Chapter 4, Part 2 (continued)
The Church Follows the Steps of the
"Congregation" of the Old Testament
C. The Psychological Condition of "But Realize This" (continued)
(3) The Salvation of the Mind
As mentioned above, the mind is futile because its function is abnormal. This leads to human ignorance. hardness of heart, and an end with the life granted by God. Finally, the conscience is imprisoned and lust is able to practice all kinds of impurity with greed. The only question asked is whether I want it or not, and not whether I should or not. This is exactly what we often hear and see in the society and in the church today (see Eph. 4:18,19).
All religions feel that man's heart (mind) needs to be cured. They have also experienced that this sickness is tough to treat because no one has found the appropriate medication! Therefore, they have to resort to treating only the symptoms! Treating the symptoms can never cure the illness! This is why the Son of God must come to save the people of the world. He is the only One who has the correct medication to cure the sickness of mind. People forsake God because the function of the mind is damaged; the only method of salvation is to restore its function! Therefore, the Scriptures tell us: "And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him who is true." (1 John 5:20) When Jesus Christ was born, He not only solved the problem of sin but more importantly, He can make us know the only true God and know Him whom God has sent (John 17:3). How do we have this kind of understanding? It is because the Son of God gave us wisdom. What is this wisdom? This wisdom is the function of the mind--the "understanding" which Ephesians 4:18 speaks of: "being darkened in their understanding". Isn't that amazing? What man needs or desires but cannot obtain is this function! All religions know that man's heart is degenerate, but they do not know why. Only Christ understands this problem. He knows that the degeneration is due to a failure in the function of the mind. As long as people is willing to allow Him to enter into their heart, or in other words to ''receive Him", He can in one fell swoop restore the function of the mind. This is what the Scriptures say: ''To open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God." (see Acts 26:18) This restored function not only enables man to know God but also enables man to be willing to joyfully obey God's laws. This is because the gracious Lord Himself told us in the New Testament, "I will put My laws into their minds..." (Heb. 8:10) No wonder there are many people today whose lives are changed 180 degrees once they believe in the Lord! The change in their knowledge of God and discernment of what is right and wrong after they come to know the Lord is so different that one would think that it is two different persons. This is the effectiveness of the restored function. Praise the Lord!
At the end of 1977, the author was speaking at a winter conference of Chinese students in the southern United States. There were not enough counselors and the speakers were drafted. There were several students from the Far East that were sent to my cabin for counseling. One was a graduate student in chemistry from Hong Kong. He entered my cabin and immediately asked, "Did you say that if any person is willing to invite Jesus into his heart, Jesus can change his mind?" I replied: ''Yes. I certainly did say that!" He shook his head and said, "It is impossible. It is too mysterious and profound! Unbelievable!" I said, "The Gospel is profound and wonderful, if not, it would have been dead long ago!" There was silence for about ten seconds and again he asked, "You did say that if I am willing to accept Jesus, Jesus can change my heart and thoughts?" I replied, ''Yes. I did say that and I can guarantee it!" He was quiet for a few seconds and once again asked me the same question and I answered him in the same manner but then I added a challenge: "Would you dare take a chance?" He thought about it and with courage replied, ''Yes, I will take a chance." I said, "Excellent, then pray after me. Repeat after me sentence by sentence." So, I led him in prayer to repent of his sins and invite Jesus into his heart. Afterwards, I felt that it would be better if he would personally invite Jesus into his heart. So I said, "The way we invited Jesus was not very courteous, would you invite Him into your heart personally?" He said, "Do you want me to pray directly?" I said.''Yes!" He said, "I don't know how." I replied, "Oh, just close your eyes and open your mouth to pray and see if the Holy Spirit would lead you to pray or not." He thought about it and said, "Okay, I will pray." His prayer was like that of a believer of many years. It was most excellent! He was not bashful and admitted his sins before me. Finally, he invited Jesus into his heart. Afterwards, I asked him, "Where is Jesus now?" Most people would have answered, "I know Jesus is in my heart." But he didn't say that but instead raised his head and said, "This is really wonderful for even the color of the lights in the room have changed!" The color of the lights had not changed, his mind had!