BEWARE OF COMPLACENCE
One is often advised not to be complacent with his
achievement, for example, in terms of worldly education, wealth, status or
position. In such a manner,
complacence has only been taken in a mundane sense.
However, its meaning must go beyond this. It is the intention of this article to
highlight the adverse consequences of being complacent, in a spiritual
dimension. We can look at this with
reference to three categories of people: (i) the nonbelievers, (ii) the
non-True Jesus Church members, (iii) the True Jesus Church members.
1. To the non-believers
1.1. Those who do not believe in the almighty God are
If we were to think and study with care and humility, we
would discover that people who do not believe in God are spiritually
complacent. This fact can be
exemplified by the following examples of quotations:
"I would be satisfied if I had a million
pounds"- without realizing that one will not even bring a penny away when
he departs from this world.
"I don't want to think too much about
life. Life just goes in cycles
anyway. I would be satisfied if I
could live up to 70 years old" - not recognizing the availability of
"I would be happy to leave this world as
long as my children are grown up" - not knowing that he and his children
"Everyone has to die one day. Why should I worry too much about
death" - not much different from other animals.
"My purpose of life is to travel around the
world" - not realizing that, without God, his destination will definitely
be in hell.
"As long as I do good in this world, I will
end up in peace" - not knowing that a good person like Cornelius, still
had to accept Jesus as his Savior, to receive the Holy Spirit and to be
baptized, in order to gain salvation.
These quotations demonstrate that people
who do not recognize God as the Creator of heaven and earth, seek satisfaction
through mundane, temporary achievements and happiness and, are spiritually
1.2. People without God seek to satisfy themselves with
Those who do not believe in God are seeking self-
satisfaction through the "light" of the sun and moon. This "light" refers to matters
which are, according to human perspective, honorable, enjoyable, delightful and
hopeful. They include fame, status,
power, wealth, education, enjoyment, pleasure, which,
in physical terms, could mean well-salaried jobs, big houses, big cars,
sumptuous meals, and even sinful pleasures. Without these, they feel terrified,
hopeless, disgraced and dismayed.
But believers are different.
For the city in which God's people dwell has no need of sun or moon to
shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the
Lamb. And night shall be no more; they
need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they
shall reign for ever and ever (Rev 21:23; 22:5).
Non-believers are, therefore, trying hard to satisfy with
what they can gain in this world. Though deep within their hearts they are never content. They have no desire for spiritual
excellence. Such spiritual
complacence would inevitably lead them to eternal condemnation. Jesus warns, "For what will it
profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life?" (Mt
16:26) Let us pray for those who are unable to see spiritually. May the Lord open their spiritual mind, bestow upon them the spiritual vision to see the
purpose of life, to recognize that life is short. "Vanity of vanities, says the
Preacher, vanity of vanities! All
is vanity. What does man gain by all the toll at which he toils under the sun?" (Eccles 1:2-3) Indeed, man is born empty-handed and
empty-handed he will go. Therefore,
let no one be spiritually complacent.
Every human being must believe in the Almighty God, see beyond this life
and through the Lord Jesus Christ to gain salvation in the future.
2. To the non-True Jesus Church members who, in general,
believe in God
2.1. Belief alone will not qualify one for salvation
Some people hold the view that as long as they believe in
God and do good deeds, they will be saved.
If this were true, Jesus would not have to be nailed upon the cross to
die for all sinners. Neither should
the angel need to instruct Cornelius to call for Peter to preach to him about
Jesus and to receive both the Holy Spirit and water baptism (Acts 10: 2, 4,
44-48). To just believe in God and
expect salvation is both complacent and ignorant. Cornelius was not complacent. Otherwise, he would not have accepted
Christ when Peter preached to him.
2.2. There is only one body of Christ
Some believe that it does not matter which denomination or
church they associate with, they will be saved. If this were the case, why should Eph
4:4-6 emphasize that there is one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one
faith, one baptism, one God and Father?
of God is of only one
fold, one family. The members of
this spiritual household are built upon the foundation of the apostles and
prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole
structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple (Eph 2:19-21). This one spiritual family is the holy
city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God (Rev 21:2). "Coming down out of heaven from
God" means that the church is heavenly, established by the Holy Spirit,
God Himself, not by any human being.
The wall of the city has twelve foundations, and on them the twelve
names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb (Rev 21:14). All these testify that the one family of
Christ must be built upon the faith according to the Lord, which was once for
all delivered to the saints about two thousand years ago (Jude 3).
2.3. One's faith is not built upon only a few Biblical
Many believers, denominations or churches base their faith
upon only a few verses in Bible as the only prerequisites for salvation. For
example, some base their faith upon only two verses: "If you confess with
your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from
the dead, you will be saved. For
man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips
and so is saved" (Rom 10:9-10).
