Truth is My Sword, Volume II
by Bo Hi Pak
Chapter 35 Lonely Man
New York, New York
May 20, 1979
Dr. Pak opens this sermon in the World Mission Center ballroom by explaining that the previous Sunday's service was not held because of an historical event that had taken place there: the matching of 705 couples on May 13, 1979, by Reverend Moon. He goes on to describe the aching, parental heart of God. He calls on the membership to be willing to receive persecution on God's behalf in an effort to comfort His lonely heart.
Once again, it is so wonderful to see all of you this morning. May God be with you today and every day. I'm sorry that some of our brothers and sisters were disappointed that there was no service last Sunday. Some of our home members, our friends, and associates came to worship with us. But last Sunday, this ballroom was filled with men and women who became engaged in the name of God. Because of that extraordinary event, we could not have our usual Sunday service.
What occurred here last Sunday was a truly historical event. We know that great events in history often happen quietly, without fanfare. The birth of Jesus was one, and the arrival of the Pilgrim fathers upon the shores of America was another. Now, on Mother's Day weekend in 1979, one of the greatest chapters. of American history was written in this room. It's not just that 705 couples were matched and engaged, although you have never before seen such an event here in America. More important was the commitment these 1,410 men and women made in front of God, pledging their lives together for the sake of God. That is historical.
There were many Oriental and black and white brothers and sisters, many Europeans, Japanese, Koreans, Indians, and so forth. Of course, many if not most of them are not citizens of the United States. But their engagement, their eternal commitment in front of God, is as important as the arrival of the Pilgrim fathers 350 years ago. These couples are the new Pilgrim fathers of America. It doesn't matter if they are Korean or Japanese or black or white. They are the new Americans, and they will establish a new God-centered America.
One black brother was matched to a white sister. When they appeared at the press conference Monday afternoon, the brother said, "Many of you may be thinking that the two of us have no common ground. I myself come from the Deep South of Mississippi; my fiancée comes from a sophisticated Jewish community in Yonkers, New York. But we have a common ground: the common ground of God."
I proudly announce to you that Unification Church marriages will indeed bring a new chapter of American history, because we have found the eternal common ground upon which man and woman can be united, the common ground of God. We are marrying for the sake of bettering our world, which it desperately needs now. Today, most marriages are formed on the common ground of social fame, knowledge, money, power, physical attraction, and all kinds of external things. When those external things fade away, the bonds of those marriages are weakened and break. It is no secret that here in America today families are in trouble. According to one report, almost 90 percent of the California married couples are breaking up. Nationwide, over 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. In the midst of such an atmosphere, we gather together here and pledge eternal, unchanging love. The base of these marriages can never erode, for they stand on the ground of God. These good men and women have pledged their lives to bring joy and glory to God. That's the purpose of marriage. When you truly bring joy and glory to God, naturally you can be a happy couple.
Unhappy 'Me' Generation
Think of it: if your physical parents whom you love are desperately sick in the hospital, you as their child cannot be happy. There is no way. In the same way, our Heavenly Father is suffering, and we are trying to be happy. Nowadays we have the "Me" generation who think: I don't care about others, I just want to be happy. I tell you, that will not work. That is not the way of the Principle, that is not the way that God created this world. Therefore, no matter how hard the Me generation tries, you won't find happiness. True happiness can come only after we take care of our common parent. We must care about God and bring joy and glory to Him first. He comes first. Me comes second. If this God-centered way of life replaces the me-centered way, America will be happy. America will filled with happy couples.
Actually that is the task of the Unification movement. We are trying to remedy the core problems of the universe. We are trying to remedy the problem of our common parent, God, first. God comes first. Let God be happy, let Him receive joy, let Him receive our comfort. Then we don't even have to try to make ourselves happy. It comes automatically. That is the universal principle. The Unification Church is here to perfect that way of life.
