Wanting To Live In The Kingdom Of Heaven
Reverend Sun Myung Moon
December 20, 1981
Translator – Bo Hi Pak
If someone asked you where is the Kingdom of Heaven, what would you say? There is a simple way to describe the Kingdom of Heaven. It is a nice place, a happy place where a person can have everything he wants. It is the place where the ideal dwells.
Who needs the Kingdom of Heaven? First of all, God does, then all beings in spirit world, including the angels. Most religions have taught that only after death can people experience Heaven; they have had no hope for the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.
If you want to solve a math problem, you need the correct formula and then you can experience the joy of finding the solution. This is true in daily life as well. You have many problems and struggles which must be solved. After a great deal of hard work, once you find the solutions you feel joyful.
Everything in life requires a process. The process of education begins with kindergarten, then elementary school, then middle school, high school, university and finally out into the world which is the goal of the learning process. Can you ever say along the way that your time in elementary school was worthless? Of course not. You needed elementary school to learn how to read and write, the most basic understanding which you still use even at the top of the learning process. Many times people forget the importance of each step in the process of education but it is a cumulative effort by which one goes step by step to the pinnacle.
The same thing is true about the Kingdom of Heaven, which is the highest goal of human life. Can you reach that point by just jumping into it? No, the Kingdom of Heaven must be reached by a certain process. There must be a kindergarten for the Kingdom of Heaven, an elementary school, high school and all the steps up to the Ph.D. level. After going through the Ph.D. training you can truly enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Many people think, “I want to live for myself on earth but when I die I want to go to Heaven.” They think they are very clever and try to devise the best way to live a secular, self-centered life on earth and then get to Heaven, too.
When you drive down a bumpy dirt road, your seat becomes very sore from all the bumps. If you suddenly come to a smoother graveled road it feels like heaven in comparison. The next level of improvement would be a paved road, then a two-lane highway and finally a divided super highway, which is truly heaven. However, the aspiration of people has no end. If you had been driving an old jeep on that super highway and you were given a sleek new Cadillac, you would really feel you had raised your level. There are many levels to everything. Even though you may be able to drive 80 mph in that Cadillac, your aspiration never ends and you might feel like you want to go 200 miles per hour.
To elevate yourself from one level to another, you must follow a certain formula or process. You can’t omit your middle school education and go on to high school. Even if a boy is very mature, handsome and intelligent, he can’t be admitted to high school without completing the proper levels leading up to high school. Or suppose a young woman has a huge diamond ring. Does that qualify her to skip middle school and jump to high school, even if her diamond ring is worth more than the high school building? Of course not. There is no way to avoid the particular process of getting an education.
In this sense there are no people more greedy than some religious people. who say, “I want to get to Heaven; I have faith and I want to jump right in, so let me in!” In a way, that’s like trying to swindle one’s way into Heaven. It’s trying to obtain the highest level-Heaven-by just a small amount of effort. It’s almost like someone saying, “I want to become a doctor by meditating. I don’t want to do anything else. If I just sit here and have faith, I will automatically deserve an MD” That certainly won’t happen. Receiving a passport to Heaven is much more difficult and requires more effort than getting an MD degree.
Why did you come to this meeting today, knowing that you would have to sit on the hard floor? Everybody in the secular world expects to be sleeping at this time of the morning, but you came here. We are all here because we want to live in the Kingdom of Heaven. This is why you became a Moonie and why you go through difficult experiences such as fund raising witnessing and home church. Other people don’t even want to think about the things that you do every day.
If someone wants to be a good student he can never completely forget his studies no matter what he is doing. Whether he is eating or playing sports he is still thinking, “I’ll enjoy this for now but soon I have to go back to my studies.” If someone thinks, “I hate to study and go to classes,” there is no chance for him to do well in school. Such a poor student may be aware that there are tests coming soon, but if he doesn’t care about it he will certainly do poorly. It is imperative that the good student be mindful of every step along the way, every test and assignment.
The Unification Church is a training process like a school through which you must gain a certain certification or recognition. Do you want to experience only nice, pleasant activities in a church or do you need to go through hard work, difficulties and tribulations? You need both the good and the undesirable experiences in life, and you need to pass both examinations, not only the joyful one but also the painful one.
A good student always makes a plan and studies the harder subjects first. If math is his hardest course, he will tackle his math assignments first and then move on to the other subjects which are all easier.
