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Please engrave what you’ve realized upon your heart to share fragrances of Zion.

The Easy Path and the Right Path

There is always an easy path and a right path in everyone’s life. During the Japanese colonial rule over Korea, some people chose to live an easy, comfortable life, but some chose the right path and devoted their whole life to the struggle for their country’s independence. According to their choices, they lived completely different lives and ended up with totally different outcomes; the former were branded as traitors, and the latter were hailed as the Korean independence activists, with their names honored for future generations.

There is an easy path and a right path in our life of faith as well. Until now, we have chosen the right path in life which God has set out for us. Although many people think it is right to keep Sunday and that they have the correct faith, we believe God’s word and keep the Sabbath—the right path. On December 25 every year, the whole world is caught up in a festive mood, but we have been cherishing the Passover of the new covenant which God established through His blood, telling people they are wrong and teaching them the right path.

Everyone can choose the easy path, but the right path is not something that anyone can choose. We need to think about which path we have walked and must continue to walk, so we can always choose the right path and live an upright life according to the will of Heavenly Father and Mother.

To enter the kingdom of God


Sometimes in our lives, we stand at the crossroads between the easy path and the right path. Choosing the right path requires trouble and suffering. As we see other people choose the easy path in life, we are apt to mistakenly think, ‘Why shouldn’t I live such an easy life like them?’

Satan always tempts us to take the easy path. God, however, always guides us to the right path, because the kingdom of heaven awaits us at the end of that path.

Ac 14:21–22 They preached the good news in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.

God’s people, who truly believe in God, suffer hardship. This world is under the control of Satan the devil, who tries to prevent God’s people from entering heaven. When we shine the light, the forces of darkness hate the light and reject it for fear that their evil deeds will be exposed (Jn 3:19–21). So, we must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.

Avoiding the hard path and taking the easy path is the very thing Satan wants. What awaits us at the end of that path is judgment and destruction. We may feel somewhat tired and distressed while walking the right path. However, the eternal kingdom of heaven awaits us at the end of that path. So, we must patiently walk the right path till the end.

Many people do not follow the right path. That’s because it is impossible to walk the path without firm determination to enter the kingdom of heaven without fail. Only a small number of people can follow this path. So, the Bible describes it as the narrow path as well as the narrow gate (Mt 7:13–14).

Jesus chose the right path


There are always temptations at the crossroads between the easy path and the right path. Jesus set us an example of choosing the right path at the crossroads between the easy path and the right path.

Mt 4:1–4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”

When Jesus was extremely hungry and distressed, Satan tempted Jesus at His weakest point, saying, “Tell these stones to become bread.” The reason Satan attempted to have Jesus turn stones into bread was because he knew well that Jesus could feed five thousand people with five barley loaves and two fish by prayer alone.

Jesus chose the right path without any hesitation at the crossroads between the easy path and the right path. What about Esau? When he was hungry, he only thought of satisfying his hunger first. He just wanted to eat and chose food, not caring about his birthright. However, although Jesus was in a desperately critical condition after fasting for forty days, He defeated the temptation by saying, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” This teaches us that we must live on God’s word even if we are in extreme hunger and distress.

Mt 4:5–10 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ”

Satan tempted Jesus to throw Himself down off the pinnacle of the temple, saying that if He was God, He would not be hurt. At Satan’s temptation to go for the easy life, Jesus said, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” By this He taught us that God is the object of our faith and we must not test God. What if Jesus had chosen to avoid crucifixion by destroying all His enemies—the soldiers, the chief priests, the Pharisees, and the teachers of the law? If He had taken the easy way out like that, we would not have been saved, would we? Even God, who can do anything, chose the path of sacrifice—the right path—to save His children.

Lastly, Satan suggested that if Jesus would bow down and worship him, he would give Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. Then Jesus defeated his temptation with a teaching from the Bible, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.” Jesus’ response to each of the devil’s temptations was that He would never forsake the right path to take the easy path, no matter how hard it was. This is a practical lesson for us that Jesus taught while He was on this earth in the flesh.

Jesus chose to live the life of an evangelist


Satan always suggests an easy path. He tempts us by whispering in our ears, “If you do this, your life will be much easier than it is now,” “Once you do this, you can raise your status.” However, Christ taught us to always proceed towards the right path with faith even in the midst of suffering and adversity, from the beginning of His ministry.

If we prefer the easy path, we cannot help but fall into Satan’s temptations. However, if we choose the right path, we can defeat any hindrances from Satan. Let’s think about how to live an upright life, and examine the life of Christ who chose the right path, so that we can follow His example completely.

Mt 4:17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

The first thing Jesus did after overcoming the temptations of Satan was to let people in the world know the way to the kingdom of heaven—to preach the gospel. By walking the path of the gospel ahead of us, He showed us that preaching is the right thing we should do above all else.

Christ’s last request was to preach the gospel throughout the world.

Mt 28:1–20 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Jesus devoted Himself to preaching the gospel, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near,” during His three-year public ministry, and after His resurrection He asked His disciples to do the right thing. Then He went up to heaven.

