In 1998, I was expelled by God’s family for offending the administrative decrees, and my books were also taken away. At that time, I was extremely distressed and often had a tearful face with regret. In the torment, several times I wanted to go back to the dazzling world, but I was afraid that God’s severer punishment would come upon me. Therefore, every now and then I beseeched God and hoped to get a chance to make a fresh start. Thus, I was expecting, and waiting…. Time passed day after day, but the chance still had not come. Then I thought I would certainly be punished by God. When I felt hopeless, God’s family gave me a chance and asked me to preach the gospel to prepare good deeds. At that moment, I was extremely excited and made a resolution at once: I will try hard to preach the gospel and make amends for my faults. Thereafter I started to preach the gospel again. Over half a year passed in a flash. Although I was preaching the gospel, my heart was in suspension all along: Am I actually counted in God’s family or not? Does God still remember my transgression or not? These questions always lingered in my mind so that I could not be released. In the church, I always felt myself inferior to the brothers and sisters. Particularly when I saw that the several brothers and sisters who were once with me were all promoted, I was even sadder, feeling as if I was a condemned criminal who was reprieved. Especially when I read these words of God, “…I do not like anyone who has ever rebelled against me, much less like to associate with anyone who betrays the interests of his friends, which is my nature, no matter who he is. I want to tell you: Anyone who has broken my heart cannot possibly be forgiven by me the second time, and anyone who is faithful to me will remain in my heart forever,” I was doubly tormented, always feeling that there was little possibility for me to be forgiven. Though God uses me to preach the gospel today, maybe some day… Thus, I performed my duty with a heavy heart.
Not until later I read The Summary of Christ’s Preachings and Conversations was my anxious heart put at ease. God says, “In the past someone did some bad things and was expelled, and the church also rejected him. After wandering several years, he came back. It is a good thing that he did not run away completely. As he did not run away completely, he has a chance, a hope, to be saved. … No matter how God works man, and no matter how God treats man, hates man, and loathes man, if he can turn back at a certain time, I will feel especially comforted, for there is still that little place for God in his heart and he has not yet lost all man’s sense…. If one of a hundred sheep was lost, he left the ninety-nine and went to look for that one. This word is not a mechanical practice or a regulation. Rather, it shows God’s intention for mankind, God’s eager will to save mankind, and how deeply God loves mankind. It is not a practice but a kind of his nature, a kind of his mind. So, if some people are away for one year or half a year, or they have some weaknesses or misunderstandings, and afterward they can wake up, can have knowledge and turn around, and can return from the lost way, then I will feel especially comforted and have a little feeling of enjoyment.” Every word of God warmed my heart, and made me doubly feel God’s kindness and loveliness, and my misunderstanding of two years accordingly vanished in a flash. At that moment, I couldn’t help but burst into a flood of tears, like a prodigal son who returned to the arms of his mother after wandering for many years and suffering enough from being bullied and oppressed. I deeply felt that God is so kind, so beautiful, and so great! Even more I regretted that I did not understand God’s intention and had misunderstood God for such a long time, which had broken God’s heart. At the same time, I also understood that although God has majesty and wrath, he is not a God who strikes man down casually; his intention is to save man to the utmost.
Through the painful refining of this time, God’s righteousness and majesty and God’s beauty and kindness have been deeply engraved in my heart. From it I have also realized that the work God does, whether it is to expel or purge people or to promote or replace people, is an expression of God’s beauty and kindness, is for people to know God’s righteousness, and is a salvation and love for people.
Bengbu City, Anhui Province