Are you a good student or a bad student? You can evaluate your own position. In the Unification Church way of life there are two different kinds of students. There are some people who are always looking to receive more and more joy from God and only want to look on the sunny side of life. Those of you who are sitting on the front row must have made a lot of effort to get here early. You are a different kind of student from those who are outside listening to the loudspeaker and half dozing. Those of you who woke up at 1:00 in the morning to get here early used a lot of time and effort. Sometimes a good student seems to be wasting time because he uses it in such ways, but sacrifice of time is necessary in order to achieve the good results. The bad student normally looks for a shortcut, thinking “How can I get the easiest way out?” But in order to achieve something good one must make determined effort.
Some of the elder members of the Unification Church say, “I’ve been a UC member for 10 years. I’m a holy man now, so don’t touch me. Don’t even ask me to go to a workshop and don’t try to push me out to do menial things like fund raising!” There is another type of member who thinks, “I’ve been in the movement for 10 years but I still don’t understand enough about the True Parents. I want to know Divine Principle better and become a better teacher. I need more effort.” Ten years ago a person might have gone fund raising without understanding the significance of it. After ten years in the movement he can fund raise with a different heart, knowing how valuable it is.
I sent some of the elder members and national leaders from Europe out to the front line to do fund raising and witnessing. They were shocked and said, “Father, do we have to start all over again?” but later they came to me and thanked me for making them true Unification Church members. They felt that until they were put in the position of front line soldiers, they had been only external Unification Church members.
As Unification Church members grow, they learn how to deal with all kinds of people including those at the top levels of society. You gain a certain polish and prestige on the external level. But while this external level is going up the internal level of a person should go down, becoming meeker and more humble, loving and sacrificial. By going up externally and down internally, you can achieve a beautiful harmony. In this way a person becomes a truly exemplary member of the Unification Church.
If there is a huge object it will cast a big shadow behind it. The bigger the side to the sun, the bigger the shadow that will fall behind. Reverend Moon also has a side that faces the sun and a side that casts a shadow. Unification Church members are saying, “Reverend Moon is a great spiritual leader. He is like my spiritual father.” They are seeing the sunny side of Reverend Moon. On the other hand the people in the world who are standing in the shadow think that Reverend Moon is a “monster.” I am not disturbed by those people because I will embrace both those on the sunny side and those who are standing in the shadow. I never say, “I only like Unification Church members because they praise and appreciate me. I don’t like the people who criticize me.” It is not my way of life to receive only the good things and reject the bad.
Therefore I am teaching you to go out to the world and witness to the people who oppose you. With such an attitude, will we digest the world or will the world digest us? Some people say, “I don’t want to receive any persecution, only joy and glory,” but this is almost like saying, “I don’t want to have a shadow, I only want to have a sunny side.” It won’t work.
Knowing these points, we must look at ourselves. Who is the wise person? Who will ultimately get to the Kingdom of Heaven? Where do the Unification Church members find their Heaven? Do you only search for joyful, pleasant experiences to find Heaven? Or do you embrace the missions and the chores that are unpleasant in order to find your way to the Kingdom?
If I am a true teacher to the worldwide members of the Unification Church should I tell you to take it easy, be comfortable and have fun? Or shouldn’t the good, true teacher push you out so that your body and all your five senses have to be focused upon your work? You should not have many idle moments, but you need to learn how to be activated and disciplined to do your most determined effort. Should I say, “You only need to work during the day, not at night time”? There isn’t enough time to spend on lots of makeup. Even washing your face takes a lot of time, so you can just wash your eyes every morning to wake up and then jump out for the mission. Do you think God will say you are naughty for not washing your face? Instead He will be proud of you for your determination and effort. At night when you are so tired that you are sleeping like a log, God will come in with a handkerchief and wash your face and sprinkle a little perfume on you. He will think, “I know this boy will go out tomorrow morning without even washing his face, so I’d better do it for him.” Also, God knows how sore and tired your legs are and he will say, “I know those two legs won’t last very long at this rate, so I want to massage them.” God cannot afford to lose those two legs that are doing so much for His providence.
The person who lives such a way of life is truly a good student in the Unification Church. I made one mistake and that was to buy the New Yorker Hotel. Each of you has too much room, with too much space. God is more attentive to you when you are all close together the way you are here in this room. Some people complain saying, “Why doesn’t Father buy some chairs for Belvedere after all these years? My legs and hips get too tired every Sunday!” But others think, “I am so privileged to be here, sitting on the floor another Sunday morning at Belvedere!” When your hips or your legs complain you should tell them, “Be silent! I am honored to be here.” I observe all kinds of motions you go through, twisting and turning trying to get comfortable.
