PASTOR OCK SOO PARK

  • 6. Peace / Lord, Will You Accept an Useless Man Like Me? / Rejection and …


  • Peace

     

    Afterwards, I received God's grace in becoming a servant of God, preaching His gospel. Not only in Korea, but I was also able to travel to many countries, preaching "the way of salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ." I found that wherever I went there was a common impression. Many knew that 'Jesus Christ had died on the cross for their sins,' but they were all trying so hard to live a spiritual life. They continued in the conflict and pain of sin, which existed in their hearts, not cleansed by the blood shed on the cross. If we look in 2Corinthians 4:3-4, it says, "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost. In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."Although many read the Bible and state, 'Jesus Christ shed His blood on the cross for my sins,' in reality they do not associate themselves with the blood Jesus shed. It is true that if Christ had died on the cross and gave His blood for my sins, then through His death on the cross the wages of my sin have definitely been paid for. But many people attend church; unable to free their hearts from the sin that brings them such pain. Just as it says in chapter four of 2 Corinthians, this is none other than the work of the evil spirit of the world, Satan, who confuses nonbelievers, keeping the Gospel of Jesus Christ hidden from them.

     

    Even though I stand before the Lord afflicted by sin, Christ had already been crucified on the cross and had shed His blood 2000 years ago. While it is true that He had gotten rid of my sin 2,000 years ago, the reason why I was so troubled and had conflict due to sin was because Satan had blinded my eyes, and all others around me were as clueless as I was. On Sundays I saw the constant pain the church pastor and elders went through because of sin. You could hear them praying prayers of distress, caused by their sin. The pastor, elders, and deacons all conducted themselves in the same manner, so I could not say I was the only one that was sin free. Abiding by the pastor and elders, I thought it was in nature to be a sinner.

     

    Since I was a sinner, I wanted to cleanse my sin before the Lord. I repented my sins to God, but the reassurance of salvation was still absent from my heart. I prayed in tears, bowed, hopeless and in despair. However, there was no one who could free me from this disparity with the Word. No one helped free my heart from sin, nor where they were able to counsel me in such a manner.

     

    However, God lead me bit by bit. One morning I confessed and asked for forgiveness to God, as I brought to memory all my sins one by one, I prayed, "God, I'm a sinner. I'm truly a wicked being. I committed these sins. This is how filthy and vulgar I am. As I prayed I was able to feel God's spirit working with power within me. I had prayed such confessions many times before. Although I confessed numerous amounts of times, once I returned home, it all flooded back and weighed down my heart as before. But that morning was different.

     

    That morning I knelt praying before the pulpit in tears till the sun crept into the chapel, and as I arose after praying I had a strange thought I had never possessed before. Till then I had always been deceived by Satan and was weighed down by sin, but the moment I ended my prayer and got up within my heart rose the belief that, 'the blood Jesus Christ shed on the cross had cleansed all my sins.' It was the Holy Spirit, which had alerted this within my heart.

     

    'My sins have been paid for. All my sins have turned as white as snow. Now all my sins are forgiven. They have been cleansed.'

     

    I don't know how to express it, but such peace I had never felt before started to creep into my heart. Now there was no need to be troubled and tied down to sin. Nor did the need to repent and do something about the sin exist. I knew that even though there had to be a price to pay for the sin, no matter what it may be, Jesus Christ had already taken care of it for me. That is when I realized the truth that there was no longer anything I had to do for sin. Surprisingly, God had led me in this way. Jesus Christ's blood had stripped my heart of all its sins.

     

    Peace started to quietly over take my heart. When I had sin in me, in the past I had been dragged by the evil thoughts and desires, but strangely enough, now I'm no longer influenced by it. I started to quietly open my Bible and read, as well as to pray. That day was Sunday, October 7, 1962. I went and ate breakfast, then returned to church for Sunday service. That day I did not remember a single word of the sermon, but the one difference was that I had the peace I never possessed before, and the sin that weighed me down became weak and departed.

     

    At that time I didn't realize the Holy Spirit was in me, but I was able to see how much I had changed. Whenever I had time, in the past I had played with my friends and done evil things, but I found that I had started staying at home, quietly reading the Bible. And as this happened, those friends who I was so close with, one by one, grew farther and farther away from me. Although I became more and more alone, I saw myself grow closer and closer to the Lord. It fascinated me to see myself continue reading the Bible even though I did not understand it well. I felt peace overtake me like never before. I didn't know if this was how life is, or being born again, but no matter what I was real grateful that I was able to escape from the heavy burden of sin.

     

    Lord, Will You Accept an Useless Man Like Me?

     

    After receiving salvation, I had a grateful heart for a month. I wanted to do something for the Lord. First of all, I was thankful to God that my sins were forgiven that I wanted to give offering. Of course back then I didn't have an allowance. My dad was in charge of the household in the country, and he only bought me necessary clothes and shoes; but didn't have the leeway to give me some spending money. I acquired my allowance by immoral methods of selling grains without my father knowing.

