May the eternal love of God, the peace of the Holy Son, the fiery love of the Holy Spirit, and the inspiration, movement, and working of the Word fill you abundantly.
Today is the first Sunday of February. The year of hope and thanksgiving is well under way.
Do you remember last Sunday’s message? What was it about?
If you forgot or missed it, it was about “why it is important to be excited when you do things.”
Everyone, I hope that you will never forget to live an exciting life.
Today, I will speak about the theme: “People like the things they are accustomed to.”
What determines what a person likes?
The Holy Spirit said, “People like things according to their acquired tastes. And they like things according to how they are nurtured.”
Regardless of where a person is born, they become fond of the place they are born. As their parents nurture them, they acquire a certain taste for their place of birth. It becomes their hometown.
So people like things according to how they are nurtured.
Religious people, politicians, economists, journalists, artists, professors, athletes, students, and farmers, they all like what they like because they are used to it. They have acquired a taste for it.
Whatever it may be, as you do something for a long time, it becomes part of you. Your brain, body, heart, mind, and thoughts adjust according to what you do.
So you acquire a taste for it, and you become used to it.
Think about the food you like
Fruits are all tasty when you eat them.
There are all sorts of fruits, like apples, pears, peaches, plums, strawberries, bananas, watermelons, and cherries.
But let’s say that you were really hungry.
The first fruit you eat when you are hungry is much more delicious than normal. So you acquire a taste for it. And if you keep eating it, you’ll get used to it and want to eat more.
It’s similar to how your eating preferences are determined by what you eat as a child. If you started off eating small fruits like cherries and grapes, then you would think they are delicious. So when you go to buy fruits, you would go to buy fruits that have a similar shape and taste.
But if you started off eating bigger fruits like watermelon or grapefruits, then you would think they are delicious. So when you go to buy fruits, you would go to buy fruits that have a similar shape and taste.
Religion is the same!
The same is also true with religion.
What do you think would happen if the first religion a person encountered were a cult?
Seventy to ninety percent of them would live believing that religion was good and would follow their teachings.
Islam, Judaism, Catholicism, and Protestant Christianity, everything depends on what kind of religion a person comes into contact with first. People take their first religion in as their own, acquire a taste for it, and live following it.
This is true for politics, the economy, art, education, and hobbies.
Finding your “soulmate” is no different
The same principle also applies to who you select as your partner or object of your love.
People think about what they like and then choose base on the shape and form they have acquired a taste for. They choose what they are used to, and say, “I like this person’s style.”
Consider the people you know who are in relationships. They pair up with one another and like each other based on their individual acquired tastes.
Someone’s significant other can be of the opposite sex or the same sex. Everything is determined by the taste you have acquired over time and what you are used to.
That is why you have to acquire the right taste from the beginning and get used to that well.
What would happen if you acquired the wrong taste for something and got used to the wrong things?
You would fail in life and possibly even receive eternal suffering.
It starts from when you are young
People acquire a taste for things and like certain things based on what they were first exposed to when they were young. And over time, they get used to those things.
This is because the brain holds all the things they were first exposed to.
When Pastor Jung Myung Seok went to Europe to do ministry, he met many European youths. After speaking to them, he came to understand the state of their faith in detail.
Europe consist of a lot of Christian nations. So many people were raised Christians by their parents. Their parents would take them to church or cathedrals from the time they were born whether they liked it or not. They didn’t have a choice.
So they all got used to Christianity because of their parents. And they say they are Christians by name only. They also don’t really go to church often, only on special occasions.
Many of those people told Pastor Jung Myung Seok, “Now that I’ve grown grown up, I won’t believe according to what I was used to. I will choose my own religion freely and live like that.”
The others said that they still believed in God and Jesus, but they don’t really know too much about them.
Pastor Jung Myung Seok realized that since many youths didn’t know about God properly, many misunderstood Him.
What happens when you don’t know properly about God?
Even though many Europeans believed in God from the time they were young, they live apart from the Word. Pretty much all of them smoke or drink and court the opposite sex.
A person blessed by God to be able to see the spiritual world saw the state of their spirits. Their spirits were not well developed, and they were not wearing much clothes of righteousness.
Why was that the case?
God’s understanding of a righteous spirit is different from our understanding. Here are some places in the Bible that talk about this:
In Mark 9:40, Jesus says, “For whoever is not against us is for us.”
But later in Matthew 12:48-50, Jesus says, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers? Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
Just before that in Matthew 12:30, he says, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”
God judges according to your deeds
In Matthew 7:21, Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
God speaks clearly about this through Jesus in Matthew 16:27, “I will repay you according to your deeds.”
According to these scriptures, people are leading a deviated life of faith.
In Matthew 5:26, God speaks through Jesus again, “I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.”
God isn’t saying you have to give him all your money. He is saying you have to clean yourself without even leaving a penny’s worth of sin.
The expectations are high.
In Matthew 22:37-38, Jesus says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.”
He also says in Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
It wasn’t just Jesus that had high expectations of us.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Apostle Paul says, “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The desire is there, but because people cannot live like this, they are convicted by these scriptures.
The state of those without God
If you look in the spiritual world at those who do not know correctly about God and Jesus and live their own lives while just believing in the way they’ve become accustomed to when they were young, they are like a store that only has a sign but no merchandise.
When Pastor Jung Myung Seok met with them, he tried delivering the gospel to them. But the gospel did not enter them.
After that, he taught them for three to five years but only a small number came to Providence Church.
This wasn’t something that Pastor Jung Myung Seok saw only in Europe. In America and Asian countries like Korea, he realized that there are hardly any young people who go to church nowadays.
What he realized was that we need to give people Word that is relevant to people’s lives. It has to be something they need, and we should help people both physically and spiritually. It is Word the Lord is delivering now.
It’s not too late
At this time, the Holy Spirit is giving us a bit more time to live according to what we are accustomed to.
However, the time we have has only been extended a little bit. In the end, the time will come when we have to fix all of our physical nature and repent of all our sins.
But since everyone in the world has been living according to the way they have grown accustomed to, do you think it would be easy to change?
Would you easily give up the things you like whether they are good or bad? Since you’ve developed a taste and habit for them, it’s hard to give them up, right?
Whether it is religion, lifestyle, things they like, the opposite sex, the same sex, the internet, lewd material, drinking, or smoking, each person lives as they like. They live according to whatever they have developed a taste and habit for. And many of those things belong to their physical nature.
People hate fixing themselves as much as they hate death. And they like what they have been accustomed to as much as they like to live.
However, we can only live a little bit longer. Ultimately, God will reclaim what is His. In the end, the day of judgement will come.
What is it that we should be doing now?
Everyone should bury their physical nature and improper preferences and habits.
Once people acquire a taste for something, they come to like only those things. In the end, those things become part of their constitution.
So you should acquire a taste for good things and make those things a part of your constitution.
It’s difficult to give up the bad things you’ve grown accustomed to. But the time to receive the Lord is right around the corner.
I bless you to realize this Word deeply and take action so that you can receive the Lord without any regrets.