Some of you find your head falling forward even though you want to listen to the sermon so you say to yourself, “Don’t be weak! Wake up!” Such people are making a determined effort.
Many of you who are engaged are thinking, “Father, why can’t you bless us so that we can live together as a family?” You have that immediate desire, but five years from now when you have 3, 4 or 5 children will you be able to take care of them? Will you be coming to me saying, “I can’t take care of my family. Can you pay for their school tuition?” If you did that would you be a good student or a bad one?
For everyone there are problems and contradictions in life which he must overcome. Both the bad student and the good student must face the sunny side of life and the dark side. Nothing stands still in the universe and everything has its turn. The sunny side is bound to become the dark side eventually and the dark side is bound to turn sunny sooner or later. Therefore once you are ready for the dark side, trained and conditioned to endure cold weather and difficulties, when you experience the sunny side it is totally heaven for you. But the person who can deal only with the sunny side of life and does not know how to cope with the difficult times will feel he is in total hell when the dark side comes around, which it inevitably will. It is a law of nature that without a low place there cannot be a high place; and without a narrow place there can be no wide place. A person cannot even understand what is wide unless he knows what is narrow. Everybody seeks for high, wide and deep places but in order to appreciate them you must know their opposites.
All great and large things can be measured by a small measurement. The yardstick contains within it the foot and the inch measurements. Can someone say, “I prefer to measure things by the biggest measurement, the yardstick.
not by the inch? The yard is a multiplication of the inch so without knowing the inch, one cannot understand the yard. That basic standard of measurement for the inch must be clear-cut and absolute in order for the larger measurement to be clear. The wise person seeks to go inch-by-inch, perfecting the standard of that fundamental measurement, and then moving forward into the larger domains. The person who foolishly grasps the yard first can have no knowledge of the inch and foot measurements, but he who masters the inch measurement first simply multiplies it until it becomes a foot and a yard.
I have seen many people in the Unification Church who have sought only to make themselves a “yard” rather than a little inch. However, I am urging each of you to become an inch first and perfect your basic standard of the inch. People protest saying, “No, Father, I only want to be a big yardstick,” but if you master only the yard, you will have no way to bring yourself down to the foot and the inch measurements. If you start out with the inch you can go all the way to the top by simply multiplying. Many of you are listening to this “inch-message” and you feel repelled because you think you are already on the level of the yardstick.
The Bible says, “Know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” Therefore when you live by the truth, becoming a true “inch-stick” you can go anywhere freely, whether it is on the inch level, the foot level or the yard level and beyond. But if you try to live according to a lie, trying to become a yardstick prematurely, everything will be blocked for you. It is much better to become a true inch-stick than a false yardstick. You have been wanderers, neither inch sticks nor yardsticks, but someplace in-between. Now if you bring yourself down to the lowly position of the inch, will you welcome it or regret it? Do you feel good about my pushing you to make yourselves small and humble? Whether you like it or not, I must speak the truth to you. There is no exception to the laws of the universe. Not even God himself is exempt.
God should be the center and the first being in the Kingdom of Heaven. Then true men and women and finally the true things of creation. Certainly God feels himself to be the center of the universe and the Kingdom of Heaven, but is this an easy job that is lots of fun? Or does He have a huge responsibility? As the central figure for the entire cosmos, His responsibility is absolutely giant. If God were to forget His responsibilities for just one second it would be a disaster. Can God think, “I want to close up shop and take off one day?” Not at all. People think, “I have been working too hard so I need a week off for a vacation.” If God took a vacation, the cosmos would not survive. Therefore God cannot doze for one second; in fact, He cannot even take a rest. In the spirit world there is no night time, no resting time. In order for God to be able to work non-stop, He couldn’t afford to have a physical body. God exists beyond time and space fulfilling His responsibilities for the cosmos. If we are His children, can we think of abandoning our responsibilities and taking a week or a month off? Certainly that would be an affront to God.
This is the Yuletide season and everyone is excited about the approach of Christmas Day. It’s the time of parties and holiday festivities for most people, but what about God? Instead of being happy and ready to take a vacation, He is beset with more problems than ever. During holidays, there are more traffic deaths, more crime and more suffering than normal. When God has to observe His children dying from these things, He can’t sing joyfully, “Merry Christmas to everybody!”
