After they sat down, we began to talk about faith in God; we talked together very agreeably. I felt what they talked was quite good. Just when we were in deep conversation, the younger sister asked me suddenly: “Sister, we have thought that the Lord Jesus’ departure was to prepare a place for us, and when the time comes, we will be taken into the air to meet the Lord. But can we be taken into the air to meet the Lord or not?” At her words, I was startled because I never thought about this question. When we were about to continue talking about this subject, I suddenly heard my little grandson crying in the west room, so I hurriedly went to see him.
The moment I walked out of the room, I saw my elder daughter-in-law standing in the yard with a long face. She asked me in a harsh tone: “Mom, who are the two women in the room?” I replied: “They are believers in God. We are talking about faith in God.” My elder daughter-in-law continued: “How can you bring strangers into our home? Have you forgotten that the believers of Eastern Lightning are stealing good sheep in all churches? If you receive them, aren’t you afraid of being stolen?” After hearing that, I was astonished, and then I said: “I see they are quite genial. What they said is in line with the Bible. They didn’t say anything else.” At my words, my daughter-in-law went to her own room without any words. I stood in the yard and pondered over what she said. Suddenly, I remembered the church leader once told us that strangers would come to steal sheep. So I thought: I don’t know these two sisters. Though what they said is in line with the Bible, they are strangers after all. What if they are really coming to steal sheep? No, I can’t listen anymore. Therefore, after entering the room, I intentionally said to them: “Today, I still have much work to do, please go now.” Hearing I said like this, they left helplessly.
In a flash, the time came to the summer in 2004. One day, when I was about to enter the room after feeding the pigs, I saw a woman, aged 40-odd, came to my home. She said to me with a smile: “Sister, I heard you have a good faith in the Lord. Today, you are exactly at home, so I want to talk to you about faith in the Lord.” As I heard she was a believer in God and saw she looked modest, not like a bad person, I let her come into my home. After we talked for a while, she said in excitement: “Sister, over these years of believing in the Lord, you must also long for the Lord to come to take us.” I said proudly: “Of course. The Lord Jesus’ departure was to prepare a place for us, and when the time comes, we will be taken into the air to meet the Lord. I long for the Lord Jesus’ return every day.” Just when I finished my words, she said: “Sister, do you know? The Lord Jesus whom we have expected for a long time has already come back and has started a new work …” Upon hearing that, I immediately said with anxiety: “If the Lord Jesus comes, we will be raptured to the air to meet Him. But how come I am still on the ground? You say the Lord has come back, that’s impossible!” Then, she said patiently: “Sister, please first listen to me. Actually, the Lord’s return isn’t like what we have imagined. Do you still remember the Lord’s prayer that the Lord taught to us? ‘Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven’ (Matthew 6:9–10). The Lord’s word clearly told us: God’s kingdom will descend upon the earth; God’s will is going to be carried out on earth. If we only want to be raptured to heaven by the Lord, won’t these words of God be in vain?” After I finished listening to her words, I thought: Right! I recite the Lord’s prayer every day, but why don’t I notice that God’s kingdom will be realized on earth? It seems that what this sister fellowshiped is in line with the Bible. Then, I said to her: “Oh! You don’t say, I have never thought about this question. What you said is reasonable.”
Then, the sister said happily: “In fact, the Lord Jesus has already returned in the flesh and come to earth again, and He is speaking words to save mankind …” When I heard these words, I instantly realized: It turned out that she believed in Eastern Lightning. So I hurriedly interrupted her and said: “Stop talking! Our leaders don’t allow us to receive you. I won’t listen to you.” However, the sister didn’t get angry at all; instead she still fellowshiped to me patiently. But I couldn’t hear one word, thinking: Our leaders told us that when the Lord comes, we will be directly raptured to the air to meet the Lord. It’s impossible to be on earth. Now the believers of Eastern Lightning are stealing good sheep everywhere; I must be on guard to avoid being stolen. Then, I reluctantly said to her: “You get away quickly, don’t talk anymore.” However, the sister didn’t want to leave; she still wanted to fellowship to me. But no matter what she said, I just ignored her. At last, seeing as how I wouldn’t listen, she left.
After the sister left, I thought of the word that she fellowshiped about the Lord’s prayer: God’s will is going to be carried out on earth as it is in heaven. Such a fellowship is indeed in line with the Bible. Is it really that the Lord comes on earth rather than takes us into the air to meet Him? I thought and thought but I couldn’t figure it out. When my husband came home from work at night, I told him what the sister had said to me. After listening, he said: “On this matter, we can’t casually believe others lest we miss the opportunity of being raptured.” At his words, I thought he was right, so I didn’t say anything. But in my heart, I made a determination: If someone preaches to me that the Lord has come back in the future, I won’t listen to it anymore.
A week later, I heard someone was knocking at our door outside. When I opened the door, I saw the sister who came a few days ago was standing there with some snacks she bought for my grandson. I didn’t let her in, nor did I accept her snacks, but hurriedly closed the door. She stood outside the door and said: “Sister, I bought some snacks for the child, please keep them.” I refused: “The things you bring I won’t accept, and the sermon you preach I also won’t listen. From now on, don’t come to my home again.” The sister saw that I indeed didn’t want to listen, then she left. Later on, she came to talk to me about the Lord’s coming every few days, but I was unwilling to listen, and I also didn’t open the door for her.
Before long, I got an illness all of a sudden—my lungs were on fire with pain. I prayed to the Lord Jesus for treatment, but it didn’t get better. Therefore, I constantly reflected on myself within: These days, I don’t do anything that offends God, but why doesn’t the Lord cure me when I’m ill and pray to Him? Can it be that I resist the Lord’s return? But I was afraid that I thought too much. My lungs were so painful that I had to go to the hospital for treatment. After I recovered, I didn’t meet brothers and sisters preaching the gospel of the Lord’s return to me again. As time passed by, I dropped this thing.
To Be Continued …
By Luo Lan, China