This morning the subject of my sermon is "Lonely Man." The day of the matching, you saw me working with Reverend Moon. I try to help as much as possible to make his chore easier. One brother had a scar on his face, not an old scar, but very fresh, not even healed yet. I was a little worried, and I asked him what had happened. But there was so much going on right then that he could not explain. The next day, I met him at the elevator and he explained that he had been out witnessing late one night and he was attacked and beaten by three men. He was glad that he escaped with his life.
How many of you come back to the center bleeding or with a heavy heart, discouraged. I know what you face out there: hostility, misunderstanding, violence. That has been the Unification Church member's daily life. The day does not go by without some form of persecution from the world. One of our performing arts members one day came in with blood all over him. Some months ago, our sister Christiane Coste was murdered while she was doing her duty as a daughter of God. This is what we face today.
But this morning my purpose is to comfort you. Throughout the history of God, all those who truly forgot themselves and gave their lives to God for the greater purpose, how lonely they were. Persecuted, even martyred. Do you realize how hard it is find a person like yourself who can say: yes, I've found the truth, I want to dedicate my life to God and Christ; I come second, God and Christ come first. It is very rare to find men and women like that in the world. Even among the 10 million people in New York, it is very hard to find men and women like you. This is why everyone who gathers together in this room is so precious to God and Christ.
In the Bible, we read in Genesis 18-19 that God destroyed the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of immorality. Fornication, adultery, and homosexuality were rampant in these cities. You know that God hates sin, period. However, the sin God abhors most is sexual immorality. That is no secret in the Unification Church. God rained fire and brimstone down on Sodom and Gomorrah and they were consumed in one second. God could not withhold his wrath
Abraham was a righteous man and found favor in the sight of God. He petitioned God to save those two cities. He asked God, would you destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if you can find 50 righteous men in it? Don't you think it is unfair to destroy the city together with the 50 righteous men? And the good Lord agreed not to destroy the cities if there were 50 righteous men. Then we found how good a bargainer Abraham was and very persistent, too. God, what about 45? Would you destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if you can find 45 righteous men? God said, well, it's not like 50, but I will live with it. But that was not the end of it. Abraham kept coming back to God, asking for Him to spare the city if He finds only 40 men, 30, 20. He said to God, forgive me-he was very humble man-I am just a man of dust and ashes. I know you will be angry with me, but how about 10 men? God was really ready to get mad: you rascal! But Abraham was not asking anything for himself, only for mercy for others. So God agreed. God's heart was moved by the selfless devotion and mercy of this good man. Abraham, God said, if you find 10 righteous men, I will not judge Sodom and Gomorrah.
But history is our witness: God could not find 10. Not even 10. And judgment became reality. The only ones saved out of those cities were saved simply because they were relatives of Abraham. As you know, that was Lot and his family. God was willing to save the two men engaged to Lot's daughters, but they didn't heed his warning. They were busy enjoying life and scornfully rejected Lot's warning of judgment. Just as in the time of Noah, they drank, they married and were given in marriage, they fulfilled their carnal desires. Sometime I wonder if we were in the position of Abraham, would we petition God to save New York City? How many righteous men would we find there? I know there are undoubtedly some, but I do know that figure is unbelievably low.
Elijah was one of the greatest of all Israel's prophets. He lived approximately 900 years before Jesus. Elijah fought for God, trying to turn the wicked and ungodly nation of Israel back to God. Three times he said to God, Lord, I am the only one left. They have killed all the other prophets. He became so discouraged and said, it is enough, I am no better than my fathers. He felt discouraged even after having a great showdown with 450 of the prophets of Baal. This was a million a times greater than the showdown at the Fraser committee.
At Mount Carmel, there 450 false prophets and God had only one champion, Elijah. Elijah challenged them. He told them to prepare a bull for sacrifice but not to put fire to it. And those false prophets prayed and marched all day, and even tore their skin and bled. But their false god could not answer, and the bull was not burned up. Then Elijah prepared an altar for God and laid the bull on it with wood. But Elijah was not satisfied to ask God for an ordinary miracle of providing fire or lightning to burn up the bull. No. He soaked the bull and the wood and the altar with water, not once but three times. Then he called on the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and asked Him to consume the offering. "Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt offering, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench." [1 Kings 18:38]
That was a showdown! The 450 false prophets had prayed and prayed and prayed, and nothing happened. But when Elijah called on the name of the true God, the fire consumed the offering. Elijah won. Israel saw the real God. The people even helped Elijah kill all the false prophets. But after that great victory, many times Elijah prayed, oh, God this is enough. Oh, Lord, take away my life. I no longer desire to live. I'm no better than my forefathers. Elijah, like Abraham, was a lonely man. I tell you, those who follow God's way have to follow the lonely path.
