By Rev. Junchol Lee
We use a calendar that has 12 months and 365 days in it. As it nears December 31st, we feel as though something is getting close to an end, and yet on January 1st it feels like a new beginning. Our life is composed of many endings and beginnings. We may live one life, but within this one life we have many different journeys.
(References: Habakkuk 3:17)
483. V. Without free will in spiritual matters the Word would not be of any use, nor in consequence would the church be.
It is well known throughout the Christian world that the Word is, broadly speaking, the Law, that is, a book of laws in accordance with which a person must live, in order to be granted everlasting life. Is there anything it says more often than that man must do good and not evil, and he must believe in God and not in idols? The Word is also full of commands and exhortations to these actions, with blessings and promises of rewards for those who do so, and curses and threats of punishment for those who do not. Unless man had free will in spiritual matters, that is, in matters concerned with salvation and everlasting life, what would all this be but empty words serving no use? And if anyone were to cling to the idea that he lacked any power or freedom in spiritual matters, so that he was without any will-power in these matters, would not Holy Scripture look to him like a blank piece of paper with no letters on it, or like a piece of paper over which a whole pot of ink had been emptied, or just serifs and dots with no letters, that is to say, a book with nothing in it?
 There would hardly be any need to prove this from the Word, but since present-day churches have plunged so deeply into mental inanity in spiritual matters, citing certain passages in support which they have wrongly interpreted, I am obliged to quote some passages which tell men how to act and believe. These are:
The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation that produces its fruits, Matthew 21:43.
Produce fruit worthy of repentance; at any moment now the axe is put to the root of the tree. So every tree which does not produce good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire, Luke 3:8-9.
Jesus said, why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and not do what I say? Everyone who comes to me and listens to what I say and does that is like a man building a house upon rock. But one who listens and does not do it, is like a man building his house on soil with no foundation, Luke 6:46-49.
Jesus said, My mother and my brothers are these who hear the Word of God and act upon it, Luke 8:21.
We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone worships God and does His will, He listens to him, John 9:31.
If you know these things, you are blessed if you act upon them, John 13:17.
He who possesses my commandments and does them is the one who loves me, and I will love him, John 14:21.
In this is my Father glorified, by your bringing forth much fruit, John 15:8.
You are my friends, if you do whatever I bid you. I have chosen you to bear fruit, and for your fruit to keep, John 15:14, 16.
Make the tree good; by its fruit the tree is known, Matthew 12:33.
Produce fruit worthy of repentance, Matthew 3:8.
The one who sowed seed on good land is the one who hears the Word and bears fruit, Matthew 13:23.
He who reaps receives his wage, and gathers the fruit for everlasting life, John 4:36.
Wash yourselves, cleanse yourselves, put away the wickedness of your deeds; learn to do good, Isaiah 1:16-17.
The Son of Man is to come in the glory of His Father, and He will then deal with each according to his deeds, Matthew 16:27.
Those who have done good deeds will go forth to be resurrected to life, John 5:29.
Their deeds accompany them, Revelation 14:13.
Behold, I come soon and my reward is with me, so that I may give to each according to what he has done, Revelation 22:12.
Jehovah, whose eyes are open, to give to each in accordance with his behaviour; He deals with us according to our deeds, Jeremiah 32:19; Zechariah 1:6.
 The Lord teaches the same lesson in the parables, many of which imply that those who do good are accepted and those who do evil are rejected: as in the parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matthew 21:33-44), that of the talents and minas, with which they had to trade (Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:13-25). Likewise Jesus said about faith:
He who believes in me shall never die, but live, John 11:25-26.
This is the Father's will, that everyone who believes in the Son should have everlasting life, John 6:40.
He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; he, however, who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him, John 3:36.
God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life, John 3:15-16.
You are to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And you are to love the neighbour as yourself. The law and the prophets depend upon these two commandments, Matthew 22:37-40.
These are a minute selection from the Word and like a few pints of water drawn from the sea.