The following is a sermon transcription that will hopefully help you to find Everlasting Peace in the True God.
Know God and Be At Peace
(adapted from a sermon by Pr Simon Chin)
Everybody wants to have peace but it is not found by everyone and neither is it found everywhere. It is hard to find peace in this world. There was someone who sought to live in a peaceful country; in almost every country on the map, there was trouble and turmoil. He finally settled on a remote island, the Falkland Islands, only to experience the British-Argentinian war over the island shortly after his move. His story highlighted the lack of peace in this world.
Only in God is there peace (Job 22:21)
Job 22:21 – Now acquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace; Thereby good will come to you.
Eliphaz, the author of this verse (Job 22:1) tells us with certainty that if we can acquaint ourselves with the true God, we will have peace. This is the promise we’re given: whoever acquaints themselves with God, the Creator and Father of all mankind, the Lord of life and Almighty God, can have peace. If we come to trust in Him, His blessings will come upon us and our household. This is the experience of many who have come to know this true God. But if we were to look at people in the world today, we will find that although many worship a god, there is no peace. One of the main reasons for this is that they do not worship the true God, the Creator, the one who can give peace. Who is this true God and how can we come to know Him?
God is our Shepherd
The bible likens God to a shepherd of a flock. We who believe in Him are His sheep and the God who created us is our Shepherd. As His flock, we have no cause to worry because we know that our Shepherd is protecting us.
Ezek 34:11-16; 25-31 tells us of God and the kind of relationship He has with His people. There was a time when the Israelites had sinned against God and God turned His face from them. They were placed in Babylonian captivity for seventy years. Here, we read of the forgiveness of God; He promised that He would once again be their Savior and Shepherd. He would deliver them from all dangers. As history attests, when His people acknowledged God as their Creator and Lord, He took care of them in return and there was peace for the Israelites.
1 Kings 18 describes another incident where the Israelites turned to worship Baal and Asherah, and sinned against God. They were led to worship these idols because their king, Ahab, had married an idol-worshipping Sidonian princess, who brought Baal and Asherah into their land. Prophets of God were killed while the queen kept prophets of Baal and Asherah. Although the Israelites were worshipping Baal and Asherah, there was no peace. For more than three years there was a drought in the land and the people suffered greatly. Many children died, and the elderly had no food and water. Yet, the queen continued to serve the false gods because of the prophets.
Despite their sins, we see that God was merciful to His people; God sent His prophet, Elijah, to the King because He wanted to give them rain again. But His people must turn away from these false prophets and return to the true God before He will send His blessings and rain to water the land.
Elijah had to come before the king to prove the prophets of Baal and Asherah were false and turn the hearts of the people back to the true God so that peace may be restored. “Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD; and the God who answers by fire, He is God.” (1 Kgs 18:24) The false prophets were challenged to a contest to see if their gods would answer, while Elijah called upon the True God. No matter what the false prophets did, nothing happened.
Elijah repaired the altar of God and offered the sacrifice on an altar that was surrounded by water, saying “LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that You are the LORD God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.” (1 Kgs 18:36-37)
God answered and His fire consumed the sacrifice, licking up all the water that was in the trench. When the people saw it, they fell on their faces and once again acknowledge the LORD God, their forefather Abraham served is the true God. Because the people had once again returned to God, the drought was ended and rain was given. As promised, peace was restored to the nation.
In the same way today, if we want to have peace, we have to know this true God, our creator.
God is our Loving Father.
In order to turn the hearts of man away from other gods and back to God, He revealed Himself once and came in the form of human flesh.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made…. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (Jn 1:1-3, 14)
“No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” (Jn 1:18)
God is spirit and although we cannot see Him with our eyes, His presence can be felt because He is willing to dwell in our hearts. We also know of God from His creations. The bible describes how every house has a builder, but the builder of all things is God. As we have read, God is the one who creates and gives life. He became flesh and dwelt among us as Jesus Christ. Jesus lived for a period of thirty-three years and spent the last three years of His life going through Judea and Galilee preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven. He performed miracles, signs, and wonders to show that He is God.
