The Simplicity of His Words – In Memory of Reformation Day 2021

October 31st is Reformation Day in Germany. (It is good that there is a different name for this day in the year than Halloween.) Many years ago, Martin Luther took a – for him, I’m sure – tremendous step of faith to tell the whole world the truth that salvation is reached through faith and by grace only. This truth is the gospel that we Christians believe in and yet for many it has been and still is, I find, maybe too simple to receive. “No, God’s love cannot be that radical and revolutionary; it cannot be that incomprehensibly patient and faithful, that generous.” In believing so, people come up with the same life-stealing, self-destructive ideas again and again. Really, there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9)! People drive innocent children into madness and the weak into despair. Are we any different when we choose to comply? When we choose to play along?

I had a surprising, reformational encounter with God yesterday during worship and will talk about the revelation as the Holy Spirit leads me but for now it suffices to say that reformation begins today, right now, in our own lives when we do as He says in Isaiah 30:15: “Come back to me! By returning and resting in me you will be saved. In quietness and trust you will be made strong.” (TPT)

It is simple. Or – is it too simple for you? Oh, I am asking this question myself, my friends!

A Dream Divine

Photo by Maria Orlova from Pexels

(For Audio version, go to Podcasts)

Last night I woke up from a dream divine. I had been together with my brothers and sisters in Christ, laughing and in full joy inside a castle-like building which was white and had a fine mixture of wood. I was wearing a princess dress and there were dresses inside a room which one could pick to wear. All of a sudden, I heard the sound of singing in the background. People had gathered for worship somewhere else in the house. I did not get to see it but I heard a multitude of brothers and sisters singing one particular hymn together in Korean. It did not matter if they were Korean or not because everyone could understand and sing in the language. I was fascinated by the sound of my brothers and sisters singing together, it was a divine moment! I was so moved in my heart and wanted to take up the stairs to the upper balcony so that I could watch them from above as in older church buildings in the West. But I met a little girl on the bottom of the stairs and we giggled and played together for a moment, so I got caught up before I woke up – not in a negative way, I loved everything about her and she was also wearing a princess dress. When I opened my eyes, I still had the melody and the lyrics of the hymn resounding clearly in my ears! So here I am, still in awe of this dream two days later and I want to share the hymn with you. It was originally written by T. Sasao in 1897 and is called “God’s great grace it has brought us”. The lyrics speak for themselves! God bless you, my dear brother and my dear sister in Christ! One day, oh one day we will live in Heaven, celebrating together, delighting fully in the Lord and in one another and living with our Father forevermore!

Verse 1:

지금까지 지내온 것 주의 크신 은혜라
God's great grace it has brought us All this way in faithulness

한이 없는 주의 사랑 어찌 이루 말하랴
God's unbounded love which sought us How can tongue of man express?

자나 깨나 주의 손이 항상 살펴주시고
His strong hand is watching o'er us, whether sleeping or awake

모든 일을 주 안에서 형통하게 하시네
He makes all things pleasant for us, In the Lord for Jesus' sake.

Verse 2:

몸도 맘도 연약하나 새 힘 받아 살았네
God renews our failing powers With His might from day to day

물 붓듯이 부으시는 주의 은혜 족하다
And in mercy on us showers Grace sufficient for the way,

사랑없는 거리에나 험한 산길 헤맬 때
Though the loveless streets be dreary, Harsh and bleak the mountain ways,

주의 손을 굳게 잡고 찬송하며 가리라
We shall walk and not be weary, Clasp His hand and sing His praise.

Verse 3:

주님 다시 뵈올 날이 날로 날로 다가와
Daily closer comes the promise When again we see the Lord,

무거운 짐 주께 맡겨 벗을 날도 멀잖네
Every burden taken from us, Every joy in Him restored.

나를 위해 예비하신 고향 집에 돌아가
Back at home my room is waiting, I shall walk in through that door.

아버지의 품 안에서 영원토록 살리라
Join my Father celebrating, And with Him live evermore.