Preaching the gospel is not an easy thing to do. This task requires many hardships. It is very difficult to lead people, whose hearts are only filled with worldly desires, to repentance so that they will turn to God. That’s why the Apostle Paul likened the labor of preaching to the pains of childbirth (1 Co 4:15; Gal 4:19). However, this is the reason we exist here on earth and the way to live upright on this earth. So, God taught us to care for people all around us, not just thinking of ourselves. Saving them all and returning to heaven, our eternal home, together—this is a command of our Holy Heavenly Father and Mother.

Through the Bible God has clearly shown us a guidepost for our life, so that we can follow the life of Christ. If we follow the path that Father and Mother have walked, with a determined faith to walk the right path instead of the easy path, we will be able to save many souls.

The easy path and the right path Jonah chose


We should always choose the right path, no matter what sort of difficulties we face when we preach the gospel. What the prophet Jonah did shows us the results of choosing the easy path and the right path respectively.

Jnh 1:1–3 The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD.

God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach His message to the people there. Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, Israel’s enemy, which afflicted Israel. The people of Nineveh did not believe in God, and worshiped idols. So, Jonah refused to go there and tried to flee to Tarshish, forsaking God’s command. To escape the difficult situation, he chose the easy path instead of following the right path—the path of obedience to God’s command. Although Jonah attempted to run away by boarding a ship, he could not escape from God.

Jnh 1:4–7 Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up . . . Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah.

Then Jonah was thrown into the sea and swallowed by a great fish that God had provided. While he was inside the fish, he offered up a prayer of repentance to God and renewed his determination to live according to God’s will although it might be difficult. As he turned his life in the right direction, God caused the fish to vomit Jonah onto dry land and commanded him again to go to Nineveh.

Jnh 3:1–10 Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh . . . On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.” The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast . . . Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.” When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.

When God told Jonah again to go to Nineveh after he repented, he chose the right path without hesitation. As he went there and preached God’s word to the Ninevites, something unimaginable happened. All the people of Nineveh, including the king, believed in God and repented of their sins by fasting. As a result, over 120,000 were saved from impending disaster (Jnh 4:10–11).

The Bible says that everything that was written in the past was written to teach us (Ro 15:4). What does the book of Jonah teach us? At first Jonah chose the easy path and was punished by God. Then he repented inside the fish, and preached God’s word with boldness. This created something amazing; 120,000 people immediately repented. In the New Testament we see that Peter led 3,000 to 5,000 people to repentance in one day, but in the Old Testament we can hardly find a record showing that such a large-scale repentance was done by the Gentiles who had been unaware of God. All this was the result of choosing the right path with a strong determination: ‘If I perish, I perish.’

The choice of those whom God approves, and their result


Most people want to take the easy path. We, however, should choose the right path instead of the easy path. If we take the right path according to the will of Father and Mother, no matter what difficulties we go through, Satan’s power will be broken.

Heavenly Father and Mother have taught us, Their children, to live an upright life even in difficulties, instead of taking the easy path in life, and have set the example for us to follow. Since we have followed the example of Father and Mother, the Church of God has grown remarkably.

Now our brothers and sisters all around the world are preaching the gospel together with a firm determination to save all seven billion people. The reason we preach the gospel is because it is the right thing to do. If we just leave them alone, they will all go to hell. So, we worry about their souls, thinking, ‘What should I do to lead them to repentance so they can go to heaven?’ With this earnestness in our hearts, we preach the gospel, don’t we? What if we just want to live an easy life? When Jonah took the easy path, he did not think of others, but just cared for his own safety. However, when he chose the right path, he was even ready to die while preaching God’s word. Then God helped Jonah lead all the people of Nineveh to repentance. If we choose the right path like that, God will surely give us the power and grace that He bestowed on Jonah, so that all mankind can be saved.

1 Th 2:3–4 . . . On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.

Preaching is the right thing that can only be done by those whom God approves of. The Bible says that those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars in heaven for ever and ever. It is because God knows it is never easy to bear fruit while carrying our own crosses and sharing in Christ’s sufferings.

In the parable of the talents, the man who had received five talents went off right away and worked hard, and he gained five more. However, the man who had received one talent did not do anything but just buried his talent in the ground (Mt 25:14–30). If we bury our talents and just keep silent, we cannot change the people around us. On the contrary, if we overcome difficulties and preach the gospel fervently, we will produce abundant fruit with our talents.

I hope all of you brothers and sisters in Zion will continue to walk the right path with obedience to God’s word, no matter what hardships you face. There are many difficulties awaiting us on the right path, but the fruit we bear on that path is so precious. Let us reflect on ourselves and see what kind of life we are living now: ‘Am I living an easy life like the man with one talent? Or am I walking the right path to gain ten more talents?’ I would like to ask you all to follow the right path, which Father and Mother have walked ahead of us, and to lead all people in the world to heaven, so that you can always be filled with the blessings of the Holy Spirit and enter the kingdom of heaven without fail.