A Taiwan-based Chinese mega-church pastor exhorted the will of God for Chinese churches to unite in bringing the gospel back to Jerusalem.
Rev. Shen-Chu Chow, senior pastor of Bread of Life Church in Taipei, spoke on the topic of “Church and the Will of God”, explicating the mission of the churches today, at the three day conference for the Bread of Life Churches in North America held from June 24-26 at the River of Life Christian Church in Santa Clara, California.
The will that God has for the Chinese churches is for us to unite as one and to spread the gospel back to Jerusalem, said the 69 year old Chinese preacher. He hopes that the Chinese around the world can stand together; therefore, we can link together the Arabic countries with Israel through our unity.
Chow emphasized that not only should Christians believe in Jesus to gain eternal life or only seeing individual salvation, but must also focus on the Lord’s will towards the churches today. Also, as the day of the second coming is near, the Lord will lead our church into his will. More importantly, the church is the place where we and our children believe in the Lord and grow in faith; therefore, we must be able to see God’s plan for the churches.
The Will for Churches to Unite with God
The term “Unity” pervaded throughout Chou’s message, during which he spoke about the important of building a church of unity. “The depth level is very deep, the width level is very wide, the purity level is very pure, the strength is very strong,” he said. In addition, he referred to the prayer of Jesus for his disciples before his crucifixion recorded in John 17, emphasizing the building of unity is the Lord’s will for the church – a glorious church cannot be separated from a church of unity, nor can a disunited church be a glorious church.
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“The enemies bring divisions to church, families, and walls in between church, but God has placed unity in between us ; this is God’s will, this is the charisma that God wants to bless us in our midst, allowing us to become one in Christ.”
When we leave behind all the superficialities, then we can enter into the deeper glory of God, said Chou. When God’s glory is in our midst, then we are united – with God, families unite, church unite, and churches unite with churches, cities unite with cities, which we can see God’s gift of unity is in our midst. Because unity is God’s will, it is a plan that God has for the church, and when the time is fulfilled, He will allow all things above and below to become one body in Christ.
Having served for almost 45 years by next year, Chow expressed his gratitude towards God, especially when looking at the church revivals that God has brought in the last ten years. “As I reminisce about the last ten years, my heart is filled with gratitude. In the last ten years, God has led us to develop in the direction of unity, taking tiny steps forward, but it didn’t go very smoothly. The enemy will not allow us to walk towards unity smoothly, because unity will bring about a very big authority, an enormous power. When our church unites completely together, then the world will know that Jesus is send by God.”
An 80-year-old member of the church once said to Chow, “Unity is an impossible path. I have seen it for several decades; it is impossible to unite”; also, another missionary who has served in China for over 40 years said, “All the movements for unity in history have all failed.”
Looking past the impossibilities, Chow said, “However, we cannot despair and must walk forward, because unity is not our opportunity, but it is the plan and will of God. We believe that God will continue to lead us forward. He will allow our families to unite, church to unite, and us to unite with other churches; although we will experience sufferings and problems while walking on this path towards unity and may even wonder if there is any meaning to keep going, God will continue to lead us forward until the end.”
A video clip of scenes of conferenced held in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and China was broadcasted during the message, showing the thousands of Chinese Christians embracing one another in tears.
Chow said, “Unity is no longer a theory, no longer a fantasy. When 500 brothers and sisters from Taiwan embraced the 2,000 brothers and sisters from China, every one of them embraced each other in tears. Although we do not know each other, we have become one in Christ. Although we are separated by the two shores, but we love and embrace each other in Christ.”
The Hong Kong staffs knelt and prayed in repentance for being against the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997.
In addition, Chow said that someone at that time saw a vision of the Taiwan Straits and Hong Kong’s Kowloon Mountain disappeared; this is not about politics nor environment, but it is about becoming one in the body of Christ – in Christ, all the mountains and seas have disappeared, because Jesus has abolished all the hatred on the cross, tearing down the dividing walls.
“I hope that the Chinese around the world can be together, because our unity will connect the Arabic countries and Israel. Together, we will bring the gospel back to Jerusalem – this is the will that God has for the church and the will that God has for the Chinese churches.”
About the will of church planting and missions, Chow said that we must proclaim the gospel to all the 40 Arabic countries and the chosen people Israelites. This is the will that god has for the Chinese churches.
[Editor's note: reporter Luke Leung translated the article.]