The hymn in Korean

Volcanoes & Vaccines – A Call To Repent and Intercede

In the morning of May 22, 2021, I had a dream. The sky was dark and so was the ocean. My gaze was zoomed into two pieces of land which were floating on the sea. They looked like miniature islands. The first, smaller island hit a second, larger one and pushed it towards a third island. This island, however, was colossal! It was a massive volcano and it represented all the volcanoes on the earth. Triggered by the crash, the whole island started shaking. I literally heard the volcanoes cry out in a deep, thundering voice like a man. I thought I was watching a natural disaster movie in HD! The rocks started cracking apart and hot, glowing lava emerged from underneath. The island started foaming and roaring in anger against us, human beings for rebelling against God.

I was then led by the Spirit of God to a group of people who were on the other side of the island. The situation outside was so disastrous that they were seeking temporary shelter in a cave. They had put up a tent inside the cave and it was strange because they were all wearing the same orange uniform and lined up inside the tent. They were visibly scared and some of them were so terrified that they wanted to break out of the line and flee. As one man tried to, a female supervisor hit him on the head and commanded him to show her his vaccine certificate (note: she did not explicitly say “COVID-19 vaccine”). So he got his certificate checked and the woman put a stamp of approval on the orange cap he was wearing. The man then remained in line and the dream ended.

On May 23, one day after the dream, a volcano erupted in the Democratic Republic of the Congo which killed about 30 people and left thousands homeless and in dire need. This is just the beginning, the “small islands moving” as a foresign for more. People are going to build up temporary shelters but above all else, they will try to get a false sense of security through vaccines! COVID-19 is not the end, there will be more pandemics and more vaccines. Many will choose to bow to fear and remain unrepentant about trusting man-made securities more than they trust Yahweh, the only God. Is it not silly to want to fight the wrath of God with a piece of paper? After all, when a volcano has erupted? But that is how foolish we become when we turn our backs to God.

This word is, however, NOT about COVID-19-vaccines! This is about the real issue – the issue of fear, unbelief and idolatry; this is about the HEART. In the end, God is NOT going to judge you because you took the vaccine but because He sees the heart behind the action. And that heart, only He and you know. Did you primarily do it out of love for others or did you do it because you thought it is going to rescue you and this world? When you were doing it out of fear of death or because you believed the vaccine is going to make everything good, not God, then you need to repent and ask God for forgiveness! And He is faithful and just to forgive you and merciful enough to even remove every evil influence the vaccine has on you, both physically and spiritually.

Many Christians who are constantly condemning people who take vaccines and who are fooled into an ugly sense of spiritual superiority also need to repent! Yes, you! Repent of your mercilessness! Repent for believing that the evil spiritual influence of vaccines is greater and more powerful than God’s love for this world. Repent of your fear! He is mighty enough to save and He does not see the outer shell like you do. He sees the heart behind our actions. I warn you to not continue in this rebellion against God by making fun of people who take vaccines in a judging, ruthless way. Your heart is just as ugly and looks maybe even worse before God. Hypocrites! Hypocrites on both sides! Humble yourselves before God and be silent before Him!

No, this is an urgent call to repent and to intercede. To take action to care for those who suffer from the consequences of sin. Just think of all the innocent children in Congo and in the coming future who are going to die or become homeless because of volcanic eruptions! They will need our prayer, and they will also need our practical help and support. Care about the real issues, care about the orphans and the widows. Love your neighbors, even if they make foolish mistakes. Only God knows the true heart, who are you to judge someone by what you think is the right choice? Pray for the victims of judgment that they will be comforted and find refuge in Christ. That their lives will be restored again and flourish. Are we not in this together? Aren’t these things happening because of the weight of the sins of the entire humanity?

Everyone needs to repent. Read Isaiah 44 and ask God to reveal the idols in your life. If you are truly humble and if you believe in God’s love for you, you will ask Him to examine your heart and you will be willing to receive God’s forgiveness and love for you. And if you do, you will feel such a burden fall off from your shoulders! I emphasize this because I care about you. Oh, my dear sisters and brothers in Christ! Let us be filled with the Holy Spirit and be one in mind with Christ. The Holy Spirit does not make us judgmental or timid but gives us courage, power, humility, joy, love and self-discipline. It is because our Father first forgave us that we can be merciful towards others. We are supposed to bear and serve one another in love. That is when the world will truly know that Christ is real.

2021-06-02
Seulji Chung