As Moonies we live a different kind of life from people in the secular world. Most people go off on trips and vacations during the summertime, deserting the cities to go to the beaches and the mountains. Last summer I went to Germany where I spent three months in a hot, sweaty environment. Instead of a vacation I set up special conditions for witnessing and it was a busy season. You may not like such things but you have to admit that activities like that are good ones. They are good because they reflect the activities of God. If I want to be an object to God then I must do what God does, responding to His needs.
We must know how we are related to our ultimate central figure, which is God New York City is a place of hell. Multitudes of people have become like human trash; their lives are ruined and they are only waiting to be tossed into the dungeons of hell. We are people who have the power to stop this tragedy, to reverse this process. This is why we must live differently. We are striving to be objects to God and God is different from this hellish world. If you respond to God’s efforts you are bound to be different from the rest of the world. We must bring about the restoration of New York City and make it a place that brings joy and glory to God. Once that happens we can take a vacation joyfully.
Why doesn’t Reverend Moon seek an easier way of life? I could separate myself from the secular world and live as a “holy man.” Why do I work against the spread of communism; why do I fight against organized persecution; why am I bothering with these things? After all, because I bother with these things many people have come against me. The reason I bother and worry about all those different “secular” things is that God is worrying about them. If I want to respond to God and be His object, I cannot ignore the world. I feel that as object to God I will never fail to respond to God’s desires. When God stops, I will stop. I know that by pursuing this route to the end I will change this world and bring it back to God.
Of those who know me, none denies that I have worked harder than anyone else in the Unification Church. Why have I been so foolish as to take the cup of suffering? No one enjoys being persecuted throughout his life, having fingers pointed at him and being spit at; I don’t like it, either. Why do I take this position, then? Because that is exactly the position God has been put in. The world spits at God, they proudly pronounce that God is dead, they curse God. How can I avoid being persecuted and mistreated? If I am truly a representative of God then I will receive the same treatment that God receives. But the man of God must continue to do God’s will, embracing the world and loving it with a pure heart. There is no other way to become a child of God. As you live together with God, sharing in His life, you shall become men and women of God.
There are many ministers preaching their Sunday sermons today but where is there a minister who cares about God’s suffering, God’s mistreatment at the hands of the sinful world? Reverend Moon is the one man who is crying in the wilderness, speaking out on behalf of God. We must forget our own salvation, which is secondary, and we must concentrate upon the salvation of God. There are so many situations in this world which God absolutely abhors. I want to volunteer to clean up those things in order to allow God to take joy from this world.
All the ancestors of the human race are watching this world from spirit world and are observing the actions of Rev. Moon. They are not calling me a fool for going this difficult path; instead, they consider me a champion and they are urging me on. The spirit world is shouting, “Don’t get tired, Reverend Moon, even though you are getting old. Don’t stop!” Mohammed Ali, at the age of 36, has been defeated as the heavyweight champion but even though I am 62, I refuse to be defeated. I’m going to be a winner in this championship.
If you understand how God suffers in agony over this world and you know that Rev. Moon is one man who is trying to follow God’s will no matter what comes against him, would you want to become a disciple of Reverend Moon? Do you want to follow Reverend Moon even though people curse you and call you names? If you want to be a Moonie in spite of all this suffering, it is because you understand a simple fact. You know that no matter what the world says about Reverend Moon, God loves him and God loves Moonies. If you love God, you want to take a parallel position with Him and not contradict Him. Our value is not determined by how the world sees us but whether or not we can become loving objects to God.
Unification Church members are of all ages. Some of you probably wished that you had joined the Church at a younger age, but since you cannot go back and start over, at least you are fortunate enough to be here now. You can bring your children into the world, teaching them to live their lives parallel to God from the beginning. All of you can think, “I am going to make my future family a God centered family.” No matter how high is heaven and how low is earth, as long as you are harboring the same thoughts and desires as God, you and He are one. You will be one with the Most High, and within you will be the Kingdom of Heaven.
Each of you should think, “I not only want to live my life with God, but I want to transform New York into a Godly city and serve America until it becomes a Godly nation, and the whole world, as well.” With such an attitude, even hell will eventually be transformed into Heaven. This is the will of God so we must be the champions to undertake and complete this task. When you are thinking and living in such a way, you and God will be inseparable. Therefore, anything God possesses will be yours. Any power or spirit that God manifests is yours as well.
We must be champions representing all the religions and people of the world, marching forward toward God. How wonderful that life is! Would people who live like that be shaken by the communists or by persecution? Never! I always think in this way, “If God needs someone to die for His cause, I am the first volunteer.” This is the way I live my life and this is the spirit upon which the Unification Church was created. Although our church has been persecuted and has suffered, it never stopped me in any way or changed my mind even one iota.
