I’m sure you’ve heard of it by now, it’s called the Mother-God cult. The official name is the World Mission Society Church of God. I’ve had my share of run-ins with them over the years.
The Mother-God cult is a religion that started in South Korea, and now has more than 2.7 million members.
I had a memorable conversation with one of these members that I wanted to share with you.
I was about to evangelize on a college campus, when I passed a young man with Bible open, talking to a student. As I walked by, he was saying something about God being a mother, so I barged in and started a conversation with the guy, partly out of curiosity and partly to get him to stop talking to that poor student.
After a few minutes of conversation, I simply asked what has become my go to question when talking to anyone involved in a cult.
“Ok, let’s say you’re right; please tell me what I need to do to be saved right now?!”
With a look of fearful shock, he just stood there speechless.
I said, “Come on, man! I could die today! The Bible says today is the day of salvation!” (2 Cor.6:2)
He responded. “It’s not that easy!”
After what had to be at least 20 seconds of him standing there in shock, I said, “Please, you’re here, I assume, to help people, right? How do I get saved? I could die today! Give me something!”
At this point, I was determined not to say a word and to wait until he finally spoke up, and after a long time he finally said, “You have to take the Passover.”
“Ok!” I said, “I’ll take it right now.”
He said “It’s not that easy! You have to take it at my church!”
At this point, I was committed. “Ok let’s drive there now. Hopefully I don’t die on the way.”
At which point he shook his head and said, “It’s not that easy, you can only take it once a year.”
“On April 8th.”
I was intrigued. “April 8th? How’d you come up with that date?”
He said, “God told me.”
I said, “Wait a second here, didn’t you tell me there were 2.7 million of you? Did you all hear audibly at the same time? How did you all agree on it? Did you all show up together in a room and count 1, 2, 3 and all shout ‘April 8th’ together?”
That’s when I realized what he was saying.
He was talking about Jang Gil-Ja.
Jang Gil-Ja is a 75-year-old, Korean woman who claims to be God the Mother, and to have fulfilled all the prophecies of the Bible.
At this point, I was heart-broken. This woman had duped millions of people into believing she was God, and most importantly, he duped this poor soul standing in front of me.
What made it worse was when he told me that he went around sharing the “gospel” so that he could be among the 144,000. When I reminded him that there were over 2.7 million of them, he seemed bothered. Almost as if he had never done the math. That he had only a 5% chance.
I was able to share the Gospel with him, and it was a joy for a couple of reasons.
The first reason was because I was able to explain to him that you can’t earn salvation. He was obviously working very hard to get to God. He was on the campus trying to convince people that Jang Gil-ja was God incarnate. He was probably doing all kinds of other religious activity that I didn’t know about. I already believed this, but it was reassuring to remember that every religion, except true Christianity, comes down to a works-based, pride-based system where the individual earns his way to God. There are truly only two-religions in the entire world, and though it is helpful to know a few details about each religion—at least the big ones—it isn’t necessary for faithful evangelism. You just need to know what the Gospel is and why it is unique.
The second reason was because I was able to tell him that he could be saved that very day. We didn’t have to drive anywhere or wait until a certain date, but just like Zacchaeus (Luke 19:9), the thief on the cross (Luke 23:43), the Ethiopian official (Acts 8:34-38), the Philippian jailer (Acts 16:34), and every other salvation story in the Bible, he could be saved at that very moment if he would repent of his sin and place His faith in Jesus Christ alone for his salvation.
I don’t know what happened to him. I prayed with him that day for God to open his eyes to the truth, and that he would trust God’s Word above any human being. He walked away seemingly thankful for the conversation. But it made me really think about how different our mindset is as we hit a college campus.
He’s doing it so that God would love him. I’m doing it because God loves me. He’s doing it to earn salvation. I’m doing it because I’m already saved. He’s offering people the opportunity to perhaps save themselves after a process of many years. I’m offering people the opportunity to be saved right now.
Let’s never believe the lie that we are the same as false religions when we go to the street, go door to door or engage in any evangelistic conversation. Even though our actions are the same, our hearts (and messages) are in entirely, or more specifically, eternally different places. Pastor, father, mother, college student–whoever you are, never grow weary of preaching the only truth that can instantly save!