“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” (Genesis 12:2, NIV)
Someone appeared to Abraham and told him, go from his country, his people and his father’s household. If somebody had asked him, “Who is he, that god who called you?” Abraham then would have been able to answer that it’s the omnipresent God, as I told you last time. There is one more thing. What he promised to Abraham was, “I will make you into a great nation.” It must take hundreds or thousands of years for this one person to be made into a great nation. This is the god who said he would do it, so this God surely recognizes himself as the one transcending time, the one throughout all time and in charge of history. If the saying of that god is not a lie, if what he says is true, he is the omnipresent one who works transcending time; he is not an ordinary, common god. Other gods can’t take responsibility for up to 120 years. No matter how great they make someone, they can only do it for nearly 100 years, not for hundreds or thousands of years. They have no ability to do so, for they themselves would be drawn into the abyss. But this God who appeared to Abraham had this unique characteristic. That His Word of promise would come true afterwards, Abraham came to have proof, and we have witnessed that promise has come true today.
So, we can see how certain our faith is even by looking at this. What God promised to this person named Abraham 4000 years ago, what is the result today? “I will make you into a great nation,” He said, and they have really become a great nation. Moreover, in Christ, we know “the nation” doesn’t only mean a nation of lineage; “those who have faith like Abraham are children of Abraham,” it said. We are all believers, for we have been blessed in Abraham to call him father. Calling him “Abraham” itself means we are calling him “Father.” So he is like a father of faith. We already became his descendants of faith. So many people around the world respect him and are following his faith. Even other than Christians, there are many religions around the world, but religions that serve only one god are actually one kind: Abrahamic religions. These religions are far different from the ones like Buddhism. “Ism” means a philosophy, not a religion. There’s a story about this. So a child comes to a temple and disciplines himself. He chops wood and sets them on fire, and that’s his work. One day, the main monk is sitting in the room, and the room is hot, so he thinks, “Ah, he’s stoking a fire again,” and when he opens up the door, the child is chopping a Buddha statue with his axe. And he’s cutting it into pieces and set them on fire. So this main monk says, “You have been enlightened. You have become a Buddha.” So, this is already not faith: Buddhists don’t believe in Buddha, but they follow him and learn from him, this is the way they act. So, about this faith of ours, Abrahamic religions, the faith of Abraham, other than this, this kind of faith cannot be found anywhere in the world. So, Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism, and Islam. We call these collectively the Abrahamic religion, for they originated from the faith of Abraham, and all these are monotheistic religions. So, who was this God we believe in now? Not only wasn’t He limited by space, but He wasn’t limited by the time either; He is the great one. What He promised was, “I will make your name great,” and Abraham’s name became great, and today, all the people who believe in Abrahamic religions see Abraham as their spiritual father and the father of faith.
And next, he said, “you will be a blessing.” First, he said, “I will bless you,” and this can also be said by any other gods of the world. “I will bless you, so your business will do well,” this usually ends here. And gods of the world demand things like “I will make your business go well, so you must move the grave of your house,” and “you must buy amulets,” “you must serve me well.” There was even a case like this. This is a true story: a man I know, his business got well, and he had been a Christian, and he brought his relatives and made them work with him, as this business got big. And some of his relatives were, buddhists, and others were also non-christians. They asked for rituals, and he did rituals with them. And he went to shaman for divination with them. They went to a shaman, and he said, “you will fall soon, your company will fall soon,” and “he asked What should we do?” “you’ll fall for one reason, the wife of the CEO.” Originally the CEO and his wife had both been Christians, but later the CEO didn’t go to church, and his wife was the only one going to church. “You have to divorce your Christian wife to make your company do well,” he said. So, these relatives demanded the CEO to divorce to save the company. The CEO, at first, seriously considered it, and thinking about it brought another woman to his heart, so he cheated on his wife. So eventually, he told his wife to break up.
So this is how it works. Look at the god who controls it behind the scenes. What is that god’s character like? “I will bless you, so that woman, whether she feels despair or not, I don’t care.” his character’s like this. So, when you see one of the Hong Kong movies before people go somewhere, they burn incense inside their house and serve gods. Where are they going? They carry guns and are going to kill people, and they do so to be blessed. “I will bless you, I will make you well, so you kill those,” it’s like this way. So, gods of the world can do “you will be blessed,” but “You will be a blessing,” oh, this surely isn’t possible for them. They can’t think of such a thing or do so: making someone a blessing. At their best, they can pack things that are not blessings up to blessings in their mouths and say, “You will be blessed,” but by doing so, that person himself becomes a curse, and everyone around him is cursed indeed, they suffer. However, this promise the God gave to Abraham was “I will bless you,” but it did not stop here, “and You will be a blessing,” this is “many people are blessed because of you; countless people are blessed,” this is what he said. Which god thought like this? Which god has ever promised like this? Every god says, “You will be blessed,” but “because of you, someone gets blessed, other people get blessed, many people around the world will be blessed,” Where has this kind of God been? Nowhere. When you went to the shaman, has there been any ??? who said it like this? “Because of you, someone got blessed”? I have heard no such thing. All said, “You will be blessed,” “so if you divorce, so if you do this, so if you do the rituals,” all are like this. So, the God who appeared to Abraham is, His character is like this. He wants all people to be blessed, and for that, He chose Abraham and made him a blessing. Nowadays, a lot of races of the world are blessed, and this is because of the character of such a God.