Mt 9:20-22 records one such incident of how a woman, who had a flow of blood for twelve years, came to be healed by Jesus. She had told herself, “If I may touch His garment, I shall be made well” and touched the hem of Jesus’ garment. Jesus turned around, saw her, and said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” Indeed, she was made well. Matthew 9 records another incident about two blind men. They asked Jesus for His mercy and their sight was restored by Jesus (v.27-32).
Mt 14:34-36 describes how people in the land of Gennesaret recognized Jesus and the sick were brought before Jesus, if only to touch the hem of His garment; as many who touched His garment were made well. This is the power of God in Jesus Christ; Jesus was God incarnate and in the form of human flesh He manifested God before many. Jesus tells us that in this world we will have tribulations but there is peace in Him (Jn 14:27).
Jesus promised that He would give peace because He is God and in Him, there is true peace. The multitude of people who came before Christ received peace; those who were possessed by demons, troubled by sicknesses or worry, like Jarius, the synagogue ruler whose daughter was about to die. All these people were unable to find any cure but when they came before Jesus, they received peace because He healed them of their infirmities and cast out the demons in them. This peace can be received by those who come before Him.
Today, we experience Christ the same way. Jesus is not just a God in the scriptures; He is our God of yesterday, today and forever. The story of our brother in Toronto testifies to this. This brother was diagnosed with cancer in the early nineties before his move from Taiwan to Canada. He had four-fifth of his stomach removed and was able to move to Toronto in good health. By the late nineties, the cancer relapsed. The doctors were negative this time and had told him that very little could be done due to his weak condition. He needed surgery but it was highly risky; none but one of the doctors were prepared to operate on him. He had decided on the operation but was feeling down. Church brethren prayed with him and Taiwanese church brethren prayed for him. They encouraged him, saying, “Do not worry, our God will protect you. Your sickness will be healed.” It was faint hope but he held on. With most of his stomach gone, he weighed only forty kilos when he went for the surgery. He has since recovered and now weighs a healthy sixty kilos. His story testifies of the peace and salvation from God.
the salvation grace of God is not only limited to the physical but also concerns our eternal life.
If we read the gospels, we will read of how Jesus raised several people from the dead. John 11 describes how Lazarus had been dead and buried four days in the grave when Jesus came and raised him from the dead. Jesus had told his sister, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” This is God’s promise that we shall have eternal life. And Jesus is God, so life is in Him. Because He is God, He can give life to even those who have died. He shall also give eternal life to all who believe in Him. That is why the bible says if we know this true God and believe in Jesus Christ, we will have eternal life.
John 17:3 – And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
These were the words of Jesus Himself and He testified to us that He has the power to give us eternal life; after His crucifixion on the cross, He rose from the dead. He appeared to His disciples for forty days and hundreds of people, among whom were unbelievers and His family members, attested to His resurrection. When Jesus was alive and preaching the gospel, his own brothers did not believe in Him. Only when He rose from the dead and appeared before everyone, did they believe. And those who saw the resurrection of Christ became witnesses to the power of God. They preached the gospel of God’s kingdom from Jerusalem to Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth because they knew that Jesus was God. In Jesus, there is forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
Today, this gospel has been proclaimed to us and in our church, we have several testimonies of God’s power. One such testimony is from Sister Chin from Malaysia. In 1976, she died while holidaying in Cameron Highlands with her family. She was twelve then. She had gone into the bathroom for her bath but ended up being poisoned by gas. By the time her family members managed to break into the bathroom to get her, she was no longer breathing. All three mothers in the family were True Jesus Church members and they knew that only God could revive the dead child. So they knelt down and prayed. Sister Chin’s father, an unbeliever then, also knelt to pray because he loved her very much. The other two fathers had gone out to look for medical help. It was a Sunday and none of the clinics were opened but they managed to locate one and brought the doctor back to where the family was staying. By then, the dead child had come back to life. All three unbelieving fathers came to believe when they saw the dead child come back to life. Her parents have since passed away but Sister Chin is still alive and in her forties. She was brought back to life through prayers and trust in the name of Jesus Christ.
We believe in this true God, that Jesus Himself was raised from the dead, and trust that His promise of eternal life is true. If we come to know this true God, we will be able to enter the kingdom of Heaven, to gain eternal life. This is why we want to share this good news with you and pray that the peace of God fills you.
May all glory be given to God.