The well-known American Chinese Pastor Hongjie Yu shared that there were opportunities for Chinese churches at the crisis of the end times to complete the Great Commission.
The megachurch pastor spoke at the 2022 Global Chinese Mission Conference (GCMC) which was held online from Jul. 25 to Jul. 31 with the main topic of Global Mission Opportunities for Chinese Churches in midst of the Worldly Crisis.”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, what was supposed to be an offline mission conference and an outreach in Southeast Asia, was adjusted to be an online conference. Organized by Faith Hope Love Mission Center who was solely responsible for all the conference costs, seminars on various topics were conducted during the conference. The speakers included Dr. Jason Lim Jit Fong, Dr. Patrick Fong Ho-Lau, Dr. David Doong, Pastor Hongjie Yu, Dr. Tsukung Chuang, Dr. Joshua Ting, and Rev. James Hudson Taylor IV.
On the fourth night of the conference, Pastor Hongjie Yu, senior pastor of the Silicon Valley Christian Assembly, spoke about the conference topic from three perspectives. First, the fundamental knowledge we should have about the present age. Next, how to perceive the end times from God’s eternal will. Lastly, how to face the increasingly severe challenges and crises in the end times.
When sharing his first point, the fundamental understanding of the present age, Pastor Yu used an illustration. “If you are in the midst of a mega shopping mall, you would depend on the mall’s map directory to locate where you want to go. The map helps you to quickly evaluate where you are so that you can find the right direction, make the right response, and achieve the right results.”
Pastor Yu spoke about two ways for us to have a better understanding of the present age. He elaborated on what Jesus and Paul said over 2000 years ago about the characteristics of the last days, then compared them with what was happening in the present time after 2000 years. He avoided discussing the interpretation of the signs of the end times for this meeting.
“As Jesus said, ‘As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away,’ we can see two characteristics of the time before Jesus returns, one is that people will be eating and drinking, and the other is that no one knows what will happen until the flood comes. What Jesus meant here is that we should not just live and enjoy the moment, nor should we be completely occupied with the matters of life and all sorts of planning until we can’t get out of it,” explained Pastor Yu.
“Paul mentioned in his last letter before he died as a martyr, ‘The time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.’ Ever since the start of the Internet era, information overload is common in people’s lives. But despite being surrounded by all kinds of information readily available, there is an indescribable sense of emptiness and dissatisfaction in God’s children,” added Pastor Yu.
He further pointed out, “There is lots of valuable information online and the Christian community is not against the proper usage of it. However, pastors and believers should watch out carefully and discern the hidden weeds on the Internet. As Jesus said, ‘watch out that no one deceives you, for many will come in my name claiming, ‘I am Christ’ and will deceive many.’”
“Another characteristic of the present age,” Pastor Yu continued, “is that because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. Nevertheless, Jesus reminded us that he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
“Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached to the whole world, it will be a testimony to all nations, and the Lord will return. Endless ways of new temptations have stirred up vigorously the already corrupted human nature. The advance in technology has increased not only the number of committed crimes but also brought new ways and tactics to stimulate sin,” stated Pastor Yu.
Pastor Yu further commented, “We no longer can assess the damage and anguish God’s people are suffering today from the temptations of web pornography. Many servants of God are bound by pornography and thus leaving a big gap, unable to serve God faithfully. Missionaries are in a similar situation, they can get lonely when they are out in the mission field and may easily be tempted into improper affairs. These are the things we should watch out for.”
“The third characteristic of the end times”, as Pastor Yu continued, “is the pressure, corruption, and bondage of hearts brought by secularism and rivalry in the world. If you are not busy, that means you are not valuable in your work and you are outdated. The competitive and comparative nature of the current society leads to greater bondage and corruption. People inevitably will face pressure, emotions, and temptations. What’s crucial is how to properly deal with them biblically and with the help of the Holy Spirit.”
“I take the pandemic as an important wake-up call to God’s children and the church, to see the existing problems which should not be ignored any further. God wants to renew our minds and soul and eventually revive us into new beings. Therefore, I wish for us to look at our problems in positive ways,” said he.
“As we look at the end times from God’s eternal will and perspective, the whole world will come to an end. God will make everything new, a new heaven and a new earth. It’s God’s will that Jesus Christ is the head of everything, He not only abolished the power of death but also won over the king of the world. It is rightful and God’s will to place all things under His feet and appointed Him to be the head of everything. No matter which age you are in, Christ has supremacy over all things,” proclaimed Pastor Yu.
“What does God want us to do in His will?”, asked Pastor Yu, “Let’s look at it from three angles—individual, church, and Kingdom. In order for our lives to transform and grow, we should cherish Christ living in us, accept Christ redeeming for us, and shine the beauty and glory of Christ in our lives. We simply need to accept Christ, cherish in faith the glorious life of Christ living in us.”
“Whether you are a missionary, a pastor, a Sunday school teacher, a leader of worship, a person responsible for food or hospitality team at church, we are all witnesses of the Word who became flesh. If I am sent for a cross-cultural mission, then I shall go. No matter where I am and what I do, I know the great commission is to live as Christ and to witness Christ so that people will not only hear the gospel through me but also see the gospel in me,” stated Pastor Yu.
One of his views is that time contains all the opportunities of life, therefore, one should grasp every single opportunity in his or her lifetime. Many experienced missionaries have the resources, tools, and strategies, as well as training materials and lesson books. Chinese Christians should use these resources wisely. Not only that, but Chinese Christians also need to exalt Christ with one heart and expand God’s kingdom. Aside from the difference in cultures, languages, and backgrounds, Chinese Christians need to be united and connected to fulfill God’s commission for Chinese Christians.
“The current time desperately calls for the gospel and one should seize this opportunity to spread the good news. People have emptiness and sorrow in them, they are hopeless and helpless, what they really need inside is Jesus. The cry-out to see Jesus is everywhere. What they want to hear is not doctrine or debate, they want to see Jesus. Churches must seize this opportunity to preach, wisely use the Internet resources which surpass time and space and not let this opportunity go in vain. We need to understand God’s plan and work of the Holy Spirit and take on the special opportunities and responsibilities Chinese Christians have in the field of Global Mission,” urged the pastor.
“Hold on to the core values and foundations of our faith.” Pastor Yu said, “First, all of our works are to glorify God. Second, persist in preaching the Christ-centered gospel that Christ is all and in all. Third, build a healthy church according to God’s will. If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come!”
“We often regret our failures or suffer from an unbearable past. I want to emphasize today that we are new creations in Christ, entirely new from the past. The local mission field, whether on campus, in the workforce, or in the neighborhood, should be strengthened and solidified through the consolidation of power and resources from all churches. I hope more people and groups can come together because there are opportunities everywhere and every day. Each and every one of us must utilize the resources given to us by God to serve Him and glorify Him,” exhorted Pastor Yu in closing.
- Translated by J. C.