We must think about our lives and how we have been living. How far are you from the absolute standard of which I have been speaking? If you are not close to that standard, you should repent and begin to unite your life with it. Why do you need to unite with me? If you follow this way, you will be able to find unity with God; God will be yours, and you will be God’s in an inseparable relationship. I am striving to bring all of you to that level of relationship with God. I look at my own family from this viewpoint, expecting my children to live up to that standard. Sometimes I see that it is not happening 100% and I make effort to see that it does. Sometimes my ideas and Mother’s are not 100% the same but I must continue to go this way.
I have completed my mission here in America. December 18, two days ago, was the tenth anniversary of my arrival in this country. These past ten years have been tough and in many ways a very suffering time. However, I never denied this course or rejected the suffering that came my way. Now after ten years my attitude is “Go ahead and put upon my shoulders whatever persecution you must. I shall not retreat.” I am going to continue to the end standing up for what is right. I know justice will prevail. So far I have not had any freedom because of the job I had to do in this country, but from now on I have the freedom to move on to the rest of the world. I did not come here to live in this country permanently. The time will come when I leave the United States and you will assume my position, taking on my responsibility and marching forward to victory.
Right here and now we must make up our minds to achieve victory and to become responsible men and women. With the end of 1981, all conditions for my 21-year course have been completed. No matter by what calendar, my 21-course is finished.
A baby grows inside the mother’s womb for nine months as a separate individual from the mother. The Unification Church is like a womb and you are like the baby inside that womb. Many times, you forget that you are inside of that womb. You think, “This is my life!” but it’s not just your life. In your blood stream flows the blood of your father and your mother. You are truly a branch or an extension of the life of your parents. You enjoy a certain familiarity with your environment. It is not a strange place.
Life within the Kingdom of Heaven is the same. You have an environment with God at the center. God is the essence and center of love. He is also the originator and the master of life. Within the Kingdom of Heaven, each person has his own heavenly position and property. Thus the content of the Kingdom of Heaven revolves around love, life and property.
A baby within the womb is the result of the love of the parents, the lives of the parents and is the property of the parents. One’s existence does not come about all of a sudden but must arise out of an environment. Most people want to belong to a good, honorable family because such a family provides the best environment. When someone belongs to a good family he also belongs to the prestige and good tradition of that family.
God is in the most honorable position in the universe. He is the center of love, the master of life and He owns everything. What is His purpose in owning everything? God’s purpose is to expand, to multiply Himself to an infinite amount. Within God there is the quality of a man’s love and the quality of a women’s love. By having sons and daughters, God can expand himself in both directions; and by their coming together, they can become whole.
Whose property are you? Your parents can claim you as their property, but the American way of thinking is, “I am 1. 1 own myself and no one else has any claim on me.” You can only say, “I am 1,” once you recognize that you are the extension and the property of the parents. When you can inherit that property, then you can say, “I am 1.” Each person is the property of his parents but at the same time his parents are his property. How can this be? Because through the unity of love between the child and the parents, each can say he owns the other. The love and the life of the parents came together to bring about your existence and you are an extension of their love and life. You own them and they own you; you are theirs and they are yours.
The same formula can be extended all the way to the level of God. Everything living in this universe is an extension of the love of God and the life of God. Therefore, we are all together God’s property.
What is the purpose and goal of fallen man? We want to be restored into the position of object to God. What does “object of God” mean? We will come to the position where we can claim that we are the extension of the love and life of God. Do you have the power of the life of God within you? What about the love of God? That is the ultimate question to ask yourself. Whether you live or die you cannot avoid this destiny. You must be restored into the position of object to God, where you can claim, “God’s love and life are dwelling within me.”
Who is God? God is the common parent toward every person in mankind. He looks at everyone as His child. The same relationship between parents and children can be applied to God and yourself. You can say, “I am the extension of the life and love of God, therefore, I am the property of God. At the same time, God is my property.” You can also say, “I am the object of the love of God; I am the object of the life of God. Therefore, I am dwelling within the happiness of God and I am a part of His happiness.” That is the position which we must fulfill, that object position to God where the dwelling of God’s love and life can be found.
Therefore our life, our energy and power is given by God. When the source of our energy is the love of God, whatever we do is the representation of God; your action will be God’s action. With this source of energy we can face the world and digest all of its evils.
