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Scripture Memory: Hope of Heaven.

VERSE : Rev 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

20 November 2016

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Charles Seet (A Conscience Void of Offence, Acts 24:1-27)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Mr Lim Chien Chong (Back to Life, Jn 11:1-45)

27 November 2016

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Lee Hock Chin (“I Appeal Unto Caesar!” Acts 25:1-27)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Peter Tan (No Fruits, Mark 11:12-14)

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THE CHRISTIAN IN THE BUSINESS WORLD (Part 1)

By Pastor Charles Seet & Elder Tan Yew Chong 

Those who get deeply involved in the business world today will soon realise that it is not so much a harvest field, but a dense jungle where only the fittest can survive for long! The Christian who enters the world of business will soon find himself at the mercy of the market forces, facing keen competition and many temptations: to cut corners, and to employ unethical means used by other successful businesses.

Many businessmen resort to bribery to gain quick access for their goods into the market, or for obtaining approvals from authorities. Kickbacks are often given to agents for selecting their products for their clients. And even though the penalty for this is high, many still take the risk, because of the great profits it brings in.

As Christians, our concern in doing business should not be for the profits alone, but also that in the conduct of our business we will successfully maintain a good testimony for the Lord (cf. Proverbs 22:1). One of the greatest challenges facing Christians in business is the challenge of maintaining strict godly principles, without succumbing to the fear of losing out to others who seem to enjoy advantages from their use of unethical means to secure profits.

Some will say, “It is impossible to do business without doing these things!” But this is a misconception. Since biblical times there have been godly people who engaged in business like trading and fishing. For instance, the apostle Paul was doing a tent-making business with his partners, Aquila and Priscilla. Acts 16 tells us about Lydia, one of the first converts at Philippi, who was doing business in a dye extracted from seashells, called purple.

In modern times there have been many successful Christian businessmen, who prospered without compromising their godly principles. One of them was James C. Penney, one of the most successful American businessmen in the last century. His first business venture was a butcher shop, but this failed almost immediately after he refused to bribe an important person. Penney lost everything because of this but he learned never to compromise.

That became the secret of his success later on, so that by his death in 1971, he left behind a chain of 1,600 stores with annual sales of US$4.1 billion. That business empire was built without compromising the Christian principles he had learned from three generations of godly preacher ancestors. He neither smoked nor drank, and he said, “I believe in adherence to the golden rule, faith in God and the country… I would rather be known as a Christian than a merchant.”

Even though a Christian will face problems in today’s business world to keep his hands clean and testimony shining and still be blessed with sufficient profits, he can succeed by applying biblical principles in at least four areas:

Managing Funds

It is a common practice to take substantial loans for capital to start a business. The Christian in business should be careful where he borrows from – only from legal sources like a bank or corporate investors. He must have the means to pay off the loan on time and ensure that his collaterals are solid and safe.

The Bible is not against legitimate buying on credit or paying by instalments or borrowing, but it speaks against being in debt. A debt exists when payment is past the due date that had been agreed on, for money, goods or services. Some people may just keep on delaying repayment with the intention of not repaying their debts. Such a person becomes guilty of stealing. Psalm 37:21 tells us: “The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again….”

Others delay the settlement of a debt because of a sudden opportunity to make more profit. They decide to take a risk with the funds, thinking that they can multiply the funds for themselves before returning it. You should only take risks with funds that are legitimately yours to use.

One of the hardest things to do in business is to know when to take more risk, and when to take less risk. The highest risk investments often have tantalisingly higher potential returns. But all of that can be lost very easily because of the higher risk. It is true that risks must be taken to some extent, or else no business can be done at all. Businessmen who are not careful in taking risks may easily cross the thin line into gambling.

Gambling is prohibited by the ninth commandment, “Thou shalt not covet.” (Exodus 20:17) The Cambridge dictionary defines gambling as “to do something risky that might result in loss of money or failure, hoping to get money or achieve success.” Connected with gambling is the strong element of uncertainty and the large chance of losing. It has been popularly defined as “getting something for nothing”, that is, without rendering service or exchange of goods. Instead, it involves taking a risk and often means losing what one has.

How then can a businessman take an investment risk without gambling? The first step is to assess your motive for taking that investment. Are you only aiming to get something more through higher risk-taking? Are you investing on impulse or ‘gut feelings’? If so, it most probably is gambling. But if your motive for investment is sound – with potential returns based more on providing goods and services and less on risk factors – then it is less likely that your investment has turned into gambling.

How do we make sound investments? By making careful calculations and research of the market first. Check all the factors that can affect the venture, and invest only when there is a good likelihood of success and when the amounts are well within your financial capacity.

Risks should be limited to those that are unforeseen – what others term as “an act of God.” Most of all, pray for God’s wisdom and seek godly counsel and guidance before taking any risk (cf. James 1:5; Proverbs 11:14).

Business Partnerships

Partnerships can offer greater opportunities and efficiency. But when one enters into a joint venture or business partnership with another, there are bound to be differences in working procedures, in objectives and priorities. This inevitably leads to some degree of compromise.

Such compromise may be morally disastrous to the Christian businessman if his partner insists on using unethical or dishonest means to get results. That is why we need to apply the principle of 2 Corinthians 6:14 – “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”

On the other hand, it is hard to find an ideal Christian partner in business. Some Christian partnerships have turned sour as well, and partnerships can ruin friendships. So if you are thinking of going into a business partnership, then as far as possible, enter into it only with Christians you can trust, and commit the partnership to the Lord.

What if you are already in a large multinational company and have many non-Christian partners in your business? Then you must be like Daniel, who stood firm on his godly convictions despite having to work closely with many unbelievers in the government.

                                                (To be continued)

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Christmas Programme

Sunday School Christmas Gathering 17 Dec 16 (Sat) at 10.00 am

Christmas Carol Service (English & Chinese) 24 Dec 16 (Sat) at 8.00 pm

Combined English Christmas Service 25 Dec 16 (Sun) at 9.00 am 

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EDD is organizing a Street Evangelism at Orchard Road. Please come and join us.

Date           : 17th Dec 2016 (Saturday)

Prayer Time               :           6.30pm in Beulah House 

Evangelism Time     :           7.00 to 8.30 pm (commence at outside CK Tang Entrance and witnessing at Orchard Road walkway)

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1) Sanctity in Worship: Come early on Sunday. Being habitually late for worship dishonours God. Remember to switch off your handphone, and avoid conversation during worship.

2) Family Seminar 2016 recordings: Video(MP4) in thumb-drive at S$6.00 & Audio(MP3) in CD at S$1.00

Kindly place orders at RTL Office after worship services.

3) Youth Fellowship Camp 2016, 19-23 Dec. For youth  17-25 yrs. Do register at the booth in front of the Main Sanctuary or online at http://tinyurl.com/jlx46jm. Registration ends TODAY.

4) Lively Teens Fellowship Camp, 5-9 Dec 16. Teens 11-17 years are encouraged to join! Sign up at www.tinyurl.com/2016ltfcamp. Contact Nicholas Lim.

5) Catechism Class for Easter Baptism on 16 April 2017 commences on 8 Jan 2017 at Beulah Centre Rm 2-1, 9.30am. Please pre-register by emailing church office or filling up the form available at the front counter. Those seeking baptism, reaffirmation of faith and transfer of membership must attend the catechism class. Closing date: 1 Jan 2017.

Preaching appt: Rev Wong at Filipina Fellowship, 11.00 am. Rev Lee at Thai Service, 2.30 pm.  Rev Khoo at AF Retreat, JB. 

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

October 15 & 22 - The Cost of Discipleship

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:25