One day, the leader came with a piece of work arrangement and read to me from it: “The third case: As for those who, after believing in God (no matter how many years), do not regularly attend meetings and seldom perform duties, only give them a thick gospel book and a hymn book with a set of common CDs. Don’t give them more; other books they can only borrow. Special cases can be handled accordingly.” Afterward, the leader took away all the excess books, leaving me only the thick gospel book, the hymn book, and the CDs.
Watching the books on life taken away by the leader and thinking of the whole set of books on life in the hands of those brothers and sisters who attend meetings and perform duties regularly and love to read God’s word, I was filled with all kinds of feelings. I was so distressed that I could not refrain from tears. At the moment, I really regretted myself: Over the several years of my believing in God, I was always slothful, did not often attend meetings, seldom went out to perform duties, and only read God’s word occasionally when I wanted to; I was simply no different from an unbeliever.
Then, I remembered these words in the man’s fellowship attached to Christ’s Talks with Some Church Workers: “This is the difference between performing duty and not performing duty. Those who perform duties can receive everything bestowed by God; … can inherit God’s promises. This is God’s greatest blessing for people. Those who do not perform duties are unfaithful to God and cannot satisfy God’s heart; therefore, they cannot receive God’s great blessing. What’s more, they are in danger of being eliminated by God, for God hates the ones who do not perform duties. The work of spreading the gospel is exactly the grand exercise and test for all believers in God in their pursuing the truth and entering into reality. When people perform their duties, they are best exposed. Everyone’s success or failure in experiencing God’s work will be revealed through how he performs his duty. How a person performs his duty can best reveal him.” “Whether one can be saved while believing in God depends on how he reads and practices God’s word. Only by reading and practicing God’s word seriously can one gain the truth and enter into life. If one does not read God’s word seriously, much less practice God’s word, he will never have life entering; thus, he cannot be saved. According to God, all who do not read or practice God’s word are the ones outside God’s word, that is, the ones outside the scope of God’s work; they are not the ones God works to save. In this view, the true believing in God is to seriously read and practice God’s word; to seriously read and practice God’s word is the true meaning of believing in God. Therefore, all who do not read or practice God’s word are unbelievers; they are here just to make up the number. This kind of people should be cleared away.”
Thinking of this, I realized the importance of performing duty. When one performs his duty, he is best exposed; whether he will succeed or fail in experiencing God’s work will be revealed through how he performs his duty. If a believer in God does not read and practice God’s word, he is one outside God’s word, that is, one outside the scope of God’s work; he is not at all one whom God works to save. Then I felt even more distressed. I bitterly regretted that when God’s family once gave me so many books I did not know to treasure them and did not thirst and pursue; instead, I put God’s word aside. I thought that since I had believed in the true God and had the book of God’s word in my hands, as long as I never dropped out I was bound to be saved and could surely receive everything bestowed by God. As for living the church life and performing duty, I only needed to do them perfunctorily once in a while so as not to be expelled from God’s family. Today, through the taking away of the books and through God’s inspiration, I, who was numb, have been woken up. I realize that one who does not read God’s word, does not attend meetings regularly, and does not perform duty is purely a mean and crafty person who is totally unfaithful to God, like an unbeliever. Such a person simply does not deserve to eat, drink, and enjoy God’s word or to stay in God’s family, and even less can he receive God’s promises and blessings. In fact, a person like me should have long since been cleared away from the church, but God’s family still leaves me the thick gospel book, the hymn book, and the CDs. This shows that God still holds me by his loving hand and gives me the chance to repent. God still shows me mercy and saves me to the utmost, expecting and waiting for my transformation.
Thinking of that, I could not help kneeling down in tears: O God, you really love me so much! According to my behavior, I really do not deserve to live before you, and even less am I qualified to continue enjoying your riches. However, with great mercy and forbearance, you still give me the opportunity to examine myself, to repent, and to have myself transformed. You have opened my eyes to the importance of eating and drinking your word, attending meetings, and performing duty, and at the same time, you have also made me see your righteous and majestic nature which does not tolerate man’s offense, and even more see your substance of loving man. Otherwise, when your work ends I would definitely be one to be punished by your wrath, and at that time, I would be heartbroken with remorse. O God, thank you for waking me up, much more for your mercy and salvation to me. I will not persist in my wrong way anymore. I am willing to rein in on the brink of the precipice, replace my past with my future, and cherish and grasp the last opportunity you give me. From now on, I will pursue the truth diligently and fulfill my duty as a created being to comfort your heart.
Yuncheng City, Shanxi Province