Some people might say, “It sounds attractive to live a life for God but I don’t like having to go out and represent God to the world and trying to digest the world’s evils.” Historically, religions have always taught people to serve the world with sacrificial, humble meekness but most people don’t like that. Living a meek and humble life is not easy. I am always pushing you, “Go out to the world and be humble, be meek, be sacrificial and serve the people.” Many times you answer me, “Yes, I will do it,” but you actually step back and try to retreat from my direction. You must understand why we have to live in such a way.
Parents don’t pretend in front of their children. Even a royal king is like a child before his children. No one says, “I am a king. Bow down to me, my child.” The king laughs and smiles with his baby, kissing him on the cheek. When a little baby dirties his diaper, does he feel shame and guilt? No, he smiles and enjoys himself. He doesn’t care if the parents have a hard time changing his diaper. Such things are natural to the baby and the parent can accept it because of love. In love there is nothing ugly.
When you visit the room of a very old grandparent, you might notice a funny smell. An elderly husband and wife who have lived together for many years may live in a house that smells bad to other people, but they are accustomed to each other’s smells so they don’t notice anything unusual. That is a beautiful thing.
The world of love is connected to the world of spirit. When an old grandfather holds a little baby the baby will not care if he smells bad. The baby can touch the old grandfather’s beard and enjoy it very much. However when the baby grows older and becomes a teenager, he may be offended if his grandfather smells bad. The naive, pure world of the little child is one in which the closeness of love can be felt purely. Once you lose your purity, you fall away from that world of love. Particularly in the American way of life, a kind of unnatural standard has been created which corrupts people without their even realizing it. It is easy to lose your purity and your naive, genuine feeling; that is bad. We in the Unification Church must restore that purity and genuineness.
Very old people sometimes revert to a “second childhood.” Sometimes they even have to use diapers because they cannot control their bodily functions. When a person is young he is cared for by his parents, but when the parents become very old, their children take care of them. In this way the grandfather and grandmother become like babies and the son and daughter become like their parents. This is a beautiful give and take, the turning of the cycle.
Sons and daughters should respect their elders and their own parents to the point of taking care of them when they are no longer able to care for their own bodily functions. Such children are truly sons and daughters of filial piety.
Let me depict a situation for you. Suppose you are a married couple and you live in a home with your parents and your own children. You have a very young baby who is not yet toilet trained, but your parents are in the same situation and cannot, control their body functions. You have two different “bathroom situations,” so where should you put your priority? The American way is to think, “I must take care of my child. I can send my parents to a nursing home and let someone else take care of them.” The Oriental philosophy is different-they take care of the parents first, then they care for the child. This is the more heavenly way.
Why should a person care for his parents first before his child? It is because the parents are above you in your lineage and they are therefore closer to God. Caring for the elderly is a beautiful thing. When you are out on the street and you see an old grandmother walking on a cane with difficulty, you ought to take her arm and help her. When anyone looks at such a sight, they smile and are moved by the beauty of it. Not just people in this world, but everyone in spirit world and even God himself is moved by such beauty.
When you enter into spirit world your entire ancestral lineage, from the very beginning thousands of years ago, will all come to welcome you. You are many thousands of generations down the line. Everybody else there is older than you so you cannot say, “All of you must kneel down before me. I am the boss.” Also you wouldn’t say, “Don’t bother me, I don’t want to have anything to do with you.”
You enter the Kingdom of Heaven by stepping across the bridge of your ancestors. You must walk on the shoulders of those who came before you. You cannot do this by any power, knowledge, or accomplishment but only by love. You ancestors will feel joy to have you step across their shoulders if you are united with them in love. If you establish the tradition of serving your parents and grandparents as you serve your own child, once you enter into the spirit world you can be instantly united with your entire ancestral tree, including God who is at the top of your ancestral tree. You can go anywhere freely and be united with everyone in spirit world. Every barrier will be broken down because you set the tradition here on earth of serving your own child and your own parents with love.
I have asked older persons from time to time if they would like to go to senior citizens homes. They always said “No.” Would God agree with such a desire on the part of those old people or would He think that they ought to go to senior citizens homes? God would certainly agree with them. What if your parents were so feeble that they couldn’t control their bodily functions? Would you still want to be around them? Should I agree with the American system of sending old people off to institutions, or should I continue to say that it is not right? What I am saying is the Principle. It is truth of a universal, unchanging nature.