They grasp hold of these two verses alone to imply that one does not
need to be baptized or to receive the Holy Spirit in order to be saved. If this were the case, why should Paul
emphasize the need for regeneration through baptism and the renewal of the Holy
Spirit? (Tit 3:5) Why it is clearly stated, "Anyone who does not have the
Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him?" (Rom 8:9) The Lord Jesus Himself
declared, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the
Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom
of God" (Jn
3:5). These two verses (i.e. Rom
10:9-10) are of course true but they are not the complete message of salvation,
only the beginning. We must also
know the background behind these verses.
They were directed towards the Roman believers who had already been
baptized and most probably received the Holy Spirit, in times of persecution
and, of course, directed to those believers today, who have been baptized with
water and the Holy Spirit.
2.4. Receiving the Holy Spirit is audible, visible,
countable and available now
Some believe that receiving the Holy Spirit is quiet,
within the heart. This is grievous
spiritual complacence and indeed ignorance, which will lead to spiritual
disasters. If receiving the Holy
Spirit is silent, how could we reconcile this with the Bible. "The day of the Pentecost had
come. And suddenly a sound came
from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind. And they were all filled with the Holy
Spirit and began to speak in tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance"
(Acts 2:1-4). "Having received
from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this which
you see and hear" (Acts 2:33).
"The Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in
tongues" (Acts 10:45-46). When
Paul came to Ephesus,
he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believe?"
"Paul laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they
spoke with tongues. There were
about twelve of them in all" (Acts 19:1-7). All these testimonies confirm that the
receipt of the Holy Spirit is not silent!
Some advocate that receiving Holy Spirit was an event only
in the time of the apostles. This
is "another gospel" and is due to a lack of knowledge about the
complete truth of salvation. There
is not a place in the Bible which says that the receipt of the Holy Spirit is
an out-of-date event. On the
contrary, it declares, "In the last days, God will pour out His Spirit
upon all flesh" (Acts 2:17).
This prophecy is now being fulfilled and can be witnessed by everyone in
the True Jesus Church who has received the Holy Spirit.
2.5. There is only one baptism for the remission of sins
Since water baptism is indispensable for Salvation, it is
vital to make sure that it is carried out exactly according to the Bible. Some say God wouldn't mind how one is
baptized; He is not that particular!
This is real perversion of the genuine truth. The devil in the very beginning of human
history had already begun to pervert the word of God. God said to Adam, "You may freely
eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and
evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you cat of it you shall die"
(Gen 2:16-17). But the serpent said
to the woman, "You will not die" (Gen 3:4). The devil is more subtle than ever,
especially in the end time, seeking every opportunity to lead us astray by
changing God's word. Throughout the
history of Christendom, the devil has advocated many different modes of baptism
which are not found in the Bible, and are therefore not effective for the
remission of sins. Let everyone
beware that "The devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he
knows that his time is short!" (Rev 12:12)
Apart from the "one" baptism in the Bible, other
biblical teachings must be performed for one to be saved. This one and true water baptism must
include the following points: (i) One must believe in the Lord Jesus (Acts
18:8), repent of one's sins (Acts 2:38) and resolve to lead a holy life (Rom
6:11-1 4), (ii) One must be fully immersed in water (Mt 3:16; Mk 1:9-10; Acts
8:38), (iii) One must be baptized with the head bowed, in the likeness of the
death of Jesus (Rom 6:5; Jn 19:30), (iv) One must be baptized in living water
(Mt 3:16; Jn 3:23), (v) One must be baptized in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38;
8:16; 10:48; 19:5), (vi) The baptist must have
received the Holy Spirit (Jn 20:21-23) and the true baptism. There are many other concepts, practices
and traditions which do not conform to Biblical teachings. All those who claim to be Christians
must return to the Bible, without any additions or subtraction. In the Bible we find the following ten
basic, indispensable beliefs, which are essential for salvation:
was the Word who became flesh and died on the cross for the redemption of
sinners, resurrected on the third day and ascended to Heaven. He is the only Savior of mankind, the
Ruler of the heavens and earth and the Only True God.
New and Old testaments of the Holy Bible are inspired by God, and are therefore
the only authentic scriptures to testify the truth, as well as the standard
guide for Christian living.
True Jesus Church, established by our Lord Jesus Christ through the Holy
Spirit, is the revived True Church of the apostolic times.
be baptized in full immersion, with the head bowed, in living water, is a
sacrament for the forgiveness of sin and regeneration. Baptism must be performed in the holy name
of the Lord Jesus by a baptist who has received the
baptism of water and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
receipt of the Holy Spirit is the guarantee for our inheritance of the kingdom
of God. Speaking in tongues is the
indispensable evidence of having received the Holy Spirit.
Washing is a sacrament to be performed once in the name of the Lord Jesus after
water baptism. It enables one to
have a part with the Lord and entails the teaching of love, holiness, humility,
forgiveness and service in the Lord.
