Cheon Seong Gyeong: Episode 338
Cheon Seong Gyeong Book 11: Ceremonies and Holy Days
Chapter 2: Church Services
Section 1: Church Service and Prayer, 01-11
CHAPTER 2 Church Services
Section 1. Church Service and Prayer
(1) When you come early for church service, the extra time is an offering to God. Its value is beyond compare and cannot be purchased even with ten thousand pieces of gold. Therefore, if you come late to the service, it is as if you are stealing that time from God. You should be on time for the service. It will enable you to indemnify what you have failed to do. That way, you can still stand before God. Then you can come closer to Heaven with a better heart than you had the day before.
(2) Please do not say, “I am going to church because of so and so." People who say, "I am going to church for my beloved sons and daughters" or "for my beloved husband or wife" will not be able to sustain their faith. They should rather go to church for God’s sake. Why then do you go to church? It should be because of God. You should go to church to make God your own and to find God’s love and make it your own.
(4) God has led history for the purpose of saving you. So you should thirst for God's grace and learn to inherit it. You did not join the Unification Church based on your own merits; you joined based on the sincere devotion that God, your ancestors, and the church offered on your behalf. The Unification Church has been working very hard in order to find each one of you. This huge debt must, therefore, be repaid.
(5) What is the purpose of keeping the Sabbath holy? It is ultimately to bring salvation to humankind and to establish the nation that God desires. Christians keep the Sabbath holy to sanctify themselves and to strengthen the church's purpose of saving human beings. The reason we observe the Sabbath is to advance the path to salvation. But more importantly, it is to save all humankind and seek God's providential nation and world. This is God's ultimate desire.
(6) Human beings must like what God likes. God designated the seventh day as the Sabbath day and declared it a day of rest, which we also observe. Yet, although six thousand years of history have passed, God Himself has not been able to rest. He has not been able to take pride in His own Sabbath. Even Jesus, despite emphasizing the importance of the Word of the Gospel, which includes the Sabbath, could not enjoy even one day of glorious victory. All he could do was cling onto history and battle through the providence for the past two thousand years. Therefore, he has not had a day when he could express his pride before God, a day when he could take his rest with all humankind. Since God and Jesus have never been in the position to take rest, we cannot rest either. Therefore, before the Sabbath comes, we are bound to confront wars, to experience pain, and to face death. Only after we overcome these hardships with resolute determination will we be able to taste the day of the Sabbath.
(7) When you come to the church, you must bring all your family members with you—your parents, wife, and children. You should also bring along your older brother, older sister, and everyone else. How many bloody tears have you shed to witness to your parents, your cousins, your in-laws, and other more distant relatives? Have you ever desperately struggled and prayed all night long with all of your devotion, offering yourself as a sacrifice, in order to guide even one person to God? This is the question. You must become the center of your environment in order to move forward.
(8) Now the Sabbath day (Ahn Shik II) has passed, and the Day of Complete Settlement and Attendance (Ahn Shi II) has come. However, even on the Sabbath day, God did not want to rest. He came to re-create human beings, and there was still so much more indemnity that needed to be paid. Since we are saved through attendance rather than through the Sabbath day, Ahn Shik II, we call it Ahn Shi II. Because we are saved through attendance, if we simply use Ahn Shi II, Unification Church members everywhere will understand its meaning. Thus, by keeping the eighth day, we embark upon an amazing era. By observing the eighth day as Ahn Shi II, we are blessed to pass through the gate that opens to the ideal heaven and earth and enter the world of attendance. That will bring safe settlement to the Blessing and a new beginning.
(10) When you are offering devotion, you must not come late to the service. If you do, you should be so ashamed that you cannot hold your head high and should feel that you are the sinner of all sinners. You must pledge to be on time for the service and offer even greater devotion than others. How can you call out, "Oh, God!" when you do not even come on time? You should not offer your devotion in order to be seen by others. Let it be an offering of devotion that you come to church on foot rather than by car. Instead of just praying after you arrive, you should pray even more earnestly before you come. This is how you can offer devotion that no one else sees. The more you distance yourself from your surroundings and from the desires that secular people pursue, the more your devotion will accumulate.
(11) You must absolutely honor the words you speak when you come before God. How can someone who does not keep his or her promise be given grace? Such people will give up along the way. God does not randomly visit just anyone but relates only to those who earnestly yearn for Him. At the very least, you should be on time for the service.