Jesus Is the Most Lonely Man
Jesus is another good example. The most lonely man is Jesus. In Matthew 8:20 Jesus said, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head." The son of God, Jesus Christ, was envious of the birds in the air; he was envious of the foxes. The birds have nests and the foxes have holes, but this lonely son of man has nowhere to lay his head. You can imagine the loneliness of Jesus.
Today, Reverend Moon is a modern-day prophet. I tell you, he is a lonely man. How lonely is he? If you truly know his loneliness, you cannot stand still, you cannot sit still; you will break down in tears and cry out. This morning when I think of Reverend Moon's path, as much as I know it, it truly makes tears stream down. He is a lonely man, in the tradition of Abraham, in the tradition of Elijah, in the tradition of Jesus Christ. Since he is pursuing the same call, he is absolutely lonely. After he came to America in 1971, Reverend Moon has made history, but how many Americans truly understand him? How many?
Yesterday I met with someone very important in the field of public relations. He said to me it is incredible how maligned the Unification Church is without any reason. The media has created an incredible wall of separation between us and the public. Each day it is more and more difficult for the public to understand. But, this man said, Reverend Moon has brought hope. I deeply thanked that man, saying that he is one of our dear friends because he said that if the Unification Church fails, America will see no hope. The success of the Unification Church will be the success of America. He equated our mission to the destiny of America. I look at him as a prophet. I bowed almost to the ground and thanked him, saying, mighty friend, at least I found one righteous man who knows what Reverend Moon stands for. In that tradition we are standing on the side of God. Therefore, we are lonely people. We are beaten, we are poisoned, we are hit, we have scars all over. Even some of us will become martyrs. This is the tradition of God's people.
Why do you suffer? Why do you get this scornful treatment? You are decent men and women, well educated, good looking. There is no reason you should be persecuted. You are not persecuted because of your own name. It is because of God's name we are persecuted. We are like the armor of God. What a glory, what a joy! We can be used as the armor of God.
But this is not the deepest point I would like to make today. I would like to go a step further. I have not yet described the most lonely person in the world. That is God. God Himself. God has been scorned. Our Father in heaven has been lonely. He created all this wonderful world, heaven and earth, all things that surround us in nature. Then He created man and woman as His children, and Satan took those children away. And all of creation was also stolen by Satan.
God is not a helpless God. God is almighty. But there is a reason God cannot strike evil off the face of the earth. God loves His children. God loves us. He wants to restore His children. But He has to wait until the day we turn around and come back of our own will. We must demonstrate that we are superior to Satan. We united with Satan and now we must separate from Satan and come back to God on our own. God has been waiting for that day, hour after hour, year after year, for thousands of years. In the meantime His heart has been broken and broken, over and over. We may think we are misunderstood, you may think Reverend Moon is the most misunderstood, but no, there is one more. God is the most misunderstood.
How many people in our world today are saying that there is no such thing as God? Think of it: you are daddy and mommy but your children are mentally ill and they are saying, I have no daddy, I have no mommy. Suppose your children are saying such things and you have to listen to every word. How tragic and incredibly sad for that daddy and mommy! For 6,000 biblical years, God has been listening to that conversation every day, every moment. There is even an ideology like communism saying not only that there is no God but that we will become gods, the state is god, matter is ultimate -- and God is listening to all this. Even among the Christian community there are many theologians saying that God is dead. Think of it, God is not just lonely but He is pierced over and over again by His own children. And finally one man will stop that pain. The final champion is Reverend Moon. Reverend Moon came to change all that. After I met Reverend Moon a new aspect of God came to my heart. Reverend Moon is a champion like God never had before. Most people say to God, I am lonely, God, help me. Even Elijah said, God, take my life; this is too difficult, I don't want to be here anymore. What did Reverend Moon say? God, don't worry about me. I will win. I will comfort your heart. I will liberate you from your sorrow.