Communion is a sacrament to commemorate the death of our Lord Jesus. Partaking of the Holy Communion is to
receive His body and His blood, to be in communion with Him, thus enabling one
to receive eternal life and be raised on the last day. Only one unleavened bread and grape juice
should be used.
Day, the seventh day of the week (Saturday), is the holy blessed day of God, to
be observed under grace, for the remembrance of His creation and salvation,
with the hope of eternal rest in the kingdom of God.
is given to us by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. However, we must rely on the Holy Spirit
to pursue holiness, to fulfill the teachings of the Bible, to fear God and to
second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ will take place on the last day when He
descends from heaven to judge the world.
The righteous will receive eternal life and the wicked will be
Dear friends, please do not be complacent for the sake of
your own salvation. Examine the
Bible yourselves and you will find that you still lack something vital in your
faith. Consequently, your salvation
is in doubt. May the Lord help you
to find the truth, return to the Bible and hold firm to the perfect gospel of salvation. You will discover something new in the True
Jesus Church, which, however, is almost two thousand years old, "once for
all delivered to the saints" (Jude:3). You must pray to God in humility to lead
you into the complete truth of salvation.
3. To the True
Jesus Church members
3.1. "Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Pet 3:18)
After we have accepted the perfect gospel of salvation, we
are on the way to grow spiritually.
Spiritual growth comes from spiritual bread. "The angel of the Lord came again a
second time, and touched Elijah and said, 'Arise and eat, else the journey will
be too great for you.' And he arose, and ate and drank, and went in the
strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb
the mount of God" (I Kings 19:7-8).
Likewise, we need to eat the words of God (Jer 15:16) in order to be
strengthened to walk on the journey of faith and to reach the Kingdom of God
Without being deeply rooted upon the word of God, built
upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, it would be difficult for us
to fight against the false teachings of the evil one. We might easily be led astray even after
accepting the complete truth of salvation.
But, with the true knowledge of Christ, we will certainly fight a good
fight. Therefore, we should not be
complacent in studying the Word of God further after we have been enlightened
to accept the indispensable truths of salvation.
3.2. Be filled with the Holy Spirit
Being filled with Holy Spirit is not limited to merely
speaking in tongues. God has
granted us His Spirit in order that we live according to His will, freed from
sins of the flesh. One who is truly
filled with the Holy Spirit attains high spiritual cultivation and
transformation. His thoughts, words
and deeds are to edify others and glorify God. He is aware that the devil also knows
his weaknesses so that he will not give ground or create any opportunities to
sin against God.
With the power of the Holy Spirit, he is always a helping
hand to those who are spiritually weak.
In times of adversity, others might fall but, he will definitely stand
firm. He will never falter or turn
to a different "gospel" (Gal 1:6), for he has truly been enlightened
by the power of the Holy Spirit. He
is, therefore, a good and faithful shepherd. Such a person is truly filled with the
Holy Spirit and his life is of victory, hope and reward in the kingdom of God.
3.3. Share with others while it is possible
The Lord Jesus has led and guided us to dwell in this part
of the world for a very important purpose.
That is to proclaim the perfect gospel of salvation to the inhabitants
of the land we live in. Let's pray
to the almighty God that we do not fail to accomplish this mission entrusted
upon all of us. We have to always
remind ourselves that we have high spiritual goals yet to be attained. Especially we who were born and/or
educated here must conscientiously take up the responsibility to proclaim the
complete truth of salvation. After
Paul was shone by a great light from heaven, he said, "What shall I do,
Lord?" The Lord revealed to him by saying, "Make haste and get
quickly out of Jerusalem...
Depart; for I will send you far away to the Gentiles." Likewise, we have
been sent by the Lord to bear testimony in this corner of the world. Let’s brighten the corner where we are.
By the grace of God and power of the Holy Spirit, seven
churches have been established in the UK. But, let us not be complacent for only a
few in this land have heard of and accepted the complete message of salvation. Everyone must be motivated and
constrained by the love of Christ in order to share with others the perfect
gospel of salvation. Only with this
love, derived from Jesus, issued from our hearts that we can begin to have the
urge to share with many more people the good tidings of salvation from God. Love is a prerequisite to share and
spiritual power is indispensable for preaching. Let us remember: "It is not true
that no one believes. It is true
that we have not preached enough."
May the Lord help us so that each individual would make a
resolution to preach to someone once a week and to lead one to be baptized into
the Lord once a year. O Lord, help us, so that we are
not complacent in saving souls.
This is true in people who do not believe in God; only having hope in
this world. This applies to people
who have not accepted the complete truth of salvation. All those who have been enlightened by
the true light and accepted the perfect gospel of salvation need to learn from
Paul: "Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect; but I
press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brethren, I do not consider that I have
made it my own; but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining
forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the
upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil 3:12-14).