Chapter 13. The Meaning of People’s Performance Determining Their Outcome
1. No One Could Be Saved If God Only Looked at the Expression of People’s Nature
Currently, people’s performance determines their outcome, but what performance is this? Do you know? You might think that this refers to people’s corrupt disposition expressing itself in their work, but that is not actually what this means. This performance refers to whether or not you are able to put the truth into practice and whether or not you are able to stay loyal and devoted while performing your duty, as well as your perspective on believing in God, your attitude toward God, your resolve to suffer hardships, your attitude toward accepting judgment and pruning, your level of transformation and the number of your serious transgressions. All of these contribute to your performance. This performance does not refer to the maximum extent of revealing your corrupt disposition, but rather how much you have achieved in your belief in God. If people’s outcomes were determined according to the expression of their nature, then no one could be saved. How could this be the righteousness of God? If you are a leader, your nature will express itself more, and whoever expresses more will be less assured of remaining. If this determined people’s outcomes, then the more that people worked as a leader or a worker, the faster they would be exposed. If this were really the case, who then would dare to do their duty? If no one performs their duty, who would be saved?
People’s performance determines their outcome. This performance refers to whether or not you are loyal and devoted to God, whether or not you have love for Him, whether or not you put the truth into practice as well as to what degree you have changed. It is according to this performance that your outcome is determined; it is not according to how much of a corrupt disposition is expressed. If you think this way, you have misinterpreted the will of God. All human nature is the same, only there are good and bad aspects to humanity. Even if you do not express it, your nature is still the same as someone who does express it. God knows best what is within mankind’s inner depths. You do not need to hide anything. God searches people’s hearts and minds. If a lot of your corruption is revealed while you are working, God will see it; if you do not do the work and it is not revealed, does God not know about it? Is this not believing your own lies? The reality is that God knows your nature inside out, no matter where you are. God well knows those who go about their work, but does He not also know very well those who do not? Some people think that those leaders are simply digging their own grave, because a great deal of their corruption will inevitably be revealed and will be seen by God. Would it be revealed that much if they did not do the work? This way of thinking is preposterous! If God does not see it, then will He not be able to condemn it? If that were the case, wouldn’t it be that those who do not do the work would all remain? According to human understanding, God would not look at the transformation of those who do the work, regardless of how great that transformation is; God would only condemn them according to their expression of corruption. Conversely, God would not condemn those who express little, despite having transformed little. Do you believe this is the righteousness of God? Could anyone say that God is righteous if He were to do this? Do you not misinterpret God’s intention and thereby misunderstand God? Then isn’t your belief in God false? Is this not believing that God is never righteous? Are not such beliefs blasphemous toward God? If you have nothing positive and nothing too negative is revealed either, you still cannot be saved. The main thing that determines people’s outcomes is their positive performance. However, there can’t be anything too negative either—if it is serious to the extent of destruction or punishment, then they will be ruined. If it were as you imagine, those who are followers would gain salvation in the end, and those who are leaders would be eliminated. You have a duty that you must perform; but when you perform that duty, you will reveal your corruption in spite of yourself, as if you were going to the guillotine. If people’s outcomes were determined by their nature, no one could be saved—if this were truly the case, then where would the righteousness of God be? It would be nowhere to be seen. You have all misunderstood the will of God.
2. This Performance Is the Result of God’s Work in People
Let Me give you an example: In an orchard, the owner waters and fertilizes, then waits for the fruit. The trees that bear fruit are good and they are kept; those that do not are definitely not good trees and they will not be kept. Consider this situation: A tree does bear fruit, but has a disease, and some bad branches need to be pruned. Should this tree be kept? It should be kept, and it will be fine once it has been pruned and treated. Consider another situation: A tree has no diseases, but is fruitless—such a tree should not be kept. What does this “bear fruit” mean? It refers to the work of God taking effect. While God is working on people, their nature cannot help but be expressed, and due to the corruption of Satan they will inevitably have some transgressions, but amidst this God’s work in them will bear some fruit. If God does not see that, but only sees human nature being expressed, then that cannot be called the salvation of mankind. The fruit of people being saved is principally manifested in their fulfilling their duty and putting the truth into practice. God looks at people’s level of achievement in these areas as well as the extent of their transgressions. Both factors contribute to determining their outcome and whether or not they will remain. For instance, some people used to be very corrupt, completely devoted to the flesh, and not at all to the family of God. They did not expend themselves for God at all, but now they perform their duty enthusiastically and are of one heart with God—from this perspective, has there been a transformation? This is a transformation. It is this transformation that God wants. Also, some people used to like to spread them around when they had some notions, but now when they have some notions, they are able to be obedient and seek the truth, without spreading them or doing anything against God. Has there been a transformation? Yes! Some people may have once resisted when they were dealt with and pruned, but now when they are pruned and dealt with again, they can know themselves and accept it. Afterward, they undergo some true transformations—is this not an effect? Yes! However, no matter how great your transformation is, your nature cannot be changed all at once. It is impossible to not have any transgressions. But if your entering in is normalized, even with some disobedience, you will become aware of it at that time. This awareness can bring you immediate transformation and your conditions will get better and better. You may have a transgression once or twice, but not over and over again. This is transformation. It is not the case that someone who has transformed in a certain area no longer has any transgressions. This kind of transformation means that someone who has experienced God’s work can put more truth into practice and can practice some of what God requires. Their transgressions will become fewer and fewer and instances of disobedience will be less and less serious. You can see from this that the work of God has taken effect; what God wants is this kind of expression that these results have been achieved in people. Accordingly, the way God handles people’s outcomes and how He treats someone is completely righteous, reasonable and fair. You need only put all your efforts into expending yourself for God, unhesitatingly put all your heart into practicing the truth that you should, and God will not treat you unfairly. Think about it: Can those who put the truth into practice be punished by God? Many people are always suspicious of God’s righteous disposition and are afraid that they will still be punished if they put the truth into practice; they are afraid that God will not see their loyalty and devotion. Some people become passive after being pruned and dealt with; they feel too weak to perform their duty and lose their loyalty and devotion. Why is this? This is partly due to people’s lack of awareness of the essence of their actions which results in not accepting being pruned and dealt with. It is also partly due to people not having understood the significance of being dealt with and pruned, believing it to be a sign of the determination of their outcome. As a result, people mistakenly believe that if they have some loyalty and devotion toward God, then they cannot be dealt with and pruned; if they are dealt with, it cannot be the righteousness of God. Such misunderstandings cause many people to not be loyal and devoted to God. In fact, it is all because people are too deceitful; they do not want to suffer hardship—they want to gain blessings the easy way. They are not aware of God’s righteousness. It is not that God has not done anything righteous or that He will not do anything righteous, it is just that people never think that what God does is righteous. In human eyes, if the work of God does not conform to the will of man or if it is not up to what they expected, it means that He is not righteous. People never realize when what they do is not appropriate or does not conform to the truth; they never realize that they are resisting God. If God never dealt with or pruned people for their transgressions and never reproached them for their faults, but was always calm, never provoked them, never offended them, and never exposed their scars, but allowed them to dine and have a good time with Him, then people would never complain that God was unrighteous. They would hypocritically say that He was very righteous. Therefore, people still do not believe that what God requires is their performance after their transformation. How could God rest assured if they kept that up? If God were only a little reproachful of people, they would no longer believe that He sees their performance after transformation. They would stop believing that He is righteous, and they would not have the will to pursue transformation. If people continued on under these circumstances, they would be deceived by their own notions.