The one man prior to Reverend Moon who said something closest to this was Jesus Christ. Jesus was a lonely man. When he was crucified, he did not say, God, your son is dying, can't you send down your legion of angels and take revenge on these evil people? Jesus shouted out, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" which means "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" But Reverend Moon told me that Jesus spoke one more sentence that is missing from the Bible. Jesus actually said, "God, even if you have forsaken me, even if you abandon me, don't worry about me; I shall live, I shall fight on in your cause."
What a great man, how noble he was. Even at the moment of his death, Jesus forgave the Roman soldiers. "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." That was the messiah. It was not being crucified that made Jesus the messiah. Many others were crucified, including the two thieves. At that time, crucifixion was a common method of executing criminals. What distinguishes the messiah? The messiah saying, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" But also saying, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." And Jesus saying, I will not complain.
I learned this from Reverend Moon. And Reverend Moon himself lived that way. When he was in a communist prison camp, Reverend Moon suffered under the worst circumstances. It was not a prison; it was a death camp. Most prisoners didn't live longer than six months. Reverend Moon survived two years and eight months.
During this incredible suffering, no one saw Reverend Moon sleeping. When the prisoners finished their long day of backbreaking labor, they would collapse on the floor until the prison guards whipped them awake in the morning. But Reverend Moon was always already awake, praying. When they asked him what he prayed about-did you pray for angels to come down and release you from this prison-he answered: I was busy comforting God. God already knew my suffering. I don't have to tell him. I don't want to make God suffer more by praying for help. I told God, don't worry about me. Your son is all right. Your son is going to win this battle. Finally, the United Nations forces were bombarding the area. That prison was undergoing saturation bombing. The prisoners began to follow Reverend Moon wherever he took shelter. They followed him like chicks following a mother hen. Reverend Moon hadn't said even one word about Divine Principle in prison, but somehow everybody felt drawn to this one man. They followed him to survive. The bombs fell all around, but not on Reverend Moon.
Persecution Is an Honor
My dear brothers and sisters, today I want to conclude by saying, let us be honored to be persecuted in his name. There is no reason for us to be persecuted, except for following him. In the past, in Christian history, many people have suffered. Let us go one step further. Follow Reverend Moon's example and say, God, don't worry about me. I want to comfort you. You are suffering more than anybody else. God, I want to liberate you from this sadness, from this heartbrokenness. And I want to give you joy and glory first before I take mine.
If you think and pray and live like that, you will become an invincible champion of God. It doesn't matter if you are well educated or young or old, or men and women; that doesn't matter. You will be unprecedented champions of God. God has been waiting for such children for 6,000 years. Can you find any cause greater than this? There have been many, many causes in America. Civil rights, helping the poor. We are all doing good. But ultimately, there is no greater cause than this one. You are giving yourself as a volunteer to heal the broken heart of God. As long as God is eternal, this cause will not diminish even one iota. This is your pleasure and joy and honor. With the guidance of Reverend Moon we shall win. Let us pray.
Prayer by Bo Hi Pak:
Our most loving Heavenly Father, thank You very much for this wonderful morning, wonderful inspiration, wonderful fellowship with You. Father, we know You more than ever. We understand Your heart, and I know that Your heart has been lonely, has been broken. Father, we do volunteer to be champions. To truly unite with You. Truly give You comfort. Truly give You joy and glory. Father, You come first, You come first. Thank You, Father, for making us aware of who comes first. Thank You, Father, for giving us this spirit today and every day. Please give us Your power to continue so that we can go on spreading the most wonderful good news, so that people in New York, all of America, all of the world can hear it. Thank You very much for this blessing. All of these things we pray in the name of the Lord. Amen.
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