But the characters of humans are not like this. If they have something good, they want to keep it for themselves. So, they want to hide it, and they want to enjoy it themselves. These are so far from the character originated from God. However, the person who’s filled with the Holy Spirit changes his character, and when he gets blessed, he wants to give this blessing. He wants to give, and he starts to think about all the races, which he has not thought about before, other races. When did we live thinking about other races? Before this, when we lived in the customs of the world, we lived not leaving our own regions, and gods of the world controlled our thoughts: we knew only our own family, our tribe. When did we think about the other countries? We did not think about the other villages. How could we possibly have thought of the other countries? We are now working, with the other countries and the other races in our mind. This was not originated from humans. The instincts of humans’ flesh are “my family, my tribe, my country.” So us, doing “Korea, beat them!” in watching soccer games, are totally belonging to the world; belonging to the flesh, that is. We don’t want to bless other countries. In our fleshly thoughts, it would be much better if a country like Japan encounters a bad situation. However, in our spiritual thoughts, this is not so at all, and this is the same with China.
Even though we do missions to China, and though the Chinese are here with us, there are things we should not talk about: the things about the countries. If we start to talk about these, soon we will be into fights. So, for example, in Korea, the name “Seoul” was originally “Hanchung”: The Chinese called it “Hansung,” and we Koreans changed it to Seoul, and the Chinese said, “Oh, why are you changing what we are using without any problems?” “Hansung” means “castle of Han(country),” which is China, so “Do you want to get rid of China, because you got big enough?” They talk like this. So, we say, “that’s not true, we have never called Seoul Hansung: you did. In whichever country they call it in their own language, their own pronunciation. How can we use what you set up? We call it as we did: Seoul,” and we changed it to “Seoul,” and still, they say, “Hey, haven’t we called it Hansung all this time?” “We haven’t called it Hansung, you have.” They and we talk like this, and talk like this on the internet, it is quite an issue, and we talked about it ourselves. I never thought that such a reaction would come out of the mouth of one of us, a minister. So, I explained, “that is not so, and this is in this way” “NO, it’s not!” “you’re mistaken, and this is this way, so…” “Are you looking down on this because it is China?” the atmosphere just got tense. There had been no division and no cracks between us. That had been our relationship, our partnership. And suddenly, ‘China and Korea,’ suddenly emerged, and it caused a block between us. It made each of us feel very awful. So “Oh… I talked about this for nothing. I wouldn’t do this again,” and I realized this. “Talking about the countries, it turns out like this.” So, we are now doing all this to the Chinese, caring for them, and hoping that they would be blessed, and these are never from the thoughts originating from the flesh. In the flesh, we call the Chinese as a word we commonly use, which is slang. We mean it when we call them such a word. But we are not so at all, on the other side of us. This other side does not originate from our bodies, not from our flesh, or our heads. This side is inside us because we have been given the blessing from God, so we think like this: “We should let them be blessed, no matter what it costs us.” What kind of fool on earth would do this? We spend our money, devote our lives to translate it into other languages, we did not even think about the other countries, but we devote our lives to translate it into their languages, spend our money to send it to their countries, and for them, we are blamed and cursed. Why would we do this? for what? But still, we do this. This is totally from the thought of heaven.
This is why I tell you this: If we believe in Jesus and see that we are blessed, we are just halfway through seeing the whole truth. “I believed in Jesus and am blessed!” but today, so many people are living their lives of faith there and believing in Jesus and getting blessed. Therefore it doesn’t matter for them what others would encounter, so they deceive people. An elder of the church deceives people, it happens. So, a man I know, he usually said that Christians are way more stingy and much more like this. Who said it? Did the pastor say it last week? He said someone once lived a life of a beggar, right? and he said this someone said Christians are more stingy and harsh, didn’t he? My father-in-law, as well, I didn’t know he was a Christian, but he told me his wedding ceremony was held in the chapel. In the church! But the elder of that church disappointed him, betrayed him and failed him morally, so he got cold and got out of that church. This is how it is. Also, when Sampoong department store collapsed, wasn’t the suspect who was in charge a Christian? And he, knowing that would break the building, plucked out all the precious metals, even though it was dangerous, he took the precious metals and, to make more money, got people inside the building to work, and finally, the building collapsed and many people were killed, and this man in charge of all that was a Christian. What a thought he had! So what he was thinking was like, ‘I am blessed. And I don’t care even if they get cursed.’ If we become like this, there is no hope left for us. We should be like, if we are blessed, that’s not the end; we need to take one more step: ‘I am a blessing. Because of me, all the people of the world will be blessed.’ We’ve got to own this kind of mind. People have learned Berea and still think, “Oh, I am blessed, this is so good!” and they get stuck there. But we think, “I should distribute this to more people, who cannot discern what’s right and what’s wrong.” and we are now doing this to share things like this. So, we can now truly say this is, and only if you reach this, it’s 100% full, and “I have believed in Jesus and I am blessed!” that is a 50% faith. From the very promise he gave to Abraham, God already had a mind of mission, if we name it, and before we name it, God had this mind: to make him a blessing and through him that all people get blessed, so the mind of anyone who got this blessing becomes like this. “Lord, please make me a blessing and let all people, many people, my descendants, and finally all people around the world, let them get blessed because of me.” Let us pray for this!
God, our Father, thank you for making us blessings. Let many people of China be blessed because of us, let many English-speakers be blessed because of us, and please work so that the others, all races could get blessed because of us. And for these people who are used by you as blessings, please make their names great. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Pastor Ki-Taek Lee
The Director of Sungrak Mission Center