     

    I wanted to give offering to God, but unfortunately I didn't have any money. Although I secretly sold my fathers grains without him knowing to play and drink with friends, I couldn't allow myself to do the same for an offering to God. So although I wanted to offer Him something from the heart, for a month I didn't get even a glimpse of a singe penny. It pained me to not be able to give offering to the Lord.

     

    I was so depressed and frustrated that one morning I prayed to God, "Lord, I really want to give offering. I want to thank you. But Lord, I don't have any money; I possess nothing Lord. This worthless body, all who see me hate and despise me...this body is all I have left, all I have to give you is this body of mine, if I were to give it to you, will you accept?"

     

    I had applied to go to the army, but my front tooth was broken so I failed the physical and couldn't go. My last hope was to go to Japan. My uncle had been doing construction work in Japan and I waited for him to find me a job. But I couldn't get in touch with him. Through all this I fell into despair. I received salvation during the proceedings of these events in my life. That was why no mater how much I thought about it there was no place for me and I wondered, 'where can God use a person like me?'

     

    Never could I imagine of becoming a minister or pastor. Living for the gospel as a minister or missionary was beyond my imagination. That was why if I gave my life to the Lord, it wasn't to become a great servant of God or to become a Pastor. Because I had nothing else I thought if He will only accept my body, I would be satisfied to just clean the church bathrooms, organize the kids shoes, clean their runny noses, help out at the houses of elders or women with things they couldn't do, for the rest of my life. That was why I prayed, saying, 'Lord, I really have nothing to offer you no matter how much I want to. Lord, although it's of no use, if you accept this body of mine, I want to live the rest of my life only glorifying and living for you.'

     

    Now many years later as I look back, that was my first prayer after receiving salvation and the Lord had accepted that prayer and has gratefully given me the privilege to be a worker of the gospel as I have been till now. When I think of this I'm so very thankful. Not only that, but I felt even though there were many times I forgot the prayers I prayed, He never forgot and fulfilled them. That morning I prayed, "God, accept this body of mine," but afterwards I forgot that I had ever prayed such a prayer, however, from then on God started guiding my life.

     

    I was a kid who always complained and made troubled and picked the worst things to do, but after I received salvation I changed so much that if affected the way my father saw me. As my father saw me, he always worried and therefore was so surprised to see how I changed. Unknowingly, the wrath, complaint, desire, that was in me started to disappear. Even when I saw myself, I was astonished to see me praying and reading the Bible.

     

    Rejection and Contempt Around Me

     

    At our church there were many young adults my age. We were mostly in charge of the Sunday School and the Youth Choir, and after choir practice we often gathered and went out to play. But one day after choir practice was over I told the guys how I received salvation. I told them, "I'm grateful that through the blood of Jesus Christ my sins have become as white as snow." Then I started to tell them of how they too need to be saved from sin. They were startled and said, "Mr. Park, this is epochal. You shouldn't be here telling us, but should be told to the pastor. Go tell him. This is what he needs to hear." But sadly enough at that time I didn't know how to preach the gospel in detail of how you become saved from sin. So during the time I remained at that church I continued to tell blessed testimonies of how I was changed. However, the youths I was so close to, like a brother, before I changed, started to keep their distance one by one. They regarded me as strange person. The young adults always use to gather in the church side room. One day I saw their shoes in front of the door and was reaching for the doorknob to enter when I overheard them speaking. They were talking about me. "How can Park say he doesn't have any sin? I know how much sin he has committed...That's ridiculous!" All the guys continued to talk about me as they scorned me. I couldn't bare to open the door and go in so I let go of the knob and left.

     

    'I'm now different from them. I'm like a foreigner to them.'

     

    As I realized this, I thought,

     

    'How am I now supposed to live my spiritual life? What path am I supposed to take?'

     

    I couldn't help but stand ambiguous before the situation.

     

    'Is the spiritual life I possess right? Our pastor, elder, and the entire congregation call themselves sinners and I'm the only one whose sins are cleansed. Am I justified in saying this? Is this the correct spiritual life that is to be lead? Or is it just my pride?'

     

    As I struggled with these questions, I didn't know what spiritual path to take. At that time the stories of the spiritual lives that John Westler and Martin Luther of the past had lived, gave me strength.

     

    'Yes, it says the righteous shall live by faith. So therefore these men of the past had led spiritual lives just as mine. That is why those around them rejected them. There was contempt that surrounded them. Then how am I supposed to lead my spiritual life? What road am I supposed to follow?'

     

    Back then I had no answers, and so I was very lost. But I still followed the peace that flowed into my heart, and spent each day praying and worshiping the Lord. 




     

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    Autobiography
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