April 2004

My dear American Friends: 

Everybody is concerned about the news this days...even our little children. This world is changing so fast that we are liable to be left behind when we close our eyes. I don't know about you, but I feel lost all the time. This world is becoming like one big orphanage. Korean political scene is just as confusing as yours is. You may have read about the impeachment of our President. It's not concluded yet, but the election is coming up and the politic is getting dirty. Actually, the politic is dirty thing - when Adam ate the tree of knowledge and tried to be as wise as God, it became dirty...corruptions and dirty tricks, which killed our Lord Jesus Christ and which will eventually kill ourselves. What this world need is MASS-REPENTANCE! The tear of repentance will clean this world and the blood of Jesus will give them new life!

During my ministry, I remember two occasions of tearful repentance. One was at Anyang prison. There were almost three thousand audience, and I suppose that many of them were there because the Chapel time is only free time they can have in prison. Anyway, when I started to talk about the Cross of Jesus Christ and how our sin mailed Him there, one man started to sob and it spread until it seemed that whole auditorium was sobbing, even the warden had tears in his eyes. Another time was when I was talking with a group of defectors from North Korea, last year. Of course, they already shed much tears before they ever reached the free land. I am sure that they were thinking about the family they left behind in North Korea and many of them, I am sure, are in prison, and many years of dangerous journey they came through, when I talked about the Hope we have in Christ and the reunion in Heaven, they started to cry, I cried and soon everybody was crying.... One time, a North Korean delegate at a conference table threatened South Korea "We can make your city a sea of fire within four minutes." We were scared of course, but I still think that only thing that can save this world is "SEA OF TEARS" of the repentance.

But of course, the greatest news of the April is still and always the DEATH and RESURRECTION of our Lord, Jesus Christ! And this year, I am going to proclaim the "Death and Resurrection" of Jesus Christ, to a crowd of at least 5000 at the Joint Sunrise service of Yungyang area. Ordinarily, we don't like to talk about the death. Especially we orientals try to avoid the subject of "death" as much as we can. In fact, many oriental buildings do not have the fourth floor, because the number four in Chinese character, sounds like "death." But I found that Jesus talked about "death" at every chance he got. As far as I can remember, no biographies of the great historical persons such as Confucius, Gandhi or Martin Luther King, talk about their death more than ten percent. And I found that as much as a third of the Gospels talk about the death of Jesus Christ, because His death is that important. It's His Resurrection that gives us the greatest Hope, but it's His death, His gory death and its blood, that saves us! Every page of His Gospel is soaked with His blood. If you happen to cut the Gospel with a knife, you probably will find that the blood will gush out. That's why the GOSPEL IS ALIVE! Gospel is living power. And we need to preach it like it's alive.

Did I tell you about a preacher whom we ordained into ministry in his death bed? He started his ministry late. In fact, he entered the Bible College in his age of forty-eight. When he graduated and was ready to pastor a Church, he found that he had a cancer. And before long, he was in his death-bed. But he wanted to be a minister, he wished to be ordained even in his death bed, so we decided to ordain him. (I am not sure if this is permissible in the ecclesiastic world, but we did it anyway.) And during the five months that he waited to meet His Lord, he reached many other patients that he came into contact with in the hospital. He truly ministered as a Chaplain of that hospital. His death was glorious too. He said that he is in a terminal ward to transfer to a Heaven-bound train. He even said that's why his hospital ward is called "terminal care unit." Even his "Last Will and Testament," often written on toilet paper, was truly a great testimony. To us Christians, "death" is as important as "resurrection," and I am doing my best to die as glorious death as possible. And I do not care if it is fourth floor or thirteenth floor, every floor is another great step toward Heaven!

One time, to a dying child in a hospital, I tried to comfort him and give him hope, I illustrated "death" with "tunnel." I said, "death is like going through a tunnel...it may be dark for a while, but soon you will come out in a bright, beautiful world." April may be a dark month, but every dark month end with the BRIGHTEST DAY OF HIS RESURRECTION!

Yours because of Calvary,


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