The parent/child relationship is the basic building block of the Kingdom of Heaven and it must be expanded to the society, nation, world and cosmos. If you don’t have the good fortune to have your parents still living on the earth, then you should serve other parents like they were your own. If you don’t have any children or your children are all grown up, then love other children as you would love your own child. This is even nobler than loving your own child. If you go to Africa you should serve in the same spirit. The African grandmother will be like your own grandmother; the African child is your own son. Likewise if you go to South America, the North Pole, the South Pole, Asia, or the Middle East, it doesn’t make any difference. You should practice this principle of love and wherever you go in the world you can create the Kingdom of Heaven there.
This ideal can be fulfilled within one family. In one family you can find the three basic skin colors of the human race. Suppose there is a black mother breast feeding her white baby; the mother and child will gaze at each other in love. This is a dramatic fulfillment of the will of God. Only through genuine parental love can such unity appear. There can be no color or racial barriers. The “white supremacist” who says that black people are not on the level of whites will find a rude awakening when he goes to spirit world. God will assign a black supervisor to such a person with the assignment to treat him cruelly, kicking and hitting him. Would that white supremacist still be glad that he lived the way he did on the earth? No, he would have much regret. That is the law of cause and effect and no one can avoid the consequences of that law. No matter what, you cannot bend or go beyond the Principle.
Where is the Kingdom of Heaven? It is the place where the life and the love of God are found. It is the dwelling of God. In order to live in that kind of Kingdom, you must be willing and eager to take care of your own baby and also your old, feeble parents.
You can evaluate yourself and whom you love the most. Do you love yourself the most? Do you love your spouse the most or your own children? Do you know how to love others, including your parents? The person who serves himself last, putting others before him, shall be in the highest position in the Kingdom of Heaven.
What kind of God do we have? Does God say, “I am the almighty God. I created you, my children, so you must glorify me and serve me! Do everything for me because I want to live for myself.” God is not that kind of God. In fact, God is the opposite of that. God is the one who has set the tradition of humbly serving and loving the world. God’s tradition is that of changing diapers, enduring bad smells and caring for the bodily functions of people. God has done nothing but serve and sacrifice and He is asking us to follow His tradition.
When you become a married couple living a happy life, suppose Mother and I came knocking on your door one day. Suppose we were very elderly, barely able to walk and we said, “Son, can we come in and stay in your house?” What would you say? Would you say, “Father and Mother, please stand out there and wait while I think about it.” What if, instead of Mother and myself we sent some other old couple as our representative? If that other old couple came knocking at your door, what would you do then? Would you treat them the same as you would treat Mother and me?
What you do becomes what your children do. What your children do becomes what your grandchildren do. This is tradition. We know in our minds what the Kingdom of Heaven is all about, but the important question is whether or not we are living it. In our homes we should have a separate guest room always ready for people passing by, even helpless, sick people and beggars. Think of it. If everybody in the society, nation and world lived in such a way, no one would have to wonder about the Kingdom of Heaven. It would be there already in substance. You wouldn’t have to pray or train yourself to think according to God’s way of thinking. We are living our lives the way we do now, like coming to Belvedere early on a Sunday morning, because we still have to reach out for that goal of the Kingdom of Heaven. We are still wanting to live in the Kingdom of Heaven. If you can create that Kingdom here on the earth, you don’t have to worry about the spirit world; it will be wide open to you.
An honor student at a good university will be sought out by prospective employers, even if he tries to hide from them. If you as a Moonie are giving yourself totally to the principled way of life even if you try to hide yourself saying that you don’t deserve to go to the Kingdom of Heaven, God will say, “What do you mean, my son? Come here, come into the Kingdom of Heaven!” In other words, you will have no alternative but to live in the Kingdom of Heaven if you are living according to the Principle.
When I go into New York City I don’t concentrate on the skyscrapers. Instead I notice the dirty, dark alleys; the places where the Mafia and the drug addicts are working; I see where the prostitutes and thieves work. My thinking is, “How can I clean up those things?” Isn’t it true that somebody has to clean up those things? Should I just leave them alone, or should I do something about them? That’s why you are asked to go and do home church. If there are 1,000 evil-doers in your home church area when you first get there, one year later by your example and service you can reduce that number to 800. The second year you can reduce them to 500; the third year, 200. Finally, by the fifth year, there will be no one in your area who is doing evil. You can serve the elderly people in your area. Do their laundry, cook for them, clean their houses for them. I have done such things myself.
Wherever you go, walk with a loving mind and a loving heart. Love is a contradiction. It is good, beautiful and sweet, but the practice of love is often painful, sacrificial, and even smelly!
