With delegates from all around the world, the 25th General Assembly commenced with an opening service on the morning of the October 28 in the Riverside, California.
Rev. Andrew Lin delivered the sermon based on the theme of the gathering: Mark 16: 15. He welcomed every delegates and members who attended the event. In his introduction, he emphasized the verse from Mark "To preach the good news to all creation" as the calling and our identity as the one who is called to this world.
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"Jesus said to go to the world to preach the good news. We clearly are sinners and Jesus was crucified for us on the cross to redeem us from our sins. He died and resurrected, and he rose again and now he sits next to our Father in heaven. Jesus is our Savior. This is the Gospel that Jesus told the disciples. As WOA, we gather from all around the world from all ministries, we first meditate about the meaning of this."
At the keynote, WOA General Secretary Rev. Anthony Chiu addressed that God is again reminding us all of the main callings for through this year theme which is the same one as three years ago. We aim to be a model to the world for what it means to believe in Jesus Christ and be separated from sin.
"Expansion of the global network for ministries and fellowships will allow churches to expand greatly. This will help expose a greater portion of the world to the importance of who God is and why they need Him. People should come to know God and the purpose that He has created for them," he stated.
WOA President Rev. David Jang delivered the message of Sunday service from Acts 13:1-3 and 1 Corinthians 15:9-11, "But by the grace of God, I am what I am."
"We are standing here because we are called. As a minister, this was a challenge that came to me. Apostle Paul gave his testimony three times in front of these great people like kings and emperors. It was his opportunity to impress these people with his great intellect and his ability to communicate with great understanding. He explained very simply how he used to kill and persecute Christians, but how Jesus called him even in the middle of his sin. This is what I can proclaim, that even though I am a sinner I am standing here because of grace."
Rev. Jang also delivered the message from John 3:16 and Zechariah 1:16- 2:5 at the anniversary service. Rev. Jang preached the sermon based on the 4 spiritual laws and the core truth that all creation and all people need Jesus Christ and the hope of the Kingdom of God.
"Christianity is a religion of salvation through Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches the 4 basic and spiritual laws - Creation, Sin, Salvation, and the Kingdom of God. You should always be prepared to give an answer for the hope that you have. The most important theme is Jesus Christ, and explaining this is evangelism. Through Christ and through His blood, we have gained the confidence to enter the temple gates," he said.
Throughout the 4 day conference, continental and ministry representatives presented their work throughout the year and their goals for the next. The fellowships and ministries also held an exhibition for the purpose of offering broader understanding of their ministry's mission perspective and works. The conference intended to inspire delegates on the advancement of the gospel in various fields and ministries, and expand their minds on the opportunities that God can open in the next year for mission.