People tend to conceptualize God as sitting on a throne, wearing a crown and ordering the universe around, but that kind of false concept has to be changed. We must come to know the reality of God’s situation. God has told me that my understanding is correct so no matter what people may say about me, I will continue to live this way and go this route. I could have had a much easier life if I had chosen to become the minister of some wealthy, established church, but I asked God to direct my life. Either Reverend Moon is very foolish or very wise.
What about you? Are you wise people or foolish people? You want to live in the Kingdom of Heaven, isn’t that correct? You are working hard, serving, witnessing, fundraising, in order to take the shortest path to the Kingdom of Heaven. You are learning to digest both this world and spirit world all at once. Within yourself you are creating the Kingdom of Heaven.
Can you complain because of persecution and hard work, then? You may be living in a sacrificial way now, but the reward is infinitely great. When you serve the world with a parental heart, the world will reward you. When you live for the sake of the entire cosmos, the cosmos will reward you for all eternity. Whenever a child is living in a sacrificial way to serve his parents, those parents appreciate that child and will never forget his efforts. This same principle applies to God.
So far people have known about the Kingdom of Heaven but they haven’t known how to get there. The way to the Kingdom of Heaven is not an easy way; it is not a rosy and glorious way. A person must live his life with service, meekness and sacrifice in order to get there. However, most people don’t even want to hear about such things and that is what is wrong with this world. The barrier will never be removed between mankind and God without going through that process. Only when mankind is united in love can the dwelling of God be with man.
What will unite mankind? Only the meek, humble, serving way of life. God himself is the epitome of such a way of life. Who can be more patient than God or more forgiving, more unconditionally sacrificial? Think about the way people curse God. Certainly God has the power, if He wanted to use it, to destroy those who are saying “God is dead.” People often feel the urge for revenge against those who mistreat them, but God does not use his power for revenge. God is patient, waiting for you to be awakened. He is giving you time and forgiveness, over and over again. This is why God is truly the King of the entire cosmos. Those men who used the power of the world to do evil, such as Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin, haven’t even got the power to lift their heads in spirit world.
There have been many people who have left the Unification Church after having said, “Father, I want to be an exemplary member and help you in your work for the rest of my life.” Do you think I pray, “God, please bring down the legions of hell to destroy those ex-Moonies?” Never. I pray to God for their forgiveness. It’s an amazing thing that, even though established Christianity has opposed me so strongly, I have spent much money and effort to help them to understand our message. The purpose of God is not to destroy, but to save. This includes the communists, as well.
If there were a world senate, what kind of president do you think they would elect? A president who would want to give himself tirelessly for the sake of the world’s citizens or a president who would sacrifice the world for his own benefit? Certainly the world would want the first kind. With sacrificial service you can go deeply into this world and cleanse it. When you go down deeper and deeper you will have to go all the way down to the bottom of hell. After Jesus was crucified he went down into the dungeons of hell first for three days to preach the gospel. The power of unselfish love can cleanse everything, even hell. With that power we can literally build the Kingdom of Heaven on the earth. We come to the ultimate conclusion that God is truly the King of wisdom.
You have the aspiration to live in the Kingdom of Heaven; every one of you is wanting to live in that Kingdom. Some people have complained, “My fiancé is not the perfect match for me. We have so many problems; I want to break my engagement.” But think about the Kingdom of Heaven and how to get there. The way to Heaven is the way of patience and endurance; you must be able to love unconditionally and sacrificially. God is trying to teach each person through his fiancé a realm that he could never learn in any other way. You should think, “My fiancé is a gift from God to teach me how to go to Heaven.” God is trying to bring every sinner back into the position of His own true child. This is a seemingly impossible job, if you think of it. Can you say, “My fiancé is not handsome enough for me. And he’s too short; he’s Japanese.” Please raise your hand if you are a perfect person. Then how can you complain against your fiancé?
Suppose you are a handsome man and you happen to be engaged to an ugly woman. If you serve and love that woman unconditionally, uniting and making a harmonious family with her, you have already claimed Heaven for yourself. That wife will be able to do more good for her husband than any other woman because she will be able to make him a saint.
When you adopt this way of life nothing can trouble you any more. Furthermore you can become a troubleshooter for the world. As someone who can conquer the problems of the world, you will be able to live a wonderful way of life. When you are living that way of life, you will be eligible to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. God will be more than willing to accept you with open arms. Those of you who are determined to become eligible to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, please raise your hands. God bless you!